Saturday, February 27, 2010

1.....2.......3......err.....1....2....!

Do the steps.
Steps are order.
Order is good, but I need to be open to change.
Change at a moments notice.
Steps help me direct myself in a particular direction whether it be decisions I have to make or actual chores I need to complete.

Today is a chore day.
Select music for worship tonight.
Transport sound equipment to chapel and set up.
Meet with different men through out the day .
Pray....
Pray some more....
When I finish praying...
Listen for God on His direction for the meeting tonight.
Try and center myself as the time for the meeting draws near.

My life is a series of steps. I'm not complaining about it. I thrive on order and direction. I am learning how to adapt when things happened that throw chaos into my order. I know that no matter what comes my way, God is in control and I need only to rely on Him. This past week has been a "chaos" type of week with different events being thrown into my order. Each one I encountered was an opportunity for me to rely solely on God and not fall prey to emotions or old behaviors. What seems like big things, actually aren't when I stop to pray and seek guidance. The things that I think are big.....they have been nothing more than life happening around me. Simple as that. Life happens. Cars tear up. Houses need repair. People get sick. Life happens, but in each instance I need to find God. He alone gives me the strength to carry on.

If you feel as though life may be getting out of control in your world, stop for a moment. Take a deep breath and ask God to be with you. Ask Him to give you peace so that you can make good decisions based on His leading and not your own emotional turmoil. You might be surprised what happens.

I'm excited.
Seth Barber is speaking at tonight's service. Seth always seems to bring a "right now" word for us that really speaks to our group. I have watched Seth grow over the years and truly love to sit under his teaching. Looking forward to tonight.
Until Monday morning....
God on you.......
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Verse of the Day:
Psalm 84:10
A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Behold the Lamb of God [Jesus our sin Subsitute!!]

We forget that our lives have been purchased with pain and blood. We forget that the cross of Christ is not a clean, sanitary place. You cannot draw near this cross and not be stained by the blood of Jesus.
The closer I draw near, the more my own heart is uncovered and I am made fully aware of what dwells within me. If it all stopped there, I think I would turn and run, but with the drawing....with the uncovering of my own heart, I am aware that it is the love of God for me that is doing this. He draws out the sin of my heart so that I can confess, repent and receive His incredible forgiveness.
Jesus! What a name....
What a savior....

God on you......
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Keep Focused

Luke 24:25
O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.

Monday was a day of fear for me.
It was a rational fear. It was just something that appeared.
It affected the way I felt.
It affected the way I went about my business.
It affected the way I viewed God that day.
In other words, the fear clouded my mind and kept me from really pressing in on the truth of God's word.
Fear caused me to measure what was happening around me against the Word of God. Even though I knew the Word to be true, fear told me not to believe it.
The fear finally subsided that evening and on Tuesday I felt much better. My mind and heart were clearer and I felt as though God had let me cross that hurdle.
As I was leaving Rapha Tuesday night, I happen to down load a sermon by Charles H. Spurgeon that was given on August 28th, 1887. One hundred and twenty-three years ago, C.H. Spurgeon stood in a pulpit and spoke the words to a sermon entitled "The Folly Of Unbelief".

I gave no thought to the message except that I might read it and study it at a later date. Last night I got the sermon out and began to pour over it. It was as if Charles Spurgeon had knocked on my front door, came into my house and began to speak directly to me. Not just bits and pieces of this message, but the entire thing resonated within me. God was speaking to me by saying, "What is it going to be? Are you going to continue to follow Me, or are you going to allow distractions and worldly mindsets to draw your attention away?" The more I read, the more I felt put back together. My confession followed about how I had allowed the fear to cause me to doubt, which was followed by a sweet spirit of forgiveness that fell over me. I went to bed that night complete and whole again, but resting in the knowledge that I had to guard myself from falling prey to thoughts and emotions that would seek to draw my attention away from God.

God in his infinite wisdom and grace had used the very thing that sought to destroy me, turned it around and helped me to see clearer and actually strengthened me. Thank you Lord.
I trust that if you are struggling with fear and doubt today, allow God to remove it and strengthen you.

God on you.......
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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Cost

Isaiah 53:6
All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord has laid upon him the iniquity of us all.

I have found myself drawn to the song "Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing" over the past few days. There are certain phrases within the song that really strike me hard when I hear them.
Come Thou Fount of every blessing.....Tune my heart to sing thy praise.
Tune my heart. Make it resonate the way you created it to. The implication is that there is something out of tune or out of communion with Christ. Jesus alone has the power and capability to tune my heart. To make it "vibrate" at the appropriate pitch and tone that it was created to. When tuned, then let me sing the praises of Jesus. Not the world, not my own doings, not my own interest but Jesus, and him alone. Anything that God does for me is to bring him glory, not reflect on my stature or position.

On into the song there is a verse that really undoes me each time I hear it.
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love. Here's my heart, take and seal it. Seal it for thy courts above.
There is a drawing from my flesh to wander off from God. When I take my focus off of Jesus and place it on the world, it would be so easy to simply walk away from all that God has done through me, to me and for me. That is the part that I keep a watch on all the time. Yes, I have been given victory over the power of sin. Yes, I am saved and reconciled to God, my father, but there still wars within me a nature that would love nothing better than to return me to a state of wretchedness. Praise God for the work of Jesus and that his salvation is a complete salvation to me. That is why I find the gratitude to get up every morning and instead of following this wanderlust from my flesh, I bow before God and say, "Your will today, not mine."
He is a good and great God.
May you find him today...
God on you........
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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Not What I Want

Cloudy today with a chance of what the weather man calls "winter precipitation." In other words, something is going to fall from the sky, he just isn't sure in what form it will be.
This is such a change from last Saturday. The sun was out and it was 60+ degrees. It was warm and there was such life here in the camp. Men were out walking, some fishing, some just sitting in swings enjoying the weather. I guess the lesson to be learned is to really take it "one day at a time" because you never know when change is going to rear its head.

Doing a word search this morning, I decided to see when the word "faith" first appears in Scripture. Guess where it is? No, go ahead and guess. You'll never get it.
Ready?

