Friday, April 30, 2010

New Message Down loaded


This has been an extremely busy week
and we are running kind of behind.
We have not had an opportunity to
download the message from last
Saturday night (4-23)
I have instead, downloaded
a message from June of 2008
concerning a word God had given us
about planting and harvesting.
Check it out!
God on you....
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Turn The Page...


One thing that I have learned over the years, is that when dealing with God......trying to follow his direction......doing what he says to do......Nothing is forever.
By that, I meant whatever you are called to is for a season.
Sometimes we think we are taking part in a particular work that has lasting value. The work indeed is for the Kingdom. The work you are participating in is for God, but I don't know that it will extend for season upon season.
I remember when we started House of Blue, a recovery meeting at Gadsden Vineyard. It gradually grew and grew and then became this "thing" that was bigger than all of us who were participating in it. The place would be packed on Saturday night, ministry was happening everywhere around us. The worship was off the charts and God, as one person put it, was in the House. Then came the day when God told me, "It's time to put it to bed." No way! That couldn't possibly be God, or could it? Turns out is was. When I made the announcement that we were shutting House of Blue down, there was an outcry from many that I couldn't do it. It wasn't right, it wasn't God telling me to do that. I knew better.
We shut it down and God moved us on to the next thing.
I have written all of this to get to this point.
Today, a page is turning here at Rapha.
Steve and Marilyn Yarbrough have sold Rapha and are moving on to a new phase of their life.
IT was time.
God has been leading in this direction for a number of months and so we simply submit to his plan.
Rapha has become the premiere faith-based recovery center in this state, but as Steve put it, "I've taken Rapha as far as I can. I came here and built on another man's foundation. It's time for someone to build upon the foundation I have laid." Sounds like wisdom from God doesn't it?
What does this mean for me?
I'm not sure.
I don't have a leading at this time to pursue something else, so until then I will remain here and carry on with what God has called Vicki and I to do.
Whatever happens, I know it will continue in the area of recovery.
So pray for all of us here at Rapha. That we would simply wait for God's instructions for the next season.

No matter what, the Greene Street Letters will continue to go out.
I will see you tomorrow.
God on you................
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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Roman Voice


Romans 12:1-2
SO here's what I want you to do, God helping you;
Take your everyday, ordinary life.....
Your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking around life...
And place it before God as an offering.

Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.
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, and develops well-formed maturity in you.
It's about our character...
not our comfort.
It's about change....
Let Him work in you today....
I will if you will....
We might be surprised in what actually transpires through this interaction
between God and us.
Think on these things....
God on you...
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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

One Of A Kind....Love Affair


You don't hear much about heaven any more.
Wonder why?
Most teaching focuses on life here...........life now.
Back in the 1930's through 1950's it was all about heaven.
Could it be that life was so hard here during that time, that the message of a better life in heaven was more acceptable? I think maybe that is the case.
So what does that say about our current time?
It says maybe we are really in love with the world and it's system, especially here in the United States.
Leisure and pleasure dominate the lifestyle of most Americans.
Bigger cars.
Bigger houses.
Bigger vacations.
Our reason for working is to create a life that is pleasurable and comfortable.
To create a life that is as pain free as we can possible make it.
Is this wrong?
It is when this view becomes the very reason we get up every morning.
Maybe heaven is viewed as 2nd best when it comes to living.
Maybe we love it here on earth and the thought of being heaven is boring or even unappealing.

The message that comes from some churches is the pursuit of a life here on this planet is the highest calling we can achieve.
DO good.
Love your neighbor.
Get just enough Jesus in your life to keep you from going to hell.
Heaven....
Nah! I love it right here.
60" Plasma TV.......
New Cars......
What more could you want?
Truth be known, to love the world is to be an enemy of the cross.
To love the world is to love the temporary.
Why not fall in love with eternity?
Hey...God doesn't mind us having "Stuff".
God doesn't mind us having possessions.
God doesn't want possessions and position to have us.
John 14:1-3
"Don't be troubled. You trust God, now trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father's home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am."
Yep! I've got to live here and work here, but I am going to keep one eye on heaven.
That is where I am headed.
As Larry Norman said, "The world is in a mess. Don't ask me who began it. This world is not my home, I'm only visiting this planet."
God on you.......
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Double Ring


Tears............
Emotions that run down your cheeks.
Are they tears of joy..................
or
tears of sadness?
Sometimes they can be both.
I came upon a phrase used by an author that kind of illustrates this principal.
He called it the double ring effect.
He believed that we operate, sometimes, with two emotions running together, yet each one is diametrically opposed to the other.
Case in point.
Tears of sorrow and at the same time, tears of joy.
You may be thinking that this is incredibly dumb, but I'm not so sure.
Yesterday, I received news that a former client had died.
I knew that he had been struggling daily.
That he had wavered back and forth in his addiction.
When the news reached me that he had died, I felt grief and sorrow.
I was flooded with memories of my times with him.
I remembered the last time I had seen him. How he had asked me to pray for him and I told him that I would pray with him. There in that huge room, surrounded by other people, I heard a man pray who was tired and wore out.
As these memories of this individual unwound in my mind accompanied with the grief, I was suddenly flooded with images in my mind of others.
Men who were living life for the first time.
Men who had strung together days, weeks, months and even years of sobriety.
This brought a sense of joy to me.
So there within me, was these two emotions running at the same time.
One of great sadness for the loss......
and
another of great joy for those who were still here fighting daily, going to meetings, getting plugged in to a church. Doing the right thing, but always aware that the old lifestyle waited patiently in the shadows to devour them should they turn back.
Today, I'm o.k.
Today, I'm at peace.
I know that this side of heaven is a struggle.
But we haven't been called to do this or walk out this life by ourselves.
I choose this day to walk with God.

God on you..............
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Monday, April 26, 2010

Yes!


