Leadership Blog

22 Oct Praying in the Spirit Illustrations – Part 3


I am excited to share these  easy-to-do, easy-to-understand illustrations that show the importance of praying in other tongues. With this revelation, those in our ministry will be equipped to do much for the Kingdom. So, with that in mind, here is the third post in this series. Once again, I will give a brief, skeletal overview and set it up for you to personalize the illustration to become a powerful teaching tool.

The Importance of Praying in Other Tongues
Part 3 – Open Up the Heavenlies

For this illustration, you will need to obtain a kite and a roll of twine or kite string. (Obtainable through Amazon.com)

One of my favorite things to do as a child each Spring was to be outdoors on a windy day and enjoy flying a kite. (Show a kite.) It was so much fun to see it fly through the air all over our neighborhood. I thought that it was so cool to slowly unwind the kite string (unroll string) which would allow the kite to soar higher and higher and further and further.

Here is a fact about kites. A kite can only fly as high as it is allowed to fly. The length of the kite string will determine its “soarability”. If attached to a ten foot string, the kite can fly up to ten feet high. Twenty feet of kite string, it will fly up to twenty feet in the air. Oh, and one more observation. If the kite string is released, an unrestrained kite can fly and fly and fly limitlessly into the heavenlies.

Let’s talk about our “soarability” with God. Our time of praying to our heavenly Father and worshiping Him can be like flying a kite. We will all have to admit that many times when we are spending time with God, we run out of the words to express what we want to say or sing. In other words, just like using the kite string on a soaring kite, we have reached the limit of how far that we can go. We have all been there, right? But, here is some exciting news. The apostle Paul wrote a letter to a group of Christians who lived in Corinth and told them about an exciting way to connect with God. It comes by praying and singing in our heavenly prayer language. (1 Corinthians 14:15). 

Praying and worshiping God with our understanding is important. It really, really is! But, there’s more. Beginning today, we need to let go of our spiritual kite string (what our brain can think of) and allow our Holy Spirit-enabled spirit to soar as we worship God in a whole new way. Praying and worshiping in other tongues can go hand in hand (Acts 10:46) and cause us to worship God in a way that will allow the heavens to open. In our unrestrained worship, we will visit places that have yet to be explored and see sights that have yet to be seen. And, it is waiting on us to enter.

Come on. Let’s go fly a kite!

Read More

15 Oct Praying in the Spirit Illustrations – Part 2

This is the second blog post in a series designed to share easy-to-do, easy-to-understand object lessons (sermon illustrations for those ministering to adults) that show the importance of daily praying in the Spirit. I will give a brief, skeletal overview and set it up for you to make it an incredibly great teaching tool. This and the following blog posts will also provide an excellent resource for family devotions with your children and grandchildren.

The Importance of Praying in Other Tongues
Part 2 – Download Heaven’s Updates

If you have had a cell phone (show cell phone) for any length of time and have added apps to your phone, you will know about the app store located on your cell phone’s screen (point to app store on the cell phone). This is the place on your cell phone where you can find and download any of a million, billion, bazillion apps. And, you also know that it is through this app store that you receive updates for these apps. Daily, when you look at your cell phone’s screen, you will see a notification showing a number attached to the app store (point to number on the app store)  indicating that one or more of your apps needs to receive a modification. The modification (download) will provide an update to address one of these three issues:
1. To make your cell phone operate smoother  – Takes care of small glitches in the operating system so that your app will be problem free.
2. To fix a critical issue – A totally revamp to the operating system of that app so that a known issue won’t crash the app, or, even worse, crash the cell phone.
3. To change the appearance of the app – Makes the program have a totally new, fresh look.

