Evie at 2010 District Council

Preparation

worship handsI have been reading in the Old Testament of Exodus and Leviticus. One word that keeps popping out of the text is the word “prepare“. It is amazing not only how detailed the preparation was to get everything right, but the consequences of not taking this type of worship seriously. I’m absolutely convinced that during those first days and years of temple-worship experiences were entirely inspirational as people were actually following IN DETAIL what God had asked them to carry out. Unfortunately humanity began to ignore — take for granted — became bored — and actually lost the passion of preparation.

John the Baptist also did this: He prepared the way for Jesus — a way to live in God’s favor. THAT kind of favor is a a not a preparation of works, but of mercy! Now each day we can PREPARE for and follow through in worship to this King of Kings and Lord of Lords! So what are you waiting for?

Book Review: You Were Born for This by Bruce Wilkinson

I love the way Bruce writes. It always challenges me, makes me think, and points me toward the awesome work of God in my life. This book will be part of a group Bible study in the near future for our church, that’s for sure! Check it out by clicking here.born-for-this

His New York Times phenomenon The Prayer of Jabez changed how millions pray. Now Bruce Wilkinson wants to change what they do next.

Anyone can do a good deed, but some good works can only happen by a direct intervention from God. Around the world these acts are called miracles—not that even religious people expect to see one any time soon. But what would happen if millions of ordinary people walked out each morning expecting God to deliver a miracle through them to a person in need? You Were Born for This starts with the dramatic premise that everyone at all times is in need of a miracle, and that God is ready to meet those needs supernaturally through ordinary people who are willing to learn how Heaven works.

In the straightforward, story-driven, highly motivating style for which he is known, Wilkinson describes how anyone can help others experience miracles in such universally significant arenas of life as finances, practical help, relationships, purpose, and spiritual growth.

You Were Born for This will change how readers see their world, and what they expect God can do through them to meet real needs. They will master seven simple tools of service, and come to say with confidence, “I want to deliver a supernatural gift from God to someone in need today—and now I know how!”

Michael Jackson Meets His Maker

mjThe news unfolded this afternoon. Michael Jackson is dead.

Michael Jackson is dead. The reports brought Twitter to it’s knees. The news channels are now on the 24/7 with it all.

Here are some quotes I heard.

  • An American Icon.
  • Another Elvis.
  • Innovative.
  • One of the biggest stars of all time.
  • A Legend.
  • Passionate.
  • A Wonder.
  • A great loss for America.

On Fox, Sheppard Smith said, “I sense that the next few days will become a true ‘American Event'”.

It is true, Michael Jackson was talented, creative, and eccentric. He was my age, so I grew up and listened to all the reports. From the publicity stunts to the tragedies of choices he made, I know he didn’t want to face death. In the 80’s he even spent time in a hyperbolic chamber in order to ensure amazing longevity.

What if you were to be surprised by your death? What if your family discovered that you were gone from this life?

Legacy, sure we all think about this. Regrets, they are ongoing in life. Do-overs? Yes, we want those, too. But the most important thing to answer is this? ARE YOU READY TO MEET YOUR MAKER? Do you know and love the God who made you to know and to love. He loves you so much. In fact the Bible tells of the peace you find when you do discover this truth. Peace in storms, decisions, relationships, difficulties, sickness, etc., etc.

Hebrews 9:27-28 And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.

michael jackson, jackson, thriller, death, dying, funeral, hope, inspiration, help, counseling, salvation, christian, god, jesus, hope, revtim, revtim.com, tim hohm, hohm

uStream – uStream.tv Media Streaming

I have a couple of uStream.tv accounts that offer free live video streaming. Since they began their services I have been interested in gathering together people and interacting with a live Internet audience.

What would you be most interested in tuning in? Interviews, concerts, Bible studies, New Media training? Something else? Would you tune in on a regular basis to something like this?

Would you like to learn how to do this yourself?Perhaps you would stream your church service or a Bible study. There are lots of possibilities. You just need a web cam, computer, and high-speed internet. Start there, then improve over time. It could be fun and rewarding, right?

