Friday, April 29, 2011

Proud Papa

I got up this morning early to go to the airport. My oldest granddaughter Adair was running the 2 mile race in the State track meet in Winter Park, just east of Orlando. I had rearranged my work schedule so that I could go. Yes, I know that I have graduation the next afternoon, but I really didn’t want to miss Adair’s first time running in the State track meet. She qualified last week for state by coming in 2nd in her region. It’s a great honor. Only 16 girls in the state will run the 2 mile in the 1A state finals. She went into the meet seeded as the 11th best based on her past times. Her goal was to place at least 8th so she could help score points for the team. She also wanted to run as fast as she could, but her main goal was to finish 8th or better.

So I flew into Tampa because the flights were full to Orlando and Daytona Beach. I rented a car and drove almost two hours to see her run. Tomorrow I have to get up about 3am and then drive back to Tampa. I’ll get home early, but graduation is tomorrow night. But back to the race. It started out fast. After the first of 8 laps, Adair was in the top 5, but I know that wouldn’t last. The pace was way to fast. Bu the end of the fourth lap, Adair was in 10th place and it looked like she was beginning to fall farther behind. I don’t know what happened, but by lap five, she had gained on the three girls that were ahead of her, and by lab six she had passed one of them. She continued to press until by the end of the race she was in 7th place, well ahead of those three girls. She had done it, she had accomplished her goal. Her dream was realized. Especially when she found out her time. She ran the two miles in 11:41. It was a new personal record for her, and topped the old school record by almost 12 seconds. She was ecstatic. Shoot, I was ecstatic as well. I was so proud and so happy. I really was one proud papa.

I imagine that what I felt tonight is a little like what Papa feels when He sees us reach our goals or realize a dream. If I can feel that good, I can’t even imagine what He feels like when He sees us reach our dreams. He is so good that He enables us to succeed. All that I could do was to cheer Adair on. He not only cheers us on, He runs the race with us, making us go faster. So, as I bask tonight in the success of my granddaughter, I know that He loves to bask in my success as well. Why shouldn’t he? He is my proud Papa too.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

After the Storms

We were very blessed last night. As you look at what happened in Alabama you just see a part of what could have happened here. Northwest GA still got a lot of damage and injury. The Metro Atlanta was spared. When I read the AJC on line this morning it talked about how the storms “parted like the Red Sea” as they approached the metro Atlanta. Did our prayers affect them. I think so. There was no other reason I can think of. God didn’t cause the storms, but weather patterns are set in motion by laws of nature that were put in motion after the fall of man. I like to think of it this way. Here on the earth in this season, God is in charge, but He is not in control. He released that control to Adam and Eve in the Garden and He hasn’t taken control back. What Jesus did was take what Adam had given away and He gave it back to His believers. Our job is to replenish the earth and subdue it.

Part of our job as believers is to take back the earth and use all the authority that w have been given. There were many people praying last night. I know that many were killed, but how many were spared because of the prayers of the saints. We will never know. But I choose to focus on what God is doing and not focus on what He is not doing. He spared Metro Atlanta and for that I am grateful. I know that some people still say God caused the storm and that is their right. I’m not here to debate them, I am just station my beliefs. There is a coming division in the church, and it is going to be over the goodness of God and how that is defined. Everybody says God is good, but what does that mean? That is where the division is coming. But that is for another day.

Tonight we had healing prayer at RiverStone. It was a very good night and the goodness of God was evident. One team saw a big cyst on someone’s arm decrease in size to about a quarter of the size it was when they started praying. Most of my prayers tonight focused on emotional issues, even though we were praying for physical manifestations. We prayed for over 50 people, most of them from other churches or no church. God loves to show off, and He did tonight. He is awesome and His presence is so sweet.

I leave tomorrow for Orlando to see Adair run in the state championship. I have to fly to Tampa because that is the most open flight, but even it is filling up. So out tomorrow and then back into Atlanta on Sat morning for Graduation on Saturday night. It’s going to be another busy weekend.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Peace in the Storms

Well I’m sitting here listening to the rain and wind, watching tornado warnings flash all around. I just had one right where I am at, but there is no fear tonight, only peace. It’s been the kind of day where you knew the weather was going to get bad, you just didn’t know when. In the natural, these are the most thunderstorms that I have seen in our area in a long time. I know that there have been many deaths in Alabama and in Georgia. But tonight I have been rebuking the storms and praying for no damage of injury as they have approached the areas where I know people. I have been praying that in general over all the storms, but I have targeted certain areas especially as I prayed.

I know that some people say you can't change the weather, but Jesus rebuked the storm and said peace be still. Hasn’t He told us to do what He did? I believe Him, so I am going to speak to the storms and continue to speak to them until they cease for the night. I speak right now against a tornado warning in Peachtree City and in Marietta.

So, how do you remain at peace in the midst of the storms? For me, I have to keep my focus on Him and not on the circumstances. I couldn’t focus on the winds and the sirens, but instead began to sing n the spirit and praise Papa for His goodness and love. It’s not any different than storms in the Spirit. You do the same thing. It is all about where your focus is. So tonight, especially in the last few minutes my focus has been on Him. Of course you have distractions. I have had multiple distractions tonight. They have been good distractions, but still distractions form focusing on Him. But when things began to get really tense, I was able to regain my focus on Him and His love.

It’s hard to say when the storms will end tonight, but they will end. When they do I hope that I can keep my focus on Him as much as I can in the storm. It’s amazing how I can focus on His love in the midst of the storm and then when the storm ends, I wind up relying just on myself and what I can do. But I guess that is human nature. It’s interesting the past few days because all the storms have come at night. But love gives you wings, and His love lets you fly, so we can fly over the storms. That is what I am doing tonight, allowing love to let me soar over the storms. It’s funny how His love carries us. I guess our love for others is based on His love, and if we love Him, we can love others even better. So tonight all who are focused in Him can have peace, even in the midst of the storm because His love consumes us, and then His love flows through us to others.

I understand why He rebuked the disciples for being so fearful in the storm. They had seen Him do many miracles, yet they still didn’t know who He was. We have the ability to know who He is because we live on the other side of the cross. By knowing Him, it is easier to focus on His love. It’s also easier to be a carrier of His love and peace. So those with us can receive peace from us even in the storm. It’s like we are “umbrellas of protection” for those around us. I think that I neat. Well here comes another round. It’s time to release some more peace and love.

Last Night at School

Tonight was mi last night as a student at BASSM. It was probably one of the best nights in the two years of school. I would say it was Awesome, but that doesn’t describe it. I’m not sure I can do it justice writing about it. It was such a beautiful thing. I was beautiful in an artistic and creative way, and it was even more beautiful in a spiritual way. We had a Renaissance festival. The first meaning of Renaissance is rebirth or revival. Even though it relates to artistic renewal and revival you get the idea for our festival.

All the staff dressed up in period costumes and there were different stations where we, the students went to get blessed. It was unbelievable. Steve and Lindy Hale, the pastors of Bethel Atlanta were dressed as King and Queen. They had a big sword and were knighting everyone and giving prophetic words. Scott and Lacey were dressed as an archer and a lady. They were cutting off heads and unlocking hearts. There were many more stations and we spent the evening going from station to station.

I got numerous confirming words of things that Papa had already spoken to me. It was totally awesome and such a blessing. I know that we all were blessed beyond belief. What a way to end the school year. The staff outdid themselves and it is a night that we will all remember. My words were too personal to talk about in this forum, but they were all right on and I know that everything that is going on in my life right now is His will for me. There is no doubt.

So now, all that we have left is graduation on Saturday night. I know that is going to be fun, and I am so glad that it will be up here at RiverStone. I hope that all those who are thinking about coming next year will come to graduation. I will probably go out to dinner with some of the group afterwards. I know that now everyone’s focus will be on what they are doing next year. I know now, but I can’t say yet. I think that I will be able to talk more about it after I graduate. I do know that it is going to be awesome as well. God is so good.

It’s awfully late. I didn’t get home until after 11:30 and I am too tired to write any more. I think that I will go to bed and dream about all that happened tonight. Tomorrow should be a good day. I’m off.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Time Such as This

I’ve probably said this before, but we are living in a time that is having the greatest harvest of souls for the Kingdom that the world has ever known. I know that as Christians we all find ourselves saying “Come Lord Jesus”. But think of all the people who would perish if he were to come tonight. We are about to enter even a greater time of harvest. According to most of the prophetic people we are entering into a time of a Billion soul harvest. I want to see that. I want to be a part of that great harvest. That is why I am at the Bethel Atlanta School of supernatural ministry. I want train the workers we will need to help usher it in.

