Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My Eyes are On YOU

I am not one who has a great prophetic anointing to forsee what God has in mind for the nation in 2016. Each year seems to bring  new surprises, unexpected changes, and challenges that we have never met  before. I suppose that if we all could forsee the many crises that arise in the course of one year, it would cause us to make some of our decisions out of fear rather than trust and faith. 

Fear paralyzes our decisions and confidence to move forward. God never intended that His children live by fear. He intended for us to live by faith and trust in Him. Our plans should include moving forward and to keep dreaming God’s dreams and plans for our lives. He calls us to be fruitful. To give more, to serve more, to love more, to believe more, to work harder, and pray more.

Make Decisions
Among the most important decisions we can make to prepare for the year 2016 is the decision to follow the Lord completely. Make up your mind that no matter what happens, you will not look away from Him. Scripture says, “let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith - -” Heb 12:2.

Jehoshaphat  the king of  Judah faced overwhelming opposition from enemy armies. Jehoshaphat was very fearful until he set himself to seek the Lord and proclaim a fast throughout all Judah. The word of the Lord  came to the king and to the people telling them to not be afraid because it is God’s battle, not theirs. They knew that they were powerless to come against such overwhelming forces and didn’t know what to do. But they made this statement that all of us need to make when evil comes against us - 2 Chronicles 20:12 “But our eyes are upon you.”

Jennifer Slater delivered a message on “fixing our eyes upon Jesus” this past year. Here is a reminder of those thoughts from her:

Where are my eyes?    - My eyes are on YOU!
The story of Peter walking on the water is found in Matt 14:22-33 The disciples are in a boat, fighting a storm that is threatening them. They become exhausted, fighting in their own strength to not sink. they see a from walking towards them but do not recognize that it is Jesus at first. Peter is amazed to see Him walking on water and his elevated faith propels him to ask Jesus to call to him so he can do the same. Jesus responds and Peter steps out on the waves and begins to walk on the water. However, after a few steps, he starts to look at the waves instead of Jesus and begins to sink. Jesus reaches out for Peter when he calls to Him, pulls him up and together they walk back to the boat. Storms in our lives could be relationship issues, health problems that compound, financial reassure, emotional wounds, addictions, or even the pain of change. (vocation, family dynamics, health, economy, government, culture. I have walked through many of these storms. In fact I am living in the storms of life daily, as we all are. I hear the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit asking me, "Jen, where are your eyes?" My response, "My eyes are on you Lord" and again He says "Jen, where are your eyes?" and my response with more clarity is, "My eyes are on you Lord." From the story of Peter, I found applications for our lives.
  • How many times have we fought the storms in our own strength only to become exhausted.
  • We are filled with fear
  • Jesus is walking towards us but we don't recognize Him.
  • We see God work in things in our lives or others around us and our faith is elevated and we are ready to have radical trust in Jesus.
  • We take our eyes off of Him and we begin to sink. ("this world is a mess, I will never be free, how will I survive")
  • Then Jesus calls to us to put our eyes on Him and He rescues us.

And here's the big eye-opener.......... Jesus walked with Peter to the boat and the storm stopped AFTER they were in the boat. We seem to keep our eyes on the storm and pray for God to fix the storms in our lives. The reality is, there will always be storms. The truth is, if we keep our eyes on Him, we will never drown!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

O Holy Night!

This world has witnessed many nights since it was created by God. Many of these nights passed without anything remarkable taking place. Others saw profound changes in history take place.

On April 14, 1865 America went to bed thankful that the long, bloody war between the states was finally over. America awoke the next morning to discover that President Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated. On December 6, 1941 America went to bed watching war spread across Asia and Europe and thankful that, for the time being, America was being left out of the conflict. They awoke the next morning to news of the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and to the awareness that avoiding war was no longer a possibility.

On June 5, 1944 the world went to bed wondering when Adolph Hitler and Nazi armies would be defeated and the people of Europe delivered from his iron grip. The world awoke the next day to the news of the Allied invasion at Normandy on D-day.

The nights I just mentioned brought radical change to the world. Other nights have brought incredible circumstances to pass, and the world failed to notice. On such a night is the one portrayed next. The night Jesus Christ was born was an ordinary night from a human standpoint. The shepherds are watching their sheep. The people in the villages and towns of Israel sleep off the weariness of another long, hard day. In Jerusalem, the High Priest and the other men of religious power sleep as though it was any other night. King Herod has no idea that his kingdom has been invaded, and that a new King is about to be revealed. The world over, people drifted off to sleep not knowing that God was transacting eternal business in their very midst. They did not know that a Savior was being born in Bethlehem.

The night Jesus was born had all the appearances of being just another common, ordinary night. Yet, the events that occurred that night reveal it to be unlike any other night in human history. One night, long, long ago, God moved heaven and earth to provide a Savior. Miracle after miracle took place in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ! Every single miracle was for you. Everything God did was so that you might have a Savior! Have you received Jesus as your Savior? Have you unwrapped Heaven’s greatest gift? Are you saved? Would you like to be? If you need to make some things right with God, you can do that today? Why not ask Him into your heart today and make this Christmas the best Christmas ever! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

If Christ Had Not Come

Larry and Gloria Lundstrom sent a beautiful Christmas card that noted they were celebrating their 50 years in ministry. They have been a wonderful witness of the gospel of salvation that have brought thousands of souls to Christ over that period. We have been their friends for many years.

Gloria wrote about a thought provoking Christmas card that was once published with the title “If Christ Had Not Come.” The story is told of a pastor falling into short deep sleep in his study on Christmas morning and dreaming of a world into which Jesus had never come.

