Saturday, April 29, 2006

My mind is strained today as I question my life and it's relevance. The motto of our church is that we are a church that is Real-Authentic, Relevant-, and Refreshing. Real and Refreshing are easy for me, it means that we are authentic and that when you leave you feel better, encouraged, and blessed. But this thing about being relevant is bothering me...Am I? And if I am what is it that makes me relevant? If I'm not, how do I become relevant? Does relevance mean that I am acceptable to society and the culture that I'm apart of, that I fit in and relate to the time and place that I now live in? How do I become relevant and not compromise my foundational beliefs. After all, cultures and climates change constantly, but our foundations must be built upon not constantly rebuilt...don't they? Perhaps my struggle is in the ministry the Lord has given me, am I relevant as a minister or have I become so stuck where I'm at that it has become the norm for me and I want it to be the norm for everyone else? I've been checking out church web sites and it appears that some churches, the ones that appear successful have moved into a certain mode, podcasts, casual dress, dark lights during worship and a non-confrontational type I'm asking myself have I become irrelevant? Don't misunderstand, I'm not against any of these things and really like most of it, especially the casual dress thing...I just want to be relevant, to minister to people where they are and help them get where they're supposed to really answer questions that people are asking...and remain faithful and true to the call and commission of Christ. Do I relate to people in a real manner is my question about my self today! There is a scripture in the Psalms that comes to mind, "My Thoughts Trouble Me..." Ever been there?

Friday, April 28, 2006

The Cuban Sandwich
Just another great reason to live in Florida! A little mustard, some cheese, a few dill pickles and press it thin! Ole' Ole' Ole'

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Isaac Is Coming
I know that I've been posting a bunch of junk lately, I get afraid those who read will think I'm just a religious nut, and don't want to be preachy all the time. I am addicted to American Idol, even though I don't see it every week, I always find out the results...even from afar. But today I've got something jumping in my spirit and wanted to share. Several weeks ago I was preaching in Illinois and the phrase "Isaac Is Coming" got into my spirit. For some reason I thought I had read those words but could not find where I read them. Then the Lord began to speak to me about this phrase, I began to search the scripture concerning God's promise to Abraham to give him a son, of Abraham's impatience and Sarah's willingness to substitute herself with a handmaid and the arrival of Ishmael. It is a reoccuring word in my spirit that Isaac-the Promise-is coming. Ishmael was the product of the flesh, a substitute that would satisfy the impatience of two people that had been given a was Abraham and Sarah settling for less than what God promised them. Ishmael looked like the promise, acted like the promise, could be invested in and obtain the inheritance of the father...but he wasn't the promise. He was the production of the flesh that was paraded in the eyes of those that had heard the prophetic's attempt to fulfill what only God can create. Today I went to the mail box and took out the latest issue of Ministries Today, as I'm scanning the pages I come to a article by R.T. Kendall entitled, "Isaac Is Coming!" I can't tell you what happened in my spirit, it was a confirmation that I am hearing the Lord. Don't understand all the implications, I just know there is an Isaac coming to the body of Christ, this promise has all the blessings and benefits of the covenant and will produce in our lives those things God has always desired to be a part of who and what we are...Don't Laugh...Isaac Is Coming!
The People Have Spoken...I Just Don't Like What They Said
Well, Kelly Pickler was voted off American Idol last night, you know, I didn't think she would win but I wanted her to last a little longer. My guess is that Paris is next or soon to depart...I'm not quite sure why she isn't rating higher...the girl can sing, perhaps it's an age and maturity thing...she will not ride off into the sunset to never be heard of again...we'll be buying her stuff in the near future.
Now it's time to shift newest Idol project...Getting Kathleen to the top. It is imperitive in life that Taylor Hicks does not win, nor should Chris or Elliot, it must be Kathleen or Paris...let the games begin!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Next Move of God
I've been reading the blogs and posts of men and women of God from many areas around the United States and continue to be convinced that God is up to something. What is amazing to me is that God seems to be saying the same thing to many people, it may be phrased a little different, may have a more personalized spin as it relates to the the ones He is speaking to...but God is speaking and He is moving.
I was reading about the church in transition on a friends blog and realized that there are many people who desire to be a part of what God is doing, they recognize that these most cetainly are the times of the end...they just aren't sure how to get in...or once they're in they don't know what to do...I think the answer is learning to simply stand in the river and allow the refreshing water carry you where you need to be.
Another thing comes to me this morning, while God is saying the same thing in many places and while the movement of God may have similarities...every move will be different...God tailor makes what He does just for you!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

