Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Say What...To Stretch I'm preaching revival this week in Paragould,AR, about to freeze my Florida hiney right off! I'm not used to daytime highs of 45 anymore...I'm cold! We are having a wonderful revival, God is touching and encouraging...I actually think it's a time of renewal. In fact, I am beginning to believe that most of what we call and consider revival in local churches is actually renewal. Revival is for dead people, for things that have absolutely no live, renewal and restoration are about causing the life that is already in us to be revived and refreshed...that's another thought I suppose. I am concerned about being the church, what we stand for and what we say we believe in and what we actually are. Could it be that in our need to progress we have limited God to what we think progression is? Have far are you willing to go to be in God's presence and have we gone so far in some things that we are missing what God has desired for all along the way? Deep inside my spirit there is a need to stretch, to go deeper, to get closer, to become more authenic...but to do that is painful, it hurts when I exercise because I like comfort and not pain. I hear God speaking but don't always like what He's saying and for me to speak what He is saying is painful because once I speak it I must become it...I must stretch.

3 comments:

michigan preacher said...

Hey, Neil, glad that revival has been going good. We just ended a revival this week too, with B.J. O'Neal.

I know what you mean about stretching. I feel that I am also being stretched. It's not comfortable, yet it is, because I know that God is bringing to where He wants me, and I know that just like with consistent exercise, I will be better.

You mentioned going so far in some things that you miss what is along the way. This may not be what you mean, but it relates. I'm the typical kind of driver that is looking to get to the destination ASAP. If we are on vacation, it's my wife that wants to take time, see the sites, stop here and there. Getting there is half the fun. I need to put the pedal to the floor and get there. I think we get that way in our walk with God. We know what God has called us to be, but we don't like the trip there. God has so many blessings along the way that we can miss when we are so focused on the end. There is abundance in the everyday. God bless.
~Jeff

Exqsme said...

I know about stretching being uncomfortable... LET ME TELL YOU! Here's a thought, maybe a tired one, but I'm submitting it anyway...

being preggo my skin is stretching beyond it's limit of stretching smoothly. When you first start to grow the stretching of the skin isn't really all that bad... but then you get to the point where I am at... 2 weeks before I give birth to this baby and the stretching has become uncomfortable... and now that I am being stretched beyond the comfort level, I am seeing marks that will be left behind. Stretch marks. Most women hate them, and we have all sorts of creams and such to try and get them to fade. They are not pretty by any means... but I could look back on them as reminders of the life, the promise that I carried, and that I had to be stretched to make room for... or I cna simply look at them as ugly old scars.

Sometimes we can feel like we have been hurt during the stretching process, but instead of looking upon those moments as ugly scars we really would rather forget, we could use them as reminders of the life that we were being prepared for..

I hope the thought makes sense.

Neil said...

Billy O'Neal is one of my favorite people and is an awesome evangelist. We used him in Louisville.

I am a pedal pusher, stop just long enough to get gas, use the restroom, get a snack and off we go. You're right, that how we do it with God.

My six year old does most the praying over our food, sometimes it's while she putting it in her mouth, looking around the room, or getting the ketchup...on the run. We have to remind her she's praying to God and needs to be respectful...then I remember how often I'm talking as I go, while telling Him that He's the most important person in my life, sometimes wonders if He says, "O Really!"