Thank you for.......Stopping by here to read.
I trust that God placed within your soul and heart something that would
stir you to new levels with Him.
Whether you have been a believer for a long time....
or
you are simply a "babe" in this relationship with God
or
You haven't ever heard of Jesus and what is this "born again" stuff all about.
(Check out the book of John / Chapter 3)
Thank you for stopping by.
Thank you for.......making a decision to not remain in the place you currently are.
That you are not going to allow depression to rob you of the joy God has for
you today.
It's so easy to bandy about religious terms and phrases that really do not have
relevance to the struggles we face each day.
It is better and has the best consequences to simply fall into the grace of God knowing that you are
powerless to control or change.
That you simply surrender to God's will and grace and walk, one step at a time,
this daily life He has given to each of us.
Thank you for.......praying for someone else today.
Knowing that the greatest gift that has been given to us (hanging with God in this day) is to be shared and given away with someone else.
How cool is that?
What has been given to you is be shared with someone else who is probably
not aware of God at this very moment in time.
You get to introduce Him to them and
Them to Him.
Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to work in you today.
You may not be aware of such things going on in you.
That's o.k.
It's the faith thing at work.
God is, indeed, working his will in me and through me
for His kingdom.
To all my spiritual family.....
Let God's Kingdom come....
Let God's will be done....
on earth....
As it is....
In
Heaven.
Start with us Lord!
God on you.....
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God SO!

John 3:16
For God SO loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

I have heard this verse, read this verse and been aware of this verse for more years than I can remember.
From the earliest days of my childhood, my mother made sure that this verse was ever present in my heart and mind.
Funny part was that it did not really, really jump out at me until 1998. It came in the most unusual fashion at the most opportune time.

I had started a Saturday night recovery service at the Vineyard and was in my office 3 hours prior to the start of the service. I know this may come as a shock to some of you, but I did not have a message. Three hours before the service was to start, I was in a kind of panic mode. "Oh God, Oh God...if you don't want me to speak, that's alright, but if you do, you have got to give me something. I was in the floor of my office (I thought that might help with getting something from God...silly me) when a verse floated through my mind.....John 3:16. John 3:16? Everyone knows that one Lord, give me something else. John 3:16 would not go away. "Come on, God...that is probably the most used verse in Christianity..I." BLAM! IT was clear as a bell. God spoke "How dare you have such disregard for my Word!" Uh oh....I was in trouble. After apologizing to God and telling him I would not do so again, the John 3:16 verse began to unravel in a new and wonderful way.

It was such a simple thing.
God did not just love the world.
He SO Loved it.
The interjection of that little word "so" changed the verse.
SO meant that there was intent and purpose to the love.
That there was a plan here at work.
It may not be evident in this verse but that little word SO changed the entire meaning.
God didn't have affection.
God wasn't mildly infatuated.
God SO Loved. He was SO Moved by this creation that he put into place the most incredible series of events that went far beyond what mankind could conceive or imagine to restore this planet and humanity to His original intention.

Knowing this should make us be aware that God's hand is at work around us, even today.
Even when we don't see it or are even aware of it. God is working his plan.
It isn't an ego thing on God's part.
He didn't have to do it this way.
He could have wiped the slate clean and started over. I mean, who would have known that it had happened? No one.
But God SO Loved the world that from this choice (Love is a choice...I choose to love) God has opened the door for you and me to have this wonderful ongoing relationship with him.
How cool is that.
Know that your Father in heaven loves you.
Know that if this God and Jesus is new to you and you haven't surrendered your heart and life to him, He is waiting to receive you.
Drugs makes you high.
Alcohol makes you high.
But God will give you an eternal high.

God on you...........
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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Time Out

Vicki and I will be taking a time out for the rest of this week.
I will return next Monday ( 4 / 26 ) with new postings for the GREEEN STREET LETTERS
Until then......
God on you............
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Be Who You Are


Studying in the book of Amos last night.
Good stuff.
Never really got into the history of the book or the story of who Amos was or where he came from. but all that has changed.
I can relate to Amos.
He was a good ol' country boy.
Came from South of Jerusalem from a town called Tekoa.
Tekoa was pretty much a wide spot in the road. It was the jumping off place if you were riding a train.
Tekoa was so far out from civilization that if you blinked while driving through town, you'd missed it.
Amos was probably the only thing of recognition to every come from Tekoa.
God reached down to this far removed place, and laid hold of a man who'd speak His words.
A man who would go where God said to go. Such was the man Amos.
Amos was not full of himself.
When God called him, Amos did not rise up and say, "I'm shaking the dust off of me from this gritty, dirty little town and I'm moving on to bigger and better things." No.........Amos simply said, "Yes, Lord."
Amos was taken from the desolate little village of Tekoa, located in the Southern Kingdom and sent to Bethel located in the Northern Kingdom. He was sent there to speak the Word of God to King Jeroboam.

Bethel was the big city. Center for commerce, government and religion. King Jeroboam had erected golden calves for the people to worship at rather than have to make a journey to Jerusalem. Jeroboam had take the worship of God and melded and mixed it with other religions from the neighboring countries. Amos was going to warn King Jeroboam that God was going to come in judgment unless there was repentance.
Well, you can imagine what a field day the people of Bethel had with Amos. To them, Amos was a rube.......a redneck.........a hick..............a hayseed..........uneducated and unlearned. He was ridiculed and called names. The priest of Bethel, Amaziah told Amos to go back home. Called him a "seer" using it as a derogatory name. Making fun of Amos.
Amos' answer is profound if you really stop to read it.
Amos 7:14-15
Then Amos answered, and said to Amaziah: "I was no prophet, nor was I a son of a prophet, but I was a sheep breeder and a tender of sycamore fruit.
Then the Lord took (called) me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said to me, 'Go prophesy to My people Israel.'
Amos tells Amaziah, "Yo....I am only doing what God told me to do." Amos didn't have any credentials or degrees or a formal education. There were a million reasons why Amos shouldn't be the one delivering God's message. But there was one reason that superseded everything the world would deem as being acceptable for such a task. That one reason is that God called Amos.
How many words from God have I rejected because I didn't like the package it was delivered in?
How many people has God placed in my path that I failed to heed because they didn't look like someone who would speak on God's behalf. I'm telling you right now, when God speaks it doesn't always come through a college-graduated-smooth-talking-good-looking man or woman. It comes from the down and out. The simple. The pure of heart.
Don't get me wrong.
I'm not discounting and throwing away everyone who seeks an education. I'm just saying that education and style cannot be the measure of whether or not someone speaks for God.
I see advertisements for major conferences all over this country. It will list the speakers who will be there and usually this if followed by the speakers resume' or accomplishments. If Amos had been invited to speak, his list of accomplishments would be pretty small.
Guest Speaker: Amos
Sheep breeder from Tekoa.
Fig picker.
Followed God.
Spoke for God.
Yet that is the heart of God's kingdom. Taking the very ones who no one would pick, then empowering them to go and speak for God. Hmmmm. Maybe you fit that mould. I know that I do.