In his dream, he found himself looking through his home but there were no little stockings in the chimney corner, no Christmas bells or wreaths of holly, and no Christ to comfort and to save. He walked out to the street but there was no church with its spire pointing toward heaven. He came in and sat down in his library but he realized that every book about the Savior had disappeared.

The doorbell rang and the messenger asked the preacher to visit his poor, dying mother. As he reached the home, he sat down and said, “I have something here that will comfort you.” He opened his Bible to look for a familiar promise but it was empty. There was no Gospel verses, no promise of hope and salvation. He could only bow his head and weep in bitter despair. Two days later he stood beside her coffin and conducted the funeral service. There was no message of hope, no mention of heaven and no consolation or comfort to share.

This little story gripped my heart and challenged me by the reality of how tragic life would be “without Christ.” Think of how different your life and my life would have been this past year if Christ had not come! When we receive bad news - a doctor’s fear-inducing report, the heartbreaking loss of a spouse, child, or sibling, the devastating loss of a job or financial breakdown, or the weight of a broken relationship. If Jesus had not come, how could we make it through the dark days of discouragement, loneliness, and tears? There would have been no hope, no joy, no answers, and nothing but a dismal future to look forward to...but….Christ has come!! He is the greatest Christmas gift of all!

“There is born to you this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)

“I am come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10b)


“I bring you good tidings of great joy, which will be to all people.” (Luke 2:10)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

HOPE!

I’m sure that everyone has taken notice of the lighted word “hope” that appears at the back of the church platform. It is such an inspiring word to see.

In Colossians 1:5 we read “because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel (vs. 6) which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit….”

Of course our hope is in heaven. But are we going to wait until we get to heaven, or is God trying to get heaven to us? God has a vested interest in us to be fruitful. The issue is fruit. And it appears that hope is to be a productive fruit in our lives.  Nothing is so bad in this world that God can’t see through nor even break through on behalf of those who hope in Him. “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31:24

Folks, we have the Living God resident within us by the Holy Spirit which  God’s word says is “Christ in you, the hope of Glory.  We don’t’ have to go to find hope somewhere because hope has come to you! “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13  Joy, peace, and hope are God’s gift to you which the Holy Spirit has imparted to all believers.  We don’t have to wait for situations or circumstances to change before our hope returns. Hope is a constant unwavering expectation that good will happen. It is God who puts hope in our hearts.

Christmas is the season of hope to many. Just think of a life without hope and faith in the Savior. Jesus is the hope of the world - and He is in you, the hope of glory. We cannot carry the burden of the world upon ourselves. We cannot change certain circumstances but we can “rest in hope” like King David in Psalm 16:9. Why? Because He is the anchor to our soul through every storm of life. Hebrews 6:19  If you and I could see the outcome to our circumstances we would not have to have hope and we would never learn to persevere in life. Without learning to persevere we would not have the privilege of developing strong character. Hope will never disappoint us because it’s the love of God that has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom He has given to us. Romans 5:3-5  So, be hopeful in the Lord dear friends. He has your back - and He has your future. Remember, God does know what He is doing. Your trust and hope can totally rest in Him!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Church as a Lifeline

The most important thing people want to know about your belief in Jesus and Christianity is first, “Do you really care about them?” and secondly, “Can you accept them where they come from without judging them?” And the question we must ask ourselves is, “Am I ready to become a lifeline to those who may need my unconditional love and support?”

Our world is broken and fragmented in government, families, and individual lives. The opportunity to become a lifeline and support system to bring transformation has never been greater. In fact, this is why Christ Jesus entered our broken world, to bring healing to all this mess. The power is still in Him to bring transformation, but now it is His church (His body) that has become the hands, feet, and voice of Jesus to bring healing to this generation.

In Matthew 4:23,24 Jesus came “preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kids of disease among the people.” The extent of his ministry consisted of teaching, preaching, making disciples, healing the sick, and casting out demons. It is clear that Jesus healed out of compassion for the multitudes who were suffering. Matthew 9:36 “But when He saw the multitudes He was moved with compassion for them - -”. Someone described compassion as “Love in action”. Love sees beyond the immediate and the personal and compassionately relates to the lost, the hurting, the needy, and distressed. It moves more and more into the dimension of discipleship that discovers the compassion of Christ flowing through a believer to care for and to serve others. This is the Kingdom of God in action.

There is a community of unbelievers out there who need us, and there is a community of believers in the church who need one another.

I believe the church has lost something that we need to get back to fulfill the destiny God has given us that makes a difference in peoples lives. It is not more preaching we need. It is not more professionals to serve in ministry. It is not more knowledge or deeper truths that will change our world. It is not more criticism about our failures.

What is needed in the church?  For the church to become a greater lifeline to our broken world, God must give each of us a new God-vision and fresh compassion to be kingdom driven rather than self-driven. To be more God-conscious rather than self-conscious. To desire unity rather than division. Together we share in His kingdom plans to reshape our world from this present darkness into His marvelous light.

As we move together into another year, let us ask God to make us into new wineskins to be able to contain the fresh new thing that He wants to do in us. Matthew 9:17.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Being a Kingdom-Driven Church!

The Holy Spirit has been speaking and challenging my heart about this coming year. I believe that our greatest hours as a New Testament Church are upon us. The world we live is facing unprecedented kinds of shocking evil. Threats and fear of devastation and loss now grips every nation in every continent. In the midst of all the chaos, God still has His own church in place. His church is not intimidated nor does it relent in fear because “the gates of hell cannot prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18

With that in mind, let me ask you a question. “What is the Church?” Dare I even ask “What your opinion is of what you think the church is?” Regardless of your opinion or even mind, God has a church that is a greater force for good in the world than all of Satan’s evil works combined.