When The Flood Comes
I was strangely drawn to Isaiah 43:2 yesterday as I meditated on what I would preach this morning...Actually, I was taking a shower when the Lord began to speak to me concerning the fact that there are moments in our lives when storms and flood arise in our lives. As I drove to revival this morning the Lord reminded me that there are two moments in life when these things take place: 1) When we're doing the normal things of life; 2) When we're doing what God called us to do. Sudden moments take place when out of nowhere the floods begin to pour in, wiping out everything that is in its way...those things that are removeable. The strange thing about floods is while their nature is apparently destructive, they aren't all destructive, in fact, floods remove some things that otherwise may not be removed and they also deposit some things that we need. Somethings have a grip on us that must be forcefully removed, we also at times have a grip on things that unless a crisis moment takes place in our lives we will not loosen our grip on what has become familiar to us...even if it would be to our betterment. One thing is certain, regardless of our position in the flood...God won't let us die, he won't allow us to drown...He'll teach us to surf and swim...we're going to win!

Friday, April 21, 2006

My Blood Pressure
I know that I shouldn't post twice in one day and probably should post something super spiritual...on a message board today I was called a hipster...I think I was being slammed and resisted slamming back....But, I have been struggling with high blood pressure for several years. At first I thought it was just stress, and it probably is connected, it's probably inheritated some, my father had it, and other relatives have it's probably in my genes...I've never been to the doctor for it but runs somewhere usually between 157/95 to as high as 168/110, more often its around 160's/103/104, somewhere in there. This evening I checked it and it was 147/90, which is borderline, but much lower than it has been in longer than I can tell. I'm on an aspirin regimen, take 1000mgs of garlic pills daily, have removed salt from my diet other than what it is cooked with, am cutting back on my caffine intake and am drinking more water than ever in my life. I've been claiming a healing and am believing God for a total restoration of my for me this is a really big deal...more than you'll ever know, more than I can ever thank God for...but I am rejoicing and really I thought I'd share the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living...or at least in Blogland!
Chocolate Addiction
I have never been one to have a sweet tooth, am not the kind of person that needs something sweet on a daily basis. The problem I've always had was if I had something sweet I then needed something salty, and then something sweet and so on. Over the years I would rather have a sandwich or pizza, just food, never caught up with sweets...until now! This Easter season has brought boo coo's of sweets into our home and I have become addicted. Even at the office I'm consumed with finding some afternoon chocolate...and there are a couple teachers in our school with a mega zip lock bag full...and they are willing to share! My bubble in the middle is getting larger and I have got to get deliverance from the desire to rid the world of chocolate one piece at a time! Of course, this is not my picture, but I can relate to the feeling here!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Lord Answers Our Prayers!
You know, I was worried about Kelly Pickler on American Idol last night. In her owns words Tuesday night, "I really butchered it, didn't I?" Last night as I prepared to teach on prayer I mentioned that we needed to remember Kelly in our prayers, got home and she was not in the bottom three!
Jesus answered the prayer of my heart...How about you?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Flavor of Favor
I truly believe that God gives people and churches favor, that divine covering that causes others to be attracted to you and to bless you...sometimes it appears for no apparent reason. Several weeks ago our youth ministry went to a park in the area to sing, dance, and do drama. While there they participated with everything that was going on, played with the kids, rejoiced with the other participants, and acted like Christian youth. The photographer was so impressed, he took many pictures of our youth, put them on his web site, told our youth pastor how much he appreciated them and their behavior...and then a few days later called me.
We were hosting "Last Chance", the man asked if he could come and take pictures, we consented and the last night he came, took pictures and during the altar call put his camera down and responded to the invitatation. Afterwards he spoke with our youth pastor and myself, called and emailed, put the pictures on his web site and then put us in his newspaper...he called today and is bringing cd's of pictures that he would normally sell to give to us...simply because our ministries touched his it what you will...I call it favor!
It's not something we deserve, it's something God gives to remind us that He loves us and that we must continue to reflect Him to others in a manner that creates an atmosphere of blessing. The Apostle Peter said we are called to inherit a blessing and to be a blessing..God help us to do both!