Until next time....
God on you..........
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Monday, April 19, 2010

Running into Jesus



It was a good day yesterday. I was unsure what to teach and Monday's sometimes are really hard. The weekend was over and guys were trying to get back into the swing of things. Sometimes they are very dull and not attentive to what is being taught, but the class must go on. Taught from Psalm 51, about the personal interaction that God likes to have with us.
We see such phrases as "cleanse me", "wash me", "create in me", and "restore me." All pointing to the fact that God is an up-close and personal God. Genesis 2 says that God "formed" man from the dust of the earth. Formed giving the idea that we were a hands on project where God himself was personally involved. I like that.

I told the men that they, for the most part, had no frame of reference for God. They had maybe read about Him or been to church but had not had an encounter with Him. I asked who would like to be prayed for and have such an encounter, a young man stepped forward. I began to pray and ask God to come and (as some denominations would say) fall on him. It wasn't long before it happened and as we prayed quietly, the young man began to tremble and sway. After a few seconds, he fell backwards and was caught, gently laid to the floor where he rested in God for the next several minutes. I had not touched him or placed my hands on him in any way. It was truly a moment where God came and met with this young man. Several others came forward for prayer and the God came to them in different ways. Some said that it felt like electricity flowing through their bodies. Some got so peaceful and the minds seem to drop all the clutter and thoughts that had been following them around. For the first time in a long time, their minds and hearts were at peace.
The one thing I see as I read the history of the church, those who walked close to God did so because of ongoing relationship and interaction with God, the father, through the work of the Holy Spirit. Their communication was to Jesus, our great mediator and advocate, who intercedes for us to the Father. That is why I am all about being hungry for God and for His purity and His presence.
Psalm 25:4-5
Show me your ways, O Lord. Teach my your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
God on you.........
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New Message Downloaded

Saturday night was an unusual night, in that I felt the message that I had prepared was not the one God wanted me to teach. This is not the first time this has happened, nor will it be the last. I turned to John Chapter 8 which is the story of the woman caught in adultery who is brought before Jesus by the religious rulers.

I knew that God was saying, "let's uncover the pharisee."
The pharisee in me.
You see, I'm to the point now in my life, that I don't really hesitate when God tells me to do something. I don't mind being the object lesson. I don't mind being exposed when I'm wrong. To me, this is the safest place to be in. If I can learn from my mistake and remain teachable, then I can grow in Christ. That is the place real life happens, where you can live in honesty and transparency before others.

I guess the one thing I have taken with me over these past 13 years is that I don't know all the answers and I don't have to know all the answers. I just have to be obedient. I have to trust God and his leading and simply follow. I may balk, I may be fearful, I may be angry, but I will trust and follow. How can I have all these emotions and still be obedient? Because God knows my humanness, not to excuse it, but He works in me to move beyond what would seek to hold me in place and keep me from following him.

Give a listen to the message.
I hope God speaks to you and you are able to glean something for yourself.

Until tomorrow...
God on you............
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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Baptism Day


This is a photo taken on February the 12th this year. Snow day! If you stand in the spot where this photo was taken, it looks a lot different today. The trees are full and green and the shade extends across the creek.
Today we begin baptizing for this year.
A number of men have approached me about being baptized, so today is the day.
I have a picture of my grand father, who was a preacher, and he is conducting a baptismal service in a creek like the one we use. He is down in the water and there are perhaps 50-75 people all around him waiting to be baptized. My mother told me that this particular picture was taken at the end of a revival service my grand father had conducted. I don't think anything stirs my heart more than seeing some come to a saving knowledge and relationship with Jesus and then comes to be baptized. I tell the guys that this is "payday" for me. To be down in the water and watch them, one by one, come out and enter into the ordination of baptism. It doesn't get any better than that. I haven't found any other place I'd rather baptized than in the creek here at Rapha. There's nothing magic about it. There's not anything more spiritual about the place than say a church baptistery. But it is just special for me.
I am grateful that God has allowed me to participate in baptizing.
Romans 6:3-7
Or have you forgotten that when we became Christians and were baptized to become one with Christ Jesus, we died with him? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised as he was. Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.
God on you..
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Friday, April 16, 2010

Celebrate Tonight....


Celebrate (Defined) --- A joyous or happy occasion to mark some event or situation.
Recovery (Defined) -- The act of regaining or recovering something that was lost.
Tonight I go to Centre to speak at their Celebrate Recovery. It will truly be a celebration of God recovering people and restoring them to their original state of being. I won't try and go into great detail, but over the years, what has worked for me is that I spend a lot of time reading Scripture before I go to speak. As the day progresses, God kind of narrows down what he wants me to say. I don't do a lot of preparation for speaking but rather spend my time in prayer. When it comes time to speak, I take the verses I think God wants to highlight and then simply allow him to fill in the chinks, so to speak, with what he wants to say. One thought, as I'm speaking, may lead me to another verse where God wants to highlight a thought or precept.

