Sunday, May 28, 2006

And...We're Off!
This is my last blog for the next couple of weeks, we leave for Kenya in the morning. I'm so excited, the Lord is speaking into my spirit, early this morning I heard a word saying, "Prepare for the place that I am preparing for you!" I continue to believe that the steps of good people are ordered by the Lord...And I know that my wife and the other two people going with us are good people...So even if I'm not...I get to hang out with the blessed ones! There is a place of blessing, we all must prepare for that place before we get there...kind of a "Making Room For The Elephant" type of think. Pray for our team!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

I Told You They Drive Crazy Down Here!
The Tampa Tribune online Saturday edition has an article stating that Tampa, Florida is ranked 156 out of 197 of the most dangerous cities to drive the US. Can you believe that Tampa is considered more dangerous to drive in than Atlanta, New York, and Orlando? Check out this article it's quite informational: I've figured out what it is, it's all the snow birds and northerners that don't know what it's like to drive without ice and snow...The freedom to drive without sliding is overwhelming!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Finding Your Place Of Blessing
I was reading in Genesis recently and began to notice this pattern in the Word of God, especially in the Old Testament, that when God desired to bless a man, he would also bless his family, his herds, his friends, anything that pertained to that one person...And then I realized that God also would bless the land...that the place of the person was directly tied to the blessing that person received. Perhaps this is why Israel has always been called the "Promised Land", or why you read in Joshua of God blessing the very place the feet of godly men stepped on...That God continually encouraged His people to find the place He was directing them to...a blessing was found there. I love what Mike Murdock teaches, that every person has an assignment, that it is important that we know what our assignment in life is and pursue it...finding our place of blessing requires diligence, seeing and seeking...looking for the place God has called us to serve our generation well. It seems to me that God creates people for places...I know that for me there are certainly places I do and do not fit...that doesn't make the place bad or me means there are places I can either be more or less effective...I am thankful to have found my place of blessing! On Monday my wife and I, along with two others from our church are leaving for Kenya. I am extremely excited, it's my fourth trip, but I never tire of going and always look forward to the next adventure...It's one of my places of blessing! I am asking God to give me a word for Kenya, for the place that I am going to minister...pray for us as we travel and minister that God will give us safety, blessings, and favor, for many lives to be changed and for souls to be saved...Pray for the new wine to be poured out and for God to be glorified. I pray that you will find your place of blessing! Check out this link, it is the place where we will be ministering the first four days we're in Kenya:

Thursday, May 25, 2006

God Remembers You...He Knows Your Name!
There's a song going through my mind today that say, "I am not forgotten, I am not forgotten, I am not forgotten...God knows my name!"
Have you ever felt forgotten? Has it ever crossed your mind that God may not be aware of you? Do you ever feel like you've been abandoned and left to fend for yourself? I think we all do at times. Perhaps in moments when the tangible presence of God doesn't seem as strong, or when everyone but you feels Him, is hearing from Him, and are being visibly blessed by Him...We start to wonder where God is, what He is doing, and if He really knows who are where we are!
The prophet Isaiah said that He has etched us in the palm of His hand...and that we are not to be afraid for God is with us...In fact, Isaiah said He will be with us in the flood and the fire...Awesome Stuff!
Several years ago Lamar and Waneda Brownlow were in our home in Illinois. Waneda and my wife went shopping, while out together Waneda told my wife, "After I leave I want you to tell Neil something for me. While I was praying this morning the Lord told me to remind him that I still love him...I think he forgets some times!"
We're not forgotten!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Is This The Best We've Got?
No doubt I will sound like sour grapes, seeing that my choice wasn't chosen...But I cannot help but ask...Is this the best America has to represent them?
School's Out For The Summer!
Well, it's almost over! Last night we had kindergarten graduation and our daughter Madison graduated...I know she's mine...but she is so cute! Tomorrow Kaitlin our 14 year old graduates from 8th grade...I'm still trying to get that one through my head...she'll be driving soon!
School is out today at Heritage Academy the school my works at and that I am chancellor of, I have to admit I'm happy and sad. I love the excitement of the first day, my adrenaline runs extremely high and the last day they're out as fast as they came in...and you sigh with some relief that we've made it another year.
I think living for the Lord is like that too! We enter with excitement, endure some hardships, at the end of the trial we're glad it's over, and then begin to gear up for the next race. I'm determined to win, I am determined to leave behind a legacy my children do not have to be ashamed of...if I leave them nothing, I pray that I leave behind a good name and a proper example of what a christian parent should be. Call me philisophical if you will, I've been in a funeral, a graduation, and an awards ceremony in the last two days...I want more than anything to be pleasing to God and an example to others!

