Thursday, December 29, 2011

Jealous.... For me?

When God says He is jealous for you we need to take that out of the human context (which is what we do). In the human context jealousy is ugly and manipulative, it could be a form of covetousness. Relationally it's us as humans saying we know what's best for you but you have submit to my conditions or else I am going to pout or get angry. God's jealousy for us is different it comes from a place of pure love not tainted by manipulation or an unhealthy past. It is Him saying I love you, I created you for this relationship and when you accept anything less or let anything or anyone get in the way of this relationship, He knows that you are settling for something lower than you were created for. Remember when He is number 1 in our lives the rest has a way of falling into place especially when we enter in to relationship with others.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


And here is another:

As we push forward striving for the goal, the yoke of the world comes upon us to try and make us slow, to keep us from attaining what has already been given, and then He comes...and makes a trade gives us His yoke so we no longer need to slave, for His yoke is freedom and fullness of life and though we strive we don't have the strife...the negativity of the world that wants to hold us back has been broken off of us and now we are on the attack!!!!  

The Beginning

This is something I wrote a while back.

The Beginning
as i sit in the sunshine preparing for bed a flow of words starts to stream into my head a reminder of a gift long ago wasted a gift that was tainted with the darkness of my youth but now as the Light has burned that darkness away there's a stirring of something I thought was buried to stay...this time will be different I hear in my sprirt becasue as the flow starts the enemy will fear it he will run he will flee he can not stand against me becasue of the power of Jesus and the dominion HE has given me...His Word is a light that illuminates my path no longer do I have to suffer from the enemy's wrath...why??? do you ask ...because I have been set free at last free from my sin and free from my past as long as my focus remains on my Lord, I will move forward, forward to the goal He has set for me

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Stuff Dreams are Made of

So the other day I had a saying that kept running through my head it was “This is the stuff that dreams are made of”.  If you are a fan of old movies you may recognize this as a quote from Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon, but what many don’t know is that in the movie this was actually a misquote from Shakespeare’s The Tempest; which actually says “This is the stuff that dreams are made on”. So anyway let’s get back to what was going through my head; “This is the stuff that dreams are made of”. This was followed by “your dreams grow out of the desires of your heart.” So then I think “what’s the difference between a dream and a desire, and just what is stuff?”

So… just what is stuff I guess the best way to describe stuff is that it is in fact stuff. It’s matter; it’s tangible, there is good stuff and can be bad stuff. This is what Merriam Webster Dictionary says about stuff: 1) materials, supplies, or equipment used in various activities 2) material to be manufactured, wrought, or used in construction 3) fundamental material : substance. Ultimately if it wasn’t for GOD there wouldn’t even be any stuff.  In Genesis it says that He spoke and created stuff where there was no stuff, so all stuff is GOD’s stuff.  And all of the stuff that He spoke into existence 7k-10k years ago is the basis of all the stuff we have today. When He created us He used His stuff and made us in His image, then He breathed life into His stuff.  Part of Him making us in His image is that He made us to be creative, so we have the ability to make stuff too.  There is a difference though, He gave us the ability to make stuff out of the stuff that He created, but we are not able to make stuff out of no stuff. This is one of the things that separates us from GOD. When we come together and create in unity we are more powerful and stuff has greater potential. And because of His breath in us when we speak our words have the power to affect stuff, to shape stuff, move stuff, build stuff up or tear stuff down.

Matthew 17:20 (NLT) “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”

Next is dreams, dreams are important many times GOD will speak to us in our dreams, in his first great oration Paul reminded the people that the prophet Joel said that “old men would dream dreams”.  Sometimes dreams can be weird and make you think twice about whatever you ate the night before.  But these aren’t the dreams I’m talking about here.  I am talking about our waking dreams, the things that consume our thoughts; they are our goals, the things we want to achieve in life.  It could be where we want to live, what our careers will be, a place to go visit, a ministry idea, a relationship. Good ol’ Merriam Webster says: Dream = a: a strongly desired goal or purpose b: something that fully satisfies a wish. Many think that dreams come from the head, I disagree I say they come from the heart. Your heart contains the well spring of life that feeds your dreams and gives them life and the fulfillment brings joy. When dreams are realized and accomplished we are able to use that as a milestone or marker in our lives that we can look back upon as a testimony to how far we have come and of the things that GOD has done on our lives.  It also lends to the heritage of those that come behind us, our children and grandchildren and the generations to come.

