Tag Archives: Prayer

Not Because I’m a Saint

This is the table that is before the Lord.

Ezekiel 41:22b

It is one of my greatest heartaches and concerns of the American church today that the Sunday morning altars are empty. Pastors should not have to heap guilt upon the congregations to create movement and cause a begrudging child of God to kneel at the altar of grace. We should not ever do it out of vain repetition but rather with the knowledge that there is always a need, be it ours or someone else. For me… it’s me. I take others to the altar too, but I’m here to tell you, I go because I know what a wretched sinner I am and how I fail my Lord every day. I don’t go to prove my “sainthood” or that I am all that and a bag of chips in the house of the Lord. I’m not trying to impress anyone in any pew. I’m going because I need it!

I find three things at the altar (and more). But three very notable things.

I Find Quality

Ezekiel spoke of the altar as a table. The finest wheat, and sweetest bread is there waiting for me every time I kneel. Jesus said in John 6:35 I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

It is apparent from my waistline that I love to eat. But I pray that my soul is every bit as ravenous for the things of God. That is why I go. I don’t always feel hungry for the things of God. I’m ashamed of that. There are times I want worldly things that tickle my fancy. It’s a real struggle. I’m a vain, bling loving babe that likes techy things, music things and all things artsy craftsy. Those are the things that can so easily draw me away from God. I need reminded that those things are fine in their place, but that the true and finest filling of the soul comes from time with the Master.

I Find Quantity

God has not one time refused me time. Isn’t that a great thought? But what’s shameful for me again is I have refused Him time over and over. I need reminded on as I kneel at the altar that it is a privilege beyond comprehension that the Lord of Glory wants to talk to me. Wants to give me His precious time.

I Find it Quietly

While there is a time for praising and shouting the glory down, my time at the altar is in humble, silent awe. It’s the feeling of the Holy Spirit that dwells within, also coming from above like a mighty rushing wind and just settling there on top of me pouring Himself down into me and blessing me all over. Helping me to understand that in my greatest failures, I am loved. In my deepest pain, He understands it. And when I just don’t know what to say. He intercedes on my behalf, making groaning where there was no words.

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. ~ Romans 8:26

That is why at every opportunity you’ll find me at the altar. Not because I’m a saint… but because I ain’t.

Why Our Conversations with God are Lacking

Below is the video link as well as my notes for the “Not Another Manic Monday” Video Blog published October 8, 2018. Tune in  live every Monday at 10 a.m. on Facebook as I share what the Lord has laid on my heart to encourage us for the coming week. 

VIDEO NOTES:

To begin with, it’s hard to begin a conversation with

  • Someone we’re not familiar with or perhaps may not even know.
  • Someone we’re angry with (if we’re honest)
  • Someone we’re afraid of, or
  • Someone we don’t understand.

It’s sometimes helpful if we have a conversation starter.

Prayer needs are obvious conversation starters. I used to think I was prayer warrior until I realized all my prayers started with “Lord help me.”

Who wants a friend who only comes around when they need something? Don’t get me wrong, God wants to hear everything we need. But He’d like to have some talk time with us just for the sake of getting to know Him better. Not hearing just hearing about our problems.

1 Timothy 2:5  says “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

Conversation Starter

So if by way of a conversation starter you heard God ask “Why don’t we talk more often?” How would you answer?

Which one of the excuses would you have, or perhaps another one. But be honest with yourself and ask, what causes me not to have a closer relationship with Jesus Christ? Do you fear Him?

The Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear: but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.”

So let’s break that verse down.

If God hasn’t give us the spirit of fear, who has. Easy question to answer. Satan loves it when you won’t talk to God. Because he knows without a good relationship with Jesus, God can’t work in your life to the fullest extent. So he whispers lies in our ears to keep us apart and a way from a three fold promise.

The Power of God. The Love of God and the Strength of having a sound mind. Power to make it through any problem we’re facing. Love, not condemnation which Satan wants you to have, and a sound mind, meaning that you worry and stress less. Is that not something we all desire?!

So take the time to have that conversation with God today. What’s coming between you and Him?

Tell it to the Scapegoat

Anything that prevents you from having a conversation with God is a sin. Even if you don’t view it as a sin, it is because it’s keep you apart from your Creator.

