Off and Flying – Ohio and Belarus

Today begins a three and a half week series of trips to numerous places to both receive from the Lord and to minister for the Lord. I don’t like being away from home for that long a period but with several changes in dates in both places they ended up being back-to-back and so the length of absence from home cannot be helped.

Today (Saturday) I fly out mid-afternoon to Minneapolis, MN. and then on to Dayton, Ohio where I will then be picked up and driven to Celina, Ohio. Then tomorrow morning I will be attending church (hopefully not ministering) locally with my host (last year we went out of town to a small church plant) and then lunch at a buffet restaurant. This is followed by another 2 hour drive into Indiana where we will be meeting with 26+ other apostles starting Sunday supper and ending pre-supper on Tuesday. An apostolic roundtable.

We return to Celina on the Tuesday late afternoon for fellowship and a night’s sleep. Wednesday we will spend the day with two or three of the brothers fellowshiping and asking many questions before the 2 hour drive back to Dayton to catch the flight to Minneapolis and then on to Regina. I arrive home late Wednesday night if all the connections are made.

Then next Thursday – a simple day of laundry and packing and teaching in the evening … because Friday morning I head to Toronto, then to Frankfurt, Germany and then to Minsk, Belarus arriving just before supper on Saturday. This is my first visit to this nation – although I have been praying about visiting and ministering there for over a decade. A long two days.

Saturday night I will be ministering at a 4 hour service …. and that is the start of 16 days of three services or teaching opportunities a day as well as many one-on-one meetings. Days filled with God’s Word – teaching the Bible as well as ministering prophetically. The three Sundays (including Easter Sunday) I will be ministering in local churches; the first week I will minister the whole week to youth (grade ten to university) and then the second week to leaders of churches from around the nation. I think I have almost all the teachings and topics sorted and ready to go – I think.

I start my trip back home on the evening of Sunday the 11th of April and arrive home Tuesday morning the 13th. I think I will take two days off and just sleep and visit my family.

As always, I could use your prayers for these trips. Prayer for my health to be good the whole time, for those I will be ministering to, for flight connections and all travel plans (car, train, plane), for financial blessings (we try to cover costs through love offerings – extra goes to church planting and ministering to orphans) that all costs will be covered and then some. Pray as well for my team members…

The first trip to Celina, Ohio and Indiana I will be joined by Bob MacDonald who is also an apostle and will be attending the apostolic roundtable for the first time as my guest. A great brother and a terrific minister of the Gospel, teacher of the Word and gifted prophetically. Good to have him with me – we will meet up in Minneapolis’ airport later today.

The second trip I will be joined by Miroslav, my administrator in Eastern Europe who will travel for 15 hours by train to arrive at the airport in Minsk ahead of me so that I have an interpreter when I arrive. He will not be interpreting the sessions as he will be helping with the teachings and ministering propheticlly. The second week we will be joined by his wife Elena who also speaks great English and will alsobe doing some of the teachings – especially when we get to the section on gossip, offenses and forgiveness. As well, we have a number of young men and women who come when they can to form part of the team and enable more prophetic ministry to happen so we can bless more people prophetically. We are expecting a half dozen or so of our team to be with us.

So, please pray – and watch for daily updates on both these trips (with pictures) as internet connections allow. Appreciated!

Christian Hot Potatoes

There are a number of “hot potatos” in the Christian Church. They have changed over time. At one time abortion was a really ‘hot potato’ but now it has settled down and is simply a potato – an important one but not one that is really cooking with any passion.

The definition of a hot potato and therefore what fits into the category also changes from group to group within the Christian faith – or, better stated, the church (as some Christian churches are not really in the Christian faith). For some homosexuality is a big issue yet for other denominations or groupings of churches it is not as they have already determined that it is God’s will for people to be gay as He created them that way. Sex change operations (which in my mind states that God made a mistake when He made you a man and now you are becoming a woman) are okay with some groups and still a hot potato with others.{Larry King Live on CNN on Friday night the 12th of March 2010 interviewed a young “lady” who had been a young man – interesting perspective on things – free download of transcript at www.cnn.com}.