Psalm 37:4 (NASB) Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.

Finally we get to desires; you may say dreams and desires are the same thing but I don’t believe so. Believe it or not I looked up desire on the Merriam Webster website too (do you see a pattern here?) Desire = 1) conscious impulse toward something that promises enjoyment or satisfaction in its attainment 2) Longing, Craving.  To me desires speak of passion and the development of a fierceness that drives you to attain your dreams, especially the dreams that come from the deep places of your heart. Your desires are stirred up in your heart, we then realize these desires and in their realization stuff starts being formed this stuff is the basis for our dreams.  In our creative abilities we take this stuff that is being formed and we speak life into it, we declare its existence and its outcome.  Our desires give us the passion to speak the stuff of our dreams into something that we can obtain.


Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd tow'rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
The Tempest Act 4, scene 1, 148–158

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Saul’s Conversion and Hearing God

Acts 9: Saul’s Conversion and Hearing God

During my journey through the Book of Acts I read through Chapter 9 a couple of weeks ago, I thought that I had posted this blog already but after talking with my friend Tony I discovered I missed it. So here it is.

The first part of this chapter deals with Saul and his conversion experience. While the conversion is important there are some other things that really stood out to me.  One of them is the difference in how God spoke to both Saul and Ananias, and their subsequent reactions. The other is how God used this situation to change Saul’s vision and perspective.

Acts 9:3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven.

·         There was something significant about the light. During those days people didn’t normally travel at night, this means that when Saul and his men had this encounter with Jesus it was during the day.  The light that came from heaven was so bright that it could be seen during the light of the day.

·         It would also seem that the light had some weight to it, it carried the heaviness of God’s glory.  Evidence of this is that Saul fell to the ground because of the presence of the light.

Acts 9:4-9

Saul even though he was a Pharisee and knew the letter of Law and the Scripture, did not immediately recognize the voice of the Lord. Even though he was knocked to the ground under the heaviness of God’s glory the recognition still wasn’t there. But when Jesus spoke and identified Himself, Saul did not question Him as He knew it was Him. Then Jesus set Saul up for some changes.

·         Jesus questioned Saul’s mission

·         Jesus identified Himself and expressed His pain that was caused by what Saul was doing.

·         Saul turned his heart to the Lord’s

·         Jesus removed Saul’s vision, so that it could restored with a new vision that came from Him

In verses 10-19 we are introduced Ananias and his ministry to Saul.

Acts 9:10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”

This verse shows that unlike Saul, who was a religious leader and scholar and didn’t recognize God’s voice, Ananias immediately knew Who it was that was speaking to him. This tells me that Ananias had, had previous conversations with the Lord and that he knew His voice. More evidence that Jesus and Ananias had a relationship was that Ananias questioned Him on His instructions.

Acts 9:13-14 Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.”

At some level he was saying, “Don’t You know who this guy is and what he has done? Really? You really want me to go and see this guy? Are you nuts?”

Notice that Jesus didn’t strike down or even rebuke Ananias for this questioning.  The fact is that Jesus knew exactly who He needed to talk to, to get the job done, vs. 10 said “there was a certain disciple” He knew why He picked Ananias; He knew that he would be obedient to His request.  My guess is that he had a proven track record of doing what Jesus asked him to do.  The short version of Jesus’ reply to Ananias is “I have chosen Saul to reach many and he will suffer many things for My name’s sake.” (vs.15-16) I can almost guarantee that what Ananias heard in Jesus’ reply was “I have chosen him” and “he will suffer”, regardless he was obedient and went to Saul.

Assumed Expectations: So it says in Acts 9:17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”  Nowhere in the recorded conversation between Jesus and Ananias do He tell him to get Saul filled with the Holy Spirit.  However this is what I like to call an assumed expectation.  It was such a normal part of the conversion experience in those days.  People accepted Christ, were filled with the Holy Spirit and baptized in water. There were no special new believer’s classes that had to be attended and sometimes all three happened simultaneously in the same day even.

So here is a re-cap of Saul’s conversion experience:

1.      He was on the right road on his way to do the wrong thing

2.      He encountered Jesus and his vision was removed

3.      He accepted Jesus

4.      He fasted and prayed for three days

5.      Ananias cam and laid hands on him

a.      He received his sight and gained new vision

b.      He was filled with the Holy Spirit

c.       He was baptized in water

6.      Shortly after his conversion he started preaching Christ instead of persecuting the Church

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Birthday blessing and so much more....

