Tuesday, November 26, 2013

it IS about me!!

So many times we are told that it is not about me, yet when you listen to the way that we preach or teach it, we actually are saying it IS! Think about it and you will realize that what I am saying is true.

The Old Testament Law tells us that we are to love our neighbor AS ourselves. Jesus even repeats this when He makes the statement about the two greatest commandments. The Beatitudes tell us that we are supposed to treat others the same way that we are expecting to be treated.

Philippians 2:12 says that I need to work out my own salvation. How can I work out my own salvation if it is not about me?

The song from so long ago and many messages that I have preached and have heard preached say that if I was the only person in the world, then God still would have sent Jesus to the cross… for ME!

Hebrews 4:16 tells us that we need to come boldly with confidence to the throne of grace that we may find mercy and grace to help in the time of need. How am I supposed to come boldly and with confidence to God’s Throne if I believe that it is not about me?

Christ died for ME! He is MY Salvation! He is MY Healer! He is MY Provider! God calls me His child, the joint-heir with Christ! If I am a joint-heir WITH Christ, shouldn’t I be able to come to His throne like Christ did?

Christ also tells us that we need to freely give what we have been given. If I don’t accept anything from Christ, how can I rightly give it away?

How does this work, if it is not about me?

Now to clarify, it is not ONLY about me. My focus is not only on me. It is about all of us. But that also includes me. 

If we all truly live the life we are supposed to live, thinking of each other the way we are supposed to, then we would all be equal and it would all be about us and not all about you or all about me.

Just a thought … in a Field of Roses


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Same? or Much More?

For years we have gone through our spiritual lives thinking, "Jesus' death gave me eternal life. End of story."

Bringing it to the absolute basics would be like this:

SIN = DEATH
JESUS = LIFE

While this is true, there is a problem with this line of thought:
Romans 5:15-16 - 15But the free gift is not like the trespass...  16And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin...
So with these thoughts, there must be a difference. And there is...
Romans 5:17 - 17For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
The free gift is not like the trespass...

The free gift according to verse 17 should be MUCH MORE!

What is the much more? When you think of the curse that came because of what happened in the Garden of Eden, what things come to mind? (sin, death, sickness, pain, sadness, darkness, hatred, etc). 

When you think of the blessings that came because of what Christ did on the cross, what things come to mind? I have to say I wasn't really shocked when I asked this question and the only answer that came quick to mind to me and to others was eternal life.

IS THAT IT? What about the MUCH MORE? What about having life and having it more abundantly?

Notice the words after much more, but we have to filter it a little...

Romans 5:17 - much more will those... reign in life!

Sometimes our thoughts get interrupted by the commas. But the thought is complete our life (here and now) is supposed to be one of reigning, but we keep walking around defeated!

We need to start trusting, having faith in, and standing on the promises of God! Romans 4:20 says that Abraham was fully convinced that God was able to do what He promised!

If you can insert your name where Abraham's is, then find the promises of God that relate to your situation and start standing!!! (Ephesians 6:10-18)

sin = death
JESUS = LIFE and SO MUCH MORE!!!

Just a thought... in A Field of Roses

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit - Revisited

So, what is up with God? How come He comes in and changes everything in one’s life and then really rocks the world and challenges one’s very own doctrines that have been a part of life for many, many years?

For those of you who don’t know here is a synopsis of what has been going on in my life for the past few months:

In September of 2011, I was contemplating my place in life, the church, and in general in the Christian world. I read a portion of scripture which nagged me. I read Mark 16:15-18. I was put into a “cocoon” of metamorphosis as Del Tackett (from Focus on the Family’s “Truth Project”) so readily calls it. God was wanting me to change and so he allowed me to be in this cocoon.

I read Mark 16:15-18, where it says: “…these signs shall follow those who believe…” and then it lists the signs, and my cocoon was formed. I realized that in my life, these signs did not follow me and I questioned why. It so happened, that we were having a guest speaker in October that did have signs following him. Pastor Louw Ronquest from South Africa had been wanting to visit Manning for a couple of years and finally the opportunity came.

