Monday, July 30, 2007

God Was In The House

Spectacular! Not close enough, but as close as I get get to describe how God really worked at our kids VBS. Last year we brought in an evangelist to do the kids crusade, and they did an awesome job. But this year, our team really felt led of the Lord to do it in house. We really didn't have the experience of doing a VBS or Kids Crusade, so we planned it out as a long Sunday School lesson for children.

It came off with a BANG. We had more attendance than we planned on (God always oversupplies when He is in it, besides that's a good problem to have), and every adult that committed to help showed up (see above). The last night we had corny dogs and sodas and invite the parents and had a great turn out.

A big Thank You to all the First A/Gers who came through. Not only did the kids have an encounter with God, but it was great to see how God used each of you in different ways to make this an event to repeat and do better.

To quote the Mercy Me guys, I can only imagine how God is going to bless not only the children, but all of you who gave of yourself to show them the love of Jesus. Well done, good and faithful folks!!

Friday, June 15, 2007


When the President appoints an ambassador to a foreign country, that person becomes his personal emissary . The ambassador is expected to represent the President in all things, and communicating to the host country the beliefs and policies of the President and the nation. In no instance is the ambassador to interject anything that would be contrary to the stated ideas of his or her country. But the ambassador is expected to do this according to the culture and mores of the host country. In other words, he or she is expected to communicate the ideas of their country in a culturally relevant and meaningful way, without compromising the policies. Failure to communicate in a way that is understood is a failure to explain ideas and a failure to bring countries to your way of doing business.

In 2Cor. 5:20, the Apostle Paul tells us that as believers, we have been appointed ambassadors for Christ. That means that we are instructed to go and communicate the policies of Him who appointed us. And if we are to be effective ambassadors for Him, we have to be able to explain the love and saving grace of God in a way that is heard and understood. The church can be culturally relevant without compromising or watering down the Word of God. When Jesus talked to the woman at the well, He first established a relationship and then told her of the Good News He brought. We would do well to learn from Him.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Didn't See Him Doing It This Way

Remember in Acts 12 when Peter is in prison and God miraculously releases him the night before he was to go trial? It took Peter a while to recognize God was doing a good thing, and he wasn't dreaming.

Then when he goes to John Marks house, little Rhoda goes and tells all the "church folks" God just answered their prayers. And they told the servant girl she was out of her mind. Now here God does what everybody asks Him to do, and nobody can recognize the results of His answering their prayers. I would never miss God on something so obvious as that. Famous last words. Confession is good for the soul. And all those other sayings.

It's been a while since our church has had any sort of youth group. I'm not really sure why, but in the three years we've been here there just hasn't been one. So my wife and I have been praying that God would send folks with youth, just send youth, or how ever He chose to do it, but we felt burdened for the youth of our city. There are churches in town with good youth groups, but there is still a great harvest in the field.

Last Tuesday as I was walking over to the sanctuary, there were three guys skateboarding the ramps around the entrance. I jokingly asked them if we built a half-pipe on the back parking lot would they come to church on Wednesday night and help me reach out to some of the other neighborhood kids. They half-heartily said yes, and they had plans for a simple ramp they wanted to build. I told them the church would buy the lumber if they brought me the plans and let me take a look. Of course they told me they would be back Wednesday.

Well Wednesday came and went, and no plans. I really had given up by lunch on Thursday. Later in the afternoon I was in the sound room trying to trace down a wayward mic, when in walks six guys, all with skateboards and one carrying plans.

I had ask God for something, and He provided. But because He did it in a completely "out of left field" way, I was like the disciples who didn't believe Peter was at the door. I just did not see it happening this way.

The half-pipe is under construction, and I am looking forward to our first in a long time youth service on Wednesday night. Gotta build some relationships, so pray for a 54 year old novice skateboarder. It's a great ride when God puts it together.

Friday, June 1, 2007

What Language Do you Speak?

Have you ever thought about if people really understand you when you talk to them? Like it or not, we all filter things through our own cultural sieve, and things that don't go through the mesh of our filter will be strained out.

