Sunday, July 30, 2006

A Challenged Spirit
There is a stirring in my spirit today, I truly believe that God is calling us to step up to the plate, rise to the occasion and to reach the world with the message of the Kingdom! This past week I heard a staggering statistic, of the just over six billion people on the planet, only one and one half billion of those people claim to be christian...that is amazing! All evidence indicates that the earth is experiencing the birth pangs announcing the return of the Lord Jesus Christ...what will He find when He returns? I'm challenged to work on my personal relationship with Christ, to be filled again with the Holy Spirit, and to be renewed in my desire to minister to others...there is a compelling and propelling desire in my heart to reach the harvest and to touch the lives of people all around me. It's easy to become satisfied with where we are, to feel safe and secure in our present surroundings, and yet, the Lord is shifting us, moving us from our comfort zones into new's an exciting journey...let's take many others with us!

Friday, July 21, 2006

End of Times or Time of the End?
I'm not one to delve deeply into the end times/last discussion, don't consider myself a dispensationalist, I'm a will all pan out in the end. In my opinion, we can spend a huge amount of time speculating when the Lord will return, examining everything that happens in our world, wondering if it's a sign of the end. I remember 1988, one scientist wrote about with 88 reasons why Christ had to return in 1988, then he realized that there was a computer glitch, that 1988 was the year of the final shout, the clarion trumpet call to prepare...1989 was the year, and just in case he was wrong, he gave several alternate dates in the appendix of the don't hear much about Edgar Whisenut any where are we right now? As much as I don't want make every world event an issue, am not ready to hit a panic button, I must admit that things are tightening up and I think we need to pay attention. It is absolutely possible that the Lord could come right now, or He might come in the year 2525. What I see is that all of a sudden things God prophesied would happen are happening at an accelerated pace! Is it possible that we are living in the season Jesus spoke of in Matthew 13, when everything that has ever been sown in being reaped, good and evil, that we are entering the season known as the beginning of sorrows? Jesus said these things must occur prior to the return of Christ. Is it time to panic, not on your life, it's harvest time, this is the season of the outpouring of God's Spirit. The greatest movement of God has always been in times of intense battle, in moments of warfare when people needed God the most...I am convinced that God will use the events of world conditions as a catalyst for a powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit, that this is the season of perpetual harvest...souls are at stake...the church must wake up and boldly go where it's never gone before! The return of Christ is not a fearful thing, it is the motivating factor of believers of all ages! Our message must be one of urgency, but not fear, we're not called to scare the hell out of them, but to warn them and to welcome the lost into a life giving relationship...if fear is the motivator let is be godly fear, not a frightening word that will be temporary peace...but a covenant with God that will last forever...I think we are at the times of the end...what about you?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Inner Process
I was reading a blog today by the title of this post and the title consumed me. It appears that this blogger is using this media to share his inner thoughts and ideas. When I read the title it leaped inside of me, God is taking us all through an inner process. How I wish I would be able to recognize and appreciate the power of process when I was younger...I've always been impatient, drove fast, took short cuts, enjoyed the microwave, and wanted to get there as quickly as possible in most every area of life. When it comes to spiritual matters I've been much the same and always valued what was visible outwardly more than what was taking place inwardly. Now that I'm an old man of 44, been married almost 20 years, the father of two daughters, and just beginning my 28th year of ministry...I recognize that process is good, it purges some things that need to be removed, which can't always be done in a hurry, it completes things that have been started, that otherwise must have not been completed, and all things don't need to be revealed, or at least not initially, let the plan get in place and the process completed before the revelation comes. Could it be that God is working inside when we aren't even aware of it?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Release The Garments
We began our annual camp meeting this morning at Oasis World Outreach. Our evangelist, David George from the Atlanta area, preached a powerful word concerning carrying the presence of God. While he was preaching he drew our attention to Psalm 133 where it talks about the anointing oil being poured on the head of the priest, flowing down his beard and onto his garments. He illustrated by having our pastor and his wife come stand before the altar, God always anoints the head first, then he had the staff come, the beard surrounds the head, what I found interesting was that he had us stand with our backs to the pastors, not facing them. The reason behind this is that we cannot effectively protect and represent our pastor if we are constantly looking to him, we hear his voice and follow his direction, but it is our job to protect him and to be watching for anyone and anything that would come against our shepherd. The anointing then flows to the garments, the congregation, and there the Lord commands the blessing. It was powerful to say the least.
At the end of the service our pastor stood before our congregation and released us, the staff to do what God has called us to do, to represent Christ, our pastor, and our church, and then he released the garments...I about came unglued on the inside.
Within each believer there is a gift, a calling, and a talent. Every one is and has a treasure, often it is never released. People spend their christian lives wishing they could do something for the Lord, pastors spend their entire ministries trying to get people out of the box and into the world. Churches grow stagnant because the people are waiting for some supernatural revelation or spiritual yanking that will pull them out of their pew and throw them into God's will. The truth is we already know God's will, to know God, be known by God, and that the world through us might come to know God. Shepherds don't begat sheep, sheep begat sheep, we as believers are responsible to share what the Lord has done in our lives and how that He can do it in the lives of family, friends, co-workers...anyone we come into contact with.
The garments need to be released to do the work of the ministry! I am excited about what God is doing in our lives, thankful for our pastor, and expecting awesome things as continue to walk in this last day harvest!
If you're reading this post, I release you to be all that God has intended for you, all that you desire to be, and all that you are destined to be...walk in the wake of the anointing that is flowing through your house, let your family walk in the wake of the anointing upon your life and see what the Lord will do through you!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Anointer or Embalmer
I have just returned from Atlanta where our church staff attended the Fresh Fire Camp Meeting at Trinity Chapel. Monday evening Bishop Tim Hill of the Church of God preached a message about Positioning Ourselves For Revival. He used the scripture in Matthew 27 where Joseph asked for the body of Jesus for burial. One of the most powerful points in the entire message was at the end when he told how that Joseph anointed the body of Jesus, wrapping Him in a clean cloth and burying Him in a new tomb. As members of the body of Christ we have the powerful opportunity to either anoint the body or embalm them. Our actions and words are either life or death to others, how we carry ourselves, how we conduct ourselves, what we say and do, how we relate to others, determines what we deposit and leave with them.
When you come into a conversation, when you enter a room, do you anoint the place with life or do you embalm with death? Are you an encourager or a discourager? Do you lean toward the positive or the negative? Life has both, in fact, I am convinced that both are neccessities for daily living...the issue is not if there are negatives in life, the question is how we view and respond to them.
As for me, I am determined to be an anointer, that everywhere I go I will encourage, build up and bless others...leave the enbalming to the undertakers...I will bless the Lord and His creation at all times..Praise will continually be on my mouth!

