November 2014

24 Nov Have You Taken the Time to …

Let me let you in on a secret. There is no such thing as a self-made man. And, if there was, I sure wouldn't want to see him. You may be so bright that your Mom called you son (pardon my humor), but you didn't get to where you are today by yourself. There have been many, many people that have taught you, corrected you, loved on you when others had pushed you aside, toughened you up, challenged your small-mindedness, spoke as a mouthpiece for God to you, wept with you, rejoiced with you, reminded you of your "humanness" (in other words, there is a God and you aren't Him), etc. God has placed many people along your path to help shape and mold you into the person that you are today.   Here's reality. Many of these people have no idea of their influence in your life. And, how would they know ...

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17 Nov He’s Unpacked His Bags to Stay!

In traveling from city to city to conduct our Ignite the Supernatural Conference, Vickie and I often stay in hotels. What may seem like a luxury to others can in all reality be burdensome to the person moving from hotel to hotel day after day, week after week. It's a job to pack your suitcases with the clothing, toiletries, books, etc., place the suitcases into the vehicle, travel to the next city, unload the suitcases from the vehicle, tote the suitcases to the hotel room, unpack the suitcases, organize the clothing for the stay, stay at the hotel for a day or two or three, and then start the process all over again. After a season of doing this over and over and over, being at my home and sleeping in my bed and not having to pack and unpack is a humongous joy!   Upon promising the sending of the Holy Spirit, Jesus stated in John 14:16 that the Holy Spirit wouldn't be needing any suitcases so that He could come and go. Thankfully, Jesus said that upon His arrival the Holy Spirit would be living in us forever. In other words, He isn't here today and gone tomorrow. There's no end to forever. He's come to take up residence in you until there is no more you on this earth!   So, if the Holy Spirit has moved all of His belongings into the Spirit-filled believer and has no plans on leaving, it would be prudent for you to get to know Him. Welcome and embrace Him. Talk to Him and allow Him to talk back to you. Learn what pleases and displeases Him. Discover the joy of working together with Him. In doing so, you will fall head-over-heels in love with Him and be so thankful that He has come to occupy your spirit ...

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03 Nov Tell Me a Story

As Vickie and I were stepping down from being Trinity Church International's children's pastors this past July, we had so many conversations with the children who had been in our ministry over the 25 years.  It  was amazing to see that in many cases we were now pastoring children of the children who were in our ministry 25 years ago. We were now ministering to our second generation. So, you can imagine that there were a lot of stories to be told.   It brought me great  joy to hear young adults tell about how they would groan year after year as I drove the church vehicle by an orange juice factory in central Florida. During these trips past the the factory, I would break out my stories about how seeing the factory brought such sadness to me because it was at that factory I was canned because I couldn't concentrate. And, it was heartbreaking to remember that the seedy bosses squeezed the very pulp (life) out of its employees. Soon, the job wasn't appealing to me. To be honest, telling these stories and hearing the groans of Trinity's kids as I pulled out those horrible jokes was one of the highlights of my year. Throughout our final days, I loved hearing the stories about the Gross Out Saturdays and messy games culminated with a massive shaving cream fight. Tears came to my eyes as many children told of me of my being a second, and some cases their only dad. There were so, so many stories shared during our final few days and weeks at Trinity.   But, the stories that meant the most to me were the ones where a child or now young adult told of how it was through our ministry they were born again and fell in love with Jesus. My heart was filled with thanksgiving when I was told that they too had developed a relationship with the Holy Spirit. With tears beading up in my eyes I listened to a young man named Matt tell about how our emphasis upon the Person of the Holy Spirit caused him to desire being baptized in the Holy Spirit and how the Holy Spirit has changed his life. I received a lengthy text message from a young lady named Christina that I've read and reread over and over again in the past months. She wrote " ...

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27 Oct Bottlenecking the Holy Spirit

Several years ago, we scheduled Tommy Tenney to be the keynote speaker at our national Ignite the Supernatural Conference. To help with my conference budget, I asked around to find a place for Tommy to speak on the weekend so that the church and the conference could split the cost of his travel expenses. When I asked about the possibility of getting Tommy into a large Pentecostal church in the area, my friends immediately shot down my suggestion. They reminded me that the church leadership planned their services down to the precise minute with every segment of the service carried out according to the schedule. And, for those who have been in a Tommy Tenney meeting, we know that he thankfully follows the Holy Spirit and moves and flows according to His dictates. At times, Tommy's planned sermons are tossed to the side in order to follow His promptings and leadings. The unpredictable is the predictable! Needless to say, Tommy didn't speak at that particular church.   Children's/Youth ministry leader, are your kids missing out of all that God has for them because you've squeezed Him into a 3 or 4 minute allocated time slot? I know that you've studied and prepared. You've invested much time in finding creative, innovative ways to share the Good News. You've "studied to show yourself approved unto God". I applaud you for doing so. But, I'm sure that there have been countless times that God has tried to rearrange your plans and ministry outlines during a service but you've plowed on neglecting His nudges and promptings.   What if the Holy Spirit wanted you to go beyond your usual two fast songs and one slow song so that you could see David's words "You have taught children and babies to sing praises to you ...

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