Friday, March 23, 2012

Are You in the Ministry?

Have you ever been asked this question? I find it an oxymoron of sorts. Pastors minister from their pulpits, televangelists minister through the screens, missionaries suffer somewhere else that nobody else wants to go. These are the superheroes of ministry. Let me offer some true examples of what ministry really is. The example being Jesus. Helping out at the local soup kitchen, taking care of a patient at the hospital with love and tender care, letting someone go in front of you in the grocery line, writing a check to an organization that feeds the poor, picking up someone for church, visiting and praying for someone in the hospital, changing your baby's diaper, tucking your kids into bed, paying attention to your kids. These are all acts of service and are all considered ministry. When your whole life is dedicated to serving God, everything matters. Eternity will be impacted by the countless acts of faithful service and obedience to the voice of God. Someone wiped John the Baptist's bottom. Someone cleaned up the mess after Jesus fed the 5,000. John Wesley had a godly mother who took care of bunches of kids, prayed, and taught them the Scriptures. Your part in the earth and time tapestry God is weaving matters. The essence of your created existence, the spiritual impartation you bring can never be duplicated by anyone else. We are all part of the grand design, but each unique to its completion and rarity.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Judgment or Mercy...Which Will America Choose?

In 1993, God sent me on a journey. A full-paid ministry opportunity to an Endtime Handmaidens Conference in Dallas, Texas. The actual location being the block where John F. Kennedy was fatally shot. After the events in Tucson which occurred in January, the Lord began to bring insight to me regarding what He is highlighting in America right now. A nine-year old victim, Christina Greene, was shot in the chest and died from her injuries during Representative Gifford's political rally community outreach. Interestingly, she was born on 9-11.

Let me backtrack to 1993. As I attended these particular meetings, my head began to hurt and I began to see visions (I had never seen visions prior). The burden in my heart and mind that came with these visions was quite heavy. Snapshot images of young successful men and women wearing suits and carrying briefcases constantly were brought before me. I also saw broken debris and glass as if something had exploded. I prayed and interceded while carrying this burden for several days. The Lord then clearly spoke to me. "These are those who have been aborted. I see them as young, vibrant, and successful, but their lives were snuffed out. I will avenge their blood and bring judgment on America."

Due to the vision, when 9-11 occurred there was no doubt in my mind why it had happened. I was incredulous at God's mercy in this situation. Since 1972 there have been approximately 51 million legal abortions performed in America, 1.5 billion worldwide. If God is just and a defender of orphans and widows, He will bring judgment. Surely this would give Him plenty of reason to punish our country. God loves mothers and children and has compassion for all. But He is just and will repay. How many people died that day? 3,500 souls definitely seems like mercy, but violence covers our land and there are many additional victims of crime suffering on U.S. soil.

When something is highlighted in the national news, God may use it to get our attention. What got my attention was Christina Greene. Born on 9-11, a day of judgment on our nation, and being 9 years old at her death. Nine is the number of judgment. The representative was shot in the head very similarly to the way JFK was shot. This particular representative was pro-abortion. Christina means "follower of Christ" and comes from the word Christian. Greene can represent new growth. The Christian church and movement has been growing and thriving in America but as the Scripture states, "judgment must first come to the church before it is brought on the world." We should "judge ourselves." This seems to indicate God will be bringing judgment on the unrepentant churches in America and will bring death to things that seem to be thriving. He is coming against the humanist thought process and logic behind abortion. Just as ancient peoples sacrificed their own children to the gods to improve their crops, we sacrifice our children before the idols of convenience, body image, and selfishness. God does not look the other way when these things occur. Hitler utilized what seemed to be logical thought processes to exterminate millions of Jews. If humans at any stage of development are devalued, they become trash  that can just be thrown away.

(Since January, much legislation has been passed in opposition to abortion across several states. Plus, secret tactics of Planned Parenthood staff members who have been hiding illegal sexual activity while utilizing tax dollars has been uncovered.)