Friday, May 19, 2006

My Friend Lamar Died Today
Just a few minutes ago I received a phone call from the daughter of my friend Lamar Brownlow. This morning he suffered a heart attack and died, leaving a wife struggling with breast cancer, children and fact, one of his sons was just made a Major in the Air Force and will be leaving for Japan soon. Three weeks ago Lamar sat in my living room delivering a check to my wife for her upcoming trip to Kenya...This was Julie's money...Not Neil's he said...Neil's already been, he knows how to get there!
Lamar and Waneda Brownlow were missionaries for the Church of God for 24 years, serving in Central America, Italy, and Russia. Natives of Alabama, they practically raised their children in Central America, are fluent in Spanish and do quite well in other languages as well.
I never intended to know them, it happened quite by accident. While pastoring in Glasgow, KY, one of my members asked if we could have a missionary, not one who came once a year to raise money, just a missionary to come share with our church. The Brownlow's were on furlough getting ready to go to Russia, I invited them to come for the weekend and they did. They stayed in our home, ate at our table, and became family. I have never met a man more consumed with his ministry and the winning of the lost than this man, it was all he wanted to talk about. On Sunday they both taught Sunday School classes, he preached, she testified, and that night she preached and he testified...He came again and spoke on a Sunday, I bought him a set of commentaries...he bought me a book of the history of famous hymns. They later went to be the overseers of Italy, came to our home and church in Champaign, IL...such honorable people.
When we moved to Florida we found that they live 20 minutes from us, Lamar was pastoring in Tampa, Waneda teaching school...Lamar left pastoring and was working a secular job, Waneda had breast cancer and needed him...In November we ate with them, I was at her surgery when they removed her breast, she came to visit with me in my office, we get emails and calls, these are our friends, our family. I cannot tell you what hit me when their daughter Mary called today, I fight tears as I type...he was in my home three weeks ago...he listened to some things I needed to talk about...laughed and loved on us as he left. In just a few weeks they were having a huge anniversary celebration, we were invited.
I honor my friend Lamar today, his life and commitment to God and the work of the Kingdom. I loved this friend and continue to love his family...please pray for the Brownlow family, I will not post again until after the funeral as a memorial to this awesome man of God!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Are You Listening To Me?
I am the chancellor of our christian school, assist chancellor, liason between the church and the academy...basically I run around the school and serve wherever I'm needed. It's the end of the school year and the kids in our school have gone deaf...teachers can be heard throughout the building saying, "Are You Listening To Me?" One day this week I asked a child if I needed to speak in another language for him to understand me..His reply, "Huh?" Do you suppose that the Lord might feel this way about us? I hear people saying that the Lord never speaks to them, that they've never heard the voice of God, and that they don't understand what people mean when they say the Lord spoke to them...But God is always speaking...sometimes we just don't hear Him...or better yet, we just aren't listening. Let me quickly qualify my statements and say that there are certainly times when He speaks more clearly than others, times when His voice is more profound and more easily recognized. Let's be honest about this, I love it when there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I have heard the voice of the Lord...some time I have to listen more closely, discern between the various voices that are vying for my attention...But He is always avaialble and He always has something to say. There is a verse of scripture in Isaiah 30 that says, "Then shall you hear a voice from behind saying, this is the way of the Lord...walk in it!" I think it's about developing a listeners heart...and that takes time and also means that I need to quit talking so that He can speak clearly into my spirit...In other words, I need to shut up so He can talk! Are You Listening? Who And What AreYou Listening To?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Is Anyone Responsible For Anything Anymore?
Have you read the latest? Paul McCartney and his wife are now splitting know who's fault it is? The Media's! Now, Im not saying that the media couldn't drive a person crazy, it must be difficult living your life in public...but, they chose it and now they want to blame others for the inability to solve their problems, resolve their issues, and go on with life. Call me uncompassionate if you will, but it reminds me of my 14 year old daughter, who regardless of what she has done has never done anything...even if you catch her in it. This isn't anything new, in the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve insisted it was some one else's fault they sinned, it was the woman's fault, it was the serpent's fault. When Moses came down from the mountain with God, Aaron blamed the people for his involvement in the creation of an idol..."I don't know what happened...these people wanted this...So I just threw the gold into the fire and a cow jumped out!" And in many churches this is the big one, "The Devil Made Me Do it!" Could it be that in order to live effectively we must be responsible?