What is YOUr Response?

1 Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb.
2 Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it.
3 His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow.
4 The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.
5 Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.
6 He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.
7 And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”
8 The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message.
9 And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him. Matthew 28:1-9 (NLT)

2008 Thanksgiving Year of the “Social”

I have to agree with a lot of the favorite tech things that Greg Atkinson wrote about on his blog post. In 2008 there are three services in particular that bounced to the top for me.

Facebook

Twitter

Ustream.tv

The reason is this — making the connection — with a LOT of other people I haven’t talked to or communicated with in a long time. And you know what? I still like them!! 😉

God created us to love Him and to love others. One small way to BEGIN to love someone is to connect, interact, communicate, pray, and have conversations. In MY conversations, I want to bring hope and inspiration and to be transparent.

But when it’s all said and done

Praying for New Words to Express Common Bible Verses?

You gotta love this. When I was a teenager someone showed up with a Bible that used a lot of the phrases being said by the Jesus Movement. I always wanted one like that as a novelty, I guess, but I just liked the unique way words met culture.

Today I discovered the Pidgin Bible. Well, it’s not complete, but has phrases loosely translated this way. Check out a common passage, Philippians 4:6-9.

Eh, no worry bout notting! Mo betta, everyting dat happen, pray bout um, an aks God fo do wateva you guys like him fo do. An same time, no foget tell him, “Mahalo plenny!” Den, God goin make you guys hearts rest inside. Dat goin be mo betta den anybody can figga. God goin take care yoa hearts an yoa heads, cuz you guys stay tight wit his Spesho Guy Jesus Christ. So den, tink bout all dese kine stuffs — wateva stay true, wateva get respeck, wateva stay right, wateva no stay pilau, whoeva you get aloha fo, wateva you talk good bout, wateva da bestes kine, weneva peopo can say, “Dass good!” — tink everytime bout all dat kine stuff. Everyting you guys wen learn from me, everyting I wen give you guys, everyting you wen see an hear wen I was wit you guys — go do um! Den, da God dat can make you guys hearts rest inside, he goin stay wit you guys. (Fo da Philippi Peopo 4:6-9)

Vote Christian — What Does THAT Mean??

This is well said by a commentator at Gotquestions.com

Christians often ask us whether they should be a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we have to listen to what the Bible says about political issues and encourage each other to make a decision from there. In all actuality, few political issues are truly spiritual issues. As an example, we may prefer lower taxes, but the Bible does not endorse low taxes; all it says is that we are to pay our taxes honestly (Romans 13:6-7; Matthew 22:15-21). Taxes and many other issues (social security, universal healthcare, education funding, prescription drugs, etc.) are not spiritual issues the Bible specifically addresses. As a result, Christians can in good conscience have disagreements on these issues.

An issue the Bible most definitely “takes sides” on is abortion. Jeremiah 1:5 tells us that God knows us before He knits us in the womb. Psalm 139:13-16 speaks of God’s active role in our creation and formation in the womb. Exodus 21:22-25 prescribes the same penalty of someone who causes the death of a baby in the womb as the penalty for someone who commits murder. This clearly indicates that God considers a baby in the womb as just as much of a human being as a full-grown adult. For the Christian, abortion is not a matter of a woman’s right to choose. It is a matter of the life or death of a human being made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27; 9:6). Therefore, Bible-believing Christians should strongly support candidates who are pro-life.

Another issue which is most definitely biblical is that of gay marriage. The Bible condemns homosexuality in the strongest terms possible (Genesis 19:1-13; Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9). Gay marriage is an attack on the institution of marriage that God created to be between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:22-24). Endorsing gay marriage or even civil unions is basically giving approval to a lifestyle choice the Bible condemns as immoral and unnatural. Gay marriage, then, is an issue Christians must consider when they evaluate a candidate.

The Bible teaches that a leader in the church should be a godly, moral, ethical person (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:6-9). This should apply to political leaders as well. If politicians are going to make wise, God-honoring decisions, they must have a basic morality on which to base the decisions they are going to have to make. So if there is a clear moral distinction between candidates, as Christians, we should choose the more moral, honest, and ethical of the candidates.