In the book of Leviticus, an Old Testament ritual was that the priest on the Day of Atonement would take two goats before the people at the temple. The first he would kill which symbolized the blood sacrifice that Jesus would make in the future. The second goat he would release into the wilderness, symbolizing that the sins of the people were carried away.

I love the scripture which says “As  far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”

Everything that causes you apprehension with God, is gone. You can visualize it on the scapegoat, running into the wilderness never to return.

What an awesome way to visualize our sins! Running away from us.

The last point for today is to have a

Tell it to Jesus

It’s a conversation that I had last night in the preparation of this morning’s video blog. I needed somethings to go away. I had to get very honest.

I’ll share those with you, because I need to get them out in the open and perhaps your struggle is similar.

  • I feel every burden of my family on my shoulders. Everyone’s. And I most always think that it’s my fault.
  • I don’t ever feel that I measure up before God or man and that I’ve failed everyone who loves me.
  • I feel that my value is tied to my pay. Which for someone in the ministry, (not a paid ministry) that makes my value “0”.

That may or may not be your issue. But something probably is that keeps you and God from having in depth conversations.

I hope that today you’ll take the time to talk to Jesus. Tell Him the truth about why you and He don’t talk as much as you should. And let’s start this Monday on the right foot, getting closer to our Lord.

God bless ya!

Life lesson: Make sure the ‘O’ is in the right spot.

The difference between a good idea and a God idea

I have lots of good ideas. At least in my mind. And for the most part, I believe that they’re ideas that would make a good work for the Lord. Every day since salvation I’ve thought about my ministry and its direction; until the day I went into the hospital and then suddenly it was about that moment in time. Who was I with, who was speaking, was it about my health or was it an opportunity to witness for Christ? That was my mindset.

I missed my youth group, I missed singing, I missed speaking, but those things weren’t on my mind. I didn’t pick up the Word because I couldn’t focus, all I could do was listen to the words that I had “Hidden in my heart.” (Psalm 119:11) But now, I’m back, I’m reading, I’m writing, I’m drawing, I’m singing (from my kitchen table) I’m seeking God’s direction for me now, in this place.

But I recognize even more that there’s a difference between a good idea and a God idea. One “O”.

Psalm 86:1-8

Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me: for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me. Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.

David desires God’s will for his life, he knows there is purpose (he is holy, set aside). And in the first 8 verses of his prayer I see his petition to God, “O Lord,” again and again. I can clearly see that the reasoning for my unfocused ministry over the years has been that I’ve not cried “O Lord,” enough. I would ask and halfheartedly wait for God to answer, knowing there might be a chance He wouldn’t necessarily agree with my “good” idea. Zap! That one stung. I know truth when I hear it. I’m driven for service, sometimes too driven.

David prayed

  • O’ Lord Hear me
  • O’ Lord I Trust Thee
  • O’ Lord I cry to Thee
  • O’ Lord I give myself to Thee
  • O’ Lord be with me
  • O’ Lord, let it be Your works

Mine would have been, “O’ Lord! Thanks for that idea!” But not David. He prayed first asking God to please listen. God loves a conversation with His children. A real conversation. Not a repetitious religious act, but a Daddy/Daughter/Son conversation. He want to hear the desires of our heart. He wants to know just how passionate we are about the conversation. Good ideas are not always God ideas. The human mind is fickle and can change at any point. A good conversation with God allows us to work through whether or not it’s passion or just possibility.

David Trusted God. I too often trust me more. Trust is letting go of anything but God for which I learned from the hospital bed. I had to trust that God had put me in the right place with the right people to handle it all. Is life any different? Maybe not as life threatening, but every bit as serious.

When it came to getting to WVU medicine, I discovered that a few life threatening decisions that had been placed in my hand, God had removed. One was changing hospitals mid-stream after I had built a trust with a physician. After my heart cath, the medical staff at the second of three hospitals I was in, decided I had a blood disorder that placed me at considerable risk, and they refused to do the surgery there. It turned out that that hospital had had an outbreak of staff infection and mersa on the heart wing for the past 18 months. Coincidence that I was removed from there? Not in my mind. The blood disease diagnosis was incorrect. Shocker. God removed that decision from me. That’s not how it always works. More often than not, He leaves us to free will. It’s why it’s so very important to cry out to Him more than once.

David pleaded (cried) to the Lord, He laid himself down before the Lord and ask the Lord to be with him through it all, and in finality he asked God to let it be His works, not David’s.