Deuteronomy 32:20-- and the word faith isn't even used in a positive manner.
God is speaking: "I will hide My face from them. I will see what their end will be for they are a perverse generation, children in whom is no faith."
Wow! Did you catch that?
An entire generation of people that God calls "children" (I don't think this is a loving term but one that denotes immaturity and rebellion) that hasn't any faith. None. Zero.
A generation that has been witness to God in ways that no other generation ever has and in spite of everything, they have no faith.

I do not want to turn out like that.
I want to "live" by faith (II Corinthians 5:7)
To walk by faith.
To rely solely on God and His directions for my daily walk.
Some say that is pie in the sky thinking.
I say it is realistic when you have come to the sober conclusion that without God, you are hopeless.
Not hopeless in the way the world thinks. There are people out there who, in the eyes of society, are very successful and look to all the world that they are in control of their lives. But I know this to be so not right. I know that no matter what our lot in life, whether we are window washers, skid row bums or the CEO of a fortune 500 company, we will all stand before God to give an account of our life. The account comes in the form of "What did you do with Jesus?"
Did you receive Him and His word as Lord and Savior in your life?
Or did you reject Him and take control of your destiny?
Without Jesus in my life..................
My destiny is hell.
Do not pass go...
Do not collect $200.00
Hell.

That is why faith is so important.
You are saved by faith and the grace of God.
You are brought into a new relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ.
Think on these things........

God on you...
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Monday, February 22, 2010

Living On The Edge

When you hear the phrase "living on the edge", you tend to think of high risk.
You picture the extreme athletes on snow boards or riding mountain bikes down treacherous terrain.
I tend to get a different picture.
I was reading in Exodus 20 this morning about how God was leading the Israelites on their exodus or journey out of Egypt. Chapter 20 opens with the words, "In early spring, the people of Israel arrived in the wilderness of Zin and camped at Kadesh. Where they were there Miriam died and was buried." This must have been a difficult time for Moses as Miriam was his sister. She was the one who followed the basket Moses was in when his mother put him in the Nile River. Now, she was dead.

On top of all of this it goes on to say, "There was no water for the people to drink in that place, so they rebelled against Moses and Aaron." Moses didn't bargain for this. A group of unruly, complaining, whining people who could be satisfied no matter what. What more, God has lead them to a place where there isn't any water. God lead them there. God keeps them living on the edge. Keeps them looking to Him for their survival. He brings them to places where there isn't any water, but then gives them water. DO you see this? God keeps us on the edge....we can either look to him, or we can rebel and try to live on our own. Time and time again, God leads the people to places where the enemy is coming after them to find out "what are you going to do. Fight in your own strength or wait for Me and let Me fight the battle for you." Time and time again, Israel had to learn the hard way. I don't want to learn the hard way. I want to live on the edge and rely on God to lead me in which ever way He thinks is best. Yes, it is scary at the edge. Yes, you want to cut and run at the edge. Yes, every one around you will think you've lost your mind because you are waiting on God. But living on the edge is where you will see God in ways you couldn't see him any where else.

Look for Him today.....
God on you.........
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I downloaded the message from Saturday night (2 /20/10) Step#2 Lift your vision

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Something Extra For The Weekend


I found this quote from Oswald Chambers (My Utmost For His Highest) and found it to have struck a chord in me. See what God would show you in these words......
"It is easier to serve God without a vision,
easier to work for God without a call,
because then you are not bothered by what God requires.
You will be more leisure-hearted if you never realize the call of God.
But if once you receive a commission from Jesus Christ,
the memory of what God wants will always come like a goad.
You will no longer be able to work for Him on the common sense basis."
God on you......
Have a great weekend.
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Food For The Weekend


From Dietrich Bonhoffer's book The Cost Discipleship
"Revival of church life always brings in its train a richer understanding of the Scriptures. Behind all the slogans and catchwords of ecclesiastical controversy, necessary though they are, there arises a more determined quest for him who is the sold object of it all, for Jesus Christ himself."
IF you look at the what the church calls "a move of God" over the past 20 years, you will see extravagant outpourings of God's Spirit. What is the outcome of it all? Where does it lead?
Does it lead those who have plunged head long into this work deeper in relationship, or does it simply fade away.
I am reminded of the great response of the church to Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ. People went repeatedly to see this movie because it stirred something deep within them.
But here, years later, do we see a real change?
I hope so.
I pray that we never sit under such gifts and presents given to us by God and then act like spoiled children, casting aside the first gift asking, "Where are my other gifts."
I pray that I grow up before I grow older.
I find that as the years have gone by my attention and my desire for "things"
has waned.
Oh, I still enjoy taking trips with my wife and seeing my kids and grand kids....
But the things that use to be important seem so empty and without promise.
Maybe that is wisdom given to us by God as we approach the end of our days.
(Not that I'm planning on checking out but you do have to be realistic)
I don't want to take anything for granted that God sends my way and I definitely
do not want to forsake Him and place his blessings higher than He is.
In church-ese that would be "Seeking the gift rather than the giver of gifts".
You might want to pick up a copy of Bonhoffer's book at your local bookstore.
It is one of two books that I am continually reading over and over.
I guess I'll keep doing that until God say, "Hey, you're getting it!"
Until Monday
God on you....
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Friday, February 19, 2010

Friiiiiiidaaaaaay!

Made it.
Another week under the belt and now the real work begins.
Friday for me is an organization day.
Prepare the worship for tomorrow nights meeting.
Work on the message.
Lot's of prayer.............mostly "O God, O God, O God, O God!" Those, I think, are God's favorite prayers to hear. Why? Because by the time you get to simply crying out "O God!" you've pretty much reached the end of everything you can do and you are ready to turn to God. You know that when times are hard or your in trouble, you don't pray those King James prayers.....
You know the ones I'm talking about.
"O Lord-eth! We besechest thouest to comest downeth from the heaveneth and toucheth all whoeth are undereth your careth."
Nah! You don't pray like that. When you are in a hard place you cut right to the "O God, O God, O God" prayers. That's o.k. What I need to learn is to carry on prayer with God all day. Kind of a running dialog with Him and as I do this, learn to listen for him to speak.

Yesterday was a kind of payday time. From time to time if I find myself struggling God will send someone who has gone through the program to tell me what is going on in their life. Yesterday he sent a man named Ray who was here back in '04. Ray walked up and hugged my neck and told me that he was working with the VA hospital in Birmingham and that he God was letting him minister and pray with the guys. He told me his story of what all has transpired since leaving Rapha. Some good..........some not so good. In the end, here today, Ray is doing well. He has a passion to serve God by doing whatever God wants him to do. Like I said, yesterday was payday.

