We have not had an opportunity to
Friday, April 30, 2010
We have not had an opportunity to
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.
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?
I'm not sure.
No matter what, the Greene Street Letters will continue to go out.
God on you................
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.
Readily recognize what he wants from you,
God brings the best out of you, and develops well-formed maturity in you.
I will if you will....
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
It says maybe we are really in love with the world and it's system, especially here in the United States.
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.
The message that comes from some churches is the pursuit of a life here on this planet is the highest calling we can achieve.
Love your neighbor.
Hey...God doesn't mind us having "Stuff".
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
I knew that he had been struggling daily.
That he had wavered back and forth in his addiction.
I was flooded with memories of my times with him.
Men who were living life for the first time.
Men who had strung together days, weeks, months and even years of sobriety.
So there within me, was these two emotions running at the same time.
But we haven't been called to do this or walk out this life by ourselves.
God on you..............
Monday, April 26, 2010
That you simply surrender to God's will and grace and walk, one step at a time,
What has been given to you is be shared with someone else who is probably
Let God's will be done....
As it is....
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...........
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
He was a good ol' country boy.
Tekoa was pretty much a wide spot in the road. It was the jumping off place if you were riding a train.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Spoke for God.
Until next time....
God on you..........
Monday, April 19, 2010
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.
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.
God on you............
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
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.
Now that is worth getting excited about.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Why is it that someone comes for prayer.
A.) Maybe the person is just going through the motions and doesn't really want or expect an answer to their prayer.
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.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I like it from the 'fridge.
Why write about this?
Because as much as I like Banana pudding....
I love God even more.
Where did this come from."
Moments such as these sometimes carry more power of presence than what we
Stretch out your faith beyond your reach.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
A few months of this torturous activity and I quickly discovered why
Scene: A Tent when Roman commanders gather to discuss strategy for the
I remember thinking to myself, "What good is this? I'll never use it."
(read the credit's...watch for the Roman Numerals! Voila')
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.
God goes on to give the instructions on how and why to do this.
Cut into boards..
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.
God told everyone to get inside the ark,
And it fell some more.
Not quibble about the "why" of God's directive,
I kind of giggled and reached over and put my arm around Tyler and said, "Aim a little higher son."
At some point, we tell him what we are going to do....
Monday, April 12, 2010
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..
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.
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........
I have downloaded the message from last Saturday night ( 4/10)
Step # 4 / Lesson # 1 -- Clean It Out!
Saturday, April 10, 2010
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.
Then we have a time of worship.
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.
Rest in Him....
Set aside time to simply rest in Him.
Enjoy this weekend.
God on you.......
Friday, April 9, 2010
If you have been following our pod casts, you'll notice that we are taking one of the twelve steps each month.
The promises of God are without fail.
With His love and forgiveness.
Be sure to check in Monday (hopefully) and listen to the message.
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)
God on you......
Thursday, April 8, 2010
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.
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:
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.......'
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
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).
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
After all, He was fully God and fully man.
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).
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.
The LORD will give grace and glory.
"The worst day with God is better than the best day the world could offer to me"
He was wisdom in the middle of my dullness.
Today, I still don't have any answers, but that's o.k.
What better place could you ever hope to be?
Monday, April 5, 2010
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.........
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..........
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Jesus rose from the dead.
Then gathering them on a hillside outside of Jerusalem,
Because Jesus rose from the dead.
I mean the deep-down-inside-make-a-difference- in-my-life beliefs.
Give away freely what has been given to you.....
Friday, April 2, 2010
The day Jesus was offered as a sacrifice for the sin of the world.
There will be a lot of messages this weekend about Jesus' death.
The blood is still at work today.
It brings healing where there is brokenness and sorrow.
Please don't let this weekend fall into just another weekend.
HE IS RISEN!!!!!
Thursday, April 1, 2010
I have been pulled into a 4 way conversation (prayer).
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.
Everyday should be a "HE IS RISEN" day.
God on you..........
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...