Another zap for me. My good ideas, have too often been, mine. They weren’t bad, they just weren’t God’s. So much work, so much effort put into things that I don’t know if God ever intended me to do because I wouldn’t slow down and use that extra “O” as a cry for wisdom. For the most part I still don’t have any regrets because God knew my heart was to do His work. But He has certainly sidelined me for now and is allowing me to reconsider my direction…

Life lesson: Make sure the ‘O’ is in the right spot.

Few but Mighty

On April 17, 1952, President Harry Truman signed a bill proclaiming the National Day of Prayer into law in the United States. President Reagan amended the law in 1988, designating the first Thursday of May each year as the National Day of Prayer, and so we gathered today in front of our local government offices to pray for our nation.

As I stood there on the courthouse steps and listened to each Pastor take his turn in prayer for our military, law enforcement, EMS and Fire Departments, Schools, Students and Staff, Leaders all over the land and our community as a whole, my heart was humbled and broken. Those in attendance were few in number, but faithful. I’ve seen most of them each year I’ve attended. There were a few that showed up for the lunch cooked by the Hospital Chaplin Association and others that were there in support of the event, but what I observed summed up the state of our Nation.

The Pastors

They were doing their best to serve the community but it was a struggle. The struggle was actually with the hot dog grill that wasn’t cooperating. Try as they might, they couldn’t get it to catch fire. Pastors all across America have the same problem with their churches. People want canned regulated sermons that are controlled with a temperature gauge, not too hot and not too cold.

Revelation 3:15-16

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

The People

They were few in number, but faithful. Much like the churches on Sunday morning, while Sunday night and Wednesday night services have all but gone by the way side in most churches. People who wonder why our country is in such a state of disrepair need not look at the Whitehouse, but rather to the church house. People have no concern for the wellbeing of the security of the souls of their family, yet they expect the nation’s leaders to be concerned for the wellbeing of their security of people they don’t even know. People who don’t bother to vote, or if they do they don’t vote with a conscience of God, but expect the leaders to have that conscience. That’s not how it works…

Luke 10:2

Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.

The Purpose

The Lord was scantly represented today, but there’s still a few of us left. And I feel honored to have been among them, I believe wholeheartedly that it is why God has had mercy on our Nation as long as He has. But that mercy will end one day.

Of just the few people that was there I also seen a representation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • He is the Healer (two cured of cancer, one of a heart condition, that I knew of, there were likely others)
  • He is Comforter (a widow who lives alone and often struggles, but continues to find comfort in her Savior.
  • He is Father (several prodigals that returned home in attendance)
  • He is Provider (Nobody there was starving, even without the hotdogs at times)
  • He is Spirit (On the steps of a Government that welcomes Him not, His Spirit can be felt)
  • He is Faithful (The world may not show up for Him, but He shows up for us in so many ways)

2 Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Continue on faithful servants, men and women of God! May our circles be Unbroken…


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This blog is in it’s 8th year. Hosted on godaddy.com for the past five. Expenses incurred for the operation of this site are without complaint and with gratitude for the opportunity. If the Lord would impress you to give to help cover some recent technology issues, I’d be grateful. I’ve not been in the world’s workforce for 3 years and for that I glorify God. It’s given me the opportunity to not only write and work on music, but minister to nursing home patients, volunteer in the Christian School teaching art and help other ministries with marketing. All of which require technology, communication, time and gasoline. Again it’s without complainT… but just in case you have a desire to help, or have “extra money” 🙂 Know that I would be eternally grateful.

Here’s the Link

What Would Change?

Every Easter I run the risk of losing the whole purpose of the Holiday, which is to serve as a reminder of the price our salvation cost. It didn’t come cheap. It cost God His Son, and the Lord His life. Yet, I get so wrapped up in the labor of love for the church that I forget to take the time to celebrate the labor of Love from our Lord and Savior.

I had all but sluffed off blogging today as I had the past couple of days because I had too many other things vying for my time. Like laundry, chocolate chip cookies, vegetable soup and cornbread, you know… really important stuff. (insert rolled eyes here). Even as I write, there are reminders all around me of other things I’d planned on doing today. But what slowed me down was a video posted on Facebook this morning by Blake Shelton.

