Saturday, December 20, 2008

Reason's to Pray for Obama, Pt. 2

In another installment of my "Reason's to Pray for Obama" series, I wanted to hit another couple of topics here. I'm going to skip over a couple of reasons due to my lack of knowledge about them, but I'll at least mention them.

Reason 2 to pray for Obama: Tax Increases for All. Despite campaign rhetoric, President Obama will increase direct and indirect taxation on virtually all American's in pursuit of his stated goals of societal transformation and wealth redistribution. (Taken from the before mentioned pamphlet "Living in an Obama Nation: 21 Way the Obama Presidency Will Impact You and Your Family."

Reason 3: The End of Marriage. President Barack Obama will watch over the end of traditional marriage by pushing a pro-homosexual agenda that includes repealing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in his first year in office.

In essence, to him, he will start to at least do nothing to stop the homosexual agenda from going forward. Meaning, he won't stand for traditional marriage. But he will at least step aside and let those would decide to ruin the sanctity of marriage being between a married man and woman (being married to each other) and make it accessible to a man and man or woman to woman. But what if it doesn't stop there? Why not do an aunt to a nephew or some other combination? He stated in a letter to the LBGT community that he will as president support the gay community and see to it that their rights are up held.

Along this same line, he wants to make it possible for hate crimes to cover sexual orientation. Ladies, lets just say that your in a public restroom, taking care of business. And in walks a guy! Do you realize that if you were to try and gently say to the misguided man "Um, sir, your in the wrong restroom. The mens is just down the hall (or next door, or whatever the case may be). Do you realize that that could potentially be labeled as hate speech!? I mean, perhaps the guy just feels more feminine that particular day! That's where this is going. Trying to do away with the letter of the law and more along the lines of feelings.

Reason 4: Silencing Conservatives. He wants to utilize the Fairness Doctrine, and the power of the Executive Branch, to silence conservative opposition and deliver a damaging blow to free speech for all Americans.

The Fairness Doctrine is a policy that requires broadcast media to promote "fairness" and "balance". I haven't been on CNN or some of the other major networks in months. I stick w/ FoxNews or WorldNetDaily for my news. The way that some of the major networks spew their stories about blaming Israel for everything is just ridiculous.

Obama says that he is a Christian. Probably like a lot of folks say they're Christians and they know all the right talk. But what are they REALLY like? What am I really like?

Lord Jesus, I come before your throne of grace today, and I life up President-elect Obama to You. Lord, many of his policies I don't agree with. But I still petition you and ask for You to bless him with Godly wisdom in this hour. God, I thank you that while we were still yet sinners, Christ died for us. So Father God, I pray that you would visit him God and give him an encounter with Your Holy Presence and change his life forever more. May he come out of this as a man after Your Own Heart. Amen.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Reasons to Pray for Obama, Pt. 1

I recently acquired a booklet entitled "Living in an Obama Nation: 21 Ways the Obama Presidency Will Impact You and Your Family". I just started to read this little pamphlet and its very informative. Let me also say again that I DID NOT and COULD NOT in good conscience vote for Obama. But, should everything continue as it may (if his birth was proven to be in the States, which to date is still up in the air and the longer he keeps it confidential and acts like its not an issue just reaffirms my nervousness about him.)

None the less, since i can do little more than continue to pray for him, that is what i shall do, as well as voice concern and raise the issues. This first issue in this book is "Post-American Presidency." In short, according to the booklet, ..."in Obama's post-American world, the U.S. must accept responsibility for the hatred and even terrorism directed at our land. Our wealth makes us responsible for the terrorists' bombs, not the vile ideology of the terrorists." So because someone in Africa is buying our stuff, we're responsible for someone trying to steal it? What? So because your rich, your responsible for someone trying to rob you... interesting.

I'm all for standing up to some bully trying to push people around. And unfortunately, America is seen as much a lot. I guess because we stand up for the little guy at times, we're seen as a bully.

After 9/11, all these countries came to rally around us. But then how quickly we went to do something about it and suddenly, everyone is dropping out. I wish the UN would've done something. They have policies for it. I'm not sure what happened there...

One thing I did like about this is that Obama wants to do something about global poverty. Hey, I got an idea, I know of a lot of missionaries around the world who are fighting this very thing. How about we give them the money and let them do the work or at least let them lead. I know, then everyone cries the false thinking of "separation of church and state..."

So, one down, 20 more to go. There is a lot more to all of this, but in an attempt to not make this into a 20 pg novel, i'm stopping here.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

New Happenings

It's been almost a month since i've last written, i just realized the timing of that now. I've started a new job. I work for an office and do the accounts payable stuff. we get invoices in and put them into a computer.

In other news, my roommate are currently in Israel. I'm extremely happy for them and yet very jealous. It's been a while since I've been out of the country. I miss the travel and getting out to see the sights.

So many things are swirling around in my mind right now. Aside from the fact that I'm not overly thrilled with the latest election results, there are some issues that need to be resolved in the process. Like if the guy is even eligible for the position. It's kind of ironic that he wouldn't even be able to get into the FBI but somehow as of right now, he'll be getting into the Oval Office. A bit scary.

I'm even more scared for the babies that won't survive.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Our Current State of the Union

One being who is interested in politics, I know that once a year, the President of the United States has a joint session of Congress (that being the House of Representatives and the Senate) and he informs that nation of the current state of the country. On this one, I'm going to somewhat do the same.

Editors note: I don't mean to put others down in this writing, but I do plan on being very direct. This is written moreso for the sake of fellow believers, so this is where the prophet in me is going to come out in play. So please don't take this the wrong way personally, but do be challenged in this.

Just recently, I received an email from a precious brother about the current state of many young teen age girls and many of whom are having sex at a young age. I'm not sure why we're surprised by this. I've been hearing of this stuff for years. Of course, I was in public high school and heard a lot then. Why do I think this stuff is happening? Perhaps its that we're not preaching the gospel from the pulpit.

I honestly don't hear the preaching of the Cross and the Blood of Jesus much from our pulpits. I usually hear a nice little message that really has little effect on me whatsoever. So, first and foremost, I point the finger at myself. God, change my heart. But I'm in many different churches and they honestly seem more like bless me clubs. The message usually sounds more like "what can I get out of it?"

But I watch videos like the one where Ms. Banks is being interviewed by Matt Lauer and I begin to think. A lot of these issues are all wound together. Tyra was partly right in what she said about the parents, but its actually a lot of things. The way the media glamorizes sex and doesn't show the repercussions of the sexual malay that soo many are involved here. So the parents are partly to blame, as well as the media as well as the church.

But also, another point to consider is the fact that the teens also have a major part to play. With everything being covered as it is today, teens also have to be accountable to themselves. We can't just go around and point fingers at everyone, but we have to take personal responsibility for this stuff. Usually this stuff is done because these kids are needing and wanting attention. They're looking for love, unfortunately, in all the wrong places.

Sometime ago, I was asked to speak at a youth retreat. I wanted to preach on a Jesus Revolution... rally the troops. But God laid John 15 on my heart and had me preach from there. Finding ones identity in Jesus and truly understanding what Him going on the Cross is really all about. It's not about what can God do for me, but its "since the Lord has done all this for me, what can I do for Him? How can I know him better?"

Let me leave this topic with some encouragement for you. There is a Godly uprise going on right now. There is a revolution underway. Its a generation, a people who are falling in love with God all over again and doing what it takes to take the gospel everywhere. May God arise and His enemies be scattered...

In other news, coming from Voice of the Revolution comes my next line of thought. Allow me to preface this in saying that my heart and love goes out to the gay/lesbian community. I have absolutely nothing but love for them as Jesus loves myself and them.

But Jesus doesn't love my sin. But I picked this YouTube video up from the Voice of a Revolution about a recent episode that happened with the Justice House of Prayer. Granted, I'm a good 3,000 miles away and I can only report as its been reported to me. But from the video (and I'm not sure who was filming this) but it certainly doesn't look like the victims is the gay and lesbian community. I just wonder what would've happened had the cops not been there.

In any case, we pray for the teens of this nation and we pray for glbt community, as well as many other things.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tech Support/Customer Service

I've been doing tech support for a major international hardware company now for just over year. And before that, I worked at Wal-Mart for 3.5 years. I lately felt soo obliged to help the rest of the world in how-to get effective customer help. There are some tricks of the trade that I would like to pass along to the world to help you as the customer out more and help my fellow techies/nerds out.

1. Everyone has emotions and they can be hurt. We're humans too. I understand that when you calling me, you have a problem and issue that needs to be resolved. That doesn't merit you the right to have a lousy attitude and cuss and chew us out for your problems. I'm sorry your computer is acting up, but that doesn't give you the right to yell at us. I've found its much better for all parties involved to act and respond in a calm and collected manner. The tech on the other end of the line is doing their best to understand and handle the situation. Your yelling at them is probably going to hurt you in the end. I understand that you may have a business to run and need to get your equipment up and running again. And I want to be able to help you out. But please remember that a little bit of manners can go a long way.

