Thursday, December 14, 2006

Re:Thinking

My wife is sick - struck by the flu...nasty stuff. I spent the morning getting my blood drawn for a Doctor's appointment next week. The nurse began with my right arm and missed the vein. She proceeded to the left arm and hit red. I guess 50% is pretty good. Breakfast was at my usual morning hangout. A jalapeno bagel with peanut butter is the bomb (don't say yuck unti you try it :-). As I was paying for my treat after fasting for the blood draw, Karen and I exchanged hello's and short discussion about the holidays. Karen has worked at Einstein's for several months now. She asked me if I enjoy the holiday's and I answered with a robust 'yes'. I shared that I was enjoying pondering the Christmas story and such. She mentioned that this is the first Christmas in a long that she could enjoy because she wasn't in some sort of trouble. I guess my look indicated that I didn't know her story so she then said quietly, 'last year I was in jail'. A few minutes later I became engaged in a conversation with Joan, the store manager and told her that she did a good job at running the store and that Karen had told me where she spent last Christmas. I mentioned to Joan that she really has shown grace to Karen. Joan commented how good an employee Karen is. In our conversation, Joan mentioned that Karen needs to do 20 hours a month of community service so I told her that if she needed a place to do her community service, that we were building a Habitat for Humanity House in Peoria beginning in January. The big deal for me is just nudging a little closer to some of the people at my hangout. I pray for them daily and ask God to reveal Himself to them. So what would church look like for Karen and Joan and Tom, Jesus and Norma (all work at my hangout)? Should I just ask them to 'come' to my organic/house church? Should I invite myself over to their place or show up at 3:30am at the store when they get there and have a prayer time? What would church look like to them? What language would God have me use to communicate His Son to them? How should the Gospel and church be contextualized for them? Here are a few points that I've thought about regarding church...this is my Re:Thinking part ;-) To be church you need... * Jesus at the center - both incarnated in the lives of believers and to be studied in the pages of the Bible. * People who are committed to one another - to practice the one anothers of the Scriptures - this takes intimate relationship, not causual relationship. Practicing Christ, who is our life together. * Being on mission together to reach the world we live in with the truth of Jesus. To make it even more concise... Jesus Family Inviting people to join the family So, not every group of 2 or 3 Christian's who get together are church. Not every worship group or evangelism group or social ministry group are church. We need all three components - Jesus, Family, Mission or to put it another way, Divine Truth, Nurturing Relationships, Apostolic Mission (DNA). How are you Re:Thinking Church?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

More Pictures

You can view more pictures of our trip to India by clicking here .

Back Home

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting The hand off is complete - the above picture shows your Indian Nationals holding the baton after it was passed off to them by the EID/USA team. What a blessing it was to see them happiliy and proudly embrace the future together. After a rugged trip, it was good to be home, get some rest, be with family and friends and reflect on what I've learned. My next few posts may include more of the lessons learned but let me share with you what hit me the deepest. I do not belong in the same league spiritually as my brothers and sisters you see in the picture above. Their deep dependence and faith in the Lord should be legendary. I cannot tell you how many times I heard them comment (not bragging) that they had prayed and fasted 3 days, 7 days and 30 days at a time for the Lord to come through in some situation. Often they spoke of the honor to suffer for the Lord. They regularly choose obdedience to the Lord over comfort. They actually believe that the message of the cross is life to their land so they risk much to get the Word of God out to people who need it. Both of our staff have taken on this ministry knowing they would not have as good of an income as they could - but God was directing them to Evangelism In Depth. When I watch how they love God and their fellow man, it excites my heart. The verse that speaks to me since my return is found in Romans 12:3 "Do not think more highly of yourself than you ought." I know I do this too often - I will endeavor to do it less with the Spirit's help.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Handoff is Complete