What does the church that is a force in the world look like? First of all, the church as a force emphasizes that the world is the field, not the church as a field. The longer a church exists, the more it tends to become institutionalized where the emphasis becomes organization, visibility, programs, and promotion. However, the church as a force really is about people who are equipped to serve, meeting needs everywhere in Jesus Name!

The church as a force emphasis is worship, training, and fellowship, because these are the things that produce Spirit-filled people who can meet other’s needs in Jesus Name. The Bible says that pastors and leaders are supposed to “prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” Ephesians 4:12 What are we trying to accomplish? We are trying to bring healing to the whole man, to every area of a person’s life. WE are to be a healing agency in our communities. God has given gifts of the Holy Spirit to His body to equip us to effectively minister wherever we meet people.

The gifts of the Spirit, as I understand them, are God’s means of getting to men and meeting their needs through believers. I do not believe that spiritual gifts were meant primarily for the sanctuary. A “word of wisdom” for example, should not just be needed in the body of Christ. Why? Because we have the mind of Christ. (See 1 Cor. 2:16) But we can prophesy or give a word of wisdom to someone we may encounter outside the church and bring them encouragement. I believe the Holy Spirit is moving parallel with all the evil taking place. He is releasing His gifts of power and prophetic insights to help those who are confused and struggling through life. I see the church becoming an even greater force as we move into the coming year. It’s very exciting to me!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Overflowing with Thankfulness!

We think of the month of November as the month of Thanksgiving...and deer hunting! But a thankful heart should always be first. There is a lot of instruction in the Bible about being thankful and offering praise to God. Psalm 50:14, 15 - “Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High. Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you shall glorify Me.”

This verse calls for bringing thank offerings to God and in the process fulfilling the vows made to Him. In Old Testament times the thank offering was the offerings of the first-fruits from the harvest as a thanksgiving to God for His bountiful supply. The people of Israel confirmed their commitment to the covenant and affirmed their confidence in the faithfulness of God by bringing these sacrifices to Him.

We are being called today to offer ourselves unto God as a thank offering. As we enter the sanctuary of worship we should be offering our lives as a thank offering in gratitude for the gift of salvation and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.  Our prayer should be: “Lord, accept my life as a thank offering to you.” Amen.

The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:5-7 that our prayers, petitions, and requests should be made known unto God with thanksgiving. Why do you think the reason for that is?

Some of the unhappiest people are those who really don’t know the meaning of thankfulness. I believe God loves a right attitude and that good things happen to those with a thankful heart. To offer up our petitions with complaining rather than with thanksgiving is almost like we see God as a reluctant vending machine that we have to keep pounding on to get what we paid for. You can rest assured that those complainers not only have many unmet needs, but they also don’t have much peace in their life.

Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace - and be thankful.” God’s peace gives us opportunity to be thankful and being thankful produces the peace of God!

Paul the Apostle gave us the secret to rejoicing and being thankful in all circumstances. He said he had found the secret of being content in every situation, whether he had plenty or was in need. The secret was that he knew God would supply all of his needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:10-19)  He also stated in 1 Thes. 5:16-18 to “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  May our prayer be: “Lord, help me to present my needs to you with thanksgiving and help me to consistently walk with gratitude to You!” 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Daniel’s Vision of End Days

The prophet Daniel was given a vision to write about the end of the age and of time as we know it. In Daniel 12:4 a man clothed in linen spoke to Daniel saying, “But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

The mention of increase of knowledge and how it would accelerate near the end of the age is noteworthy to mention.  There is a prophetic verse in Proverbs 1:23 NIV, “If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you, and made my thoughts known to you.”

God’s Spirit is being poured out today and new revelation of His Word is continually proceeding forth to His people. The hundred year old Bible commentaries we used for studying scripture did help us to understand biblical theology - but with accelerated increase of knowledge, God has continually shed more light on His Word and is revealing even more complete meanings of some verses which were difficult to understand.

For instance, we are learning more understanding today about Bible prophecies and their fulfillment by virtue of what is happening today. There are things in prophecy that could never have been fulfilled before now.

Not only has knowledge of technology, science, medicine, and travel advanced exponentially, but an even greater sign of the end of the age has been the advancement of the gospel into every tribe and nation in the world.  Jesus said, “This gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14

Our missionary with Wycliffe Bible Translators, Steve Salowitz told me recently that the projections for the translation of scripture to a written language for every single tribe on earth will be completed by the year 2025. Even that is moving at a faster pace then projected earlier.

The sum total of man’s knowledge is now doubling every two years. I read where 80% of the world’s total knowledge has been brought forth in the past decade. Ninety percent of all scientists who have ever lived are alive today.


What should our purpose be in these times of the “information age?” Daniel 12:3 NLT says, “Those who are wise shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever.” Do you want to be a Christian that shines like the stars? Then share your faith and love for Jesus boldly and unashamed. This brings the glory of God to rest upon you, and you will shine with God’s glory and His praise in your life. (I Peter 4:14 NLT)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Power of Unity!

That they all may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” John 17:21

What is the greatest power that allows the unsaved to make a decision to follow Jesus Christ? It isn’t prayer, though prayer is very important. It isn’t good deeds, though good deeds do indicate a fruitful relationship with God. It isn’t just our good behavior, though Christ does command us to be obedient as sons.