2. Complaint department. The techie on the phone probably has little to no control over the companies policies. Your whining to them about the stupid policies probably won't help. It will probably feel better for you to get it off your chest, but that doesn't mean it will help your case. There is a good chance that the person trying to help you doesn't like the policies either, but they probably can't say that on the phone lest they want to keep their job. It's better for you as a customer to do this leg work yourself. It's one thing to voice the complaint, its another thing to berate it and demand immediate answers, which probably isn't going to happen.

3. Treat them like a human being, and your probably going to get a lot better help. I'm a people person, and i love to help others out. I can usually tell in the first couple minutes if i'm going to like the person or going to want to accidentally on purposely hang up on them. Usually, when the person is being civil about the situation, I love to bend over backwards and help the person out (even if that means bending the rules a bit in their favor).

Unfortunately, computer problems do happen. Usually anything man makes will break down after a time. It's an unfortunate thing about life. Hopefully, I can be of help to get it working again. Put yourself in their shoes.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election 2008 recap

Ok, so our country has just elected our first black man to the highest office in the land, President of the United States. I'm thrilled for Barack Obama that he has made it thus far. And he will probably be a very prayed for president.

I can also honestly say that I'm scared. I'm scared for the unborn babies out there. I'm scared for the possible implications that this could have on our nation. Listen, one of the greatest thoughts that has ever entered my mind is that one day, I will personally stand before a Holy and Righteous God and give an account of my life (this is a quote I saw hanging on someones wall, so I can't take the credit for a quote like this.

But last night, I got a text message from a precious brother in the Lord and it basically said that we need to pray. This isn't a race issue for me. And it's not even necessarily a political party issue for me. Yes, I'm registered Republican and I somewhat hesitantly voted for McCain. However, I'm not looking for a political party to end the woes of the nation. I'm simply registered as I a Republican because I see that many of their issues are closer to that of a Biblical stance. Had it been a black Democratic woman that would have Biblical values and been running that platform, you can believe that I would vote for her.

But, as of today, we will have our first black man as president. Do I agree with his policies and/or religious views? Most likely not. I heard that some folks were making jokes about the segregation and making references to slavery. Folks, that's immaturity and that's not acceptable.

The Bible commands us to pray for our leaders and those in authority over us. I pray that our new president-elect will be blessed with Godly wisdom and that he would surround himself with folks that have God's heart and the countries values as the first and primary goal. I pray for his protection against assassination. I pray that the people of America and the world would pray for him and not disrespect him as they did President Bush.

(It's easy to criticize someone, but its hard to quit whining about something and pray. That isn't to say that she shouldn't speak out about injustice and right the wrongs, but its important on how we go about it.)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Living and Learning

I don't know about you, reader, but I'm always learning and growing. I'm always looking for how I can grow and mature in my life and my walk with Jesus. I used to play soccer. I haven't played in a league for years. I played right full back or half back. I would usually never cross the mid-line of the field. It wasn't my job really to be up there. If I was up there, it was for a very brief time. If and when the opposite team came into my area, it was my job to get the ball and get it up field and then for the offense to take it and advance it and hopefully score.

One of my main things I do for church is prayer/intercession. Granted, to a certain degree, everyone is to be doing that. But then there are some individuals who are more cut out for it. Just like we're all to do the evangelist, but there are some who that is what they do. They're always hitting the streets and talking to people about Jesus. Now, I CAN do that, I have no problem talking to a complete stranger about life and I frequently get the opportunity to speak with people about stuff. I mentioned to one of my friends who is more socially ept about sometimes how I'd like to get more involved with different evangelistic outreaches at times.

But you know how some people are just more socially capable and some aren't? I'm one that isn't. Some people walk into a room and they're like the center of attention. And then there is me. I'm more support for people like that. That same friend who I mentioned above once said to me the following: "Shawn, don't give up your gift of intercession. It's an important thing. Some are like me and they're ground troops. Others are like you and they're air support. You'll see things in the future and need to radio down to me to warn me. And trust me, it's helpful."

That really spoke to me. The body of Christ is a big body. And there are tons of different gifts and parts in it. There are those who are more loud and then those who are soft-spoken. I once had a roommate that he just had one of those deep booming voices. But he was a gentle giant at the same time and very teachable. But he loved to open air, and he had the lung capacity for it! I've done it once, and I can do it, although not necessarily my forte.

I know for the church, I want to see giftings and callings released and for people to really utilize what they have.

One of the tricks to being prayer support is learning to do it in public in a non scary type of way. When I go with a team, I'm content with being there and praying, but just looking like I'm just going on with life as usual. You may think that's a little deceitful. But if you would've asked me, I would've told you I was praying. I was just doing it covertly.

I remember one time when I was on an outreach team to the local university, UNCC, they had a "coming out day". They had a public forum for those who were admitting they were homosexual to come and publicly say they were. So as a team, we went down and sat and listened to them. After wards, a couple of us got to speak with the organizers of the event. They were astounded at the turnout for the event. It was at this time that we told them that at least half the folks there weren't in support of it, but we just wanted to hear what they had to say.

It's stuff like this that makes go and the world spin. As well as making for a great story to tell.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pray, Vote and Obey

I received this email from Bound4Life, and decided to just copy and paste it. Just to let everyone know, I voted for McCain. I don't agree w/ him 100% of the time, but chose the lesser of two evils. I still pray for all candidates and regardless of who gets in, Jesus is still King of Kings and Lord of Lords. His Word endures forever and nothing will change that.

To those who believe that righteousness exalts a nation,

With only a week left until the 2008 election we find ourselves in the eleventh hour of decision. Has everything been revealed that will be revealed? Are there any more last-minute surprises left? Who knows? I submit to you one more time that no further information is needed.

In a recent interview, one of the Vice Presidential Candidates stated that they believed Roe v. Wade was the best we can do in a society as heterogeneous as ours. I don't believe this is true, and neither should you. To suggest this is to say that we knew in 1973 everything we ever needed to know about the baby in the womb and the effects of abortion on women. Plenty of Americans were once content and satisfied with the legal, unchallenged existence of slavery in our nation as well and had squared with the ridiculous notion that a human being could be considered 2/3 of a whole person. History stands in judgment of them because, like it or not, they were wrong. As the nation hurtled toward civil war God raised up righteous voices from His Church to impact a culture that did not treat all men equal. It turned out that God had plenty to say about slavery and the public policy of this fledgling nation. Where would we be today had it not been for the burning men of God like Charles G. Finney who unapologetically coupled the message of the revival tent meeting with the message of abolition?
The moment has come once again for the Church in America to be the razor-sharp edge of divine truth and not the dull blade used to spread the status quo.

For those of you that have worn a Life Band in the last four years I call you to remember it now. For those that don't have a Life Band but believe that the blood of the innocent cries out from our ground I call you to seize this moment. So much is at stake right now in this one election cycle, but nothing is more important than shifting the United States Supreme Court.
You cannot pray for the ending of abortion and promote those who support it.

The Biblical message of "shedding innocent blood" has been taught and preached to more people this year than ever before thanks to GodTV, TheCall events, the 40 Days for Life campaigns as well as many others. This gives us cause for great hope and great sobriety at the same time. I believe God is giving us ample opportunity to align ourselves with Him and His Word, but we will be held accountable for the word we have heard. History will sit in judgment of what we do next.
Yet no poll or pundit can guess the outcome when God breaks in suddenly with answers to the prayers and fasting of His people.

There is no time to delay. Join now with Bound4LIFE and hundreds of thousands that have made the solemn commitment to PRAY, VOTE & OBEY.

PRAY daily for the ending of abortion. America's highest court has made a decree of death, but we make our appeal to an even higher court. The Judge of the earth will see that speedy justice is released to those that cry out to Him day and night.

VOTE for pro-life candidates. Pretty self-explanatory here, but voting is an honor, privilege and duty. Participation on November 4th is NOT optional. The Church must show up to make our voice heard.

OBEY God in however He leads you into works of compassion and justice. It's time for the Church to move en masse to become the answers to our own prayers. Let the spirit of adoption come. We cannot rely on big government programs to solve our problems.

Bound and determined,

Matt Lockett
Executive Director
Bound4LIFE Intl.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Battle Hymn of the Republic

Just the other day I received an email with the opportunity to download a free song. The song is called "Battle Hymn of the Republic." I must tell you that I've been playing this song a lot here recently, probably on over kill to a degree. But with everything that is going on right now, it just seems fitting.

I for one am ready for the elections to be over. I'm tired of the mudslinging and both campaigns just coming down on each other. I'm interested in politics and like to keep up with the news. I just voted for this election just the other day.

This election was a tough call for me. I felt like I didn't really have anyone to vote for. I'm registered Republican and I do hold to what probably many would consider conservative Biblical values. There are just a couple of clinchers for me. One of my top concerns is abortion. If we can't defend life, the economy and everything will suffer. I can't vote for someone who doesn't value life or Jesus and traditional marriage.

I understand that there are a lot of other issues out there, why do we always concentrate on abortion and homosexual rights? Why not take on theft or divorce or other issues like that? Tell you what, when we start to hold rallies to support thieves or adulterers, I'll be worried about that then as well. But I gotta tell ya, I have yet to see a rally where they support adultery and theft or divorce. I don't see a whole lot of laws being written to support theft or protecting thieves.