About a year ago someone, I’m not sure who right now, gave me a word that I think is very true. They said that even though I had done a lot and seen a lot in ministry that everything that I had done was only preparation for the years ahead. They didn’t realize how true that word was. It seems like all that I have done has been in preparation for right now, this season of life. I know that many people my age are dreaming of playing golf every day or lying on the beach but I can’t. No, that’s not right, I could, but I don’t want to. There is much too much to see and do in the Kingdom. I have much more fun training someone in Kingdom stuff than I do lying on the beach. Don’t get me wrong, I love the beach. I’m going there next week. But I can’t imagine life without ministry.

I was born for this! I was trained for this. As I look back over my life at the things that Julia and I did, I was heading for this time. I had no clue, but I do now. It’s interesting because I know that this year I began a journey on in a new destiny. When Julia died, so did my old life and my old destiny. It was good but I don’t think I would be here today doing what I am doing. Now I am going after divine justice, and I am running much harder than I was two years ago. There was nothing wrong with where I was, or where I was going. It would have been great. This is just different.

This year at school has been different for me in the fact that I feel so connected to all my class. We will stay connected. We all have great futures ahead of us. It’s just that some of their futures will probably be a little longer than mine. But mine will be burning bright. The good thing about this class is that we know that years down the road we will still have a connection.

God is so good. He is better than you think. I can begin to see things falling into place. I love springtime. It is spring in Atlanta. To me that is the best season of the year. It’s funny but I feel that it is springtime in my life too. I guess that goes with the new beginnings I talked about yesterday. Some one said this, and it is so true. If you are believer, the worst thing that can happen to you is that all things, even the worst possible, will work together for good. I miss Julia, even tonight. But I know that there will be more, because He is a God of increase. He has plans for me, and plans for my girls. Nothing, not even death will stop Him from releasing His goodness into our life. So, I do look back knowing that everything I have done, everything, has prepared me for this time and this season. It’s great to be surrounded by His love. It’s great to be alive and in the Kingdom. May it be ever expanding.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

New Beginnings

Today is Easter, Resurrection Day, and we had a party celebrating that fact at church this morning. It was great! There were balloons filled with helium tied to the chairs and floating with the seasons. Everybody wore pastels and the women almost all had on hats. (An Easter tradition at Bethel Atlanta.) If=n fact someone said that we looked like a package of Skittles. But even though we were all having fun, no one was unaware of the real reason that we were celebrating. Jesus, our savior, had risen. Too many times we spend so much time focusing on the cross that we forget where the real focus should be, on the resurrection.

We didn’t forget that today. That’s why we party, He is risen and there is no hold on us by the enemy. The word used most for salvation in the New Testament really means so much more. That word is sozo and it means saved, healed and delivered. You see, Jesus’ resurrection was for much more than just our salvation. He came back to establish a bride (the church) that would go after establishing the Kingdom of God here on the earth. That means a lot more than just salvation. It includes healing and deliverance as well. So that is what we were going after today.

All weekend long I was meditating on what Easter really meant. I think I even said a little about it in my post on Friday night. I have been thinking and meditating on New Beginnings. That’s what really happens when we get saved isn’t it? He makes all things new. Our sins are wiped away and we get to start over. Yes, New Beginnings. The same thing happens when we are healed, we get to start over, new beginnings. Also when we are delivered. We get to start over and many times it is the best thing that can happen.

So in reality, everything that has to do with Easter lead us back to the old title, New Beginnings. Today we had some testimonies. They are things that God has done to change lives and circumstances. As I was thinking about the testimonies, they are just a reflection of New Beginnings. Each testimony is a tie to some change, something new in a person’s life that has the capability of changing everything. Testimonies are awesome.

So, on this day of New Beginnings, I declare that the Season of Transition in my life is over. I knew that this second year is school was a season of transition. But just as in life, transition is just that, transition. You can’t stay in transition all the time. That would be gross. No, transition needs to lead to another season. Just as a mother is in transition right before childbirth, I have been in transition for another season in my life. That transition is over.

So on this day of New Beginnings, this Resurrection Sunday, I declare that I am in a season of New Beginnings. And just as it is today, it is all good. I’m at a new beginning in every area of my life. Transition was good. It showed me destiny and calling, but it’s now time to begin to move into it all. We will see what God has to bring me. He is so good. All I can do is smile and ask “What’s next, Papa?”

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Power of Touch

I know some friends who adopted two children from Russia right after the “wall” came down. They were so excited because they couldn’t have children and they were “rescuing” these kids from a Russian orphanage. What they didn’t realize was that they were in for years of hard work and therapy with these kids. I have watched from a distance while they have struggled and loved these kids to a type of normalcy. But in the long run, only God will be able to deliver these ids from the anger and isolation that keep them separated from others. What was the problem? What could make these kids so violent and closed off with deep walls?

Well, for years they had been in that nursery with no human touch. There were no nurses to love on the kids and caress them. They had no parents to sing to them and hold them while they were rocked to sleep. No, quite the contrary, these kids were touch deprived. They were left alone constantly with no nurture, no touch. They developed protective reflexes to make sure that they were heard and attended to. They became enraged and were unable to control their actions.

So this is just one example of the power of touch. In the Old Testament you didn’t touch a leper for fear you would get leprosy. In the New Testament however Jesus reached out and touched the lepers. They were healed instantly. We as believers have the power to heal with our touch. I know out in L5P this year, countless times I would hug one of the homeless, just to give them intimate touch. Think about it. How many times do you think that homeless people are touched in any gentle way. Another example is when I am praying for a person. I normally ask permission to touch them. I know that when I touch them, something in the Spirit is released. So touch along with prayer is important.

The same goes for healing, only even more so. It is so powerful to be able to touch someone and release the power of the Resurrected Christ into them. So touch is important in ministry as well as in growing up. But really, when is touch not important. I cant’ think of a time. Of course I am leaving out the obvious here. Touch is important in love. How can you love someone and not touch them? You see it all the time. Kids holding hands walking down the street or the casual whisk of a hand across a shoulder. A couple sitting next to each other with an arm draped around the shoulder.

Touch is important in every area of our life. The old Post Office saying “Reach out and touch someone you love” is very true. When we touch we allow ourselves to become vulnerable and even more open. Of course there is always inappropriate touch, but that is not the touch that I am talking about. I’m focusing on healing touch. It’s the touch that flows out of love. We need to be able to touch people and to be touched by them. We need to understand that we as believers have a duty to touch the world. How do we do that?

I believe that we touch the world by reaching out to those who are in need. We touch the world by touching one person at a time and releasing healing and any other gift of the Spirit that He wants release into someone’s life. So as we go into this Resurrection Sunday tomorrow let’s make it our goal to touch as many people as we can with real love. It’s fun to be touched, but you will find that it is even more fun to touch. Have a blessed Easter!

What do You do in Dark times?

Here’s the deal, you are going through intense pressure at work, your finances are a mess and your kids are having a hard time at school with their teachers. Where is your focus? What are you looking at? Are you waiting for the other shoe to drop? Or are you looking for something good to come your way? Where your focus lies determines your heart, and your heart will lead you into goodness or into despair. I really think that despair comes when we are focused on the wrong thing.

I love to watch people who have been through intense pressure come out on the other side stronger and more sure of God’s goodness than when they went in. I think that is what happened to me last year. You see, you always have a choice. You can always chose to change your focus. I could have chosen to focus on my loss of Julia, my best friend and wife of 38 years. If I had kept her my focus, I would have drowned in self pity and the type of grief that is not profitable for the soul. But instead I put my focus on God and His love for me. I began to taste His goodness in ways that I had never seen before. Yes I would glance at my loss, and yes I did grieve and miss her so much. But the loss was lessened by the increased intense love that I felt by my Father. His love really does heal the soul.

Now, I am at a place where last year I thought I would never be. Yes, I still miss Julia, I always will. But I feel whole again. I can live and love life. I can alow myself to be loved by more than just Papa. Last year I didn’t let many people into my deep inner circle. Sure I did open my heart through my blog and I know that it helped many others. I helped heal me quicker than it would have. But now I can open my heart to others. I know that some walls have come down and probably others will. It’s good to be alive and able to live life to the fullest.

Over two thousand years ago, today was dark day, a very dark time. If you happened to be a believer you thought that your whole world had come to an end on the cross. You didn’t know that in three days, Jesus would rise from the grave. No, al you could see was that cross and your hope for the future hanging, dying. Dying along with all your dreams for the future. But if you knew, you could have set your focus on the Father and His goodness. Then you would have realized that there was no way that the Father was going to let it all end at the cross. No, the cross was just a means to an end.

The focus is on the life, the resurrection of Christ. When you focus on the resurrection instead of the cross them you can see that there is life, hope and destiny. So tonight I choose to keep my focus on all that Jesus did in His resurrection. Sure, He did suffer on the cross, but what a little time to save all eternity. So here tonight, on Good Friday, I focus on Easter. Yes the Resurrection Day. It’s a day of new beginnings as well as new life. Life is good no matter what you are going through. It just all depends on where your focus is.