When the Holy Spirit was sent, one of His major reasons for coming was/is to make it possible for us to receive what I call heaven’s downloads. The Bible tells us that when we are filled (baptized) in the Holy Spirit and begin to pray in the Spirit (pray in other tongues), we are being changed on the inside. (1 Corinthians 14:4). One translation of this verse, the Amplified Bible, actually tells us that we are improving ourselves. In other words, we are receiving a download from heaven, an update that provides the same three benefits that we see in the download to our cell phone. Praying in other tongues will:
1. Making his day go smoother.
2. Taking care of inside issues that could bring us harm or cause us to crash.
3. Bring a joy (Acts 2:4-13; Romans 14:17; Romans 15:13) that will change the way that we look and act.

Is this important? YES!!! We need to receive heaven’s downloads each and every day!

Read More

08 Oct Praying in the Spirit Illustrations – Part 1

Beginning with this blog post, I want to share several great, easy-to-do, easy-to-understand object lessons (sermon illustrations for those ministering to adults) that show the importance of daily praying in the Spirit. I will give a brief, skeletal overview and set it up for you to make it an incredibly great teaching tool. This and the following blog posts will also provide an excellent resource for family devotions with your children and grandchildren.

The Importance of Praying in Other Tongues
Part 1 – Keep Your Spiritual Battery Fully Charged

When I purchased my first cell phone, I was so excited. (If you still have the original box, show the box.) I couldn’t wait to get the cell phone out of the box (show your excitement in opening the box and then discovering the cell phone) to start calling and texting all of my friends. (Pretend to make call after call and send text message after text message.) And, even more importantly, I couldn’t wait to start playing all of the cool games on the cell phone. (Pretend to play a game.) Needless to say, I made call after call, sent text after text, and finally played game after game on the cell phone.

You already know where I am going with this story. After a few hours of using the cell phone, all of a sudden, it stopped and I couldn’t get it to start up again. You’ve guessed. The battery had run of out power. I soon found out that the cell phone is only able to make the calls and send the text messages and provide the cool games as long as it has power. Simply put, no power, no play! While this cell phone has so many great apps, those apps can’t do what they are created to do until the cell phone has power. Fortunately, there is an easy remedy for this problem. The manufacturer knew that the cell phone would constantly need to replenish or charge the battery and so they included this power plug (show phone charger) so that the cell phone could be recharged.

Before Jesus left, He told His followers that after He returned back to heaven, God the Father would send a Helper, the Holy Spirit. (John 14:16) One of the many things that would happen upon the Holy Spirit’s arrival is that He would deposit heaven’s power into our spirit. (Acts 1:8). Jesus knew that as great and wonderful as we are, we couldn’t do what we need to do until we have the power to do those things. His coming would enable us to be (“… and ye shall be …”Acts 1:8)) and do (” … He hath anointed me to … ” Luke 4:18) what we are supposed to be and do.

How do we keep our spiritual battery charged and ready to do what is needed? I checked the owner’s manual (show the Bible and turn to Jude 20) and discovered that praying in the Spirit (also known as praying in other tongues) is THE way to keep our spiritual battery fully powered up. (Jude 20) You could say that as the language of heaven flows out of mouth, the power from heaven is flowing into our spiritual battery.

One more thing … How often do you charge your cell phone? Daily. This is even more important with our spiritual battery. We need to pray in other tongues each and every day.

Read More

01 Oct Did You Buy the T-shirt in Cowlick, Arizona?

Here is an incredible revelation. If Vickie and I had a limited amount of time to be away from our home to be in Lakeland, Florida with the most incredible kids and grandkids in the whole world (no brag, just fact!!!), we couldn’t leave our home in North Richland Hills, Texas and drive west to Cowlick, Arizona and then up to Chicken, Alaska and then east to Embarrass, Minnesota and then further east to Accident, Maryland and then south to Experiment, Georgia and expect to enjoy our limited time with our Florida family. No, a million times no. While visiting these cities might be incredible, I can guarantee you that, knowing that we have kids ready to see their parents and grandkids anxiously waiting for Papa and Nana, Vickie and I would look for the route that would mile by mile get us closer and closer to our desired destination.

Really, this is not too much of a revelation. In fact, it is a no-brainer. To get where you want to go, you must aim for the desired destination and don’t allow detours to keep you from getting there!

