I am married to in my opinion the most wonderful woman in the world, she is adorable and gorgeous...that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. We've been married 19 years and have two gorgeous daughters, I truly am a blessed man.
With all of that said, can someone explain to me why my wife feels the need to clean out my car when she gets in it? It's not trashly, maybe some clutter from time to time, spiritual things like CD's and Cassettes, an occasional book gets left in there, maybe a wrapper from my breakfast bar, and every once in awhile a water or Coke bottle...nothing life threatening!
A few weeks ago I obtained the long sought after phone number of a pastor that has poured much into me. In 1983 I went to his church for a three day weekend youth revival and left three weeks later, 29 saved or restored and 31 filled with the Holy Spirit, it was an incredible move of God. This precious man touched my life in a way I cannot begin to describe. Over the years we've both moved and some how lost touch, after years of searching I obtained his phone number and that of one of his children, had it written down on a piece of paper and left it in my car. It has been there for weeks, not bothering anyone...until today!
I got into my car a few minutes ago and noticed it wasn't there...when I got home I asked my darling wife where it was...it was in the trash! Augh!!!
She pulled it out suggesting that I write the information down on something else, as my paper was a bit tainted from where it had been.
I really do love my wife, but could some married person help me understand her need to clean my car...I don't clean hers!
I'm on an exercise kick right now. For the past week and a half I've been trying to lose weight and get my blood pressure down, so I've been walking twice a day...it's that cardio thing you know!
This morning as I was walking I noticed that the sprinkler system was on at a house around the corner from mine and it got me thinking. In the nine months I've lived in my house I have never seen the sprinklers on, nor have I heard them, but often when I come out of my house I see the evidence that they've been working. Today, there was water on the sidewalk and in the yard, my grass is green and growing well, evidently my sprinklers are working...I just haven't seen them in action! For a visual learner like me I need to see them working to really believe that they are actually in operation...sounds like a spiritual issue doesn't it?
Job 23:8-10 says, "Look, I go forward, but He is not there, And backward, but I cannot percieve Him; When He works on the left hand I cannotbehold Him; When He turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him. But He knows the way that I take..."
As I was walking it hit me quite hard that just because we don't always see what God is doing doesn't mean that He isn't doing something. Often God works the night shift, moving and ministering, touching our lives and removing our obstacles, He ministers to our situations in ways that are not immediately obvious to us...but He is there!
Often we look for the obvious, the visual big picture is our main interest, but God works in the background doing what will work best. He works on the foundation first, making sure that nothing can bring us down, He works in the attic so nothing falls on us, and He works in the midst of all of our activity, insuring that our lives continue as He has planned...we just don't always see Him.
What happens with our journey with God is what happens with my lawn, it grows and is healthy, I'm just not always sure how. Today I've determined to quit worrying about my sprinkler system, I'm not going to set my alarm for 4:00 AM to see if it comes on, I'll quit looking at the box on my garage wall...I don't know what I'm looking at anyway...And most of all, I'm going to trust that all will work out like it should...Perhaps that is a spiritual truth as well...Maybe God is asking each us to quit trying to figure everything out and simply allow Him to work His work and see how it all turns out.
My goal is to stay green and growing...How about you
Our family is enjoying our annual vacation, came to Illinois to visit my Mom and sister. We've layed around the house, gone into Chicago to Shedd Aquarium, layed around, shopped, deployed my daughter so far from the purchase of a Douney Burke purse...100.00...I bought her a phone ringer and text messaging for her cell...but I'm certain I haven't heard the end of the purse.
This weekend we've gone to Champaign, IL where we used to pastor...it's really been awesome! Last night we went to our cousin's house where about 40-50 former members came, sat around talking and eating...it was cool. We followed that by Starbuck's on the University of Illinois campus and walk around the Quad....old friends and new times...great!
This morning I preached at Glory Center International for my good friend Cedric Nesbitt, a powerful pastor with a awesome church! They nearly preached me to death, I got the pulpit at noon and preached about forty-five minutes...we went to lunch at two o'clock and got back to the motel at four...busy life of a preacher.
I am more appreciative of my friends than ever before, am thankful that distance and miles cannot destroy true friendships and close relationships...this has been a good vacation!
Our worship pastor has been suffering with a kidney problem since she was a child, to the point that during the past year she has been on dyalisis for eight hours each night in her home. Several ministers have prophesied her healing and we have watched as this brave woman has stood on God's Word, stood up and worshipped and then led the rest of us into the presence of the Lord. Her health has been declining and it became a necessity that she have a kidney transplant...today her prophetic word became a reality.