Whether something is a hot potato or a sticky issue seems to depend upon the group you belong to and has nothing to do with God’s absolute truth as contained in His Word – our Bible. Sad fact!

A survey by LifeWay Research in the United States revealed an interesting set of statistics about one current hot potato – gay marriage. Again, it is only a hot potato in some segments of the Church and only in some segemts of society… But I found the stats interesting (not facinating) and a bit of a surprize.

Here was the issue: The pastors surveyed were asked if they agreed or disagreed (and to what extent – strongly, a bit, very little) with the statement: “I believe gay marriage should be legal.” It was good to see that 74% of Protestant pastors “strongly disagree” with that statement.

In a follow-up question the same pastors were asked “How often do you speak to your congregation about homosexuality?”

And the results of that survey were:
33% – Rarely
30% – Several times a year
15% – About once a year
9% – Never
8% – About once a month
4% – Several times a month
1% – Don’t know

Of course, I would ask the question why preach about the sin of honosexuality more than one of the other sins? You remember – adultry, idolatry, lying, taking the Lord’s Name in vain (like praying something in Jesus’ Name He didn’t ask you to pray), gossip (bearing false witness), lust, and on and on the list goes. Why should we pin-point a current issue simply because it is in the media and is currently a hot potato in the political realm in many areas of our nation? It is simply another sin of many – and it has been around as long as sin has been around – since the garden… and so I believe we can preach on homosexuality and what the Bible states about it but that it should not be a constant focus of the pulpit any more than one or more of the other sins should be constantly focused on from the pulpit. So, I found the follow-up question somewhat pointless.

It seems that we need to get back to basics – the gospel, the need to repent with godly sorrow, coming to know Jesus in an intimate way, winning the lost and introducing them to Jesus, discipleship, and missions. We need a balance in the pulpit and the teaching ministry of the Church. We especially need to teach basic doctrines as apparently the average Christian does not really know what they are to believe as Christians and so are finding it difficult to defend it or “earnestly contend for the faith” (Jude 3).

Time to adjust the way we think and respond – and to examine the foundations upon which we are building – and make the changes that are needed to grow healthy and dynamic local churches.

If we just do the basics then the sticky issues and hot potatoes will take care of themselves because we will have built our house upon a rock and we will know the truth as set out for us in God’s Word.

Paradigm Please

This is an article from one of the leaders of an apostolic network in the United States who is my host for the upcoming apostolic roundtable I will be attending starting this Saturday… This artcile was published this week in his network’s e-news letter. It is worth a read! (Pictured above – the author, Bill Lewis, apostle)

They say that continuing to do the same thing and expect different results is the definition of insanity. However, it is amazing how often we keep adjusting the same thing hoping to fine tune and make it work better. I remember the early TV’s. You had adjustment knobs which you had to work for each station; then you had to adjust the antenna sometimes needing to stand there holding the rabbit ear antenna only getting a picture while you were holding it. There was the fuzziness and voice and picture distortion, but it was the only way to do it.

I remember a conversation about the coming digital age. It was the thought and innovation that was to come in a year or two. It is here and has taken over. TV has switched totally from analog to digital. Also, cell phones were cutting edge. The first ones were in your car, a permanent fixture or you could carry a heavy bag phone. The old guard made fun of those who were taking advantage of the technology and asked the question, “why do you need that?”

Now, the cell phone has gone digital. It is not only a phone, it is a smart phone. It has more computing power than the computers of a few years ago. In third world countries where it took years to get a landline and political bribing, now the cell phone has replaced the landline with the cell phone and all people have access.