Tonight Vicki and I travel to Centre for Celebrate Recovery.
This is one of my most favorite places to go and speak. I have never gone there and came away not seeing God work and move on the people. It is like this particular Celebrate Recovery has a lot of grace to carry on the work. I know that it was birthed (the meeting) from the death of Regina and Donnie George's son, Griffin, so if ever pain and grief brought forth something wonderful and beautiful, this is a perfect example. God took this families loss and the pain they were suffering and used it to bring life to so many others.

I trust that you have a good day.
Find God (not that he's missing) as you travel around.
Until tomorrow...
God on you..............
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VERSE OF THE DAY: Psalm 103:4
He ransoms me from death and surrounds me with love and tender mercies.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wait For It!


Here is one of the pictures from our snow episode last week. Our friend here, standing on the dock, was fishing. He stood there for hours waiting and watching. He didn't move but kept his gaze on the pond and then finally.........swoop! He had a fish. The old crane was not deterred from his duty or his need to be fed.
I think I need to be like that crane when it comes to my hunger and desire for God and his word. To be patient and always watching. To not let things that aren't important turn my attention away from what I am truly waiting on. To not grab the first good thing and forsake the God-thing that he is wanting to teach me or show me or have me experience.
Patience.
Not a virtue in our world today. We are instant everything. For most, the need for "instant" God is how the mind and flesh cry out. We want God and we want him now. We forget that God is God and he doesn't work for us. In fact..................NEWSFLASH!............we are not the center of the universe. The old Psalmist wrote that "We are his people (God's people), the sheep of his pasture. It is he that made us and not we ourselves." Simple truth. Profound truth. Truth that we need to understand with our hearts.
I have a good friend, Brook Finlayson, who taught that God's grace has a pace and a place. I have never forgotten that. God's grace has a pace or timing to it. We can run ahead and miss it, or we can lag behind and miss it. We need to learn that walking with God daily puts us in the place and pace where we receive the grace he so wants to give us. To often we allow our own flesh, our own ability to dictate what we should do. It may even be a good thing or a religious thing, but not from God. We run around trying to make it happen using God's name to validate our actions, when in fact, God has said, "Wait for me! Don't get ahead or fall behind."
Wait for God....
Listen for God....
Move when he says move....
Rest when he says rest.....
Find him today.....
God on you.............
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VERSE OF THE DAY:
Jeremiah 6:16
Thus says the Lord, "Stand by the roads and look and ask for the eternal paths, where the good, old way is. Then walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, "We will not walk in it!"
Don't be as the ones who refused to follow the simple instructions of God.
What path are you on today?
One that leads to life?
Heaven?
Or one that leads to eternal destruction and damnation?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I Don't Understand Sometimes

God's ways are definitely higher than mine, as are his thoughts. That being the case, I spend too much time trying to figure out God and what he is doing. I once heard a man make the statement that, "God created logic so he could act outside of it." The older I get the more I believe this statement. The statement is not saying that God's ways and thoughts are foolish or are the opposite of the way you and I would go about life here on this planet. It just means that sometimes God does things that we really don't see or understand. Sometimes we even attribute what God is doing to "bad luck". I found this to be true in a scripture I was reading last night.

Exodus 14 -- Israel has been led out of Egypt, they have marched into the wilderness and unknown to them, Pharaoh has had a change of heart. Pharaoh now calls for the military to start an operation to wipe the Israelites out. At the beginning of chapter 14 God is talking to Moses. He gives Moses specific instructions on where he wants Israel to set up camp. The Red Sea will be at their backs and the wilderness before them. Truth be known, God has set up Israel so that Pharaoh will consider them trapped and therefore be easy prey for his military.

God goes on to say that He (God) will gain honor and glory over Pharaoh and the Egyptians shall know that he, God, is the Lord. To the Israelites, when Pharaoh shows up, it kind of hard to see God's hand in all of this. All they knew was that the Red Sea was behind them and Pharaoh's hard-charging-boys were coming straight for them. In the eyes of Israel, there is no way out. No where to run, no where to hide........surrender wasn't even an option because Pharaoh was about to take prisoners. You see, sometimes God puts us in situations where it appears to be hopeless and destruction is imminent. God (if we truly trust him) is in control. Maybe these are the times where we do learn to trust him. When we have no options and no suggestions and we simply fall on him and declare his ways higher than ours.

This is the place I want to be in. Where I trust God without fail, no matter what is in front or behind me. No matter what the future holds or the past has held, I trust God. That is the place of peace and the place where we will see God as we have never seen him before. So if you situation seems hopeless and you feel like Pharaoh's army is fast upon you, wait for God and listen for what he says to do. Then do it. If you read on in Exodus 14, you'll see that God actually commanded the Israelites to move forward toward the sea before it had actually parted. I think that is called faith. To strike out to a place and the "sea hasn't parted yet" for you. God is an on time God...when the Israelites came to the sea, Moses had stretched out his rod and the sea had parted. The cool part in all of this was that God told Moses and the people that after today they would no longer see the threat of Egypt. God, once and for all, dealt with the enemy of Israel and God will deal with your enemy also.
Trust God today.....
Check out Exodus 14 for yourself...
God on you..........
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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Intro Part 28