Hear me out on this, I'm a registered Republican, but I have long since put my faith and trust in a political party. Yes, the Republican party has ideals that I feel are closer to Biblical standards. But I put my faith and trust in the Holy Word of God. I put my faith in trust in God and I look to deepen my relationship with Jesus. My voting is just a means to an end.

In any case, I'm ready for the elections to be over and done with. Honestly, maybe having someone in the Oval who wants to jack taxes way up and support gay rights, maybe that will be good for us. Maybe it will wake up a sleeping church. Maybe it will bring us to our knees. I would hate to think that it would take another major attack such as 9/11 (which, by the way, I think we've forgotten it already or it just became too much of a buzz word) to wake us up.

Please understand my heart in why I say what I say (write). It's not to drag anyone or anything through the mud. But I've been around the world and I've seen devastation. I've seen people living in conditions that I wouldn't want my pet (if I ever get one) to be living in. And then to come back and hear the 'problems' that people here 'suffer' with. It just kinda gets to you after a bit. Sometimes, I just wanna tell people to snap out of it. But then I'm reminded that the battle is in the Spirit. And its just manifested in the natural by people who live under oppression. And it's through that that I want to see people be free.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Some May Trust in Wall Street...

Lately I've been humming/thinking over the tune that I my church used to sing a lot in PA. Some may trust in horses, some may trust in chariots, but we will trust in the Name of the Lord. Some may trust in government, some may trust in wall street, but we will trust in the name of the Lord. I'm sure you know where this is going.

Amazingly, I haven't been watching much of the elections this year. I know who i'm voting for, and that's about it. I know that the Democratic candidate doesn't value life that much and that the Republican candidate does. Friend, if we can't value life, everything else is kind of meaningless. Just to show my colors, I'm registered Republican. Doesn't mean i agree with everything a 'republican' candidate does, but there values seem closer to the Bible. If a Democratic candidate would be holding better values than the Republican one does, then I guess I'd be voting respectively. But I don't know about all 3 of you who read this, but I have learned not to put my trust in government and money, but I put my hope and trust in Jesus and His Word. This is coming from someone who is starting to get involved in 401K and all that good jazz. I'm not against investing wisely, but i just don't want to put my faith and trust in something that will eventually burn and not pass the test of time. If your into investing, now is the time to buy probably and I'd say invest wisely. And if I had more money to invest, I'd be doing just that. I want to save up for the future. But my first goal is pleasing the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Everything else is secondary.

With voting right around the corner, know the issues and what each candidate really stands for. And then get on your knees and ask God what is on His heart. It's nothing really that drastic, just a couple million lives are at stake. I once heard that some folks were voting for a certain candidate b/c they were a good speaker and were very eloquent. That scares me. The Bible warns of flattering speech. I personally get very scared when people just have all these nice things to say about topics. Sometimes it seems we're too afraid to look at the big picture and realize the mess we're really in.

I know, this was one of those really encouraging blogs huh? Sometimes, we just gotta call it like we see it...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Being ready at all times

Just last nite, i got a call from a friend of mine about a possible ministry trip. He gave me about a 12 hr notice of going to a church nearby to minister. But that's part of being me. and I love that sort of stuff! So after a bit of traveling (about 40 minutes away) and getting there about 10:10 and spending time in prayer, its time to roll. So my buddy preached for a bit and I was able to give a brief exhortation about son ship and some other prophetic words came out.

It's stuff like this that I'm made for. Being a young single guy, I can go a lot easier than others. And we got to pray for people and just love on them. Life is good.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit Pt. 2

In my last blog, I mentioned about making a theological truth and experiential reality. As I've mentioned before, Christianity is about a relationship you have with Jesus Christ, who is God's Son. It's not just some sort of routine you do necessarily, but it's about a living, breathing relationship.

I've been reading a book called "Surprised By The Power of the Spirit" by Jack Deere. He was a cessassionist who later changed his perspective to believing in the gifts of the Spirit. I want to say this: I believe the Bible is the infalliable Word of God. It is my Rock and from it I get a sure foundation. Whenever listening to anything, sermons particularly, I bounce it off the Word and make sure it stands. I also believe in the Gifts of the Spirit as mentioned about in 1 Cor. 12. And i believe that these gifts, when used appropriately according to the Bible and done in a fitting and orderly way, can be very productive.

I was just reading in it about how he considered his emotions as useless and to just suppress the emotions. He said that it bothered him that when reading the Psalms how it seemed that the writer just bore his feelings to God. I used to kinda do the same thing, being that I would just suppress my feelings. And that's not healthy. I've since learned that its ok to laugh and cry. It's ok to have emotions. It's how those emotions are used.

A friend of mine was telling me that he went to visit a particular church once. And during the worship time, he raised his hands in worship. Later after wards, the pastor came up to him and gently informed him that they don't do that in this church. They do everything by the Spirit, and not by the flesh. My friend was just like "ok... my bad."

Now obviously, I don't agree with that. Now, the other extreme is where you just let everything go. You're just totally run by your feelings. And that's not safe either. I've been in services though where you don't know what's going on necessarily, but there is still order. The Holy Spirit is moving powerfully and there are outward demonstrations of it. And there is a time and place for that.

What am I trying to say? I'm trying to say that there is a place to let your emotions and hunger and passion for God just have at it. When you come into a church meeting, I don't think that that is the time to shut your emotions off and its also not a place to check your brains. There is a healthy combination of them both. There is a healthy way to take a theological truth and turn it into an experiential reality. I can't find anywhere in the Bible where it says that the gifts of the Spirit stopped. Just because we haven't seen them for years is no excuse. And I know that there are folks who have been deeply hurt by the improper use of the gifts. They're not meant to control you and manipulate you, but rather empower you to live a life of Godliness in Jesus.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Life In General

There has been a lot going on as of late. There are election campaigns in full swing right now, the financial arenas are crumbling as we speak, life in general just seems to be going on a downward spiral towards nothingness. It's amazing how much of our lives revolves around computers and money. Which is unfortunate really. I mean, my current job literally revolves around computers. And when they're not functioning properly, we definitely notice it.

As far as the elections go, I largely stay away from a lot of the media as far as opinion goes. I get a little of the news from certain media outlets, but I look at the lives of the candidates and what they stand for. If they don't respect and care for life, then many other aspects of their lives will follow suit. One of the defining issues will be their moral/spiritual stance. Granted, I usually vote more on the Republican ticket because they're known to be more conservative in their views regarding abortion and religion on the society as a whole.

I want to say that about government and religion mixing, I'm not looking for a Theocracy. As I've said before, that's been tried and it failed. I do however want officials to be going to God and asking the Lord for wisdom and direction in how to govern. I don't want them to be forcing it down others throats necessarily, but an occasional quoting of scripture never hurts.

It does give me great comfort to know that my leaders in Washington D.C. have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Our nation was founded on the Bible and most of the leaders then were men who knew God and had a relationship with Jesus.

As far as Wall Street, why is it that soo much of our lives revolve around those pieces of paper? It's honestly frightening to think that. I'm not against talking about money and dealing with it. It's a great tool to be used. And I want to see people with great financial minds be used in Christendom. But lets not put our faith and trust in our wallets. The economy goes up and down worse than the coolest roller coaster out there (and I love roller coasters). Let us put our faith in God and in our relationship with Jesus. And let's ask God for wisdom to know how to spend the money He's entrusted us with.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fellowshipping w/ the Holy Ghost

Every now and then, we have these prayer meetings here at church that are just awesome. Call them what you will, our purpose for them is to have fellowship with God the Holy Ghost. Some verses to think about and meditate on are:

John 7:37 if anyone thirsts, drink. This is a nice theological truth, but yet to be an experiential reality.
Rom. 5:5 God’s love poured out through the Holy Spirit
John 15 Abide in My love and Me
It’s one thing to hear the Word, but its another thing to experience it
We have access to God at all time and we’re seated in heavenly places, and yet He resides in us.
1 Cor. 5:17 Paul says our outer man is decaying, but our inner man is being renewed. (Romans 12:2)
Being a heavenly being, we should be walking around in the presence of God at all times.
Everyone experiences it differently.

Above are some of the notes i grabbed last nite during the meeting. I know they're kinda vague, but if you have any questions, i dare you to ask. And last night at our meeting, we had some new comers. Just kinda fyi, most of our prayers meetings are not just a nice little sit down and think about a nice theological truth, but we like to be more experiential. Perhaps this is some of the reason why I'm honestly bored in church. We go in and sit there and sing a few nice songs and hear a nice message. But in your 'gut', have you ever been like "God, i know there is soo much more of you yet to be had." It's one thing to know ABOUT someone.. you know, like you know how tall they are and what they like and don't like and something you could put in a biography. It's another thing to KNOW someone.

You may be thinking "yeah, but cults/false religions do some of the same stuff that you charismatics do..". There needs to be a theological truth combined with an experiential reality. I was talking with someone a while back about spiritual manifestations. Why do some shake and fall and do all that weird stuff? The short end of it.... I don't know. Perhaps that they were just soo overcome with God that they didn't know what to do. I'm not saying that you have to check your brains at the door when you come into one of these meetings. Matter of fact, I encourage you to bring your Bible and i'm sure the Lord will speak to you through it. Because all of this stuff is meant to bring you closer to the Lord and giving you a desire to get more into the Scriptures. Again, there is a closer connection with a theological truth and an experiential reality.