Also killed in the attack, a government advocate for social justice and a federal judge that had just attended mass. This is very significant. Also, Tucson is home of the first birth control center in Arizona started by Margaret Sanger, which was where Planned Parenthood originated. I was wondering why Tucson was significant, and that is why. God is getting to the root of the matter. In 1946 a Catholic church bishop denounced the founding principles of Planned Parenthood openly. (For those of you who are unaware, Planned Parenthood is an abortion mill presented under the guise of "birth control.")

We must agree with God if we want judgment to be averted. Intercessors, it is time to cry out to Heaven for justice and mercy. Justice against the enemy of the human race, Satan. However, the people that believe his lies are trapped and must be freed for this to be changed. Stand in the gap for America. Pray that many unborn lives will be spared and that the slaughter would not be expedited by any healthcare legislation promoting abortion or euthanasia. Or else history is doomed to repeat itself.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Why is Creativity Important?

Have you ever seen a painting that "took your breath away?" There are times when beauty titillates our senses and touches the very core of who we are. A sunset, a sleeping baby's face, beautiful flocks of birds, dolphins swimming in the ocean, certain artistic performances, music. Why are we so drawn to these things, why do they fulfill that certain longing in our soul?

Human beings were created in God's image. That is, creative beings. It is the one thing that sets us apart from other beings in the universe. The fact that God is the Creator has been hotly contested in our hedonistic society. However, it lies at the center of Satan's motivations. We are creators, too. If the enemy of the human race can't destroy people, he will "twist" their creativity to perpetuate perversity in hopes of brainwashing the masses with his corrupt thinking.

How Satan must have hated the Renaissance! An explosion of Scripture, beauty, artistic genius, and learning broke through the darkness of death and hopelessness and brought hope and life to the suffering and illiterate. The message of God's love and glorious entrance into the world was distributed and became well known to the entire world. Never underestimate the power of your creativity. Not only to bring light and hope to others, but to obliterate darkness.

When we are creative, we are acting like our Father. Emulating His life, awe, and brilliance. We are the only creatures under the sun that can exhibit His attributes. It's time to color outside the lines, tap into our spiritual DNA, and express the creativity God has placed within each one of us. There is no one in the universe exactly like you! (You were created that way.)

Friday, April 2, 2010

How to Get God's Attention.

Acts 10:1-8: In Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, "Cornelius!" Cornelius stared at him in fear. "What is it, Lord?" he asked. The angel answered, "Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea." When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants. He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa.

There are a few things about Cornelius I'd like to point out:

  • He was in the military. 
  • His whole family loved God and served Him. 
  • He had compassion on the poor and gave generously to them. 
  • He prayed regularly, he was watching. 
  • He had a supernatural encounter that affected his natural circumstance. 
  • He obeyed what God said to do. 
  • He entrusted a faithful man to the task and took authority in the situation. 
  • He cooperated with Heaven and his whole family received salvation. 
  • The people following him knew Cornelius was a righteous man. He had favor with God and man. 
  • He was expectant that God would do what He had shown him. 
  • He used his influence and gathered those around him into a divine appointment with God. 
  • He honored the man of God. He had a revelation of honoring authority and those that God sends. 
  • He was a man of relationship and hospitality. 
  • Through his obedience, Cornelius actually became the doorway for salvation to the Gentiles and brought destruction to prior religious ideas that would have hindered Gentiles from receiving Christ. Wow!

As you read through this account, you will see that Peter came and explained all that had happened with Jesus and that he was a witness to it. Then the Holy Spirit filled them just as on the day of Pentecost. This brings up an important fact about receiving visions and communications from God. All revelatory experiences should point to Jesus and the Holy Spirit will bear witness to it.

