October 2016

17 Oct An Open Letter to Pastors

This is a letter that I have mulled over and over again in my spirit for some time. To me, its contents are so, so needed. I would ask that you do your church a huge favor and copy, paste, and then print this brief letter for your pastor. And, you might consider sending an email to pastors in other Pentecostal/Charismatic churches with the link for this blog post (bit.ly/2fe3MGf) and help me get this important message to our pastors. Dear Pastor, Having had the privilege of serving on a pastoral staff at a great church in South Florida for 25 years, I know your heartbeat. As of a true pastor, I am confident that you passionately want everyone in your church to be born again, Jesus loving, sin hating, Bible reading, Spirit walking, tongue talking, world impacting believers. Your utmost desire is to see God radically touch everyone in your church. The reason for this brief note today is to ask you to ensure that the everyone is truly every one. I know that you are keenly aware of the ministry to the adults going on inside of your auditorium throughout the week. Each week, you are seeing adults being born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit. Lives are being powerfully impacted by the gospel. My question concerns those that aren't immediately in front of you during the weekend and midweek services, that is, the children and youth. Do you have any idea if these "everyones" are being given the same opportunity in their services? Are you ready for this? Believe it or not, some pastors gauge the success of their "out-of-sight" ministries (children/student) by whether or not there are complaints coming from the parents. No complaints, everything must be okay. At the same time, that's not the litmus test for success in the adult services, right? Pastor, I am asking that you create some type of system that will enable you to have the pulse of what is being taught in these all-too-important ministries and know what kind of results are being accomplished. I'm not asking you to physically be in their services (although an occasional three to four minute unannounced trip to their services while your praise and worship is going on would give you a TREMENDOUS insight as what is happening). Please understand that I'm not asking that you micromanage their services and dictate each week's sermon. But, I am asking that you KNOW what is actually being preached. While there are numerous curriculums and culturally relevant series available for children and youth, these must be in ADDITION to and not to the EXCLUSION of the core basics being shared over and over and over again. Our younger "everyones" MUST be taught and then presented the opportunity to be born again. If Joel's prophecy for our children and youth to receive God's Spirit is to come to pass, then there MUST be numerous times throughout the calendar year that they hear God's Word and be given the opportunity to act upon being baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. Our "out-of-sight" ministries MUST provide opportunity after opportunity for our children and youth to fall head-over-heels in love with Jesus. Pastor, shepherd, lover of the flock, let's make sure the entire flock is being fed. (John 21:15-17). Too much is at stake. Let's ensure that everyone means EVERY one! My prayer is thatGod will enable you as the shepherd to see your flock, both young and old, mightily touched by God. Yours in Christ,       www.billyburns.com...

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10 Oct Pull Out the Knife and Fork!

When Vickie and I made our first trip to Africa, we got to experience life in the bush for a small portion of the trip. (Being out in the bush created many, many stories that I'll share in future blog posts!) One thing that I will never forget about this experience was the first meal that we ate upon our arrival, curried goat. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a curried anything fan ...

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03 Oct The Oohs of the Holy Spirit

Several weeks ago, I sensed the Holy Spirit tell me that many people allow Him to only go so far in their lives. With open arms, the Church collectively and the saints individually have embraced His work up to a certain point and then they apply the spiritual brakes. He made it simple for me (as He often does) by showing me the "oohs" of His complete, unhindered heavenly assignment. These words with the "ooh" sound show that He has been assigned to: Coo and Woo - His cooing and wooing of man's heart draws or convinces man of the need of a Savior. In other words, the Holy Spirit convicts of sin and shows the love of our heavenly Father. John 16:8,9 Make New - It is the Holy Spirit that baptizes us into the Body of Christ. Titus 3:5; Romans 8:9; John 3:5; 1 Corinthians 12:3 Brew - The definition of the word "brew" means to prepare. We see that He works within the believer conforming him into the likeness of Christ, maturing him in his walk with Christ. Galatians 5:22-25 Sadly, for many, this is where His freedom ends. And yet, there is one additional "ooh" that He has been assigned to perform in the life of the believer. Flow Through – The Spirit-baptized believer becomes the vessel through which heaven's power and might can flow to change this world. Acts 1:8; 2:4; 3:6 Here is what I sensed the Holy Spirit ask me ...

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