I know it sounds like I simply wing it when I stand up to speak and you might not be far from that concept. I don't like to say,"I'm winging it." I'd rather say that I'm trying to follow God. This way of teaching and speaking came about from being here at Rapha. When I first started teaching a class here, I would come prepared. Many pages of teaching notes. Verses highlighted and organized. I would have spent hours reading the teaching, getting it straight in my head. Once I stood to teach, someone would ask a question that would take us in a complete different direction, so everything I had prepared was really of no use anymore. When we would venture in the direction that the question was taking us to, God would show up and there would be much power and presence in the room. I saw many saved and healed during this time of completely not knowing what I was doing. I simply discarded what I had prepared and embraced what God was doing at that moment. Over the years, my teaching has changed into this pattern of reading and praying, and once the teaching starts, simply listening for God and following where the Holy Spirit wants to go. I don't know that it would work for everyone, but it has been the way God teaches through me.
Oh yeah....Back to Celebrate Recovery........Centre......tonight.
I have been stuck in Psalm 150 this week.
V1. - Praise God in his heavenly dwelling. Praise him in his might heaven.
We begin at the top. We start with the one who has made our living responsible. That would be God. It is hard for me to read the word "praise" and see it as a passive behavior. I think praise is off the hook, wide open, raucous, loud, boisterous and about a gazillion other adjectives. IT is the highest thing we can do. I mean give praise that rises up from the deepest recess's of our spirit and heart (Heart got recess's?)
V2. - Praise him for his mighty works. Praise his unequaled greatness!
God is not silent. God is not a "do nothing" God. God is active and moving and changing and touching and interacting. Oh and one other thing...................HE AIN'T GOT NO RIVALS THAT ARE EQUAL TO HIM OR UP TO THE TASK OF TAKING HIM ON! That wasn't very good English, but it did get my point across. Also, one more reason to praise him.
V3. - Praise him with a blast of the trumpet. Praise him with the lyre and harp!
Now we're talking. We are going to pull in the horn section. I mean let's find us a bunch of worshippers that have got some "punch" to their sound. I don't want no wimpy, airless, don't want to make any noise horn players. I want a Memphis Soul Section...I want Muscle Shoals Horn players. I want horn players who play with feeling and don't simply follow the notes.
V4. - Praise him with the tambourine and dancing. Praise him with stringed instruments and flutes!
Dancing and tambourines? You got to be kidding me! We don't allow no dancing in our church. Well, number #1....it isn't your church. If you check the Bible (remember that book) the church belongs to Jesus. Number #2.....No where does it mention that this is to only take place in the church. Why not cut a rug at home. Dance a jig in the shower. Dance for God. Dance with God. Dance to God. But honey....Dance.
V5. - Praise him with a clash of cymbals. Praise him with loud clanging cymbals.
Noise! Noise for Jesus! Noise with a purpose. I'd love to have about a hundred people who played cymbals and just go for it. Do you see how confined our worship has become. How we have allowed our joy to be taken away. We sit in rows with our hands folded and look as though we were baptized in persimmon juice. I think God wants us to get happy!
V6. - Let everything that lives (has breath) sing praise to the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Did you catch that? Everything that has breath....everything that is living....
It didn't say everything that is saved. Or everything that belongs to First Church. The entire creation has been called by God himself to join in this incredible worship time and scream and dance and proclaim the greatness of the one who has so lovingly given us life today.
Wow!
Now that is worth getting excited about.
God on you..........
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thursday Ramblings....


Why?
Why is it that someone comes for prayer.
Makes a specific request that they want you to pray.
You pray.
As you pray you look into their eyes and you see and know that they have asked with their mouth but not with their heart.
You pray.
God does not answer the prayer you prayed.
Days go by.
Weeks go by.
Months go by.
You do not see an answer. The person you prayed for does not see an answer.
Yet you know God is God and is sovereign in his reign and rule.
Questions I struggle with.

A.) Maybe the person is just going through the motions and doesn't really want or expect an answer to their prayer.
B.) Maybe it's tied to the free will of each individual. They say they want one thing yet their will over rules and blocks what God is trying to do.
1.) I'm not sure in this case that I actually like the term free will.
II Corinthians 4:4 reads: Satan, the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those
who don't believe, so they are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News that
is shining upon them. They don't understand the message we preach about the glory
of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God
2.) Their minds are blinded. It is their unbelief that creates the blindness. It takes the
power and Spirit of God to break the blindness created by Satan in conjunction
with their unbelief.
3.) Only God possesses such a power that can dislodge the false reality and belief
system that covers everyone who does not believe God.
Maybe my part in all of this is found in the first verse of Second Corinthians, Chapter Four.
"And so, since God in his mercy has given us this wonderful ministry, WE NEVER GIVE UP."
We continue to pray even when we don't understand the "whys" and the "why nots" of the situations we are called to pray for.
We continue to cry out to the Father heart of God for those trapped in darkness.
We stand between those who are lost and hell itself.
We are the instruments used by God for his kingdom purpose here on earth.
II Corinthians 5:7 --- We live and walk by faith....not by sight (or our other senses).
Our lives are governed and directed by a higher authority, God himself.
I want to learn how to pray more effectively, and by that, I mean, to be able to hear God as I pray and only say back to him the very things he is stirring my heart to pray for.
I still have a lot to learn....
Thank you, Lord, for your patience.
God on all of you.............
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mmmmm Good!


Banana Pudding....
It just doesn't get any better than that.
My all time favorite dessert.
Better than chocolate cake,
Better than Apple pie...
Better than anything created by French chefs
or
fancy restaurants.
Give me Banana Pudding.
I don't like it hot...
I like it from the 'fridge.
It is a party in my mouth.
Why write about this?

Because as much as I like Banana pudding....
I love God even more.
"O.k. Michael, you've lost me.
Where did this come from."
Very unusual verse found in Psalm 34...
Verse 8 reads:
Taste and see that the LORD is good.
That the sense of taste would be tied to the sense of vision.
The word "taste" is translated perceive or know.
IF you think about it, tasting something, a food or a dessert,
has nothing to do with vision.
All information gathered comes from what takes place in your mouth.
From my view point, I think it is saying that our faith
gives us the ability to see.
Our faith allows us to savor and enjoy the 'taste' of God.
We do so through the interaction between Him and us.
Every moment doesn't have to be a "heaven-parting-10-commandment- part-the-red-sea-moment".
Some moments can simply be in a quiet place, just God and you.
Moments such as these sometimes carry more power of presence than what we
consider to be "Power Encounters."
So today....
Taste God
and See
let your faith take you places that you have never been with God before.
Stretch out your faith beyond your reach.
He is an awesome God.
God on you....
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

X..XI....IV....VI...QU...IC....K !