Well, we are packing to travel to London. Our plane leaves at 7am and it is not 10pm. However, we are told that we need to be at the Delhi airport about 3.5 to 4 hours early because there so much construction going on at the airport and that it is so crowded that it takes forever to get through immigration etc. We'll see what happens. Today was a day of worship, prayer, teaching and tears. Walter, George and I all taught, encouraged and exhorted our Indian brothers and sisters in the Lord. We told them that this ministry is now offically 1000% theirs. You should have seen the smiles and agreement that came on their faces. I don't think they yet fully comprehend the importance of this meeting - I'm not sure I do either. In Matt and Suma's living room we had a college professor, a high school teacher, two engineers, a business man and a minister of defense for India. Can you imagine if all of these were to be evangelizers, how India would be reached. In fact they are all evangelizers and are ready to take the gospel message to all the world where they live. The EId/India team each expressed their love and thanks to everyone who made it possible for us to be with them and for the prayer and finances donated to help them to be on their own in ministry. Our connection will remain strong, as peers, to reach the nations for Jesus. I will write from London if possible and I'll write a lenghty overview once I return home. Walter is flying home now and we leave soon. PLease keep us in prayer for safe travel and to be sickness free. Blessings, Ed

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A Bang Woke Me Up

The firecrackers began to go off at 5:15am this morning breaking a good sleep. I could not go back to sleep and the firecrackers, or 'crackers', as they say here in India, continued for about 30 minutes. It was the end to a very dark and demonic worshp service that began the night before. Even now, at 6:48am, the crackers continue to go off. They sound like they are going off right next to our flat/condo. Last night we had dinner at Titus and Patricia's home. Titus serves on the EID board of directors here in India. I had met them last year - they are a great family and strong partners in the winning India for ministry. The food, once agian, was fantastic. We had a great time sharing the EID/USA vision of handing off this ministry and what it might look like for them to be in total control. Titus and Patricia were grateful for the blessing of being part of this very historic event. Upon our return, we noticed a huge tent erected in the common area of the 'society' (their condo complex). They thought it would may be a wedding and we were excited to be able to at least observe an Indian wedding. (More crackers just went off). As we turned the corner and looked into the tent, we were agast at what we saw. My heart sank and my stomach had a knot in it. It was a Hindu worship/prayer service. The stage had several, what appeared to be, Hindu god thrones or replica thrones (more crackers now) that were to be worshipped. There were people brightly dressed (more crackers) and looked like they were seated on the thrones. We were far away so detail was difficult (more crackers). There was very loud music playing with a drum beat that was other worldly. My stomach knotted up even more and I thought I would vomit. The darkness could be felt by all of us believers. We left after about 3 minutes at the most. As we arrived in the flat, we began to pray and do spiritual warfare. The must was so loud, seven stories up, that we had to speak loudly in our prayers. We prayed for protection, sleep and for the electricity to go out so they would have to abandon their worship service. Well, the electricity did not go out, but we all appear to have slept well and to have been protected. The crackers celebrated the end of the prater service. We all slept with ear plugs, but it seems they did turn down the music about midnight but kept going all night long...amazing. Today we meet for a house church worship service, lunch and then officially handing off the ministry to the EID team. We are having the leader of the Nepal EID arriving to join us today. It will be a great day - tomorrow will be a hard good-bye in the very early morning as we fly to London to visit 2 missionaries before flying home on Wednesday. Thanks so much for your prayers. Blessings, Ed

A Powe/ rful Time in India

I finally got a night of rest. I was able to sleep for about six hours and I feel refreshed. Thanks to those who are praying for me. Tomorrow will be a historic day as we will be 'officially' handing off the EID leadership fully to Matthew, Jeffery and whole EID team. Last evening, we had dinner with one of the EID/India directors. We expressed our love, appreciation and joy for all they are accomplishing. Today, we spent the morning discussing with our EID team here more about the ministry. What we found out was very impressive. The integrity, power, hard work and vision these men have for India is very exciting. Your prayers for this land will be very useful for the kingdom of God here. There are so many people that you cannot begin to imagine. I have lots of video that I will share with you in a couple of weeks that will help you to understand the challenges here. This country is poised to impact the entire world. If the Holy Spirit will be so gracious as to allow a revival, who knows how it will reach the world. We are about to leave for dinner with another board member where we will express similar things as we did last night. Our pace has been fast and exhausting. The hospitality of the people here is amazing. We are so blessed to be here and to learn and give to these people. We had a chance to do some shopping today. There is no such thing as a set price here in India. Everything is negotiaged and if you are not Indian, you will surely pay much more for things. Of course, we Matt and Jeff, we 'almost' got the Indian price. For lunch, we ate at a small local shop. I was a little worried about eating there but Matt assured us that it was safe because it was cooked. We had some very delicious chicken and sheik kabobs. The tastes here is amazing. If you like spicy food, you will love India. As we drove around town today, we saw so many sights that are hard to put into words. There are sections of town where you can buy certain items. Beds in one section, furniture in another section, food in another. It is a Wal-mart on steriods. Our car has arrived and we need to leave for dinner. I'll write more tomorrow BLEssings, ed

