Friday, September 28, 2007

Where In The World Are We?
I consider myself an open minded person, a positive thinker, even though I go on sometimes here about being depressed, wore out with people, frustrated with cranky old men, I really am open to allot of things. With all of my heart I want to be progressive and relevant, a discerner of the times with an understanding of what we ought to be doing, especially as it pertains to being a believer of the Lord Jesus Christ! With all of that said, I am bothered. Last week I was watching Extreme Home Makeover, the builders were creating a new home for a lady who had several children with HIV/AIDS, the team went to some type of concert where a young child, couldn't have been over 12 said that her church kicked her out, that her pastor told her and her family that they weren't welcome, it would be best for them to find another place to worship...It ticked me off. How can we say that we are believers, that Christ dwells in us and yet take this kind of approach. Isn't the church in the people business? Didn't Jesus come to seek and save the lost, to heal the sick, and to mend the broken hearted? Aren't we supposed to do the same things He did and greater? Or have we come to the point that church is about us, that we're supposed to feel better, collect a long list of prophecies, weep over the lost that aren't in the building and then avoid them at all cost? I spoke with an angry, hurting pastor today, a person hungry to see ministry take place in his congregation, but the people simply want a good sermon on Sunday and to be left alone. Where are we in this end time world? Is this really the church we want Christ to return for?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Minding Your Own Business
I was getting fuel in my car a few days ago, my wife was sitting in the car enjoying the air conditioning, when an older man pulled up to the pump next to me. He noticed that my car was running and then proceeded to ask me if my car was running, I told him it was and he then asked me again if it was running..."You're not supposed to pump gas with your car running, why don't you turn your car off?" "I don't want to!" Was my reply, he then turned and complained to his wife. Why did this guy care if my car was running, he didn't work there...People simply wear me out?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

How Full Is Your Glass?
Our pastor began a new sermon series this morning that spoke to my heart. He's talking about "Attitude Is Everything!", that how we perceive our lives determine how we live, that perception is about positioning ourselves, it means that we make a decision as to how we will relate to a thing, and how we relate to it determines the outcome. Do I see the glass half empty or do I see it half full? The line of half is the same whether it be empty or full, the difference is we either see it almost to the top or almost to the bottom, either at the beginning or at the end. If I see a thing almost over then I will begin to shut down, slowing my pace and preparing to end my journey. If I see it half full, I will understand that I'm closer to the top and believe that I'm in the winner's circle. It's easier to see empty than full, but it's necessary to see full rather than empty. When we see full we see success and accomplishment, we see potential and believe that God is turning things around. He we see things determine our approach, and how we approach a thing determines others responses. I'm not talking about false reality, I'm talking faith, works, a positive attitude, and confidence that God is not finished with us! How full is your glass?