I was reading a testimony about how a young girl became a Mormon. She said she knew she was 'saved' according to the Mormons when she "felt a burning in her bosom." And experiential reality will not contradict a theological truth. The Holy Spirit will not contradict Scripture. I don't think its possible.

When I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and started to pray in tongues, I had more of a desire to get into the Bible and figure out what its saying. Now, i know that doesn't mean much to some because someone will have a rebuttal to it i'm sure.

God is a Father who wants to love you.
God is Jesus who wants a relationship with you.
God is the Holy Spirit who wants to give you power to maintain a holy lifestyle.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

On the Right or Left?

Ok, much to the chagrin of those who love a good and healthy discussion on politics, that is NOT what the title is addressing. This blog is addressing another topic: my purity ring that I wear on my ring finger. Here is the deal: as of current, i'm still single and i wear a purity ring on my ring finger. It is part of my promise with God to not engage in sexual immorality (not going to have sex) before I'm married. But here is the pickle I've come up against... I've been told by different individuals it goes on different fingers. Some have told me it goes on the right ring finger. Others say that left...

I started wearing it on my left because that's where the wedding band goes and all that good stuff. But then someone said "no, its supposed to go on the right hand." So, i just didn't know if anyone reading this knew the definites on this stuff. I guess ultimately I could and should just ask the Holy Ghost and see what He thinks... but please give me your feedback.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Lakeland Outpouring

As to date, its been some time since everything happened with Todd Bentley stepping down and dealing with the issues there. I thought I had posted earlier about this, but I guess I didn't. And I guess I'm only posting now because I wanted to give it time and not just post right away.

Whenever things like this happen, it breaks my heart. I think of the families involved and how it's going to effect them. I also think of the implications it will have on the Body of Christ in general. Let's face it, the secular liberal media jumps on these things and just hurts everything more. Not to mention those who had been opposing things like this from the start. Actually, i think sometimes the 'revival police' and those who apparently know how God is going to do what He does better than others actually do more damage than the secular media.

Below are some articles online about the situation and the people who know more about the details of what happened.

Statement and Appeal Regarding Lakeland - Dutch Sheets
Statement By C. Peter Wagner Regarding Todd Bentley

I don't claim to be an expert on this stuff. I have had experiences in the past and have somewhat of an opinion on stuff like this. But ultimately, all I want to do is present a case and allow each person to make a decision for themselves according to the Scriptures. I've never been down to Lakeland myself to experience what was going on there, but I do know a few people who I know to be grounded in the Word and level headed. They came back with good reports.

I will say that they also came back with some reservations and concerns about it, but I didn't give any sort of opinion back because I wasn't there.

All in all, it just makes me re-examine myself and my own life. I mean, you may be able to function to a certain degree ministering to others, but eventually you'll be found out. To all of this stuff, I am reminded of the phrase "let him who has never sinned cast the first stone." That is not to say that I condone what was going on behind the scenes. But I only know what I've been told and from that, I decided to hold to the idea of that what makes me think my opinion matters?

More than anything, I like what Dutch Sheets said about it... that it shows that we as the Body of Christ need to step up and learn from these mistakes. I understand that when you're hungry and desiring for the Lord to move that you'll eat up just about anything. There is a balance for all this. Some people are really freakish about having anyone touch them in the slightest. I've had people pray over me that i later on find out some bad stuff about them. I just plead the blood of Jesus over myself and declare myself clean according the Bible and any sort of spirit that might have tried to get a hold of me.

In any case, through all of this, I'm not going to stop pursuing more of God and pursuing more of the Holy Spirit to invade this Earth. You don't stop pursuing it, you just use wisdom and test it with the Scriptures. For those who say that the Lord can never use people who have messed up, just don't look at some of the individuals that were used in the OT. They weren't perfect, but somehow the Lord used them. (again, that isn't condoning their sin, but i'm just making a point.)

Until later, be blessed.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Two Kingdoms Collide

I recently read a news article from One News Now about MTV bashing those who hold to abstinence. I can't say as that I'm surprised that that would happen. Guess what everyone... sinners sin.. its what they do. I'm sure that your well aware if you've read my blogs before that I too where a purity ring on my ring finger on my left hand. That ring doesn't stop me necessarily from getting into pre-marital sex. But it moreso my heart and mind saying that i'm not going to mess around like that. When I do get married someday, my wife can rest assured that she is the one and only one that i've ever been with. I was never much of a fan of the Jonas brothers, but perhaps i'll have to look into them more.

After that article, many left remarks. One person stated: "In a nation where free speech is a guaranteed legal right, we have to be prepared to hear from those who do not agree with us. That's just the way it is. MTV has no obligation to apologize to anyone for exercising this right of free speech in the context of what this article says. If people don't like what MTV says or does then they are perfectly free to turn it off. Simple as that." And they're right that MTV doesn't have to apologize for that stuff. As I mentioned earlier, sinners sin. They don't really know better... or they might, but they haven't been saved yet... It's really up to those who profess to be Christians and holding fast to Biblical truth to not endorse stuff like that.

Another person said: "Purity rings are ridiculous. They are about as effective at stopping intercourse as they are at stopping bullets. Abstinence is a mental decisions, and is not something that a ring is going to cause. Wearing the ring is only an outward judgement on everybody else who sees it and may not bee abstinent, further driving them away from the Christian community." I agree partly and I kinda addressed that already. But I'm not trying to judge someone. It's this kind of mentality that says that we shouldn't preach against sin and about the Cross because it might offend someone. Of course the gospel will offend... it points out your wrongs and makes you change.

All in all, it's up to Christians to take a stand for righteousness according to the Bible. Jesus told us to go into all the world and preach the Good News. It's time to get our hands dirty and love these folks into the Kingdom.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's Been A While...

Well, i realize that it has been a while since i last wrote on here. It's either been due to time constraints or just that when i get on here, i feel like i don't have much to talk about and/or I just don't know how exactly to put it into words.

Our Own Place
Since FIRE has moved from Pensacola, FL to Charlotte, NC, we have never had our own place. FIRE moved up in 2003, when i started school at the school of ministry. Even before that, when they first started out in 2000 in Pensacola, they didn't have their own place then either... BUT, all of that has changed! When they first moved up here, we were using another churches building (I LOVE AND MISS PASTOR THANT MCMANUS AND EVANGEL WORSHIP CENTER... if your ever in the Concord, NC region, go check them out... they're awesome folks who love Jesus!) Evangel was kind enough to have a team of folks take their own 18-wheeler down to Pensacola and pick up our stuff!

So, for at least 3 years, we had school and church there at their building. Then, in January 2007, we started to meet Sunday mornings at the YMCA building here in town. Meanwhile, another church had graciously given us their building that they were no longer going to be needing. That meant that we had just inherited 7 acres to do with what we wanted! This didn't just happen though, this had been prayed into and everything! I mean, the equity on this property alone is about 2 million dollars (its right next door to the Lowes Motor Speedway track.

So, this meant that we were migrating from Evangel to starting to use our own facilities. But that certainly didn't happen overnight. We had been meeting in the Y for about a year and a half. Notice I said we HAD been meeting there... past tense... PTL!

Sunday, September 7, 2008 marks the first Sunday morning service we as FIRE had in our OWN building! YAY! That means no more getting to the YMCA at 7:30am to set up chairs and set up our facilities. But the whole time we were there, I really felt that the Lord was teaching us stewardship. How were we going to handle renting a place? Were we going to treat it with respect and as our own? Did we leave a good impression on the folks there? Are they sad to see us go?

I can't say how nice it is to have our own place finally. And this past Sunday, I realized that we'll soon be standing room only already!

On another note, if you've been watching the weather lately, you probably noticed that the Caribbean nations have been getting slammed with hurricane after hurricane. I've been getting emails from Terry Snow, YWAM Director in St. Marc, Haiti. He recently sent me some pictures of what its like down there. I would really love to go down there and help with the recovery process. And especially in a nation like Haiti, its not easy. But i've been to a few other countries in my life, half of them were 3rd world nations and i've seen first hand the devastation. I've seen the sights, i've smelt the smells, felt the heat and witnessed first-hand the spiritual atmospheres. Whenever your in these places, you get a better understanding of what life is like. You get out of your nice cushiony idealism, and your faced with reality. Waiting in a checkout line for 15 minutes isn't all that bad (unless if you consider the magazines they have at eye level...) At least you have to go shopping and are able to buy the stuff your purchasing.

On yet another note, i realize that today is the 7th anniversary that our nation was hit by terrorism. Seven years ago today, we were attacked on our own ground. The following is a video i got through my email. I want to say this: I don't like the idea of war and people dying. But something had to be done. The battle that is being waged isn't just a physical one, but its being fought in the Spirit more than anything. So thank you to our troops and their families. And let us continue to hold our nation, our leaders, our Armed Forces up in prayer. And be on the lookout for how you can make a difference in this world for Jesus.

