Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Greetings From Louisville!

The conference is over and we are all very tired! God has done many great things in all our lives and we can’t wait to share them when we return to Jacksonville!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Best Prayer Ever

This is the way I will pray before every meal from now on...


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Not Wasting New Attitude

As New Attitude is fast approaching, I have been attempting to prepare my heart for what the Lord has in store. It is easy for me to get caught up in the busyness of life and the conference that I can neglect being purposeful. Some of the leaders of NA have also been stressing the importance of “Not Wasting” the conference. These are a few of the thoughts I came away with after reading some of their articles.

Ways To Not Be Wasteful:

  • Identify one area that you really want to hear from the Lord in or one area that you want to experience God in. Start praying that God will work in that area. Go to the conference in faith that He will meet you.

  • Have personal alone time with God. – I can sometimes think that because I’m surrounded by fellow believers, entering into worship and hearing messages from God’s word that it negates me from needing to have my quiet times with the Lord. But from personal experience it only makes those other times sweeter and prepares my heart for what the Lord wants to do in me.

  • Take notes so you can apply the messages when you get home.

  • Plan for application. But don’t plan on applying everything at once or you will be overwhelmed. Powlison says, “Take one bit of scripture and apply it to one bit of life.”

  • Don’t stay up so late to the point where you won’t be able to concentrate on the message the next day. Unlike God…we do need sleep!

  • Talk to someone new. – I have found that I best accomplish this in my family group and try to get to know the people I am with as well as I can in our short time together. But with so many people at the conference it should be easy to meet new people.

  • Build with the people that you know. – Eric Simmons says, “Sure you want to meet new people (we hope you meet lots). But there is something special about building relationships with people from home, people that know you and know what’s going on with your work/school/family.”

These are just few thoughts on how to not waste the conference. As you pray and prepare you heart, the Lord might show you other ways. I am praying that at NA I will be purposeful in striving to do all for the glory of God. I have to remember that going to this conference is a privilege not a right. I hope that the Lord will use it to continue molding me, as well as everyone else, to be more like him.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Observations of the Prophesier

It is a well-documented fact that people have been prophesying in and outside of churches for hundreds of years now. Whether they are accurate or not in many cases remains to be seen. However, I believe the unique distinction of one who has the gift of “prophecy” or “encouragement,” must be classified. You see, there are many different types and deliveries of prophecy and I have taken the time to dissect these differences and categorize them for you into six very distinct and diverse groups:

1. The Persistent One

This prophesier is well known in the church community for their particular dedication to the prophecy mic. Sunday after Sunday, this person can be counted upon to meander down the isle, bible in one hand, notepad in the other, ready and willing to make your teeth feel the Spirit move. From scriptural exhortations, to “I see a picture of…” moments, this individual has no shortage of encouragements. In fact, they wrote the manual.

2. The Goosebumps One

A much rarer sighting, this prophesier has powers not seen in any other category. Though not experienced in every congregation, a visit to the mic by this individual will always guarantee one thing. Goosebumps like you’ve never felt before. More capable than any scary movie and more profound than the “break-an-egg-on-your-head” game, this prophesier pushes the boundaries of little bumps on your arms to a whole new level. On a scale of 1 to 10 it would be an 11.

3. The Short and Sweet One

This particular prophesier is known for their no beating-around-the-bush mentality and record-breaking speed. They have taken the saying, “less is more” to an entirely new level. Verses like “Jesus Wept” and “Praise the Lord” consist of their only vocabulary. Word of caution: don’t sneeze or you’ll miss it.

4. The Dramatic Effect One

One of the most well known of all prophesiers, the “Dramatic Effect One’s” title is indicative of their delivery. Gandalf and the movie-preview-voice guy come in a far distant second to this prophesier. Their most notable characteristics are extreme voice inflection, an ability to bring forth emotion like it’s a super power, and of course… the infamous clap line. These prophesiers are easy to spot even as they make their way to the mic. The “I’m-looking-into-the-face-of-God” composure coupled with the countenance of an angel gives them almost a glowing appearance. As they grasp the mic with two spirit filled hands, make sure both of your feet are firmly planted on the ground because your in for the ride of your life.