From time to time I think I need to reintroduce myself to
everyone who stops by.
My name is Michael Bynum and I serve as Chaplain/ Spiritual Advisor
and all around "whatever-needs-to-be-done" here at Rapha.
Rapha is a Christ-centered recovery program for men who are trapped in addiction.
I was licensed and ordained through the Association of Vineyard Churches in 1997.
I began full time ministry in 1998.
I served 6 years as a volunteer here at Rapha and came on full time in 2004.
In April of 2006, I left Gadsden Vineyard as Associate Pastor and began a Sunday morning service here at Rapha.
In May of 2008 we moved the service to Saturday night.
Why?
Because for what ever reason, I was made to host a church service at night.
It just works better for me.
We began a Recovery Service in August of 1999 called HOUSE OF BLUE.
We met every Saturday night and attracted a wide following of people who found life there at the meeting.
I was given a verse that truly summed up my calling to pastor at night.
Psalm 134
Behold, bless the Lord, all you servants of the LORD,
who by night stand in the house of the LORD!
Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.
The LORD who made heaven and earth bless you from Zion.
So what is our message?
Easy!
Jesus....
Just Jesus....
He broke the penalty and power of sin over us that we might have life (real life or as He called it "Life Abundant".
He reconciled us to God the Father.
He justified us in the Father's sight.
He became the propitiation for our sin (paying the penalty himself to assuage God's rightful anger toward sin).
He sanctified us (set us apart) for his purposes.
He has called us into ever lasting life.
This journey of relationship with Jesus (some call it "being saved" or "born again)
is understood best in the word "worship".
Worship is more than music, more than giving of money or even going to a meeting with others who are believers.
Worship is a lifestyle.
A lifestyle that declares through my every day walking around, going to work, eating and sleeping life that God is the center of my affections.
I live to please him.
To me this is the highest reason and purpose that we possess as believers.
To worship Him.
Everything I am, everything I am called to do flows from this life of Worship of God.
This being the case, I want to learn to be a worshipper.
To express my love for God in everything I do, everything I say and everything I pray.
I appreciate everyone who stops by Greene Street Letters to read what is posted.
I trust that God will give you something that is useful for your life.
I pray that you will be encouraged by something you read.
I pray that you find hope to simply walk out this day in His will.
Thanks!
God on you today....
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Monday, February 15, 2010

New Message Downloaded

I down loaded the message from Saturday night (Feb. 13).
Step # 2 - lesson # 1 "How does God view recovery?"

Prayer


As a kid growing up in the 50's, we lived for breakfast cereal. Rice Krispies, Cornflakes, Sugar Pops, Puffed Wheat......we had to have breakfast cereal. Not because we liked the cereal but because of the prizes inside. There was always some toy or gadget inside along with the opportunity to send off for even greater prizes. Finish up the cornflakes, take the box and get your mother's good scissors ( I don't remember any mother having a pair of bad scissors, just always the "good ones") to cut out the box top and order form. I'd take my quarter or fifty-cent piece and tape it to the box top, place it in an envelope, get a stamp and shoot it out to the mail box. Then came the hard part............waiting.
After what seemed like an eternity, a uniformed Currier of the Federal Government (Mail man) would deliver the package to my mail box. The package would always be addressed to Master Michael Bynum. Master! What an incredible title. No one in my own family recognized me as anyone other than a little boy, but in Battle Creek, Michigan......those folks saw me as Master. Inside would be the trinket or toy I had sent off for and over the next few weeks it was my prized possession.
You know, prayer is like that in a lot of ways. We send our prayers up to God, expecting to receive something in return. Scripture says our prayers are like sweet smelling incense which rise and come before the throne of God. I guess somewhere along the way, God burns out from our prayers those requests that really aren't good for us. You know...the prayers we pray that are really more from our flesh than from the spirit. "O lord! If you could just give me that Porsche, I could be such a witness for you!." God is saying, "Yeah...right!"
Leonard Ravenhill made the comment that after our life is over and we stand before God the one thing that most believers will be ashamed of is the smallness of our prayers. I think that sometimes our need to pray is in direct proportion to the events that are going on in our lives. Shouldn't be that way but I'm afraid that is the simple truth. When times are good and life is not hard, we really don't pursue prayer that much. But you let life take the slightest turn for the bad and we suddenly become prayer warriors. Although it be that we become selfish prayer warriors. I don't want to live like that. I want prayer to be a vital part of my daily life. I tend to pray what I refer to as "sentence" prayers. I pray them all day long as I encounter people and situations. The main focus for me is "What is your will in this situation Lord?" As much as I pray, I also try to spend an equal amount of "listening" for God, trying to hear His heart and directions for my life.
Just like the package that came with my prize in it that was addressed to Master Michael Bynum, God sends down His answers to our prayers specifically addressed to "His Child". The world may not recognize that title on us, but our heavenly Father does and how cool is that?
Make the move to begin to pray more.
Jesus, after running everyone out of the Temple said, "My Father's house shall be called a house of prayer....you have made it a den of thieves." That is my heart. That we truly do become prayer warriors.
Prayer changes things here in the natural world.
Think on this today...
God on you......
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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Something New

If you noticed there is something new on this blog......RADIOWORSHIP
The button to the right of the display window lets you select what type of worship music to listen to. Here are the channels available to you:
Christian EZ / Christian Pop radio / R&B / Contemporary Christian / Country Chapel
Country Christian / Faith Rap / Faith Rock / Our Great Hymns / Praise and Worship
Sacred Psalms / Sweet Sound of Gospel

Push the icon at the bottom of the button to select the channel you would like to listen to.
For me, I've been away from traditional church for a number of years so to go back and listen to large choirs and orchestra's has been a real treat. I find myself tuning in and letting it play while I study or prepare for teachings.
I hope you find this enjoyable and perhaps you'll leave a note letting me know. I do not want it to be a distraction to anyone so if it doesn't workout, I'll remove it.


Psalm 150
Praise God in His sanctuary
Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
Praise Him for His mighty acts
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness
Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet
Praise Him with the lute and harp
Praise Him with the timbrel and dance
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes
Praise Him with loud cymbals
Praise Him with clashing cymbals
Let everything that has breath
Praise the Lord
There is a time and place where we are to pull out all the stop....
To get beyond our own "what are others thinking about me"
and just Praise God!
To get lost in the worship
Focusing on God with everything that is within us.
I know that this is not culturally acceptable in a lot of places.
But it is a behavior that I think we should at least look at.
Notice that it says we should praise God with timbrel (tambourine)
and dance.
Dance?
You got to be kidding me....dancing is from the devil.
Well that is what the devil wants you to think.
If he can keep you from worshipping God then he has won.
I confess that I am clumsiest person ever and for me to dance....
well, that truly would have to be God.
I pray that I can move beyond this and even if it's by myself,
dance before God.
I don't think he'd find it foolish.
Clumsy steps and movements would all be done for him.
I'm just stating that maybe we need to break out of what we find to be comfortable,
and move into areas that God is leading.
That is key...
Listen for what God tells you to do.
Then do it.
This would be a good weekend to practice....
Go for it.
Pull down the shades....
Lock the door....
and just get crazy with God....
You might be surprised.
God on you.......
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Friday, February 12, 2010

