Thursday, April 30, 2009

Looking Back

It was a good off day yesterday.
Got a lot done in the yard. Flower beds cleaned out. New plants planted. Mulch hauled in and placed.
Last night, Vicki and I went out back to sit. Our conversation moved from one topic to another with great ease. Plans for the weekend.......Keeping the grandkids last weekend. Somehow we found ourselves talking about our growing up years, but unlike other times, this conversation was about the hard parts of our life. Stupid things we had done. Decisions that we had made that, in hind sight, were not too smart. Rough times in our marriage and how God led us through them even if we didn't realize His hand in the situations. Too be honest with you, it wasn't a very uplifting conversation. One thing struck me as odd after we finished. I think it may be a barometer of how we have grown spiritually. There weren't any old emotional baggage that came up as we talked of these things. I didn't feel guilt or shame or insecurity. I knew that God had truly forgiven us of all the dumb things we had done. These times are a part of our collective history as husband and wife, but God removed the emotional traps that would have come with these sins and stupid decisions, so that we could talk honestly and openly about them. To be honest with you, it was kind of refreshing to be able to discuss and share. So it is with the hand of God. His desire is for us to move on or, as the apostle Paul puts it so eloquently, forgetting the past, I strain foward to win the prize of the upward call of Christ.
Verse of the Day:
Matthew 16:15
"But what about you?" he (Jesus) asked. "Who do you say I am?"

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day Off

Yep! It's a day off kind of day.
I mowed the grass yesterday, so that was the major move of the week. When Vicki gets off at noon, we are going to work in the flower beds. Well, actually, she is going to work in the flower beds. I will be the "mule" hauling mulch, moving bags of dirt, etc.....
Last night's Bible study was kind of right on with where a lot of the guys are spiritually in their recovery. Sometimes the mind set is "Well, I've finished the 7 week in house part. I have a job. I am making some money. I am getting passes. I must have arrived. I am healed.
When in fact, they aren't. All of those things are important in bringing stability to your life and a sense of order, but you don't stop working your program. You don't quit following hard after Jesus. Studying his word (not reading but studying). Spending time in prayer. Sharing your story. These are the disciplines that keep us focused.
Verse Of The Day:
Luke 18:13
But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, "God, have mercy on me, a sinner."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spring Has Sprung

Days are warming up. More guys are spending more time fishing here at Rapha, and we have the appearance of the Bumble Bee. Well, not just one but rather a tradillion of the little fellows. They seem to congregate around the chapel. Hmmmm. Could God be telling us something? Like in Genesis Chapter One where it speaks of the Holy Spirit hovering over the face of the deep? Maybe these bumble bees are a symbol or type to remind us that the Holy Spirit indeed continues to hover over darkness. The chapel isn't a spiritually dark place, but a the guys who come through the door are. Maybe God is encouraging us by reminding us that He is constantly at work, like the bumble bee, to draw all men unto himself. To transfer, through the blood of Jesus, souls from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light.
Our lives are reflected in Genesis chapter one by the description given of the earth.
1.) formless
2.) empty
3.) dark
This is the condition sin has us in, but we take heart because.........the Spirit of God is hovering over the face of the deep. God took the chaos of creation and spoke order into it. Just as he does our lives when we are saved. He speaks order into the chaos created by sin.
As we grow in Him, he continues to order our lives by revealing attitudes and behaviors that we need to surrender. Praise God! He is still at work today. His are is not so short that He cannot save nor His ear so dull that He cannot hear.
Verse Of The Day:
Ps. 37:39
The LORD saves the godly. He is their fortress in times of trouble. The LORD helps them, rescuing them from the wicked He save them, and they find shelter in Him.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Howdy! Howdy!