The greatest power God’s children have over darkness is UNITY. Jesus talked about His oneness with the Father and the importance of unity in the Body of Christ. It might be the most difficult command Jesus has given to the church, because it wars against the most evil aspect of our sin nature which is - independence!

In these last days we are seeing God’s Spirit convict His children of the lack of unity among His Church. God’s Spirit is moving to bring unity between blacks and whites, ethnic groups, denominations, and para church groups. There is so much competition and walls of division among His body that must come down.

When God sees sectarianism and the pride of competition, He must weep over the lost who cannot come to Him because they cannot see Him in His body. When His body is one, the unbelieving will see that Jesus was truly sent by God. Unity and love for one another is like a supernatural key that unlocks heaven to the soul that is lost. The key is in the hand of Christ’s church. When there is unity, there is power! Imagine what God can do with a unified church. Scripture tells us that 5 will chase 100, but 100 will chase 10,000 (Lev. 26:8)

There is a dynamic multiplication factor in unity of numbers. If we could unify God’s people at any level, we would be much more effective.

Jesus prayed that we might all be one, as the Father and He are one. He wanted the same love God has for Jesus to be in each of us. When this love is in us the walls fall down. The independent spirit is broken. Competition is destroyed. Satan’s accusations are thwarted.

Our love for each other is manifest to the world around us. This will draw souls who are lost to be a kind of love that is completely foreign to them.

Psalms 133 tells us that it is very good and pleasant for God’s children to live together in deep spiritual unity. God’s supernatural blessings are resident there. I love you all!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Why We Do Missions!

Twenty nine years have gone by since we held our first world missions conference. Our very first speaker was Pastor John Bell from San Antonio, Texas. The changes have been many since then. Now Pastor Bell is with the Lord. His son David Bell replaced his father as Pastor in San Antonio and our friendship between the churches and missions continued until his passing three years ago. Now David Bell’s son Matthew Bell is pastoring Destiny Church in San Antonio and our relationship continues with him and his leadership. We are connected through our church ministries with missions work around the world. Pastor Matthew Bell is with us in our conference this week. We welcome him and look ahead to the time when he will carry on his grandfather’s legacy of speaking at missions conferences across the nation.

Missions is an important legacy for every church to leave for each succeeding generation. God speaks to every generation to follow His commission to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

I was introduced to missions and to what I call a mini-missions conference when I was a teenager in my home church in Rice Lake. Something must have sparked in my spirit and I realized that this could be a good way to connect with people who were part of a world and vision that was far greater than my little world was at that time. I began to dream about doing something bigger for God.

The first thing we did as a new church plant in Shell Lake was to develop a small giving plan of support for missions. We increased our support every year. At the same time we noticed that the church budget income was increasing every year as well. That gave birth to the idea that we should begin a conference that would bring in missionaries where we could spend time together, pray for and encourage them, and help them to meet financial needs to carry out their work. I had no idea what the effects of that small start would turn into such as we see today. God has powerfully and abundantly blessed all the efforts of God’s people in this congregation, and He has blessed them individually with supply and increase in their lives.

Sowing into missions is a win-win situation in life. The blessings far outweigh the sacrifices. Wherever lives are at stake without a Savior, and wherever people suffer without any hope, and God’s people arise to bring the good news of salvation and provide physical support to help alleviate suffering, there will come an outpouring of God’s compassion and provision that makes it worth it all! Take Heart! Your efforts are being rewarded. We will not lose anything. We really win everything! Our treasures in heaven are eternal!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

California and Home Again!

Linda and I spent ten days in a couple far western states of Nevada and California last week.

The International Ministerial Association Conference was held at a great church in Bakersfield, California September 21-23. I am licensed with this association and have been with them since 1967. I have served on the general board for a total of 29 years and am now in my last three year term.

I was privileged to speak on Tuesday evening this year and God was with us and we had a very precious time of ministry. Dr. Timothy Warner from Hayward was appointed the chairperson for this upcoming year and I am personally proud of his credibility and leadership skills.

Linda and I joined Roy and Candie Peterson who live in Henderson, Nevada and where we stayed for four nights. They drove us to California where we visited the famous President Ronald Reagan Library. It is the same place where the last Republican candidates for the next President were interviewed on the forums.

Since I am very fond of President Reagan, the entire experience was so heartwarming and nostalgic for both of us. His burial site is on the grounds there.

We drove from there to Riverside, California and stayed in the home of missionaries Julius and Ruth Morar. They were extremely hospitable and kind to us. They rented a van to accommodate seven of us on a rush tour of some of the sights of Los Angeles which included Santa Monica Beach (no time to swim) and Hollywood, Beverly Hills and some great eating places. Julius’ son Jonathan, was our driver through the horrendous traffic of LA. (Seven lanes of vehicles bumper to bumper for hundreds of miles.) You can make 50 miles in 2.5 hours if all goes well. Jonathan is a part-time actor in commercials and plays so he knew his way around to see some famous sights.

We drove back to Henderson, Nevada on Saturday with Roy and Candie and took in one show of a teen-age hero of mine and Linda’s, Mr. Frankie Avalon. He brought back some fun memories of the 50’s and 60’s.

The scenery is completely different where we were than what we are accustomed to. All mountains, hills, and very dry land. I called it “rock heaven” but only if you like rocks! I personally like lakes and forests. So, it was a welcome sight for us as we returned to our lake and woods home on Tuesday night.

Just a little update to all the dear folks we love so much. You are the greatest joys of our lives!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

TRUST in the Lord!

