You Know, sometimes it just washes over me.
This truth of who God is, it comes and covers me and I have to shout it out......YOUR LOVE ENDURES FOREVER!!!
how bout you.....?
God on you....
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I'm at home in my office hacking out this post for the blog.
Yesterday was a really good day.
On Monday's I teach the morning classes.
We were dealing with step #11 which is seek to know God's will through prayer and meditation.
The video's for the class were Relapse pt 1 and pt. 2 with Delbert Boone and Father Martin.
Delbert, a felon serving 4 terms in state pen.
Father Martin, a Catholic priest who was an alcoholic.
Both now clean and sober and giving back to those who are struggling with their addiction.
Much interaction and questions from the group.
Still, it is hard to look out on a group of men who supposedly are here for the same reason.
Truth be known, they aren't.
Some merely to get legal issues taken care of.
Some to get people and family off their backs.
Some........well, they really are tired of the lifestyle and desire a change.
As I tell the groups........"I don't care how you got here, it's how you leave I'm concerned with."
In the afternoons I teach a Bible study.
For the past 2 weeks we have been studying the book of Matthew.
Background and history of the time between the Old and New Testament.
The sudden explosion of Divine interaction after 400 years of silence.
The appearance of John the Baptist and Jesus.
My purpose is to point to the Scripture as more than a book, but a practical understanding of how to live life here today. To allow the Holy Spirit to "guide" us into all truth. There from that place of "all truth" we can hear God and follow His instructions on what to do, where to go, what to say. In other words, how to live life.
The best part of what I do is when I'm in my office at Rapha and there is a knock on my door.
I never know who is going to walk into my office.
I never know what this person may be dealing with or what questions they may have.
I never know if I will even have anything to offer them.
I know I can pray for them and with them.
so goes my world.....
I am grateful.
I am at peace.
I am content.
I am in touch.
for this, I thank you Father.
God on you........
Monday, March 30, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Knocking gently, he opened it and came into my office.
Silent, not speaking.
I asked, "Did you need something?"
"What do I have to do to be saved?"
Those are the most incredible, powerful words that a human could ever speak.
Over the next few moments between sobs, he talked with God.
"I'm a sinner."
"Forgive me Lord"
"I want you to be Lord of my life".
This conversation of stops and starts between tears went on for some time.
At the end he looked up and cried even harder.
"I don't know what to feel."
"It's o.k. I assured him."
"You need to tell someone what has happened to you."
There in that little office, a soul was transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Taken from the kingdom of darkness and placed into the Kingdom of God.
I never tire of this scene.
Thank you Lord that your arm is not short that you cannot save or your ear so dull that you cannot hear.
God on you today............
Pray for this young man.........
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy----to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore Amen.
For what ever reason, this verse really hit home this morning.
Right from the start the idea or precept is that God is without equal. No one on this planet, under this planet or in the heavens above can stop God from carrying out his wishes or desires.
What wonderful words .....To Him who is able. No doubts or fears about the ability of God. These verses were written with complete confidence and trust in God. God is able!
Amid the voices that cry out for attention each day, one calls above them all.
The push and pull of the world upon my soul tries to draw me into thoughts and places I need not go. One voice above them all calls unto me. "God is able!"
Able to keep. That means what is his is his and nothing or no one can separate us from God. I need to remember this. I need to learn to let my heart hear above the drone and drown of this world. To listen for His voice.
God is able to keep me from falling.
The word "falling" is from the Greek word Aptaistos which means "without sin".
God can keep me from sin. The power was broken at the cross. The debt was paid at the cross. It is applied to me when I am saved.....Praise God! What a wonderful thought. I am free. Not on my own merit or worth or ability, but simply because God is able!
One day, I will be brought into the presence of Jesus. That is truly beyond my comprehension.
What will it look like?
What will it sound like?
Will it be sensory overload or will I even care?
To me (my opinion) it will be like coming home. There will be a "knowing" in me as I enter the presence of Jesus. A knowing that this is right and I belong here. A knowing that will rise above any and every thing else. I am in the presence of the one I gave my allegiance to along with my life. Face to face, I will see him as I have never seen him before.........
And I will worship!
God on you.....
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Charlie Daniels waited 5 years before he released the songs he had written after his salvation because he didn't want anyone to say he was trying to captalize on his new found relationship with God.
TO me this is the defining song of those first attempts Charlie Daniels made to express his gratitude to God for what His son did on the cross.