Until next time, your blessed.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Saddleback Civil Forums

Recently, i received an email from the AFA about the Saddleback Civil Forums. I was watching a few of the videos of Obama, listening to him give the typical 'political' answers (in other words, to me, he didn't answer the questions).

I found this forum really interesting... at least the parts I saw of it. I may not like some of Rick Warren's stuff, but this is one thing I'm cool with (not that that means a lot...). But some folks had a problem that it was in a church. It was in a building that houses a church. Get over it ACLU and all those others who cry over stuff like that.

And obviously, I disagreed w/ most of the stuff Obama said (although, he again never really answered the questions, so i guess I can't really say i agreed or disagreed. I thought he was all about change...? I wish that would mean more than politicians would come out and give us an answer. Right or wrong. But I guess that means turning some people off and losing votes..) i didn't really listen to much of what McCain said.

But one other thing I noted: I'm ready for we as the Body of Christ to arise and instead of being a laughingstock, tackle these issues and quit whimpering in the corner. I'm honestly tired of this stuff being handled with laws passed, but rather lets get to the hearts of people and show them Jesus. Let's show them the love of God and point them in the direction of ALL TRUTH. This means more than just having nice meetings, but rather us being a threat to satan and his kingdom.

So, I don't know about you, but i'm most certainly planning on voting. I think this election year will really prove a couple different things. I think it will wake a lot of folks up to the fact of that its not just up to one man whom we call the president to solve all our problems, but its up to us to pray and seek God and cry out for mercy and pray for our leaders. It's up to us to live out the Word of God and turn to God and forsaking unrighteousness and then the Lord will heal our land. I believe in praying for our leaders and I want to encourage probably all 2 or 3 of you who read this to do your part.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

In Reflection...

I like to read various articles, even articles that I know I will disagree with. I also like to read other peoples stuff to see how other things read. I know that at times, I can come across quite gruff and rough. At times, I can be very confrontational. But I only like to be like that when need be. I recently had someone tell me that they see me in some very tough situations in the future, and yet for me, it won't seem that bad. I love to have discussions with folks, even when they disagree. But I like to be able to agree to disagree on issues. To me, its a mark of maturity. When you don't blow up on people, but you calmly say "I have a differing view point on that." And yet you can be best of friends.

On one of my recent posts, I had forwarded it to a friend of mine. He wrote back and shared his thoughts. They were very interesting. I find that when you have people give you feedback and its not always the nice stuff, it shows you who you really are.

Just fyi, I haven't really been glued to the news lately to follow the elections. I personally disagree w/ Obama and I know I won't be voting for him (check his voting record, he supports genocide and other immoral issues), and I guess if i have to vote for McCain, I will. But neither of them would be my first pick. I would rather have a politician get in there who isn't the slickest with folks, but yet he gets things accomplished. Flattering speech scares me.

That's it for now. Make it a great one.

History Lesson

A missionary friend in Israel sent me link about the Middle East Peace Conflict. Check it out at least. With that posted, I do want to mention that I know Jesus loves the Arabs and I do too. I want to see them accept Jesus and be grafted into the family of God, loving Jesus. I have many friends in the Muslim countries, and I would love to travel there myself and help in whatever way I can.

I am, however, tired of hearing Israel get picked on. That is why I posted the above link. Let's continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and for Muslims come to find peace and eternal life in Jesus.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Cross Cultural Jesus

And there are the funny emails...

There were 3 good arguments that Jesus was Black:

1. He called everyone brother.
2. He liked Gospel.
3. He couldn't get a fair trial.

But then there were 3 equally good arguments that Jesus was Jewish:

1. He went into His Father's business.
2. He lived at home until he was 33.
3. He was sure his Mother was a virgin and his Mother was sure He was God.

But then there were 3 equally good arguments that Jesus was Italian:

1. He talked with His hands.
2. He had wine with His meals.
3. He used olive oil.

But then there were 3 equally good arguments that Jesus was a Californian:

1. He never cut His hair.
2. He walked around barefoot all the time.
3. He started a new religion.

But then there were 3 equally good arguments that Jesus was American Indian:
1. He was at peace with others.
2. He ate a lot of fish.
3. He talked about the Great Spirit.

But then there were 3 equally good arguments that Jesus was Irish:

1. He never got married.
2. He was always telling stories.
3. He loved green pastures.

But the most compelling evidence of all - 3 proofs that Jesus was a woman:

1. He fed a crowd at a moment's notice when there was no food.
2. He kept trying to get a message across to a bunch of men who just didn't get it.
3. And even when He was dead, He had to get up because there was work to do.


I often get interesting emails from folks. I just recently some interesting ones from my dad. Now, i want to preface this by saying that i'm not against immigration. This country is built on that. But i am against people coming here illegally and then getting all sorts of preferential treatment and getting money. In any case, enjoy the following email that i received the other day:

Very interesting and thought provoking!!!!!!

This English teacher has phrased it the best I've seen yet
Tomatoes and Cheap Labor CHEAP TOMATOES?

This should make everyone think, be you Democrat, Republican or Independent

From a California school teacher - Cheap Labor

'As you listen to the news about the student protests over illegal immigration,
there are some things that you should be aware of: I am in charge of the English-as-a-second-language department at a large southern California high school which is designated a Title 1 school, meaning that its students average lower socioeconomic and income levels.

Most of the schools you are hearing about, South Gate High, Bell Gardens, Huntington Park, etc., where these students are protesting, are also Title 1 schools. Title 1 schools are on the free breakfast and free lunch program. When I say free breakfast, I'm not talking a glass of milk and roll -- but a full breakfast and cereal bar with fruits and juices that would make a Marriott proud. The waste of this food is monumental, with trays and trays of it being dumped in the trash uneaten.

I estimate that well over 50% of these students are obese or at least moderately overweight.
About 75% or more DO have cell phones. The school also provides day care centers for the
unwed teenage pregnant girls (some as young as 13) so they can attend class without the
inconvenience of having to arrange for babysitters or having family watch their kids.

I was ordered to spend $700,000 on my department or risk losing funding for the upcoming year even though there was little need for anything; my budget was already substantial. I ended up buying new computers for the computer learning center, half of which, one month later, have been carved with graffiti by the appreciative students who obviously feel humbled and grateful to have a free education in America.

I have had to intervene several times for young and substitute teachers whose classes consist of many illegal immigrant students here in the country less then 3 months who raised so much hell with the female teachers, calling them 'Putas' whores and throwing things so that the teachers were in tears.

Free medical, free education, free food, day care etc., etc, etc. Is it any wonder they feel entitled to not only be in this country but to demand rights, privileges and entitlements? To those who want to point out how much these illegal immigrants contribute to our society because they LIKE their gardener and housekeeper and they like to pay less for tomatoes: spend some time in the real world of illegal immigration and see the TRUE costs. Higher insurance, medical facilities closing, higher medical costs, more crime, lower standards of education in our schools, overcrowding, new diseases etc. etc, etc.

For me, I'll pay more for tomatoes. We need to wake up. The guest worker program will be a disaster because we won't have the guts to enforce it. Does anyone in their right mind really think they will voluntarily leave and return? It does, however, have everything to do with culture: A third-world culture that does not value education, that accepts children getting pregnant and dropping out of school by 15 and that refuses to assimilate , and an American culture that has become so weak and worried about 'politically correctness' that we don't have the will to do anything about it.

This makes my blood boil.

CHEAP LABOR? Isn't that what the whole immigration issue is about? Business doesn't want to pay a decent wage. Consumers don't want an expensive produce. Government will tell you Americans don't want the jobs. But the bottom line is cheap labor. The phrase 'cheap labor' is a myth, a farce, and a lie. There is no such thing as 'cheap labor.' Take, for example, an illegal alien with a wife and five children. He takes a job for $5.00 or 6.00/hour. At that wage, with six dependents, he pays no income tax, yet at the end of the year, if he files an Income Tax Return, he gets an 'earned income credit' of up to $3,200 free.

He qualifies for Section 8 housing and subsidized rent.
He qualifies for food stamps.
He qualifies for free (no deductible, no co-pay) health care.
His children get free breakfasts and lunches at school!
He requires bilingual teachers and books.
He qualifies for relief from high energy bills.
If they are or become, aged, blind or disabled, they qualify for SSI.
Once qualified for SSI they can qualify for Medicare.
All of this is at (our) taxpayer's expense.
He doesn't worry about car insurance, life insurance, or homeowners insurance.
Taxpayers provide Spanish language signs, bulletins and printed material.
He and his family receive the equivalent of $20.00 to $30.00/hour in benefits.
Working Americans are lucky to have $5.00 or $6.00 hour left after paying their bills and his.

The American taxpayers also pay for increased crime, graffiti and trash clean-up.
Cheap labor? YEAH RIGHT! Wake up people!

These are the questions we should be addressing to the presidential candidates for either party. 'And when they lie to us and don't do as they say, we should replace them at once!'

Saturday, August 9, 2008

To the Chapman's

First off, Chapman's thanks for sharing this story with the world. What an awesome example of the love that comes only through Christ.

