Father and the empty space of your prayers

Yesterday message really touched me and set my mind spinning. He opened the message telling us that he teaches a class and the very first assignment he gives every year is a 3 week project, he gives them a statement or a word to meditate on, dwell on, ponder and use daily. This year he used a word and that was the word “FATHER” – While in the prayer room, devotional time or personal prayer time they are suppose to just pray or say “FATHER”

He goes on telling them that when you go to prayer and all you say is Father that leaves a lot of empty space to fill, how do you fill it? What does Father mean to you/me? His point is so many Christians don’t know Him as Father. He asked the question… “When you are calling out to God, when you really need Him, when your back is up against the wall, how to you call out to him? This made me think about my own life and my relationship with God.

He used Jesus as an example, when he was going to the cross Jesus knew what he was in for, he knew that he would be beaten, whipped, his flesh tore off his bones, nailed to a cross and hung to die a very painful and ugly death — he knew that Judas was betraying him, he knew what the next couple of days held for him and how did he call out to God? “ABBA, POPPA, OH FATHER…..” knowing that his father loved him and cared about him, he called out of LOVE!!!

Yesterday afternoon I went to the prayer room for a couple of hours and decided to try this excercise, I just kept saying “father”  and sitting, meditating on this and trying to capture how I filled the empty space in my prayer. My mind went to my father, especially my relationship with him as a little boy and very young man. My thoughts went to times when my father worked nights and my mom made sure we did not make much noise and wake him up or bother him, he was right through that closed door but if we woke him or bothered him it would be like thunder roared out of that room. I also thought of how I would always try to hide things from my father, the less he knew the better off everything was. When it came to anything, school, friends, family issues, my father was kept in the dark. He was a good man and I had no doubt he loved me, but not the kind of love that I would call him POPPA, or crawl up in his lap for comfort and protection.

I asked God to forgive me once again in my life yesterday, for not trusting him and always hiding from him, which always turns into performance lifestyle. I asked him to show me and teach me about the Fathers love. He gently reminded me of my grandchildren, who crawl up in my lap with a blanket and lay their head on my shoulder, how when I walk in the room they smile and say “POPPA” and run to me. Or how they come and show me with excitement the new toy they just discovered.

It is all built on relationship, pure and simple.

So, yesterday this is how I filled the empty space in my prayer — and I walk away with a fresh understanding of LOVE and purity of it. This is my journey for the next 3 weeks.

Have a fantastic day.

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Finally back on it…

It has been a few months since I’ve written on here and it’s time for me to start up again.

I just moved to Grandview MO and it’s been very busy trying to everything set up with a job and housing, then plan on going back end of this month to pick up my wife and son Noah, Tiffany and their 2 children and head on HOME.

There are a few reasons we moved here but the main one was for the Prayer Room and church — IHOP and Forerunner Church. These are amazing ministries that we have been plugged into long distance. Diane has been praying for 12 years for this and HERE WE ARE.

If you are not familiar with the prayer room, it is almost 20 years old and the vision, focus and ministry has been the idea of mixing prayer with worship 24/7 and that is exactly what has taken place NON STOP for almost 20 years. Here is a link to it, you can stream it anytime for FREE. Prayer Room

The church, called Forerunner Church is a big church with the same vision as the prayer room as far as preparing the church for the last days. It’s an amazing church that draws people in from around the world, with so many young people along with many older grounded Christians. The leadership is STRONG. The focus is growth of believers moving towards maturity as we walk through this life. The gifts are alive and working in the body. With many classes for new believers, marriages, freedom, growth etc….

I am loving it!!! Today Allan Hood preached an amazing message/teaching about “Father” (I will write more on my thoughts on this next blog)

Tomorrow I start my new job and need to get moving in it — Making the money to live!!! Everything is on schedule and moving forward for me and the family. I miss my last church and I miss my family so very much. I hope to see them frequently during the years.

More on things and what the Lord is speaking to me during my times in church, in the prayer room and in my private devotions.

Here is a ling to the church Forerunner Church

So you want to be…..

All of us who are born again Christians have a desire to be “more” when it comes to our walk with the Lord. I mean I have had deep conversations with hundreds maybe even thousands of men and women over the last 30 years and we all have one thing in common…. I want to be more or better at _____________ or I think that I have the gift of or I want the gift of _____________ in my life, I just don’t know how.

So what about you? What is your desire? What if I told that I had the answer for you?