Friday, September 21, 2007

K & M
Today is our youngest daughter, Madison's birthday. She is eight years old, blond, blue eyed, weighs 40 pounds if she's wet and wearing a heavy towel and shoes. Such a beautiful with a spirit that is kind and calm, she loves the Disney channel, the computer, her friends, and her hero is her older sister Kaitlin. Kaitlin calls Maddie her " mini-me!" Both of our children are hilarious. Happy Birthday Baby!
Kaitlin, our 15 year old is a phenomenal child, she's driving now, looks and acts like she's at least 23, sometimes has quite the attitude, and is brilliant. She is a prophetic young lady, sees spiritual things in unique and unusual manners, dreams prophetically, speaks in the same way, and yet has the ability to keep her feet on the ground and not be off the wall. She wants to be an attorney, I want her to send me a monthly check so I can retire!
Julie and I are so blessed to have such beautiful daughters, when they were little I was always afraid something would happen to them, I would go into their rooms and pray over them in their sleep, if they weren't moving I would touch them lightly to make them move or to hear them breath...I don't do that anymore, though I still want to...Now I just pray for their protection, for wisdom, that they continue to walk out their salvation, and that God will begin now to prepare men for them that can keep up with them, provide for them, and that will love and protect them as I do...Call me sentimental, I am a blessed man!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I Am Blessed
I'm sitting in the home office of my friend Darrell in Galesburg, IL., we've had a fantastic revival, the Lord has ministered in a special way. This week I've had the opportunity to fellowship with a fantastic family, minister to a wonderful congregation, share our missions ministry, to which a crowd of 28 people gave an offering of 750.00, and I have enjoyed time with ministers of Illinois. As I age I am coming to appreciate people and value relationships in a deeper manner. Don't misunderstand, I've always loved people, but these days I value friends and family more than ever in my life. It's important to me to make a deposit in others, appreciate not only what they deposit in me, but who they are to me. This evening my best friend of 20 years will pick me up after church, drive me three hours to his home and we'll spend the day together in Chicago doing all sorts of things, it's going to be awesome...I want to make an impact on some one else's life, to be awesome to them as so many have been to me and to always be thankful...always.......! The picture I'm using today is a picture of my Kenyan brother and sister, Titus and Dorothy, they pastor two churches in the bush country, serve as the bishop of Mike Sloan Ministries International/Missionaries In Action Kenya, and most of all are two of my closest friends. We email weekly and when I step off the plane he is waiting for me, drops everything to spend the two weeks I am there and make sure I am able to accomplish my goals...We spend hours talking and asking each questions, discovering the most of our differences aren't all that different after all...We're depositing into each other's lives...Who can you make a deposit in today?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I Will Wait For The Children!
Several years ago a prophetic word was given to the church I was pastoring that said the Holy Spirit would be poured out upon the earth prior to the return of Christ in an unprecedented manner. We've heard that, read it in the scripture, and believe that it not only will happen, but is presently happening around the world. What spoke loudly to me in that word was the next phrase, "And I Will Wait For The Children!" God is a covenant God, He thinks in generations, not just who is here today, but who is to come. One of the Psalms states that these things are written that a generation yet to be born may praise the Lord. There is something about the children, about future seed that captures the heart of God. While the concept of children causes my mind to consider small ones and youth, to God, who is the Ancient of Days, He considers all of us children, and He is waiting for us to step into what He is doing. Scriptures assures us that in the last of days the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord, glory is heaviness or weightiness, the awesome presence of God that consumes our lives. To those who can see it, it's already here, others continue to wait. I was reading yesterday in the book of Habbakkuk, where the prophet prays that the people will receive an awareness of the glory that will cover the earth...That's what I pray for today, an awareness, let me see what I haven't seen, let others observe the fullness of God's grace and glory, and may many son's and daughter's be born into the Kingdom!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Freezing In Illinois
Yesterday I flew back to my home state of Illinois to preach revival for my good friend Darrell Garrett. I am from the Chicago suburb of Aurora, Darrell pastors the Harvest Church of God in Galesburg, about 3 hours from my home. When I left Tampa it was in the mid 80's climbing toward the 90's at a rapid pace, when I arrived in Moline it was 64, declining at a rapid pace. We went out to eat last night and it was 64, in the hour it took for dinner the temperature dropped six degrees to 58...I went immediately to Walmart and purchased a light coat...I'm freezing to death! Here we are in Mid-September and they turned the heat on...I love my friends and really enjoy this little city, but have to admit...There's no place like home....Florida!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Growing Up Is Hard To Do!
When I was growing up there was a Toys R Us commercial with a little jingle that said, "I don't want to grow up, I'm a Toys R Us Kid..." I don't remember much more, but the concept sticks in my mind today as I press closer to 50 than I am 20, am the parent of a 8 year old and a 15 year old, and am now teaching young adults ages 18-30. The goal that I have chosen to accept is to assist these people, my children by birth and my children in ministry, in becoming adults with a purpose, to help them discover who they are, what their purpose is, and how to become what they are destined to be. The amazing thing to me is the examples many youth have to follow, adults that are outwardly mature but inwardly stagnant, stuck in yesterday, kicking and screaming about others that aren't growing while they themselves remain immature. Jealous, worried about someone getting into their space, pastors and ministers that fret that someone may take their sheep, all the while insecure themselves. Perhaps it's the place I find myself at in life presently, I have nothing left to prove, know who I am and have decided that if they leave me I never had them or only had them for a certain season...but I refuse to let others dictate my maturity level...I need to grow and I don't want to grow out I want to grow up! I don't want to get fat on stuff that isn't healthy, I want to mature in the things that have the ability to make lasting and healthy changes in my life. I'm rambling again, but I really do want to grow up!

Friday, September 07, 2007

British Haircut
I had a seven hour layover in London's Heathrow Airport and was absolutely bored to death. While sitting there I noticed this photo booth thing sitting to the side and a smiling man getting his hair cut. It's the latest thing in London, so on my return trip I ventured into the Hair Pod and my newest friend Dasso cut my hair. The cost was 11 pounds, about 22.00 US, the guy did a good job, I almost feel British!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Mixing It Up
On our recent trip to Africa we encountered a demon possessed woman, during the worship time she would worship God, speak in tongues and screech like a cat. We heard her toward the end of the service and simply prayed that God would cause anything that was not of Him to cease, and it did. I spoke with the pastor about it the next day and he told me that this woman was mixing Christianity with witchcraft, a fairly common practice throughout Africa. As I thought on this it seemed to me that we as believers are equally guilty at times of mixing our relationship with the Lord with other things, perhaps not as extreme as witchcraft, but is it possible that our priorities are compromised as we try to make Christianity fit our mold? The constant theme of scripture is God desiring our whole heart, to be put and sought first, promising that everything we need will follow if we love Him first and more than everything...but we...or should I say I, sometimes say He's first, but in reality put Him somewhere in the mix...down the line somewhere. God wants to be first,He deserves to be, but only I can make Him first...I can't afford to mix!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Life Is Good!
Our team returned from Kenya last night, tired but excited about the good things the Lord did in and through our lives. We spent nine days in the country, beginning with ministry in the bush, we prayed over property that will be the home to a new medical clinic, preached at a convention where children touched our hearts deeply, and visited new churches. In Eldoret we met new pastors and renewed our friendship with old ones, in Mosoriot we preached in a church with bamboo walls and in Flax we experienced the manifestation of the enemy, in both churches we saw souls saved. In Nairobi we visited the Bomas and saw traditional African dances and made a trip to the Animal Orphanage...For nine days we did not was awesome! I also experienced an awakening, a spiritual renewal and refreshing...probably too private to share all...but a wonderful expression of grace...Life is good...God is great! I'm glad to be home!