simply…the truth

29 03 2007
  • Faith, therefore, is more than head knowledge; it is our lock upon the goodness and power of God so that no matter what we face outwardly, inwardly we stand secure.
  • God’s goal is that we become Christlike. The real Jesus is going to call us to do the impossible. This means that we will be called to do what we have never done before. You will see Jesus ahead of you, probably in some kind of storm, but it will be the beginning of a miracle that will change you – and the world around you.
  • Remember, I am talking about the real Jesus now, the one who said, “All things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23). If the Jesus you are following is not leading you into the realm of the impossible to make changes in your world, you are probably following the wrong one.

taken from Francis Frangipane’s March 22nd newsletter titled, “The Real Jesus” – sign up for it! (Good stuff!)


easter eggs, peeps, thorns, the cross and cars

28 03 2007

enjoyed a little quiet and down time this morning…in doing so i spent some time doing a little forward-thinking about the next couple of weeks…

this friday i’ll hang out with my daughter at her easter egg hunt at school – i love these! there is something remarkable about watching a child’s face light up when they FIND the easter egg – there’s a ton of fun watching them HUNT the easter eggs. it’s neat to see them explore, follow in one another’s tracks, neat to watch the parents gently guide them to “finding” the easter eggs – it’s all just so cool – it’s all just so childish can’t we be like that? do we have to have it ‘figured’ out before we start (speaking volumes to myself right now)? God has given us His Holy Spirit to guide us into ‘finding’ what God’s plan is – I’m looking forward to that visible, tangible reminder in a couple of days – Easter’s here!

then there are peeps – did you know that the amount of peeps chicks and bunnies eaten this year could circle the earth’s circumference? did you know that peeps are the best selling easter candy (non-chocolate) for the past decade? did you know there are websites dedicated to demented research on peeps (hmmmmm)? btw, i like peeps…

but, moving on, there is the issue of thorns and the cross at easter! of course, in recent years there’s been an uptick in the media trying to discredit or bring speculation to the meaning of easter – they’ve tried to discredit that Jesus was ever a real person, that perhaps the crucifixion/resurrection were just a hoax, and now they are claiming that Jesus was really married – i’m not going to launch into an apologetic here because frankly that’s not my gifting. this i know…Christ is real, i’ve experienced His redemption and His grace, Christ is arisen and there’s reason for hope. Hope! Hope, there’s a word that people all around us could use…imagine if hope were as prevalent as peeps. ok, seriously, our world is full of people without hope…then there are people like ‘salavat.’

spent this morning doing a quick read of the latest issue of voice of the martyrs magazine i received this week in the mail…’salavat’ is a Christ-follower in uzbekistan – he’s been imprisoned countless times for the message of the gospel. recently he was imprisoned for six months! during this time his wife and 5 children were basically neglected by the church because the other Christians were afraid of coming around for fear of imprisonment. during his time in prison, he was to beaten by the other inmates – they spared him – favor of God. upon release, his family had little food, but lots of hope. his 7 year old daughter asked, ‘dad, when are we going to eat again?’ – think about that for a moment moms and dads…imagine your children asking that question – not, “when can we go to mcdonalds?”, but “when can we eat again?” – ‘salavat’ told his daughter soon because he had hope…hope…hope that God would provide. the next morning they got up at 5am to work the fields when a car drove up to their home and two ‘people’ got out of the car – they stated that they weren’t supposed to be here, but that God had sent them…they handed ‘salavat’ $200, returned to the car, and drove off. when ‘salavat’ and his daughter went to thank them, they looked up and the car was gone! no dust, no tracks, the road looked as if it hadn’t been driven on for months – hope showed up in a car!

that’s how it is with God, He shows up!…He shows up in a car, in a friend (through a word or a challenge) and sometimes in an easter egg hunt!

wrap up for tonight

28 02 2007

just got home after a really long day at church…3 meetings, one benevolence situation, few phone calls, 1 sermon written…man, i’m tired – time to watch american idol, unwind and kill some time before heading to bed…however,

however, as i said, just have to praise God…really felt that i was supposed to deal the subject of the baptism in the holy spirit – i’ll be honest, i wrestled with it because i wasn’t planning to go there with tonight’s talk – however, after a little more internal wrestling, prompting and a confirmation through another individual i, at the last minute, added it to the notes and “flew into motion” with it…

short praise report – really felt like i was able to clear some misconceptions and false understanding that people had tonight – one person reported being baptized in/with (what ever you want to say) and i really challenged the others that were seeking to continue to do so – i really believe we’ll have more reports before next week that others have also been baptized in the holy spirit – just wanted to praise God for his amazing love and gift of “the promise of the Father”…

who owns the pain?

15 02 2007

Was teaching last night about how God can use our experiences to serve Him and serve others…in other words, I personally know of women that have been sexually abused as children or young adults, but they’ve allowed God to use that awful, “hell-on-earth” experience to reach out to others that have faced that attrocity or something similar.

As I was teaching, it seemed God dropped a thought into my mind – it surely wasn’t in my notes…

When it comes to our Painful Past, we have 2 choices regarding ownership: 1.) we can choose to own the past; or, 2.) we can choose to allow God to own the past.

Although I’m surely no counselor and I can’t identify with the pain that some have gone through…I know that when I allow God to own my past, He’s able to use it for my future! In other words, He can use to serve others, to comfort them, to love them and to have understanding for them. However, when I choose to own my past, then my past owns me – I become engulfed, self-seeking, self-serving, bitter and trapped by my past.

By the way, I was teaching about how God can use our Positive Past and our Painful Past to serve Him and others. Joseph’s a great example – check out Gen. 37-50.

Eating with scum

8 01 2007

Was reading the New Living Translation today when I came across this…

“Why does your teacher eat with such scum?”

When Jesus heard this, he said, Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

The above is taken from Matthew 9:11-13…

Who did you have lunch with today?

the past and the present

28 03 2006

During prayer this morning at church we focused on several things… the blood of Christ, vision, our "Go Deep" services, our Sunday morning services…praying for our youth and children…praying for the upcoming launch of CARE Ministry…prayer for our members and the people that call COTN home.

Here's what God was speaking to me…the blood of Christ covers the past, the vision of God takes us into our future.

Pastor Mel has been teaching in various settings how the vision that God has for us (teaching from Habakuk 2) isn't meant for the past or the present – it's what God has for us for the future!

Later this AM, I'm scanning through my daily blog read and come across Brad's post about God's favor in terms of provision for locations and church planting…I took a few minutes to tune into his podcast and heard these two statements below. The first one…he mentioned the author (I don't remember) – the second, I'm pretty sure, has been recently stated by Mark Batterson

"We need to be reminded more than we need to be informed."

"We tend to remember what we need to forget and forget what we need to remember."

So, I'm processing these two comments in light of the "past" they tend to emphasize and the vision ("future") that we're embracing for us…here are my thoughts.

In Habakkuk 2, where the writer tells us to write the vision on tablets so that someone may run with it – it's not speaking of running with tablets – its speaking of having seen the vision, then we run with it – which means we remember it! …which means we remember the vision that God gives and move forward with it – we carry it – we are the carriers of the vision – but, first, we've got to see it!

value the Word…

20 03 2006

Isaiah 55:10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. (NASB)

Isaiah 55:10 The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. 11 It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. (NLT)