April 2011

25 Apr Teaching for Signs & Wonders #8

All that I can say is WOW! In looking back at the series that we just completed, "Children Who Know Their God", I can say without question that we ministered a rhema word from the heart of God. From the initial message up to the final lesson that I will be sharing today, it definitely was the right word at the right time. In looking back at the last few blog entries, it is easy to see how the message found in this series has placed the children (and our children ministry staff) on the launching pad for a whole new relationship with God and to see Him show His presence in their lives. Week #9 So, What Are You Going to Do? I subtitled this lesson "Is it the same-o, same-o or a new beginning?" The message is crystal clear. From the time before we were visible to the outside world, God has had His hands upon us, forming and specially molding us to do great things for Him. In God's eyes, this "great things" isn't relative to our age, or in other words, age has no bearing on what we can do. Whenever we begin to have an intimate relationship with Him and get to actually know Him, we can begin to do exploits. Knowing Him is so easy. Through the depth of our passion for His presence and the love for His love letter to us (His Word), we can know that we know that we know Him and THEN we can expect to do exploits for Him and His Kingdom. All of the above is undeniably true. There is no room for debate in what we've taught. But, there is one last ingredient in this formula for doing great things. This ingredient is found in the story from 2 Kings 7 in the account of the four starving lepers. Read the story and you will find that they readily recognized their situation. If they kept doing what they were doing, they would keep on having what they were having. So, in verse three, they came to the conclusion that they had to make a decision. Would they keep on keeping on where they were and die OR would they would take action so that they could get to where they needed to be. Thankfully, they made a decision to get up and do something. Their action changed their situation. So, what is your resolve? What is the decision of each child? What is the desire of the children's ministry? Are you going to keep on doing what you have been doing OR will today be the beginning of a new life? The question must be answered. Stay the same or become children who know their God and do exploits? Like the four lepers, a decision must be made and action taken. I pray that the thoughts in the past few blog entries will be the catalyst for launching your children and staff into a whole new arena of intimacy with God and into becoming a powerful force in this earth for Christ and His Kingdom. One last thought ...

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18 Apr Teaching for Signs & Wonders #7

Presently, I am reading a book written many yeaars ago by A.A. Allen entitled "The Price of God's Miracle Working Power." Without question, A.A. Allen witnessed in his tent services some of the most powerful miracles in the last century. Through watching many of Allen's services by means of DVD, I saw many undeniable miracles. As the title of the book suggests, the working of these miracles didn't just happen. There was a price to be paid. This brings us to the next lesson that we taught our children at Trinity Church International in our "Children Who Know Their God" series which is based upon Daniel 11:32. Week #8 Here is What You Can Expect I subtitled this lesson "He Has Given Us the Answers to the Quiz". The foundation for this lesson is quite simple. There is a quiz or an equasion for seeing God show His power. To make this quiz easy, God has provided the answer in Daniel 11:32! If we can know what answer to expect in doing the addition equasion of two plus two or the multiplication equasion of two times two, then we can be confident in knowing that people who know their God equals boldness and accomplishing feats and exploits! Just as there should be no room for questioning the results of the addition equasion of two plus two or the multiplication equasion of two times two, there should be no room for guess work in the equasion of people knowing God equals boldness and the demonstrated power of God. How can this be? Our scripture for the lesson establishes this fact. “Those who know the LORD trust him.” Psalms 9:10 (New Century Version) Examining the flipside of this verse would indicate that a lack of trust is due to a lack of knowing God. If we really know Him, this relationship will produce the boldness and the ability to act in faith for working together with Him. And, in working together with Him, without question the supernatural will happen.Come on. Let's know God. Let's pay the price and push other things aside so that we can establish an intimate relationship with God. Then, we can EXPECT to be bold and accomplish much for the Kingdom....

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11 Apr Teaching for Signs & Wonders #6