Evan Roberts


Evan Roberts.....Used by God during the Welsh Revival of 1904.
He was referred to as the "silent" prophet.
Roberts preaching style was unheard of for that day.
He would sit quietly during the service and would not stand to preach until the Holy Spirit had given him something to say.
I fear that I have too much to say that is from me and not enough that comes directly from the Holy Spirit. I truly want to follow this way of waiting. Yes, it is uncomfortable and hard because we feel as though each moment of a meeting should be filled up with noise and sound. To sit quietly disturbs our inner man and makes us uncomfortable. Maybe we need to be uncomfortable and in that state, seek out the voice of God that He might speak over us and reveal our hearts.
Evan Roberts knew all too well the shortcomings he possessed to even be a preacher, but he also knew that God had placed the Holy Spirit in him and that he burned to do whatever God showed him must be done.
Evan's message was a very simple one.
1.) If there is sin or sins in the past not confessed, we cannot have the Spirit. Therefore we must search and ask the Spirit to search us.
2.)If there is something doubtful in our life, it must be removed.
3.) Total surrender to the Spirit. We must do and say all He asks us to do.
4.)You must confess Christ publicly.
From these 4 simple things, the Holy Spirit of God fell on a man and then on a nation.
It changed the face of Christianity as was known during those days.
We are in such need of a revival now in our country and in our lives.
No one has the right to point beyond themselves and say, "They are truly in need of revival." No! Each of us have become dry tinder in the hands of God. Yet here in our dryness, we become perfect kindling for God to ignite with His Spirit. Fire! Come and consume us for our God is a consuming fire.
Set us on fire for you, Lord!
God on you today....
Stay warm and enjoy the snow.
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LOOK INTO MY Eyes!


It is so easy to buy into what the world deems right and wrong.
It is so easy to simply surrender and enjoy the fruits of this world, here...now...today.
It is so easy to slip on the glasses and take a seat with everyone else
and be fed the message of this world.
We become mesmerized and hyp-NO-tized and de-SENSE-i-tized.
In other words, we move far away, even more than we were, from who God created us to be.
We have trouble living here in this age, this time, because what passes for truth runs contrary to what the Word of God says.
When I look around for those I deemed to be holy, I see angry people telling me what I should and should not do.
Putting up hoops and rails for me to jump over to get to God.
They seem to fall more on the side of what not to do rather than what I should be
doing.
Seems to me that the church (little "c" not big "C") spends a lot of time telling people what they are against
rather than what they are for.
Galatians 6:14 reads:
As for me, God forbid that I should boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in the world died long ago, and the world's interest in me is also long dead.
As I begin this new relationship I have with Jesus, my heart is turned to Him.
What pleases Him.
What He expects of me.
What He is saying to me through His Word.
My own selfish ambitions and desires are cast onto the garbage heap and my
focus becomes His plans for me.
Now don't be confused and think that everyone who is saved runs out to be missionaries or
pastors or teachers.
No!
God often calls you to stay in the job you currently are holding
or in the town you currently are living in.
Your part is to seek out His kingdom rule in your life and then do it.
Pray for the sick.
Take care of the poor.....feed them and help them.
Visit those in jail and in prison (if you can't do it in person, seen letters and cards)
Deal with the demonic stuff that comes over people and influences them through spiritual darkness and sin.
Just don't drink the world's kool-aid or buy their message of
"eat...drink...and be merry for tomorrow you die."
With Jesus in your life, there is no tomorrow's...
There is just eternity with Him.
Cool..huh?
God on you.......
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Living Dangerously In The Hands of God

This song grows dearer to me with each passing year. It reminds me of the shallowness of my own life. That no matter how much I think I have grown in God, there is so much more to do. Oh to risk it all and throw myself into the hands of God. To abandon myself totally to His will and purposes. Everything else would dim and loose value compared to knowing Jesus.
Maybe I will grow up before I grow older.

God on you......
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Falling Back Or Making Excuses?

Strange thoughts floating through my head today.
I find myself sometimes falling back on my humanity when I talk to God.
I find myself trying to explain away my shortcomings, my sin, my lack of discipline on the fact that I am human. The conversation goes something like this.

"God, you know me. You know me better than myself. You know that you created me and that I am a flawed individual. You know my nature better than I know myself."
(it's as though I am trying to plead a case that has already been decided, sick puppy that I am)

"The things I do should not catch you unaware. The behaviors and attitudes I carry around and display are all part of the "brokenness" of being human. You are divine.....you are God and me....well, I am dust and dirt and everything messed up because of Adam in the garden."

Even as I go through this little rehearsal in talking with God, one simple fact escapes me. Ther very fact that I am having this conversation with God shows just how messed up I am. Like I am going to con God or at least get Him to execute some hidden codicil within the law that will excuse my sinful nature yet will make a provision where I can keep sinning because of my humaness. Scripture provides otherwise, it's called confession and repentence.
God has provided everything needed to rise above my humanness. That I am without excuse and reason to not be "holy as He is holy." God understands better than anyone the fallacy and futility of humanity. He understands the darkness of the human heart and in His mercy and grace has provided a path, a way (that would be Jesus) that leads to life, real life. So, I can mumble and gripe and move around in my mess or I can repent and confess and accept this way that God provides and once and for all time move on. It's not a rejection of our humanity, it is God overcoming all the sin and mistakes and bad choices to lift us to new life with Him. I have to choose. I have to surrender. I have to let God kill the "old man" within me and resurrect me to a new life. I have to be born again, saved, redeemed and all those other terms attached to life with God. It is in my surrender that God empowers me to live life here in this imperfect world on His terms not the worlds. That I can do.

Today is going to be a good day as I seek first the Kingdom rule of God in my life followed by His nature or righteousness.
Find God today....