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Wild Rides & Late Meals

Well, it is midnight here in Delhi and we are just returning home from a house church meeting and dinner. Dinner is usually ate late, between 8pm and 11pm. Tonight we had Chinese. The house church was a joyful experience with about 15 people there. One of the ladies there is seeking for the true God. Her name is Katina, please pray for her salvation. We sang songs in Hini, had some testimonies and then I was asked to lead a discussion from the Scriptures for about 25 minutes. These believers are on fire for the Lord and want to see much happen for the kingdom of God. They are also working very hard on prioritizing serving Christ over their personal desires. Their faith is amazing, encouraging and hopeful. May God fill their spiritual dreams. On the car ride home, we passed by several wedding ceremonies with loud music, lots of dancing and eating. There is really no way to explain what car or taxi ride is like here in India. The best I can do is think of a combination of a pinball game (bouncing around and around) coupled with a reckless video car driving game where things pop out of no where and you have to avoid them. Tonight we were almost in at least 3 accidents - or so it seemed. George was in the front seat and was very nervous. There were many times where he said loudly "whoa". We laughted much of the way home. George and Walter are adjusting to the culture well. We are all enjoying the Indian food. No one is sick. There are many more mosquito's than last year and the dengue fever incidence rate is fairly high. Please pray for us and the EID team here to be free of any sicknesses. I am still not yet sleeping well. I have a headache from lack of sleep. My body is screaming at me :-) Your prayers will be appreciated. Tomorrow we are taking a day trip into old Delhi by the metro train - it should be another grand experience. Thanks for praying, Ed

Eating A Lot

Things are well here in India with us. We are getting ready to leave to teach at a house church here in Delhi. We have spent the last 2 days talking with our EID/India team, developing relationships with them and eating. We have ate so much Indian food - we love it all. We have heard stories today of how this team of wonderful people have been used of the Lord to see revival's started in villages, healings, salvations and great impact in strategic areas in India. If you are supporting this work in India, you are receiving a great return on your investment. I have not heard today from home as to how Rachel is doing. Please keep her in your prayers. I will have more time to write in greater detail tomorrow. May the Lord bless you - please continue to pray for protection, strength and wisdom as we continue to minister here in Delhi, India. Blessings, Ed

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Safe in Delhi

Well, we arrived safe in Delhi last night. It is now about 9am and breakfast is about to be served. I have only slept about 5 hours since getting up Monday morning. I am tired with lots of 'cobwebs' in my mind. Upon our arrival, customs was very easy and simple - a breeze. As soon as we landed, the 'scent' of life hit us. You knew you were in a different world. We met our friend, Matthew Ninan and drove to his home. We enjoyed some refreshements - a great Tomatoe soup - some conversation and then we went to bed about midnight. It took me about 2 hours to fall asleep and then I woke up at 6am. A knock came on my door and it was one of Matthew's sons. He wanted to know if I had brought him 'gifts'. Of course I had and we enjoyed talking...went to the kitchen and had some great Indian coffee (coffee with lots of cream and sugar). I then took a shower and a walk with Matthew's sons to see their school and a corner store. Jeffery just walked in the door. Jeff is one of our EID India directors. I just returned from breakfast. We had some sweet oatmeal, some thin pancakes but no syrup. Instead, Indian's use more spicy sauces for their pancakes. We also had also had toast which is two pieces of bread stuffed with a spicy potato stuffing. It was all very good and tasty. We will spend today getting acclimated, resting, talking and praying together. This evening, we are meeting with a Pastor from a large family of churches. He has been inviting EID to teach at his churches. On a personal note, I just received an e-mail from Debbie. She told me that our middle daughter, Rachel (who is handicapped) that she has a case of shingles. Please pray for God's healing and mercy. If the Lord chooses not to heal her, then may the Lord grant her mercy with the pain. Shingles can be very painful. Rachel typically has a high thresh hold of pain, but better if there is no pain. Thanks for praying for this. I sense that it is another way of an attack by the enemy. Both Jeffery and Matthew have been sick the past two days - another attack??? Please pray much. This is a very historic trip. Handing off the ministry to these men is rarely done here in India by western ministries. I told Jeff and Matthew that we are not their bosses - we are equals. He had a look as if he actually did not believe me. I said, what will it take for me to convince you that we are equals. He said that these days together will show him that we are serious. So pray that we are wise in how this hand off takes place. I love these men and their families. I want to honor them and Jesus our Lord. Blessings, Ed