No matter who is in office, whether we voted for them or not, whether they are of the political party we prefer or not, the Bible commands us to respect and honor them (1 Peter 2:13-17; Romans 13:1-7). We should also be praying for those placed in authority over us (Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17). We do not have to agree with them, or even like them, but we do have to honor and respect them. Politics is always going to be a difficult issue for Christians. We are in this world, but are not to be of this world (1 John 2:15). We can be involved in politics, but we should not be obsessed with politics. Ultimately, we are to be heavenly-minded, more concerned with the things of God than the things of this world (Colossians 3:1-2). As believers in Jesus Christ, we are all members of the same political party—monarchists who are waiting for their King to return (Revelation 19:11-16).

Gotquestions.com

Facebook, MySpace, Blogs … Unifyer

I love Facebook. I have been able to connect with dozens and dozens of my current and past friends and family. It seems that not a day goes by when the name of someone I once spent a lot of time with pops up.

For me, that is AWESOME, I really love it.

What if the local church — MY church, CENTRAL ASSEMBLY — was able to connect the like-minded people groups together. Communication would increase. I think there could be a quicker adoption by ministries to connect. Hope Groups could even go to the next steps.

I have been exploring this. There are a lot of social networks out there. And recently I have discovered Unifyer. I am doing research on it right now. Ning, Unifyer, Facebook, and blogs are all ways to make connection.

Maybe you could check the link below, then come back with a few comments as you see it. I would love your input!

Unifyer Review at ChurchCrunch.


How Would Jesus Vote?

I am reading this very relevant book. No matter what, Followers of Christ should be praying for our nation. May God direct our paths and may we make decisions that glorify His cause!

2 Chronicles 7:14

The 2008 election is shaping up to be one of the most important political contests in American history. In fact, Dr. D. James Kennedy believes it will be a watershed moment that could impact our very survival as a nation under God.

Values voters—people whose political views and votes are based on their faith in God—are being targeted as never before. As the campaign season moves forward, the significant players will debate terrorism, radical Islam, nuclear threats, global warming, social issues, gay marriage, immigration, education, health care, and many other essential issues that can create sharp ideological divisions.

Into this overwhelmingly complex political situation, Dr. Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe bring a clear, compelling, and nonpartisan exploration of what God’s Word has to say on these critical matters. How Would Jesus Vote? isn’t intended to tell readers which candidates to support; rather it offers a Christ-centered understanding of the world to help readers draw their own political conclusions.

Hostage! Lies

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does .The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:3-4

WHAT LIES HOLD US HOSTAGE?

LIE: GOD CAN’T CHANGE ME

TRUTH: …we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.  Ephesians 2:10 NLT

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation ; the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17-18

THE STRATEGY of THOUGHTS AND OVERCOMING LIES

1. CAPTURE WRONG THOUGHTS.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5

…whatever is true…noble…right…pure…lovely…admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Philippians 4:8

2. SPEAK TRUTH.
The tongue has the power of life and death… Proverbs 18:21

May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. Psalms 19:14 NLT

3. DON’T GIVE UP.
To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me.
Colossians 1:29-2:1

…But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14

Inspired by Lifechurch.tv

Free E-Book Offer — Good until October 6

I got this offer and downloaded it to check out for myself. It looks like a very good read, especially for those praying for our next generation who is just entering into leadership roles.

Check it out, just click on this link.

“Why do so many young adults (18 to 22) leave the church, and what will it take to bring them back? This important question is examined and duly answered in Essential Church?, a follow-up to Thom S. Rainer’s best-selling Simple Church cowritten this time with his son, research expert Sam Rainer.

The book is based on a study of one-thousand so-called “church dropouts” who were interviewed about why they left. Their answers are quite surprising, having less to do with “losing their religion” and more about the desire for a community that isn’t made stale by simply maintaining the status quo.”

