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.