A young lady in our church donated one of her kidney's for Pastor Charity, it is one of the most unselfish acts of kindness I have ever witnessed. This morning I went to the hospital and prayed with them both, they were smiling and laughing, rejoicing in the goodness of the Lord. I watched Crystal when she returned from recovery, tears streaming down her face asking if Charity is OK...she is!
I am at the edge of tears as I write this brief note to say thank you to the Lord for His miracle working power, to Crystal for her extreme act of love, to Pastor Charity for showing us how to worship through the pain...and to God who is always faithful...I believe in miracles!
Dads Are Special
Dear Old Dad
I am the father of two beautiful daughters! They are the gleam and sparkle of my eye, sometimes it is a gleam of joy, other times it is a gleam of aggravation, nevertheless, they are my pride and joy. I'm not always certain that I am the same gleam to them, my girls are Momma's girls, I often say that they need me when no one else is available or when they need money...I always take whatever I get!
What I've realized about being a Dad is that it's really not about money or even hugs, children need Moms for comfort and concern, they need Dads for direction and discipline, and to simply be there...whether they need them or not.
My own father passed away twelve years ago, I haven't quite gotten over it yet, I still think of him often and sometimes start to pick up the phone to call him. When I look in the mirror I see him, when I speak at times I hear him, the way I perceive things at times lets me know I'm thinking like him...and when it comes to loving my kids, I'm all about him...right or wrong, good or bad, young or old, those are my kids and I love them with all that is within me.
Dads are providers, they provide more than a check, they provide destiny, direction, and destination. Dads provide the necessities of life, creating a sense of well being and wholeness for their families, even if it means going without for themselves...they make sure their families have what they need!
Dads are protectors, they shelter their families, providing a place of protection and creating a sense of security. True fathers refuse to allow anyone or anything bring harm or even the hint of harm to their brood...they stand in the gate and dare the enemy to try to get in!
Dads are prophets! Moms have eyes in the back of their heads, they see and hear everything. Dads are often accused of not seeing or hearing anything, we're said to be in our own little worlds, but we're not! We hear from God and we speak to our families as the prophets of old, this is the way of the Lord...Walk in it! Like Joshua of the Old Testament, Dads rise up and say, "As for me and my house, We will serve the Lord!"
I am thankful for my earthly father, he was a good man, a hard worker, and he was my friend. I am even more thankful for my heavenly Father, the word of God says that when my earthly parents fail me, my heavenly Father will take me up...He will provide and protect, He will prophetically speak into our lives and show us the way we are to go.
This weekend we celebrate Father's Day, we say Dad we love you and are thankful for you! Happy Father's Day!
I don't know how other men are, but I'm quite uptight. Not about anything in particular, just most everything in general...I want things to go well, to go smoothly, I tend to be analytical and love excellence...not perfection...excellence!
I am terrible when it comes to the ministry, especially in the area of preaching...I want to do it well and tend to stress over it. One would think that after 27 years of preaching I would have it figured out...not! Never do I speak or preach that I don't question myself and others...I always think I did bad, even when others say it was fine...seems to me that I could have done just a little bit better.
This morning while showering the Holy Spirit spoke into my spirit...Just Relax!
Simple isn't it? Just relax, what you're doing is fine, don't get so worked up...Do what you know to do and relax. All of a sudden I felt and continue to feel free inside.
Jesus said that if we would come to Him that He would give us rest..You really can't beat that can you? Wonder why it took me so long to get it?
We've just returned home from Africa and my sleep is all messed up...Can't stay awake past ten and most of the time am zonked by nine or nine thirty...that's not the bad part...I'm awake by four in the morning...Last night I fell asleep during Supernanny, woke up and the end and fell back to sleep...woke up at six this morning...would love to sleep in until seven thirty...maybe seven forty-five...after that I'm up and about for the day!
And then there's this wonderful Tropical Storm Alberto...a wanna be hurricane! I've been watching the news and predicted paths and feel quite confident that we're safe...for now! This is my third hurricane season since being in Florida, I don't want to become numb and insensitive to the warnings, neither do I want to live in a paranoid frenzy....hurricanes kind of make me nervous...eventually one will sneak into Tampa, or it might just walk in quite boldly...Time will tell!