I know that many reading this blog desire to see an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in their ministry. And yet, for some, that goal or destination isn’t being reached. Let me draw from the opening scenario and offer this suggestion. If you want to see people baptized in the Holy Spirit (your desired destination), lesson by lesson and sermon by sermon needs to move you closer to this outpouring. In other words, there is absolutely no room for detours!

I am constantly amazed when a children’s pastor calls me and tells me of their desire to see children baptized in the Holy Spirit and yet, when asked about what they are presently teaching, I learn that they are teaching a four-week series on dealing with bullying which will be followed by a three-week series on how to tell the truth. While these are great subjects, they are not moving you closer and closer to seeing the altars filled with boys and girls praying to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. The same holds true for pastors preaching to the adults on Sunday mornings or youth pastors ministering in their youth services. Many are ministering about family relationships and then moving on to a series on agape love and … well, you get the idea … great subjects, needed subjects, but not subjects that will get people baptized in the Holy Spirit and begin a relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Children’s pastor … youth pastor … lead pastor … if you are going to reach your destination and see the desire of your heart come to pass, better yet, if you are going to see the fulfillment of God’s prophesy through Joel (Joel 2:2:28-29) and the all-consuming passion of God’s heart (Luke 11:13) come to pass, you can’t take side trips and detours. Know and keep your focus aimed towards your final destination. Preach, teach, and demonstrate and then preach, teach, and demonstrate some more and then preach, teach, and demonstrate even more about the outpouring of God’s Spirit and the great command to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Service by service, move closer to your destination. In doing so, the end results will be incredible. You will see the promised “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh” come to pass.

Oh, one more thing. For those who have been detouring and passed through Cowlick, Arizona, did you buy me a t-shirt?

Read More

24 Sep Here Is What God Said About Your Children

 

Each time that I read through the Bible, I am reminded again and again that God is not One to mince words. When God said something, He meant what He said and said what He meant. There is absolutely no flexibility in His communication. He said it, He meant it, and that’s that.

Case in point … when God told Joel that He would pour out His Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, He actually meant your sons and daughters. He was talking about the children born to you … that’s right, the person whose eyes are fixed upon this screen and looking at these words … Y-O-U.  God didn’t say that some select children will be filled with His Spirit and speak for Him to their generation. He didn’t say that He was speaking only to preachers about their children. No, a million, billion times no. Before time was time, God had a great big “Y-O-U” on His mind and He saw the children born to “Y-O-U” passionately serving Him, being baptized in His Spirit, and moving powerfully in His anointing. There was and is no wiggle-room in His statement. Your children shall prophesy.

Why am I writing this? Because there are those who have bought into the enemy’s lies. At this exact moment, your son or daughter might be running as hard and as fast as possible away from God and bringing you disappointment after disappointment. You may have reached the point of throwing up your hands and giving up. But, God spoke to me earlier today. I sensed an urgency to remind you of God’s unalterable promise. He unwaveringly said the word “your” and He unmistakably had your children in mind when He spoke those words to the prophet Joel.

Here is the directive I sensed from God. Beginning today, go find your Bible and head to your restroom or some place that has a mirror. Once in front of the mirror, open your Bible to Joel 2:28. While looking into the mirror at the “you” mentioned in Joel, read aloud God’s statement and then tell yourself that God was speaking to the person that you are seeing in the mirror.  Declare, “God was speaking to me and said that MY _______________ (fill in their name) shall speak for Him. God meant what He said and said what He meant about MY _______________ (proclaim their name again). Period. Satan, there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. MY _______________ (say their name again) shall prophesy!” Do this again and again and again, day after day after day. Hearing God’s voice in your voice will cause your faith to arise. Why? Because God doesn’t mince words. His “your” was His final word about your son(s) and/or daughter(s).

Start planning the celebration party because God’s word will come to pass for YOUR children. That day will surely come.

Oh … one more thing. Share this blog post with other parents that have children running from God. They too need to learn how to prepare for their day of celebrating!

Read More