Friday, April 22, 2011

What's Next Papa?

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him! Romans 8: 15-17 The Message Bible

Have you ever just turned to God and just said “What’s next?” If you did it was probably because things were going wrong and you were not looking forward to knowing what the next thing was going to be. But as His children we really should look forward to what’s next. Because He really is a Good God, I know that I have a tendency to sometimes wonder about how this or that could really be that good. But then I am reminded that I am His kid and He loves to give me good gifts.

We do have an incredible inheritance and if we are going through hard times then we can expect and believe for the great times to come. It’s great to be able to live with the abandonment that we can do or go anywhere if Papa tells us that that is the next thing. I have tried to grow in the Lord so that I can have and release Joy and the Kingdom no matter what the circumstances are that I am going through. We have to choose to live in adventure, waiting with anticipation to hear Papa tell us what’s next. I know that is where I am right now. There is so much out there and so much to see and do. There are ministry opportunities and also family to see and to love.

In many ways I know that I am ending the season of transition and entering a time of new beginnings. The thing about new beginnings is that even though they are new and exciting, they really come because of past successes. The neat thing about being an heir in Christ is that it’s not our successes we are building on, it’s his. We build on His success, how cool is that.

We watched “The Book of Eli” tonight and in many ways it was a place of new beginnings that he was searching for. It is amazing to see the difference in those who want the word as a book to use as a control for others and those who eat the word and have it inside them until they become the book. That’s what happened to Eli. He became the book. He knew that for his worked to really have new beginnings, he would have to become the word, walk in faith and follow the path that he had been chosen to walk.

So here’s the deal. Our life is an adventure. We have the His Spirit inside us helping us to decide every step. But it’s not about deciding, it’s about doing. We have to push outside our comfort zone and press into the next level. In order to do this, we have to always be willing to ask the question “What’s next Papa?” If we ask, he will be faithful to answer. I’m excited about what’s next. I’ve seen a glimpse and it is good; just like Him.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

the Goodness of God

If you have read many of my postings you know that this is a common theme. I was just sitting here being thankful tonight. In the midst of whatever is going on in our lives, we need to take the time to be thankful. The scriptures say to be thankful in all things. That’s really pretty hard. I’ve been through some pretty hard things this past 18 months. How can you be thankful in all things? I think it depends on who you think causes bad things.

Personally I have come to the conclusion that God is good and all good things come from Him. There is no sickness or disease in heaven, how could God bring it to earth. He is not responsible. If He is not responsible that I cam thank Him for how He comes alongside of me in times of pain to comfort me. I can thank Him for giving me Divine Justice in situations and most of all I can thank Him for letting me be used to usher His Kingdom here on the earth.

So tonight I want to thank Him. I want to thank Him for drawing me closer to Him over the past two years. I want to thank Him of BASSM and all that I have learned and has been imparted to me during this time. I want to thank Him for RiverStone and all that she has become as a church. I am thankful how she is going after releasing the Kingdom and transforming the community. I want to thank Him for the church plants; Stonebridge, Vintage and now Awakening. The are beginning to make a difference in the community.

I want to thank Him that through His goodness, I have been writing a blog every night for over 15 months. I know that there is at least one book in all that and someday I will be able to thank Him for putting it together. I want to than Him that through my blog I have gotten to know many people and they have gotten to see a little into my life. I am thankful for all my friends that have been with me through the years. I’m also thankful for new friends who love me like they have known me for a long time. I’m so thankful for all my family; my Dad and Allene; My sisters Kay and Laura; my daughters and granddaughters. I’m thankful for my son in laws and my nieces and nephews.

I am thankful for Bethel Atlanta and new beginnings. I’m thankful that they have welcomed me into the body with open arms. I’m thankful for Scott and Lacey. I’m thankful to get to hang out with radical revivalist and help change the community. This is definitely the best time ever to be alive.

Finally I am thankful for the 38 years I had with a woman after God’s heart, Julia. She will always be so special in my heart, but I am also thankful that God is opening my heart to what lies ahead and I can see the spring turning into summer. I am thankful for times of transition because even though they are hard, they lead to new beginnings. They lead to unexpected surprises in the afternoon.

Yes, God is good and I am so thankful that He loves me and I am His son. Sometimes things do come easy. Sometimes He just lines things up like gifts to be opened, and I am thankful for that as well.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Declaring Your Legacy

What if you could ask the Holy Spirit to show you the legacy that you will leave on the earth when you go to Heaven? Wouldn’t that have an impact on what you do tomorrow, next week or next year? I think it would. We did that tonight. Every second year student got up. Lit a candle and began to declare for a minute what legacy they were going to leave. It was an amazing time of faith filled declarations.

OK, I know what you are thinking. How could they possibly know? Well think about it with me. All year, no for the past two years we have been learning who we are in Christ, and what dreams He has given us. This last half of the year we have been focusing on our destiny. So if you know who you are in Christ and know your calling then it is pretty easy to call forth your destiny. Well, carry that destiny to it’s conclusion when you leave this earth and you can declare your legacy. Your legacy is the fruit of your destiny.

So, I know that I am a Father and a forerunner of the Caleb generation. I know that my destiny is to run with the Joshua generation and equip, empower and release the next generation in to their destiny in the Kingdom. So if I go after this for the rest of my life then it is easy to see how Holy Spirit will use me all over the world bringing in these new revivalists.

So tonight I declared my legacy. I said that when I reach the throne of Heaven and see Jesus I will be able to look behind me and se thousands upon thousands of radical revivalist that have changed the earth and brought in the Kingdom. I can see it. If I can see it, I can do it. Of course it’s not me, but God working through me. So that was the essence of my deceleration tonight. It’s so powerful to hear a whole room full of people saying things that only can be accomplished by God. As believers if we only go after the things that we can do, then we will fall way short of what God has in store for us.

So, what is your legacy? What will you bring with you when you stand before Jesus one day. We all have a legacy. If we don’t have a vision and a dream then that legacy will fall far short. People ask me what I have learned this year. I have learned a lot, but one of the most important things is to co labor with the Holy Spirit and never be afraid to dream for the impossible. Remember, with Him, all things are possible. He has called us to do the impossible and bring the Kingdom to the earth.

Well, it’s a short night tonight I have to get up at 3AM so I’m going to end this. But I do think that I will meditate on how He wants me to go after the Legacy He has shown me. The good news is that He has already shown me some of the steps I need to take and I am on my way. The journey is the destination.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Burning Man

“ I’ve come to start a fire on this earth – how I wish it were blazing right now. I’ve come to change everything, turn everything rightside up – how I long for it to be finished.” Luke 12: 49-50 The Message Bible

Tonight was a fun night at school, at least in second year class. We had worship and some other stuff, but the focus was on the last hour when each one of us had to impart something to the rest of the class. We were supposed to bring a prophetic symbol of what we had to impart. It was a fun time. The impartations were great. We had every thing from peace to a “kick in the rear” to get us motivated. It was interesting that no two impartations were the same. It shows the diversity of gifting and anointing a class of 32 can have.

I brought 35 of those propane lighters as my prophetic symbol. Because my gifting and impartation was the passion to keep burning even when you are alone. I have been a “burning man” since at least 1987, maybe even a couple of years earlier. Of course I have been a Christian for a lot longer. But you can be a Christian all your life and never burn with passion to see the Kingdom of God brought to earth. No, I started burning when I first started learning that there was more to the Kingdom than church. It was then, under the teaching of John Wimber and the Vineyard that I first started burning to see the Kingdom of God released with healing and the prophetic and other signs and wonders. Back then it was “Doin’ the Stuff”; you know, the stuff Jesus did. That was a radical new concept to this Baptist/Methodist boy. That you could actually do what was done in the bible. You didn’t just have to read about it.

Then the Toronto Renewal took that burning to a whole new level. There was no turning back for me, and I have never looked back. I remember the prophetic word I got at a renewal meeting in Atlanta in 1994 from Ron Allen, and Vineyard overseer. He told me “fan the flame; fan the flame of revival” . He said that 2 Timothy 1:7 was my life’s verse and that I would be fanning the flames for the rest of my life. He was right. Then in mid 95 we were having another big renewal meeting with Jim Goll and I was holding my pastor, Tony, up and all of a sudden Jim pointed at me and started yelling that flaming arrows were going into my heart. He then started calling me “Flaming associate, flaming associate”. After He was through he asked Tony if I was his associate pastor. Tony said no and Jim laughed and said; “He is now”. I was ordained about three months later.