Will Franklin, may the grace of God fill you through and through with this grief. Remember, it was an ACCIDENT! You obviously didn't want this to happen, that's not your heart. From what i hear about you, you are a WONDERFUL older brother. And I know being an older brother myself, the guilt and/or grief you may feel. Remember bro, it was an ACCIDENT!

So why do bad things like this happen to good people? Life happens, I guess. Is it ok to just not have an answer or not saying anything, but just come along side and just let you know that our prayers are with you guys? Sometimes, you just don't have an answer. Weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. God's grace on you Chapman Family.

And congratulations to you Emily on your future!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Considerations for the future

I was just reading an article from MSN about how every year the sexual content of our society is hitting younger and younger ages. The article was entitled "Grade-school Logita: 'So Sexy So Soon'. (As a disclaimer, i do want to apologize for the picture on the very front of it. In my putting this on here, I don't want to come across as condoning that type of dress.) But reading through this, I was thinking about how would I handle these types of situations. I mean, lets face it: you can access just about anything now via the internet.

But for myself, I was thinking about how I would handle these types of situations. With my future more than likely dealing with these types of situations, what would I do? Not looking through my 'ministerial' lens and/or 'adult' lens, but coming at it from, lets say, a secular perspective. There are a lot of messed up families out there. And luckily, I grew up in a good Christian home. To this day, i feel pretty comfortable discussing these issues with my parents and family in general. Then again, I feel comfortable addressing these issues with just about anyone really, to a certain degree. I mean, I can't stick my head in the sand about this stuff. Issues like these are things I'm doing to be dealing with. And of course, I'm going to be going to scripture and pointing people to Jesus in those times.

But other than that, what do you do? I've learned that it's amazing what happens when you just listen to folks sometimes. (When you listen to them, they're more prone to listen to what you have to say and then you get to present some awesome Biblical truths.) But aside from that, i'm amazed and somewhat very shocked at the issues i've had to deal with folks in the past. I mean, what do you tell someone who is 13 and they're parents are getting a divorce?

I forget who I was listening to sometime ago, but he made mention of a situation where one of his daughters at home mentioned about how hurt she was that something happened to her. He said that at first, he was just going to quote a scripture verse to her. But then, he felt prompted to just say "honey, I hurt when you hurt." it was at this time that his daughter came over and gave him a great big hug! Instead of him just throwing out some rhetoric, he first sympathized what what she was going through. But how often do I actually listen to folks and take in what they're saying?

Just reading through this article gave me things to pray through and really get into the scriptures about and really think and ask how would Jesus have responded to this type of stuff? I mean, the things mentioned in this article simply are expressing human emotions and things that people deal with. Unfortunately, its at such a young age.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The thought occurred to me...

That if i started up a computer class, i mean just teaching the basics, I would be kept super busy teaching/training a lot of folks. The other day at work I was like "ok, why does someone, who knows next to nothing about computers, have a high end complicated system?" I've honestly thought about teaching a class for people to learn computers. Start off amazingly simple and just progress from there. Who knows, I may end up doing something like that some day.

Over the past few days here, I have been tearing down a fence in our back yard. I checked with the Pearson's to see if they wanted it up. They said go ahead and tear it down. So, the only think that remains of it is 3 posts in the back yard. It was time to get some good aggression out... and sweat and manual labor... i feel better now..

Thursday, July 31, 2008

RIP Grandpa

On a completely different note here.... for those of you who have ever lost a close loved one, you can understand the following post more. When i first found out about my grandpa's death, it hadn't hit me truly for a couple days. I found out about it on a Monday night and spent some of that night and the following two days crying off and on. I luckily had the next day off of work and i tried to go in that Wednesday, but didn't last. Then that Thursday I was traveling and doing the viewing. I went right from the airport to the private viewing for the family. I was doing somewhat ok until i got to the private viewing and then I saw my relatives and the tearing started flowing once again. And you know what, I'm glad they did. It was tears of bitter sweetness. Sad that grandpa was gone but happy that he was in Heaven with Jesus. Sad that my family had to go through this (and for someone like me, I want to be able to fix everything). And sometimes the best way to fix this stuff is let the reality of it sink in. Ever have those times where you want to cry but you just can't? I don't know about you, but i get them a lot! it might be my ministerial calling that just having a heart like that. But i can remember monday night when i first heard about it, i couldn't really cry and i don't know why. But right before going to bed, i went and grabbed a hankerchief, when into my roommates room and put my head on one of their shoulders and let it the tears roll. And man did it feel good! (for those of you wanting to know how to console someone in this time, sometimes its just letting them wet your shoulder with their tears.)

But this evening in the mail, i got a letter from my grandma (which, by the way, she had already changed the return address sticker on it by taking my grandpa's name off... proud of you grandma for doing that..) and in it was a poem by someone. It reads as follows: :: clears throat ::

If You Could See Where I Have Gone

If you could see where I have gone, the beauty of this place
And how it feels to know you're home to see the Savior's face
To wake in peace and know no fear, just joy beyond compare
While still on earth you miss me, yet you wouldn't want me there
If you could see where I have gone

If you could see where I have gone and made the trip with me
You'd know I didn't go alone, the Savior came with me
When I awoke, He was by my side, and reached down His hand
Said, "Hurry, you're going home to a grand and glorious land
Don't worry over those you love to I'm not just with you
And don't you know with you at home, they'll long to be here too."

If you could see where I have gone, and see what I've been shown
You'd never know another fear or ever feel alone.
You'd marvel at the care of God, His hand on every life
And realize He really cares and bears with us in strife
And that he weeps when one is lost, His heart is filled with pain
But, oh the joy when one comes Home, a child at Home again

If you could see where I have gone, could stay awhile with me
could share the things that God has made to grace eternity
But, no, you couldn't ever leave once Heaven's joy you'd known.
You couldn't bear to walk earth's paths once Heaven was your home

If you could see where I have gone, you'd know we'll meet some day
And though I'm parted from you know, that I am just away.
So thank you wife, thank you children, for living for the Lord
For encouraging me to love Him, to trust Him and His word
And now that I'm Home with Him, secure in every way,
I'm waiting here at Heaven's door to greet you some sweet day.

Wow, that is one good poem. Everyone grieves differently. As I was back in PA for the funeral, i was talking with a old friend of mine who we used to terrorize the neighborhood there and he said that when they lost a relative of there's, it was actually a celebration of a life they'd lived. And he was completely right. It was a celebration of a life lived. It's just going through the grief of loosing someone, but knowing they're in a much better place.

The Lord holds the future in His hands, and its up to us to stay close to Him to rest in His love for us and to give that away to the world. My grandpa will be very missed. But i'm also happy for him that He is with Jesus.

This is a picture of me and my mom's parents, Grandma and Grandpa Yoder

And this is a picture of my dad's parents, Grandma and Grandpa Landis

A Few Things...

The idea of abuses has been on my heart and mind a lot lately. I've seen a lot of them you might say. In all my years of being in this mess some call Christianity, i've seen a lot of junk. I've experienced a lot of junk. Maybe/hopefully i'm the only one. Although i'm sure i'm not. I don't know about you, but i've have my fair shut of beat ups in church. Not physical ones, but just drama and things have happened to me personally and my friends. And not of it feels good. And this isn't anything against any one church. This is just to state a fact.

Why do you think God would entrust His children with His bride? I'm sure He knew we'd botch things up... my brother in law has a video on his blogspot of a guy faking being a minister of the gospel. I watched a good bit of it before i almost had to run to the bathroom to throw up. In a lot of meetings I'm apart of, i've seen some weird stuff. Being in the charismaniac/pentecostal/non denom whatever-the-heck-you-wanna-call it circles, weird things take place. And some might say "oh, that's just because they're not preaching from the Bible." Which, in some cases, there is legitimacy to it. But sometimes, that's not the case. I always tell folks "look, i don't care if you get slain in the spirit or whatever, but it's what you do when you get up that i care about."

I have absolutely nothing against guys like Mark Hamill. I believe that they're doing this for very good reason. And some of what he said in there does have a good point. But I've been in the position where i've been slain in the Spirit and drunk and some of that other stuff. And yet I'm coming away with a desire to get into the Word and fellowship with Jesus. Again, things do get abused. And for those reading this and have been abused, i can't apologize enough. But what about the folks who have gone through this stuff and for them they're sincerely seeking God? (In essence, some of what Mark said was calling me a liar and a hypocrite. But listening to him did give me a chance to check up on myself and examine my own motives. And I hold nothing against the man.)

I was just talking with a precious sister in the Lord this evening whom i used to go to school with. Unfortunately, while she was here, something happened to her and she got hurt. It's just not right. The Lord has entrusted us with something so precious like His Bride, i pray that the Lord teach me proper stewardship, that i may be entrusted with more and treated it w/ care.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Beaten by a Stick

You may have thought that by reading the title of this entry that perhaps I had gotten flogged or something. But that isn't the case... I am writing this because of a part of a sermon I heard lately.