Now, for the record, I have a love, hate relationship with the show “The Voice” because of the immoral aptitude of the co-stars. Yes, I know it’s Hollywood, not the church, but I’m still entitled to my opinion. So imagine my surprise when I listen to a song that Blake wrote titled “The Savior’s Shadow.” (Link Below) According to the link, Blake dreamed the lyrics, awoke, and wrote them down and then composed the song during a time in his life when he was struggling. Struggles can bring amazing things out in us when we’re in a attitude to receive the Lord’s goodness.

If the “religious” crowd aren’t careful they’ll miss the lesson I received in Blake’s song.

When I read the title, my Jesus Chick feathers ruffled up and I was ready with a critical spirit to critique him like they critique the people auditioning for their show. But I smoothed my feathers out, and listened. With each word Blake sang, my heart melted. And not for Blake Shelton, but for the Lord’s work.

I was quickly reminded that I’m a sinner saved by grace, and the only reasons I have this platform and the opportunities to minister in song is because the Lord had pity on my soul and used me in spite of who I really am.

I had written a social media post a few weeks ago regarding another co-star of the Voice, Kelley Clarkson. I was so aggravated with her announcing her Christian faith one minute and then cussin’ like a sailor the next. I’m still flustered over it. To be given such a platform for Christ and then to damage the cause for which He gave His life in such a way, through the vulgarity that she knows to be wrong makes me sad. For Jesus and her. She totally trashed her witness.

And then there’s Blake. Who makes no profession of faith, openly drinks alcohol and boasts of his immorality, and then look what God did through him! Is Blake saved? Well, there’s “no proof in the pudding,” as they say, but it’s not for me to judge. He’s not much worse than his co-star and in truth, he’s not much worse than a great many professing Christians who see no need to be in church or relinquish their mouth and morality to the Holy Spirit. And if I look at the inward part of Shari… no worse than me. I may not openly sin, but I certainly have some parts of my life that aren’t pleasing to the Lord.

Matthew 7:3-4 says And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?”

I heard a story the other day of an art critique who was invited to critique a selection of inspirational art. He stood before a painting of Mary and the Christ Child. Mary was holding the Baby in front of a countryside and mountainous scene, but to the critique’s eye, everything seemed off. The faces seemed distorted, as did the mountains and scenery behind them. It was almost as if everything was painted from a different viewpoint.

The art critique decided to change his position of view, and so he knelt before the painting in the busy gallery. There on his knees he discovered that the painting was meant to be viewed from the position of prayer.

Oh that we would critique the world around us from the position of prayer before getting into our “godly judgmental stances.”

If rather than tearing down the people we come across in the course of day, we got on our knees and viewed them from the position of prayer and through the eyes of God, what would change about them and what would change about us? What would change about me?

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This blog is in it’s 8th year. Hosted on godaddy.com for the past five. Expenses incurred for the operation of this site are without complaint and with gratitude for the opportunity. If the Lord would impress you to give to help cover some recent technology issues, I’d be grateful. I’ve not been in the world’s workforce for 3 years and for that I glorify God. It’s given me the opportunity to not only write and work on music, but minister to nursing home patients, volunteer in the Christian School teaching art and help other ministries with marketing. All of which require technology, communication, time and gasoline. Again it’s without complainT… but just in case you have a desire to help, or have “extra money” 🙂 Know that I would be eternally grateful.

Here’s the Link

I Don’t Want to be A Rhoda

Sometimes I feel like I need to come with the disclaimer “Salvation did not make me crazy, it made me free.”  I’m an Amenin’, hand raising, talk back to the preacher during a sermon kinda gal. I’m not disruptive or obnoxious. I’m God approved. But I’m probably not for everyone. Because if you like your services sedate to the point that an EMT would have to check pulses to make sure everyone in your church as alive, you probably don’t want me to attend, and you sure don’t want me sing or speak.

I don’t want to become a Rhoda.

13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda. 14 And when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. 15 And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. 16 But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.

To set the stage for this scripture, Peter had just been released from prison by God. Herod the king had put him in prison because it made the Jews happy and there Peter lay between two guards, held in place by two chains. But then an angel appears and the chains fall off and Peter is escorted from the prison and out the city gates, where even he doesn’t believe what’s happened! Peter then makes his way to the home where his friends are praying and he knocks on the door and Rhoda answers. Well, kind of answers. She hears Peter’s voice and leaves him standing outside to go tell the others, who think she’s lost her mind.

