April 2012

30 Apr Only Radicals Need Apply

Let's be honest. It is easy to talk the talk about being a Holy Ghost children's ministry. I hear the talk from so, so many people. But, actually walking the walk for being a part of this move of God is far more difficult than flapping your lips and spitting out the rhetorical verbiage. That is why revival isn't widespread.  Seeing the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy for an outpouring of God's Spirit is reserved for a select group of people. Those who genuinely see children living in the realm of the spirit are part of a group known as The Radicals, ones who dare to go where few have ever ventured to go and do things that leave the comfort zone far behind. I was thinking about this late last night as I was flying back from Texas to my home in Florida. In meditating upon Acts 10, I saw that God called Peter to leave the comforts of his religious upbringing and the safety of his way of doing things so that he could follow God. God's command was so radical that He had to tell Peter three times that He was fully aware that Peter would be going into uncharted waters.  What was the result? Some 2,000 years later you and I can look back to thank Peter. It was because of Peter's radical action that you and I as Gentiles have received the Gospel. It was because of a person who dared to go where no one had ever dared to go that Joel's prophecy was fulfilled and God's Spirit was and is being poured out upon ALL flesh. My call today is to radicals. Will you be counted as a member of this select group? This is the day for radicals to dare to go where no person has ventured in children’s ministry. Evidently the way that we've always done children's ministry isn't working. It's time for the radicals to hear God's voice, obey God's voice and dare to venture into the land of the Spirit. Are you genuinely desperate for an outpouring of God's Spirit upon your children and children's ministry? Only RADICALS need apply....

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23 Apr The Ten Commandments of the Supernatural #10

With some 252 blog entries now posted, I believe that the entries in this series The Ten Commandments of the Supernatural have been some of the most important thoughts that I've shared. I trust that they've been a blessing both to you personally and those who work alongside of you in the children's ministry. Let's look at the final commandment in this teaching. Commandment #10 Thou Shalt be a Dunamis Person/Ministry Just before Jesus' ascension to heaven, He commanded His followers to go to Jerusalem and await the promise of the Father. (Acts 1:4) At the fulfillment of the promise, the followers would be endued with power from on High (Acts 1:8), a power that would enable them to "be" or do their heavenly assignment. We all know that word power used in Acts 1:8 is the Greek word dunamis. This is the Greek word from which we get our English words dynamite, dynamic, and dynamo. The New Strong's Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek Words teaches us about this Greek word "1411.du/namis dunamis, doo´-nam-is; from 1410; force (lit.* or fig.*); spec.* miraculous power (usually by impl.* a miracle itself):— ability, abundance, meaning, might (-ily, -y, -y deed), (worker of) miracle (-s), power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work." Because of the restraints imposed by wanting to be concise and to the point, allow me to briefly summarize how this dunamis applies to those who flow in the supernatural. Being a dunamis person will give you: 1. Supernatural Ability. We see dunamis in action in Acts 2 when Peter stood up to preach and about 3,000 people were brought into the Kingdom. Though the Jewish high priest assessed Peter as an "unlearned and ignorant" person in Acts 4:13, the Holy Spirit enabled Peter to go beyond his natural ability and powerfully convey the Gospel on the day of Pentecost. 2. Supernatural Authority. Not only does the enduement of power bring supernatural ability, we see in Acts 3 that the dunamis gives an authority that transcends anything that you and I can create. Without reservation, Peter grabbed ahold of the hand of the lame man and commanded him in Jesus' name to rise up and walk. This supernatural authority will cause the dunamis person to demand that situations and circumstances change! 3. Supernatural Strength. We've seen two different results of being a dunamis person in Acts 2 and Acts 3. Let's see what happened in Acts 4. When standing before Annas the high priest and other Jewish authorities, Peter and John were commanded to cease the preaching of the Gospel and the demonstration of supernatural ministry. Look at how the dunamis kicked in. Upon hearing their demands, the former cowardly Peter (his cowardness was repeatedly seen as Jesus was being tried), boldly stood before the leadership and with the strength of heaven declared that they must obey God and would continue to unwaveringly preach of what they've seen and heard. Can you see the significance of this commandment? Those who flow in the supernatural MUST be dunamis people filled with heaven's supernatural ability, authority, and strength. Will you be that person?...

