Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Movings of God
This week I read the testimony of a pastor whose church experienced an incredible move of the Holy Spirit. During this move people accepted Christ into their hearts, children received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as outlined in the Bible, they danced before the Lord and worshipped with abandon. People of prominence were not only exposed to the refreshing presence of the Lord, but were embracing it and allowing God to demonstrate His power in the lives. As I read the words of the hungry pastor I rejoiced and was encouraged.
As I read the comments of ministers and pastors who were responding to this post I was discouraged, many of these men of God questioned the validity of the move, and more importantly, they questioned the necessity of a move of God in our time. I understand the feed me mentality of the American Church, that we in Pentecostal circles have experienced many moves of God and often label a good service, one that involves or includes emotional worship and experiences  as a move of God. I too tire of shouting and singing, dancing and declaring, only to return to the same path and pattern when the meeting is over...but we need a move of God!
Throughout human history and God's dealings with His very own creation there has always been a need for God to move in the lives of His people. We are frail and weak, we ascend and descend the ladders of life constantly, we are in today and out tomorrow, frustrated by life, concerned about the future, and unsure how to approach life's circumstances, unaware at times of God's presence...we need God! Political systems will not suffice, new presidents, lower gas prices and income taxes will not do. Rid our laws of those offensive policies and man will still need God. Build bigger churches, create better programs, feed the sick, minister to the poor, and satisfy the physical and psychological needs of mankind...we will still need a move of God!
Listen to the words of the Prophet Isaiah: "Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence-As fire burns brushwood, As fire causes water to boil-To make your name known to Your adversaries, That the nations may tremble at Your presence!" (Isaiah 64:1-2)
The cry of my heart is for an authentic move of God, one that doesn't just stir our emotions, but one that moves us into an authentic relationship with God. It isn't more preaching that we need, we've heard the Word, it isn't to fall down on the floor or to receive another prophetic word, we've done is to realize that God is coming and we tremble at His presence and we move into greater dimensions of relationship and our hearts become ablaze with the love and passion of Jesus Christ, and from that heart flows ministry and the world around us is affected by the love of God that is constraining us!
I'm not sure about anyone else...but I need the move of God in my life!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

It Is You...Don't Forget Who You Are!
His children captured by an evil man, angry, grown, and unable to remember who he is, Peter Banning is faced with a dilemma, everyone knows who he is...except him...He is Peter Pan! I'm watching my favorite spiritual movie...Hook! The greatest moment in the entire movie is when one of the lost boys grabs him by the face, looks deep into his eyes and says, "Oh, there you are Peter! It is you!" He then quickly begins to tell the other children that this indeed is Peter Pan, the greatest lost boy to ever live, the highest flyer, the most efficient swordsman in all of Neverland...He's simply forgotten who he is! Have you ever forgotten who you are? Have you ever felt insecure and inferior? Has there ever been a moment when the real you has been lost? Human nature and the enemy of our souls would love for us to forget who we are? The natural part of us is busy comparing itself with others, telling us that we aren't good enough, that we will never measure up. Satan, our ultimate enemy, the accuser of the brethren, also wants us to believe that regardless of how hard we try, we will never find acceptance with God or man. He tells us that we're not good enough, that our abilities and talents are insufficient, that God will never use us. He seeks to beat us down to the point that we fail to believe in God or ourselves, and if beaten down long enough we begin to hide and eventually forget who we are, whose we are, and what God says to us and about us! Who you are, what you are, where you're going, and who you belong to never changes, it's always within just have to see it for yourself, to allow God to reveal Himself to you, and for the Word of God to mine the real you out of the mountains that hide the real you! The scripture says that you are bought with a price, that you are the temple of the Holy Spirit, that you, with all of your flaws and failures...that you, covered by pain and rejection...that you with all the stuff life can pile on you...are fearfully and wonderfully made, that you are the glorious work of God. It's kind of like the Intel commercial on television..."It's all inside!" Sometimes who we are is hidden from others because it's lost to us, God wants you to know that He created you who and what you are, that you are wonderful, that you have a destiny and a destination...He wants you to come out of hiding and be the person He has always desired for you to be! It Is You...Look Deep Inside!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Finding Him
Words like journey and process have come to mean much more to me recently than at any other time in my life. As a recovering fast food junkie, one trying to recover my health and live to see my grandchildren, I am coming to learn that there is value to those things that take longer to cook, than someone shoving a bag out of the window and saying, "Here's your food!" I suppose that we all at some point have experience fast food Christianity, you know, living in God's 10 items or less line, walking through the prayer line hoping that at the laying on of someone's hand all of your problems will end, the devil will once and for all be defeated, Ed McMahon will show up at your will finally be wonderful! The words of Job are hitting me square in the face, "Oh, that I might know where I might find Him...that I might sit where His feet are and inquire of Him!" Isn't that the crux of the matter? Isn't finding God in everyday life, and learning that in this journey we call life that God really isn't hiding from us, He really isn't all that mystical...He just wants us to follow Him? It's like putting a swing set together, having extra parts isn't a good thing, and reading the directions really is a good idea...and leaving your kid inside while you work will save years in your me on this one! Could it be that this thing of finding and following God is a matter of trust and will? That our will must become willing to trust, and that as we trust we will find ourselves in the middle of God's will and purpose for our lives? I've been reading Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller, it's really an incredible book because he describes his search to really know God inspite of his own humanity...some days I hate being human. Donald Miller describes the emotions and confusions he has, the conflicts with friends and ideologies, his struggle to be a Human Christian and a Christian Human...not always easy I think we could all admit. I want to find Jesus, and to be found of Him, to be where He wants me, but also to be in a place where others can trace my steps and find Him as well. Perhaps amidst all the Christianese that we believers speak it would be best if our lives said that we are believers and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, people on a simple mission to find Him and pick some others along the way!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Presence of Perception
