November 2012

26 Nov The Precedent Has Been Established!

Long before I was born, a world record was broken in 1954 that forever altered history. While many records may come to mind, the one that I am referring to involves Roger Bannister who dared to push beyond the barriers of impossibilities to become the very first person to run a mile in less than four minutes. He challenged his body and mind to accomplish the very first 4-minute mile. For years, the 4-minute mile was considered not merely unreachable but according to physiologists of the time, dangerous to the health of any athlete who attempted to reach it. Before breaking the world record, Bannister was running with the 2-year-old memory of disappointment still burning within him. He had expected -- and had been expected -- to win the 1,500 meters, the metric mile, at the 1952 Olympics. Even the Duke of Edinburgh had timed his visit to Helsinki in order to be there when the final was run. But Bannister was jostled during the race, never got into contention and finished fourth. Only a remarkable performance down the road could erase the disappointment. He achieved it at Iffley. On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister ran the first sub-4-minute mile in recorded history. The 25-year-old native of Harrow on the Hill, England, completed the distance in 3:59.4 at Oxford. When he crossed the finish line, he broke through a psychological barrier as well. What was the importance of Bannister's feat of strength and endurance? If one person could do it, then others could too. Once the door had been opened, once a precedent had been set, it became plausible and possible for others to break through. The Day of Pentecost accomplished a milestone and a turning point for God’s relationship with children. In reading the Old Testament, we find a few, select occasions where God spoke to children or used them for His purposes. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost marked a new dimension for God’s relationship with children. Peter announced in his message on the Day of Pentecost a new day for God’s visitation upon and His ministry through boys and girls. No longer would His Spirit rest upon a few, select individuals. Upon the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, His Spirit could now enable and equip “you and your children” (Acts 2:39). Now, the door had been opened. The precedent had been established. The promise had been given (Joel 2:28) and fulfilled so that children could boldly speak forth the Word of the Lord. “Your children shall prophesy.” (Acts 2:17). The purpose for this week's blog is to remind you that the precedent has been set. Because of the Day of Pentecost and the outpouring of God's Spirit, children and children's ministries all over the world are enjoying what was once impossible. The door is wide open for you to go where you once were forbidden or restricted. Come on in and bring your children with you! ...

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19 Nov It’s Time for Your Annual Check-Up!

Once a year, most adults go to a physician for a physical check-up. Whether we like it or not, the check-up generally affirms what we already know to be true. The annual report tells us that aren't exercising enough, we need to lay off of the sweets, and that "diet" is a four-letter word that won't get our mouths washed out with soap by our mother. Each year, we pay a lot of money to hear a physician tell us what we already know to be true and the prescription needed to get to where we need to be, right? For this week's blog entry, I want to share a check-up report about today's church as presented by two highly respected leaders. Dr. A. W. Tozer (noted Pastor, preacher, and author) - “If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference.”  C.T. Studd (missionary to China, India, and Africa) - "How little chance the Holy Ghost has nowadays. The churches and missionary societies have so bound Him in red tape that they practically ask Him to sit in a corner while they do the work themselves." To be honest, these assessments weren't written in the past few months. In fact, both of these men lived many, many years ago. And yet, their assessment of today's church is still so accurate. Sadly, just like our annual physical report, we are hearing what we already know to be true. Much of what is done in the church is done without the anointing and presence of the Holy Spirit. We know that this is true! The purpose of this week's blog is to challenge you to assess what is going on in your children's ministry. Be honest. You already know the answer. Is the Holy Spirit's presence readily seen in your ministry? Is He allowed to move about as He desires or is He bound up in the red tape? Upon answering these questions, you already know what needs to be done. Come on. Start making the necessary changes to get the ministry where you know it should be. Selah ...

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12 Nov Stockpiling Your Arsenal

Anyone with any military experience knows the importance of being well-armed and prepared as they enter into battle. Battles are lengthy. The combat strategy calls for an army ready for the long-haul. With that in mind, no one would enter into combat only being armed with a gun loaded with a single bullet, right? Instead, they would enter the battle with an arsenal of weapons. They would have their primary weapon and a host of auxiliary weapons and a stockpile of ammo.This week, I want to deviate away from passing along a teaching idea or principle and instead share some of the arsenal of resources that I constantly refer to in my quest to impact a generation of children and equip multitudes of children's ministry leaders to know, love, and flow with the Holy Spirit. While the Bible has been and continues to be my ultimate, primary weapon, over the years I have collected many, many books that share teaching about Holy Spirit's personality, works, gifts, attributes, fruit, etc. In this arsenal, you will find many books with dog-eared pages, my handwritten notes scattered throughout the book, and an abundance of highlighted sentences and/or paragraphs.Let me start off by saying that the following list is far from being exhaustive. My bookshelves at home and the office are filled to overflowing with books about the Holy Spirit. The following is in my opinion the "must-haves". Most if not all of the books are available through amazon.com. * The Book of Acts: A Commentary by C. Peter Wagner* The Dynamic Duo: The Holy Spirit and You by Rick Renner* The Spirit Himself by Ralph Riggs * The God I Never Knew by Robert Morris* Commissioned with Power by Gordon Lindsay* The Holy Spirit, My Senior Partner by David Yonggi Cho * Tongues: Beyond the Upper Room by Kenneth Hagin* 70 Reasons for Speaking in Tongues by Dr. Bill Hamon* The Walk of the Spirit, the Walk of Power by Dave Roberson (available for free download on his website www.daveroberson.org)* Pentecost Lost by Patricia Holland I trust that these books will become a part of your library and be a blessing to you.One more quick note ...

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05 Nov Where Are the Martin Luther’s?

This past week, a historical event of mammoth proportion went largely unnoticed by the American church. Overshadowed by the other festivities on October 31st was the remembrance and honoring of an event that forever changed the church. It was on the Wednesday of October 31st in 1517 that an Augustinian monk named Martin Luther publicly renounced the sin and heresy of the church as he nailed his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. From this act, the Protestant Reformation was birthed. I am quite confident that Martin Luther wasn't alone in his assessment of the gross error and sin of the church. Surely there were many who also recognized that the church had deviated from the Word. But while there were possibly many who were disturbed by what they saw, it was Luther who took action and declared that enough is enough and in doing so changed the course of human history. I challenge you to look at the condition of today's children's ministry. Surely you can see what I see. I'm not talking about a children's ministry plagued with sin and doctrinal error. I see a children's ministry that is void of power. I see children graduating from our ministries not prepared to be the world changers that God destined them to be. We have settled for ministries filled with hype and performance (enticing words of man's wisdom ...

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