So there’s a few things here that remind me of modern day churches…

It makes the world happy when they bind the hands of Christians, and most Christians are more than happy to place their hands in the stocks because that takes the pressure off for lifting them up. If you think it’s easy to lift your hands in a dead service you’ve obviously never tried it. Satan knows that when the hands goes up, the glory comes down and so he does everything within his power to stop the praise and worship. Note that I said “within his power.” He can only go so far as we allow. There was a few things that lead up to Peter’s freedom.

The Prayer Loosed Him

The scriptures are there for us every day to read as an example of how to make it through the hardest of times. And yet in those times we pray, and pray and pray and when God’s ready to do something we won’t so much as open the door. We hear Him speak, but we run the other way.

I’m preaching to myself now, please stand by.

Rhoda heard Peter’s voice, and rather than opening the door and letting the proof stand before her, she ran to tell her friends without the evidence God had sent. That’s almost too “preachy” for me to understand, but let me tell you what the Spirit of God is telling me. If Rhoda had believed in what was behind door number 1, the only one that God wants us to open, there would have been no room for doubt. He speaks, we hear, we open ourselves to His leading. Or… you run the other way. And what happens when you run the other way and don’t follow through with God’s plan, the world thinks your mad.

15 And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel.

The Spirit Lead Him

But Peter kept knocking. And so does the Lord, at least for a while. Peter didn’t give up on convincing his friends that he was indeed freed and not dead. And when they finally seen him, they were shocked!

16 But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.

The Outcome Stirred Them

Woah Glory, that will preach!

17 But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.18 Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers, what was become of Peter.

The world wanted to know, what had become of Peter? But the church didn’t. They knew that Peter had been set free by the hand of God and Peter told them to go and tell somebody what had happened.

The problem is, sometime been Peter’s release and Heaven, we’ve forgotten that the God of Peter and Rhoda, is the God of you and I. Our hands are free, Herod is dead and God wants to do something amazing! But we’re still back in the prayer closet and God is at the door waiting to be let in.

When I say that I don’t want to be a Rhoda, I’m saying this:

  • Rhoda was a believer. I believe
  • Rhoda wasn’t afraid to tell people what she heard. I’m not afraid to tell people what I’ve heard.
  • But Rhoda didn’t open the door. I often, and I mean really often, run the other way when God starts speaking. Because Satan convinces me that what’s on the other side of that door is just a figment of my imagination. God isn’t really going to do what I ask.

It’s called faith for a reason and it’s easier to talk than it is to live. God is worthy to be praised, worthy to be served and worthy to be believed. If He said it, It will come to pass. Amen and Glory!!!!!

The Beauty of Working God’s Plan

Everyday should be a reality check on the goodness of God. But the reality of it is, it’s not. From the beginning of many of my days I’ll start in a “woe is me” mode and finish in a little higher or lower position depending upon how the day progressed. I’m ungrateful at best and often times downright disrespectful to the Lord for all His goodness. But there’s something about getting into the posture of prayer, and by posture I mean the physical stance one assumes when praying, that makes a difference. God honors humility.

The past couple of days I’ve gotten serious with my prayer time with the Lord. I’m guilty of taking prayer in a “to go bag” because it’s easier to pray on the run or just say a quick prayer and then run. At an altar I’ll concern myself with how I look, or how long I take and then halfheartedly pray for fear of going past verse number two and overcooking someone’s roast beef. And thus… the condition of my heart.

I don’t know that God is so much concerned about the position for which I pray, as much as He is concerned about the heart in which I pray. But the position of the physical body aids in getting the heart into a spiritual position to receive the Word of God. So the past few days I’ve laid prostrate on the floor on a prayer blanket, and what began as an awkward stance, ended in a tear soaked blanket of confession, adoration and supplication and an amazing presence of God.

That statement isn’t inserted into this blog to show how very “spiritual” I am, but rather it’s there to share with you how God honors the humble in heart, and the lowliest of sinners like me. When I got up… ever so slowly… awkwardly… and somewhat painfully… some things had not changed. But what did change was the inward feeling of self-worth. I knew I was a King’s kid. I knew I had purpose.

When Moses penned Psalms 90:17 following their deliverance out of Egypt, he was still working the plan. They for certain hadn’t made it to the Promised Land. There were still some ugly times ahead. But through it all Moses prayed this:

And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

What my time in prayer accomplished was allowing the ick of the world to be washed away. And allowed the beauty of God to be on me; to realize that God’s still working the plan… an oh so pretty plan through my hands.