Seems as though it rolls around far too often, but that is life.
Mondays are a good day for me. Lot's to do.
I teach the morning classes here at Rapha. Three hour block instruction from the CONQUERING CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY workbook. I try to make the classes interactive and leave a lot of room for discussion. This afternoon, I have a one hour class Bible Study. This one I get to teach whatever God has laid on my heart. I think, if He lets me, I'll be teaching from Genesis Chapter 1. Believe it or not, the act of creation we read about in Genesis is a lot like a life that is moving from addiction to sobriety. I like how God measures days......and the evening and morning were the first day. We do it backwards...moving from light to dark. I think God measures this way to show us that His nature is always to move from spiritual darkness to spiritual light. Cool huh?
We have visitation this weekend and the camp will be jumping. There will be picnics everywhere as the folk's bring in food for their sons and fathers. Pizza, hamburgers, milk shakes will be in plentiful supply. You won't see much chicken since that is a main stay in the diet here at Rapha. I think the weather is going to cooperate and we should have a really good day for a visit.
Don't forget our service. Saturday nights at 7 p.m. here at Rapha.
Verse of the Day:
Hebrews 13:15
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess his name.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Grandkids spent the weekend with us. It was their parents 10th anniversary, so we decided to help give them a break and let them have a weekend to themselves.
It has been good to have "little feets" going up and down the halls. Sometimes a home can get to quiet.

Last night was the 3rd anniversary of our meetings at Rapha (Actually it will be on the 28th). 3 years ago I preached my last sermon at Gadsden Vineyard and my first message at Rapha on the same day. A lot has happened over these past 3 years. We have seen a lot of faces come and go (and some come back again). We have watched as God worked among us and in each of us to bring about the awakening that leads us to follow hard after him. Our worship team (Debbie Handy, Barry Hooks, Wayne Wimpee and yours truly) continues to pursue God through worship. It isn't always pretty or musically correct but the heart is there and that is what is important.......a heart that wants to worship.

Seth Barber spoke last night from the book of Mark. He spoke about the rich young man who came to Jesus asking what he must do to be saved. In the end, the young man could not do what Jesus asked him to because he loved his lifestyle too much. Seth wanted everyone to see that there is something we hold on to that separates us from God, and it is this "something" that we need to surrender. There were 4 saved, which always excites me. When someone is saved that is like "PAYDAY" with a huge bonus attached.

Next weekend brings us visitation at Rapha along with our Saturday night meeting. As usual, walking out of the chapel last night I was grateful and thankful that God had once again come and did what He does so well.....changes lives. Then I realized that we get to do this again next Saturday. How cool is that?

Verse of the Day:
Proverbes 20:24
A man's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

All's Quiet On The Western Front

Saturday: 11:45 a.m.
Preparing to go to lunch. The cooks grilled out today and the smell infiltrated the camp. Guys came pouring out of the dorms to simply go and stand around the grill talking and laughing with the cooks hoping for a "freebie" of lunch to sample. I think the ability to BBQ is a gender, in-born, ability. Each man seems to be an expert on how to grill and what to grill. Each man thinks their sauce and the way they cook is better than everyone else. Maybe we need to have a BBQ cook off out here.

I have been parked in the book of Isaiah for the last week, currently reading in Chapter 7.
One of the commentaries I'm using said that the state of Judah ,as we read in Isaiah, is pretty much the state of our country today. Funny part was this commentator died in 1988 and did not live to see the moral mess we have sunk to here in 2009. The focus of the passage was that God extends his mercy and forgiveness for long periods of time, wishing that the people would repent and return to Him. God does tire of their attitude and at some point will send forth His judgment on the people and the nation. The commentator says that this is where America stands. The call to repent has been sounded and yet our country continues to run after the false idols of society.

He gave 3 steps to a nations downfall:
1.) Religious Apostasy
2.) Moral Awfulness
3.) Political anarchy. this is where the people begin to cry out for a change in the government. Lo and behold we are seeing this in the form of the United States moving from a Democracy to a Socialistic nation. This change being the answer to all our questions.

The commentator I'm reading states that we have a kind of backwards belief in where we think the problems of our nation begin. We believe that our problems begin with the political system and spread to our churches and teachings. No!
5 things that spiral downward in a nations downfall.
1.) The undermining of the sanctity of the home.
2.) Higher taxes
3.) an higher focus on pleasure
4.) Building of great armaments when our greatest enemy is found within ourselves.
5.) Decay of religion, denying the power and fading into a mere form.

I have spent a great deal of time this week praying for the church and its leaders.
We are in need of a revival that will shake us to the very core to wake us up.
Let it rain!
God on you......