I was interested in what Pastor Louw would be saying. When he came it was evident that the signs listed in Mark 16 did indeed follow. One of the other scriptures that Pastor Louw used was 1 Corinthians 4:20: “For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.” Also, 1 Corinthians 2:4-5: “My speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” These were some of the verses that I pondered over the past 8-9 months.

Then Louw did the unthinkable, he invited me to join him in Zambia in March 2012 for supernatural training. How was I supposed to go to a foreign nation and preach the power of God and have signs follow after the message when I was unsure of the whole thing myself. This left me in a place of feeling slightly intimidated by the whole process.

The trip to Zambia did occur with four others from Manning and it was an awesome time. We did see many things occur outside of the natural. The theme of the time in Zambia was “Naturally Supernatural, Supernaturally Natural” and it did occur. I won’t go into the examples of this right now, maybe in a future update.

Our church has begun bringing back the evening worship service. We began at the end of January 2012 and have basically used this extra opportunity to purposefully seek after the heart of God and what He is wanting to do for Manning Family Worship Centre and for our community as well.

The prayers of the Zambia team were that the things we learned in Africa were not just for the Africans but that we would come back and be able to minister to the people of Manning. These prayers are being answered.

Our services in the evening have been tremendous times of meeting with God. We sing a little, speak a little, and pray a lot. Sometimes there have been dynamic things happening. Other times it has been quiet reflective moments. But we always pray for each other in some way or the other.

That is the background to this blog update. On Pentecost Sunday, May 27, 2012 at the evening service, I spoke with one person about being baptized/filled in the Holy Spirit. There was a matter of semantics and definition of terms that we could have gotten into because of different upbringings, however, we decided to bypass all the words and just let God do.

We went to the front to pray. I called others, that had the filling of the Holy Spirit, to pray as well. Our focus was unapologetically to see the gift of tongues imparted. As we were praying, the person was mouthing words but they seemed to be English words. Those around us who were praying, myself included, in our “heavenly” language. It seemed the person was distraught over what was going on, whether with us, or within their mind. So I casually mentioned, “Whatever words are in your head, no matter how strange just speak them out.” The person started speaking very quietly, but the words were in English. I encouraged them to speak them out once again and the person stopped letting words come out.

At this point, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and my doctrine of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues was blown out of the water.

It was amazing.

Here’s what happened:

The Holy Spirit told me to speak to this person with these words: “The fun part is… English is a tongue!”

As soon as I spoke those words to this person, the tongue was loosed and they began praising God loudly and boldly, … in ENGLISH!

Directly after this, I asked the person how they felt. The answer: “I don’t know.”

Later I spoke to the person and they said that they knew how they felt … completely full. And I agreed that they looked like they were full. Of the Holy Spirit of course.

So why is it that we are always expecting to be speaking in tongues in a language other than English? Why is it that when someone speaks in a native language of some other country it is looked at as supernatural, but when we speak in English, under the same influence of the Holy Spirit, it is looked at as a natural occurrence. Of course, prophecy being exempted in this case. Think about it for a minute. In other countries, where English is not the primary language, it would be considered tongues, but for some reason, here it is not.

How many people are walking around in the world, feeling like second-class Christians, speaking with more boldness and power than most Christians, and yet they are as full of the Holy Spirit, or more than, these others but classified as not being baptized in or full of the Holy Spirit?

Could it be that we have been doing the Christian world a disservice? I know the chances of “imitators” is greater with doctrine such as this, but isn’t it so with any of the spiritual gifts?

I encourage you, especially if you have been seeking after the Baptism of the Holy Spirit – continue doing so. And when you are in that situation and you have the mindset of speaking in English and not in some other form, DO IT and don’t be discouraged, be encouraged, because the Holy Spirit HAS TOUCHED YOU. For those of you who do have another language, continue praying in that language as well, because the Holy Spirit has touched you too.