Psalm 65 (NLT): What mighty praise, O God, belongs to you in Zion. We will fulfill our vows to you, for you answer our prayers.  All of us must come to you. Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, you forgive them all. What joy for those you choose to bring near, those who live in your holy courts. What festivities await us inside your holy Temple. You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our savior. You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas. You formed the mountains by your power and armed yourself with mighty strength. You quieted the raging oceans with their pounding waves and silenced the shouting of the nations. Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders.  From where the sun rises to where it sets, you inspire shouts of joy. You take care of the earth and water it, making it rich and fertile.  The river of God has plenty of water; it provides a bountiful harvest of grain, for you have ordered it so.  You drench the plowed ground with rain, melting the clods and leveling the ridges. You soften the earth with showers and bless its abundant crops. You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance. The grasslands of the wilderness become a lush pasture, and the hillsides blossom with joy. The meadows are clothed with flocks of sheep, and the valleys are carpeted with grain. They all shout and sing for joy!

So I celebrated my birthday this last week and one of my friends and former Bible college instructors, Dan Hammer, sent me a Scripture reference as a birthday blessing.  This Scripture was Psalm 65:11(NASB): You have crowned the year with Your bounty, and Your paths drip with fatness. I read this and was encouraged by it and thanked Pastor Dan, but then like we do so often it slid from memory. Then at church Friday night Amanda R. brought it up saying how it encouraged her, so I looked it up again this time in my Bible and not online. (Disclaimer: while I love online bible resources, being a well-used one, when you look up a single reference you can miss a lot in the context.)  So I looked it up in my Bible and started looking at some of the contextual scripture and was even more encouraged.  As I sat down this morning to continue my journey through the Book of Acts, I felt the Lord prompt me to go back to Psalm 65.  I did my usual, “are You sure, because it has been several months and I have only gotten through Chapter 9?” like somehow He doesn’t know, but I had to be sure.  So here are the highlights of what I was getting as I read. I also want to throw out another disclaimer or whatever you want to call it; I used the NLT above because I like how it read, if you notice that any other references I am using after this point don’t exactly match to what is above that is because they will probably be out of the NASB of the NKJV, my preferred versions.

So to me this whole chapter, song, or poem (whatever you want to call it) is very encouraging. It is a declaration of God’s greatness, love and ability as a provider.  It also outlines the gospel message, starting with us being aware of our sin and Him providing us with forgiveness, which then allows us to come to Him and then He protects us, provides for us and we rejoice.  Verse 4 actually says that when He chooses us He causes us to come to Him in His holy temple.  How awesome is that?  Not only does He cause us to come into His house but He provides for us. 

One of the things about being in His holy temple that stood out to me is that there are many that call themselves Christians that still have the viewpoint of themselves that they are lowly sinners, worms even and they aren’t worthy.  Their taking this stance denies that work that Christ provided for their lives; even here in the Psalm it says that He forgave our sins so that we could enter the Holy Temple, He made it possible to enter into His presence. 1 Corinthians 6:19 (NASB) Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?  For them to say they are still unworthy is a contradiction to the Scripture and if they indeed are still lowly sinners then the Holy Spirit would not be able to dwell within them. Isaiah 59:2 (NASB): But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. It makes me sad that they limit themselves from receiving the fullness of all that Jesus has provided for them.

This Scripture also speaks of God’s control in tumultuous situations; it says that He can still the noise of the seas and the waves and the tumult of the people. It says in Psalm 107:28-30(NASB) Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distresses. He caused the storm to be still, So that the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad because they were quiet, So He guided them to their desired haven. In Matthew 8:26 Jesus rebukes the storm and brought a great calm, and Philippians 4:7 He gives peace that surpasses understanding.

Most of the rest talks of His provision. He provides water and grain, and the hills are covered with flocks.  The waters flow from the mountain tops.  The abundance is found on the hills, in the pastures and in the valleys.  It is funny that we tend to strive for the mountain top experiences, but the life and sustenance is on the hills and in the valleys, that is where He provides.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Evidence of Fruit = Result of Obedience

I have been on a journey through the Book of Acts for the last couple of months.  As I have been going through it the progress has been slow, but very insightful.  Here are some insights from Phillip's work and ministry as recorded in Chapter 8.