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Non-Happenings

Friday: Not the last of the week for me, but a good day none the less.
Friday's are a time to prepare for the week end. Finish up the message for the Saturday night meeting. I don't have to prepare one this week as Seth Barber will come and speak tomorrow night.
I have to teach this morning. Van Lockridge usually comes on Friday mornings but can't make it today.
I think I'm to teach from Joshua Chapter one today. A really good chapter that can reflect what moving from addiction to sobriety is like. Of course behind any move has to be the presence and power of Jesus. The Father's Holy Spirit in us guiding and teaching as we move through the day.
The weeks seem to roll by quickly as do the years. Here we are entering into the month of May next week and it just seems like we finished Christmas not long ago. I guess this is the bane of growing older. I accept this and my prayer is that I don't waste what time God has given to me. This does not translate into a lot of useless action and movement but rather in a seeking of God and asking, "What do you want me to do, Lord?"
Verse of the day:
Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage. Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Grateful Today

It has been a good day today.
Received a call from someone who came through the program 4 years ago.
Had a rough time when they left, but remembered the teachings and was able to recover quickly and get on with their life.
This person is currently working in the prisons with a ministry team once a month and visiting his local jail each week to talk, pray and minister to those inside.
As I talked with him, you could hear a peace, a confidence and a passion in his voice as he spoke of what God has done for him. It is these calls that lift me and encourage me to keep on.
Thank you, Lord.
Your timing is perfect.

Verse for the day:
Psalm 113:7
He raises the poor out of the dust,
and lifts the needy out of the ash heap
that He may seat him with princes...
with the princes of His people.

"For the message of the cross if foolishness to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. I Cor. 1:18"
To us who are being saved.
Many teach that salvation is a one time...bim-bam! Whammo! God is there.
While I do believe this view, I think it stops short of God's intention for those who are saved.
Salvation is a process that continues on.
It is a free gift from God, but requires diligence and obedience as we learn how to have relationship with Him.
We do not have the luxury of sitting down and simply waiting until Jesus comes. More than that, why would we want to? For those who are saved are also changed. This salvation affects every area of your being. The way you think, the way you view life, what your priorities become. You are changed.
"We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. I Cor. 2:12"
From my own personal experience, I have found that God puts within you a desire to study His word, be with His people, and worship Him at the most unusual times (By that, I mean you don't have to be in a church building to suddenly break out in praise to Him.) In other words, your inward transformation is seen through your outward actions. You are changed.
"You were bought at a price, do not become slaves of men. I Cor. 7:23"
Realize what it cost to be offered God's salvation. It costs him the separation from a son. A son who had the weight of sin completely poured out on his shoulders. Carrying that weight on the cross, Jesus endured the complete wrath and fury that God, the Father has for sin. Jesus did that for me. Such things and ideas are too lofty for my mind. I try to understand, but all I can do is fall to my knees and cry, "Thank you Lord."
God on you.....

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Red Letters

Matthew 26:34
"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered. "this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times."

Hard words.
Yet sometimes genuine love can be found in those hard words.
Someone speaks truth to you and it strikes a part of you that knows what has been spoken is truth. Sometimes we want to not believe what has been spoken. We want to talk a little louder or posture a certain way in order to convince others that what was spoken wasn't true. But we know different. We know it was and it uncovers a defect in character that sin has produced in us. Only the truth of God and the work of the Holy Spirit can bring change that is needed.

Peter went on to deny Christ, but aren't you glad the story didn't end there?
Aren't you glad that Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, stood in Acts Chapter 2 and gave the first message on the day of Pentecost? I am.
We are all a work in progress and would do well to learn and accept this fact.
As much as I hate having my heart uncovered, it really lets me know that God in fact loves me so much He isn't willing to let me get away with anything.
embrace the truth.
Let God's truth change you.

God on you.......


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Musings

Let's consider a possibility.
I have been thinking a lot lately about the current state of affairs in our world.
Bad to worse would be the understatement.
Whose behind it?
The Kingdom of Darkness with Satan as the ruler, the prince of the power of the air.
Just as God has ebbs and flows to his plan and his work, what if the devil copied God in this respect? We know that the devil never had an original thought in his head and that he only seeks to copy what God is doing to discredit the real move when it comes.
During the 90's when the renewal hit and prophecy was up, what was the devil doing?
He had psychic hot lines and new age spiritualist who heard from beyond.
But when the renewal began to cool down, so did all the hoopla over the prophetic.
Copy to discredit the real thing.
What if the kingdom of darkness had ebbs and flows to it?
We know that God is constantly at work bringing about the culmination of his eternal plan for humanity and this planet. We also know that the devil is constantly at work to disrupt and derail as much of humanity as he can because he knows that he can't beat God. Where is this going?