Computers were bulky and expensive and few had them. Laptops were considered only something for the geek set and too expensive. Today, we carry them everywhere. They are smaller, lighter, and contain more power than what took the astronauts to the moon and back. We have wireless connections to the whole world. I am sitting at home working on the server at the office. I can connect to the server in the office when I am in Europe or Peru. We have had an amazing paradigm shift in communication and social networking.

Somewhere along the line, there were free thinkers, people who could dream, imagine. They were able to think beyond accepted norms. They were not stopped by, “you cannot do that, why would you do that, we do not need that, it cost too much, and how can you do that?”

Great changes come from identifying need, a willingness to serve others, and the boldness to take criticism and hold to your vision.

The western church is diminishing in impact, not because of the Gospel, but from the lack of the Gospel. We are essentially still living with an analog mentality in a digital world. What we have developed and keep tweaking is an old paradigm of religion and Christianity. It is not that God is not able or passé, but the church is in need of moving with the cloud of His presence and glory. The days of the big Sunday school etc. are gone. The church functioned for the first three centuries with few meeting places and under the cloud of persecution and grew from 25,000 in the first century to an estimated 20 million by the year 300 AD. Something was working that did not have worship bands, five thousand seat auditoriums, and multi-million dollar ministries. These may be well and good, but there is a dynamic that is greater than the show. This dynamic creates movements of God. I believe we are poised and in the early stages of a movement. There is an unrest and a push coming from young and old who want the reality and not the fluff of religion, the show of the star, the money changer type use of church. It is time to stop the insanity and make the God Shift!

Apostolic Roundtable in Ohio

This Saturday I will be flying to Minniapolis and then to Dayton, Ohio where I will be picked up by my host and driven to Celina, Ohio for the start of 5 days away at an apostolic roundtable and then a day of in-depth fellowship with one of the leaders of the network that sponsors the event before flying home to Regina late Wednesday night.

I attended my first apostolic roundtable last July with these same men. It was a serious blessing to me to be able to fellowship and worship with these men from a number of states and countries. The format is simple – fellowship, worship, prayer, prophetic ministry and a light sprinkling of teaching as we seek God together. We are there to honor God and hear from Him as His servants whose mandate is to help in the building of the Church so that it is both apostolic and prophetic.

This time the teacher will be one of the younger members of the apostolic roundtable (pictured above – his name is Jason King) – who has been mentored and fathered by one of the older members … we are seeing our first generation of apostles who have been fathered as my generation of apostolic men were not fathered and have had to basicly learn things on our own. This is a very timely talk that we will be hearing as the older generation of apostles hears what the next generation think about the job we have been doing in fathering them and the benefits they have received because they were fathered.

Here is a short article from their most recent e-news letter…

The March 21-23 Apostolic Roundtable once again features an expanded gathering of Apostles. We will have apostles from around the nation and other countries attending. Jason King will present the topic “Being an Apostolic Son.” His presentation will deal with how to be a son to apostolic fathers. The older apostles were raised up in a time when there were no fathers in this area or there were men who refused to be a father to the next generation. Today we have many who have the heart and passion to father the next generation of leaders and have done so. Now we will hear from Jason as to how that process helped and how it could be improved and how young leaders today should relate.

Your prayers for those involved would be greatly appreciated – including praying for another apostle from this area of the world whom I have the honor of working with who will be attending with me for the first time – Bob MacDonald from Saskatoon.

Another Day, Another Yawn

“For many Christians life is plain vanilla too much of the time. There’s nothing necessarily wrong about how they’re spending their time, but there’s nothing really exhilarating about it either. Another day, another yawn. But start taking some risks to share your faith and watch the excitement return with its ups and downs – perhaps even a few awkward but memorable moments along the way. So often, personal evangelism is the missing ingredient to living a life of true adventure.” (Page 46, The Unexpected Adventure by Lee Strobel and Mark mittelberg)

Yesterday I was in another city having a wonderful meal and meeting with a great couple who lead a dynamic church and a youth movement. We were in a great restaurant – in fact, one of my favourites, and the food was great. And, as we ate and went back to refill our plates I, of course, looked at the others who were also eating and enjoying the food and the company of their family and friends. I am a people-watcher.