Monday, April 17, 2006

I'm Getting My Windshield Fixed
I haven't blogged in a few days and don't have huge insights to share, but I am getting my windshield fixed tomorrow. We have a 2003 PT Crusier, a great car, with a cracked windshield. Christmas day we were on our way to Ohio, just outside Ocala, Florida and a rock shot out from a vehicle in front of us and nicked our windshield. It started out as a small dot and before the trip was over it had grown and is now a 2" north, 7" to the east, and another 2-3" to the west crack...Thank God for car insurance that will take care of it. Crazy thing about it is that I've procrastinated since December until now to get it fixed...there's a present truth in that somewhere. There's also a powerful word about how something so small became so large, what was insignificant is now quite significant...In Florida you can be fined for a cracked windshield...amazing how this thing just keeps growing!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

A Spiritual Movie
We returned home from our missionary trip to Orlando this afternoon. What a great three days, spent time with the family, got some sun, went to Mickey Land, and had some awesome food...What more could a guy ask for? Came home and went to the church to help get ready for tomorrow's service, the choir will sing, the little girls dance team will dance, and the youth will present a drama, and the pastor will preach the house is good! My wife and I watched an awesome movie this evening entitled "The Gospel", the story of a young man on his way into the ministry who got sidetracked. Tragedy caused him to return home and also to the was a moving movie, and the music is phenomenal...I would suggest watching it! I'm thankful that the crux of the Gospel is redemptive, that God is a God of many chances, not just a second chance. I am thankful that because He got up from His grave we can get up from ours...The Lord, He is Good!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

We're Off To Orlando
After grossing everyone out on my last post, allowing God to use me to cause you to use caution when wearing contacts and using contact solution, I'm off to Orlando for a few days.
God is now calling my family to do street ministry in Mickey Land, we will be interceeding as we walk the streets of Walt Disney World. I know that some reading this will think me to be sacriligious, but I assure you I'm not. While I'm quite confident this won't be a ministry of witnessing and preaching, I assure you there will be much prayer. It will be a prayer of safety, that I won't wear out my kids or leave them there for Mickey and Minnie to raise. It will be prayer that I don't have a heart attack or die on the rides...blood pressure you know, to die in Space Mountain would be embarrassing! It will be prayer that after three days in a motel room we don't all strangle one another, and prayer that my daughters will realize they don't need a momento of every place we go!
Julie and I looking forward to spending time with our girls, the two of us are leaving for Kenya in a few weeks, so we wanted to get some extra family time in before we go!
Watch out for that finger in the eye stuff...I will be back!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Won't Be Sticking My Finger In My Eye
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Bausch & Lomb voluntarily suspended shipment of a contact lens solution after federal health officials linked it Monday to a fungal eye infection that can cause temporary blindness. About the time I think I might get contacts I read something like this...think I'll keep my glasses!

