Pastor Donald Francis Nori Sr. Remembrance Tribute
He raised us up with Christ the exalted One, and we ascended with him into the glorious perfection and authority of the heavenly realm, for we are now co-seated as one with Christ!
Ephesians 1:6, TPT
The Apostle Paul powerfully points us to the reality of living “seated with Christ in heavenly places.” While this seat in the spirit is available to all believers, I do believe that there are some rare people who intentionally step into this position in very noticeable, history-shaping ways. Pastor Don Nori Sr., was such a trailblazer, pioneer, prophet and publisher. And I believe even now, “Pastor Don” as he was affectionately called, is among those in the Great Cloud of Witnesses, cheering us on, in the Earth, to see God’s Kingdom expand, yes through us, but first and foremost, within us. After all, one common denominator among those who are part of the Hebrews 12:1-2 “Great Cloud of Witnesses” are those who blazed trails through faith, as outlined in Hebrews 11.
Pastor Don, you were a prophetic trailblazer on Earth and now, you are calling us from Heaven to keep seeking areas where there are no paths—and create paths. The authors you identified and books you published all carried this prophetic, pioneering anointing!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2, ESV
When we consider those who are among this great cloud of witnesses, their function in Heaven compels us to fix our gaze all the more intently upon Jesus, lay aside the weights that restrain us from fulfilling our Kingdom assignments, and run the race that is set before us, thus completing our ultimate destiny—being confirmed into the image of Jesus. This is Pastor Don’s legacy, in both the life he lived and through the publishing company that continues to carry out this vision.
Don Nori lived with heavenly perspective, ever seeing what was ahead while living in the tension of the here and now. This is why the publishing house he founded in 1983, Destiny Image, stands the test of time and continues to identify authors and produce works that stay true to Don’s original mandate: “publish the prophets.”
On a personal note, every conversation I had with Pastor Don—even up until our most recent discussion at CJ’s restaurant in Shippensburg, PA on April 11, 2018—lovingly confronted me with a servant of the Lord who could not help but see beyond where we were presently operating. One functioning in the New Testament office of a prophet ever hears the roar of the “not yet,” and summons the body of Christ to cry out for, explore, and ultimately, enter these new realms.
I’ll say this—Don Nori was not simply interested in Christians getting to a “place” with the Lord. Granted, the places we go to are important and play valuable roles in shaping us. For Don, that was not the end goal, though. Buildings, events, conferences—all good, but not the goal. He so yearned to see sons and daughters of God become the place of habitation for the Spirit’s manifest presence. Book after book, message after message, one of the resounding cries of Pastor Don’s heart was for the body of Christ to “Behold who you have become—and become who you already are!” He called us to really catch a glimpse of what we had become through the redemptive work of Jesus—sons and daughters of God and heirs of an increasing, advancing Kingdom. Furthermore, Pastor Don challenged us to step out and actually live like the sons and daughters God said we were.