Wow! You Got A New Boat

Property Laws as Viewed By a Toddler

1> If I like it, it’s mine
2> If it’s in my hand, it’s mine
3> If I can take it from you, it’s mine
4> If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine
5> if it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way
6> If I’m doing or building something, all the pieces are mine
7> If it looks like it’s mine, it’s mine
8> If I saw it first, it’s mine
9> If I can see it, it’s mine
10> If I think it’s mine, it’s mine
11> If I want it, it’s mine
12> If I need it, it’s mine (yes I know the difference between “want” and “need”)
13> If I say it’s mine, it’s mine
14> If you don’t stop me from playing with it, it’s mine
15> If you tell me can play with it, it’s mine
16> If it will upset me too much when you take it away from me, it’s mine
17> If I (think I) can play with it better than you can, it’s mine
18> If I play with it long enough, it’s mine
19> If you are playing with something and you put it down, it’s mine
20> If it’s broken, it’s yours (no wait, all the pieces are mine).

Thanks to Michael V. Hernandez (the author of these wonderful observations).

Makes me think that this is as applicable to adults as it is to toddlers. Today people, at least in the neighborhod where I live, seem to have this terrific need to accumulate more and more. Everywhere I walk (I walk a lot with my dog) there are new boats, another vehicle, new motocycles, a bigger and better motor home, a new pool, a deck that is as big as some homes I know overseas, the best and newest BBQs with all the extra features (cooks better than my indoor kitchen stove), a better computer, a more powerful camera, a new iPod, a three car garage replacing a perfectly good two car garage … just so many things I have noticed or spoken to people about over the past three days. The options of what to spend money on and accumulate seem endless. So is the debt level.

It seems that we have come to believe that satisfaction or fulfillment is found in what we own or are about to own. Yet, what we have accumulated in life never gives true satisfaction to anyone. A truth we seem never to grasp. Material belongings cannot fulfill the need for purpose and direction. Only God can! Anyone who has a mature approach to life is not impressed with what you are able to accumulate and yet we seem to want to impress people that we are doing well enough to get that bigger boat, larger house, newest vehicle.

I am impressed – not by all the things people buy, or by their ability to buy it (usually on borrowed money), or how “successful” this makes them appear. I am simply impressed by how stupid people can be to be continually accumulating more and more debt in their search to satisfy whatever it is that drives them. And, if they are not accumulating more debt – their constant purchases and lifestyle keeps them in debt period.

It reaches a tremendous height of stupidy when they put their children in daycare so they can both work. To do what with the extra income, you ask? Well, purchase a $45,000.00 boat – that will see water maybe four or five times a year unless they now come with skates or skis for the long winters we have here … I would personally be more impressed if one adult quit their job and simply stayed home and took care of their children raising them in the “old-fashion” way. Maybe I am just old or even old-fashioned. But then again, that’s what we did when we were in our child raising years.

Contentment is a neat thing. It prevents all of this. I am content with what I have and don’t need bigger and better of anything. Oh, I have been there and done that other routine. I was supernaturally in debt at one time. But, I found out many years ago buying things or “moving up in the world” doesn’t fulfill or satisfy any of the “drive” or “hunger” inside. I found that if I would just be content (a learned mindset leading to a change in behavior) with what I had and not always be wanting this or that, bigger or better… then I stopped accumulating things and debt. But I did accumulate new levels of peace of mind, the ability to decide to work less (or to work for nothing on some occasions) because I don’t have this pressing need for money – a need driven by debt which is the result of accumulating things, which is caused by a lack of inner peace and sense of identity that can only come from a deep, dynamic and daily personal relationship with the Living God as found only in Jesus Christ.

Maybe it is time for some adults to grow up.

15 Secrets to Successful Evangelism

“If you talk to a man in the language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” Nelson Mandela – former South African president

 This is true in all relationships – marriage, family, friendships, church or where you work. Good advice for public speakers and preachers alike. A truth we all need to learn. And especially if you want to increase your effectiveness when talking to others about the Lord Jesus.

Before telling others about Jesus listen to what language they speak. And, I don’t mean Russian , English or Japanese. Watch their body language, how they are dressed, who they are with, how they are acting. Then speak “their language” and speak to their hearts and not just their heads.

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Summer and the Sabbath

I am sitting on a relatively warm Saturday evening in my yard with the fire burning in the fire pit and my dog asleep beside me and a cup of hot coffee on the table next to me. I have been working on my laptop on several teachings during the evening as well as answering emails from young team members in Ukraine, South Africa, Russia and Kazakhstan. There are others from other nations but they will have to wait for another time. There are only so many emails a person can answer in one evening. Anyways, I have decided that I will never catch up on the backlog and see an empty “inbox” so have stopped worrying about it. I did manage over 150 emails this week and that only leaves me with 545+ left to go as of tonight. Not to worry.