There was not one person there that God does not love. There was not one person in that restaurant that Jesus did not die for. There was not one person whom God had given up on. They were all made in God’s image. They were all very precious to Him. And, many of them did not know Jesus. The older people have heard of Jesus and may even frequent a church now and again … but the younger generation are without a “Christian consciousness” as many of them do not own a Bible, have never read one and actually have never stepped inside a church as most funerals and weddings are now accomplished elsewhere.

While there my ever-present computer (Blackberry) vibrated letting me know that I had some phone calls and emails. I took a mental note of the fact and went on eating and talking… As our time concluded I hopped into my vehicle and checked my messages before driving off. A call from someone whose elderly mother was being taken into hospital with possible heart issues back in the city in which I live. I drove right to the hospital and spent several hours in the emergency ward and hospital coffee shop with this person and her great mother whom I had met a number of times in the past.

An emergency ward filled to overflowing with people in desperate need of medical attention … more people than the available attention. In the next two hours we saw people wheeled in and others wheeled out. We saw young and old, male and female, many different shapes and sizes – people of many nationalities. All had one thing in common – God loves them and sent His Son to die for them. They are precious to God and He created them in His own image. But, regretfully, many of them are not aware of that fact. Many are facing some serious and maybe final struggles and doing so without hope for eternity.

My turn to make supper and by now I am really somewhat behind schedule – and the turkey soup I was making would not be finished. So, a stop at a grocery store to get some “fast foods” so we could eat on time. Stood in line with my small basket of things and again noted the people … most coming off 8 hours of work on their way home stopping to pick up a few essentials they needed. Tired, stressed, frustrated, angry, exhausted, unfulfilled, downright miserable. People God loves and sent His Son to die for and most of them don’t know it and so don’t know Him and have never experienced His extravagant love.

A Monday different than my regular ‘down day’ (after an 18 hour Sunday on the road ministering) but one that made room for some serious reflection and prayer as I watched people the “day after”. On Sundays I talk to believers, teach believers, minister to believers, fellowship with believers and seldom see a non-believer … and on Monday I am suddenly engulfed in a sea of unsaved hamanity in three different locations that I don’t normally see on a Monday when tired and a bit reflective in mood…

No I didn’t witness to anyone – if it had been any other day I would have jumped right in. I know, its not an excuse … but it is a fact. Mondays are not great days for preachers as they try to regain their strength and their footing to face another week of ministry.

Last night as I sat and reflected on my day I thought about how exciting witnesses really is and how it adds spice to any regular and somewhat boring day … Nothing is more exciting or rewarding than being out on a limb with God, trusting and serving Him. That will always spice up your Christian life. And, thankfully, the worse thing most of us followers of Christ in the Western world will experience as we share our faith is inconvenience and perhaps occasional ribbing or ridicule from the people around us. Maybe even a rare case of outright rejection. But that shouldn’t shatter our world, should it? Isn’t it worth it for the sake of reaching people so loved by God?

So lift up your eyes, catch God’s vision for people in your world, step out in faith, and watch the Holy Spirit work through you. Besides, you’ll have a lot more interesting stories to tell. Life should never be “another day, another yawn.”

Dare to be a Little Eccentric

One of the things I have noticed about believers – Christians – is that they tend to express themselves within the bounds of Christian normalcy. Of course, the definition of “normalcy,” Christian or otherwise, depends upon the group that you hang out with – the church that you attend. So, they end up dressing, looking, talking and acting like a hundred other people in their church, fearful to express their own true individuality and possibly stymieing their unique ability to connect with people in their own circle of influence.

And then that circle of influence shrinks fast – because now they look, act, talk, dress and walk like the Christians they associate with. And, seem to no longer be able to connect with those they really should be reaching – others they use to relate to before becoming a believer. They have become severely different and thus no longer “relevant”.