The first part of the chapter talks about Phillip’s missionary journey to Samaria.  During his time of ministry there many miracles happened, demons were cast out and people were healed.  There were many that were baptized and came to know Jesus because of Phillips evangelistic efforts.  Due to the success of what was happening in Samaria, the apostolic leadership team in Jerusalem sent Peter and John to bring completion to the team in Samaria.

VS 14-17: Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, 15 who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit.

There are a couple of things that stand out in this first section of the chapter.

1.       There are some that say that there is only one filling of the oly SpiritHHoly Spirit that happens at the time of conversion.  However, in this section of Scripture there is definite evidence of people coming into relationship with Jesus and being water baptized and then later being baptized with the Holy Spirit.  Here is proof that this can be two separate events.

2.       It shows that while the work of an evangelist is important, there needs to be other ministry partners that function in other levels of the five-fold to bring balance to the ministry.  Also that there needs to be relationship with the leadership that brings a level of accountability to the teams. Expanding the team with the other members brings strength and allows everyone to function in unity.
1 Corinthians 12:28:  (NASB) And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.

Ephesians 2:19-20: (NASB) So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone
Ephesians 4:11-12: (NASB) And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ

It is interesting that after Phillip had a victory in Samaria, the apostles were sent in to make a further difference.  The apostles, or apostolos in the Greek, were ones that were sent in after a military victory by the Romans. Their mission was to change the culture in the area that was just conquered to match the culture of the emperor.  Apostles in God’s Kingdom in this case were sent in to Samaria to help adjust the culture to one that aligned with The Kingdom. This also freed Phillip to go on to his next assignment.

The second half of chapter 8 tells about Phillip being sent via the Holy Spirit to minister to and evangelize the Ethiopian eunuch. This shows the diversity in Phillips gifting.  When he was in Samaria he was reaching the masses in a powerful way, performing miracles etc. However, with the Ethiopian he is ministering one on one; he is investing time and knowledge. He sat in the chariot and took the Ethiopian through the Scripture and showed him Jesus through the Scripture which led to his conversion and baptism. Some say that there is a correlation between the Ethiopians conversion and the spread of Christianity to and through Ethiopia. What is evident in both events is Phillip’s being able to function in his gifts and that he was readily obedient to the Holy Spirit’s guiding. In fact, after he finished baptizing the Ethiopian the Holy Spirit took him to Azotus and he continued to evangelize as God led him.

The moral of the story:
You can never underestimate the amount of fruit that will be produced when you are obedient to do what the Holy Spirit tells you to do, when He tells you to do it; and when you are fully functioning in your gifting and in your God given identity there is nothing you cannot do.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Clay.... where are you on the potter's wheel?

Jeremiah 18:1-6  The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying: “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the LORD. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!

Part of the process in our walk with Christ is the working out of His destiny for our lives.  As the Creator of the universe He has the perfect vision and plan for our lives.  In Jeremiah 1:4-5 it says:  Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying:“ Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you;  I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” and in Jeremiah  29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.  God has a perfect plan for our lives, like an artist that has a vision for His newest creation, so God has a vision of the end product that He is forming in us. We need to give Him full control of this process, we have a tendency to interject our own version of what He has planned for us which lengthens our time on the wheel. He knows exactly how fast or slow needs to be turning for the phase of creation that you are in, He knows exactly how much water to apply or what tool to use to imprint the unique design that He has in mind.  In verse 4 above it says that the vessel that was being created was marred.  The marring for flaws that come up don't surprise The Potter, He expects them.  When we first get on the wheel we have imperfections that need to be worked out,consequences that we are still working through from our past, unforgiveness, offenses, rebellion and wounds to name a few.  The Master Potter has away of recognizing these flaws and know exactly what needs to be done to work them out. We need to remember that God the Creator of the universe has a vision of where He wants us and what the end product of what He has in mind for us and know that His plan is the perfect one.  We need to trust Him and give Him full control of the process, the shaping, the working out of the flaws, the  healing, the speed (or lack of in our perception) of the wheel. So where are you on the wheel, in the process?  Are you giving Him full control of your life? If not.... it's time.   He wants to make you into a vessel of honor.

2 Timothy 2:21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.

Monday, July 4, 2011

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters....