One thing is for sure: While I can't sleep well the Lord speaks into my spirit and He tells me to Press into the Kingdom and to Connect...Connections create a world that enables us to press into the places God desires our feet to tread. We simply need to make the right connections with God and men for the right reasons in order that we keep the right priorities and produce the right harvest!
I've been up since just before 5:00 AM this morning, went to bed early last night and am in the readjustment process. Kenya is seven hours ahead of Florida, London was five...so now I'm ready to go to bed by 10:00 if not earlier, and up and roaring before God gets up...5:00 only comes once in our house and that is in the afternoon...pray this process of adjustment goes quickly. My wife seems to be adjusting quite well...guess all that Florida sunshine at the pool yesterday helped her!
As I lay in bed, pace the floors, play online, or simply sit still, my mind is racing, I am convinced that God is speaking to His people, and perhaps to me. Two thoughts are flooding my mind this morning: 1) Connections, who we are connected to, why we're connected to them, and what the connection will produce. I've been reading messages from pastors who are struggling right now, pastors whose congregations are struggling, people that are manifesting the flesh and reducing the ministry to a getting through the week type thing, because the pastors are simply worn out. People are the business of the ministry, but I fear that we have relegated ministry to being less than what God intended. Ministry is about making connections that create relationships that develop disciples. It may involve visitation and being there when people need us, but the Biblical job description of a minister is one of an equiper, a teacher, a shepherd, one that directs the sheep into the green pastures of the Holy Spirit.
The second thing that is in my spirit this morning is the concept of Perception. How one perceives a thing determines how they reposnd to it, how an issue is perceived or how a person is perceived by others determines how they respond. In the case of Ezekiel, God leads him out to a valley of dry bones and asks him what he thinks...he sees bones. Israel says of themselves that they are cut off, dry, and without hope...God sees an army, the potential of a resurrected people filled with life and hope.
The Kingdom of God must be perceived from God's view point rather than our own. For me, that's not always easy, I want to be spiritual, to see through God's eyes, but sometimes can only see the things immediately in front of me...you have to look through the stuff.
While we were in Kenya I ministered four days in a church in Eldoret. The Lord used me, but the enemy fought me. We had great services and the pastor felt it was just what was needed, but at night I didn't sleep, was afraid to fall asleep, kept hearing a voice telling me I wouldn't wake up. So for three days it would be 2-3 AM before I went to sleep. On Sunday I heard a voice telling me that I would die by 9:00! When 9:00 AM passed I said I'm still here and the voice said, "9:00 will come again, when it was 9:00 in America I said, "I'm still here!" And the voice said, "9:00 will come again!" When it was past 9:00 PM I knew the devil is a liar and the word of the Lord is true...It's all about perception...hearing the voice of the Lord and walking in the revelation of truth that you know and seeing through the eyes of God!
Get connected and perceive what the Lord is sharing with you this week!
May 29th four of us left for a wonderful journey into the country of Kenya! This was my fourth trip, my wife's first, our pastor's wife's second and our video director's second. What an awesome time we enjoyed, stopped in London on Tuesday, rode the Tube into town, took a three hour bus tour and back to the airport via the Tube. Wednesday we arrived in Nairobi and were off to our home in Nakuru. On Thursday we drove north to Eldoret where we began a revival that evening at Praise Celebration Deliverance Church. It was a powerful meeting, each night services were good and lives were touch, Sunday morning the building was packed and the people in expectancy responded to the message and the ministry of the Holy Spirit...God is good!
Sunday afternoon we returned to Nakuru, one of our team was sick, a doctor was called and Bethany treated for a stomach virus...she still came to church and allowed the Lord to touch her! Monday and Tuesday we spent some time in Nakuru, shopped in the street markets, bargined and shopped until we dropped. On Tuesday we went to a game preserve, saw flamingo's, water buffalo, giraffe, rhino's, impala's, antelope, and many other wild life animals, zebra and baboon's...it was wonderful.
Tuesday afternoon we went to Nairobi and stayed there until we left on Thursday, drove into the bush area of Kengami on Wednesday and saw the ministry of Pastor Titus, his church, school and tailoring school...what a powerful work of God takes place there!
Monday I was going across the street, looked to my right when I should have looked to my left...I ran into a taxi...a bicycle...scraped my leg...now I am able to relate to the Apostle Paul who spoke of bearing the marks in his body of his ministry for Christ.
Kenya seeps deep into my spirit and I look forward to my next visit! It's great to be home!