Here are the gifts that I hear most people wanting or feeling they may have……

  • The gift of wisdom: the ability to make decisions and give guidance that is according to God’s will.
  • The gift of knowledge is the ability to have an in-depth understanding of a spiritual issue or situation.
  • The gift of faith is being able to trust God and encourage others to trust God, no matter the circumstances.
  • The gift of healing is the miraculous ability to use God’s healing power to restore a person who is sick, injured, or suffering.
  • The gift of miracles is being able to perform signs and wonders that give authenticity to God’s Word and the Gospel message.
  • The gift of prophecy is being able to proclaim a message from God.
  • The gift of discerning spirits is the ability to determine whether or not a message, person, or event is truly from God.
  • The gift of tongues is the ability to speak in a foreign language that you do not have knowledge of, in order to communicate with someone who speaks that language.
  • The gift of interpreting tongues is the ability to translate the tongues speaking and communicate it back to others in your own language.
  • The gift of administration is being able to keep things organized and in accordance with God’s principles.
  • The gift of helps is always having the desire and ability to help others, to do whatever it takes to get a task accomplished.

First of all let me say this; God can use any one of these gifts at any time in your life, depending on the situation you are in or how he wants to use you. Secondly, we should be very careful when seeking any gifts, our walk is not about the gift it’s about the giver of the gifts. With that said GOD GIVES US All GIFTS to use for His glory and to point non-Christians to Him.

So here is the key, it’s really very simple……..

Spend time with God…. Spend time in His word, spend time in worship, spend time in prayer and when you are done, spend more time with Him. KNOW HIS WORD, understand His word, devour his word, meditate on his word, saturate yourself in his word and then you will know Him, you will know His voice, his heart, his LOVE!!

Then he will know he can trust you to hear his direction, his assignments — it is really quite simple — KNOW HIM and MAKE HIM KNOWN —

When you meet someone who has been with the Lord you KNOW IT and it always stirs you on to want to have what they have — it’s not magic, it’s not just for some chosen few — it for YOU!!!

I love you and desire the best for you, our lives are not about living and then dying, we have PURPOSE in our lives, look around you right now and you will see your purpose.

Have an epic day today

The “Word” is…..

If you explain these things to the brothers and sisters,[c] Timothy, you will be a worthy servant of Christ Jesus, one who is nourished by the message of faith and the good teaching you have followed. Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. 10 This is why we work hard and continue to struggle,[d] for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.

11 Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them. 12 Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. 13 Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them.

14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you. 15 Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.”

I am to the place in my walk with the Lord, ,my understanding of the Word, my dependence on the Holy Spirit that this little section of Scripture is so meaningful to me. Paul writes to Timothy as he is mentoring him on how to properly lead people when it comes to the Word, he warns him of many things but the CENTRAL thought here is the WORD! He tells him if he explains these things to the brothers and sisters, you will be a WORTHY SERVANT of Christ Jesus, one who is nourished by the message of faith…..

In my last 2 years of preaching I was convinced that my preaching would never be the same again! That the Lord had instructed me to only use the Word and to teach ONLY the WORD! I heard Him say without a doubt that people need to KNOW the word of GOD, not hear about the Word of God! The last 2 years of preaching that is exactly what I did and this is how I will for the rest of my Life. In my own private studies, reading, teaching it’s only the Word. Here Paul says that “you will be a worthy servant” man that is my desire!!!

“Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives tales….instead, train yourself to be godly….” This is SO huge for the body of Christ, not just leaders but everyone. I am amazed by the arguments that come up in the name of Jesus, over thoughts, Scriptures, etc….As a pastor I would get so many emails, letters, phone calls, personal visits about “thoughts” or idea’s or whatever on scriptures, old wives tales, NEW ways of thinking, what that Scripture really means….etc etc…. I hated it and it could waste much valuable time just searching for the correct answers to prove them wrong…. Paul says “train yourself to be godly…….for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this iife and in the life to come”

I have come to realize and understand when most come with what they believe about something and challenge you, they usually cannot persuaded to change their mind…. they LOVE to argue…..they love to debate…..I have found most of the time they have a hardened heart on many issues. I had one man that many times threatened me to leave the church if I could not come around to his way of thinking, he would not partake in some things such as communion if I did say the “right” words while serving it etc… I allowed him to run me ragged until I finally understood this scripture…. then I was free and he was free to leave…. after this took place in MY heart (after 10 years of it) things changed, he STOPPED and ended up leaving. He would get me so upset and so mad…..hours of precious time wasted in ministry, family life etc..