Monday, October 30, 2006

20 hours of airport and flying :-0

I'll be leaving my home in about 45 minutes. Saying good-bye to Deb will be hard - saying hello next Wednesday will be heaven! At church last night, we had a great time worshipping the Lord, praying for a newborn, Caleb Martin, and praying for my trip to India. If you would, please pray for my lower back. My left leg ache's because something in my back is putting pressure on a nerve...I'm sure it will get better. Being with friends, enjoy spicy food, hearing stories of the fame of God in a land that is thristy for Christ will be wonderful experiences. I plan on taking lots of pictures, much video and I hope I can share much of it with you upon my return. Well, time to hug my grandkids, my wife and get ready to serve the Lord and to learn from His people in India. Thanks for remembering me in your daily prayers. I'll try to post to this blog as soon as possible. I'll tell you this - when you are on the receiving end of prayers on an adventure like this, they seem more important than when I'm praying. So KNOW that your prayers are coveted. George and Walter have traveled internationally, but never to India - I'll let you know their take on things there. I love you all deeply! Connect to the Father often, He loves you all so very much. He is worthy your best in everything. Blessings, Ed

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Tommorrow - the plane leaves

Well, in 24 hours from now, I'll be taking off from Phoenix on my way to Chicago. There, I'll meet up with George Traub and Walter Cuadra - Evangelism In Depth Board members - and together we'll board an American Airlines Flight to New Delhi, India. Our plane leaves at 7:20pm and arrives in Delhi, India at 9:35pm on Tuesday night. My plan is to try and nap from Phoenix to Chicago and then stay awake until we get to Delhi. I want to be exhausted so my body will be on Indian time when we wake up on Wednesday. I took my first anti-malaria pill today and I have some parasite busting antibiotics incase some water finds it way into my system. Getting ready for this trip has been daunting. There is so much to remember when you are traveling 12,000 from home. I've spent all day putting things together that I need and I feel like I've just begun - so I'd better get back to it. Thanks for your prayers and support. Please pray for safe travel, no sicknesses and lots of learning. Also, pray for the great country of India to be transformed by our friends in that land who love Gospel. I'll write more as soon as possible. Blessings, Ed

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

India - Less than a Week Away

Well, a week from now I'll be in Delhi, India. This week will be full as I get ready to travel half way around the world, prepare for several teachings and meetings and prepare for a world that is as different as could be from my way of life in the USA. I'm excited to go to India to celebrate all that the Evangelism In Depth (EID) team has accomplished there. Myself and two other board members are going to Delhi to 'hand off' the ministry to EID/India. It will be a great time of celebrating and deepening life long friendships. Walter and George, the other two board members, have never been to India. I've only been there once - last year. If you are the praying type, you can pray for safe travel, a protection from illnesses, a large heart to give to our Indian brothers and sisters and a deep thirst to learn much from the Indian people. I'll write more as the time nears - pray for the stamina to get a lot done and for rest before leaving. Blessings, Ed

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Round Here - The Normal Christian Life