What is it about the preaching of the Cross or the Cross itself that is soo offensive to people? What is it about telling someone that someone was beaten and then hung on a tree (all the while being bloodied and their physical body being mutilated and bent out of shape) and taking this persons sins upon themselves and giving their life as a ransom for many, that is soo offensive and bothersome to many? Is it the fact that this person, Jesus Christ, did this as a way to reconcile the sinner to God the Father? And now this person has a way to not sin but live a holy lifestyle?

In 1 Corinthians, Paul says that "Jews demand a sign and Greeks look for wisdom, but i preach the Cross of Christ and Him crucified." Does that mean that whenever someone asked Paul for advice on something, He just said that Jesus was crucified on a Cross? Because then later on Paul is talking about spiritual gifts and He's baptizing folks in the Holy Spirit. I think (and this is just my opinion in reading the Scriptures and just kinda common sense), but i think He was moreso saying that the Cross is to be the very foundation of the gospel and everything should stem from that.

Jesus dying on the cross and taking my sins on Himself, and thus giving me a way to live a holy and sinless lifestyle is the foundation for Christianity. Repenting of your sins is the way to get in to Heaven. And then once you have Jesus are your Lord and Savior, you can start to live a lifestyle that is pleasing to the Father. Then you get to start to develop and maintain a relationship with Jesus, seeing as how He is your Lord and Savior. And you get to start doing like really cool things. Like praying for folks and seeing people get healed and set free from all sorts of oppressions and diseases. Some might say that we don't need emotional healing because Jesus died for that already. And therefore, once you receive Jesus, He takes all of that away. And some people haven't been through a lot of junk. But some have. And that's where the power of the gospel comes into play at. Through the authority that God has given us through Jesus, we get to make sick people better.

John the Immerser said that he (John) baptizes with water, but that there was one greater coming (Jesus) who would baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Lately, i've been reading a book called "Surprised by the Power of the Spirit" by Jack Deere. I was just reading a chapter about spiritual abuses. Every church has them. I've noticed in some circles that they emphasize being baptized in the Holy Spirit and praying in tongues MORE than repenting of sins and getting your life right back with God. While i firmly believe in the baptism of the Spirit, that has to be handled properly.

I think that's all for now.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

In Pursuit of the Authentic

So what will authentic church look like? What will a glorious spotless bride look like? To me, its really about what's going on in your life and heart. That's one way of putting it....

While working at Walmart and manning a cash register, you would come across times when people would try and give you fake money. We had those pens that you would take across the money to make sure they were real bills. I never came across money that was fake, or at least not that i knew of.

Just recently, i was talking w/ someone about church (I know, imagine that huh?). There are all types of church out there. There are mega-churches (usually characterized by a church body being 1,000 people or more.) And there are smaller community churches and house churches. Then there are even different brands of churches. There are some that are more dressy and then some that are not. Because there are all different types of people, your bound to have churches that have all different types of emphasis'.

Here is something to think about: there are all different types of presentation, and that's ok. But one thing stays the same: the message.

We're all in the pursuit of something that is real. Who wants something that is fake or stale or dusty or something like that? But we're after something that is, at times, hard to explain. I was talking w/ a relative the other day and mentioned that i have a hard time sometimes in a 'church service'. Not because the preaching might be bad or the music isn't good, but to me it seems like we're vitally missing the presence of God. We have nice programs and nice instruments, but we're lacking something more important: the Guest of Honor.

My heart is for the Body of Christ (The Bride of Christ) to realize her full potential and begin and continue to walk in the anointing she should be walking in. And be walking in the full power she should be walking in.

In most homes, the lady usually likes to decorate the kitchen and living room and other rooms to how she likes it. The guys are usually satisfied the garage. But overall, the dad has final say. The Lord has allowed us as the bride to decorate the buildings, but He gets final say of how things are run.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Identity Theft

Is it just me or is there like a major problem in this world with identity. It's seems like we don't know who the world we are. Especially Christians! From time to time, I get into Christian bookstores and there are countless books about improving one's identity. Whatever happened to the preaching of the cross? I don't like the idea of self-esteem, it seems its soo much emphasis on yourself. From what i remember of the Bible, Jesus said to take up your cross and follow Him. He didn't say to be all self conscious of your image and be all concerned about stuff like that. Paul said "I die daily." When your secure in your relationship with Jesus, there really isn't a whole lot people can do or say to you. Leonard Ravenhill said that if your intimate with God, you won't be intimated by men. When you know who you are as a son of the Most High God, self esteem issues take care of themselves.

I've read books like Wild at Heart and Captivating... and i have bad days too and i love to spend time with folks. And i like to have a nice appearance. But there seems to be too much emphasis on self, and not enough on the Cross. But sometimes, things just seem soo superficial.

The Bible warns of flattering speech. Matter of fact, i'm uncomfortable whenever i hear 'prophetic words' and they're just all nice speech. Yes, the Lord loves you. But at times, God has to just smack you up side the head. The Lord disciplines those whom He loves. God can not and will not condone sin. He can't.

One passage of scripture i'd encourage someone who may be having self esteem issues or don't know who they are, read and pray through John 15:1-17.

Friday, July 4, 2008

More on Stewardship

Lately, the Lord has really been putting the idea of properly stewarding His presence properly. Not treating it haphazardly, but having proper respect for it and proper care for it. He reminded me of the story in the Bible where the Israelites were moving the ark and it started to fall and one of the men there reached out to steady the ark so it wouldn't hit the ground (2 Samuel 6) And the Lord struck the man dead because he touched the ark! To our finite minds, we might be thinking "but he was trying to do something good."

I've seen and been around a lot of weirdness in the Body of Christ. It's soo easy to fake Christianity, or at least certain aspects of it. But it's vitally important to always be using scripture as our ultimate authority. I've grown up in the Pentecostal/charismatic circles and am still apart of it. There can be a lot of flakiness at times. But then there can be a lot of good things. I've seen people getting totally duped and tricked all in the name of Jesus. It's very important that we watch our motives for why we do things and also make sure we check what's going on with scripture, so as to not get into error. Are we doing them to make a name for ourselves? What happens if you do a good job at something but get no credit for it?

The Bible tells us to test the spirits and make sure they're of God. I've heard stories where people have faked being a Christian and even preaching! When we don't have a firm hold on scripture and pay attention to what the Holy Spirit is saying, we can get taken.

Here are FIRE, we have services a lot where we're just worshiping and praying. And we can get a bit crazy at times. I tell people a lot I don't care if you fall or shake or whatever, but its what you do after you get up that i care about.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Family Ties

I was just talking on the phone with a friend of mine and I was relaying some of the stories that happened in PA. Monday night, we all went out for ice cream. The six of us: Dad, Mom, Shay, Me, Amber and Austin. It was fun to go and just get some ice cream. Our family is spread out all over the globe and its a miracle when we all come together.

But this time it really made me more appreciative of my family. The mindset in our culture today is soo anti-traditional family. I'm all for change as well, but good solid Biblical change. I believe the family unit is of God's design. That's why satan is doing everything he can to destroy it.

During the private family viewing time, we all cried together and hugged each other. Sometimes you realize that all the stupid petty differences are just stupid. It's just ignorance and pride and what can i get out of it. That mentality is just flat out annoying.

In any case, my grandpa left a strong legacy. And I know why of his greatest joys was to see his kids and grandkids coming together. And that happened. PTL!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Major Adjustments

It has been almost a week now since my grandpa died. I found out about it a week ago tonite. Its been a crazy week to say the least. I cried a lot Tuesday and Wednesday. And i'm glad i didn't have to drive up. I wouldn't have made the trip up. I would've been a mess.

In any case, now its time for us to continue right along. I head back down to Charlotte tomorrow and continue on with life. It's going to take some time to adjust to all of this. For those of you who ever lost a relative that was really close to you, you will know how I feel.

One good thing that has happened is the fact that our family has really come together and bonded over it. I've been reciting comforting scripture time and time again and praying a lot. The fact that my grandpa is with Jesus is great consolation. It's just moreso the fact that we have a lot of adjustments to make. God is good and His Word is good.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Bit of an Update

I tried to go into work this morning, but didn't make it. Just before i clocked in I went to one of my managers there and tried to explain what was going on, but simply broke down crying. He said go home and take the rest of the week off.

So then i came home and laid down on my bed and tried to fall back to sleep. But that didn't work. I tried to change my flight, but it would've cost a lot of money. So i'll just leave in the morning. In the meantime, i've been packing and trying to eat (not much of an appetite, but doing what i can.) and i was watching some comedy online. I needed some good laughs, instead of crying. So i'll fly out tomorrow morning and be in PA by about 10:30am. I knew i wouldn't be able to do that drive, and i found a good priced ticket out of Charlotte.

I get to do some of the eulogy for my grandpa. They're giving me 5 minutes. I guess they believe in miracles b/c i'll shoot those 5 minutes in a heartbeat. Get me to talk about something I like or enjoy and is on my heart and i can keep going.

I can't thank everyone enough for their overwhelming support doing this time. The Lord had been preparing my heart for some time for this, but it still is hitting me hard. I've been crying a lot the last 30 hours.

The Lord is good and His mercy and love endures forever.
Jesus is King and He is on the throne.