“From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I!” (Psalm 61:2)

As we wrap up our legacy series this week, what better legacy or heritage to leave behind than that of a life style of trusting in the Lord! As David wrote this Psalm he was in desperate straights on the run, out in the wilderness, famished, scared, worried, confused, on the verge of a mental breakdown! Absolum had multiple plans in place to murder David and take over his kingship. David’s own son whom he loved dearly! He loved all of his sons, but had just gotten Absolum back in his life from being exiled over murdering his brother Annon.  He had been gone for over 3 years.

The scenario David found himself in was totally overwhelming! Here the entire army of Israel, as far away as Dan in the north and Beersheba in the south, an army as numerous as the sand on the seashore was after him. Absolum’s goal: neither David or any of his men should be left alive - Absolum himself leading the charge! BUT, David knew the Lord’s character, and that lead him to trust in God! David knew in his heart that God knew every detail of everything that he was going through and going on around him. David knows where to go and what to do. “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I!” As David prayed, God intervened immediately answering his prayer: And Hashai said unto Absolum, “The counsel that Ahithophel hath given is not good at this time.” (2 Sam. 17:7)

Absolum had two main advisors for his plan to kill and overtake his father’s kingship, Ahithophel, whose plan would have succeeded and Hashai who was advising Absolum undercover per David’s instruction. When the advice of Ahithophel and Hashai was given, the instant David prayed, God changed Absolum’s mind from moving forward with Ahithophel’s plan and acting on Hashai’s. The result of this was Absolum’s death and defeat and David’s return and establishment of his kingship. “And he bowed the heart of all the men of Judah even the heart of one man; so that they sent this word unto the King, return those, and all thy servants.” (2 Sam. 19:14)

For the godly, every adversity in life is an occasion for growth in trust in God. They are not afraid of life but grow more and more confident in Him. Trust in the Lord is a form of wisdom that focuses on the Lord, the rejection of folly and evil, and the pursuit of the Lord’s way. The Lord rescues, cares for, and rewards His people who trust in Him! They are blessed as they long for God’s redemption. Trust in the Lord gives reason to rejoice and praise the Lord! “The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall trust in Him; and all the upright in heart shall glory!” Psalm 64:10

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

We are Part of God’s Generation

Full Gospel Church is a body of believing Christians that are made up of many church denominations of various age groups, gifts, talents, and professions. We are united by our love for God and a strong desire to see God’s work accomplished in each ones lives that will promote better lives, stronger families, and a better nation. 

We have a stream of generations whom love God deeply, from children, parents, and grandparents that are called to be united together in spirit to serve one another. We are blessed to have these connections with the young and old in the church body. Today - Grandparents Sunday, we celebrate our precious older saints. We speak blessing and strength to the older generation. We pray for you to remain strong, vibrant, and healthy. May you walk with courage and vision to see with the eyes of faith. May you behold God and those around you with the love of God. You are ministers of life and healing in the name of Jesus to your family and friends. 

Psalm 37:25,26 “I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.” You have sown, and others have reaped from you. Take joy in what God has promised through all of your efforts. You are still bringing forth fruit! “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing: to show that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” Psalm 92:14,15 

Each generation has fruit ripe for picking. We must approach each one prayerfully with respect, appreciation, love, and understanding and keep the welcome door open into each generations lives. There is never any need to be disconnected or disinterested in the lives of each generation group. GOD IS A GENERATIONAL GOD! All of us are a part of God’s generation. A great part of our existence as a church is that of being inclusive. We are not a perfect church. Our perfection is in God’s righteousness. Through the gift of daily forgiveness with Christ and one another, we can walk in His perfection. God’s just not finished with us yet! 

Our prayer is for God to unite His people together from all backgrounds, denominations, and of all ages to become one in Christ. There is no other commandment greater than to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind . . And to love our neighbor as our self. We are God’s generation!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

From Rejection to Acceptance!

Let me express my thoughts concerning what I believe affects untold numbers of people throughout our nation as well as within the church. Far too many people battle with the problem of rejection in their lives.

Rejection, simply defined, is a sense of being unwanted, or the sense that although you want people to love you, it seems that no one does. It’s feeling excluded—that somehow you’re always on the outside looking in.

Rejection, or the feeling of rejection is a wound that is very hard to bear. Proverbs 18:14 “The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but a wounded (broken) spirit who can bear?”

Another scripture in Proverbs says “The words of a tale-bearer are as wounds going down into the innermost parts of the belly.” I know the Bible is right in this. There is a vulnerable and tender area deep down inside of us where some things penetrate, and one of those things is the words of a talebearer. We can put up with a wounded body, but a wounded spirit is an unbearable affliction.

Rejection, very frequently, is a wound that affects a deep area within our spirit. The reactions to rejection are numerous: Loneliness is one that leads to being miserable — being miserable can lead to self-pity and moodiness, which can lead to depression. Despair and hopelessness often result from continued depression. Often thoughts of finality and death will eventually set in.

ACCEPTANCE!

Now, what’s the opposite of rejection? It is acceptance! It begins with God accepting you as His own beloved. (Ephesians 1:6)

There is no doubt that God’s own Son experienced the deepest pangs of rejection, even being rejected by His Father, the ultimate rejection that led Him to die on the cross literally from a broken heart. But, Jesus’ rejection led to our acceptance. When Christ died on the cross, He bore all our rejections, all the agony and heartache we bear. An exchange has taken place; we are now accepted because of His rejection! We are “accepted in the beloved.”