5. The “You’ll Get’m Next Time” One

Just when you thought that nothing could be more awkward than the time you let one rip in front of all of your mom’s friends, this newbie steps up to the plate and leaves only silence and questioning expressions in his wake. Usually these prophesiers are first-timers who thought they had all the confidence in the world until the music stops and the mic is “hot”. For the first 15 seconds of awkward silence everyone’s thinking “he must be crying”, until he opens his mouth and spews forth 10 seconds of un-intelligible gibberish. Any sane individual would realize their predicament and proceed with a duck and cover strategy at this point, but it appears that this prophesier has been blessed with the inability to perceive uncomfortable situations and pays no heed to the worship leaders desperate “cut-it” motions up on stage. As this individual makes his way back to his seat, avoiding all possible eye contact, we can only feel sorry for the job of transitioning that now faces the worship leader. This is an extremely convenient time for a bathroom break or to go get a pen.

6. The “Reject One”

This poor, poor soul knows full well the meaning of rejection because they’ve never tasted the metallic glory of the prophecy mic to their lips. There is no dignity for this individual. Though they try and hold their head high, everybody and their mother knows as soon as they get back to the pew the church bulletin has suddenly become more profound than the Bible. “Hey I didn’t know it was mike’s birthday last week…”. Most important in all of this is the “Rejector.” i.e. the “the Prophecy Mic Guy”. The Gatekeeper of Knowledge. (I am of the opinion that this individual should be required to wear a long flowing robe, grow out a white beard and have some sort of staff or scepter that he could use to “bop” bad prophesiers over the head in mid-sentence. Yea, that should do it.) His power to deliver crushing disappointment is unsurpassed. However, this individual most not let his true feelings show. When “rejecting” a prophesy, he must be sure that his face is contorted in just the right thoughtful, considerate, “maybe” expression along with a pat on the back or a textbook reply like, “I think the Spirit is transitioning to a time of reflection at the moment”.

*disclaimer: These words do not express the thoughts or beliefs of Grace Covenant Church. They are only my poor attempts to lighten the day with a little humor. I very strongly believe in the gift of prophecy and the Spirits use of it.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Walking Wounded

“We talk glibly about forgiving when we have never been injured; when we are injured we know that it is not possible, apart from God’s grace, for one human being to forgive another.” Oswald Chambers

In her book “Choosing Forgiveness” Nancy Leigh DeMoss states, “I’ve come to believe that, whether they realize it or not, unforgiveness is, in fact, a very real issue for most people. Almost everyone has someone (or ones) they haven’t forgiven. Whenever I have spoken on this subject, after defining and describing forgiveness form a biblical perspective, I have asked the audience the question: ‘ how many of you would be honest enough to admit that there is a root bitterness in you heart that there are one or more people in your life-past of present that you’ve never forgiven?’”

Colossians 3:13-“Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”

Mark 11:25-“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that you Father also who is in heaven may forgive your trespasses.”

“Anything against anyone.” "That pretty much covers the bases. Doesn’t it? No offence is too great, no offender is beyond the boundary to which our forgiveness must extend. Our fellowship with God requires it and depends on it. So if we as believers persist in unforgiveness, our hearts are forced to wrestle with the fact that our actions amount to disobedience. The pathway of resentment and retaliation-God calls us to the pure, powerful, choice of forgiveness- and to pursue, wherever possible, the pathway of restoration and reconciliation. The outcome of our lives in not determined by what happens to us but by how we respond to what happens to us.”

This has begun to get me thinking. Here are a few questions that I have asked myself before and have had apply to my own life……

1. Is there a person or circumstance you have blamed for the way your life has turned out?
2. Is there someone who has wronged you that you’re still trying to make pay for there offence?
3. Can you think of a situation where you retaliated or became resentful, rather than forgiving someone who hurt you?