IT truly is what we read in Matthew Chapter 5....Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of God.
Thanks for the song Charlie!
Saturday, March 21, 2009
What do you do when your 4 or 5 years old and the one person who is suppose to look after you, protect you and love you, abuses you sexually?
What do you do when the one person who is suppose to look after you, protect and love you, gives you away to another person?
These are not questions we want to talk about, yet the reality is, it has happened and continues to happen.
What do you say when someone comes to you asking,"Why? Why did God allow this to happen?"
I don't know that I have any answers, other than sometimes when people make bad choices, others get hurt by them. Not really a comfort is it? In Genesis chapter 50 we read of a man named Joseph who had every right to be bitter. His brothers had taken him and beat him, originally intending to kill Joseph because of their jealousy toward him. Instead they threw Joseph into a well until they could reach a decision on what to do. A caravan was passing and the brothers decided to sell Joseph into slavery. Joseph was transported to Egypt where he remained a slave for many years. Every time Joseph seemed to make headway and was doing good, something would happen and he would find himself in even greater peril. He was falsely accused of rape by an Egyptian officials wife and put into prison. Eventually Joseph won his freedom from prison and quickly rose to prominence in the Egyptian society because of the gifting that God had given him. As life would have it, Joseph found himself in charge when his brothers showed up to buy food because of a famine in the land.
The brothers did not recognize Joseph, thinking him long since dead. Joseph eventually stood before his brothers and revealed his true identity, causing the brothers to fear for their very lives. Joseph had them where he wanted, cowering and pleading for their lives. But Joseph was a man of God, and Joseph makes an incredible statement to his brothers. In Genesis 50:20 we read, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good." Did you catch that? The very things that would cause most of us turn away from God, was the very thing God used to save not only Joseph's brothers and family, but an entire nation from starving to death. What was intended to be evil and destructive, God took and turned it around bringing good and healing from. Isn't that just like God?
Today, we can focus on all the harm and wrong that has been done to us, even by those we love, or we can cry out to God and say, "Lord...I look to the time that you will reveal the good that will come from my situation." It is about trusting God for the greater good. Good that sometimes we can't see because of the pain.
God on you........
Friday, March 20, 2009
There is a vision that's beyond seeing
what is right in front of you...
It goes beyond your problems
and the things you cannot do.
It lifts not just life but spirit
to the one who created all
It's the clarion voice of Jesus..
It's eternity's call....
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.....
God on you...
Thursday, March 19, 2009
It began with Danny Daniels coming to be with us at our Saturday night meeting.
Talking with Danny and listening to his stories begin to stir something inside me.
Something that has lain dormant and quiet for sometime.
Hearing Danny talk of John Wimber and the trips they took together made the fire in me burn a little brighter and hotter.
Ministering to people in setting that weren't religious or "churchy" seemed to be the behavior we were kind of taught to operate in.
I was remembering who I was.
Bill Jackson writes in his book Quest For The Radical Middle, "you don't join a Vineyard Church, you simply discover that is what you were all along. How true a statement that was.
For me, Vineyard provided a place where I learned how to "do the stuff"as John would say.
How to minister.
How to pray for people.
How to hear God.
Most importantly, how to worship.
These things I am writing are not done in an effort to proclaim the Vineyard Model as being the only way or the better way to live your life. It is simply a model that spoke to me and provided me a place to grow in God.
I had breakfast with Jim Bentley, Senior Pastor at Gadsden Vineyard, yesterday.
As we sat and talked, I realized that we were ministering it two entirely different worlds, yet the call of God was very much present in each of our lives.
I listened to the struggles that he was going through. (Same as mind)
I listened as he spoke of the goodness of God no matter what was happening.
I heard a man who was very grateful that God had allowed him to occupy the place he was in.
I remembered who I was and what it was God had called me to.
I was at peace that Rapha was the land God was calling me to occupy.
To teach His Word.
Introduce people to Who He is.
Pray for those who were too tired and broken to pray for themselves.
And to love...
Without love, it's all useless and pointless.
Thank you God, for causing me to remember.
Thank you for Danny's stories.
Today, I am grateful.
God on you.........
Monday, March 16, 2009
Here at home trying to recap what all went on this weekend. It was fulfilling and God was gracious at every turn.
We went to Celebrate Recovery in Centre.
Donnie George had taken the weekend off and asked me to come and speak.