Here’s the issue – it is like believers think that God is the creator of clones.

Psalm 139:14 states that each one of us has been “fearfully and wonderfully made”. One verse before that the psalmist stated: “You knit me together in my mother’s womb,” which, includes not just our bodies but also our personalities, temperaments, and unusual styles – quirks and all. In other words, God made me to be me and you to be you, and He wants to use each of us within the special designs he has given us.

So, here’s my point: “Dare to be a little eccentric.” (Alan Loy McGinnis – Psychologist in ‘Confidence: How to Succeed at Being Yourself’.) Just being around you should be an adventure for others – an adventure in the unexpected. You should be excitingly unique to be around. You should think and act differently than those you hang out with and not just be a clone of the group acting like one of the herd.

These kinds of people who dare to be themselves are great to be around. When I am around them they give me energy and life … they are never a drain on me emotionally or mentially -in fact, just the total opposite. They have an infectious influence on me. I become more alive and more willing to risk doing new and different things.

So, I decided just a few years ago to be one of this kind of Christ-follower and no longer fit the acceptable form of the acceptable Christian. I decided to be me. I decided to take risks, to try new and different things. I decided to think outside the box of the Christian group I belonged to. I decided to think outside any and all self-imposed boxes. I decided to dare to express the full personality that God gave me and to see what would happen.

Well, some people couldn’t handle it and no longer wanted to be around me. Others who I thought were friends – it turned out they were not. Some thought that this was simply a phase I was going through and that it would quickly pass and I would return to normal shortly. They stayed for a period of time but then left when it finally dawned on them that I was serious and that this was a quality decision I had made and I was not planning on returning to normal any time soon …. Others simply tolerated the new me they are stuck with and say little – afterall, everyone needs a martyr or two in their lives – I have several.
It was not an easy time as more than the personal side of life was effected – it also changed many things in the work that I do and many doors closed to my ministry. People literally wrote me off – personally and professionally.

However, God has opened many new doors of opportunity through which I am able to express myself for Him guided by the Holy Spirit. I am more relaxed as I can simply be me – the real me and not some plastic Christian fitting some pre-determined mould of how to dress, act, talk, and live. I can be more open as I no longer play the “I’m an acceptable Christian” game. I am simply my own eccentric self and am enjoying watching God use me in extraordinary ways.

So here is my challenge to you – find out who the real you is, learn to love the real you, shed all the things that have been placed upon you by the Christian group you have tried so hard to fit in with, begin to walk in some God-given freedom, and then take a daring leap of faith and “dare to be a little eccentric.”

Oh, and let me know how your new life adventure is going and what you are discovering about yourself and those you hang out with – the non-Christians that is. I already know how the Christians will react. And, have some fun while doing it.

This Is Truly And Seriously Frightening!

The statistics speak for themselves – the Church is in trouble. In spite of all the teaching that goes on Sunday after Sunday, on radio and television; in spite of all the books written and read, DVDs watched and CDs listened to ….

A Survey by The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life/The Pew Reasearch Center for the People and the Press… a recent survey:

Paranormal Possibilities … The percentage of American adults who say they have supernatural beliefs and experiences…

Have been in touch with the dead
Total adult population – 29%
Christians – 29%

Have seen or been in the presence of God
Total adult population – 18%
Christians – 17%

Have consulted a psychic
Total adult population – 15%
Christians – 14%

Believe in astrology
Total adult population – 25%
Christians – 23%

Believe in reincarnation
Total adult population – 24%
Christians – 22%

Believe in “evil eye,” i.e. the casting of curses
Total adult population – 16%
Christians – 17%

Believe spiritual energy exists in physical things like mountains, trees and crystals
Total adult population – 26%
Christians – 23%

What is this saying?

1> The Christian Church has failed to properly teach the basic doctrines of the faith and believers really don’t know what the Christian faith is all about and what the basic beliefs really are.