Roman Numerals....
Believe it or not, when I was in Elementary school, we had to learn how to
count by Roman Numerals.
A few months of this torturous activity and I quickly discovered why
the Roman empire fell.
It was too hard too count....
Scene: A Tent when Roman commanders gather to discuss strategy for the
upcoming campaign against the Visigoths.
General # 1 (Maximus Ventus) "What is the strength of the enemy...number wise?"
Peon # 1 : "Well....it's, let's see....uh....er....XXL, no that's not right."
"I'm sorry sir, what comes after LLXX MC?"
General: "Er....humph.....cough...Just guess, man, just guess!"
Peon #1 - A whole bunch of 'em.
I remember struggling to learn how to count.
I remember thinking to myself, "What good is this? I'll never use it."
Truth is, I haven't used Roman numerals much outside of figuring out when movies were made or what year a particular television show came one.
(read the credit's...watch for the Roman Numerals! Voila')
Maybe what didn't make sense at the time had a greater benefit than I could comprehend.
Isn't that like God?
He asks us to do something or leads us in a particular direction and we just don't get it.
We kick against the directives from Him and we whine and we gripe.
All the while He is trying to get us to see the bigger picture.
Genesis 6:14-- God commands Noah to make yourself (interesting choice of words)
an ark of gopher wood.
God goes on to give the instructions on how and why to do this.
But to Noah's mind, he must of thought, this is a lot of work.
It wasn't like the ark came in pre-fabricated form.
No.
There were trees to be cut down.
Then shaped.
Cut into boards..
It was hard.
Do you think Noah, at any point, stopped and thought, this is crazy.
"When am I going to need such a boat?"
Years went by. Noah remained faithful.
Then came the day the animals showed up.
God told everyone to get inside the ark,
and the rain began to fall.
And it fell some more.
And it kept on falling.
30 days, 31 days....on and on.
38 days, 39 days....40 days.
Finally Noah understood why God had directed him to build the ark.
That is the way I want to be.
Not quibble about the "why" of God's directive,
and simply do.
Lesson Learned.
I want to get it the first time around.
God on you....
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Why?


Kids!
I love the way their minds work.
I love the way they process information.
I am thankful for grand kids because they keep me young.
They make me quit thinking like an adult and think like they do.
On the way to school the other day, Tyler, my grand son, and I engaged in a very stimulating conversation.
"Poppa....when I get old enough, I want to go to college."
I asked Tyler, "Which college would you like to attend?"
Without hesitation Tyler replied, "The University of Alabama or the University of Texas."
I then began to ask questions as to why these two particular choices. It became very apparent that sports was the main reason. Tyler then asked why you would need to pick a certain college to go to. Why couldn't you just go to which ever college you wanted to?
I told him that it really depended on what field of work you would want to do. I explained that his dad and mom had attended Jacksonville University because they wanted to both teach. Jacksonville was the logical choice for them.
Tyler asked me if he had to go to college or were there jobs that he could do that didn't require college. I told him, "Yes, there were jobs out there that he could do."
We rode in silence for a while and I could tell that Tyler was thinking about our conversation. Suddenly, like a light bulb had gone off, Tyler turned to me and said, "Poppa, I know what I want to do and I won't even have to go to college to do it."
"What?" I replied.
"I want to be a Verizon Telephone salesman."
Where did that come from? A Telephone salesman?
I kind of giggled and reached over and put my arm around Tyler and said, "Aim a little higher son."
I think our Father in heaven does the same for us.
He has these on going conversations with his children.
At some point, we tell him what we are going to do....
lovingly, he puts his arm around us and says, "Aim a little higher my child."
Why settle for good things, when God is wanting for you God things?
Why settle for a peaceful mind, when Scripture says that we can have the mind of Christ?
I do not want my walk with him to fall short because of unbelief or fear of what the future holds.
I want to believe God for everything he is trying to do in my life.
I do not want to cut short his work because of unbelief or lack of faith.
I guess the word for the day is "Aim higher".
God on you.......
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Monday, April 12, 2010

Where...

Where do you look to when you find yourself in trouble?
Your own ability?
Your own security and wealth?
Who do you cry out to when you feel as though the world is crashing down on you?
When the weight and burdens of life seem to fall and crush your very spirit.
When the darkness you feel is so thick you could cut it with a knife..

Isaiah 40:21-22
Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? it is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers.Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

Lofty words that should do more than awaken a dull mind. These words should stir something inside you that is ancient and without time....Your spirit. The words of God should awaken something that bypasses your mental capability and strike deep into the heart of your faith, your hope and your yearning to break free. Break free from the human condition that the enemy (devil) seeks to warp and turn away from God. Oh, we are humans and we do have a sinful nature, but God has broken the ties and power of that nature. He has given us means by which we can rise above our condition, into a new an loving relationship with Him.

Isaiah 40:31
But those who wait (hope) on the LORD, shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.

In other words, the scripture (Is. 40:31) will enable us to rise above the very thing that seeks to destroy us---physically, mentally and spiritually. IT all begins with us waiting and having hope that Jesus is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do.

Think on this today...
God on you........
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I have downloaded the message from last Saturday night ( 4/10)
Step # 4 / Lesson # 1 -- Clean It Out!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z


Hebrews 6:15
Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised

In an age of unbridled "doing" and "moving.....
waiting is not the forte of most folks.
Texting, Internet, I-phones, Me-phones and You-phones have the ether full of communication. The appearance of being connected and actually moving forward with ones life is the du'jour of the day.
Waiting is not.
Those who wait will hear the old adage "Snooze...you loose."
I do not find that to be true.
In fact most of my relationship with Jesus is played out in waiting.
Waiting for Him to instruct me on the next thing I am to do.
Waiting to hear from Him on what it is He desires.
Sometimes waiting for Jesus is simply His way of getting me to rest.

After all, in the 23rd Psalm it reads that "He makes me lie down in green pastures."
Did you catch that?
He MAKES me lie down.
He MAKES me rest.

There are times when I simply need to pull aside and just rest in Him, With Him and near Him.
Sunday morning is that kind of day for Vicki and me.
We usually get up around 6 or 6:30.
Coffee.....

Sunday Paper......
Then we have a time of worship.
Music...
Prayer....
Scripture....
Talking with each other about the affairs of the previous week.

Things we struggled with and things that God spoke to us.
We pray about long range plans we feel like God is leading us to.
We pray over both our places of employment, and the people who run them.
We pray that God would bless both places and prosper them.