God on you.......
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thoughts From A.W. Tozer


(Excerpts from the book The Knowledge Of The Holy)
"What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us."
Our understanding of God shapes the way we approach him. The way we think he feels about us. It affects every area of our being as we live daily.
"The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man's spiritual history will demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than is idea of God."
Maybe the reason the God we claim to understand doesn't speak to us is that we truly believe he doesn't act in that way anymore. We fall upon the idea that God is an impersonal god and that he has no time for us. We believe that God created everything but then walked away and left it to run on its on. The thought that God the creator actually desires to have a personal relationship with this sinful, imperfect creation boggle our finite minds. Truth be known, not only does he want to have relationship, he has provided the very means in which it can take place. God is a communicating God, speaking and revealing himself to people through His word (Bible) and through events and situations that we find ourselves in daily.
"Were we able to extract from any man a complete answer to the question, 'What comes into your mind when you think about God?' we might predict with certainty the spiritual future of that man."
The view we hold to today of who God is and what he really is like influences and directs the decisions we make at to our future. If my view of God is that, "Yes...He is real...Yes He is God...but I don't really want to surrender my will or my life to Him, " then we will go about the business of living our lives based not just on good intentions or to do the right thing, but under the influence of our sinful nature (Yes, Virginia, we all have a sinful nature or bent to be independent from God) which will lead me not toward God, but away from him.
Why do you believe what you do?
Where did your beliefs come from?
Can you back up what you believe in Scripture?
It is important that we all check ourselves and what we believe and make sure that our religious beliefs are not from opinions and others who claim to know the truth. We need to search out for ourselves what does God say. Who is God to me.
Food for thought today.
Verse of the Day:
John 6:35
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
God on you....
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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Off Centered....

New template for the blog...
The blog keeps changing as a reflection of how life truly is.
Life is change.
Real life is found in "hearing" and "following" God in the middle of the change.
How quick do we hear?
How quick do we adapt our plans to fit his plans?
If you notice the header of this blog, you'll see that it is off center.
To some it will bother them and they may even comment,"Hey! why don't you center the title of the blog?"
Truth be known.....
I did it for a reason....
My life is never to be centered on the things of the world.
I am always off kilter so to speak.
I never quiet fit in with what the world wants or expects.
Why?
Because the world is not my home.
In fact the apostle Paul stated that the world was dead to him and he was dead to the world.
So, when the world looks at me, I appear to be off centered.
I appear to be out of step.
I don't operate like the world.
I'm an alien only passing through
(No! I'm not green and I don't know Agents Mulder and Scully)
This world is not my home.
Heaven is.
The dictates and directions of my heavenly Father will
never fit the ways of this world.
There will always be this oil and water relationship going on
between me and the world.
For my time here on this planet,
I want to tell as many about this God I have been rescued by.
I want to tell them the truth.
I want them to understand that "Stuff" happens to us while we live here on
this planet.
And "Stuff" can happen whether you are following God or living for the world.
IT isn't the fact that good and bad happens to every one
that is a given.
The real difference is found in the ability to cope and move on.
You can do so in your own intellect and strength....
or...
you can allow the real-deal God to be the center of every decision that you
need to make.
I have found the value of living for and
chasing after God.
the WAY is unlike anything I have ever known.
What WAY?
Jesus.
He said that he was the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE.
Think on these things and allow God's Holy Spirit
to touch you.
To whisper to your heart and awaken something deep and older than this world...
The eternal truth that does not change.
It is the adventure of a lifetime....
Following this Jesus!

God on you......
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A Deep Darkness Covers The Earth

There isn't any use in talking about how spiritually dark the world has become and is becoming.
We can talk against the darkness all day.
We can pray against it.
We can point to it and declare it defeated.
We can meet and collectively rail against the darkness
But the truth is, we see God's greatest miracles and presence during the worst times of our lives.
Now this doesn't mean that we all run out and make ourselves miserable and distant from God just so we can see Him work and move in our midst. How foolish would that be. What I find is that I have a tendency to pray for God to remove me during troubling times. Take me out and make the pain go away. Truth is I need to remain still and silent and wait and watch for God during these times. Should I never pray for God's removal of me from tribulations and terrible times? No! Pray! I should pray like never before. But I don't need to pray from my flesh, which only seeks to preserve itself. I should learn to pray from my spirit which seeks God's heart for whatever I am facing. A kind of "Not-my-will-but-yours-Lord" kind of outlook and prayers.

The greatest time for God's miracles are in the worst of times in our lives. Extreme and radical persecution are the times when God reveals himself to bring us through the darkness and into the light.
So what do I need to learn from all of this?

1.) God always honors and blesses those who honor him no matter what the situation or circumstance.
2.) Trying to break the darkness and tribulations in my own strength using carnal weapons is dangerous. Kind of taking the will of God and doing it in our own strength. In other words we supplant God and his will to carry out our own.
3.) God does hear and answer the prayers of His people.

Whatever you are going through today......
You are not alone.
Even though you feel as though everyone, including God, has forgotten you. That is a lie and not the truth that God speaks of.
Believe and call out to Him....
He will hear...
He will comfort...
He will strengthen....
He will be there.....

God on you.......
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Monday, February 8, 2010

A little Bit Early

Easter is still some time away, but the truth that we hold to during the Easter season is a truth that should be declared every day. The very essence of who we are as believers is found in the echoes of an empty tomb. In the absence of any physical evidence of a body or corpse, we shout, "Yes!....It is true."

The world may postulate and pontificate, but we hold to the undeniable truth that Jesus is not in that tomb. Such is the strength of the one called MESSIAH, that any disbelief on my part cannot change what has taken place. He has risen! As the song so aptly puts it, "He arose a victor from the dark domain and he lives forever with the saints to reign. He arose....He arose.....Hallelujah, Christ arose!"

So this fact of faith should be celebrated every day.Do you think on this part of Christianity? Do you truly have something to celebrate in the resurrection of Jesus? Has there been a resurrection of your spirit by God's spirit unto life eternal? Have you been born again?

If so....
Then celebrate with your whole being. Don't be afraid to weep for joy, to shout at the top of your lungs, "Jesus, Jesus! Jesus!" Name above all names.

If so.....
Don't be afraid to dance as King David did. To shake off the death that we walk through daily known as the world, and breathe in the air of eternity with Him.

Is so.....
Then see with His eyes....
Love with His heart.....
Touch with His hands....
and give away freely what He has given to you.

If so....
Then proclaim to those you meet that this Jesus is who he says he is. Not because we have read about Him, or because we have sung songs about Him...
But because we too have been resurrected from the dead unto life today.

And the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid. For I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying." Matthew 28:5-6

God On You...........
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(There is no message downloaded this week since we did not have our service this past Saturday night.)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Simple Truth

Simple truth sometimes is the greatest truth.
It is uncluttered and uncompromising.
It is truth that has no gray areas but exists in Black and white.
Truth that is either received or rejected.
Such truth has the ability to change lives.
Such truth has the ability to turn the world upside down.
Ask the 120 who were sitting together on the day of Pentecost.