Donnie and I have this agreement that I am his backup for any reason. He calls when someone cancels and can't speak on the night they are suppose to. He calls when he wants to take a weekend off. It is a good arrangement for him and for me. Centre's Celebrate Recovery is a place where God gives me great grace to go and "do the stuff" as John Wimber would say.
There seems to be a lot of freedom when I go up there. Freedom not only to me but to the worship team, to those who are part of the ministry team and to the people who come. Ministry always seems to run longer than usual and no one minds.
Friday night was about meeting the real Jesus. Not the one we create in our minds or one we make up, but the real Jesus we read about in Scripture.
It was a good night.
We had a first at Rapha.
A double wedding.
Two former clients and their fiances' got married in the chapel and I got to do the weddings.
It was really tender and special to see this take place.
I love that chapel and it is kind of like a Winnebago.
It becomes whatever you need it to be.
Pull this out and shove this under that and low and behold, you've got a wedding chapel.
Spin this around and fold this up and over that and bingo....you've got a Saturday night service.
that ol' chapel has seen a lot and I wish that the walls could tell stories of all that has happened there.
I got to counsel a couple who are struggling in marriage.
That is all part of the growth.
Learning how to have less of me in this relationship and more of God.
I think they are going to be alright. They were willing to seek God and do the things that we discussed.
Pray for them that they would keep their hearts tender toward each other and allow God to work in them as individuals and in their marriage.
I came home yesterday, full and content that God was at work in everything He had placed before us.
He is a God worthy to be worshipped.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
God is not swayed or stopped by any plan concocted in the minds of men or devil.
Friday, March 13, 2009
We stand on a promise....
We live on a fact.....
We hope beyond reason that Jesus is alive.
Reason whispers, "It never happened."
My Spirit is taken to the heavens with shouts of "IT IS FINISHED!"
Every time the church gathers....
Every prayer that is prayed is founded upon the simple fact that
HE IS RISEN!!!!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I found the entry in my journal and as I read it, I saw things that I now know today that were not evident on that day back in 1994. I wrote about them but didn't really understand where it would lead Vicki and me.
This day may become a red letter day and turning point in my life.
I was in the parking lot of Mid-South this morning and was finishing up reading OPEN CHURCH.
My heart was crying out, "Yes, yes, why can't it be like this?" God spoke and said, "It can be, and you can do it."
In a few moments, I had the plan for how this was to happen.
I am to start a kinship style meeting.
A place where freedom to worship as well as share will be the rule.
I want to give a voice to those who have no voice, to elevate them to a level of action and interaction that will cause growth as the Holy Spirit works within all who attend.
This is to be done with out the name denomination attached to any part of it.
Those words concerning those who have no voice was a prophetic word concerning what Vicki and I are currently doing. I had no clue or ideal that God would lead us in the direction he did. To be honest with you when I started putting together a list of who I would invite to our first meeting, there weren't any addicts or alcoholics listed. In fact Vicki and I sent out 20 invitations to people who we thought might benefit from our meeting. Not one of those people came. Instead we began to see others show up. They would come with their hurts and pains all looking for something that was real. We really didn't know what to do or how to do it, but that was God's way of teaching us. Not knowing what or how to do something puts us in a good place where we have to rely on God.
Those early days were heady and scary and we spent a lot of time praying, "Oh God, oh God, Oh God!" Realizing that without God we are nothing. We can not do anything apart from Him. It was that day in May of 1994 that opened the door for where I am today. That is why each day I get up asking, "What today Lord?" Because I know that God is already at work, and all I have to do is follow Him.
Look for the red letter days in your life. Oh, they may not seem to be huge at the moment and in fact you may have the "not me" thought in your head. Trust me, God will use you.
God on you........
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I do see in Scripture where we are called to flee, move away from, cast off, and remove the things, ideas and behaviors that would tempt us and draw our flesh into a ruling place in our lives where we would surrender to it.
II Timothy 2:22 - shun youthful lusts. Flee from them. Aim at and pursue righteousness, pursue faith, pursue love, pursue peace within a community of believers
We must have a point or direction.
We are called to leave one and pursue the other. There must be purpose in our walk or else we will fall for the first flashy thing that comes along. That which either looks good or appears righteous.
Unless I am founded on the Word............
Living it and not just reading it...........
I will stand on a shaky foundation that will cause me to jump at the first sign of instability.