Cornelius did repeat his revelatory experience to Peter and God confirmed it with His Spirit. Many times I have shared my experiences with God prematurely or presumptuously. I have learned that the timing of the Lord has to line up with the revelation or the Holy Spirit cannot bear witness to it. It will fall to the ground. It is an art to learn to be quiet, to speak, to testify of God's work in your life in a way that ministers grace to the hearers. If we are focused on ourselves, God cannot bear witness to what we say. He can only bear witness to those things that give the glory to Christ.

So how did Cornelius get God's attention? He built a monumental tower of prayer mixed with good deeds. A place where God would remember him.  It was solidly built in the spirit realm. His treasure was being multiplied in Heaven. Every time God's eyes would look toward Cornelius, this memorial of persistent love, prayer, and compassion caught God's attention. He was more than ready to answer his heart's desire because he harmonized with Heaven's heartbeat. So I ask you, what will you be remembered for? How will you get God's attention?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Powerful Pain

C.S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia, once wrote a book called The Problem with Pain. He had experienced the loss of his mother at a young age, a close army bunk mate, and his wife of four years to cancer. I don't necessarily want to address the process of grieving and suffering as he did, but offer some thoughts on pain's role in your life and the benefits of it.

First of all, emotional pain was introduced by Adam and Eve in the Garden. Before this, sin did not exist and man had complete communion with God. Man's soul and mind were shielded from the type of pain that sin incurs. Emotional pain is always the result of sin, others' sin or our own. Sometimes it is a combination of the two. Once our divine unity with God was broken, we were literally "separate" from Him. This distance is at the root of our reactions to pain.

Have you ever heard of "separation anxiety?" Well, the human race has a major case of it. We have been separated from the very One who can calm our anxiety and fears, and revive and invigorate us with His glorious love. The cross is the remedy. We have already been given everything we need for life and godliness. Our communion can be reunited and engaged once again. There are some basic spiritual practices which will help us regain this level of intimacy with our God. One being the way we deal with emotional pain.

When you experience emotional pain, what is your response? Is there a passage in your heart that leads you straight to your Father? Or do you worry, medicate, explode? Your reaction may be to rehearse the problem mentally, or try to figure things out on your own. God wants us to trust Him with our pain and our hearts. In fact, He invites us to.

If you bring Your heart in surrender to Him, it will become tender and malleable in the Spirit's hand. He will be able to have His way in your life. You can kick and scream in this process, but it doesn't profit you. (There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end of it is death.) The ways of God always bring forth life, understanding, and hope. If we do things His way, we will be transformed miraculously...looking like our daddy (Abba) more everyday and feeling stronger emotionally and spiritually. God will give us authority to overcome if we participate. He will turn that very pain into power! This power will be released in us and through us to others. Jesus allowed pain in His life to bring forth greater glory and joy.

Lord Jesus, help us to walk in your footsteps. You are our example. Use the pain in our life the way You want to. Your ways are higher than our ways, your thoughts higher than our thoughts. We bring all of our burdens and anxieties and pains to You today. You are the Lover of our souls, heal us, purify us, and make us clean. Help us to walk in all of Your ways so we will be a true representation of You in the earth. Thank You for Your great mercy! Thank You for the oil that heals our hearts. Make these passages in our hearts perfect in that we will come to you first when something happens. Release Your power in us. Blessings forever to you!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Are You On Fire?

Don't you love the fire of God's presence? If you haven't experienced it, it is unexplainable, unsearchable, undeniable. No other human experience holds a candle to it (no pun intended.) Jesus' eyes ARE flames of fire. Fire is purifying, cleansing, a mark of judgment, and thus can be used for His holy purposes.

When Isaiah realized he was a man of unclean lips (as we all are), he realized his need for the fire from the altar around the throne of God. He realized his human frailty and weakness after observing the holy and powerful worship around God's throne. He knew there was no way he could compare and worship like they did. He was real before the living God. He confessed his condition and what happened? God instantly responded with the answer from Heaven, a heavenly burning of the very physical attribute that represents worship, his lips. Worship is a "kiss" of man's lips upon God's. Mind to mind, spirit to spirit, giving our bodies as living sacrifices to Him.