Simple truth is powerful.
It cannot be defeated or crushed by a wave of intellectualism or academia.
Simple truth stands the test of time.
Governments rise and fall.....
Leaders, great or small, rise and disappear from the stage of life...
but simple truth stands against the winds of change or society.
Simple truth.
I am in need of such truth today, for this kind of truth disarms every thing the enemy brings to my mind and heart.
No memory, no matter how painful, can stand against simple truth.
No bitterness, no jealously, no unforgiveness can defeat simple truth.
So what is this truth?
What great philosophical statement can be made that will disarm the hordes of hell?
simple.

Jesus loves me...
This I know...

For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong.
They are weak

But He is strong.
Yes! Jesus loves me.
Yes! Jesus loves me.
Yes! Jesus loves me.
The Bible tells me so.

Plant your life on this and see the salvation God brings.
God on you this week end....
See you Monday, here at the Greene Street Letters
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Friday, February 5, 2010

Just A Thought Before The Weekend

I don't know about you, but sometimes situations and circumstances pile up and seem to overwhelm me. It is real easy to fall into a "pity party" and forget our place or position in the relationship we have with Jesus. This puts us in a place, emotionally and spiritually, where the devil (Yes, Virginia, there is a devil) can come and reek grief on us.

If I were to ask you how holy you felt you were using a scale of 1% to 100%, most would say, "I don't feel holy at all." Or "Maybe 10% holy." We derive these numbers by taking a look at ourselves, and if the truth be known, it really isn't a true look at ourselves as much as it is a look at what we have done in our past. We allow our past deeds and mess-ups to define who we are and how we feel. Truth is, if you are saved, you are 100% holy, only because God's holiness has been imputed or credited or placed on you.

We read in Hebrews 10:14 -- For by the one offering he perfected forever all those whom he is making holy. The word "perfected" means to be made complete, to have finished, to consummate (in this case, God's spirit covering and filling us at the point of our salvation, completes and brings us into right standing or relationship with God). Perfection in God's eyes...that is how he sees me. Now, he is working on my performance (Or behavior and attitude). He is taking my character defects and changing them as I cooperate with his Holy Spirit at work in me. The moment I receive ---I am perfected in his sight. God, through the work of the Holy Spirit, works on my performance.

I am posting below a declaration that we say after every class here at Rapha. We require the men to memorize and say it daily.
Because of Christ's redemption
I am a new creation of infinite worth
I am deeply loved
I am fully pleasing
I am completely forgiven
I am totally accepted by God
I am absolutely complete in Christ
When my performance reflects my new identity in Christ
that reflection is dynamically unique.
There has never been another person like me
in the history of mankind
nor will there ever be
God has made me an original
one of a kind, a special person
And so are you!
God on you........
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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Transformers

Romans 12:2
Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. (The New Living Translation)

Romans 12:2
Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].
(The Amplified Bible)

Romans 12:2
Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
(The Message Bible)


No matter who you are.
No matter what you ethnic origin or background.
No matter what you socio-economic status is within your community....
When you are saved (born again), there is a change that takes place inside of you.
It doesn't begin with your brain but rather you heart----the center of your will, your passion and desires. Your thinking becomes different as you face situations daily. No longer are the old ways of dealing with things acceptable, you may find that you actually have thoughts that are contrary to the old way you would have dealt with things. This is God's Holy Spirit at work inside of you.

God changes the heart, which in turn affects the mind which directs the will (sometimes). Sometimes our will is so strong and sinful that it will convince us to do things that we know with our heads is wrong--------but we do them anyway. What a dastardly enemy lurks within me. It's kind of like the comic strip POGO that use to be in the Sunday paper. A war was shaping up in the swamp and POGO and all his friends were running around trying to prepare for the coming enemy. At one point, due to all the chaos and turmoil, POGO makes a statement..."We have met the enemy.....and he is us!" We have so programed ourselves to sin over the years that it becomes almost automatic / without thought. But now we have an alarm that goes off when we consider the possibility of doing that which is against God. Cool huh?

IT is all about being changed from the inside.
Change the heart.............
The behavior changes.....
I'm glad God got the job........He's so much better at it than I am.

God on you today!
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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Now That Was Some Crunchy Pickle!

Acts 2:2
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.........

Pentecost!
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Just as it was when Jesus died.....
Just as it was when Jesus rose from the dead.....
Just as it was when Jesus ascended back to heaven.....
After the day of Pentecost, the world would never be the same.
Life would never be the same for those who were alive on that day.
Life would never be, even for us, the same as it was before the day of Pentecost.

Prior to this day, God dispensed His Holy Spirit according to what individual He (God) was working through. He only gave His Spirit to those He called to do His bidding.
People such as John the Baptizer, King David, Deborah, Elijah, Jeremiah, Daniel, and so on.
But in the book of Joel a word is prophesied that there was coming a time when the Spirit of God would be poured out on all flesh. What falls under the word "ALL"? Everyone. Saved and unsaved. We need to remember just because something is poured out doesn't mean everyone is going to receive it gladly. Some will reject this pouring out of God's Spirit. But the bottom line is that we live in a time where the Holy Spirit of God is offered to all who are saved.

I like the way Luke describes the coming of the Holy Spirit. He likened it to a mighty rushing wind that filled the place where they were sitting. To me it's kind of like a new jar of pickles.
What happens when you first open it? There is that whooshing sound as air rushes into the jar and fill the vacuum that was inside. Prior to the Holy Spirit coming, mankind existed in this kind of vacuum. God was speaking. Jesus had been here and had ministered and completed his calling by dying and then being resurrected from the dead. But not until the lid was opened and the promised comforter was sent by the Father did everything began to expand and grow. The church grew by 3000 the very first day the Holy Spirit was poured out. Missionaries were raised up and went forth to take the word out of Jerusalem to the utter most parts of the earth. How would you like your town or village to be labeled "THE UTTER MOST PARTS OF THE EARTH?" I don't know, sometimes I feel as though Attalla is part of that label. But even here in Attalla, we are privilege to be under the guidance and moving of God's Holy Spirit.