I would also like to encourage all of you to continue seeking God for a different language, simply because I think it is cool. However, when it comes to praying in ANY language, be it English or otherwise, don’t just speak words. Grab hold of the Holy Spirit and add FAITH to the words and see what God can do!

GRAB HOLD OF THE HOLY SPIRIT and DO SOMETHING!

Just a thought ... in a Field of Roses

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Preach the Word...2 Timothy 4:2

I am in a bit of a quandary today. One could say that I am bored with what I do week in and week out. But in all reality that one would be wrong. I think that sometimes the zeal for the pulpit ministry is gone. But then again sometimes that zeal is right there around the next corner.

I have been contemplating a number of different things in my own ministry in the last few months even up to the last year. One of the contemplations that I have had is to start preaching just like I am supposed to love God - with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. This is not to say that I do not already do this, but there are different facets to consider when saying this. There are different studies of thought in regards to preaching from the heart. What is preaching? Is it reading a manuscript that was meant to have your heart and God's Spirit all through it? Is it going up on the platform with a plan and rambling through the plan? There are many questions to answer! And the main thing is that the question remains of how.

Some would argue that preaching from the heart would involve going strictly without notes. Others say that preaching from a manuscript or at least an outline of sorts is necessary, just to keep things on track. But what about rabbit trails? Some of the best nuggets I have received are from rabbit trails! (not those kind of nuggets - the spiritual kind!!!)

What do you do when there are valid arguments from all sides of the equation? For all intents and purposes, the Holy Spirit can lead through all of these situations and from more besides. So what do you do when you feel the way I do?

I guess the main thing to remember is that first of all, the Word of the Lord will not return void (Isaiah 55:11). Second, the Word of God is like a two edged sword that will cut to the chase in any situation (Hebrews 4:12). Third, I have to trust in the Lord with all my heart, and lean not on my own understanding. In all my ways I need to acknowledge Him and then He will make my path straight (Proverbs 3:5-6). These are His promises, I believe that I should follow them wholeheartedly.

So with that all said, I guess I will continue doing what I am doing, following the Lord's leading and going where He leads. Some day you may hear me preach. On that day, I may be preaching with notes or without notes, but one thing is for certain: I will be preaching from the Word of God.

Just a thought ... in a Field of Roses

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Holy, Holy, Holy

Holy, holy, holy. The thrice used description of God's character. What does it mean for me? What does it mean for the world?

When I think of God's holiness, I think about myself. God has commanded twice in the Bible for me to be holy (Leviticus 11:44; 1 Peter 1:16). The only reason He gives for me to be holy... because God is holy.

All through my Christian walk I have heard that we need to be like Jesus. Do we really try to be like Jesus? Are we truly walking the life that God is wanting us to walk?

I read an article online the other day (Strength for the Journey - August 26, 2009) and I will be including it (or portions thereof) in an upcoming sermon. The article was about 3 dollars. Do we want only 3 dollars worth of God or are we wanting enough of God to explode our souls? That was the main question I picked up on in the article.

The other big statement that hit me like a hammer was this one: "They had enough of Him to get into heaven, but He didn’t have much of them in return!"

We need to dig deep in our lives and figure out if we only want God to give us comfort, or if we really want to be transformed. Do we truly live Romans 12:1-2 or do we only hope for God's promise of peace? God promises a lot of things for us but it is usually followed by an "if you follow my commands..." type tag line.

What are you doing with your life? Are you being holy as God is holy? Am I?

Just a thought...  in a Field of Roses

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Where to begin...?

Well, here we go. I am not one for change. But I do realize sometimes there is a need for change. The change for this day is this blog. I have so many thoughts running through my head and I don't know what to do with them right now.

I'm not a fan of social networking to get my thoughts out, but then there has always been this blog thing. As I get my thoughts in order, I will post. It may work, it may not. I have never been one to journal or any such thing. This is new to me.

Well, here goes nothing...or something...