2> That it is a good thing that the office and role of apostle and prophet are being reintroduced to the Christian Church because one of their tasks is to lay a proper foundation which includes the basic doctrines of the Church and to speak prophetically to God’s people and the non-Christian world.

3> People in general – and Christians in particular – are hungry and searching for spiritual experiences and are finding them everywhere but in the Church.

This means it is time for the Christian Church to begin to walk in the supernatural and stop simply being another “natural orgainzation” like the Lion’s Club and the Rotary Club. We need to drop all the programming and the meeting of needs approach (which the world does so much better than we do) and get on with the one thing Born Again, Spirit-filled believers can do that others cannot – walk in the power of the rsurrection and do the things that Jesus did. This will includes acts of righteousness (Matthew 6:2) such as feeding the poor but with the motive of seeing them encounter the living God and becoming born again believers. As well, to begin to do the biblical good works we were saved to do (Ephesians 2:10) and heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons and all the other great things Jesus tells us we can do (John 14:12). Time for believers to be spiritual and supernatural.

4> That the Church needs to change the way it teaches because obviously believers do not know what it is that they are to believe and their lives are not different than those who do not know and follow Jesus and so all the teaching that is going on – massive amounts of time spent in preaching, teaching and Bible studies – is not having the impact it should be having.

The Church needs to preach and teach for life-change and not just to impart information. The purpose of the scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16-17) is so that believers can become complete (like Jesus in characrter and nature) and equipped (to do what Jesus did). This is apparently not happening. Life-change is not happening. Information is being imparted but transformation is not being released. We are releasing facts and should be releasing the very life and nature of God as we teach the Word.

5> Many who sit in the worship assemblies (and even some who stand in pulpits) in North America (and actually in most nations I minister in) are not born again or true converts of the Lord Jesus Christ. They are not disciples.

They have had a spiritual experience, a warm fuzzy or an emotional moment in a service or situation, said a sinner’s prayer, been told they are now right with God and everything is okay. However, the Bible states that without godly sorrow and repentance there is no salvation. So, many are false converts and thus still believe as the pagans and heathens believe – reread the statistics – I rest my case.

6> People are hungry to hear from God and so the Church obviously is not speaking for or from the heart of God.

If they are consulting psychics – it is time for the ministry of the gift of prophecy to become active once again in the worship services of churches across the nations. The reason psychics exist and rake in billions of dollars a year is because the Christian Church is not moving prophetically. We have been much too busy building pastorally and caring for the pastoral needs of the people when all they really need is to hear God speak to them personally. Time for the prophetical to become a daily event in the life and work of the local church.

Lots more could be pulled out of these few brief statistics. Let it be said that the church, Christian leaders, and believers need to make some major adjustments if we are going to begin to minister to today’s generation and lead them to faith in the living Christ. These statistics are truly and seriously frightening!

Let the Adventure Begin

“You can transform the Church.” That is what I tell people almost daily now. “You can make a difference and actually transform your local church.” It seems everywhere I go I hear the same concerns being expressed about the local church – dead, not doing what the Bible states we should be doing, people wanting to be discipled and equipped but the pastor doesn’t even go there, worship not anointed, teachings from the pulpit not speaking to them … on and on the list goes.

My answer remains the same. “You can’t change the church by leaving it. You must stay in the local church and be like leaven in the loaf and realize that one person can and will make a difference.” Change can be slow. It may be hard to spot the change because, at times, it is so small or subtle. Change can be painful for all those that embrace the process. Change can cause conflict and hard feelings. It is even somewhat frightening as most people prefer the familiar and the comfortable.

But, one individual believer can make a difference if that Christian is willing to look inside and see what needs to change in themselves … in other words, take the responibility to change yourself with God’s help – never mind being judgmental about the local church – change you and watch in amazement as the local church you belong to suddenly and dramatically changes as well.