What if the devil had revivals?
What if he had protracted times in which he stirred up and released his spirit upon those who were his disciples? By disciples, I'm not speaking of blatant-in-your-face devil worshipers. I speak of merely those who do not have relationship with Jesus. The unsaved. The lost.
What if what we are currently going through is one of those revivals? Where the behavior and mentality of people seem to have gone over the edge and the most simplest things have become skewered and twisted because people's opinions have moved away from God.

II Timothy 3:1 states that in the last days (we are there.....ever since Jesus ascended...we are in the last days) perilous times will come. The word perilous can also be translated as difficult or stressful. Isn't that what we are seeing? God said this was going to happen. I believe that God allows it to happen for a reason. God knows the heart of mankind and that given the right setting and opportunity, the sin nature will rise up and bring forth all manner of destruction and death.
If God knows this, why does the church and those who are saved spend so much time in prayer asking God to correct or remove what He has deemed will happen? Should not the church be about the business of the Kingdom? Feeding the poor. Casting out demons. Visiting those in prison. Healing the sick and yes.........even raising the dead. We spend far to much energy praying against the dark instead of bringing light. That is how you dispel darkness. You bring light. You go and do the works of Jesus. You proclaim the good news of the cross.

Isaiah 60:1
Arise (get up..move out)
Shine (we are light...act like it)
For your light (Jesus the Christ) has come!
And the glory (nature of) of the LORD is risen upon you.
For behold, the
(not some, not a...but a specific darkness) darkness shall cover the earth.
and deep darkness the people.
But the LORD will arise over you. (we will are beacons to those wandering hopeless and helpless in this darkness).
And His glory will be seen upon you.

It's time for the people of God to lay down the headlines and emails and begin the pursuit of following hard after Jesus no matter what part of the darkness he leads us into.

God on you.....

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Run to the Battle

The Fire of God has not gone out.
The Prayers of the saints have not fallen to the ground.
What we think is warfare today will pale in comparision to what lies ahead.
God grant me strength that I don't cut and run but that I become a warrior for you. Handling the Word and truth rightly.
May your name be exalted over this camp and over the camps of the saints around the world.

God on you............


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

You Go, God!

Job 38:1-2
The the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind; "Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? Brace yourself, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them."

I don't know how I would respond if I found myself in the same position as Job?
Fear? Possibly.
Arrogant? I don't think so.
Demanding answers from God? definitely not.

I always try to keep my thoughts and my heart focused on one thing when approaching God.
He is God and I am not.
That may sound silly and maybe even foolish to some.
Of course He's God. We all know that. But do we? Do we really understand who it is we are praying to? I am placing myself in this category of trying to understand.
Sometimes I think I come to flippantly to God with my shopping prayer list in hand expecting Him to fill my every whim, want and desire. Truth be known, I probably need to humble myself. Did you ever notice when there is a national catastrophe we don't really have a problem humbling ourselves? 9/11......churches filled up. I'm sure God heard a lot of "why did this happen?" As days passed and time moved on, the churches emptied and life returned to normal. We blame God for all the bad.
We never praise Him for the good.
We are a fickle bunch, are we not?

I like the first part of Job 40.
Then the LORD said to Job, "Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? You are God's critic, but do you have the answers?" Then Job replied to the LORD, "I am nothing---how could I ever find the answers? I will put my hand over my mouth in silence. I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say."
Job became very much aware, as we all need to , that we have been called into relationship with Almighty God. The God who spoke everything into existence. The God who gave His son as a ransom for me. I think He deserves my worship. I think He deserves my obedience. I know I have said this kidding but somehow there may be some truth. I have commented on several occasions about what I am going to do after life is over and I stand before Jesus. I have told several that I'll probably just fall on my face and worship Him for a couple of billion years.

Keep in mind the divine pecking order:
He's God.
We're not.
God on you.......