Monday, April 10, 2006

It's Time To Press
This morning I received a prophetic word that spoke deeply into my spirit, I know that what was spoken was from the Lord...I know that I must wait patiently for that word to come to fruition...I know that whatever God says to us brings us to a place of responsibility...He will do what He says if I do what He says...Waiting on the Word means we enter into a season of preparation...for me, a season of pressing. Pressing doesn't necessarily mean shoving or forcing a matter into existence, it means that we simply continue and refuse to become slack. If we become slack we may accept and settle for Ishmael when we have been promised Isaac. It's like having a craving for Starbuck's and settling for a flavored coffee from 7-11, the two simply don't compare. I continue to be consumed with the word that Isaac is coming and the concept of crossing over...there is price for both...the question is will we pay it?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Well...It's Friday...I'm Done!
I love Friday...we leave the office at noon and I have the afternoon to kick back and relax...except for picking up my daughter...I just can't figure out why she won't walk home from school, it's only 10 miles or so!
I'm done blogging until Monday...have nothing else to say or to one responded to my haircut...Wait until Monday...I'll be roaring about something.
This morning I heard three words in my spirit: 1) Building, 2) Believing, 3) Blessing...We are busy building a relationship with God and others, building the Kingdom; Believing God for great things; and because we have been a Blessing to others we will receive a Blessing...It is our inheritance you know!
See You Monday!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

My Heart Is Broken...My Mind Messed Up...My Allergies Raging...I'm Upset
It is with great and mixed emotions that I announced the failure of the American people to recognize God given talent and the demise of Miss Mandisa's American Idol career. Last night I came in just as the announcement was being made, I would have laid on the floor and wept, or stood in the middle of the room ranting, that's probably what I would have done...but our air conditioning unit is on the blitz and I had someone from Church with me...can't afford to rant in front of an Elder! What is wrong with these people? I know they think they need for these stars to sing various types of music, to express diversity, but when a star arises they don't sing variety, they sing who they are...why can't the Idol people recognize this? I'm appalled!
It's hot in Florida and our air is out, wasn't too bad last night with ceiling fans, but in the day time our house is over 80 degrees...feel like I've missed the rapture, or as one of our church children said, the rupture!
I'm sneezy today and had a lady manifest in our parking lot when I asked why she was sitting there blocking the it feels like a Monday on Thursday!
Lord, Bless Mandisa Today! And please Jesus, send Bucky home!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I'm Done...For Now!
We have just concluded our drama "Last Chance" with a total of 82 souls accepting the Lord as their personal Savior. It was a wonderful experience for us, the people from Reality Outreach Ministries are awesome to work with and a delightful group to fellowship with.
I'm worn out, tired, fried, my thoughts are staid, and my body is sluggish...ever been there? I badly need a haircut and have to make a hospital visit and get ready for service this evening...tomorrow I'll lay back, watch Survivor, CSI, and ER, I won't think about much for a day and then I'll be good for business again...Life really is good!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Ever Feel Like This?

Sunday, April 02, 2006

In Just A Little While
This weekend we are hosting the drama "Last Chance" put on by Reality Ministries, the sequel to the world famous "Heaven's Gates & Hell's Flames", which we hosted last year. In just a little while 45 of our people will walk on the platform and throw out a life net to lost's nerve racking and exciting all at the same time! Please keep our cast and ministry in your prayers. Last year we had over 300 decisions for Christ in the three nights, and even though we did not retain all those people, and some probably made an emotion decision, the gospel was preached, the opportunity was given, and some one was rescued from the bondage of sin and that is what it's all about.
The crux of the matter is that we have just a little while left on this earth, that in a little while the Lord will return. He may return this week, or a year from now, He may actually return in 1000 years...who knows...but to Him, it's just a little while, so we just have a little while to get ready and to help those around us ready.
I don't want to be scared out of hell, I want them to be made aware of the great love Christ has for them, which does require that they are made aware of the consequences of sin...but it also requires that people know that what God really wants is a relationship with Him...not just a confession...He already knows what we've done or not done...He just wants to walk in the garden with us in the cool of the day. In the book, The Chronicles of the Host, a fallen Adam says to Eve, "The thing that I miss the most is walking with the Most High in the evenings!" I think God must have missed that too...He sent Jesus so we can walk with Him again!
Sorry for being such a preacher lately...I post something stupid this week...I just wanted to remind us that in just a little while He's coming...He's coming into your situation, into your workplace...into your family...into your finances...into your church...and then He's coming for you!
It's just a thought...see you in a little while!