I'm listening to Counting Crows "Round Here"...lots has been happening 'round here'. Here, is in Phoenix Arizona where we are exiting the season of Hell and are about the enter the season of Heaven. I realized it has been months since I last posted on this web and I asked myself why. I think one reason is that life and serving Jesus is hard. Being a Christ follower can be all consuming - should it be? I think so. I don't think we should neglect our families or friends to serve Jesus, but isn't the normal Christian life more than an hour on Saturday or Sunday with a bunch of other people who we don't really know? As I've thought much about the what the 'normal' Christian life might look like, I've come to settle that it must include an alligence to Jesus. That should entail putting aside some time to spend with him. How can I align with Him if I don't know what He stands for or wants me to stand for. I can only know that by spending time with Him. I spend time with Him by reading the Bible (His love letters to us), praying and sitting still long enough to hear His voice speaking to my heart. I also think that the normal Christian life must include spending time with others who are pursuing Jesus. I need to be encouraged by people, but I also need to encourage them. To many of my friends who claim to be Christians only go to church for what the church can give them (a good feeling when they leave, good music, a good entertaining talk, a good youth and children's program etc). I don't read much about this in New Testament. I need to go deeper with a few, to share my heart, hurts and hopes as well as listen to the heat, hurts and hopes of my friends. I need to share how I screw up at times and see how Christ followers listen, challange me, love me and lead me in the way everlasting. It is good to see humility walked out in my friends lives. I need to be with Chirst followers (Hebrews 13:3) . The normal Christian life must also include my sharing the great news of Christ with believers as I move around my town. I need to create space so that I can see needs and meet them. I need to be listening to the Spirit of Jesus inside me so I'll know when and what to say to folks who are in need of Him. Living Jesus is an art - it is a discipline - it isn't easy! The normal Christian life is one that overlays everything else I do in life. I mean when I do dinner with friends, being a Christian should be part of it. When I mow the yard or go looking for the dog I should realize that I'm a Christ follower. Too many times I go to the store without thinking that I'm an abassador of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:19-21). The normal Christian life should have Jesus on the forefront of everything I do. Being a Christian is a way of life, not something I do when I'm suppose to be good or on Sunday's. It seems to me that the church must get away from the attractional aspect of worship services. The church is not about putting on a good quality show so that people will come back next week and bring their friends. Christ followers should be committed to Christ and the community of saints that He places them in. Their committment to a church shouldn't be based up on they feel or how good (or not so good) the service might have been (that smacks of comsumerism). How can we really life out Christianity if we are not in relationship with a few other believers for a long time. How can I be transparent with someone I see every other Sunday across the room? How can I be a strong influence on children or teens in my church if I don't have the context of 'time' with them? Why is church today measured by if I like it rather than being committed to Christ and these people because He has placed me here. I do think Christ moves people around to more effective, but certainly not like we see today. Living the normal Christian life with people for years is really, really messy. It will be boring at times. There will temptations to move on to something more exciting. I would lobby that the best times are those that come after choosing to stay and work through the boredom or apathy or anger that I might have with another. I think that is what Jesus would encourage me to do. I'm to love my neighbor as myself - I don't see me leaving me anytime soon! Alright, I thought this would be short and sweet but it is long and jumbled. I hope it helps in some small way. Pray for me to live out the normal Christian life with passion, committment and love.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I'm sitting in Starbucks on 75th Ave and Thunderbird. I'm enjoying reading the Word of God. I'm currently reading Mathew 15-21 for my Life Transformation Group. Matthew 16:25 pokes me in the eye and I stope to read it. Here is what it says: "For whoever wishes to save his life will lost it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." Matthew 16:25 The above verse just stares at me. The words SAVE and LOSE are begging for meditation. My phone rings and ithe person who called me is in pain - heart pain, emotional pain, pain. I listen and love and share my feelings and thoughts with my friend. I share with them Matthew 16:25. It is amazing how God guides us in His Word to use for His glory and the comfort of others. I told me friend in pain to stop haning on to what you think will bring relief and life. I told my friend to let go of what you think you need - jettison the negative thoughts and the selfish throughts and lose your life for Jesus' sake, it is there that you will find life. I no sooner hung up with my friend and my phone rings again. It is another person in crisis. Another broken heart that needs Jesus to mend it. My friend admits that jesus is the answer, that His ways are true and necessary. Then comes these words, "But it is so hard to choose Jesus' way." Which is harder, to do your own thing your own way which leads to continued heartache (saving your life) or choosing to follow Jesus and do things His way, to do things differenly and there find true relief, purpose and life. The choice is actually easy - choose life (Jesus' way) not death (your way). My conversation ends and the guy sitting next to me at Starbucks is reading the sports page. I ask him what he things about the Suns game tonight - we trade opinions. I stick my nose in a book I've been trying to get into and read, but has been quite boring to be honest. The book is entitled Resident Aliens by Stanley Hauerwas and William H. Willimon. The subtitle is A provocative Christian assessment of culture and ministry for people who know tha tsomething is wrong. Catchy title, boring content - until this reading. My socks were knocked off by what I read about journey in life, community and perseverence. I came across this one sentence found on page 65, "By cutting back our attachments and commitments, the self shrinks rather than grows." Powerful words. I immediately call the last person who called me but another person answered the phone. This person has recently also gone through some deep waters. I share the sentence and the person is encouraged to engage people. The person I intended to call was not available - I call back later and share the sentence "By cutting back our attachments and commitments, the self shirnks rather than grows." I hope my friend will act upon our conversation. I set off this morning to find a quite place at Starbucks to sit and spend time with Jesus. I know I did. I know He is at work - even through me!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Learning While Teaching