It has been a good day with lots of time in my Bible. Almost like a Sabbath but not. I enjoy summer and the slower pace it brings to my life (fewer churches looking for guest speakers and fewer trips overseas as donors and sponsors give less in the summer months and plane tickets become more expensive as it is tourist season and the seats are in greater demand). So, I have more time in the office and actually manage to catch up somewhat on the piles of paperwork that accompany any ministry today. Desk work is not my favourite way to spend time.

However, I have a separate room (3 times bigger than my office) and it is what is called a “study.” At one time all ministers and pastors had a study but somewhere at the start of the 1900’s a study became an office and paperwork and administration took over from the study of God’s Word and prayer. So, a few years ago (almost 20 now) I redesigned my life and the rooms so that in the church buildings as well as at home I had both an office and a study. I make a practice of being in my study more than my office.

However, with laptops and e-book readers the study can move out to the deck or the back yard and the fire pit when the weather permits. Then I get to enjoy the few good months of weather that this part of the world gets and still spend time doing what needs to be done. Today was one of those days.

My summers always have an added “Bible project” where I give extra time and increased focus to the Word of God. Been enjoying an advance copy of a new version coming out in the fall. It is called the Common English Bible (www.commonenglishbible.com) and there are two books of the Bible up on line to download free so people see what it has to offer (the book of Genesis and the Gospel of Matthew). I have recently downloaded both and am having a look at them on my laptop as time allows.

Also studying the whole idea of the Sabbath – what it really is biblically and what God’s intended purpose for the Sabbath was and maybe still is. Many of us in ministry never have a true Sabbath because Sunday is a long work day for us. Most believers do not take a Sabbath because Sunday (or the whole weekend) is either for catch-up when we cut the grass, do laundry, shop for groceries, wash the car … or, due to our hectic world, they work on those days. But one of the Ten Commandments is that we would “observe the Sabbath” and breaking any of the Ten Commandments is a sin so….

A Word to Prophetic People

When I first began to move prophetically, I did not even realize that prophecy existed. I was raised in a very traditional, evangelical church environment which was void of any understanding of spiritual gifts. I eventually rebelled against the church and the Lord, choosing my own path instead.

As a sophomore in college, God began to draw me to himself. This was not an overnight dealing because my heart was covered in pride, rebellion, and independence. Over a two year period, God challenged the foundations of my life and confronted my sinful ways and attitudes. In the process, I became involved in a devotional way with God. I also joined an intercessory prayer ministry at my conservative, evangelical church.

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Administrating Prophecy

Recognizing when God is speaking and understanding what He is saying are both crucial elements to prophesying accurately. However, knowing how to present a word to someone is also important. We should always endeavor to minister prophetically in a way that honors the Lord and His people. Prophecy does not just entail speaking God’s mind; it also includes speaking with His heart.

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How God Speaks

God often chooses to speak in strange ways and through unusual means. This is one of the primary reasons why many people do not recognize when God is speaking to them. As we examine how God speaks, let us remember that He is the Creator and that His creativity is expressed in the ways He communicates. In fact, we must recognize that God’s voice is seldom really a “voice.”

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Interpreting Revelation

The next step for growing in prophetic ministry is learning to accurately interpret the revelation we receive from God. We discovered last time that most Christians are already hearing God’s voice, but many do not recognize it. Still others recognize when He speaks, but do not understand what He is saying. Until we understand the meaning of the revelation, we will not be consistently fruitful in prophetic ministry. Understanding is the essence of interpretation. Read more

Launching into the Prophetic

(NO ROOM FOR ERROR?)

For all ministries except one, we allow opportunities for people to grow in their gifts and abilities. No one expects teachers to be flawless, or even completely comfortable, when they first begin teaching. Nor do we require perfection of pastors when they begin their ministries. But because of misunderstandings surrounding the prophetic ministry, most of the church expects perfection from beginners. In so doing, we have effectively stopped many who were called to walk in the prophetic.

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Overcoming Rejection

One of the main problems to be overcome by many emerging prophetic ministries is the stronghold of rejection. Rejection is a byproduct of Christianity, but it is a special test for those called prophetically. To function in the body of Christ, we must be free from rejection and its companion, the fear of man. The fear of man brings a snare (see Proverbs 29:2 5) and those called prophetically must be free of it. God’s word to Jeremiah is true for those who minister prophetically today.

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Preparation for Interpretation

In addition to understanding interpretative principles, we must also have “clean hearts” to accurately interpret prophetic revelation. Interpretations are often derived through an interplay between our understanding of interpretative principles, our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, and our heart attitude. To accurately interpret God’s mind, we must also possess His heart. Read more