Paul was in Athens in the 17th Chapter of Acts, and had an opportunity to share the love of Jesus with a group of "intellectuals" who worshiped every god but the Right One. He spoke to them on their level using their logic and even used an empty shrine to their unknown god to share the gospel with them. Paul spoke to them in the language of their culture, and still did not compromise or change the message that Jesus id the only way. He didn't trash their way, he explained Jesus.

I wonder if we are learning from Paul. Rather than us tear down, we should build up Jesus and let Him to the remodeling. In 1 Cor. 9:20-23 Paul says that in order to gain people for the Lord, he spoke to people on the level they were on.

The world is looking and listening. The church is supposed to be where they can turn when they need answers. If we don't understand the question, or can't formulate an answer they understand, are we really doing what we were left here for?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Do You Listen and Do, or Just Listen?

It is truly exciting to watch God work. It is an often forgotten truth, that if we will get out of the way and allow Him to work through us, we can go to and experience things that we could never do in our own strength. If we could just get over this idea of having to try and "help" Him to what needs to be done (after all, we want the same thing He wants, right?), and just be the vessel He uses, life would be so much simpler.

A young couple has been attending our church for a year or so, and God has clearly put a call to ministry on their lives. But the call of ministry can often times be the hardest thing to answer. "Not me, how can the Lord use me after all that I have done in the past?" If that was the criteria for ministry, there would be a whole lot of empty pulpits.

They had been seeking the Lord as to if the call was real, or just the emotional ramblings of the local pastor. They asked that God reveal to them His will in the matter, and unbeknownst (is that really a word?) to me, I was a part of the sign they were asking God for.

Well, without going into details, their call has been confirmed to them. It is so cool to be used of God, especially when you don't even realize it. I just did what I felt God would have me do, without even being aware that He was confirming things to them through a completely unrelated matter.

We have the opportunity to serve God in some truly spectacular ways. It may be that He will use you in a way you were not even expecting. But you have to listen to His call, and then do. If He is calling and you listen but don't do, you aren't fulfilling His call on your life. It will take faith and trust to follow Him. It always has, it will until He takes us home. Listen. And then do. He has already been there and prepared the way.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Ready to Move

I am more convinced than ever that we are on the verge of seeing an awesome move of God in the Church. The more time I spend in His presence and being lead by the Holy Spirit through His Word, I really feel that He is going to use some available vessels to do some mighty things in this world. Things that are going to be so spectacular that they could only come through a supernatural move of God.

We have to be ready when the move begins. If our lamps aren't full of oil and the wicks trimmed be will miss being a part of this move. God is calling us to be ready. This coming move can be a spectacular opportunity to reach out to those who will see but not understand the things happening around them. But only for those who step out in faith and seize the moment.

So be ready. Unload everything that could keep you from being a part of what's to come. Be prepared to show love to the unlovable. Be open to what He asks you to do. You may be called to do something completely different. Get in the River and flow!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Need Some Power?

Power...Some people spend their entire life trying to get more, often at the expense of other people. It becomes an addictive drug that can cause people to say and do just about anything to get more.

But believers have an inexhaustible supply of the greatest power source ever imagined. Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesians that God can do more than we can ever imagine (Eph. 3:20a). The interesting thing is that that is where most folks stop. They don't read the rest of that verse that says God will do more than we can imagine,"according to the power that works in us." (Eph 3:20b).

Paul is telling us clearly that God uses the power that is in us, the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead. In Acts 1:8 God told them to the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they received the power of the Holy Ghost. When that Power came upon them in Acts 2:4, they were suddenly a Power source that God could use to radically change the world. That Power was inside them and they could be vessels used by God to do more than they could ever imagine.

It's still available today. And God is looking for vessels that have that Power source so He can use them. Let Him use you. Get and stay full of the Holy Ghost. Be a vessel that He can work through. You have absolutely nothing to lose...except not effecting the world around you.