Monday, April 13, 2009

You Just Do It

From time to time someone asks me a question that seems to follow me around.
"How can you do what you do?" My first reaction always brings a smile to me. "How can I not do it?"
I think this is where God's Spirit comes into play. He is the one who calls and equips and sends. Our job is merely to follow.
I remember a statement John Wimber once made when someone came to him asking to be ordained as a Pastor. John replied, "If you can do anything else........go do it." By that he meant that being a pastor or walking out any call from God becomes the sole reason for your existence. You can't do anything else if you have a call on your life. Oh that doesn't mean you don't have times where you want to quit. You do. But the call takes precedent over every area of your life. Sometimes you feel as old as the man in the picture. Maybe not in years, but definitely in the mileage. You grow weary of death and pain and destruction. Sometimes you feel like it outweighs every thing good and positive. Truth be known, this is just life. Maybe not the life you are familiar with , but it is the life I know of.
When I first came to Rapha in 1998, I had no idea that it would lead to this today. I began to understand and catch glimpses of what God was doing around the latter part of 1999. I knew that He was preparing me to be at Rapha full time. Now God is preparing my wife. I don't know how it will work or when it will happen, but she has a call on her life. I chose the picture for this posting because some days I feel like the old man. There are times when God speaks through me and there is wisdom that I do not possess. Other times, I feel as though I am simply babbling.
I've seen a lot over the past 11 years. I grown up a lot by the things God has allowed me to participate in. I've learned that when God calls, He also provides. I learn to look with my faith and not my eyes. I've learned to reason with my heart and spirit and not by my own understanding.
From time to time someone will ask me, "aren't you afraid of being with all those men....I mean they are felons and addicts." I always reply, "At least I know that." Walking the streets in town is more scary to me. You don't know who those folks are. That was just a play for humor. God has given me a love and a heart for people who are addicted. It is a heart that had to learn what real love and compassion was. I was caught off guard by what it looked like. Real love turns people loose who aren't ready to receive it. The love doesn't stop but it doesn't enable either. It simply states, "I'll be here when you're ready to change."
We celebrated Easter with a meal yesterday. Vicki spent a gazillion hours prepping and cooking for the noon meal at Rapha. She sat tables with china and flatware. Centerpieces at each table, table coverings and bowls of food on each table to be passed by the men. One by one they filed in and sat down. This was different for them. It was to bring dignity to their lives. That the best had been prepared and placed before them. We prayed and sat down. My wife, from a mother's heart, watched as the men ate. There was much conversation and much laughter. This is her role at Rapha. She has a gift of saying truly hard things to others that they need to hear. She spent time with different men talking to them and encouraging them. Like I said, she has a call also.
I do not want to give the impression that somehow what we do or who we are makes us special. It doesn't. I just wanted to share of what goes on in our lives. I celebrate where ever God has called you to be, for there and only there will you flourish and grow.
My oldest son, Chad, is a basketball coach. I have watched him minister to young men.
My daughter in law, Robin, is a math teacher. I have watched her minster to the kids in her class.
My other son, Josh, and his wife, Heater, are both teachers of music. I have watched as they have taught and trained others, and through music worship God.
Wherever God has called you to........go there and be all He wants you to be.

God on you.......
He is still Risen!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Can This Be Happening?

The following is an article from the Jerusalem Post: In reference to President Obama's recent trip to the G-20 summit. It paints a dangerous picture of America moving away from being an ally of Israel.

Somewhere between apologizing for American history - both distant and recent; genuflecting before the unelected, bigoted king of Saudi Arabia; announcing that he will slash the US's nuclear arsenal, scrap much of America's missile defense programs and emasculate the US Navy; leaving Japan to face North Korea and China alone; telling the Czechs, Poles and their fellow former Soviet colonies, "Don't worry, be happy," as he leaves them to Moscow's tender mercies; humiliating Iraq's leaders while kowtowing to Iran; preparing for an open confrontation with Israel; and thanking Islam for its great contribution to American history, President Obama made clear to the world's aggressors that America will not be confronting them for the foreseeable future.

Scripture encourages us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
We can still do this, on behalf of our country.
We need not stop praying for Jerusalem and for the Israeli people.
All you have to do is look at the nations who have opposed the Jews. Not one is in a place of prominence, in fact all have been relegated to a mid-level importance in the affairs of the world. I believe that the spirit of Ishmael is contending with the spirit of Isaac for the right to rule and reign in this world. This doesn't mean that God has been caught off guard, his plans are without fail.

What I do believe is that it is time for the body of Christ to be the body of Christ and quit worrying about public opinion. This will not afford us the right or opportunity to be proud and arrogant, no. For too long the church has been about the business of saber rattling. Pounding our chests and proclaiming what we are against. It is time we be about the business of love and prayer. Humility and purity are in short supply within the church today. When we aren't celebrating our own efforts we are creating an enemies list.