Its important to mourn and get it out. Be blessed everyone.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Great Cloud of Witnesses

I just got a call from my parents that my grandfather passed away tonight. He was truly a patriarch of my family and he taught me many great things. He instilled in me a great work ethic. He also spoke some great wisdom into my heart and my mind. Without him, i truly wouldn't be the man of God that i am today. And i literally wouldn't be in the place that i am today. he is truly a man to aspire to be more like, other than Jesus Himself, he truly led a way to Jesus. He truly led by example. He is now looking on from the great cloud of witness cheering me on. He was a man who loved Jesus more than anything and it was out of that they he served with his whole heart. Thank you Jesus for such a great example that you had put in my life, other than You Jesus. Thank you for providing people to look up to and admire. People who walked according to Your Word and Your truth. Praise Jesus for evermore!

You may think "how can you be soo calm at a time like this?!?!" well, for one, the Lord has been preparing my heart for sometime now about this very issue. A number of years ago, the Lord gave me a dream about this.

It's a bitter sweet... my grandpa is with Jesus. I'm jealous. My roommate just wrote a song about it and below is the lyrics.

A Legacy Singing
by Joshua Pearson

I walked down the avenue, when i heart the news
You kept walking, I stared up at the stars
Through a veil of tears, it was as if heaven was saying

Well done my servant, well done my son
You lived well on Earth, now we are one
Welcome to heaven, Your life has just begun

The trees so tall, have left no legacy
Like the one you gave me
I'll remember You always
Till His face with you I'll see
Till then i'm proclaiming

There is a God, There is one Fathers
There is a cause, like no other
There is a power, blood from one Savior
A legacy singing

RIP Grandpa, forever in my heart and mind.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

New Attire

Every now and then, i get a desire to get dressed up. The other day I went to the store with one of my roommates here to get a new sport coat. We ended up at S&K Menswear and they hooked me up. I got a good deal on two new coast, new trousers, two new shirts and a new tie. Here is a picture of me dressed up in one of my new suits.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Lakeland comes to Concord

This weekend, the regional churches of Concord are coming together to welcome Todd Bentley and Fresh Fire Ministries. I've been helping out w/ it. Last night I didn't get home until about 2 AM. I've been ushering/greetings/all around great guy mainly. There are likes and dislikes for me.

For those who say that he's not focusing on the lost and seeing people come into the kingdom, i'm glad your wrong. In listening to his altar call last night for salvation, i heard the 'repentance' word used a bit. so that settled well within my Spirit.

One of the cons was that when they intro'd Todd, he got a bigger welcome than Jesus. That obviously didn't sit well with me.

I was able to join in on the prayer tunnel and pray for people. Now that was fun! Hehe. For those who don't know what a prayer tunnel is... you line the people up who will be praying for others in lines facing each other about shoulder width apart. Then the people who are getting prayer walk between the people and simply receive. I get more out of praying FOR folks than getting prayer. It's just how i'm wired. They do the prayer tunnels (at church, we call them FIRE tunnels, but its the same concept, just different terminology) a little differently. They actually have two tunnels going at the same time. Todd stood at the front of the tunnel and the folks just went on either side of him. He has two hands so you do two tunnels.

But to start off the night, i was on elevator duty. And i didn't mind doing it, other than the fact that i must've had a badge on me that said "Complaint department". The arena sits about 5,000 people. That quickly filled up. Then the overflow sits another couple thousand was quickly filled up. The totally cool thing was that they said that a couple thousand folks were lined up along the highway praising God! Now thats awesome!!! Sadly, they had to turn many folks away (which i'm not happy about).

But here is something to think about, something for you to ponder over... One thing that i did notice was all the wheelchairs and handicap folks coming in. And one thing that doing elevator duty for me did was giving me a greater desire to seek God for more of Him to pray for folks to get healed. I say its time we stop looking to one man to heal everyone, but for the church (the Bride of Christ) to assert her maturity and power and to perform signs and wonders.

Granted, I do believe that there are folks with a gift for this. But at the same time, it is our job to be doing this. Also, I'm not pointing fingers at any one else other than myself. Even while sitting here writing this, the Holy Spirit is speaking to me as well about my life.

I'm grateful for what the Lord is doing in Lakeland. I'm grateful for what the Lord is doing in the world. He's stirring hearts and lives. He's shaking everything that can be shaken. And my heart is stirred for more of God to take it to a lost and hurting and dying world. He's stirring me and challenging me to be more of a man of my word and a man of His Word and His Spirit. Lately, the Lord has been pointing out areas of my own life that need to be fixed and changed. And if i'm going to be leading others in the future and having influence over them, I need to get my own life in order. I've seen too many ministers and leaders in the Body of Christ falling because of sin. And i need to take the necessary steps to prevent that for myself and my future.

And praise God that the Lord is moving in the world! He's bringing the lost into right relationship with Himself and restoring lives and the prodicals are coming home! PTL!

Well, that's for now. Just wanted to share these things with you all.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Let's face it, we all have them. We all have stereotypes of other people. A goth, a stoner (one who does marijuana, drug addict) smoker, geek/nerd, skater, beach bum.. the list goes on and on. And in today's American culture, everyone tries to 'not judge', which is just a bunch of baloney.

What brought this to mind? Today i was watching a youtube video of Todd Bentley being interviewed by Fox's Geraldo Rivera. Todd was getting asked about his tattooes and piercings and his financial records and about the healings that were taking place. And Todd had answers for the financial records and the healings that were taking place. To verify them (which I wouldn't mind knowing as well.)

But the funny thing about the whole ordeal was the fact that a secular mindset is trying to figure a sacred thing out. The world is trying to figure out the church. Good luck w/ that one.

I remember when i was in high school and i was talking w/ one of my science teachers about scientific equations. And i was asking about certain chemicals and mixing them up. Her only response was that "You can't do that." And i just pressed it a bit and said 'why not?' To which she responded "You just can't."

I politely said "Doesn't sound very 'scientific' to me. Also in other talks with her about creation vs. evolution, the only response was that 'Scientists just believe that.' Ok, but i'm looking for fact here. I believe something else and that's not being taught... seems a little unbalanced to me. But then again, that's just my narrow minded way of thinking... maybe i should be more 'open minded'.

Just a side note here: the above is coming from someone who's younger sister is going into the medical profession and i fully support her in that. I believe that the Lord gave scientific knowledge for us to discover attributes about Him that we may not have otherwise discovered. I personally don't care for science, but i'm 1 of countless billions.

In any case, we all have mindsets about something or other. How about we get a sports athlete in an interview and ask them about what they're doing w/ the millions of dollars they make a year? Or a movie star or someone else... It seems to me like the people who say don't judge are coming up with all the stereotypes and mindsets of those who they're telling not to judge.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Fine Balance

Tonight I got a text message on my phone from a dear brother and friend. And i loved getting the message from him and i'm not tearing it down. But part of it got me to thinking.

I want to preface what i'm about to say by saying that I know that we need to understand that we are loved by God. Jesus showed that to us on the Cross. He willingly went on the cross to show the love of God to the world. But sometimes i have a hard time with how we present the gospel to the world. The Gospel means "Good News".

1. Greasy Grace: By this i mean that God just loves you and He doesn't care what you've done in the past and whatever you'll do in the future. Just receive Jesus and life will be all peaches and roses.

Ok, yes, part of this is cool. Let the past be the past. Jesus does wash all your sins away. And there is a process of sanctification and renewing the mind and there is grace for when you mess up. But i haven't found anywhere in the Bible where it says that the world will love you. Jesus actually said the exact opposite. The world will probably hate us because it hated Jesus first. This doesn't mean we go and be offensive for the sake of being offensive. But when your truly living your life by Biblical standards, there's a very high chance of your having your guts being hated by the world. I remember listening to a message by Leonard Ravenhill. In that message, he said 'How is it that the world couldn't get on w/ the holiest man that ever lived but that it can get on with you?" That phrase hit me like crazy! Where is the repentance message at? Where in our preaching is there the words of taking of your cross and following God?

2. By the Book! Then there is the camp that its just all rules and legalism. That if your not praying 30 hours a day and sharing your faith and doing all this stuff that there is something wrong. This is when it can get into a works mentality. We're saved by grace. It's good to know that its nothing that i can do, but its what Jesus has already done for me. And it's when i accept his forgiveness and love and mercy and grace and i have an understanding of what living a life for Jesus means that i can make an impact in this world.

In all of this, there is a line to be drawn. Ultimately i say, be intimate with God and for the most part other things will fall in line. Cherish His word and Cherish Him. And when you do that, you'll be ministering without even trying it. Because His presence will exude out of you.

Another thing that i was talking w/ some of my friends about tonight was about prophecy and the prophetic gifting. I love and appreciate the prophetic and i truly believe that it is for today. It's also in that i have a high preservation for it. There is a way to handle it and there is a way that you can totally miss it. A few tips is is that you don't prophecy mates, dates and babies (just like around me you don't tease a girl about her weight.. i big no no. the other week in church actually i scolded a younger brother about that. he knew i loved him and he took it well.) but i just have such a high preservation for things of the Spirit and the Holy Scriptures that i can't even watch certain things nowadays. It just seem hollow.