In other words, we rest in God on Sunday's.
I have been gone the last three Sunday's and even though I was in church, I missed the simplicity of resting in God.
I think maybe church should be made more simple instead of a production.
I remember one Sunday when I was asked to speak to the Afternoon group at Gadsden Vineyard, I really didn't have a message. I just kept hearing the word rest.
As I stood to speak, I asked the sound person to put on some soft, intimate worship music. I explained to everyone there that life was taxing us and we didn't really seem to have a lot left over in the way of strength or energy, so I told them, "Today we rest."
I encouraged them to make themselves comfortable and even stretch out across the chairs if they wanted to, that instead of a message, we were going to rest. I'll never forget the look on the faces of the people present. It was like, "Can we do this?"
As the music started, people found comfortable spots to be in and one by one they began to rest. The lights were dimmed and we rested in God.

I let it go on for 45 minutes. Then I asked, "How was it?" The response was overwhelming.
Some said that they had heard God for the first time in a long time.

Some simply said they felt reconnected and energized.
Some had received prophetic words and wanted to share.
Every person who had been in the room that day, went away with renewed hope and faith.
That simple act of resting did more than any message or teaching I could have delivered.

Today....
Rest in Him....
Set aside time to simply rest in Him.


Enjoy this weekend.
God on you.......

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Friday, April 9, 2010

Step # 4




Step # 4
We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Lamentations 3:40
Let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn again in repentance to the Lord.
We begin this Saturday night's teaching on Step # 4.
If you have been following our pod casts, you'll notice that we are taking one of the twelve steps each month.
This being April, we are moving into Step#4.
We find that recovery really is about letting go of false hopes so that work can begin on genuine hopes....
To begin to understand that the promises of God are for those who believe.
The promises of God are without fail.
When I understand that, with God's help, I need to take that trip inside myself and take an inventory of the good and bad in my life, then I am on the road to recovery.
For some though, the trip in is a painful, miserable journey as they revisit situations and people they may have used or hurt.
Guilt and shame begins to surface as these memories come back.
----NEWS FLASH---
Jesus isn't in the business of beating people down.
He is in the business of saving and picking people up.
How does He do this?
With His love and forgiveness.
By examining your past, and dealing with your issues by doing this 4th step,
You are going to see yourself more and more as being a valuable object of God's love.
How cool is that?

Be sure to check in Monday (hopefully) and listen to the message.
God on you..
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What Do I Believe....


I Believe.....

The Bible is the inerrant word of God. Totally true, totally for us today as a practical means to demonstrate our faith. The Holy Spirit tells me where and when....the Bible tells me how.
Too many can't get beyond stories and parables to see that we are to take the examples given and make sure we don't repeat the same mistakes.
I Believe......
That Jesus was fully God and fully man. I can't explain it but there isn't anything inside me that would cause me to doubt this statement. If you're big on proof, the only proof I can offer is my life. I know the real me (the stinky, messy part) and i know that I have been changed. All of this change began when I started this journey in relationship with Jesus.
I don't want to "religi-size" my statements or couch them in "church-speak". I want my language to be as normal as possible when I talk of Jesus and what he has done through me.
Everything I do, I want to point back to Jesus and not draw attention to myself. It ain't about me (Sorry bout the bad English, I am Southern you know)
I Believe.....
That prayer is more than empty words floating around in the ether.
Prayer is my heart locking on (like radar) to God's heart. When that happens, my prayers becomes his prayers. As I pray them back to God, He act's on them. It kind of the physical part of the Lord's prayer...you know, when we pray "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." How do you think His will gets done? Through those who are followers of Jesus. They breathe back to God the things that the Holy Spirit has placed on their hearts and God moves on these prayers. It wasn't until I did a study of John Wimber's teaching that I saw the error of my prayers. For too long, my prayers were like trying to hit a dove with a shotgun. You simply fired into the air and hoped that you hit something. As John taught me that prayer is simply me repeating to God what His Holy Spirit has placed on my heart, it all clicked and I began a new way of praying. I learned that I didn't have to talk God into something. I didn't have to beg him to heal someone. I didn't have to qualify those I was praying for....."Lord, you know she has worked in the nursery here at church for 26 years (Like this bumped her to the head of the line for God to answer the prayer). " God's heart is to move on prayer.
I Believe.....
That the body of Christ is multi-faceted and diverse. There are many flavors that make up the body (denominations) and just because you aren't particular to a certain flavor doesn't mean that others don't like it. I have discovered that it is alright to have preferences in what you like as far as the type of service. Just don't let your preference become a law that you hold up to others. You might like a certain type of music in worship....Nothing wrong with that. Just don't look at others and proclaim them to be ungodly for their style of worship. Me.....personally I can't stand Southern Gospel music. When I was growing up, my parents drugged me (I am not exaggerating) to Gospel singing every Sunday. These were not 1 or 2 hour events. These were all day affairs. For me to have to sit there all day was not my cup of tea, so to this day, my preference for music does not lean toward Southern Gospel. But you know what? I do recognize and appreciate those men and women who do sing that style. Why? Because I recognize the value of it. I recognize that God indeed uses the words and music to stir hearts and draw others into relationship with Him. That is the beauty of the body of Christ. Appreciate and embrace the worship that draws you and stirs your heart. Bless all the rest.
God is a good God isn't he?
God on you......
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Thursday, April 8, 2010

It's Not The "How" but the "Why"

I Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

We get so caught up in acting spiritual and religious in front of other people, that we forget God is all about the motive. The "WHY" we did what we did. In order to be truly free in every part of of our life, we must seek the proper motive for our actions. The Bible describes the proper motive in the simple thought of "whatever I do, do it for the glory of God." We may not openly or readily admit it but sometimes we seek our own glory in an effort to bolster our own self worth. We rob from God what is rightfully his....that is glory. Is God an ego-maniac that needs to have his self-worth stroked and bragged over? NO! He is God and that very fact alone is enough for me to give glory to Him.

When I begin to work or live for the glory of God, instead of my own, I become a person of truth and it is in this truth that I find true freedom. What does John 8:31-32say? If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

I need to be free.
Not just for today but beyond.
If, in my heart, my purpose is to glorify God, then I am working in concert with God, and He will enable me to do what I seek to do. What some fail to see in this relationship, is that as you allow God to work through you, He will receive the glory and there will be an on-going freedom that is given.

Psalm 115:1
Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us...
But to Your name give glory
Because of Your mercy,
Because of Your truth.