11 Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them. 12 Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity

Paul tells Timothy to “teach these things and INSIST that everyone learns them” What things is he talking about? Go back to chapter 3 and into chapter 4 – JESU!!! The truth of our faith, The HOLY SPIRIT, the one who teaches us THROUGH THE WORD, beware of false teachers and people who argue the truth!!! Pretty simple and a very good job description for a pastor/elder. So between our (Pastor’s/Elders/Teachers) dedication to the Word and the pure lives that we live being an example to all believers in what you say, the way you live, love and the faith you have…..PEOPLE WILL FOLLOW, LEARN, GROW, and FALL IN LOVE WITH JESUS.

The very next verse Paul says “Focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them” and then he closes this chapter out with “Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you”

So there it is…..the job of the pastor! One thing hits me pretty hard “for the sake of your salvation and the salvation of those who hear you” I blew it pretty hard in my life and in ministry…..with so much damage done, so many lives affected and I’m afraid I really don’t have a clue how deep it goes. The world (so many people) says that each person is responsible for their own salvation, they cannot blame me if they turn away from God because a pastor fell. I have told myself that many times, my counselor, my wife, and so many others. But then I run into a Scripture like this!! What do I do with it? It says the opposite of what the world says.

I praise God that all has been exposed, that I was caught and had the chance to repent and turn back to Him, restore my marriage, family and friends. But there are still a lot of people out there hanging…….some I will probably NEVER had the opportunity to sit face to face and seek forgiveness. I not even sure if that is what needs to be done at this point. Here is what I hear the Spirit saying to me about this at this moment. First of all I want to give thanks to the Spirit for meeting with me this morning, as I read, study and write these things out so much comes to light, truth is spoken, lies revealed and it’s changing me forever. In some area’s its very painful and in other’s it’s freeing!

I know that the spiritual is so different from the natural, in the natural I could spend a lifetime (which is not that long for me now day’s) trying to make things right with people and probably never get to the end of the list. But in the spiritual, my heart, my repentance, my sorrow, my brokenness, and my RESTORATION will change the atmosphere in the lives of many. I am not sure how or anything else, but I’m very confident that HE IS ABLE and HE CAN do miracles in the spiritual that we cannot see. It is the Holy Spirit that brings forgiveness, heals brokenness, reveals truths about situations in our lives. IF my pastor falls it is up to me to forgive him, move on with my life in the Spirit….. THROUGH THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT this is possible for EVERYONE!!!

Does this mean I’m free from having to face people and seek out forgiveness? Restoration? NO NO NO and a thousand times I say NO!! It means that the Spirit will lead me to the right people and the Spirit will call the right people, and the Spirit will ……..

I pray that I came across right in this post – I pray my heart shows through in every word I’ve written. GOD IS GOOD!!

Haggai

Well it has been a long time since I’ve written a blog, not that I planned on just stopping it just kind of happened. So yesterday I was at work and praying about my life and a few situations, asking the Lord to show me, bring me to where I needed to be and he spoke to me about my devotional time……I read daily but it’s become just a time to hurry up and get through with what I’m reading so I can get on FB and the gram and see what’s going on in the world.

So I asked him to tell me what book to read in the Bible, a place where he can speak to me. This morning I went to the book of Haggai and BAM there is was… so for the next few weeks this is where I will camp out. I read the first 7 verses and that was enough for me to chew on all day today. …. here is what jumped out at me to dig into.

1:4 and 1:6

“Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple[a] to lie in ruins?” —–  verse 4 –

You have sown much, and bring in little;
You eat, but do not have enough;
You drink, but you are not filled with drink;
You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm;
And he who earns wages,
Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.” Verse 6

The Lord has been pressing me pretty hard over my finances the last few weeks…. will continue this tomorrow with my personal application to my life.

Day 10 — 21 Day Fast

shepherd

Wow it’s day 10 already – we are half way through this fast. I am doing well with the fast I’m on but I must admit it is very difficult while at work. I’m feeling weak and tired and just want to get off work while I’m there, I KNOW this is not good as I need to make money but even deeper than that is I need to be a good employee, honor God and not whine, make excuses etc. A couple people know I’m on the fast but that’s it and that is how it should be. I let them know for support and prayers. Yesterday everyone was eating some fantastic looking nacho’s and it was killing me. LOL that really only makes me stronger. Ok enough about the struggle, today I’m in John chapter 10.