So I have a history with the fire of revival. I have carried it with me everywhere I have been for many, many years; sometimes carrying it alone. If you are going to carry revival, you have to learn to burn. It’s good to start fires and burn with others, but you also have to know how to burn alone. It takes a passion for what you know is true. Whether you see it or not. I have burned alone. You have to be a burning man, or woman. You have to be the one that keeps it going when every one else wants to quit. You have to fight disappointment, frustration and fatigue. But with the passion and learning how to fan the flame within you, you can burn.

So tonight, as I roared over the class I released that impartation. We already had 32 fire starters. Now we have 32 burning men and women who can go anywhere through out the world and bring revival. They can carry it alone if necessary, but I don’t believe it will be necessary. You see there are already many fires burning, and everywhere you go, the ground is dry and ready to burst into flames. The harvest is ready to be brought in. It’s a great time to burn, you can start fires easily wherever you go and pretty soon you will be joined with others. Jesus said He wished the world were ablaze. It’s about to happen, can’t you feel it. What a great time to be alive!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Last Sunday of Outreach at L5P

It was a beautiful afternoon today in Atlanta. We didn’t leave church until around 1PM, so we didn’t get down to L5P until about 2:30. I was really hoping to see a few of the people that we had gotten to know during the year. I especially wanted to talk with Zen and with Digger again. But today they were nowhere to be found. There were a lot of people down there and we walked around a while. But the focus for today was on our team of First Year Students. We wanted to give them some time to express their feelings and share their testimonies that they had seen over the year down here.

So, at about 3:30 we all gathered in the park and just sat around writing talking and praying. We are all writing in a book some of the best remembrances that we have of the year. I have pretty much documented mine in this blog. Everything from the first arm we saw healed at “Java Lords” coffee shop to the sharing dinner with the homeless and giving “spiritual readings” to a lot of different people. We saw the Kingdom of God manifest many different times in the area over the year.

I believe that what we have left is a legacy for next year to work with. We are digging old wells of revival left in the area by saints gone by. The more we come out, the more we are able to build up the Kingdom in the midst of this chaos. We built on the years before us and next year will build on us. Spencer said something that is so true. He said that we could have had programs and activities that might have won more people to the Lord. We could have had activities that might have brought more healings. But we focused on lifestyle. We wanted the students to develop a confidence in the Lord and His power; a confidence that will allow them to be able to risk no mater where they are. We are training Revivalist. A Revivalist is a person who’s life’s mission is to see the Kingdom of God brought into every area of influence that they are involved in. Programs or activities can’t do this. It has to be done as a lifestyle. So this is our primary goal every time we go out.

I was looking around at the students. They have grown so much. When they first went out, most of them didn’t even want to talk to a stranger. Now all of them are willing to come up to a stranger and give them a prophetic word, or ask if they can pray for healing. No longer is evangelism is done just by “sharing words”. Evangelism is done by releasing the love of the Father and meeting the felt needs of different people. Evangelism is best expressed in releasing the power of God. Most of the people in L5P are searching. They are searching for a God that is real and not just in a book. We have to be willing to risk looking foolish to show them that God.

So the students, all of them, have grown in many areas. So have I. I’m still not the outgoing type that never meets a stranger. It is still hard for me to go up to people. But I do, and I know that when I do I can release the power of God and He will show up. To lead you have to stay ahead. This year at L5P I have had to run to stay ahead of the team. Sometimes I didn’t run hard enough, but for the most part I did. I am thankful for the opportunity this year to be involved.

I have fallen in love with this area and the people in it. Sure, they are weird, but in some ways I am too. So I know that this will not be the end for me. I will be back there to minister to and hang out with the Zens, and Diggers. They need me. There is a destiny to be released in their lives too. God loves them and wants them brought into His Kingdom. I’m a Revivalist, it’s my calling.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

First Love; Where Anything is Possible

Today the sozo team helped Tom and Melissa Tanner with their engaged couples retreat. It was Friday night and all morning Saturday at RiverStone. I don’t know how many couples there were at the retreat, but we did sozos on at least six couples. It was a lot of fun. I was paired up with Christina and we did the girl first and then her husband to be. They are getting married in May, less than a month.

It was a great time with both of them. We dealt with issues that would have played a big negative role in their marriage. It was great seeing them connect with Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit. It was even better seeing them deal with issues head on and walk out of the room leaving those issues behind them. Both new the issues, it was interesting to see how one of their issues affected both parties. God is so good, and His love and desire to see His kids clean and hopeful is overwhelming.

As I looked at both of them and their hope for the future I could just see the optimism and joy in their life. It was as if nothing could stop them. They are to young to know about all the hurts and disappointments that can and probably will occur. They are ready to take on the world. Nothing can stop them, especially once they reconnect with Father God.

Watching them, I wonder if I am too old to love like that again. What does that feel like? I felt it once. I had that spark. But what now? Am I being too hard on myself? Should I expect anything less, or am I looking for emotion that only a 20 something can have. Is love when you are my age different? I think it might be, but I’m not sure. If I am to love again, what will that look like? What will it feel like? I don’t want to miss something because I am looking for something that doesn’t exist anymore. But I don’t want to shortchange myself, or someone that might love me, by settling for something less.

So, as I go through this year of transition I really need to know what love looks like. I mean what if it was to come my way and I didn’t know it. Then I would miss what God has for me. I have no real experience. Like in the Godfather, when I met Julia I was struck by a “thunderbolt”. I’m not sure that happens at my age. At the same time there has to be something. The question is, “What is that something”.

Right now I don’t have to know. That is fine, but sooner or later I do need to know. Hopefully Holy Spirit will let me know. I do know this. It doesn’t have to be just like the past. It can be different, but what that means, I’m not sure right now. That thought leaves me resting in the arms of Papa, asking Him to show me what it really looks like. I have to believe that He will answer this prayer.

Friday, April 15, 2011

How Big is Your Box?

We all have one you know. Boxes; we all live in boxes. Boxes are self defined areas of life where we are comfortable. Some of us live in very small boxes. We are very content to keep everything just the same, not wanting to stir anything up or cause any problems in our lives. We don’t realize that we are living in them, but we are. Others of us have bigger boxes. Something or someone persuaded us to kick out the walls of our existing box. Then we explored new areas until we got to a point where we felt uncomfortable. Slowly but surely this boundary became a wall and before you knew it a new box was formed. Sure it was a bigger box, but it was a box just the same.

I don’t know about you, but I hate living in boxes. They are so confining and they all have rules. Because without the rules, you might accidently knock one of the walls down. I don’t consider myself to be a rebellious person, but I really like to tear down walls when I run against them. I always have. Sure, I was a good kid and I didn’t go around breaking a lot of rules, but I wanted to. Later as I grew up I realized that certain rules were made to be broken, and it was much easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. So I began breaking boxes. I can break boxes for other people. I have in the past. In many ways that is what I do in Sozo. I break the boxes that have people trapped. But my most favorite thing is to break a box that I am living in.

Sure, I live in a box too. Like I said, we all do. It’s just tat my box has gotten bigger over the years. I hate finding walls in my life; especially if they are keeping me from enjoying the presence of God in new levels. My goal in life is to tear down every wall that boxes me in. I know that this will be a full time job. People say that I am a pioneer. I guess that I am. I think that part of the pioneering spirit is kicking down walls that say you can’t just to prove to yourself that you can.

But there is something that is much worse than living in a box. The worse thing you can do, and once again we all do it, is to keep God in a box. How do you know if you have God in a box? Well, is there anything that you don’t believe God will do? Notice that I didn’t say can do. We all know he can do everything. But is there anything that you don’t believe He will do? If there is, that is a wall in your box. For example, some people don’t think God will heal them. That is a wall in the box. Sure, they know He can heal, but that[s not the same as not believing He will heal.

Once again the same thing applies. I have a pretty big box for God. I would like to think that I don’t have Him in a box, but that would be na├»ve. Right now I don’t really know the walls I have in my box for God. But if He does something that offends my mind, then I will know the wall, and I will gladly break it down. It’s ok to have walls if you want to break them down when you discover them.

What’s not ok is to know you have walls, but want to leave them because they make you feel safe. God is a God of Love, but He is not safe. He is like Aslan in C. S. Lewis’s works. He is to be loved, but also to be feared. He is love, but He is holy. It’s a constant tension that we live in. When we use walls to protect ourselves, then we limit God’s power in our life. I don’t want to limit anything about Him. He is beyond my understanding. After all, if I could understand Him, He wouldn’t be much of a God.

So here is the deal. We must as believers always try to tear down any wall that keeps our God from working His perfect work in our life; no matter what the price we have to pay. We have a big God that doesn’t live in a box. It’s our job to keep Him free to work with us. That’s His heart.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Believer - What does it Mean?

I think that most Christian’s would call themselves believers. I also think that most Muslim’s would call themselves believers too. The same would go with Buddhist’s and all the other religions. They are all believers; the difference is what they believe. I want to focus on me, probably you and all other Christians tonight.