I change my focus from self to the Lord Jesus. In order to walk in freedom, I must walk with Jesus, looking to him for guidance and power.
The answer to my problems is not found in me, so that is not the place to look.
The answer is found in Jesus and.......
IN BEHOLDING HIM!!!!
LOOKING TO HIM!!!!
LISTENING TO HIM!!!!

Verse of the Day:
Romans 13:11
Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep. For now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.

God on you.......'
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Welcome To The Wonderful World of "600's"


Number 600 + 1......
That is the number of today's posting......601.
I never really set out to post that many times.
On an earlier blog I think I reached 700 +
In fact this blog (GREENE STREET LETTERS) started out under the name of
The Church@Rapha. After a number of month's I felt that I was to rename to the original name of the newsletter I use to mail out back in the mid 90's.
I think, for me, one of the things I really enjoy doing is going back and reading postings from the archive's. Seeing what was going on months ago. Read how God answered a prayer or run across a posting and suddenly have all these memories of why I wrote that particular one.
Page 601 in my Bible is II Kings 1.
In this particular chapter we read and get an introduction to the prophet Elijah.
King Ahaziah has had a terrible accident and is dying. He sends messengers to inquire from Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron and ask whether or not the king will live.
As the kings boy's made their way, they ran into Elijah ( only because the angel of the Lord came to Elijah and gave him a heads up. "Go meet the King's boys).
When the two had met, Elijah asked them, "Hey guys...are you taking this trip to Ekron because there is no GOD in Israel..hmmm?" Elijah gives them the skinny to take back to the king. "Don't come down from your bed because you are going to die."
The king wanted to know who would say such a thing. "Describe him to me," said the king.
"Well............he was a hairy man with a leather belt." The king said, "It is Elijah the Tishbite". The king was familiar with ol' Lijah. If you are the king though, these really aren't words you want to hear, are they?" That you are not going to get well but will die upon your bed. I don't think so.
How many times have we received from God only to discredit what He was doing or telling us simply because we did not want to hear it. It was too hard of a thing to hear, or it was not what we wanted to hear. I know that I have done this. Yet the problem with all of this behavior is that it does not stop or slow what God has spoken. My unbelief does not lessen what God is doing in any way.
I really like Job's attitude on that terrible day when he kept getting hit from every direction with bad news. Every time someone showed up at Job's door, they brought terrible news of destruction and death. It was so overwhelming that Job tore his clothes and simply sat down in the dust and worshipped. I don't know if there was a lot of up beat praise and boisterous singing going on. Probably a lot of weeping and rocking back and forth, but in the midst of it all Job says those incredible words................."The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord." Wow! No matter what comes my way, good or bad, the Lord is to be blessed and praised and worshipped.
Think on these things today.........
God on you........
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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Jesus Laughing


Laughing..........
Smiling.................
Joyous...................
These are not emotions that most would assign to Jesus.
After all, He was fully God and fully man.
I really don't want to credit the devil with humor (although he does take it and put it in the gutter sometimes).
I think God created humor and laughter and giggles and guffaws and chortles and other assorted displays of human emotion.
I know that Jesus was here for a reason.
I know there was a seriousness to His life, but I also know that I read in Scripture where little children went to him without any prompting. He took the children unto himself. Little children are very astute as to human conduct and nature. They are stand offish if they perceive you to angry or solemn or grumpy (not one of the dwarf's from Snow White).
God exhibits all the emotions because He created them.
Please do not get me wrong, I am not trying to bring God down to a human level and portray Him as operating in the same manner that you and I do. Scripture clearly states that "His way are not like mine and His thoughts are higher than mine."
We read in Romans 2:4 reads, "Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?"
It's not the anger or wrath of God that leads to repentance.
It's not the power and might of God that draws people to repentance....
It is the almighty, ever lasting heart of Father God in kindness that draws mankind to a place of salvation.

I like the picture of "laughing" Jesus.
I take comfort in it, even if it is a painting down to be representative of an idea someone had as to the nature and character of Jesus.
I don't disqualify or choose not to see the side of Jesus as pictured in Rev. 19. as a returning King to bring judgement to the world. There is more to Jesus than anger and wrath.
I am grateful for that.
God on you........
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Loving It!


Psalm 84:10-12
For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield.
The LORD will give grace and glory.
No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
O LORD of hosts
Blessed is the man who trusts in You!
I guess one way of saying it would be:
"The worst day with God is better than the best day the world could offer to me"
Yesterday was a fearful day for me.
It seemed like every area that I was lacking in raised its voice and screamed in my head.
But God......
In His infinite mercy and wisdom, calmed my fears.
Reminded me that there was truth in my lack of ability and strength....
but....
Reaffirmed to me that He was strength in every place that had no strength.
He was wisdom in the middle of my dullness.
He was mercy in the midst of my unforgiveness.
He was light even though I felt darkness.
God reminded me that everything I wasn't
He was.
Today, I am grateful.
Today, I am at peace.
Today, I still don't have any answers, but that's o.k.
The answers will come in His time, not mine.
I rest in the truth of who God is.
What better place could you ever hope to be?
Find if for yourself.
God on you.....
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Monday, April 5, 2010

New Message Downloaded

Just finished down loading the message from Saturday night.
Seth Barber was our speaker and it is one of the most powerfull teachings I've ever been a part of.
Enjoy....Let God speak to you through what Seth teaches.

Tell your friends about the GREENE STREET LETTERS.

God on you.........
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It Was A Good Day


Isaiah 35:10
Those who have been ransomed by the LORD will return to Jerusalem, singing songs of everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be overcome with joy and gladness.

Every good thing we experience here on earth.....
Every good and perfect gift given to us by our heavenly Father....is but a taste...a sampling of the incredible goodness to come.

I love the last part of Isaiah 35:10 passage where it says "they will be overcome with joy and gladness." It isn't the emotional fluff that the world gives to us. Emotion that stirs the flesh and not the spirit. Emotion that lingers but for a moment and then disappears like a wisp of smoke. NO! Isaiah is speaking of joy and gladness that comes from an eternal place, given to His children by an eternal Father. Overcome....to be so totally saturated and filled with joy and gladness all else pales in comparison. That is a powerful statement! Yet, this is what our Father in heaven is going to do those who believe and life accordingly.