I went to Kansas City to teach Organic Church planting principles and I ended up learning a whole lot from the people at the conference. People who just 3 days ago were strangers to me loved me. During the conference, several people encouraged me. People were generous, authentic, teachable, humble and passionate about Christ. My faith was renewed and my heart was amazed. This trip was a good reminder that believers around the world are family and when we open our hearts to them, love is exchanged. It is my prayer that the truths deposited in the lives of the people in Kansas City will grow and reproduce into an organic church planting movement that will bless the heart of God. In these people, I can see the church being shaped and molded into something very pleasing for the King of Glory. The graciousness of the people and hospitality was very refreshing. That has never happened to me before and I was deeply blessed. It is always hard to be away from my family, but the Lord used myself and Mike powerfully and that feels very good. I look forward to returning home to continue my journey in helping people to be released for ministry and to reproduce themselves for the Kingdom.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

I've Never Been to K.C. Before

It's midnight in Kansas City and I'm spent. My friend Mike Jentes and I have been discussing organic church planting principles with some church planters, missionaries and others interested in organic church. Some are exploring and some are practicing and some have no idea what God may want them to do next. They are a really cool bunch of leaders. Hanging out with these people for 3 days has caused me to care about them, pray for them and to both encourage them and be encouraged by them. I have never been to Kansas City before and I am in awe once again at how God is moving across our land changing the mindsets of people - almost in unison. The mindset is moving to being more centered on Jesus and not on programs or polish. People are beginning to trust Jesus to transform lives as the marker of a healthy church. The mindset is more wholistic. People are being encoruaged to be in the Word for themselves, to have friends that are commrades in the faith and to be on mission, bringing the Kingdom of God to those outside the Kingdom. The mindset is more missional. People are beginning to wake up and realize that church is more than shaking hands, singing, learning and listening. They are understanding that they must be living life linked with people who are not yet part of the family of God. The church is an already sent agency and we have ground to make up. The mindset is also becoming more dependent on the Lord instead of thinking if we work hard we can make something happen. There is a growing fire for prayer and supplication of the Lord to raise up workers for the harvest and to come and change the lives and hearts of people in need. The mindset is interdependent. There is a desire to build up one another instead of buidling up their kingdom. There is a desire to share resources and to bless those in the body of Christ. It's been a righteousness time here in Kansas City. My body is tired but my heart is refreshed. May the Lord of the harvest bless those who were with us this weekend and may Kansas City see a church planting movement.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A Powerful Move of God