It has been said that how one perceives a thing determines how you respond to that thing. How we relate to our circumstances and situations, our environment, and the cards life deals us determines the outcome of whether or not we impact our generation in a positive or negative manner. This past week my family has been on vacation, while there I read a book that has challenged my spirit, forcing my to allow my perspective to be enlarged and my heart to reach beyond the borders of my comfort zone...I hunger for more, to make a difference in others, and to significantly impact my generation. The book I read is "Three Cups of Tea", the story of Greg Mortenson, the son of a Lutheran Missionary, raised in Tanzania, who went to Pakistan to climb K2, got lost and found himself in one of the most impoverished areas of the world, the area which would birth the Taliban. What he found was a need to build schools for children, especially girls, these children sat on the ground, in burned out buildings, or deserted tanks and trucks. He left to return to America with promise of returning to build one school at the cost of 12,000.00, not realizing that in the next ten years he would return time and time again building fifty-five schools and venturing into Afghanistan and continuing until this day to reach into the hearts and lives of these beautiful people. It wasn't always easy, he had to build relationships and trust, an American Christian in a Muslim country, seeking to touch their lives and meet a need, not to preach or try to convert them, he was even kidnapped at one point, yet he continued to give of himself to others. Tears filled my eyes as I devoured this book, searching my own soul, questioning the ministry God has given me, asking myself, am I doing enough and why do I do what I do, and how can I do more. There is a struggle within my spirit, a struggle for significance, not for recognition, but to make a difference in others. Is it possible that God is raising up a generation of ministers that have no names? Oh, they have names, they simply aren't known to the main stream, they minister in local churches, in the streets and in nursing homes. They stand before people and declare the unsearchable riches of God, declaring the Word of God, and modeling it with their lifestyles, not just their words or through sermons, they have become the call and the Word of God to others, painting houses, feeding adults and children, clothing the naked, and giving a drink of water to the thirsty. These people take seriously the words of Jesus who said, "If you give a drink of water to someone in My name, you have done it unto Me!" My name may never be found in a popular Christian magazine, it may never been known around the world, but it is my desire and my prayer that I will touch someone's life in a way that effects future generations! Read more about Greg Mortenson at or, I would encourage you to buy the book, buy it from and 7% of your purchase will go to change the lives of children in Pakistan.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

The internet, My Space, Email, Facebook, Twitter, Message Boards, all these things are absolutely essentials to my day...they create the ability to be connected, even to people I don't know. At my house no one gets the mail...that's my job, during my mother's recent visit she trying to be kind while we were at work went out to get the mail...she only did it once...that's my job! Each morning I go through a ritual of checking email addresses, My Space, and Facebook, I check in on Twitter and catch up on all the news in the message board world I'm involved in. Connection are important, they create environments for us to build and develop relationships, to expand our horizons and reach beyond our borders...they even cause us to stretch outside of imposed and self-imposed limits. I'm realizing my need to connect to people and things that don't necessarily fit my personal preferences or style, to listen to music that is different from my normal genra, to listen to ministers whose styles are not what I'm accustomed to, and to read things that don't just inspire me, but inform me and cause me to think! The scripture says that it isn't good for man to be alone, so God created an helpmeet...I think He's still doing that, creating places and people that enable us to grow and be productive, to expand our boundries and move into new dimensions and territories. I'm thankful for the people I know, the places I've been, but I don't want my past to define me completely, and I don't want to be stereotyped by myself or others, I want to be connected to life giving sources so that I myself can be a life giving source to others!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Luke 12
I'm teaching through the 12th chapter of the Gospel of Luke, I have to admit that I have been inspired by a book by Ted Haggard, "Letters From Dad"...we're only two weeks into the study, but I have to say, I've been deeply impacted by the Word of the Lord. In the first two verses Jesus warns His disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and to be real, to live authentic lives, in the next two verses we are reminded to fear God, to be more aware of Him who is able to destroy both our natural and spiritual lives...Four simple verses suddenly put everything into perspective! Jesus is calling us to live the red words, not just read them and do whatever we want, He is calling us to be the church not just do church. Recently I heard of a book by Larry Stockstill called "The Remnant", in this book he states that American church has learned how to build crowds, churches are growing, in fact, there are over 300,000 churches in America, yet of that number of churches, 20% of the pastors are dealing with some secret sin, that around 75,000 men of God struggling in their walk with God, and if they're struggling, what are their members doing? And if the church is doing so wonderful, why is the world so dark? Don't misunderstand, I'm not a doomsday prophet, not a negative Neil that believes the sky is falling...great things are happening and the Lord is blessing, there's just much more to be done, and the church must rise to the occasion! The people just spoke to in Luke 12 would also be the same people Luke would record to have turned the world upside down! The church has the greatest opportunity it has ever had...will we step up, step out, and step over into the Promised Land?