We live in a time between the times. By that, I mean we live in an age between Jesus' first coming (birth/death and resurrection) and His second coming. Paul, in the book of Galatians, refers to our current time as "this present evil age". Because of the collective sin nature of mankind, evil is manifested in every area of our planet. But in the midst of this evil, God is at work saving and restoring those who confess that Jesus is LORD and believe in their hearts that God has raised Him from the dead. To these belong the promise of overwhelming joy and gladness. This is why we walk our days out here on earth with one eye on what's going on around us and the other eye on heaven. God has not called us to simply occupy and hold on till He comes back, but to be "salt and light" in a world of darkness.

Isaiah 43:13 --From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can oppose what I do. No one can reverse my actions.

Isaiah 44:3 -- For I will give you abundant water to quench your thirst and to moisten your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit and my blessings on your children.

Mark 1:15 -- "At last the time has come! " he announced. "The Kingdom of God is near! Turn from your sins and believe this Good News!"

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

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Saturday, April 3, 2010

He Is Not There!


Tomorrow is resurrection Sunday.
There will be many songs played that will paint different pictures of what transpired in that tomb, the night before Jesus rose from the dead.
Sermons will be preached.
Pastor's will be in prayer tonight over what they are to say tomorrow.
Bottom line to it all is this....
Simple truth.
Jesus rose from the dead.
A state of being that I am incapable of beating.
A moment in time that I will go to (death) knowing that
what I have done here on earth, as far a choices and decisions made,
will affect where I spend eternity.
Simple truth.
Jesus rose from the dead.
There are those who would argue the point of Jesus' resurrection.
But I know.
By faith, I know.
By faith, I know that Jesus rose from the dead.
Spent 40 days teaching His disciples.
Then gathering them on a hillside outside of Jerusalem,
Gave them final instructions and ascended back to heaven.
By faith, I know that one day He is coming back.
To gather unto Himself those who are saved.
I know this.
How?
Because Jesus rose from the dead.
No matter how many sermons are shared tomorrow.....
No matter how much Easter music is played....
No matter who fine your dress is tomorrow...
It all comes down to what do you believe....
I don't mean what you confess to believe....
I mean the deep-down-inside-make-a-difference- in-my-life beliefs.
They belief that governs how you live and approach others.
Because if you truly believe that Jesus rose from the dead.....
Then live like it.
Love others...
Love yourself....
Love God....
Show it...
Demonstrate it....
Give away freely what has been given to you.....
And oh yeah...
One other thing.....
HE IS RISEN!
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Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday


Today is good Friday.
The day that is celebrated as the crucifixion day.
The day Jesus was offered as a sacrifice for the sin of the world.
Hard to imagine that something so pure and holy, Jesus' blood........
could pay for all the evil and nastiness.........
the hatred and hurt.....
everything wrong in the human heart.
It is hard to imagine that everything about the crucifixion was so that I could enter into relationship with God. IT was my sin that separated me from Him. He could not look upon me or interact with me because He had set a standard and was not about to lower it. Instead, He paid the price so that I could be brought "up" to His standard.
It was the shed blood of Jesus that paid the price.
Hebrews 9:22 reads: In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
We go back even farther in Scripture and we find in Leviticus 17:11----For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar. It is the blood that makes atonement for one's life.
You won't here much in churches today about the blood of Jesus.
There will be a lot of messages this weekend about Jesus' death.
About the cross.
About the tomb and resurrection.
But you will not hear many who speak of the blood of Christ.
It is this blood that was given willingly by Christ, this perfect....sinless....pure....and holy blood that covered the sin of the world.
It has lost none of its power.
The blood is still at work today.
It brings forgiveness where there is confession and repentance.
It brings healing where there is brokenness and sorrow.
It brings freedom where people are in slavery and bondage.
It brings life from death.
It is the blood of Jesus.

Please don't let this weekend fall into just another weekend.
Don't let your church service or gathering be just another meeting.
Prepare yourself to meet with Jesus this weekend.
Prepare yourself to receive from Him what ever it is He desires to give you or tell you.
Embrace the truth of the cross............that death could not defeat Him.
That the power of sin has been broken and the devil is a defeated foe.

HE IS RISEN!!!!!
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Thursday, April 1, 2010

What's Up With This?


The Tomb of Jesus......
Easter coming up this weekend will provoke a lot of music and drama and other such stuff in an effort to pay homage to "the tomb".
It's not so much the tomb as it is what took place inside the tomb.
Resurrection.
"Ta-da!"
Once dead. Stone cold dead. Three days dead, now alive.
2nd Adam made right all that the first Adam had messed up.
Power of sin was broken.
Penalty for sin was paid.
Presence of sin was dealt with.
Jesus the Christ....
Because of Him....
I can approach Father God.
Father God can look upon me.
I have become a vessel for His Holy Spirit.
I have been pulled into a 4 way conversation (prayer).
I have been given rights and blessings that come with obeying my Father.
This Sunday, a lot of attention will be on the tomb, just as this Friday focus will be on the cross.
Maybe we should be thankful for these two, but instead, focus on the call God has given to each of us to be a "holy nation...a royal priesthood serving God."
Go beyond baptizing in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost and start taking up the truth of "making disciples."
It is our call to "spiritual" reproduction. We teach what we have been taught ( Kind of makes it hard if you haven't been taught or you didn't pay attention). No where do I read that we are to watch others make disciples. Something in the Kingdom of God are not optional.
I am grateful for the tomb....
My life is Jesus'.
I am grateful for the cross....
My life is Jesus'.
In Him, I find mercy in times when I need it most.
In Him, I find grace....a power...grace....a force....grace. More than unmerited favor...
Grace is....
God's empowering presence in my life that enables me to be who God created me to be and do what God has called me to do.......that, my friend, is grace.
So this weekend....celebrate Easter.
Wake up Easter morning and let the first thought in your mind be, "HE IS RISEN!" and then spend the day contemplating what this means to you. How does Jesus' resurrection truly translate into your day to day life.
Truth be known, the resurrection is so central to who we are as believers, that every day is Easter.
Everyday should be a "HE IS RISEN" day.

God on you..........
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Tuesday Bible Study

Psalm 119:130 The entrance (or unfolding) of Your words gives light. it gives understanding to the simple. Pulled up at the camp last ...