Acts 5:12-17(NASB) At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s portico. But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem. And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number, to such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them. Also the people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed. But the high priest rose up, along with all his associates (that is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy.
While reading through this Scripture this morning, there were a few things that stood out to me.  The first is the gathering place of the Apostle’s, Solomon’s Portico or Porch as it is called, and what was so significant about it. Second were the signs and wonders that were happening during the apostle’s ministry, including healing and the casting out of demons. The third is the example that they set for the people and lastly the reaction of the current Judaic leadership to their ministry.
Solomon’s Porch was part of King’s Solomon’s original Judgment Hall; some think that it was left standing by the Chaldean’s when they destroyed the temple because of its ornate beauty.  After the restoration it became the place where the Levites (priests) resided and where the doctors of the law met to hear and answer questions.  It is no wonder that it is a place that Jesus visited often and taught.  This was also an entrance to the inner court.  Another thing about being on the porch is that it signifies bringing ministry outside of the church building.  They even took their ministry to the streets, where the people were.
The supernatural power that was displayed through the apostles was a display of the fullness of the salvation blessings to be found in the Kingdom of God.  They were a means of liberation from the Mosaic Law and the doctrines of man that were enforced by the religious leadership of the day; just like the signs and wonders worked by Moses when he led the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt. Unfortunately, when God’s Power is displayed in such ways it causes those in power to get frustrated and afraid.  This frustration scared some of the people from openly following the apostle’s teaching, even though they held the apostles in high esteem.
The Apostles set the example for the people the ministered to, the one thing that they maintained throughout the many tribulations they went through was a sense of unity.  They came together in One Accord in One Spirit, they didn’t undermine each other but supported each other and ministered together.  There was also great fruit that was evidence of their ministry.  People brought the sick into the street so that the “shadow” of Peter would touch them and they would be healed.  I would like to dive into his “shadow” one of these days but not here.  When people from other cities heard what was happening they brought the sick and demon possessed to Jerusalem and they were all being healed.
Ultimately what was being given was freedom.  People were being set free from the Law, free from sickness and free from demons. They have been shown the entry to the inner courts, the gateway to the Kingdom of God, where true freedom and independence is found.
Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Honoring Abba on Father's Day

During worship at church Friday night there was a deep sense of reverence and awe, but also a sense of peace; that the Father was pleased with our worship.  During this time the first part of the Lord’s Prayer started running through my mind as if it was being whispered to me. Then He drew me to other Scriptures, ones that broke my heart.  I could sense that the Father was grieved because the people that He calls His are forgetting to honor Him and give Him the reverence and respect that He is due.  He is our Father in heaven but so much more. Here are the Scriptures that I was given:
Malachi 1:6 (NASB): “‘A son honors his father, and a servant his master. Then if I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is My respect?’ says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests who despise My name. But you say, ‘How have we despised Your name?’
Malachi 2:10 (NASB): “Do we not all have one Father? Has not one God created us?
Matthew 6:9-10 (NASB): “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
Romans 8:14-17 (NASB): For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
As you can see in the Scripture there is a progression. It starts with the Father asking why we aren’t giving Him the honor and reverence that He deserves. He reminds us that HE is the Father and Creator of us all. Then Jesus instructs us to pray in a manner that brings honor and reverence to The Father’s Name, to hold Him as the most holy and honored. Hallowed means: regarded as holy; venerated; sacred.
The last Scripture is a reminder that we have been adopted as His children; we are fully accepted as His heir. He has made it possible for our relationship with Him to go beyond the unreachable Father in heaven, to being our Abba, our DADDY, our PAPA; the One who loved us with abandon, without restraint or moderation, so much so that He gave His own Son to be a sacrifice so that we may become His sons and daughters, so that we could be His.
I think that for many of us that have had a poor example of what a Daddy is, we have a hard time accepting God as our Father. We are good with Jesus and some are ok with the Holy Spirit, but God the Father is sometimes a hard concept, especially as Someone that loves us deeply and wants to have a close intimate relationship with us.  That is who He is though. We still need to give Him honor and reverence, but we need to accept Him as our Heavenly Father that loves us.
As we go through Father’s Day today, we should take some time to honor Him as our ultimate Father and Abba.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A new pair of shoes