It’s all about the “Good Shepherd” and his sheep. This story and the even the picture above that I posted just reminds me of being a little boy, it reminds me of such “old school” church and I really don’t like the feeling it gives me. I for the most part I just skip over this section of Scripture, I know it, I know what it means and I just don’t feel “good” reading it, writing about it or preaching it.

The ONLY memory I have of any church as a child was one that my mom sent us to, she would get us up early on Sunday morning and we would walk a couple miles to this church. It was a little church (I think it was Baptist) and we would go to Sunday School then church service. Now it was just us kids going not my mom or my dad. I’m not sure how long this lasted but I didn’t enjoy it one bit. I remember near the end of this time in church we would take the .50 cents our mother gave us for offering and go to the soda shop and have a milk shake with it and then walk home saying we went to church. This is my entire memory of church as a child. THIS story and THIS picture reminds me of those days!!

So today this is where I am in scripture, my first thought was to just skip over it and move on but the Lord said “no, I want you to read it” — I am not sure how to express this, how to word this without sounding cold. But as I was reading this I kept seeing myself and the place I was 20 years ago, 10 years ago and 5 years ago. The Lord was speaking to me about my progression downhill as a shepherd. There is NO DOUBT in my mind that the Lord called me to ministry, to preach, to pastor and the feed the sheep. My life was all about the sheep, all about finding the lost, keeping the sheep fed and protected. I LOVED what I did, I LOVED being a pastor and I LOVE the flock that the Lord had given me over the years.

I was not a perfect pastor and I had things in my life I kept buried praying they would go away one day. As the years passed by things got worse and worse for me. My finances were a mess and hidden, my private life was kept under control most of the time, my marriage was not good, I did not honor my wife. When it came to church as time went on I expect more and more, I need more money, better living conditions and blah blah blah…then one day I became the “bad shepherd” that Jesus is teaching about in this Scripture. It happened and I didn’t even realize it. I have to say GOD was so faithful and true and He never gave up on me… but for me, I let go of Him and didn’t even know it.

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. 12 A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. 13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep. ~John 1-:11-13~

Verse 13 hit me like a ton of bricks — the hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep – This is what I had become!!!

Well, praise be to God I am no longer that man and God still loves me and God will still use me. It has been a long road but on this road, I DIED — any part of me that is raised up it is by God and GOD ALONE!!!

For me today was a tough one but I’m SO thankful for this day and the Love God has for me to even reveal this to me in this way.

Stay strong on the fast friends — God will show you things that will change your life

Day 7 — 21 Day Fast

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Finally a day off but not much time this morning to write. We have our Liam and Kayson with us for a couple days (man they are funny) and we have to get to church this morning to dig into Mission 101 with some great people. Not to mention I have to make pancakes for the boys!!!

So this morning I’m in John 7 – it’s all about Jesus and the Jewish leaders along with the people who are divided about who he is. You can really feel the tension and the fear in this chapter. A couple things really stick out to me today…

  1. The Jewish leaders want him arrested, Jesus is speaking in the Temple and he is teaching on the will of God and the Law of Moses, he ends his talk with “Moses gave the law, but none of you obeys it! In fact, you are trying to kill me.” Now that is the way to end a sermon lol. The crowd replied, “You’re demon possessed! Who’s trying to kill you?” Jesus tells them about how he healed a man on the Sabbath and compared it to Moses Law of circumcising a son if falls on the Sabbath. Then asked the question “So why should you be angry with me for healing a man on the Sabbath?” and then ends the entire thing with this one little statement that I LOVE — “Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly” Not only a fantastic word for the crowd but for you and ME!!! No matter what we say you do, most of us judge by appearance first….even when we try not to…we do! When is comes to spiritual things, teachers, preachers, and when it comes to everyday life as we interact with people, from your family to the guy or girl who ask you for money at the gas station…. we do not know everyone’s story.
  2. The second thing shows me how they were all so worried about Jesus because they knew where he came from and he had no training. I believe in training and school, I went to school to learn about the Bible… but WITH THAT SAID.. it is the Holy Spirit that teaches, trains and gives revelation, gives us a deeper understanding and reveals the Scriptures to us. I know men and women who have degree’s under their belts, great knowledge of the Word of God, but they are dead to the Spirit of the Word of God. Give me a man who devotes his life to study of the Word through the power of the Holy Spirit any day!! Near the end of Chapter 7 the people was saying “We have never heard anyone speak like this!!”

Have a fantastic day today — if you need encouragement or if you have a victory please share it on the FB page MCC 21 Day Fast