Release from rejection takes place when you ask God’s forgiveness from all wrong attitudes, sin, bitterness and unforgiveness. Offer unto God all of your bitterness, hatred, resentment, and rebellion and begin to thank God that you are accepted in Christ. You now belong to His family, the best family in the universe.

Now that you have repented of your sins, allow yourself through God’s grace, to forgive every other person, as you would have God forgive you. Forgive all those who have rejected and hurt you and who failed to show you love. Now accept yourself in Christ just the way He made you. You are His workmanship. Not a reject. Not a second-class citizen. You are a child of God! Heaven’s your home! There’s royal blood in your veins! You belong to the best family on earth. God’s family!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Living and Giving Through Faith!

God is a supernatural God and it’s natural for a supernatural God to have children who live supernaturally! Live expecting God to do the unexpected - to do things for you that He has never done before!

If you want God to do something that He’s never done for you before, then do something for God that you’ve never done before!

Faith Receives the Impossible! God promised Abraham a son when he was almost 100 years old and when his wife was 90. In Romans, the Bible says that Abraham held strong. Every day he waited, his faith got stronger, not weaker, and be expected Sarah to get pregnant. It was impossible for that couple to have a child, and yet Abraham and Sarah received the incredible. Faith is dead to doubts, it is blind to impossibilities, and it sees nothing but success and victory.

Faith Takes Risks! Faith that costs nothing and risks nothing is worth nothing. If you try to always play it safe, if you’re afraid God is going to let you paint yourself into a corner, you will never see God’s miracle working power for you personally. There’s an element of risk in faith. If we’re not growing by stretching our boundaries, we’re backing up and shriveling because faith has to be exercised to grow.

Abraham risked his own son’s life by taking him into the thicket and depending on God to supply a ram for him. Sometimes we never know what God can do until we are desperate for a miracle and move into this realm of faith because of our great need.

Obedient Giving! Whether we like it or not, little in the Kingdom is accomplished without money. It takes money to send a missionary, feed the poor, print Bibles, build churches, serve the homeless, or  deliver drug addicts, prostitutes or alcoholics from a lifestyle that is killing them. To have a part in the harvest of souls, you and I must practice an obedient faith whenever God calls us to respond to a need. Obedient faith has to do with what we possess and comes from our known resources.

When God speaks a word about giving something of our resources away, we should release what we have in faith. Abraham had such complete trust in God that he could agree to release the dearest one to his heart. When we are stretched in the area of finances, it may be that God is asking you to trust Him enough to know that you will never go without if you give away even what you think you need. The more you have to give away, the more prayer it takes to wisely give it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Naturally Supernatural

As we continue with our series Naturally Supernatural, I believe we are all seeing how this Christian experience is a supernatural one. We serve a supernatural God who operates in the supernatural.

Today’s message is dealing with supernatural provision which is a major part of how God works. My thoughts to-day as I write, which I believe is also a major part of how the supernatural is natural for us as believers, deals with healing. “And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Then He put out his hand and touched him, saying “I am willing; be cleansed.”” (Luke 5:12,13).

Here is one of the most asked questions: ‘If I’m ill or dis-eased, is it God’s will to heal me?’ First, you have to believe that it is God’s will to heal YOU. Believing that God heals is not enough. You can believe that a bank has money in it, but still not have access to it. You can walk around it saying that I believe there is a millions dollars in there but not have any means to withdraw a penny. Believing that God heals others is not enough. Even if your sister was healed from cancer, that’s not you. You have to believe that it is God’s will to heal you! Once you answer, it is his will to heal you, then the confidence to demand the healing becomes easy! Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

In the text the person asking the question was a leper. Leprosy was a death sentence. People kept their distance from them, they wore bells to alert people they were near. He asked Jesus if he was willing, then Jesus put forth His hand and touched him saying, “I am willing; be cleansed”. Immediately the leprosy left him. Is God’s mind on the issue? Jesus put forth His hand before he spoke. His willingness came from the act. Jesus was willing to take it from him and get it on Himself. Then He touched him, “I will carry it”. The germs on Jesus were burned up and replaced with brand new spirit filled cells. If you doubt willingness, you lack confidence, so the source of confidence is the knowledge of willingness. James says, if you waver do not think that you will receive anything. If you doubt even a fraction. Once you know it is in his will to heal YOU the confidence to command the healing is easy. Jesus is willing to carry it! “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was one Him, and by His stripes we are healed!” (Isaiah 53:5). 

Yes we serve a supernatural God, and our supernatural God is capable of anything naturally! That is who He is and what He does. Unto God be the glory!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What is Vitamin J?

A very significant scripture for me is found in Proverbs 11:25, “The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.”

So many people seem to live in fear. They fear losing their job, their health insurance, and their retirement benefits. No matter how much material wealth we may accumulate, it is never safe from being lost. Riches do not bring security, and neither can it be certain to bring joy!

The Bible says, “command those who are rich -- not to -- trust in uncertain riches but in the living God”. It is ironic, the more people accumulate, the more protective they become and have greater concern that it could all be swept away by events that are out of their control.

That is not how God intends for His children to live. He wants you to save and He wants you to sow. And when you have done all that wisdom demands, He wants you to trust in nothing but Him.

So, what is vitamin J? It is not God’s purpose for us to live in fear, but to live life full of Joy, and joy is received by blessing and being a refreshing fountain of water to others. A biblical principle that has always been the key to contentment and deep joy is that of giving to help others.

A verse from the old testament is one which shows us the formula for joy. “The people rejoiced -- for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord.” Not many of us associate joy with giving, even though we often quote Jesus words, “it is more blessed to give than to receive”.