I only thought women dream about shoes....  guess not
So I had a dream last week that kept creeping into the back of my mind until I finally sat down and wrote it out in my journal.
In the dream I saw a pair of old school white leather loafers they reminded of something from the 70’s, like maybe some shoes that Shaft would wear.  The shoes were obviously worn by a man but all I could see were the shoes and the shoes went different places, I saw them in the desert, in the mud, on the street, on a wood plank floor and on the carpet.
The shoes in the dream represented the church and the gospel message the church has been spreading.  The different places that I saw the shoes represented the different places and people groups that the church went to and preached to.
One of the things that I noticed is the shoes always got dirty as they went different places but they still stood out as being different, even when surrounded by other shoes.  What happened though is that over time even after many cleanings and shining’s the white shoes became dingy and gray.  They didn’t quite stand out the way they did in the beginning.  The message the shoes brought changed, it was more about blending in and conforming to the world and not going into the world to be a light, to stand out and be different, to present the world with truth and not conformity.  The message has been tainted and made dingy so it fits into the world.
The time has come for the Church to get a new pair of shoes.  Shoes that are formed at the hands of The Creator; shoes that convey His original gospel; shoes that remain white (pure & holy); shoes that don’t conform to the world; shoes that carry the Spirit and the Truth, that bring a balance to lives that can only come from Jesus.
I believe that the emergence of the apostles and prophets, taking their proper places in leading the Church, is a significant part of the new shoes; that this emergence will allow the evangelists, pastors and teachers to function in the true core and heart of their gifts. It will bring a freedom to the Church and it will show the world that there is indeed life and freedom to be had in God’s Kingdom.  It will show the Kingdom as being desirable and inviting instead of being a place of unattainable rules and religiosity.
One of the things that stood out in the dream was that none of the other shoes that came in contact with the white shoes converted or changed into white shoes.  There was a sense that the shoes weren’t open or flexible enough to fit the world it was trying to reach, so they went to the other extreme and conformed to it.  The new shoes allow for variations of size and style without compromising their original design.  The only way to obtain these new shoes is by going to Jesus and developing a relationship with Him.  He has a custom pair for each of us that help us fulfill our destiny, purpose and plan that He has for us.
Are you ready for a new pair of shoes?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A key to true relationship - Self Forgiveness

If God forgives us we must forgive ourselves otherwise it’s like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him. ~ C.S. Lewis

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 ESV)
The idea of forgiving ourselves for so many is a foreign idea but is so crucial for our growth, our health and our relationships, especially our relationship with God.  Some may think that by forgiving ourselves we are being self-serving or that we don’t deserve it because we are worthless sinners.  But what happens when we deny forgiving ourselves is that we set ourselves up above God.  He tells us that He is faithful to forgive us and that when he forgives us He remembers our sins no more.  So in not forgiving ourselves we are telling God that His forgiveness is not good enough for us. This stance and mindset grieves the Father because it keeps us from all that He has for us.

In Matthew 22 Jesus tells us: 37 Jesus said to him, “‘you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” We can’t truly love others or truly forgive others until we love and forgive ourselves.  We can’t truly minister to others if we haven’t accepted the ministry that Jesus provides for us. 

Self unforgiveness can block healing from happening and can cause a root of bitterness to grow in our hearts that skews how we view God and how we view others.  There is a lady that I know that was diagnosed with a terminal disease; she reached out to God and to others for prayer.  During a time of prayer someone had a word of knowledge about unforgiveness in her life so she forgave everyone she could think of but herself and the sickness continued.  She continued to reach out for prayer and the unforgiveness thing came up again, but this time the question was asked “have you forgiven yourself?” She had not, but proceeded to and she was healed.  A few years later she had come to the healing rooms for prayer for her shoulder; she was scheduled for surgery and really didn’t want to go through with it.  Self unforgiveness again came up, which she did saying “duh I should have thought of that…” Again she was healed and didn’t require surgery.