One individual believer who is seriously alive in God and passionate about the things of God can change a local assembly no matter how big it may be or how dead. One Christian can make a difference and you may be the one that the Lord placed there to do just that – lead the way into a fresh vision of the church and help Him release His life and new power to that church you attend. We have the tendency to look around expecting others to do it – we need to look within. And we tend to look at the external trappings of the local church – we need to look within.

Here is what I believe: You can begin to transform the culture of your church by first seeking God’s revival in your own soul, reinstating in your own heart His vision for reaching the lost and dying world. Cultivate passion and excitment for the unexpected adventure, and you will be amazed at how you – regardless of your age, gender, background, experience – can stir up your church to become a more spiritually dynamic and contagious place. You can make a difference. (The Unexpected Adventure – page 23)

So, it all begins with you. I believe that it was John Wesley who said: “Set yourself on fire and the world will come out and watch you burn.” So, you need to seek the fire of God in your own life – the very presence and power of God in your relationship with Him and let the adventure begin. Maybe you need to do some work on your basic relationship with God first – reestablishing it and allowing Him to breath fresh, new life into it. You allow God to change you – and then a “changed you” can act like leaven in the loaf, a lightening rod in the midst of the local church…

And the biggest change that needs to happen in the believer who is frustrated with what is and can actually see what “will be one day” … who thinks the Church is built wrong and needs to make some major changes …the biggest change in their own life – is to simply line up with the Word of God. To do that means to start sharing the faith – spreading this Good News to others. Yes, we can all improve in the areas of prayer, Bible reading, loving our family members, individual worship, daily time with God, giving from the financial blessings received from His hand, and on and on the list can go. Each of us can focus on different aspects of our common walk with God because, in general, our weaknesses are the same ones that exist in the walk that others have with the Lord.

But, there is one key area where all believers – including you – can improve and do better. That is the whole area of sharing the night-and-day difference that Jesus has made in your life. A Christian, by definition, is a follower of Jesus Christ, the One who “came to seek and save what was lost” (Luke 19:10) and who then commissioned us to follow His example and “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). We can never be complete in our experience with God until we allow Him to use us to spread His message to others.

A passion – deep love – for Jesus should translate into loving that which He loved. And, He loved people so much that He came and gave His life so that people could have their sins forgiven and have a personal relationship with the Living God, our Heavenly Father. If we don’t share that passion and give our lives for His life mission then we are not truly passionate about Jesus or “revived” and praying for the Church to experience a revival will do absolutely no good. It must always start with each individual believer. Set yourself on fire and others will come to watch you burn … and in the process ask what has happened to you that they can now see the passion, the presence, the power of God in your life.

Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others is not an option – never was. It is basic to a dynamic walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. He did state: “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men”. I still believe – if you are not fishing, you are not following.

So, it is time to take a good look at the way we live, how we relate to believers and non-believers. Time to consider how we spend our time and money. A good day to begin taking a serious look at the focus of our Christian faith – and cry out (more than pray) and ask God to actually change us from the inside out … and start this radical process by giving us a passion for what He is passionate about – seeking and saving the lost.

Let the adventure begin…

1 Corinthians 1:8-9 The Message…”God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of His Son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that.”

Living From the Inside Out

Every once in a while I run across a quote that really speaks volumes to me. On my last trip overseas I was reading a book titled: “Dealing With the Crazy Makers In Your Life” and one chapter had this quote as the heading …

“Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then, do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.” Margaret Young.

“First be who you really are…” and therein lies the problem. Few take the time to really find out who they are. They are afraid of looking inside as they might not like what they see – and most likely they won’t. The Bible states that our hearts are deceitfully wicked. We no longer know how to be still and thus we don’t know God – and not really knowing God means we have yet to discover our true selves as it is found only “in Him”. We are afraid of silence because the lack of noise is deafening – so we keep music playing at work, in the car, at home, in the family room … so we don’t have to listen to the emptiness and discover how much of a void is really there – how much emptiness is within. We don’t like to be alone – maybe because solitude is frightening or even terrifying as then we would need to talk to ourselves and come to know the true “me”. Could be deadly. But then again it could lead to real life. And, we don’t listen to the Spirit of God who lives in us if we are truly born again and so we are not receiving fresh revelation and life on a daily basis.