American Idol
May the spirit of intercession fall upon the American people today...actually, it's too late! I voted five times last night for Katharine...remember the days when you could only vote once? Now you can vote as many times as you can get I voted five times and felt good about it!
The Idol prophets are predicting Taylor Hicks...I think he looks constipated when he sings. Granted, he's got a decent voice, but everything he does looks the same...I can't stand to watch him...Joe Cocker was like that, love to hear him, just can't stand to watch him. If Taylor wins he'll be a good commercial singer, still a bar room player in my opinion...he's not willing to diversify...can't dye my hair...don't change much.
Miss Katharine on the other hand is a class act...Pray for Katharine!
Elliott looks like he's on a three week drunk....huge bags under his eyes...Send Him Home!
Go Katharine!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Where Are We Going?
Call me philisophical, crazy, prophetic, wacked out...whatever...But I think we have to ask ourselves where in the world are we going? If you watch the television, read the newspaper, search online, and listen to people talk, things in our world are getting rather strange. Understand me here, while I am sounding an alarm, but I'm not running to the mountain or in my case, not waiting on the beach for the Lord to return...Every morning I do two things faithfully: 1) Watch CNN as I prepare for work; 2) Read CNN Online and do a survey. It's really rather depressing; floods, wars, politics, abuses of all kinds, diseases, and death. To tell you the truth, it's quite depressing and then all the prophetic preaching I've heard in my life comes to this the beginning of the end, the end of time or the time of the end.
I tend to believe that it is the time of the end and am constantly reminded that things of this nature have always taken place, but it appears to me that they're increasing.
My response to all of this is not to panic or be fearful. The end times are not about being fearful, scaring the devil out of people or walking around yelling the sky is falling...It's an opportunity to share the message of the Kingdom and to tell people that there is a King to come!
I think somehow we need to discover where we're at and where we're going. When I was a teen ager Wade Bell, a Church of God missions rep came to our church, he had charts and diagrahms describing the end times. Forty years from the establishment of Israel as a nation and the church will be raptured he declared! We've passed that time and are still the Lord coming? Absolutely! Sooner than later...don't know..timing is not the issue, readiness is...preparation and outreach is the answer...what do you think?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Reality Television and Radio Talk Shows
I've come to realize that I am addicted to radio talks shows and reality television...I think I need deliverance! Yesterday while eating Mother's Day lunch with my family my kindergarten daughter announced that next Tuesday was her kindergarten response, "I can't make it, that's the night they announce the American Idol winner!" Of course I was just kidding, but the truth is while I wouldn't miss anything like that ever, but I do love American Idol, Survivor, Nashville Star...and Radio Talk Shows...I listen to Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Phil Henry, and whoever else is on my radio when I'm driving...then I talk back to the people idiots...rant and rave...shake my head...and wonder how in the world these people come up with this stuff.
Perhaps I need a break from all of this...I'm not really addicted, but I am rather involved in it all. My wife and I leave for Kenya in a couple of weeks, perhaps the chain will be broken...or I'll come back with a chocolate on a hot day!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Happy Mother's Day
I have been blessed to be surrounded by beautiful and godly women all of my life. My Mother raised me to believe in God, the church, and living a life of integrity. My sister provided an example of a what a teen age christian should be, and served God from the time she was a child. My grandmother was a minister for nearly 50 years and imparted things into me I didn't realize she was imparting, she also gave to me two aunts that are both godly and spiritual ladies, they both have made an impact on me that is beyond my ability to describe. Nineteen years ago I married the greatest gift God could ever give a man...My wife Julie! She is a beautiful woman, but to really experience her beauty you have to hang out with her...Outwardly she is gorgeous...but what is inside of her is phenomenal...I am so blessed to have her in my life. To this marriage we have been blessed with two wonderful daughters, gorgeous little girls that bring such joy to our lives and are quickly growing into young women. In fact, Kaitlin, our oldest daughter is so cute...her mother says she looks like her and acts like me...if you know me well that means trouble...the youngest is cute like a Barbie...How thankful I am to be surrounded in life by these wonderful women of God!