When Jesus said it was more blessed to give then to receive, He was speaking from His knowledge of how he created us– to be givers, like Him. God will always prosper you with this purpose: He wants you to bless someone else.

Start With What You Have
Vitamin J (joy) results from the practice of giving. You have to start from where you are with what you have. Just like everything else in your life of faith, God will guide you in the area of sharing your finances. When God speaks, obey Him. One step of obedience always opens up two doors: the door of supply and the door to serve. Gods best rewards are the doors of opportunities that He puts in your way.

God multiplies what we give Him, not what we hold on to. As we give what we have, God sees that we never lack. An example is the Widow of Zarephath who was so poor that she only had one last meal for herself and her son. The prophet Elijah came with a request that she make him something to eat. The woman took her last meal and oil to make him a cake. By giving what she had, God rewarded her by giving her an unending supply of meal and oil for one full year. God multiplies what we give him, not what we hold on to!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Naturally Supernatural

As we start our new series, “Naturally Supernatural”, one of the first thoughts that pop into our heads is healings, miracles, out of the ordinary events. Those are supernatural, but you might be surprised that the greatest supernatural manifestation in the Kingdom of God is the supernatural miracle of SALVATION! Yes that’s right, salvation. The Greek word is soteria which means: deliverance, preservation, soundness, prosperity, happiness, rescue, general well-being.

The Bible says in Luke 19:9-10 “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost”. The word “today” which is also used in verse 5 of Luke 9 is suggestive of the present reality of salvation present in Jesus. Here in this text an acceptance of a hated chief tax collector expresses the presence of the Kingdom's supernatural power even more so than other acts of healing or exorcism! In this case, for example, Zacchaeus goes far beyond the laws of just restitution, giving us clear evidence of a changed heart. Just think, a changed heart. A changed heart is at the center of salvation.

In verse 10, Jesus announces the very purpose of His mission here on earth and it went against all expectations of the people. For the Son of Man has come to SEEK AND TO SAVE THAT WHICH WAS LOST!

I think the same holds true for us as Christians when we think of the supernatural; our expectations are opposite of that which Jesus' example truly shows us. Salvation is a supernatural present possession with a fuller supernatural realization in the future. “But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breast-plate of faith and love and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess 5:8-9).

So let us embrace this supernatural manifestation of salvation living out naturally in our every day lives. Everyday I wake up and pinch myself and ask “Lord is this real or am I dreaming?” and He answers by leading through another supernatural day!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Why Pastors Need Intercession

After reading this article by Dr. C. Peter Wagner, I thought it to be appropriate to share with you the need for God’s people to pray intercession prayers for their pastor.

I am convinced that most church members have little appreciation of the cost of being a pastor. They know what their pastor looks like and sounds like on the outside, but they have little idea of what is happening on the inside.

Pastors are also human beings. They are saved by grace, but they are saved and sanctified no differently than anyone else is in the congregation. But pastors do live with high expectations from congregants to perform to the highest standards of service as is set in the minds of both the spiritual and unspiritual congregants. 

If a pastoral leader is regarded by those he leads to be somewhat higher on the scale of piety and spiritual attainment than they are, it makes it most difficult for the pastor to admit that he faces the same temptations in life that his people do.

Because of increasing pressure on ministers today, Wagner states that “an alarming number of pastors have dropped out of the ministry in epidemic proportions in the past 20 years. The powers of darkness have also been at work in causing burnout and moral failure making the need for spiritual weapons much greater. This is where intercession for pastors has enormous potential.”

Dr. Wagner has pointed out five reasons why pastors and other Christian leaders need intercession more than regular member of the body of Christ.

1. Pastors have more responsibility and accountability. James 3:1 “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we will receive a stricter judgement.” If spiritual leaders violate their office that has been granted by God and recognized by the Christian community, it is a grievous offense to breach that trust. Their judgement will be more severe. One reason pastors have a greater need for intercession.

2. Pastors are more subject to temptation. The higher you go on the ladder of Christian leadership, the higher you go on Satan’s hit list. Greed, power, and pride are the strongest of lures for ministers. Satan is more persistent and intentional to destroy shepherds and to scatter the flock of believers.

3. Pastors are more targeted by spiritual warfare. Satanist literally are known to be praying to Satan for marriage and family breakdown and for pastoral ministries to be destroyed through immorality and marriage failure. Satan actually enacts his power through the prayers of his followers against Christian leaders. The defense of Christian leaders is namely the power of God released through effective, intelligent intercession in the name of Jesus.

4. Pastors have more influence on others. If a pastor falls, more people are set back in their spiritual lives than if others fall. Jesus reminds us that when “the Shepherd is struck down, the sheep will be scattered.” Mark 14:27. Intercession for pastors is needed to release God’s plan in the church.

5. Pastors have more visibility. Pastors are constantly subject to gossip and criticism. It’s no secret that pastors are closely observed. But this burden can be lifted through supernatural help from God which is opened up for them through intercessory prayer. 

Pray for your pastors.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Be Strong in the Lord!

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God.” (Ephesians 6:10, 11) NKJV “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (of the flesh) but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:4, 5)

As those scriptures indicate we’re in a battle. God’s people have been taking some heavy blows from Satan’s attacks as he continues to assault the church by putting pressure on one believer at a time. None of us are immune from his attempts to discourage, weaken, or defeat us, or put us on the sidelines for awhile.

