April 2008

28 Apr Sticks and Stones

As children, we all blurted out "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." I trust that as adults we have all learned that nothing could be further from the truth. Words are powerful. Jesus emphasized this when He said, "These words that I speak are spirit and life." Words can create life-long prison sentences, entrapping people with fear, insecurities, and unwarranted shame. Or, words can liberate people from the chains of bondage, setting the captive free. In my 28+ years of children's ministry, I have witnessed the power of my words over and over again. I wish that space would allow the stories of what happened as I purposefully used words to unlock chains. I wish that you could have witnessed the changed countenances. Children’s worker, your greatest pulpit isn't found on the platform. Your greatest sermon isn't preached with props or visuals. Unbeknownst to you, your greatest anointed ministry could be found before you open with prayer. Set the captive free. Demonstrate the love of God that is placed in your heart by the Holy Ghost. Preach your three-point sermon in three words "I love you". This sermon is preached through the investment of your time and the focus of your attention. Let this be your number one priority each ministry opportunity. Tell and show each child that you love them. Individually tell and show each child that each week that you stand by the door waiting for them to come to your class. Take a couple of minutes to listen to what is going on in their world. Compliment them on their dress or smile or beauty. Speak words reminding them of their importance to you and to God and His Kingdom. Your words and time will be an investment with an eternal return....

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22 Apr God’s Faithfulness

If you have ever attended any of our Ignite Conferences, you have heard me talk about how I love to circle important events and days on my calendar. This week one of those red letter days is occurring. On Saturday, Vickie and I will be attending our son Michael's graduation from Southeastern University. Michael is graduating with a degree in pastoral ministry and a minor in music. I will be doing my very best to hold back the tears of pride and try to refrain from shouting at the top of my lungs as he walks across the platform to receive his diploma. I am proud of Michael in so many ways. Michael is a worshipper. He has a sensitive heart to the presence of God. You can see Michael leading worship at Southeastern by going to youtube.com and typing "thembx964" in the search engine. He has worked hard to pursue and prepare for the call of God upon his life. In fact, going to Southeastern has been a challenge in that he has had to pay his entire school bill. With some scholarships and a lot of hard work, Michael will be walking across the platform Saturday with his entire school bill paid. There aren't too many college graduates that can make that claim. The reason for this blog (in addition to bragging on Michael) is to testify of God's faithfulness. In my 10 Reasons Why I am in Children's Ministry & Don't Plan to Quit teaching, I share in Point #10 that because of the Law of Sowing and Reaping, God is honor bound to take care of my children. For over 28 years, Vickie and I have loved on and ministered to tens of thousands of children. We have sowed into so many children's lives. Now, we can expect God to sow into and provide for our children. Michael is living proof of God's faithfulness! Want to hear more about this? The 10 Reasons teaching is available on CD or downloadable at http://www.billyburns.com/....

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15 Apr Wisdom from the FAA

Leave it to the Federal Aviation Administration to reinforce a foundational principal for flowing in the supernatural. If you have ever flown in an airplane, you know that before the plane taxis down the runway for lift-off, a voice comes across the public address system with flight safety instructions. During these instructions, you will learn about the importance of wearing the seat belt, where the exit doors are, how to find the doors in the event that the airplane loses its lighting, how the seats can be used as flotation devices, how to obtain oxygen in the event of an emergency, etc. When talking about the flow of oxygen, the flight attendant always emphasizes the importance of placing the oxygen mask upon yourself as soon as it falls from the overhead bin. The instructions given are, "Before you assist a child or another passenger, place the oxygen mask upon yourself first." Did you get that? Before you can attempt to help anyone else, you have to take care of yourself first. The Book of Acts New Testament Church must have known and followed these instructions. This is shown in Acts 3 when Peter and John are confronted by the beggar. Upon hearing the beggar ask for money, Peter said, "Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee …" The answer to the beggar's problem was already abiding within Peter and John. In other words, they didn't have to pull aside and work up something before addressing the need. The anointing was waiting to be released! Listen, before we walk into a ministry situation, we need to heed the FAA's instructions. We need to take care of ourselves first by filling ourselves to overflowing with God's precious anointing and Spirit. Yesterday's anointing won't take care of today's needs! The fresh infilling of God's Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and a fresh anointing (Psalm 92:10) will enable the "such as I have" to be exactly what is needed. The Book of Acts is waiting to add another chapter telling about the Holy Spirit's works in and through you. As you are filled to overflowing, know that spiritual chains will fall off, spiritual eyes will open, destinies will be charted when you walk into your classroom. To quote T.D. Jakes, "Get ready, get ready, get ready." It will come to pass!...

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08 Apr The Power of Agreement

We all have children in our ministries that are "blessings in disguise." There is always going to be that one child who has you questioning God's promise that He would not give you more than you can bear, the child who challenges your theology and convinces you to believe that demons can be children possessed. What do we do with this type of child? There are church policies and governmental laws that prevent you from doing what you'd really like to do, things that their parents aren't and should be doing on a regular basis. Each service, you do all that you can do within your power. You speak to the child, move the child to the other side of room, put the child in time out, offer positive rewards for good behavior, talk to the parents, maintain consistency in your rules and disciplines ...

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