Hostage! Addiction Notes

If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?  But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you… Genesis 4:7

“…but you must master it.”   Genesis 4:7

HOW TO MASTER YOUR ADDICTIONS

1)    TURN TO GOD.
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires…but rather offer yourselves to God…For sin shall not be your master…  Romans 6:12-14

WHO OR WHAT IS YOUR LORD?

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Acts 3:19

2)    SHARE THE FINAL 10 Percent — in order to become fully accountable. Don’t just give 90 percent.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed… James 5:16

•    FIND ACCOUNTABILITY.
•    CREATE A CLIMATE OF ACCEPTANCE.
•    KEEP IT IN THE ROOM.

3)    FIGHT FOR FREEDOM.
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”

2 Corinthians 10:3-4

WEAPONS FOR FREEDOM:

•    IRRATIONAL OBEDIENCE
•    CONFIDENCE IN GOD’S WORD
•    MILITANT PRAYER

“No temptation has seized you except that which is common to man.  And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”  1 Corinthians 10:13

Need Wisdom?

It makes sense that you can gain wisdom through research. That research becomes overwhelming and seeming infinite when it comes to the World Wide Web. We have Wikipedia, Google, Yahoo! search, and many ways to find information.

This is what millions of people do on an hourly basis throughout the world.

Economy in trouble? I’m sure you can find a lot of opinions and answers. What about grilling a steak? Yes, you can find that too. Philosophy? Psychology? Scientific research? Sociology? It’s all out there.

What about how to discipline or raise a child? You can find that, too. How to survive a divorce? 5,890,000 results on Google today.

But what about the wisdom that comes from God?

First, no matter what, if you want your faith to increase and to get solid foundational answers about God, you should read the Bible. Wisdom and information pours out of it. Although it is historical, the Bible is not a “History” book, per se. (I think that’s the first time I ever wrote out the phrase per se 😉  )

The intent of the Bible was to point to Jesus, the one way to be made right with God. See Romans 10 and Hebrews for more clarity about that. Anyhow, we can gain wisdom by spending time in God’s Word, the Bible.

Second, we can ask God for wisdom.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  – James 1:5 (NIV)

Don’t be afraid to pray and ask God to help you … and us as a nation. We could all use a little more wisdom. So take a little time and invest your life in learning — and — asking!

Notes about Worry

Here’s a very brief excerpt of the message notes from the September 21, 2008 message on WORRY:

Perhaps they will be a help to you or a friend you have. Remember, ALL THINGS are POSSIBLE with God!

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV

…Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Matthew 6:25

STOP THE STRANGLE-HOLD OF WORRY

1)    I WILL DO WHAT GOD ASKS ME TO DO.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22

•    Think on the right things.
•    Do what is wise.

2)    I WILL GIVE GOD WHAT I CANNOT DO.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

3)    NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, I WILL TRUST GOD.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself… Matthew 6:33-34

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

I’m Reading An AMAZING Book!

I am in the middle of reviewing the newest book by Mark Batterson, who also authored “In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day.” I love his writing style and challenge to do something great for God. To live a life of wild expectations, yet in the realm of the unpredictable that leads to the spectacular, yet supernatural Holy Spirit move on our circumstances.

I’ll say more later, but read the stuff below. By all means you should order a copy right away before this printing is gone. I have a feeling that may happen very soon.

Thanks, Mark!!

Summary:

Most of us have no idea where we’re going most of the time. Perfect.

“Celtic Christians had a name for the Holy Spirit–An Geadh-Glas, or ‘the Wild Goose.’ The name hints at mystery. Much like a wild goose, the Spirit of God cannot be tracked or tamed. An element of danger, an air of unpredictability surround Him. And while the name may sound a little sacrilegious, I cannot think of a better description of what it’s like to follow the Spirit through life. I think the Celtic Christians were on to something….

Most of us will have no idea where we are going most of the time. And I know that is unsettling. But circumstantial uncertainty also goes by another name: Adventure.” –from the introduction.