Are you having a less than lovely day? Talk to Jesus about it. He loves you and desires your company.

Are you ripe for the pickin’?

 

The Jesus Chick Attending the Calhoun County Christian Fellowship Dinner at Brooksville Baptist Church with Chuck and Rosemary McDonald
The Jesus Chick Attending the Calhoun County Christian Fellowship Dinner at Brooksville Baptist Church with Chuck and Rosemary McDonald. Photo bomb compliments of Donna Steigleder 😀

It seems like yesterday I had my car packed for the Windom, Minnesota revival with excitement and expectation of what the Lord would do in that place. It seems like yesterday because the revival that started for me in that place is still burning in my heart. From that revival I came back with a hometown desire to see Jesus at work in our neighborhoods and God is ever so faithful to give us the desires of our heart, especially when He is glorified!

The movement of Christian friends had already began with several men gathering each month from several different churches for a fellowship. So, even before I gathered some gals for a breakfast and ask if they’d like to follow suit, God had prepared the foundation. I was just a willing participant that God chose to use in our plight to see revival in our home town. My friend Dewey Moede was the vessel for Windom. His prayer did not come to fruition in a day or two… it took years. It’s all about God’s timing. That was my response to a friend who ask last night, “How did the fellowships begin.” We were ripe for the pickin’ and God picked us to begin a great work. I believe that.

It has to start somewhere.

Ripe for the Pickin’

I recently read of the great New York revival in 1857 and it has once again stirred the fire of desire within me. The North Dutch Reformed Church of Manhattan decided to reach out to the lost masses of people who surrounded them and to accomplish this, the congregation employed a 48-year old businessman, Jeremiah Lanphier, as missionary to the inner city. That one man started a group of men praying, who became thousands and thousands across America.

Lanphier handed out a pamphlet that on the reverse side said:
A day Prayer Meeting is held every Wednesday from 12 to 1 o’clock in the Consistory building of the North Dutch Church, corner of Fulton and William Streets. This meeting is intended to give merchants, mechanics, clerks, strangers and businessmen generally an opportunity to stop and call on God amid the perplexities incident to their respective avocations. It will continue for one hour; but it is designed for those who find it inconvenient to remain more than 5 or 10 minutes, as well as for those who can spare a whole hour. Necessary interruption will be slight, because anticipated. Those in haste often expedite their business engagements by halting to lift their voices to the throne of grace in humble, grateful prayer
.

Following the economic crash of 1857 over 30,000 jobs were lost in New York City. That and other tensions in our nation made that city “ripe for the pickin’” by God too. According to some eyewitnesses, within six months’ time these noontime prayer meetings were attracting 10,000 businessmen, all of them confessing their sins and praying for revival.

Some would say it was just a knee reaction, well, I guess it was if being on your knees is the reaction they’re talking about. Yes, the crisis I’m sure lead to some crying out, but that’s the thing about despair, its usually not until then that anyone bothers to cry out. It’s all about the timing. America is certainly in a time of despair.

Our favorite revival verse 2 Chronicles 7:14 says If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Ready for Repentence

The people in that city had repentant hearts. They confessed sin, they acknowledge and honored God, they were ready to make things happen once God had chosen them and allowed them to be in the place. Perhaps that’s what’s happening in America now. God is getting ready to do some amazing things because we’re desiring it with a humble heart. It takes a humble heart to get past the name over the door of a church. Revival cannot happen among people who are more concerned with the name of a Church than they are about the name of Jesus. That’s good preachin’ right there.

There are differences in churches attending the meetings in Calhoun, with the exception of Jesus Christ. They are men and women who love the Lord and want to see people come to know Him. They all believe that He is the Way, the Truth and the life and that no man cometh to the Father except through Him. And God is honoring us in this place.

I’m excited about the fire kindled in my soul and I’m praying that it spreads to your town too.

Is there a fire in this generation?

brother-and-sisterI’ve been involved in the lives of six generations of people, and although that makes me feel a little more than aged it also brings me great joy when I reminisce on the days of Great Grandma Florence, Mommaw Vada, Aunts, Uncles and my own Mother and Father; and now watch as beneath my generation are two more. I am blessed. The generations have not been without heartache and woe but praise God each have been filled with strong Christian witnesses that I can look to for strength when I struggle in the these days of wickedness and woe. So when I read the following passage in Judges 2 it breaks my heart more than a little.