If you were to ask most Christians what it takes to make you a believer you would probably get a lot of things like Bible Study; discipleship; evangelism. All these things are good and help you draw near to the Lord, but not many would say signs, wonders and miracles. And yet, that is what we were told to do as believers. At the end of Mark, the bible says “these signs will follow those who believe…” In John 14 it also talks about those who believe would do greater works than Jesus. So there must be more about being a believer than just discipleship and Bible Study. And yet so many churches don’t even believe that the gifts of the Spirit are real and for today.

As I was doing my devotional today, I was convicted once again about how we as believers should be seeing much more in the way of miracles. But to see them you have to be willing to risk. For the most part I go about living my life avoiding that type of risk. I am rewarded when I do step out, but I have to be willing to open up and step out on a daily basis much more. As believers, we are supposed to bring the Kingdom of God into our areas of influence. I believe that if we all take this seriously, we could really change Atlanta.

So keep on believing and chasing after Him. I want His power. I want it badly. But I want His presence even more. That is the key. When His presence comes, we will all be changed.

Well, I did dinner and a movie by myself tonight. Everybody in the group was busy. Most were out of town in Highpoint NC. They are doing sozos and training another church in how to do the ministry. Sheryl Geddis, from Bethel Atlanta, took all my friends with her. I would have gone but I thought I had other commitments. I did have to work, so the movie was fun, but not as fun as it would have been. But they are all doing good, and there will be other weeks and other movies.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Counting the Costs

So, here I am thinking about what it takes to get in shape to run another marathon. I’ve started running more. I know that needs to increase, but that is happening and I think it will begin to take shape. But just as important, if not more so, is to loose about 20 pounds so I can run faster. Now that one is still illusive. I’ve started a diet every week for over a month, and if anything I feel heavier. So what’s the problem?

Kris Vallatton said something that I am finding so true. He said just wanting to lose weight because you felt fat wouldn’t motivate you. He said you needed a goal and a vision of what you wanted to become. This is so true. It’s true in every aspect of life. I know in learning to fly, we envision every maneuver. Runners do the same thing about their races and so do doctors as they learn new procedures. But just having the vision doesn’t make it happen. No, you have to count the cost of what you want to do and the you have to be willing to pay that cost to get it done.

That’s where I haven’t been able to cross the line. Since Julia’s death, I haven’t wanted top take on the cost of losing weight. I haven’t foa the long term been willing to use the discipline that I know I have to will myself to do what it takes to lose weight. I could, I know I could. I want to, that is until I had rather do something else. I can use the excuse that she was my motivation. In many ways that is true; but most of the time I was motivation her. I guess we motivated each other. Anyway, for what ever reason, I haven’t been willing to do what it takes in this one area. I know the cost, but I haven’t been willing to pay the price.

We have to count the costs in ever area of our life. There are things that we need to do, things that are not real fun, but necessary to our health. If we are not willing, we will eventually pay a price. It’s the same thing in the spiritual. We have to count the cost before we take the next step. We have to be willing to take the next step regardless of the cost. But that takes courage and passion. I can look around at countless people I knew that were running alongside for a season and all of a sudden they came up to an invisible line. They stopped and would go no farther. For a long time I didn’t understand; but they had gotten to a point where they weren’t willing to pay the price to continue. They had seen the cost and stopped short. I understand now, but I still don’t agree. There can be no cost too great for the pursuit of the presence of God. He has already paid it for us. But we get caught up in what our friends will think. How will we look? Is that acceptable? We have so many excuses.

OK, I want to pay the costs to follow after my Lord. I also am willing to pay the price to lose the weight I need to lose. Then I will be able to train again at full potential. I can see myself crossing the finish line of my 15th marathon sometimes this fall. My first step is to get online tomorrow afternoon and register for one. Then I really have to get a plan for losing weight and stick with it. I can do it and I will.

Two Weeks of School Left

Tonight the realization hit. There are only two weeks left before the end of Second Year. Wow, this year has just flown buy. It seems like only yesterday that we were starting. Someone ask me today whether I was going to be glad or sad that school was over. At the time I thought that it was a little of both. But as I really begin to let the thought sink in, I am going to be sad. Sure I can use the two nights off, and I won’t be so busy. But I will really miss all my second year friends. There are so many that I have gotten so close to this year. Sure, I will se many of them at church on Sunday’s, but that really is not the same.

Here in school we are all running hard after the presence of God. We all are so in tune with what He is doing that it’s like we are like a finely tuned car. But like that machine, it takes all the parts to make it run. We feed off each other. Sure, in many ways it is like an incubator and I know that we all have to be able to “burn alone.” But I also know how much we just enjoy each other’s company. That will be missed. We will have to learn to push ourselves out into the streets because no one else will be holding us accountable as to whether we went or not. Speaking of outreach, next Sunday will be our last official outreach for the year down at L5P. I’ve been looking for Zen. I haven’t seen him back. I pray that he shows up this Sunday. I would love to have another chance to talk to him. I know that I will go back there on some Sundays in the summer. Maybe we can get a team to go. It will be fun and I’m sure we can get a group to venture down there.

Today was a good day all around. It started this morning with the Air-conditioning repairman. He found a leaky coil in the unit. All the Freon had leaked out. The coil has to be replaced. It would have been an expensive job but, praise God, it was still under warranty. The new coil will be installed next week. That will be the third coil in that unit since we moved in back in Jan 2006. Hopefully this will be the last one. But the bottom line is it won’t cost me anything. That’s great

I then went down to Calloway Gardens where we rode bikes for most of the day. It was a perfect day to ride; sunny and cool but not cold. It wasn’t’ a hard ride, we took it easy up and down the hills. I had a great time and got back just in time for school. At school we were told about third year. It sounds fun, and I will have to see what happens this summer to make my decision on whether to attend third year or not. Pretty much the rest of the evening was spent prophesying over others in class or being prophesied over by others. It was a great time with some amazingly accurate words. I was really blessed. On the sadder side, it looks like we will have to cancel our Father – Son day this Saturday. We didn’t do a very good job of advertising it and we didn’t get enough people to sign up. That’s all right, we will present the idea, and hopefully we will be able to pull it off at a later date.

As we were talking about third year we were told that we had come too far to ever go back. I have known that for years. Once you realize that God is Good; He is in a good mood and He wants to do good things. Once you understand that Jesus paid a high price, and it’s our job to see that he gets everything He paid for. Once all these things are deep in your spirit then you are hooked and it is true. You can never go back because there is nothing to go back too. So what we do is press onward, deeper into His presence and into our destiny. We know that they both are intrinsically related. You can’t have the destiny without the presence. So, as I press forward into these last two weeks, I am looking for ways to press deeper into His destiny for me. That is the best way to make sure I am in His will.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Good Day Off

Well, I had my first day off in seven days. It was very good not to have to go in to work this morning. Sitting here right now it looks like I didn’t get a lot done. But I did get a run in and a short ride on my Harley. Besides that, I got the Mazda to the shop and got some clothes dried. Like I said, it doesn’t seem like I got a lot done. Yes, I did read some and also got in a short nap. The day was cut short by having to drive down for school, but it was a very good day.

Tonight at school we had a healing room again. We probably had around 30 – 40 people come. We were busy praying for them. It was a good night, and I know that some were healed, although I haven’t heard any testimonies yet. Then we went upstairs with second year and we had a time of inner healing and forgiveness over relationships. So over all, it was a very good night and a great day.

We are fast running out of time for school. This Saturday we are supposed to do our Father – Son day project. But right now I don’t think we have enough registered to make a decision to have it. The OM building cost 350 and I don’t think we have enough people to pay for the building, let alone cover the lunch and other expenses. That’s too bad, it would have been fun to do. I guess we will just have to wait and see, but I will have to go ahead and prepare my talk to the fathers.

Tomorrow the Air Conditioning repairman comes at 8AM. Hopefully he will be able to fix it cheaply. After that I am going down to Callaway Gardens with friends. We plan on doing some bike riding. I don’t know if the azaleas are still in bloom or not. I sure hope that they are. After that I will come back for school. It will definitely be a full day, but hopefully an enjoyable one. Then I get back to work on Wed morning. It’s still raining right now. The good thing is that the rain has lowered the temperature outside and I have been able to begin to lower the inside temperature.

I think that is all for tonight. It’s not a very exciting post, but I’m tired and it’s getting late. Until tomorrow night.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

God's at Work in L5P

In 1996 when the Olympics came to Atlanta, one of the places that was highlighted by the committee that was giving tourist the best places to go visit in the city was Little Five Points. I guess it was because of it’s eclectic nature and varied street life. In that regard nothing has changed. But in other ways it is probably much darker spiritually than it was. But isn’t everything? Look at TV and the movies, they are both much darker as is every realm of our society. But as the scriptures say in Isaiah; as the darkness gets darker, the light gets lighter. So here we are in 2011 at L5P and sure there is darkness, but the light conquers darkness. When has there ever been a dark room that can stop light from lighting up the area. No amount of darkness can stop even a little light. This year we along with other Christian groups have brought a light into the darkness of Little Five points.