Author Bio:

Mark Batterson is the lead pastor of Washington, DC’s National Community Church, widely recognized as one of America’s most innovative churches. NCC meets in movie theaters at metro stops throughout the city, as well as in a church-owned coffee house near Union Station. More than seventy percent of NCC’ers are single twentysomethings who live or work on Capitol Hill. Mark is the author of the best-selling In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day and a widely read blogger (www.markbatterson.com). He lives on Capitol Hill with his wife, Lora, and their three children.

Cover art:

www.amazon.com

www.barnesandnoble.com

www.borders.com

www.cbd.com

www.familychristian.com

www.parable.com

Ordinary Wednesday?

Wednesday is sometimes called “hump day”. It’s an ordinary hum-drum day in the middle of the week that seems long. If we can get through it then the rest of the week is easy, or so goes the thinking.

If I make this an “ordinary” day, nothing will change in my world. This may seem pretty nice to some people, after all, consistency is not always bad.

But I am here to make a difference. God has a calling and plan for my life. That plan is to change the world for His glory. When I stop and think about THAT, then I don’t want today to be ordinary.

My prayer today?

God, show my YOUR way and will for me to somehow have people look in YOUR direction. My eyes and mind are open to what YOU want. I give you PERMISSION to use me as an instrument for YOUR purposes.

Today a Miracle Happened

Last night, Saturday, April 12, 2008 a young man, 19 years old went to bed around 11 pm. But his dream began much sooner than when his head hit the pillow. His dream was to go to Africa, bring medical supplies to needy people — especially children — and perhaps to cut the hair of people who wanted just one more personal ministry touch.

africa treeDEADLINE MONDAY — NEED $2300.00.

When Keith woke up on Sunday morning with the deadline now only 24 hours away, Keith had only $400.00 raised toward this goal and the air fare deadline was upon him. A friend of his called the guest speaker who was going to speak in our service with an emphasis on missions.

To make a long story short, the Lord spoke to our small congregation to give. One man said to his wife, “I believe if we give $200.00 which represents the tithe of the need, God would take care of the rest.” And they did exactly that. Many other families also gave and the total amount given was $1400.00. This was an amazing amount given on a NO NOTICE basis. Folks gave out of understanding that this event would change this young man’s life …

But there’s more! A phone call as I was locking up the doors of the church came as a man said, find out what the rest of the need is and I’ll write you a check. He did that … a check for $900.00 additional was delivered to the door as Keith was over for lunch.

THE NEED $2300.00 =  THE ANSWER $2300.00.

The plane ticket will be purchased on Monday, right on time.

Quick back story: Keith was involved in a devastating car accident and wake-up call just 2 years ago. The other driver died. Keith was unable to walk for a week and still has problems with his knee. He sent out 200 letters to request help for this trip to Africa — with NO RESPONSES whatsoever.

So you see, God moved on the hearts of our church and used us for something great. Central Assembly is  planting seeds into the life of someone called by God to do something greater than himself.

It’s going to ruin him — to mess him up in the greatest way imaginable!

Praise to God who is able to accomplish more than we ask or think!

True Love — Happy Valentine’s Day!

This is one of the most prolific and poetic ways to say love. God’s Word expresses it so well that it has stood the test of time for some 2000 years.


Have a wonderful time with those special people you love. Make the day count!1 Corinthians 13 (THE MESSAGE)

The Way of Love

(1) If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. (2) If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. (3-7) If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end. 8-10Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

(11) When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.

(12) We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

(13) But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

Plan to Talk to Someone Close to You Today

cell phoneGo ahead. Pick up the phone and spend like 6 minutes. Call someone you love.

How long has it been since you did something like that? What if you called your spouse and ask them how their day is going. Have you spoken to your dad or mom in a while? Do they know what is happening in your world?

We get so busy, right? We all use our cell phones for these short conversations. Many times they are interruptions in our day, many times it involves business or we may even be working our to-do list right during our drive to and from somewhere. Drive, hurry, errand, lunch, work — busy, busy, busy.

So add one more thing. Add something that may just make a difference in your grandmother’s life. Call your daughter. Oh, and have no agenda when you do this. Just tell them you love them and were thinking about them. Well? What are you waiting for??? 😉

Psalm 9:1 (NLT) I will thank you, Lord, with all my heart. I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.