I'm sure that you will echo this sentiment. As I write and prepare the lesson and then later teach the lesson, I have had the Holy Spirit speak to me and challenge my personal life through the lesson. This has been especially true in this "Children Who Know Their God" series of lessons. Week after week, I have heard the voice of the Holy Spirit challenge me in various areas of my daily walk with Him, perhaps none more evident than in this week's lesson. Week #7 God is an All-Day, Every-Day God! On one of my speaking trips, I boarded an airplane at the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport to return home. In walking down the aisle towards my seat, I noticed a person that looked familiar. I guess that my staring was obvious because they greeted me as though they knew me. I then admitted to them that while I did recognize them, I just couldn't place who they were and how that I knew them. My mind was racing. Did I know them from a conference? Perhaps they might be a friend of a friend. Imagine my embarrassment when I learned that this person was one of the managers of the Wal-mart which is located one block away from my church, a person that I see several times a week. I had to explain to the person that for some strange reason, with them not wearing their blue Wal-mart jacket and not standing at the front of the store around the checkout lanes, my brain just couldn't identify who they were. This is true with our relationship with God. We have compartmentalized Him to being at a certain place at a certain time. If we were to bump into Him outside of His "space", we wouldn't know Him. To many children (and sadly, us adults), God fits into a 1 1/2 hour time slot one morning a week. The rest of our week is filled with other things and people. For this lesson, we also used a woman's purse as an illustration. As a man, I have to admit that a woman’s purse is a great mystery to me. It is the great abyss, the deep dark hole. But, I have been told by numerous ladies, a purse is the easiest place in the world to navigate in. Why? Because everything has a place and every place has a designated thing. Ask for a piece of gum and within seconds they can pull it out of their purse. Need fingernail clippers? Again, within seconds they can locate it and pull it out of their purse. Everything has a place and every place has a thing. Everything is compartmentalized and assigned a place. In this lesson, the Holy Spirit challenged us to allow God to move out of His "place" and to become an All-Day, Every-Day God. From Deuteronomy 5:9, we shared that God is a jealous God who is consumed with us and wants us to be consumed with Him. He refuses to be squeezed into a tiny few minutes of our way too busy lives and allocated to being recognized only at a certain place and time. I’m sure that you can readily see how the Holy Spirit spoke to me in this lesson. In order for me to truly know Him as instructed in our series' theme verse, Daniel 11:32, then He has to walk out of our church auditorium and be allowed to have more than a little fraction of my 168 hour week. He wants to be an All-Day, Every-Day God....

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04 Apr Teaching for Signs & Wonders #5

If nothing else is accomplished through this "Children Who Know Their God" series, I would gladly spend the hours each week in prayer and writing (it literally does take hours to write a lesson) just so that the children in our ministry would move from knowing about God to actually knowing Him and having an intimate relationship with Him. Really, this series ought to be taught in the adult services, shouldn't it!This week, I want to share the next teaching segment taken from Daniel 11:32 and show you how that we taught the children that they can enter into a deeper relationship with God by reading His Word.Week #6 Get to Know God Through His WordBelieve it or not, after 33 years of marriage, Vickie and I still have all of the love letters and cards that we wrote to each other during our last few weeks of high school and freshman and sophomore years of college. Reading these letters and cards reminds us of the depth of our love and the passion of our hearts at different times during our dating and courtship. The ink on those letters and cards related the intent of our hearts. It helped the other person to understand what we were feeling and thinking.You can readily see how these letters and cards were used in the lesson to show God's great love to us. His love letter, the Word, is the revelation of who He is and how He has wooed us. But sadly, most if not all of our children are not reading His love letter to us.How can we change this? We need to eleminate their number one excuse for not reading the Word. I find that the children are ignoring God's Word because they can't understand what Mom and Dad's Bible is saying. To erase this excuse, we showed a book that would be read to a 3-year-old, a book with one or two words per page and a lot of artwork. Next, we showed a book that would be used in Kindergarten or 1st grade with more words on the page and fewer pictures, a book like a Dr. Seuss book. It has a few more words per page and slightly fewer pictures. Next, we showed a book that would be read by a 3rd or 4th grader, a book like a Hardy Boys Mystery or a Dancy Drew Mystery. These books have far more words and only a few random pictures in the book. We explained that as the reader grows older, their ability to read and understand changes. This is also true for understanding God's Word. There is a Bible available for any and every age group. To prove this point, we showed the See With Me Bible that is all pictures (used by little children) and then advanced to the International Children's Story Bible which contained more words and then the Children's Picture Bible and then The Action Bible and then the NIV Discoverer's Bible. Through this natural progression, God's love letter is easily read and understood.Let me close this blog entry with an excerpt from a note that a mother posted on my Facebook page after that lesson was shared. "Pastor Billy, after church today **** asked us to take her to Family Christian to buy The Action Bible. She hates to read so we jumped at the chance. We were there when they opened at 12 & **** hasn't put it down for the last 2 hours! Not even in the car ride home or at lunch! Thank u! God is good!"In preparing and writing this lesson, I gave a subtitle which says "The Book Shows It ALL!" Psalms 119:169 tells us that His Word will help us to understand. Know His Book, Know Him! Know Him, Know Supernatural Strength and Exploits!Next week, I'll continue to share more on raising up a generation of children who will know God and do great things....

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