Judges 2:8-11

And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being an hundred and ten years old. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash.  And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim:

The new generation that God brought into the Promised Land, whom He had told “I will never break my covenant with you,” (Judges 2:1b), that generation waited one generation to break away from Him.

The same held true in America. Leaving their country for a land that would promise religious freedom, it took only a few generations for the decline of American spirituality. A great revival in 1857 in New York brought a new hope to the children of God and spread near and far, but not until a crash of the economy. It’s been about that long again, maybe a little more since America has felt the hand of God heavy in leadership and family. As I read the history of the great New York revival my heart longed for that leadership to be in place again today.

It started with one man hired as a missionary to the inner cities of New York. Jeremiah Lanphier, a 48 year old businessman, who was moved by the spiritual plight of the masses, began to visit homes, passing out literature, praying and encouraging others to do the same. A noon time prayer meeting of a few men turned into thousands and thousands across America. Not for preaching, but for praising and praying for the souls of friends and family.

Oh for that fire to ignite in America now…

It has to start somewhere. A recent happening in our county is a countywide Christian fellowship which stirs my heart with great joy. Because I can see the fringe of a mighty fire if we keep seeking Jesus as a unified body of Christ. Letting our churches be “our” churches but incorporating a time of fellowship between all churches to come together to praise God and pray for our friends and family. November 28th is the next event at the Brooksville Church.

If we lead believing… I believe there will be followers. And the body of Christ, the brothers and sisters in His name will grow. It gives me great hope, I hope it encourages you too!

It’s Not a Soapbox

not-a-soapbox-2Scroll through social media, listen to the prayer requests at church or just listen to every day conversations in the community and you’ll see a wealth of heartache and trouble. I’m sure right now there is someone that has come to your mind that stands in need of prayer, or perhaps it’s you. And at the end of today’s blog I’m going to pray for that request so please continue on until the end, but for now I want to talk a little about some of the requests and answers that I’ve seen. And truthfully, I’m not standing on a soap box, I’m standing firm on the Word of God.

I speak not of the specific request, but the manner for which it was spoken. That is where my art will come into play. This thought has been on my mind for weeks as I continually see the response to a prayer request “I’ll send good thoughts or vibes your way.” Now, you may think I’m being petty, but I personally don’t think God’s into good vibes. What I think that says is that there’s something else besides prayer that can be depended on and takes God out of the equation. You may disagree and you’re entitled, but there is no power in good vibes, there is only power in God. And if you’re going to pray for me and reach Heaven, I want you to know Who to pray to!

There’s a Difference

1 Timothy 4:5 ~ For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

Sanctified means “set apart.” Different. There’s a difference between the Word of God and the words of man, man sends a vibe… God sends help.

1 Thessalonians 2:5 sums it up ~ For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:

There’s Power!

Hebrews 4:12 ~ For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

God knows what is wrong internally, whether it be physically (joints and marrow) or emotional (the heart). I do not have to know what is wrong with you or even who you are… God knows al!

There’s Proof!

Hebrews 6:5

And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

1 Thessalonians 2:13

For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

I’ve been blessed by answered prayers in ways that defy the logic of man. God is very, very real in my life. And as my good friend Doyle Ballengee once said, “Go ahead and call me a fanatic, if you get a bad doctor’s report, you’ll be lookin’ for a fanatic.” You want someone who knows who to reach Heaven.

So please, child of God. Don’t send “good vibes.” Send the good word of God.

Now for that prayer:

Father in Heaven, for the soul who reads my words today, I pray more so that they’ll take Your words to heart. I lift those up to you today who stand in need of physical healing. God, You created every ounce of us, and You can restore every ounce that the world has damaged, or perhaps even we ourselves through foolish decisions. God I pray that You’ll touch the diseased parts of their body and heal their brokenness. I pray for those who are broken in spirit, emotional and psychological brokenness often hurts as bad as any physical issue. How can people not sense that there is something more to the soul, and that Hell is very real, when the heart hurts in such a physical way without a physical reason? Father, Creator of all, even the emotions of man you can restore those as well, and I pray for those hearts broken and for healing in their lives.  You are the only One who has that power and how awesome it is to know You.  Thank You Lord for loving us even though none of us deserve it, but Your grace and mercy is as endless the ocean waters and the sands of the shore. I think I personally have needed every drop and grain. Thank You… Amen.