Jesus, you are the rock.
Monday, March 9, 2009
What does this have to do with us?
Coming to realize that the one we worship looks for us to not be bound by the constraints of time. To walk in peace and patience fully aware and assured that His plans for us are in place. That His Holy Spirit is not held back or stopped by the events or situations of the day. God is not limited by the failure of the United States Government. He is not swayed by the collapse of the economic system of the world. Even now, there is a re-examination of all the church that is going through tough economic times. The church is being tested and shown exactly where their faith and trust is located and who it is they have been worshipping and serving. The love for God has shifted to the love of blessings from God. In other words, conditional love. We have been caught up in the emotion and hoopla of this promise of wealth and have not sought out God through His word. We have allowed our hearts to be taken by a false allegiance to the things of this world and not to the giver of all good things.
Who do you serve today?
God on you.......
Friday, March 6, 2009
Been over a year since Larry died.
Not a day passes that I don't have a Larry Norman Song dash through my brain.
Shortly after my return to Jesus (I had been away for a number of years) I resolved myself that Rock and Roll was out and I would forever be destined to Gospel Music. Now this is not a shot at Gospel music. It just was a preference that suited me. In fairness I have come to appreciate the music over the years and realize the impact it has on people, but it just isn't my cup of tea.
A good friend, Billy Anderson, introduced me to Larry Norman's music in 1979 and I was hooked. Larry has been a voice that stood out, to me, from others in how he played and what he had to say.
I miss Larry.....
I miss Mark.....
I miss Rich......
Someday, it will be my turn....
God on you............
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Back in 1997 when I was ordained, I was fortunate to be attached to the morning service at Gadsden Vineyard church. When I went full time in ministry, the morning service was turned over to me and as such, I felt that it needed to have an identity. During one of my morning devotions, I found myself in Lamentations 3 and Verses 22 and 23 caught my eye.
"The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness."
The idea that this incredible God who wants to have relationship with me offers to me, each day, Hid compassion. I began to look at the people who made up the morning service and realized that we, as a group, needed the Lord's compassion. We were a rag tag group of people who were injured and broken and saw no value in ourselves. As Pastor, God gave me teachings that began to lead us out of this mindset into the reality of what relationship with Him truly means. I remember in particular one young girl who would come Sunday after Sunday, sitting as far back in the room as she could. She would cry during the entire service. The crying was from God working in her and restoring her.
Our meetings on Saturday night are along the same lines. The people who come are searching for truth. They have tried what the world had to offer and it left them broken, battered and down. I think the name NEW COMPASSIONS is very appropriate for where God has us at this point in time. Verse 24 of Lamentations 3 reads: The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I have hope in Him.
Come and see what NEW COMPASSIONS is all about.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
If you have never seen Danny Daniels......well, you're missing a treat.
Danny came out of the Jesus people movement of the late 60's.
Attending Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, California, Danny was transformed into an incredible worship leader. Following John Wimber as the Vineyard Church was formed, Danny was instrumental in helping to start Vineyard Worship Music.
I first met Danny at a conference in Anniston back in 2001. Over the years, Danny has traveled and taught on worship and continues to pursue his passion which is telling others about Christ and what worship truly is.
Danny is also true to his roots which happens to be blues.
He came to Rapha last November and it was an evening that I know I'll never forget. Well, Danny will be back with us this Saturday night / 7 p.m.
You are cordially invited to be with us and to worship perhaps in ways you didn't know you could.
God on you...
Monday, March 2, 2009
It seems as though I spent a lot of time trying to compare what was going on in my life with those around me. Every time I would do this, I would always come miserably short of what I thought God was expecting of me. It wasn't until I realized that I was called to a specific task in a specific place, teaching a specific way. When I would "act" within those boundaries, I would see God do these incredible things. I would see people touched and changed by His hand. I would see healing's. Maybe that is the heart of God. That we all be where we are suppose to be, whether it is in the workplace or home, market or the school, doing what we are suppose to be doing. Teaching, mentoring, raising a family, welding or construction....it matters not when God has called. He uses it all for His glory and His kingdom.
God on you.......
DON'T FORGET: THIS SATURDAY NIGHT MARCH 7TH...AT RAPHA....
DANNY DANIELS WILL BE PLAYING!!!!
7p.m ....BE THERE!
Parking lot was crowded yesterday. It was near noon and people were taking care of their business, hurrying in and out of the building. I...