Today I met and talked for a long time to “Digger”. Digger is one of the many homeless veterans in Atlanta. He was in the Vietnam war. We talked at length about some of his experiences there. I look at him and say “there but for the grace of God go I.” He was in Da Nang in 1968-69. He was a member of the 101st airborne division, and was involved in the Tet offensive and Hamburger Hill. He was taken captive and escaped. His experiences are very real, and I honor him for his service. Digger really needs the peace that only God can bring. I talked to him vet to vet. I just listened to him. We got down on our knees with him on the street corner and listened. Then I was able to pray for him. I just prayed that he would find the peace of God. I broke off a spirit of restlessness and abandonment that almost all Vietnam Vets carry. He received it, but he needs so much more. I’m sure I will see him again. I was able to pierce through to the inner part of his being because we had a common bond. Even though I was in the Air Force, I served in Viet Nam. I didn’t see the horrors that he did, but that didn’t matter. Since I had been there, he was open. I could feel the love of God for this man and for all the veterans. Not only those of Viet Nam, but from all the wars before and since.

But let me tell you of another story from L5P. Last year during a time when our group was doing the “spiritual prophetic readings” another veteran came up. I will call him Joe. It’s not his real name, but because so many people might know him, I want to protect him. Joe came to the table and out team ave him a prophetic word, and called out his dreams. They hit it right on, and Joe also told them their dreams. Although Joe didn’t really know the Lord, he was very gifted. Anyway, that started a relationship with some of the team. They saw Joe over the year, and he was hungry for more of the Lord. Joe had been a drug dealer and user. During the past year he came to know the lord. He stopped using drugs and stopped selling them. He began to hang out with us, and began coming to church at Bethel Atlanta every chance he got. Many of our team would drive an hour out of the way to pick him up. Joe had been homeless, but as he got cleaned up, he went to live with his uncle.

Joe began to minister with us in L5P this fall. He was one of our best contacts. He knew the area and the change in his life was evident for all to see, A couple of weeks ago, Joe reenlisted in the service. Not only does he now have a job and a mission, he got a 35000.00 signing bonus for the skills that he has. They say that he will be assigned working with the drug interdiction team. At any rate, Joe has a mission field to share the Kingdom of God. I’ve see Joe, he is the real deal, and I pray that he will be used mightily wherever he goes. That’s tow different testimonies, but I pray that Digger will wind up like Joe. Next week is our last official week of ministering at L5P. I have fallen in love with the place, and I am sure I will return. It’s been a great year and we have seen a lot happen there.

On a personal note, I am much better tonight. The air conditioning is still out, but I am out here on the porch and it is very comfortable. I know that transition brings ups and downs. Yesterday was a down day, but today I am back up. The good news for me is this. Even though it was a down day, God still met me, and He carried me through it. Today I am back in my usual optimistic mood, because He is good and He is in a good mood. I can do all things through Him because He does strengthen me. I just finished eight periods in six days. I have the next two days off. I’m really looking forward to the healing room tomorrow night at school. I know He is going to show up and show off. It’s going to be a good week!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Transition; It's not all Easy

I know I complained about winter and the cold. And I really do like summer better than a cold wet winter. But I like spring and fall better than either season. Today it seems like summer came early. I was running this afternoon and it was 86. Last week I ran and it was 50. That is not enough time to adapt to the heat. I’m glad I was wearing a heart rate monitor because I had to walk a couple of times to keep my heart in the proper range. It’s just too much heat to fast. Tomorrow is supposed to be 87. It is scheduled to cool off by Tuesday. I sure hope that it does.

On top of it being so hot today it seems like my air conditioning is not working tonight. I’ve had it on for over two hours and it is still 80 inside. Well, it’s better to find out now than later in the summer. Of all the systems in this house, the air-conditioning system had given us more problems. It think it has been totally replaced by now and the house is only 6 years old. Now it’s not working again. Well, at least it is still under warranty, I hope.

Today was the last of my A periods for a few days. Tomorrow is a 9:20 report. That’s great except I will miss church because I will be working. But I am off on Monday and Tuesday. That will be great, I need a couple of days off. I can definitely use them. I did get a good run in today, even in the heat. I have outreach tomorrow afternoon. I guess it depends on when I get home. Home, what is home? I have a house here, and I am comfortable, but what is home? I’m not sure that I really have a home right now. I am living in a house with a lot of memories. That’s not a bad thing because they are good memories. But I remember that this is a year of transition.

Transition, what does that really mean? The dictionary defines transition this way: movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change. Up to this point my year of transition has been OK. Now it is moving into a new season. It is a season where I am not sure of who I am or what I want. All I know and can fix on is who He is. I know that I have made decisions based on what I heard from Holy Spirit and my heart. I don’t regret the decisions; I know that they are right. But the implementations of these systems are a lot harder than I thought.

I’m being brutally honest right now. There is a big part of me that is resisting moving from who I was in the past to who I am to become. I know who I was. I liked who I was and all that entailed. I loved my life and never wanted it to change. But it did change. I can’t stay in the past. That is not an option, so I have to embrace all that God has for me in the future. I know that, but it doesn’t make it any easier sometimes. I guess I am much like a pregnant mother about to give birth. The time that she changes from a pregnant woman to a mother is called transition. There is where all the emotional swings take place. It’s where she doesn’t even like anything but wants it all to be over. I guess that is where I am right now in the process. I would love to stay in the past, but the past is gone. I’m not of sure what the future will bring. But I do have a good coach. I have someone I can lock eyes with and focus on. He will lead me through this phase just like He has led me in the past. It’s just that this part is not as much fun. But I do know and feel His love and I can rest in that. The rest will fall into place.

Sometimes I do just want to crawl into a hole and stay there, thinking I will wake up and my past 15 months will all be a dream. But that is not reality. Reality is that God is Good and He is sustaining me, even when I want to run. He is here, He is real and His love is everlasting. He has my heart and my eyes are locked on His. He will bring me through the period of transition just like He brought me through the last year of grief. He can be trusted, and I lean into His love tonight even as I go to sleep.

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Trip to the Eye Clinic

This afternoon after work I went for my annual eye exam. I don’t mind eye doctors the way that I mind dentists. Dentists are way to intrusive. By nature they have to spend almost all their time with their hands in your mouth. Then the rest of the time they have some machines rattling your brain. Then when you are through you can hardly tell a difference; at least most of the time. Eye Doctors on the other hand, are there to help you see better. If they do their job right you are open to a whole new world when you finish.

My least favorite part of an eye exam was when you had to have your eyes dilated and then the Dr used a bright light that was so bright that it hurt. He shined that light for what was probably 30 seconds, but seemed like 30 minutes all around your eye, looking at the very back of it. It hurt bad, and I hated that part of the exam. Well, today I didn’t have to use that part. This doctor had a new laser machine that with just a flash took a picture of all the areas that needed to be checked. It was much more efficient and didn’t hurt at all. You also didn’t have to spend the next few hours half blind while your pupils returned to normal size.

Today I got a new prescription for my contacts that seems to be giving me better reading ability while not taking too much of my far distance. Contacts are always a trade off and to find an improvement is always a hard thing to do. I also ordered some glasses. I haven’t had new glasses for over seven years, so I figured it was time. You know we need to have our spiritual eyes checked periodically also. We need someone to look deep into our spiritual eyes and tell us whether or not we are seeing as sharply as we should. In many ways our spiritual eyes are like our natural eyes. We get so used to what we are seeing that we don’t realize when the dullness seeps in.

I think that in the spirit a sozo is like a natural eye exam. A sozo refines our focus and vision. It allows us to see things that we have never seen or it sharpens our vision on what we are already seeing. I really think it would be a good idea for everyone to get a check up sozo once a year. If for nothing else, it would dust off the cobwebs and allow someone to really focus in on their destiny. I know that I really need one right now. There are areas that I know my focus is a little blurry. I can do some of it myself, but I know that there is so much more to uncover.

Tonight I did a sozo on a young man. Bud was second, and we were able to facilitate an “eye exam” so to speak. It was a great time. I was blessed to be able to get a part of his experience with God. Bill Johnson has a new teaching series called “Transformed People Transform Cities.” I think that title should be the motto or catch phrase for the Sozo ministry. I know it would be a hit at RiverSone. Anyway, an eye of the heart checkup once a year would be great. Well, hopefully I will get mine soon.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Unstoppable

Tonight’s movie was “Unstoppable” with Denzel Washington. It was about a true story about an unmanned runaway freight train in Pennsylvania. The heroes were an 27 year veteran engineer and a brand new rookie conductor. It took them both using all the gifts and courage they had to stop the train. As Bud said toward the end, it was a prophetic picture of this new generation that is bringing the Kingdom of God to earth. It will take a combination of the old and the young; or as I like to call it the Joshua’s and the Caleb’s. We need both to do all that God wants to do. We have to join together in the dreams of God. The hearts of the Fathers have to be turned to the sons and the hearts of the sons to the fathers.