Friday, May 12, 2006

It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This
These are the tiny hands of two conjoined twins holding on to their doctors hands. Some how I get a picture in my mind of what it looks like when we hold onto the Lord!
I Never Cease To Be Amazed
Several months ago I began a new addition to my ministry at Oasis World Outreach...our Bishop asked me to assist our missions ministry by conducting a revival once a month or every other month...which is an amazement in itself that anyone would book me...since August of 2005 I've preached somewhere every month except December...while there I take 15-20 minutes to share about our ministry in Kenya and receive an offering. Believe me when I tell you it is a low key offering, there are no envelopes to be passed out and no mailing lists to be created...I share the story, pray and give the opportunity for a seed to be sown. It has been the most incredible journey, one of those things that reminds us that God is in control and He is ordering our steps. People from across the United States have sown into this ministry and I stand there with my mouth dropping open, my heart pulsating with praise, and my mind going into overtime as I wonder how God could ever use me! I am thankful for God's goodness, and for those pastors and churches that have received the Word with gladness and responded so generously...Thanks Folks for allowing the Lord to use you while He's using me...You are such wonderful people!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Welcome Jesse Wilson
I wanted to take a moment and introduce a good friend of mine Jesse Wilson and welcome him to the world of blog. Jesse is our pastor of Speciality Ministries at Oasis World Outreach. He does things like adult drama, dinner theatre, and outreach ministries. He is also an excellent minister and author. He has written a book on our journey into intimacy with the Lord and is writing a couple other books presently. He has a new blog called "Reality Bytes" which I have linked to my blog....Check it out! If you are interested in his book let me know and I can hook you up! I'm really done blogging until next week now...My plane leaves at 3:25 PM...I'm so bad...addicted to this writing and blogging thing!

Friday, May 05, 2006

I've Figured My Problem Out...
I'm just tired! I know that I've said I'm done blogging, but I haven't left Florida yet and still have DSL, so I thought I'd drop by for a moment. I'm just tired, have you ever been there? Not tired of anything in particular, just tired in general.
I'm on my way to Louisville to preach revival, so I think that I'll sleep in until 8:30 AM every morning while I'm there and on Friday when I return I'll stay in bed until 8:00 AM, and on Saturday I'll lay around sleeping and watching television all day...until I get tired of that...After that I should be rested up and ready to run at it again.
Maybe I'm just getting old...I'm simply worn out...can't think...feel uncreative...unuseful...tired!
I believe in the power of's always better tomorrow...and to tell you the truth...Today ain't all that bad!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