Just when you think God is sleeping, He startles you. That happened to me yesterday. I got up early and drove to Sky Harbor airport to catch a flight to L.A. for the day. I arrove without problems and drove to a meeting with other church leaders to talk about theology. It was a full day of conversation, questions, answers and boredom. I drove back to LAX and flew home, again with no problems. I found myself on the phone the whole way home tidying up loose ends from converstaions during the day. As I drove down a street near my home, I saw my wife driving the other way to her LTG. I longed to hold her. I got home and one of elders, Bud Miller, joined me. He and I were on our way to James K.'s home to meet with his room mate, Chuck, who had been experiencing some demonic things. He had been hearing voices in his head, hearing voices outside, and having some weird experiences with various manifestations. We began by having Chuck tell us his story of life and spiritual experiences. After about an hour or so listening, I began to share with Chuck the truth and message of Jesus Christ. Bud's presence was so needed. Bud and I had talked before we got to James' home and Bud knew his role was to pray and not to stop until we were finished. Our other elder, Joe R. was suppose to join us but became ill and could not do so. He was home praying fervently for the Lord's will and power to be poured out in that home. As I shared the truths of Christ with Chuck, at one point I said, "That is what you need to do.". Immediately, Chuck said, "What do I need to do?" I said, "What I just told you." Chuck got a confused look on his face as if he didn't hear what I said. I asked Chuck, "What did the voice in your head say to you just now?" His reply was, "I heard a word over and over again, 'Whatever!'". And then he added, I also had a sharp pain in my chest that distracted me. At that point, I prayed, asking God to bind any spirits not from Jesus and escort them from the premises. I then retold the story of Christ. There some other evil spiritual expressions that Chuck heard and saw. Chuck told us that he thought that believing in Jesus was evil and that Jesus acted in the power of the Devil. I told him that that lie was very old and took him to Matthew 12:22-29. This passage speaks about the Pharisees accusing Jesus to be casting out demons by the power of the head demon, Beelzebul. Chuck was amazed. By the end of the evening, I asked Chuck if he felt that the Holy Spirit was calling him to choose Jesus over his previous spiritual focus. He was! Chuck then prayed and confessed his sins and asked Jesus into his life. James, Bud and myself all laid hands on Chuck and anointed him with oil. Tonight, we will be baptizing Chuck at church. God is not asleep, no matter what it might feel like. Jesus is alive, risen from the grave because of our justification (Romans 4:25) and rules and reigns foreve more, Amen.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Random Thoughts on Leadership

Leadership – “…not so with you! He who wants to be great must be the servant of all.” Mark 10:43 Rising up to lead with authority (like the government authorities, bosses and Pharisees) will make others indignant. Leadership teaches people that they can hear from God and follow Him. This allows for a quicker expansion of the moves of God because they are listening to Him, not waiting for approval from the top (leaders/pastor). Jesus speaks to His people – everyone of them – with authority, purpose and passion. Following Jesus’ leadership means that the results will be creative, different and powerful. Ministries will look different. Jesus is creative – Jesus creates individuals that look similar, but are definitely different. Spiritual leadership is just that – it follows the Spirit.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Hey all, just sitting in a strong meeting with strong men talking about strong issues - homosexuality, leadership, movements, Jesus, death in churches, sin...we all want victory in these (and other) areas but we are powerless in actually making it happen for any time longer than a few moments. My thoughts are moving toward the Wind of God (Holy Spirit) and dreaming that each of you/us would yearn to follow Him and move when He points...I think He is pointing much more frequently than we follow. I think He is always pointing in at least one direction in our lives - He, the Wind of God, wants us to be following His movement. He wants to change the world, our lives, families work places and playgrounds - He is moving, but we need to fly with Him. Maybe we need to be more like kites instead of wanting to hold the string. Men, don't be afraid to leave the ground! Don't be afraid to fly with the Wind of God. Take on the courage that God has placed in you (you are created in His image) and fly to where you were meant to fly. And what of holding on to the string? Allow God to be in that position - just fly. Live out the strongness that God has placed in you. Embrace prayer, perseverence, practice, poverty, purity, providence and purpose and live strongly for Him...only for Him...fully for Him. You'll be amazed at the future. Let's fly together!