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you (Matthew 6:14 ESV)

“But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jeremiah 31:33-34 ESV)

How can you tell that you have forgiven yourself? One of the ways is that you don’t continue to feel the need to keep asking God to forgive you for things that He has already forgiven you for. Another way is that you smell better because you are hauling around the old dead you and you are comfortable in the new creation that Jesus made you.  I think one of the major ways to tell is that your joy meter increases, it overflows and spills out on those around you.  You find yourself getting opportunities to share your testimony and share God’s true love that He has for you.  You really start loving others as yourself as Jesus commanded, because you are actually equipped to do it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Being real... confession and forgiveness

So this morning I was checking my Facebook and there was a post by Nor ‘west Prophetic that really stirred something in my heart.  I guess to be honest it kind of opened a can of worms for me.
Here is what the post said:  When God’s children pray, He listens, He answers. Jesus taught us to pray “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” How many people have prayed this over the last 2000 years?  No wonder the Kingdom is breaking out all over.  Break out more Lord!
And this was my reply:  Unfortunately there are thousands of people that will say this prayer today and have said it for years more as a religious mantra than an actual prayer.  They are clueless
to the power in the words that they speak and it makes me sad that for them there is no reality of the Kingdom of God being at hand, as Jesus taught.  For them access to The Kingdom can only come
through death or return of Christ, whichever comes first.  It breaks my heart that they are clueless.  Lord I ask that You reveal Your Kingdom to those that are blind and apathetic, so that they may realize all You have for them.
After writing this I felt prompted to read what is referred to as “The Lord’s Prayer” in Matthew 6:9-13. Some believe that this is a prayer that needs to be repeated religiously and others that it is an outline for how we should pray. I believe that it there is power in the words that Jesus gave us to pray and that it can be repeated as a heartfelt prayer and used as on outline or guide in how we should pray.
Matthew 6:9-13 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.  Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.   Give us this day our daily bread.   And
forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.  For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen
When you read this prayer, Jesus is revealing important things to us, He is giving us keys.  He tells us that the Father’s name is to be “hallowed” which means: regarded as holy; venerated; sacred.  He affirms the gospel that He preached that the “Kingdom of God is at hand”.  He tells us to rely on the Father for our sustenance.  He instructs to forgive as we have been forgiven and to keep us safe from attacks from the enemy.
Something that caught my eye was the next two verses: Matthew 6:14-15For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”  When I read this, I heard this is a critical key to accessing the Kingdom.  Giving and accepting forgiveness allows for a clean heart which is prime territory for the Kingdom to come in.
In reading through this, I felt like God is changing something that I have had in my heart. After reading what I have already posted, you may assume that I am talking about unforgiveness, but that’s not what it is. I can’t tell you how many times I have preached or taught on how we are supposed to separate the sins from the people that are committing them.  That God loves people and hates sin and so should we.
I guess for me I have had an easier time separating the sin from the sinner with people that are outside of the church.  People that are criminals, addicted, leading a homosexual lifestyle, I can see beyond their issues.  At some level they don’t really know any better, they are products of their environment and culture.  I can sense God’s heart for them and see His desire for them to be set free.
Then there are people that are inside the church, the ones that should know better.  This is where
my issue lies, where I struggle, because I know that they should know better and it frustrates me.  Then I was shown that they also are products of their environment and culture.  In my processing this I was reminded of the times that I have been in public and people are letting their kids behave
poorly and don’t stop or discipline them.  Many times I will turn to my wife and say “their parents need a spanking” and in that God showed me that many times the leaders in the church are in the
same position.  They allow the propagation of poor behavior; they allow for judgment in the hands of those it doesn’t belong; they allow prayer meetings to become venues for gossip and rumor mills;
they let a spirit of religion run rampant and unchecked.   In realizing this, I figured out that I need to ask for forgiveness. One, because I was misplacing blame on people that didn’t know any better (but should), and two for having a feeling of angst against church leaders that lead these people into derision.  These are God’s children that have been led astray be a spirit of religion and need to be set free just as much as any of the people that are struggling outside of the church.
So LORD I ask that you forgive me for having these feelings against Your children, please help my heart line up with Yours.  Show me what You would have me do or say to minister to Your children better.  I know that You have called me to help others be released into their destiny, please
guide me in this as well.  Amen

Monday, May 2, 2011

Fruit of True Apostolic Leadership.... Love and Peace

I have been reading Culture of Honor by Danny Silk; first of all let me say that I highly recommend this book.  There have been many things that have spoken to me while reading this book, but there was a paragraph in the 6th chapter that I read the other day, that really jumped off the page at me. 

The chapter talks about the top priority of leadership.  One of these priorities is the need for leaders to create a safe environment, and that whenever the God is present, the environment is always safe. He also addresses how people have an impression of God that He is in a bad mood and many times this viewpoint is actually propagated by many church leaders.  Many times, because leadership behaves poorly and tries to control those in the church, the people in the church expect the same from God. 