In one respect, the devil has won.
He has drawn the professing church (not to be confused with true church) into fighting on the devils terms and turf. What if the church suddenly became the real church and disappeared? What if humility caused us to walk and serve in love without fanfare or billboard. What if we reflected the nature of Christ, not with mass media or manipulation but through genuine love that speaks truth and does not back down when assaulted by the world.

We read in Acts 4:29 of a prayer that was prayed by Peter after being released for preaching the Word of God. "And now Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that thy bond-servants may speak thy word with all confidence (boldness).

America's future is found in Israel's safety.
If we reject and turn from Israel, we risk grave consequences.
Pray for the leaders of this country to awaken from their own self-delusional sleep.
Let the heavens be filled with the prayers of the saints for the safety of Jerusalem.

God on you.......

Sticks and Stones

"The absence of profanity will offend no one."
Bill W. ~ Founder of A.A.

Ephesisans 4:29 ((Recovery Bible)
Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that you words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

Our words we choose and use say a lot about our character.
As the world around us continues to spiral downward into a moral black hole, we need to realize that God has granted to those who believe an incredible gift. That words we speak when directed by the Holy Spirit can bring healing.
Maybe I should be more careful about not only what I say, but how I say it.

Seems like everyone is talking but no one is really saying anything.
Personal opinion rules the airways and hearts of the people.
Yet, those who follow Jesus has words of truth that can set people free from the bondage of their sin.
Choose your words carefully.
Speak them in love.
Let God do his work .
Sound's like a plan

God on you...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

His Crown of Thorns

This is an untouched photo taken by the Hubble telescope at some part of the galaxy that doesn't have a name. It is so far out that it is known by numbers.
Scientist say this is a rotation of dust particles and bits of space debris that has been caught up in a gravitational pull of a nearby star.
They can explain it seven ways to Sunday but you know what I think.
The heavens declare the glory of God.
Romans 1:20 reads:
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.
To me this picture looks like the crown of thorns that was placed on Jesus' head before his Crucifixion. This picture was posted today on the Fox News Web page. Funny that they would post it this week, the week of Jesus' passion. The week of His death. You know, maybe God has a lot of reminders out there to wake us up and stir us to remember what life is truly about.
Without Christ, there isn't life....
With Christ, there is life eternal.....
God on you.........

Speaking Through The Natural

Since 1994, I have come to the belief that God moves in seasons.
By that, I mean that God seems to cause certain parts of His nature to be more evident than others.
During the 50's the emphasis was healing.
Great crusades move throughout our country as men preached the Word of God and followed it by demonstrating this truth. The men were not to be the center of attention but God. The men and women who carried this Word were merely conduits through which God flowed to bring healing to many.
During the 60's, the move was toward the Father heart of God. We learned that God had a softer side, if you will. I don't say this to make God out to be a wise old grandfather who gleefully doles out quarters to his grandchildren. We were made aware of the love of God.
During the 70's and 80's, we saw a change in the music of the church.
Some would say that the church embraced the secular side of music, I would disagree.
I simply believe that the body of Christ changed. By that, I mean that those who were being saved brought a new sound and a different style of worship. Even today in mainstream Southern Gospel, you can hear the tempo's and tenor of music from many different streams. The Words are the same, but the vehicle used to deliver has changed.
In the 90's we saw a world wide renewal break out. First in a small church in Toronto and then in a church in Pensacola, Florida. Each operating from a different model but producing the same result. The face of the church was changing world wide. What was once a stoic and somber Church of England became alive with purity and power of the Holy Spirit as people "brought back" what was going on in Toronto.

I write all of this to say that I truly believe we stand on the beginning of the next season.
There are stories I am receiving from here in our own town of healing.
A man I personally know and have prayed for on countless occasions was healed of cataracts last week. It happened through an interaction and sudden appointment with a group from Redding, California who came to Gadsden to minster. Other stories are filtering to me of others who were healed.
I truly believe we are receiving the "now" part of the future Kingdom of God. What do I mean by that? We see in Revelation the fullness of the Kingdom. No more death. No more sickness. No more tears. Today, in our time, we still see sickness and tears and death. But even in this, we see the splashing over of the goodness of God as he continues to interact in our time and space.

There are other pieces to this prophetic puzzle that I have been studying and praying about.
Hopefully in the near future,God will release me to share what I think is going on. As always, we hold loose the things God shows us, waiting the confirmation from Him.