That is what was promised and prophesied by Malachi. That time is now, and there is a call for the fathers to put down their prejudices about music, long hair, tattoos and all the other stuff that really defines this new generation. If we can do that and truly begin to call the sons and daughters into their destiny then, I believe, the sons and daughters will come alongside and allow us to partner with them in the dreams of God. But it is going to take the Fathers and mothers to make the first step. That first step is to begin to call out the gold and destiny that is hidden deep within sons and daughters that have been searching for a God of power, love and acceptance.

For too long we have been accepting only if someone looked like us, thought like us and voted like us. Look at the average church. It is very homogeneous. The same type people gathering around the same ideas. When people start gathering around God and His love, then we will begin to see conservative lawyers and tattooed bartenders in the same church. We will be celebrating His love for each of us instead of celebrating our likeness. Shoot, we might even disagree politically and still be able to love each other. Now that would be a miracle in itself.

The Kingdom of God is multi-cultural. It will have all types, shapes and sizes of people who have embraced the love and acceptance of Jesus. They will have one thing in common. They all love Jesus and know Him as their Lord and Savior. But beyond that there will be many differences, probably too many to even count. But right now it is hard to find many churches where that is a possibility. I know that over the past two years, I have dealt with so much prejudice in my heart that was nothing but a spirit of religion and separation cloaked in “righteousness”.

So we as fathers need to be willing, no we must take the first step. We must ask forgiveness for all the fathers who have placed their own values and mores on the next generation. We need to ask forgiveness for not loving with an unconditional love. We also need to be willing to embrace new things so that we can learn to join with others in their dreams, even when those dreams are not our own. That is our calling and it will be a great generation that will come forth and rock the world.

Well, that’s all for tonight. I have an early wake up tomorrow and I really need a little sleep. So it was a good movie, and a great dinner again.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Double Header

I think I am supposed to be semi-retired. I think that means I have a part time job and also get some retirement income. Well, Delta messed that up when they declared bankruptcy and took away most of my monthly pension. They did help me though when they hired me back as a contract instructor. I’ve written how much ai am blessed to have this job and I truly am. It’s just that weeks like this make me think that something is wrong with this picture.

I was off for the first five days of the month. I got to go to VA and see Lisa and the girls. But I did work yesterday and then today I worked two shifts. Now two shifts are not two eight hour shifts, but tow periods in which I didn’t teach, but acted as a Captain in the simulator for four hours at a time. Both periods were training a first officer right before his check ride, and both were pretty stressful, so after eight hours in the box, I am pretty wiped out. I got off at 7PM and got home a little after 8.

That in itself wouldn’t be so bad, but I have to be at work at 6:30 in the morning for another simulator and then I have an afternoon meeting. So it is a “double, double header. “ But then I work Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So it will be eight periods in six days. That’s enough to make ne think that I am working full time. When you add school into the mix, I can understand why I am so tired tonight. But I am really just getting going. It’s days like today that I sometimes feel like not doing this anymore. But I do enjoy it, and the pay is pretty good too. So, I will continue as ling as I feel that I can be a good instructor.

I did have time to stop and get chicken. It’s marinating for “Dinner and a Movie” tomorrow night. I don’t know what we will see. I have “Sherlock Holms” from Netflix. It’s pretty good; I saw it when it came out last year. But I’m wondering if it might be time for a Jason Borne series. Whatever it is, I’m sure we will have a good time. I watched my first TV tonight in about three days. I think I have watched an hour until today all week. Part of that is Lisa didn’t have TV. Tonight I did get to watch Blue Bloods and a back episode of Fringe. These are two of my favorite shows and it was good to have a little down time.

Life is sometimes about just getting through the day. But this morning for about 45 minutes before I left for work I sat in His presence. I was listening to “Facing the Wall” and just soaking in the presence of my Papa. His love for me was with me through the day. It is so great, and He is so happy with me because I know Him and love Him so much. It is a good tome to be alive, even on the days you have to pull a “double header.”

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Presence of God

We all say we want to see the Kingdom of God released in our cities and neighborhoods. We want to see crime decrease, abortions stopped, the poor find jobs and the sick healed. Every Christian I know says they want these things. But what are we doing to make it happen? How are we cooperating with Holy Spirit to see real change come? Can we have the Kingdom of God without His manifest presence in our midst? Sure, God is present always, everywhere. But that is the omnipresence that the scripture talks about. What I am talking about is the manifest presence; the presence that is so strong that you can hardly stand; the presence that releases a new level of anointing. How can you truly have the Kingdom without the presence of the King?

We had that presence last night in the healing rooms. We have that presence in the healing rooms at RiverStone. We strive to have that presence at our services. But we need to learn how to individually stir up that presence so that when we go into the mall or to Target, that presence goes in with us. We have to learn to cooperate with Holy Spirit and stir up His presence within us. When we learn to do that, then truly wherever we go, the Kingdom of God will manifest. That’s what I want, but how do we do it?

First and foremost we have to believe that is what Holy Spirit wants to do. We have to know that He wants to partner with us no matter where we are. We need to be so in tune with His Spirit that no matter where we are we can see and understand what He wants from us. For some of us, we are getting close. We are “practicing His presence” in all areas of His life. We are learning to cooperate with Him in different areas of our lives.

Part of cooperating with Holy Spirit is to make Him feel comfortable in our lives. We need to lead our life aware that He is always with us. We have to be willing to risk so that He has room to work. We have all the gifts, but most of them are in embryonic form. They are there and can be used, but they haven’t been developed in our lives yet. “The gifts are free, but maturity is expensive.” I was reading this in Spiritual Java this afternoon. It is so true. We have all the gifts available and sometimes they manifest in great power, but most of the time they are embryonic unless we practice using them.

Practice requires that we risk, and most of the time, we are too proud to risk being embarrassed if we fail. This pride will keep us from reaching maturity, It will keep us from really releasing the Kingdom. What if you knew for sure that if you prayed for five hundred people to be healed from stage 4 cancer and they all died that on the five hundred and first person, they would be healed, and then even more healings would take place. Would you be willing to do it? Would you be willing to fail five hundred times? Well for one thing, you would not have failed. It’s not you who heals, but God. What you are doing is excursing the giftings that are available. Sometimes it’s only a matter of faith and risk, other times it’s a matter of practice and persistence. We have to be willing to risk and take chances.

I for one, want to be known as someone who is willing to risk in order to see the Kingdom advanced, and even more importantly, His presence released wherever I go. What about you?

Monday, April 4, 2011

"It was a Dark and Stormy Night..."

How many stories have you been told or read growing up began that way. It sets the tone for fear and dread. Well, it is a dark and stormy night right now, but there is no fear here. There is no dread or sense of impending doom. No, in fact it is quite the opposite. I feel excited and full of purpose and energy tonight. I think it has to do with all the potential I saw at school tonight. It was a groundbreaking occasion. The second year students held the first healing room that has ever been held at Bethel Atlanta. It was fun, and the presence of God was so strong.

Being a veteran of the healing rooms at RiverStone I was excited to see that it went much like the RS rooms went. Because of space, we had the soaking area in the same room as prayer, but it worked just like the model I was used to. Because we didn’t have that many people, we had more time to pray for people. We say a great number of healings tonight and it was very exciting. But the most exciting part of all was the overwhelming sense of His presence. It was so strong and got stronger as the night wore on. In fact, as I think about it, more people got healed toward the end than at the beginning. It was a good first start.

We are going to do it again next week, and we think that there will be more people come. Tonight we prayed for a lot of the first year students who were sick. But word will get out and we will be much busier next week. We are breaking ground. The plan now is for second years to have a healing room on the last Monday night of every month. That is exciting. It’s one of the things that I wanted to see started at Bethel Atlanta.

Then we had worship and then we went back downstairs and we talked about situations that arise in ministry that you are never taught how to deal with in school. It was a very enlightening and fun discussion. So the night went well. If I had left at 9:30 I would have beaten the storms, but I was wrapped up in the discussion and didn’t want to leave. So I was fifteen minutes late, and I got caught in the storm about fifteen minutes from home. I know, I was warned, but I’m still glad I stayed. Especially now that I am home safe.

Probably another reason I’m still on a high is the Cuban food and delicious Cuban coffee I had at the new Cuban restaurant today. I met a friend for an early dinner and it was definitely worth the drive. It was good to be with friends, and good to have that delicious coffee. Anyway it wouldn’t keep me awake even if I drank it right now. But it was sooo good.