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16 Apr The Ten Commandments of the Supernatural #9

I trust that these blog entries are being beneficial to you and that you are learning how to flow with the Holy Spirit. He truly wants to equip you so that this can be a generation that supernaturally flows with Him. Let's look at the next commandment. Commandment #9 Thou Shalt Leave Your Pride at the Front Door This commandment is significant for three reasons: 1. You will make mistakes. As with developing a relationship with any person, there will be learning times, times to gain a better understanding of who the Holy Spirit is, how to hear and recognize His voice, and how to flow with Him. In these times, you WILL make mistakes. It's a given. This doesn't mean that you are less spiritual. It is truly a learning experience! So, what do you do when you make a mistake? Apologize to Him. Secondly, publicly acknowledge your mistake. Public mistakes demand public apologies. Again, there shouldn't be any shame in making mistakes. It wasn't your intent to err. But, you should own up to the mistake and let the children know that it was a mistake and with God's help that it won't happen again. 2. You will be pushed beyond your comfort zone. Those who flow with the Holy Spirit and see the supernatural transpire will have their human senses shout, "Stop. You don't know what you are doing. This isn't like you! This is foolishness. What will people think about the colossal mess that you are about to create?" Getting out of your comfort zone is never pleasant. Remember, those who walk in the supernatural never stay in the boat of comfort. 3. Pride can become your greatest enemy. Remember this. Pride is a double edged sword. Your pride can keep you from attempting to flow in the supernatural due to the fear of what others will say about you. And, after seeing the Holy Spirit manifest through you, the sword can turn to destroy you and totally stop the flow of the Holy Spirit due to the pride and arrogance developed in your attitude brought about by what others say about you. This can be eradicated by remembering that God is the source of the power. It's not you. Never has been and never will be. This should keep us humble and dependent upon Him! See you next week with Commandment #10....

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09 Apr The Ten Commandments of the Supernatural #8

I pray that this teaching series is being a blessing to you. Please print the blogs in this series and distribute them to your Sunday school teachers, children's church volunteers, and mid-week club leaders. I am convinced that they will help usher in a mighty move of God in your children's ministry. Now, here is the next commandment. Commandment #8 Thou Shalt Be Sensitive I'll be perfectly honest. I hate, hate, hate to counsel people, especially those going through marital problems. To me, the answer to any marital problem is quite simple. It comes down to me asking one or two questions, "What are you doing now that you weren't doing when you were dating?" or "What are you not doing now that you were doing when you were dating?" Often, I find that familiarity has changed the whole scenario of the relationship. That "specialness" has disappeared in the marriage. Sometime in their relationship, one or both of the individuals stopped doing those special things or acting in that special way to keep their relationship the way that it was when they were trying to get into the relationship. If their behavior during their dating days was anything like they are acting towards each other now, they would have never married, right? How does this relate to a supernatural children's ministry? Those who flow in the supernatural are those who monitor their "specialness meter". In other words, these individuals walk in the same or even a greater sensitivity throughout their relationship with the Holy Spirit as they did at the beginning of their relationship. Those who see the Holy Spirit move supernaturally are those who are sensitive to His presence and strive to only do what would be pleasing to the Spirit of God. The apostle Paul gives this strong admonition: "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [do not offend or vex or sadden Him] ...

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02 Apr The Ten Commandments of the Supernatural #7

As usual, there is so, so much that I want to share. So, rather than bog down in a long introduction, let's look at the next commandment. Commandment #7 Thou Shalt Acknowledge, Welcome and Honor His Presence The words of the chorus "Holy Spirit, Thou Art Welcome in This Place" are far easier to sing than to demonstrate. Often, we sing the words of the song while our mind is thinking about the time and how much still needs to be done in our service. We have before us a carefully crafted agenda. The puppets are in place. The object lessons are lined up. The PowerPoint slides are prepared. The games are planned. All that we need is to get on with the service. All the while, the One whom we just welcomed with the words of our song sits idly by. The Holy Spirit knows that once again He has been restrained from accomplishing the will of the Father. One of the greatest steps that we can take in learning to flow in the supernatural is to learn to acknowledge, welcome, and honor His presence. I know that you've prepared before the service. You've prayed. You've been in the Word. You've put together an awesome lesson. But while all of this is tremendously important, to restrain Him would make all of our preparation utterly useless. Acknowledge that He is present. Verbalize your thankfulness for His presence. Finally, make Him feel welcome by listening to and obeying His promptings and leading. While the lesson is planned and the staff is ready, recognize that everything is subject to His step-by-step direction. There have been times that I've sensed His voice speaking to my spirit to push the lesson aside to do something that wasn't in the lesson or to spend more time in a particular area than originally planned or to pause where we were in the lesson so that take action to back up what we've just taught with the understanding that we could pick up where we left off in the lesson next week. The Holy Spirit loves to be welcomed and obeyed! One note of caution: Am I suggesting that we should abandon lesson preparation and "just flow"? NO!!! That is far from what I'm teaching. At one of our meetings, I had a young man come to me to tell that he had learned from my teaching that he wouldn't have to study any more before a service. Instead, he could now just walk into the service and "flow" with the Holy Spirit. I have NEVER taught that. Instead, I encourage you to follow Paul's advice to Timothy. "Study to show yourself approved unto God." Study. Prepare. Study some more. Prepare some more. At the same time, recognize that the Holy Spirit is present and looking for an opportunity to speak through you and lead you step by step. Those that see the supernatural are ones who study and prepare while welcoming, acknowledging, and being sensitive to His presence. I'll see you next week with Commandment #8....

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