As the men walked with Jesus on the Road to Emmaus, speaking with Him caused a FIRE to BURN inside of them. They didn't understand what was going on. Their spirits were stirred by the FIRE of His presence. That FIRE is the LOVE of Father God. The zeal of Jesus' heart was for the Father.

The whole reason He died was so that we would know THAT love. That love is introduced to us when we accept Jesus into our lives. After that, the understanding of THIS love increases more and more, your whole life is a journey deeper into the heart of God. There are no words to fully explain the extravagance, permeance, and power of HIS love. He is a consuming fire and He IS love. Don't you want to be burned up by Him? He makes His ministers FLAMES of FIRE.

I hear the Lord inviting us to:

"Place ME like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for LOVE is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It BURNS like BLAZING FIRE, like a mighty FLAME." (Song of Solomon 8:6) Send out an SOS to God now! Burn us up with Your holy FIRE!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Why Do I Believe in God?

I've been asking myself lately why I believe in God. Honestly, I haven't given it too much logical thought since I have believed in Him as a small child. The Scripture tells us that God is a rewarder of those who believe in Him, of those who truly seek Him. So belief that God exists is the first step to actually "believing." You may think this is a "no brainer," that everyone believes in God, but this is not so. As Christians, we must be able to share our faith to whoever is asking and give an answer to the hope that lies within us.

Since I believe God is the Creator and that we are made in His image, this does change my worldview. If we are made in His image then we are somewhat like Him. I believe in the Trinity: the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. I believe that we are a tri-part being: soul, body, and spirit. I believe the universe relies on the authority of God's power and His word to exist and keep existing. Therefore, I believe His words, that they are spirit and life. Without His word, it would be utter chaos with man doing whatever he wants and propagating selfish ambition, relative truth, a life without God. Yes, I do believe in absolute truth. How can you believe an action is right or wrong if you do not base it on absolute truth? Otherwise, you are God. You decide what is good and evil. This is why men like Nero and Hitler were able to torture and kill other human beings on a large scale. Hitler believed he was doing a good thing.

I had the privilege when I was younger of working for the Department of Corrections. My job was to peruse the inmate files for victim information so we could notify of inmate release dates. Let me tell you, this experience taught me that all people are not good. With little regard for other human beings, their anger, hate, or sexual depravity knows no bounds.

I am realizing this question is so important to logical thought. I believe God is a God of divine logic. The Scripture says creation speaks of Him, He tells us about Himself through His handiwork. The Heavens declare the glory of God. I don't have enough faith in man or human thinking to guide my way. Every man or woman on this planet will let you down. There is only One who is faithful and true. If more individuals understood that God's nature is good, loving, and kind, they would willfully place themselves under His tender care. If their view of God is the opposite, they will turn away from Him in their hearts. The fundamental question to the rebellious hearts of men is, "Are you internally willing to submit to the God of the universe?" (If you aren't sure, let's pretend He exists.) Funny, I think this question will spark a debate within anyone.

As a matter of fact, I don't have enough faith to be an atheist or an agnostic. There are too many proofs in nature itself to direct me otherwise. The intricate coding design of DNA is so complicated, it could not have just happened. One of Google's finest computer programming engineers has studied the coding of human DNA and proclaimed it to be the most elegant and sophisticated programming he has encountered. If there is a design, there must be a designer. If there is a designer, there must be a purpose for His design. The Scriptures eloquently explain God's divine plan. His plan was to die for my sins so I wouldn't have to, to show His great love for me because He and His father loved the world so much. They would do anything to reach us, to be with us forever. He has loved me, wooed me, healed me, and captured my heart. I have felt His Holy Spirit draw me for years and fill me with His fire. This is why I believe.