God on you.......

Monday, April 6, 2009

Good Stuff

I have been in kind of a black hole when it comes to worship music.
I'm not blaming anyone or anything, but I haven't really heard anything that caught me. Until now...
I was at Gadsden Vineyard yesterday and was perusing the bookstore when I had an impression to buy this CD. It wasn't an overwhelming urge but a very subtle, "buy this." To be honest with you, I didn't want to because the last few CD's I've bought of Vineyard Worship Music were not very good. So, against my own thoughts and opinion, I purchased BRIGHTER DAY by Vineyard Music Group.
How wrong was I?
It is really good.
The arrangements are not what I would look for in music, but they are not overpowering or distracting from the lyrics (Which are powerful).
My favorite song?
"And it all falls down....the weight of the world....and it all falls down....on Jesus."
Speaks of his time on the cross and the burden that was placed on him.
Powerful lyrics.
It's been a long time since I was driving in my truck and attempted to steer with my knees because I had both arms raised as I praised God. Kind of scary ain't it?
This CD might not be for everyone..............
But it was perfect for now and perfect for me.
I am refreshed.
God on you.......

Thursday, April 2, 2009

"There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path."

I see this all to often in the lives of people who are trying to work a program of recovery. This knowing comes too often from having "Tried" to live clean and sober. The idea of living life becomes a mental concept that is played out and carried out under the direction and guidance of the one caught in addiction.

Underlying problem with any addictive behavior is a broken relationship. Because of our sin, we have a broken relationship with God. The very one who gives us life and has the power to enable to walk in freedom, we reject because of sin. Our sin commands us to live outside the influence and control of this God. The sin belittles us into believing that we know what is best, not God. Wasn't that the promise of the serpent in the garden of Eden? "God has kept from you information. God doesn't want you to see and understand as he does!" The serpent beguiled Eve with the greatest promise ever......."Eat this fruit and your eyes will be opened and you will be like God." If I am like God..........I don't need God. That is the curse we carry today.....We have convinced ourselves, through out sin, that we are like God. Able to discern the difference between good and evil. Just because one can discern the difference doesn't mean one can make the right choice. As Charlie Daniels said in his song, "When I had to choose between good and bad, I'd pick bad two out of three."

Don't just know the path. Walk it.

God on you......


Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Today is April 1st.
April fools day.
I haven't played any pranks or jokes today, although my grandson, Tyler, played one on me.
It lead to fits of laughter and hugs as he reveled in the thought of getting one over on Poppa.

Bible Study:
Taught from II Kings 5 last night.
The story of Naaman the leper.
Powerful man: Commander of King's Army
Man of integrity: Mentioned in Scripture.
Then comes the words........"But he was a leper."
All the positives were shot down with those 5 words: But he was a leper.
He begins the journey to be healed at the suggestion of an Israeli slave girl who knows of a prophet.
Naaman makes the trip to meet this man of God, Elisha.
Naaman arrives. Elisha sends his messenger to the front door and dispense with the wisdom for the cure of Naaman's leprosy. Go wash yourself (or dip) seven times in the Jordan river.
Naaman is furious on many different levels.
(1.) I am important.
(2.) This prophet doesn't even come to meet me personally, he sends his messenger.
(3.) Whats up with this "Go to the Jordan and dip myself 7 times?"
(4.) This is not the way I want it to happen.
(5.) We've got rivers in our country that are much better than the Jordan.

This is so like people who come into recovery.
They want to be clean and sober, but they want it on their terms.
12 Steps? You've got to be kidding me? That's too simple.
There are other ways and rehabs that are so much better than this.

The addictive mind looks for the softer, easier way.
The sin driven mind looks for the softer, easier more pleasing way.
But God says, "Jordan River and 12 Steps."

Naaman eventually gave in and did what he was told.
Guess what?
He was healed.
Imagine that? Doing what we have been told to do. Wouldn't that be called obedience? I think so.
"You want to follow me?" Jesus said.....
"Deny yourself....Take up your cross.....and let's go."
Three simple things that will provide life and life abundant.
The human mind still screams, "That's too simple! It has to be harder than that."

I do love God......
He understands exactly how simple I am.

God on you.....

The Good (And Wonderful) Shepherd

Psalm 23:2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. The care and love that Jesus shows to his ...