Well, it’s late, and I work tomorrow, not early, but I still have to work. So this will be all until tomorrow. It’s hard to believe sometimes but God wants to use us more than we want to be used. He is so good.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

Well, I am back home sitting in my rocking chair once again. It’s hard to believe the weekend is over, I just can still see Anna and Julia. It was an interesting weekend. On more than one occasion I found myself looking at the world through the eyes of a four year old. But the rest of the time I was chasing down a 15 month old who never stops and can always find something else to get into. She is so inquisitive, no telling what she is going to be like when she is four.

Today we went to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. They are about a mile from the airport so it was the perfect time to go. It was sunny and around 65. But it was pretty windy, so it was still fairly cold. It is a beautiful site. It’s very big, with boat tours and a tram ride. We just walked through the gardens and saw a lot of it, but I’m sure we missed most of it. We were there for about two hours and the girls had a ball. I think Anna’s favorite was watching the turtles sunning themselves on the banks of the little ponds we went around. We also saw a bald eagle and it’s nest with little chicks in the nest. We saw the eagle. Of course we didn’t see the chicks, but there were many bird watchers with telescopic cameras and other equipment.

It was hard to leave the little ones. I know that Lisa has a lot going on with the move coming up so quickly. I really don’t know right now how I can help, but I’m sure a trip to Alaska in the summer is in the offing. The only bad thing about being gone today was that I missed church and outreach. It was such a beautiful day, I’m sure they had fun down at L5P. School is back in session tomorrow. It’s hard to believe that there are only four weeks left. It’s been a good year and I am going to miss it over the summer. It will be interesting to see what is next.

I listened to a message by Danny Silk on following Favor. We need to see what God has blessed us with and pursue those areas into greater blessing. As I look at my journey this year and last for that matter, I see that is really what I have been doing. I know that I have become a father to many. I know that I carry the blessings of the Father, and I am able to impart His love to others. I know that I have a prophetic gifting and that helps me speak life and destiny into other peoples lives. So what does all this mean, I’m not really sure except I know who I am and I know some ot the things that God has given me to do in these next years. How it all works out I’m not sure. Certainly I do know that I am called to the Sozo ministry and equipping and releasing this next generation, however that looks. But what I do know is that I have to take steps to position myself for Papa to move. The question, as always is what and when. Timing is always the key. But I have been taking some steps, and now it is a time of waiting and watching.

So, here I am, back home. I already miss the family, just as I miss those down in Florida. I’m not lonely. That surprises me sometimes. I enjoy other peoples company and have a great time. But I also enjoy being alone. It’s strange, and I haven’t really figured out what’s what. There are definitely areas in this “new normal” that I still haven’t figured out yet. But that’s no problem either. I am just enjoying the day. Today is all we really have. Sure, we live today with our eyes on the future, but we still have to live today. Yes, I wish that I could just live today like a four year old. But truly, who’s to say that I can’t. Interesting thought.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Roller - Skating Party

I don’t know how the mother did it. Pulling off a birthday party at a crowded skating rink is nothing but total chaos. I still don’t know how many kids were invited and who was at the party that Anna went to. You see there were at least five parties going on at the same time, and I could have just as easily walked up to another and had some of their food as well. No one would have known the difference. All the kids were either skating by themselves, or if they were beginners, they were with their parents. No one was around the party table except for enough time to eat and cut the cake. Like I said, it was total chaos. But everybody seemed to enjoy themselves.

The good news is that I didn’t fall and break an arm. The bad news is that you can forget how to roller-skate. I figured it would be like riding a bicycle. Wrong. I put my skates on and was ready to go out on the rink with Anna, but then I thought that I had better take a lop around the ring to make sure I could still skate. I found out very quickly how rusty I was. I didn’t fall, but I cam close and was very shaky on my feet. I knew that if I had an hour or so to practice it would all come back to me. But Anna was waiting and I had to make a decision. So I came back, accepting the fact that I would have to practice another day, took off my skates and went out on the rink with Anna.

That was probably the best decision I made all day. There is no way that I could have managed her even if I had been steady on my feet. It took both hands and all my balance just to keep her up. It was very tiring, and I’m sure she got very tired also. I had fun and although she didn’t skate by herself, she did get better as the day went on. Lisa and I took turns taking her around the ring, and after she had some food I took her out for one last time. She did much better. She will learn to skate soon enough. It will probably be ice-skating instead of roller-skating since she will be in Alaska. Who knows maybe I’ll get another chance to practice. I hate not having the skill that I used to have. It makes me want to go back just to prove that I can still do it.

As I was taking Anna around and letting her almost fall, I thought of Father God. We must be like little children so often. He is holding us up, encouraging an giving us balance while we try to learn to do what He had called us to do. He could do it so much easier and faster, but He gets pleasure in holding our hands and guiding us. He loves hanging out with us as we give all the effort that we have, only to need his balance and direction to complete the task. As much as I loved hanging out with Anna and walking every step with her around the ring, He loves being with us so much more. It’s exciting to know that He wants to se us succeed and will keep us balanced and He won’t let us hurt ourselves too bad, he is right here watching and encouraging.

It has been a good day. Sunny but windy. I did get a run in this morning. It has been so good to see Lisa and the girls. Well, I’m heading back to Atlanta tomorrow afternoon. Lisa will be moving in June. Hopefully I will be able to make it back up here one more time before she moves.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Off to the Farm

Where there is a will there is a way. That’s always been the human spirit. I don’t think it is in scripture anywhere, but I’m sure that some rendition of it should be. Today has been a good day. I’m writing this fairly early for me because I don’t know whether we will try to watch a movie later. Right now Anna is watching “A Cat in the Hat” and Lisa is trying to get Julia to sleep. Good luck with that. Anyway when you are with kids all day you have to take the time when it makes itself available. But I digress, back to the will and the way.

Lisa has done a lot of research. I’ve read a great deal of it and it seems to make sense. What she has decided is that if the girls are going to drink milk, then raw milk is the best for them. I do know that it taste much better, and I used to drink it all the time when I was a kid. In fact, I remember the milkman delivering the milk in quart jars. The cream rose to the top, and the milk was so good. But like so many things in our lives, the government decided that raw milk could possibly be unsafe. They wanted it homogenized and then pasteurized and finally ultra pasteurized. But the only way to get people to buy the milk that didn’t taste like milk any more was to make it illegal to sell raw milk for human consumption. So, that is what has happened.

Every state has different laws, but basically it’s against the law to sell raw milk for human consumption in most, if not all, of the 50 states. In Georgia, you can sell raw milk as long is it is for the use of your “pets”. So everybody who can find an outlet can usually buy milk for their family. In Virginia it is totally illegal to sell raw milk for any purpose. But like I said; where there is a will, there is a way. Lisa has become part owner of two dairy cows. From each cow she gets one gallon of milk a week. So she gets two gallons of raw milk. She won sprat of the cow, so the government can’t tell her she can’t drink it. At least not yet. So today we drove out about 45 minutes to the farm to pick up her milk. She does this every week. We saw a lot of cows, but I didn’t know which one she has part ownership in. It’s fairly expensive, but it falls in with what she believes and I support her 100%.

That is only one way the government is interfering with her choices when it comes to raising the kids, but that is for another day. I think that is one or the reasons she is looking forward to Alaska. She knows there is much more independence there and less intrusion by the government. I know that she will fir in great up there. Shoot, she might even learn to hunt and fish. The farm was fun for the kids, especially Anna. We saw chickens, petted goats and tried to stay out of the mud. It was a cold dreary day, but the kids still enjoyed the diversion.

Then we went to target to buy a birthday present for one of Anna’s friends. We are going to a roller-skating party tomorrow afternoon, and I might skate for the first time in probably 20 years. I think the last time I roller skated was at Sprinkles rink in Kennesaw when Lisa must have been 10 or 12. Well, I’m game and it should be fun. I think I can still balance. It will probably be easier than ice-skating. I’m sure I will wind up doing that in Alaska soon enough. At least it will be indoors tomorrow. I don’t know when it will warm up here, but it sure hasn’t happened yet.

It’s been great being with the girls today. Julia has warmed up to me even more than she did at Christmas. Just having her in my arms snuggling her face into my shoulder is so cool. And Anna, well she is a treat. She is full of personality and has an answer for everything. Four is a good year. She is so full of self-confidence. I pray that her opinion of herself never changes. Right now she sees herself as God sees her, able to do anything through Him. She is so close to Him, and has no inhibitions about loving others. Watching her really makes me understand how we are to be as believers, and how far I still have to come to understand all that God has and feels for me. All of us should be able to spend time with a four year old just to realize how God feels about us and how much He wants us to accomplish.