November 2010

29 Nov Dependent on the Holy Spirit #1 – Extreme Makeover of My Spirit

I admit it. I'm a hopeless, helpless mess. I am a full time project for the Holy Spirit! Thankfully, I'm smart enough to know that if God is going to have anything productive come from my life, He has to step in and make it happen. I constantly find myself calling upon Him for help. Consequently, it was easy for me to preach a message a couple of weeks ago on the subject "Helplessly Dependent on the Holy Spirit." This week, I want to briefly share the first way in which the Holy Spirit CONSTANTLY helps me. I am totally dependent on Him to form and structure me so that I am capable of doing what God has ordained for me. According to Jude 20 and 1 Corinthians 14:4, as I pray in the language of the Spirit, there is a edifying going on in the inside of me. The word "edify" comes from the Greek word from which we get our English word "edifice". So, in other words, as I join together with the Holy Spirit and pray in other tongues, there is a building, strengthening, and fortification going on that is needed to form and solidify the structure for my heavenly assignment. The more that I pray in the Spirit, the stronger the human spirit. In all reality, praying in the Spirit gives my spirit an extreme makeover taking a weak, anemic spirit and transforming it into a spiritual superstructure!!! You might want to take a minute to join me and stand up and begin to announce along with me (yes, this is a support group for the helpless) that "I am dependent on you, Holy Spirit. I need you to build me in my spirit so that I can fulfill the plan of God for my life."...

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22 Nov Helplessly Dependent on the Holy Spirit

I love going to church. I really, really do. The whole church thing isn't just a job. I love being with God's people. I love being in a service where the Holy Spirit is both seen and heard through the anointed praise and worship and Spirit-directed preaching. I love the spontaneity of the Spirit displaying His presence through the manifestation of His gifts. Nothing is more thrilling than seeing people's lives changed around the altars each week. Nope, going to church never gets old. I also love leaving church each week. My relationship with God isn't restricted to what happens at my local church. When I walk out of the church building and enter my car to drive home, the Holy Spirit doesn't find a pew on which to sleep and begin His wait for me to return back to the church building. No, He leaves the property with me and daily works with and in me, enabling me to do the works of my Father. I recently preached on the subject "Helplessly Dependent on the Holy Spirit." In that message I shared that the same Holy Spirit who refused to stay inside of the upper room on the day of Pentecost wants to leave my church auditorium and travel with me so that He can fulfill His assignment of enabling me to change my Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth. This can only become possible if I refuse to leave Him in my church auditorium and instead become helplessly dependent on Him. This radical church auditorium dwelling Holy Spirit is also my personal Billy Burns indwelling Holy Spirit. For the next few blog entries, I'll briefly share about my dependence on Him in my daily walk with Christ....

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15 Nov I See a Mighty Rain Coming!

Do you ever get discouraged about what you see in your services? You know that God has promised to move on and through your children. You've even preached this to your children. And yet, what you see week after week is so disheartening. I recently read 1 Kings 18 of the account of Elijah on Mount Carmel. Rather than focusing on the battle of Baal versus Jehovah, I looked at the promise found in verse one. Elijah hears the promise from God about a massive rain coming and soon afterward announces (verse 41) the promise to all those around (especially to King Ahab). What happened after his announcement? Elijah saw absolutely nothing with his physical eyes. To add further frustration, after boldly declaring what he had heard from God and could see with his spiritual eyes, Elijah sends his servant SIX times to confirm that a mighty rain was approaching. What were Elijah’s servant's findings? Each time, he announced that he saw absolutely nothing. But, there was a resolve within Elijah. He knew that he had heard from God. Elijah was convinced that what he saw with his spiritual eyes was more concrete and sure than what he could see with his physical eyes. He knew that a heavy rain was on its way. It was on the SEVENTH report that Elijah learned that there was a very small cloud approaching. The report wasn't exactly what he wanted to hear. After all, it was only a small change, not nearly big enough to produce the promised massive rain. But, in verse 45, we learn of the terrific rainstorm. Here is where you come in. Week after week, you have entered into a service looking forward to seeing God begin to move among the children and yet left discouraged because the same kids were doing the same thing and you saw same results. There is absolutely nothing to get excited about. Can you identify with what I am writing? Like Elijah, you are hearing the same report over and over again. No change is in sight! Let me remind you of this reality. Change is on its way. Like Elijah, you have a sure promise from God. Continue to boldly and unwaveringly announce what God has promised. What you see with your physical eyes as you minister isn't the final report. Walk into your service convinced that what you have heard from God and see through the eyes of faith will change what you see through your physical eyes. Be encouraged because there is a mighty rain coming! Oh ...

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01 Nov A Protest, A Revolution

As I write this, it is early Sunday morning, October 31st. Ahead of me today are the two Sunday morning services, a full afternoon of last minute preparation and set up for our huge Family FunFest, and then the FunFest begins at 4:30 with 2 1/2 hours of big carnival-type rides and activities and then at 7 PM we have our 1 hour salvation oriented service conducted by an awesome evangelist, Big Vinny (http://www.bigvinny.com/), ending with giving each child a bag of candy as they leave. Thinking of all that lies ahead makes me want to crawl back into bed.It is October 31st and all of America's focus is on Halloween and trick or treating. Sadly, Halloween has overshadowed a far more significant event that happened on this day in 1517. On October 31st, the priest and scholar Martin Luther approached the door of the CastleChurch in Wittenberg, Germany, and nailed a piece of paper to it containing the 95 revolutionary opinions that would begin the Protestant Revolution. In his 95 Theses, Luther stated and condemned the status of the church and cried out for a revolution.Today's blog entry is my cry for fellow Igniters to look at the current status of America's children's ministry and, like Luther, announce that enough is enough. We can't continue as we are. We are losing a generation. Our current way of doing things isn't producing life-changing results. Because of a lack of a true move of the Holy Spirit, our boys and girls are bailing from the church after leaving high school. In this protest, we must cry out for a Holy Spirit revolution, one that will push peer pressure aside, one that will cause us to forsake religious tradition and doing things the way that we've always done them. This is a protest of dissatisfaction. It is a statement of holy anger that will cause us to be like Luther and leave the ranks of the satisfied and unashamedly identify yourself as a spokesman and activist for change. Will you join me? Will you establish and publicize your "Theses" to your staff and co-workers? Will you put your reputation on the line and become known among fellow children's ministry leaders that you are leaving the status quo and become labeled as a radical Igniter? If today is the day of the Holy Ghost (and it is!), then let's announce and facilitate His arrival at the forefront of our ministry!...

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