That’s why God has given us weapons in the Spirit with which to arm ourselves and ward off enemy attacks. Some people will excuse the hard things that happen to us as just being part of what life itself brings upon us. That may be partly true, but we do have an enemy to whom we need to stay alert, be watchful, and arm ourselves by putting on the whole armor of God. Nothing gives the enemy more ground for attack than to passively resist his advances. Let’s be front-line warriors who confront the enemy’s attacks by using our God-given weapons to ward him off!

WINNING SPIRITUAL BATTLES

*Take the offensive in prayer! Ask God to light a holy fire in your soul by the power of the Holy Spirit, to transform your praying from weakness to prevailing power in the heavenlies - the realm where Satan’s forces gather.

*Do everything in the power of the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit has come to drive out Satan before you. “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.” (Isaiah 59:19) In this warfare you do not fight alone; the battle belongs to the Lord. “The Lord your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you.” (Deut. 1:30)

*Saturate your soul with the Word of God! Maintain your spiritual strength at all times. “Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17) Use the promises that God gives you in the Bible to claim your victory!

*Use praise as a weapon against the enemy! “Let the high praise of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand...to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron, to execute on them the written judgment—this honor have all His saints, praise the Lord!” (Psalm 149:5-6, 8-9)
Most importantly - employ prayer first to enlist the wisdom and power of God Almighty! Pray reverently, humbly, continually, expectantly, and gratefully. When we pray that way, the Lord will be pleased to hear and to answer. We will be blessed abundantly and He will be glorified!

Monday, June 22, 2015

We Honor Our Fathers!

Father’s Day is a day of commemoration and celebration of Dad - the special man in our life. We often forget the sacrifice of our fathers and the roles they have played in shaping our lives. Father’s Day gives us the opportunity to show and express our love and care to this man, who deserves our support most. Father’s Day is the most appropriate platform to make us look beyond ‘our own’ family and honor the man who brought us joy and happiness. Father’s Day is a day to honor not only our father, but all men who have acted as a father figure in your life—whether as Stepfathers, Uncles, Grandfathers, or “Big Brothers.”

The word “Father” is often used to honor spiritual leaders, inventors and originator of an idea, product, service or person. It is so, that fathers have always been associated with guidance and protection, as the person who can be loved, respected and looked up to. Let us use Father’s Day to honor these special men and let them know what place they have in our lives and how they influence us. This year for Father’s Day, do not forget to make this special day more special! An occasion to express gratitude towards your dad for all his support and love!

It is a time of burnt toast and breakfast in bed, family gatherings, and crayon scribbled “I love you Dad” and, of course, that lovely new tie. The perfect day to tell your dad how special he is to you and how much you appreciate his warm and cozy company. After all, it’s Father’s Day! Express your appreciation and love to the person who has transformed from a wonderful husband into a great father. Browse through to find some of the unique things and ways you can do on this day and allow your father to cherish these little moments for the rest of his life.

Personal Message to Men

I believe that men are facing unprecedented pressures today that is a constant test of our character. The issue for us is maintaining our integrity and our loyalty to God.

Every day God gives us real-life opportunities for us to develop consistency in our character. But if we will consistently choose God when we are under pressure, He will help us to develop spiritual integrity. To live in spiritual integrity means to live in freedom and victory!

Proverbs 10:9: “He who walks with integrity walks securely.” To walk securely means to walk safely and confidently. It means to walk on good ground, in a good way, which leads to life eternal!

The most important thing is to keep your loyalty to God undivided! Make clear choices. The pay-off for doing right is that you feel right. Love you guys!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Priests of Praise!

In the study of “God’s Presence”, we learn that each one of us are containers for God’s Spirit to dwell within us. 1 Corinthians 3:16 says, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” Our bodies are really God’s temple. God does not “dwell in temples that are made with hands.” Acts 7:48

Why does the Holy Spirit come to live inside of us? Because God’s plan for you is in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit has knowledge of everything! That’s why His presence is so powerful. It’s the Holy Spirit in us that is continually changing us into the image of God’s Son.

It is God in us that is our victory! In the Old Testament under the Old Testament Covenant God’s presence was manifested on the outside.

God’s commandments to Israel came at Mount Sinai where God’s presence was manifested with thundering and lightning and a thick cloud of smoke. The people stood at the foot of the mountain and saw the smoke and the mountain quake at God’s presence. But the people could not go up into the mountain. Only Moses was permitted by God to go. (Exodus 19)

In Exodus 33, Moses also met with the Lord in his tent, which was called the Tabernacle of Meeting. Again the people could gather near his tent and see the glory pillar of cloud and worshiped God.

When King David moved the Ark of the Covenant, which was filled with God’s presence and glory, only the priests were to carry the Ark upon their shoulders. (1 Chronicles 15:1) But all Israel was able to follow the Ark on its journey to Jerusalem and worship the Lord with shouting and with musical instruments. (15:28)
When David’s Son Solomon finished building the temple and the Ark of God was brought into the most Holy place, the priests sanctified themselves and were appointed to lead worship in praising and thanking the Lord. (2 Chronicles 4) Again, God filled the house of the Lord with a cloud of His glory. (v. 14)

Priests of worship

The chief ministry of the priests in Solomon’s temple was the ministry of worship. God’s presence was the response to the prayers and praise of His people.

God’s New Testament people are privileged to become priests unto the Lord. God qualifies us to carry His presence and glory within our temple (our bodies). This happens to all born-again believers who have received God’s Holy Spirit. We become “God’s chosen people and a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praise of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9) He has built you a spiritual house, a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices (praise) acceptable to God through Jesus Christ!