It is becoming obvious to me that I have a couple serious addictions that must be dealt with in my life: 1) American Idol; 2) Nashville Star; 3) Survivor; and 4) Chocolate...OK, 4 addictions, but who's counting!
In the beginning of this years American Idol I was a Paris Bennett fan, she is cute, can sing the bark off a tree, and appeared to be a christian. After a few weeks Paris began to move away, perhaps in an effort to show she can be diverse...but she got to singing some nasty stuff...things I wouldn't have thought of a christian...I started voting for others and then back to her and then on to Katharine...and now Paris is gone.
While I admit that I've not been voting for her I do wonder what it was that kept people from voting for this young lady...who obviously had one of the very best voices in the contest?
I'll miss Paris...probably I really wanted her to win, just got irritated that she at one minute was pointing her finger towards heaven saying she has favor and the next week is singing about rolling on the floor with some man...If we're going to use the christian christian!
Pray for my deliverance! I'm done blogging for awhile...I fly out to Louisville, KY on Saturday afternoon for a revival and don't know what my internet options are going to be...if I'm on dial up...I'm in more than likely I'll not post for a few days...of course, I've not posted much interesting stuff lately...perhaps an absence would be a good thing! See Ya!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A Chocolate Fix
It's happening again today...I needed, No, I had to have Chocolate! I took my daughter to the orthodontist, we stopped for a slice of pizza, took her home and came back to the office. Drank a huge bottle of water, ate some Wendy's crouton's and all of a sudden found myself on a search for chocolate. The cafeteria lady offered pudding, that wouldn't normal supplier was out of their classroom and the lady watching their kids was having a hard time with them and I was certain that she wouldn't know where the stash was...and then I saw her, the teacher with the stash...she told me where it was and I helped myself to one for each hand...special dark chocolate and a regular chocolate...miniatures mind you...but chocolate none the less!
I will rid the world of bite at a time!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A Time For Intensity?
When I was a child Doris Day sang a song that I loved: "Que Sara Sara", the words went like this: "Que Sara Sara, Whatever Will Be Will Be...the Future's Not Our's To See...Que Sara Sara!"
I loved the song and went around singing throughout the house all the time. Today I began to ponder that thought, I know that we cannot know exactly what our future holds, that we cannot see all that lies ahead for us...but I think that there is something missing when we simply leave our lives up in the air without any concern for the future. I believe that good things lie before those that seek the Lord. The scriptures say that He knows the way that we take and that our steps are ordered by the Lord...perhaps we need to become more intense about our relationship with the Lord...perhaps it's time to step up our efforts and find out where God is, where and how He is moving and move with Him.

Monday, May 01, 2006

This Thing About Isaac
I sound like a broken record but can't help it...Isaac is coming! last week I opened the latest edition of Ministries Today and there was an article by well reneown pastor/author R.T. Kendall entitled, "Isaac Is Coming!" Today I went to the office and our office manager brought an article from Charisma that had a portion written in it that got it..."Isaac Is Coming!" Does God have to speak to a person any clearer than this? There are things that God spoke into our lives years ago that haven't come to pass, we must be careful not to confuse our promise with our passion and misplace the purpose of the promise. If what we birth doesn't produce the harvest God promised us then we will have birthed an Ishmael...a wild child that controls our lives and redirects our future. Isaac will produce joy and laughter, he will birth the fullfillment of God's covenant with us...remember, covenant always comes from God to us, not from us to God! It really isn't a matter of what we present to God, it's a matter of what God presents to us and what we do with what those things God presents. I'm pumped and am believing God for awesome things in the lives of His children. In the words of a song I heard Jeanie Tenney sing, "Waiting on You, Waiting on You, Patiently Waiting on You...I'm not worried about the time, strength I seem to find, while I am waiting on You!" Isaac Is Coming!