May 2011

30 May Translating the Untranslatable

I recently received an email from a friend thanking me for the blog. He went on to say that he was amazed at how many blogs that I could write about the Holy Spirit. Well, to date, there have been just over 200 blog postings, a new posting every Monday for the past four years. Occassionally, I'll post an interesting idea for a service or activity for your children's ministry (i.e, our Easter Candy Drop or a Gross Out Saturday) or a no brag, just fact picture of the incredibly beautiful Burns family. But, I can safely guess that at least 95% of the postings have been about the Holy Spirit and ushering in a last day move of God's Spirit in our children.This week, let me share this thought that I read some time ago from the respected Scottish theologian, William Barclay. Many of you are familiar with Barclay and perhaps have the Barclay Translation in your set of Bible translations. In his commentary of the Gospel of John, Barclay writes, "But Jesus does not leave us to struggle the Christian life alone. He would send us another Helper. The Greek word is parakletos, which is really untranslatable. The Authorized Version renders it Comforter, which, although hallowed by time and usage, is not a good translation. Moffatt translates it as Helper. It is only when we examine this word parakletos in detail that we catch something of the riches of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit."Barclay is so right. The one word Comforter just doesn't adequately introduce the Third Person of the Godhead. Perhaps the best attempt at telling who the Holy Spirit is can be found in the Amplified Bible which, when telling of the Comforter, always includes this insertion "Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby". Again I come back to Barclay and repeat, "It is only when we examine this word parakletos in detail that we catch something of the riches of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit."Do you have another four years? Can you see how it would be so, so easy to spend blog entry after blog entry on each of the aspects (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby) of the Parakletos and then additional weeks on how each portion of His personality and assignment relates to those of us ministering to children?This week, do yourself a favor. Take William Barclay's advice and begin to explore the riches of this Parakletos. Take time to discover Him in each of the aspects shown by the Amplified Bible. Take time to study and then journal what He reveals to you as you begin to know Him as a Counselor and then as a Helper and then ...

Read More

23 May Seeing & Hearing

While reading Acts 2 recently, the Holy Spirit placed a special emphasis on verse 33. "Jesus was lifted up to heaven and is now at God's right side. The Father has given the Holy Spirit to Jesus as he promised. So Jesus has poured out that Spirit, and this is what you now see and hear." Acts 2:33 (New Century Version) That day, the Holy Spirit emphasized the three words "see and hear" and challenged me to look at our services through the eyes of our children. I felt that the Holy Spirit was asking me these questions ...

Read More

16 May A Barbeque Tale of Woe!

Saturday was an awesome day at my church. We had perhaps a couple of thousand people on our property for Fun in the Son, a day that I promoted as being a family event for a church family. If the people didn't have fun, it sure wasn't my fault. In addition to having vendors with tables filled with beautiful crafts, Fun in the Son had awesome live music, games, and a parking lot filled with carnival games including a big ferris wheel, a bungee jump, a mechanical bull, and a rock climbing wall. The kids (and grown up kids, aka adults) loved the dunk tank ...

Read More

02 May Let’s RAZE Hell!

Several years ago, there was a series of special television programs entitled Breaking the Magicians' Code: Magic's Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed in which the secrets behind many magic tricks and illusions were explained. In these episodes, viewers could finally learn how that a lady was cut in half with a buzz saw and then restored or how a caged tiger was instantly replaced with two or three ladies or how a chained, handcuffed magician submerged in a tank of water escaped. Needless to say, these programs caused quite an uproar from professional magicians. Exposing their behind-the-scene secrets limited their ability to fool their audiences. This week, allow me to share a behind-the-scene "secret" for what happens when a Holy Ghost filled children's ministry worker walks into a classroom filled with boys and girls. Ready? You won't find this secret on a national television program. But, it is readily seen in the Word. The "secret" is revealed in Mark 5 and Luke 8 in the account of the deliverance of the demoniac of Gadara. In reading this story, we learn that the demonic powers saw Jesus "a far off". In other words, they knew when Someone with power was invading their territory. They were on the lookout for any threat to their activity. Notice this. When they saw a far off the Spirit-filled, Spirit-led, Spirit-empowered Son of God, they instantly reacted. Their panic caused them to respond. They knew that things were about to change. When a Spirit-filled, Spirit-led, Spirit-empowered teacher walks into a room, all of hell takes notice. They see you coming. They have been fearing the time when they would come in contact with you. They know that their business is about to be relocated (as seen in the demons fleeing into the pigs in the Gospel's account of the demonized man). As soon as your feet enter into the classroom, demons and Satanic imps throughout all of hell begin posting notices on their Facebook accounts and Twitter accounts are quickly opened as tweets are flying stating "Oh no. He's back! What are we going to do? Where can we go?" As a/the Son of God who is filled with the Spirit of God (I've just described Jesus ...

Read More