Sometimes I think we discount this incredible gift that has been poured out on us and filled within us. Think about it. We have access to God 24/7 / 365 days a year. It wasn't like when Jesus walked the earth. Even though that would have been an incredible time to be alive, the disciples did not always have access to him. He would go off to be by himself (How do you think the disciples felt when this happened?) He would be taken up by crowds and have to devote his full attention to them. But now........with the Holy Spirit inside me, I am never away from Jesus. He is my mediator that sits at the right hand of God the Father and lives to intercede on my behalf. That is beyond cool...that is just downright out there. The one thing I do not want to do is take all of this for granted. I want to learn to listen and interact with the Holy Spirit as he guides me into all truth (John 16:13). I want to learn to live and obey under the power of the Holy Spirit as he cover me ( Acts 1:8).

We read in John 14:28 concerning the Holy Spirit:
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
This pouring out of God's Holy Spirit gives me a compass, a guide that (if I listen to and obey) will lead me into all truth. Truth about myself. Truth about God's plan and how I fit into it. Truth about every facet of my life. That is a true gift beyond price of any kind and God has seen fit to equip all His children with the Holy Spirit.

Ask God to help you to be receptive to the leading of His Holy Spirit today.
Spend some time thanking God for such a wonderful gift that has been placed inside of you.

God on you today!
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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

History of the Hallelujah Chorus

George F. Handel was in despair. Struggling to earn a living in London, he knew days when he could not afford to buy meals. One night in 1741, depressed and defeated, he wandered the lonely streets; it was almost dawn when he returned to his shabby room. On a table was a thick envelope. It was from Charles Jennens, the man who wrote his librettos. Examining the pages, he found them covered with Scripture texts.
Wearily, he tossed the pages aside and crawled into bed. But he could not sleep. The words he had read returned to him:

Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith your God ... The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light ... For unto us a Child is born ... Glory to God in the highest ... Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Too stirred to sleep, he got up and went to his piano. The music flowed from his heart-rich, majestic, triumphant. He began to write. Night and day for three weeks, he wrote feverishly. He forgot sleep, food, rest. He refused to see anyone. At last, on the day the work was finished, one friend managed to gain entrance.

The composer was at his piano, sheets of music strewn around him, tears streaming down his face. "I do believe I have seen all of Heaven before me, and the great God Himself," he exclaimed.

Millions of people have been able to believe that. The first audience to hear the composition -- in Dublin in 1742 --gave it the greatest ovation in the city's history. Weeks later, London heard it for the first time, and again it was a triumph. The King was so impressed during the Hallelujah Chorus that he rose to his feet -- a custom that still prevails.

This Christmas, in churches and concert halls around the world, millions of people will once again find hope and faith in the message what has become the most beloved composition of all times --

George Frederic Handel's Messiah.

What Do They Read In You?


Psalm 107:43
Those who are wise will take all this to heart. They will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord.
Lives today are so rushed and self-centered that many never stop to take stock of the journey they have been on, or think of the people they may have come in contact with and the impact they may have had on their lives. Yet, in the scripture from Psalm, we read that our history, our journey will reveal a lot about what we believed and who we believed. King David wrote that those who take the word of God to heart will see the love of God woven all throughout the history of Israel. In the good times as well as the bad, God was there. The people may have thought that God had deserted them, but the truth was he had not.
So what do people come away with when they look at your story or your "history?" Do they see the faithful love of God in every day and event that you have faced? Do they see the promises and protection that God may have extended to you when you were going through trials and tribulations? Or do they see you making decisions and carrying them out in your own strength, ignorant of God and his desire to guide you. Our past speaks volumes and reveals where our allegiance lies. I love what the apostle Paul writes in II Timothy 1:12 ----And this is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know whom I have believed, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return. Did you catch that? Paul said that he knew "Who" he believed in and relied upon................he didn't write, "I know WHAT I have believed."
Our history, our journey through this life should reflect the love of God as we grow in him daily. How is His love reflected? Through my interaction with others and the way I treat them. God loves me so I can love others. Not the syrupy, mushy, goofy kind of love the world has to offer, but real, dynamic AGAPE-unconditional love that covers a multitude of sins (At least that is what the Bible says). God-love that changes my corner of this planet one heart at a time.
That is what life is all about. Letting people see and read your history so that they can see the faithful love of God. Remember.............your life may be the only Bible that others may see.
God on you......
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Monday, February 1, 2010

A God Weekend

Seth Barber spoke Saturday night (Check out his message now downloaded) and he brought a powerful word. Over the past few months, Seth's messages have become very "to-the-point-no-frills-involved". Seth has learned that the best thing one can possibly do is to speak the truth in love. That means we don't sugar coat the message, but we also don't beat anyone over the head with it. Seth simply says what needs to be said and doesn't dress it up in a bunch of religious jargon.

Worship time was for learning and reaching out to places we have not gone before. By that I mean the guys were willing to worship in ways that they had not considered before. We are all in school here at Rapha and we are learning a new way to live which includes some behaviors we have never done.

In the Old Testament, the books of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy were given for specific purposes. You had an entire nation brought out from slavery by God. Slavery was all they had known. They lived it, the breathed it, they worked under it, they lived and died slaves. For them to be brought out from that left an incredible vacuum in their lives. God gave them the three books (Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) to teach them how to live as free men and women under God's guidance. It spelled out dietary laws as well as spiritual and moral laws that defined what was right and wrong. Here at Rapha we are introducing the men to a new way to live. They have lived for years under the task master known as addiction. They were ruled and governed by it and knew no other life. On top of everything, addiction told them there was no other life and to attempt to live any other way would be futile and a waste of their time.
We know that kind of thinking to be a lie, yet it continues to dictate and lie to men trapped in addiction. Our call is to share the Gospel of Jesus. Him crucified, died for our sins as a payment. He, fully God and fully man, entered heaven upon his ascension from this earth and was able to do so because of his purity and lack of sin. Taking a choice seat at the right hand of God the father. Jesus became the way for us, sinful man, to approach God. What a present!

In Mark 12:24, Jesus says, "Your problem is that you don't know the Scriptures, and you don't know the power of God." It is power of salvation and restoration and cannot be overcome by anything or anyone. That is truth. That is life.
May you find it today.

God on you....
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Kingdom Work Doesn't Always Look Like What We Think It Does

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...