Remember the old chant,
“Stick and stones may break my bones
But words can never hurt me?”
How I wish that were true! However, the words of others have pierced my heart and deeply wounded me. Yet the words I have spoken over myself have been even more damaging, for I have bled from these wounds and never realized that my soul was hemorrhaging from my self-inflicted hurt.
People have told me that they sense serenity, calmness, and a sense of peace when I minister. I praise God for this, for this peace is a prize given to me by a loving Father after much combat.
Those called of God must be overcomers. They must overcome the temptations of the world. They must overcome the spiritual [and sometimes physical attacks] that come from the demonic realm, but most of all they must overcome themselves.
It is so wonderful to have God speak to us. True, to stand in the presence of the Lord can be terrifying, but it is to...
There is a supernatural component to mankind that the Church must acknowledge. If the Church does not nurture this part of man [known in church talk as "the spirit"] then men and women will seek fulfillment outside of the Church. The high interest in vampires, witchcraft, Eastern religions, and other supernatural entities is a reflection of this. The failure of the Church to address this is reflected in any bookstore. Browse the aisles and look at the type of book that is selling to teens/tweens/ and adults.
The Church must realize that she is more than a political voice, more than a social agency; She is the supernatural Bride, Who has been called to engage in the supernatural realm. If She fails to realize this, She dishonors herself and her Lord. She also places the souls and spirits of millions in jeopardy.
Prayer must be revisited; it is not a "boring, fuddy-duddy" activity; it is the spiritual language for romance, warfare, transformation, ... As the Church, we...
Sometimes, the biggest enemy that we will face on a particular day will not be a sudden tragedy or unexpected upheavals. Sometimes the enemy comes dressed as comfort or routine. For me, I find it so easy to "relax for a moment" watching TV...and find that I have wasted the time during which God wanted me to reach out to someone, or which I had set aside for Him. It seems I am particularly vulnerable to the lure of comfort and routine when I am being tested in ways that bring out my insecurities and fear.
And yet--I have prayed over and over again to be "on the cutting edge", to make a significant difference for God's glory. How the spirit desires to bless the Father, while the flesh just wants quiet and ease! Like Peter, I tend to boast, "Anything, Lord! I will do anything for You!" Yet, too often I won't even get out of the chair for His purpose.
If we want to make a significant impact upon our world, we must be willing...
Surveys reveal that massive numbers of Protestant pastors are leaving their pastorates because of burnout. Many of those that remain behind are struggling with strongholds such as pornography, sexual immorality, or gambling. The pervasive sexual sin among Roman Catholic leadership has threatened the very structure of the Catholic Church. Among the so-called "laypeople", discontent and disillusionment are causing many people to drop out. Many Millenials have dismissed the Christian message as irrelevant. Even among those that still faithfully attend and support their individual church bodies, it is a well-known statistic that 20% of the people are doing 80% of the work.
What is wrong with the Church? Why are we modern believers falling so short of the early Church as reflected by the book of Acts? Yes, the early Church had major problems, but boredom and burnout were not among them!
It is time for believers to take responsibility for the...
Before we can fix what is broken, we must know two things: We must know that what we are dealing with is broken, and we have to understand how it was to look and function.
If we look at the Church--at least in the Western World--the scandals and headlines dealing with sexual and financial improprieties and the on-going controversies about so-called "gay" marriages, Biblical interpretation, and the Christian's role in society all point to a Church who has lost her fundamental identity and has become divided and fractured.
However, we cannot begin to fix the Church--to fix ourselves--unless we know who we, as the people of God, are supposed to be. Over the next series of blogs, I hope to explore who and what the Church is.
Let us begin with casting the vision of the Church Triumphant:
The Triumphant Church is often referred to as "The Bride".The Triumphant Church has made herself ready to stand in the presence of God. She is dressed...
When I read the birth of the Church in Acts, I am in awe. When I look at where the Church is going, I want to laugh and clap my hands with joy. When I look at the state of the Church now, I sigh. I am so full of gratitude that God has not abandoned the Church but even now is restoring her to the glory and splendor of what He has called her to be.
I wrote/and prayed the following meditation last night. Yet as I awoke this morning, I realized that this meditation, this prayer applied not only to me as an individual but also to the Church as a whole.
We cannot get to where we want to be by trampling down those around us.
We cannot get to where we want to go by sneering at those from different cultures.
We cannot get to where we dream of living if we ignore those of a different generation.
We can't get there without them.
God has decreed it; every nation, tribe, and tongue shall give glory to His name.
The pain we feel;
the shame we experience;
the problems we...
Do you know what day it is?
When I woke up this morning, I looked at the calendar and noticed the date was June 24th, 2019. This is the date according to the "Gregorian Calendar" which most of the Western Civilization plans their days by. According to the days of the week, it's Monday. It's the day on which I try to make appointments, plan out events for the week, and get my laundry done.
But what day is it, really?
"This is the day that the Lord has made."
This day is a gift from Him. A day that we are "to rejoice and be glad in Him." That means we are to realize that God is and that He has a wonderful plan for us TODAY no matter how the circumstances look.
Somedays, it is hard to rejoice. Some days I just groan and ask God to just keep me alive so that I can find a more comfortable tomorrow. Sometimes I just have to keep saying this over and over: "God loves me and has a wonderful plan for my life". What I see is...