Friday, July 07, 2006

First Things First
I've been having some health issues lately and finally decided to do something about it. Some one recently defined me as an uptight or wound tight type of person, I analyze most everything, and I internalize, which leads to stress. For several years my blood pressure has been high and I've not wanted to go to the doctor, so I do the next best thing, research it all on the internet...which means that I know what is going to happen to me if I don't get my BP down, and now every ache or pain is the one that is going to kill me...I'm not about to die yet so I'm working to reduce my blood pressure. I take a couple aspirin per day, two-three garlic tablets, two-three cayenne pepper tablets, a multivitiman, and I drink some apple cider vinegar several times per week...mixed with water of course...and I walk twice a day, early in the morning and later in the evening. I've lost some weight and am feeling better, and am starting to believe I'll probably live.
But as I've been walking I've also been praying, and what I've realized is that often our walk as believers is much like my walk of health, we only get serious during crisis moments. Jesus taught us to seek the Kingdom first, we tend to relegate it to Sunday, Wednesday, and whenever we're in trouble. I'm thinking to myself if I would have gotten serious when I first realized my BP was high that I would probably be lighter and not need to lose 30 lbs, it's much harder at 44 than it was at 24...Spiritually, the Bible encourages us to lay aside the weights and even the sin that weighs us down, that besets or entraps us...Preventative medicine is much easier than curing after the fact, it can be done...just usually takes longer.
Don't misunderstand, I've not turned into a health guru, still eat french fries, but I'm getting where I need to be. I want that to be true of my spiritual life, not weighted down with things that really don't matter, not consumed with the trivial, but eating and drinking the things of the Kingdom that will cause me to grow up and to mature...not just grow out!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Embracing and Shifting
These two terms are heavy in my spirit today. While I was in Kenya recently the pastor spoke to his people of capturing what the Holy Spirit is saying, yesterday while speaking with a pastor he mentioned the same thing, that his people wanted to capture what the Word was saying to their lives. All of a sudden my spirit leaped within me. Is it possible that many believers have gone to church for years but never captured what God was saying to them? Could it be that we have become professional christians, people that come to church, hear the Word, sing the songs, dance the dance, and yet leave unchanged? We're constantly looking for the next level, wanting to go where we've never been, and yet, many have never learned the lessons of their present level. My question is why should God send us to another level if we haven't done anything with the one we're at? Another thing is that each level of life we find ourselves at requires more of us and often involves less people. A case in point is the Tabernacle of Moses, any one can enter the outer court, and there will always be a crowd there, and it will be eventful and loud...but the closer you get to God, when you finally arrive in the Most Holy Place...the crowd is gone, it's not as loud, and the level is no longer about you, but Him! Rick Joyner wrote an interesting book several years ago called "The Final Quest", it is a vision of climbing a mountain that eventually leads him into the presence of God. One of the interesting notes is that fewer and fewer people go with you once you enter that intimate place with God...It's just a thought. The other word in my spirit is Shifting...I need to look it up in Webster's, but since this is my blog, you'll just have to trust me...God is bringing the Body of Christ into a time of shifting, a place of adjusting, transitioning, a divine movement that cannot be calculated by men. I see people being positioned and repositioned, often in manners that they have been shifted and do not initially recognize it. There are changes taking place in ministries that on the surface appear insignificant, but in the Kingdom agenda they are phenomenal. People who have always been right where they are will find themselves dissatisfied and sense the need to regroup, nothings wrong, they won't leave their church or ministry as much as they will realign themselves within the place they're presently at...perhaps it could be called "Divine Restructuring" Several years ago I heard a minister talk about the earth is groaning in preparation for the new heavens and new earth that are to come. I sense this is that time of shifting, it is both exciting and frightening, or should I even add frustrating, because we don't understand or comprehend all that God is doing. May I suggest this truly is the time for spiritual men and women to step up to the plate and let them that have ears hear what the Spirit of God is saying to the church? My close friend and mentor, Pastor Ernie Brown of The Christian Center in Arab, Alabama says that he has determined to spend the first 5-7 minutes of his day just listening, not asking or saying anything...just listening. In fact, he teasingly said he might just tattoo the number of minutes he's going to listen on his hand between the thumb and index finger as a reminder...he probably won't...but it's the thought that counts. Getting ready my friends...God is on the prowl!