If we would take time to be still, be silent, be alone (solitude) and be in touch with the Spirit of God then we would discover the true person on the inside. We would come to know ourselves – the good, the bad, and the ugly – as well as come to realize that God loves us, accepts us and forgives us regardless and unconditionally. Then, because He loves us we can come to love and understand ourselves. In the midst of that we would also come to know the real person inside – who we really are – and what it is God has wired us to do … what we really want to do with our lives. We would discover the unique song that He has given us to sing – like no other song ever heard. We would hear the words and the melody and begin to hum it knowing it is really who we are and what we were called to accomplish for Him.

Grabbing hold of this we can then move out to do what we were literally created to do – and do it so well that one day people will actually pay us for doing it. This is not a job – it is a way of life, a vocation, a calling – your calling, your unique song. This then allows you to purchase the few things you really need to make your life and your life’s work easier and more productive.

Then we have things in the right order – with God, with our own hearts, with those we love, those we serve and those whose lives we touch. And, we can even have some of the things we want because God will honor what we are doing for Him and out of our relationship with Him … and He has created all things for our pleasure and so he will allow us to have more than the basic necessities of life.

Then things are in the right order …. or as our quote today states: “Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then, do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.”

Your life will be ordered correctly and you will know the real you and be expressing who you really are in what you do for a living, what you acccomplish and what you leave behind as a lasting legacy, and what you are eventually remembered for.

And, by the way, this has absolutely nothing to do with the topic or content of the book – which is also good.

Headlines: Idea of Personal Relationship With God Discounted

Another wounded leader and another horror story of a person’s Christian faith on the rocks and deception taking the lead in their life.

The Leader-Post newspaper, Saturday the 28th of November, 2009 page H10 .. Karen Armstrong – a former nun – has decided that a personal relationship with God is not only impossible but unnecessary and simply something designed and created by religion to make people feel good and make access to God “easy and accessible”. Her book – The Case for God – states such “truths” as “God is not a being at all” and “God is not a divine ‘Personality'”. She seems to be against any set of doctrine or set of beliefs and into experiencing some sense of the “divine” through rituals and “having a high level of compassion for our fellow being”. She is all for “seeking spiritual transcendence”.

What is more incredible than the utter garbage she writes is that people – a lot of people – are buying this last in a series of over 20 books written by the author. Wow! There is no end for the demand for man’s philosophy and religion. Yes, religion. Although her book is saying that religion has created these sets of doctrines and other things that hinder people transcending and finding the divine …. she has created simply another “religion” of her own.

Religion is simply man’s attempt to reach out and find God. That is what she is doing. Reaching out in a humanly designed way to find “god”. She will, of course find her ‘god’ – well, really she will find a demon and another religious format but not the one true God.

The Christian faith on the other hand is God reaching out to find man who is lost and on the way to Hell for all of eternity. Totally different. It is this faith that this former nun has rejected in favor of a system of beliefs and teachings of her own creation. Sad!

But no different than many people today – some of them declaring that they are born again Christians – who have taken what they like in the Christian faith, added in what they think or feel is right for them, sprinkled in a few loosely held beliefs and thoughts (opinions) of others and called it their ‘Christian’ faith. And, they are actually building their life on this faulty foundation.

Jesus spoke of these people over 2,000 years ago when He commented on building your life (house) either on the rock or on the sand. The rock is His Word and the sand is anything that becomes a substitute for His Word (the Bible). When will we learn? This former nun ihas built her house upon the sand and is encouraging others to do likewise. Careful Christian – you may be doing the same and not even know it – yet!

The Bible states: “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.” (2 Corinthians 13:5). Still a good idea even today – especially today.