When we have a viewpoint of God that He is not good, that He is in a bad mood; we will never reach our full potential in God.  We will never become free, whole and healthy. (This is my paraphrase and consolidated version)
Quote from the book that really spoke to me"But the good news is that conditions are changing. Heaven, the kingdom of love and freedom, is invading earth and love is directly confronting the fear that has governed us. Fear and love are enemies. These two spirits will not hold the same place together. Love and fear are like light and dark... fresh water and salt water... blessing and cursing. And one of them has to win. Love casts out the fear. Love not only casts out the fear; it brings
security, safety and shalom. This is the fruit that I am seeing in an apostolic environment....."

Back to me: There are many in the church today that are afraid to embrace the apostolic movement, leaders that have a fear of what they don't understand. Leaders that are afraid to give up control of
"their" flocks, propagate the fear.  The apostles and prophets should be the ones leading the Church. If they are truly submitting to God's authority, they can fully move in His call for their lives and the people in the Church are exposed the love of the Father and can reach their full potential.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Unity & Restoration

Ezekiel37:1-14 The first half of Ezekiel 37 is familiar to most of us.  It gives us an example of being obedient in speaking out what God is telling us to speak and how He
wants us to speak it.  In Ezekiel’s obedience he prophesied healing, breath and life into what started as dry dead bones in the desert. The result of his obedience was an army was raised and we received a promise from Abba of
having His Spirit placed in us.

Following this healing, restoring of life and filling of the Spirit, God tells Ezekiel to prophecy unity, that His people would be brought back as one.  The twelve tribes that had been divided into Judah and Israel would again be one people.

The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, take a stick and write on it, ‘For Judah and the people of Israel associated with him’; then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph (the stick of Ephraim) and all the house of Israel associated with him.’ And join them one to another into one stick that they may become one in your hand. And
when your people say to you, ‘Will you not tell us what you mean by these?’ say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am about to take the stick of Joseph (that is in the hand of Ephraim) and the tribes of Israel associated with him. And I will join with it the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, that they may be one in my hand. When the sticks on which you write are in your hand before their eyes, then say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all around, and bring them to their own land. And I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. And one king shall be king over them all, and they shall be no longer two nations, and no longer divided into two kingdoms. (Ezekiel 37:15-22 ESV)

In reading this Scripture this morning, I felt like God was telling me that He wants there to be unification in his body.  His desire is to have his body healed; that life be prophesied into the dry bones; that the lifeless bodies that are standing with their armor on; that have been given what they need to go into battle, but have “No life in them”; that the breath of God be prophesied into them, so that He can fill them with His Spirit so that they can move forward in their destinies.

He wants to pour HIS SPIRIT out onto His Church, His Body. He wants centuries of division eradicated. He no longer wants mindless disputes over doctrines of man to blind His people; He wants them squashed so that all people will see Him for who He is.  In His true identity being revealed, we can walk out the one commandment that Jesus gave us: And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:30-31 ESV)  When we can come together as one body, speaking one
language, having one heart that is corporately focused on one God there is nothing that we cannot do (Gen. 11:6).

The Church, His Body, needs to move forward with a unified heart, so that we can accomplish all that He has for us.  He wants to pour out His Spirit upon all flesh as the Prophet Joel spoke in Joel 2:28.  We are being called as frontrunners, to be culture changers so that world is prepared for the coming of its King.  It is time fo the proclamation of Joel 3:9-21 to go forth. It is time for His body to move forward with one heart.  There is an ever growing urgency for Jesus’ gospel to be preached: “that the Kingdom of God is at hand”. We need to grab on to His kingdom we need to let it be on earth as it is in heaven.

So LORD by your prompting I prophesy life into the dead parts of Your Church, that doors and portals will be open.  That the churches that deny or hide from Your Spirit would be rocked to the core by that which they deny or are hiding from; that the shackles of fear propagated by the doctrines of man will be shattered. That there would be a great awakening as life is prophesied into the dead soldiers. I also prophecy that there will be nothing, no structure built by man to try and control Your flow of the Spirit and Your movement among the people.  That any attempt to build a cistern to contain Your outflow would be utterly destroyed. Instead You will provide us
with the means to ride Your flow, You will guide us into the right flow for  what it is You want us to do.  That as we ride these flows together we will fulfill the mission and purpose that you have for us individually and we will see how that works together in Your corporate unified body.  Amen