Be A Solution

The events of our days are confusing and somewhat frightening.  We are facing sickness and death like no other time in our lives.  No one knows the long term effects of being sick with the Covid-19 virus.  No one has found a cure and there is no preventive measures we can take.  If I say all we can do is trust God, someone will say that it is a cop out.  But I say to you, “Trust God”.  This is the first place to go.  God loves you and is waiting for you to cry out unto him.  He give comfort and peace, hope and assurance.  He knows what tomorrow will bring, so learn to trust him today. 
On the other hand I must learn to “Be A Solution” and not part of the problem.  I find far too many people who ignore wisdom and end up sick themselves or making someone else sick.  Don’t be a part of the problem.  Walk in wisdom.  Walk in compassion.  I talk to people every day who have cancer or heart problems or diabetes and are in danger of their lives if they were to contract Covid-19.  Yet too many people ignore masks, ignore calls to social distance, ignore washing hands.  It’s said that 80% of all cases could be eliminated if everyone would wear a mask.  That’s 80% of all cases worldwide.  Be A Solution and not part of the problem.
 
The same goes for the other cultural elephant in the room.  There have been protests for over a month over racial injustice.  I have heard people talk about civil war, about anarchy, about what should be done, could be done, and would be done if they were in charge.  I am doing a Bible study on 1 John  and I read it over and over.  LOVE ONE ANOTHER! If you love God then you will love others because God is LOVE!  The Bible is clear about this truth–the church is to be what the society is meant to be.  There is no racism in the Church of Jesus Christ.  There is no injustice, no inequality, no violence.  In fact the Bible says, “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female.  For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  (Gal 3:28).  Jesus and the disciples did not spend time in social activism.  They were not attempting to change the Roman Empire culture.  They, Jesus and his followers, were creating a church which was a model for reality.  It was a place of love, acceptance and forgiveness.  It was holy and righteous.  It was fully loving as it was fully transformational.  Jesus never left anyone the same as when he found them.  Every person was a changed person.  A more loving person.  A more forgiving person. A person more like Christ.
 
The least we can do at this time is to not be the problem.  Love your God with all your heart and soul and strength.  And love your neighbor as yourself.  Be a good Samaritan! A good American! A good disciple of Christ.  If and when God leads you into a situation where you can show the love of Christ, then show the love of Christ!  Bind up the brokenhearted.  Set at liberty the captive.  Open the eyes of the blind.  And put your actions and words to the test–Am I Being a Solution or am I Being A Part of the Problem?


Be Thou My Vision

“It is January 2020, and today starts the year of clear vision” came confidently from my mouth. Well, this little emoji   is how I looked on March 2020. I am a planner; my job is to keep things flowing. I am always looking ahead and thinking about the next months and on to the next year. My vision was unclear, and I felt like I could not proceed. I remember pacing and finding it hard to settle. Not just a work but at home and in life. I remember thinking, “how could things just stop?” Well, I could have stopped and remain immobile, but that is not God’s plan for us to stop. His plan has always been for us to trust Him, to let Him, Be Thou My Vision. The Lord knows what we have need of. Little did I know but He had already prepared my year by also giving me a scripture in January as well. Romans 15:13-Paul said to the Romans “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. THEN you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” God is not only our source of hope, but He is hope. Read more…


Patient Endurance

 As I sought the Lord for a word to share, Patient Endurance settled into my spirit. I was recently reading in the book of Colossians, one of my favorite books of the Bible and came across these verses that spoke greatly to me.
Colossians 1:11 – 13 NLT says “We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.”
 
I find these words to be extremely encouraging and very good news. What struck me as I read this recently, in light of our COVID-19 stay at home order was needing or having endurance and patience during this time. I don’t know about you, but I could sure use to develop that quality/virtue/character trait in myself with all of the challenges we are facing at this time. Everyone is experiencing different levels of stress and anxiety through this event, but we who know Jesus have an advocate in the Holy Spirit of God. You see, it is with all his glorious power that God Himself empowers and enables us to obey the word He gives, and to develop those characteristics that we will need to bring glory to our God and His Name through all of our challenges and adversities we will face; because we will face challenges, adversity, sickness and suffering in this life. The Holy Spirit will work these things in us as we surrender to Him and let God have His way in us.
 
It appears as though many are suffering loneliness during this time. I know that there are times that we do not “feel” God’s presence, but His word assures us that He is with us and will not leave us. (Hebrews 13:5) If we set our hearts to seek Him, to worship Him, to pray, and to stay in the Word, He has promised to meet us and be with us. I am a hugger, and I admit I am missing so many people in my life and the hugs. Patient endurance will help me get through until I can hug again and God will not leave me, He is with me, and with you. Read more…


Jesus Is Life

The picture you see above is the glass door of one of our Church Families homes. They sent me this picture through text Sunday night. Being quarantined at home Arianna and Lilly found something creative to do. They used glass art paint and painted their front door. I think it is beautiful and so inviting. This reminded me of one of the scripture verses that I have been pondering on for several weeks now. Psalm 90:1 “Lord, through all the generations you have been our home!”

Psalm 90 is entitled a Prayer of Moses. Here he is giving God praise for being the dwelling-place-the refuge-the help in all generations.

This prayer of Moses was written during the 40 years of the Israelites desert wanderings due to their lack of trust and unfaithfulness. But even then, God was their refuge and their home.

If you are a child of God, then you are at home in God. He is your comfort and your place of safety. Even amid crisis and uncertainty, inside the door you are sheltered in God.

Look at the beautiful door again. It says,

“Jesus is Life” Wow!, what a witness to their neighbors.  Yes, the only way to Life, is through Jesus Christ.  God gives us eternal life in His Son. He did this out of Love. Read more…



What Satisfies the Soul?

I come to the end of this season of fasting.  Earlier in the year I was greatly impacted by a testimony that George Wood shared about the founding of the Assemblies of God churches in Springfield, Missouri.  Amanda Benedict was one of the early participants in the Pentecostal movement. Though she was already 60 years old, and had served the Lord with distinction in rescue home for girls in Chicago, when she arrived in Springfield she set her heart upon receiving the Holy Spirit and being a part of a world-wide revival.  She decided to pray and fasting for one year, eating only bread and water. Read more…



Hitting the Wall

There are times of fasting in which you hit the wall.  The wall comes more frequently if you allow yourself to think about what you are doing.  On day 11 I celebrated and felt great.  I was half way!  Then on the next day I got up and could barely move and thought “Oh no I have 10 more days?!?!?!”  You just have to learn to rely upon the Lord to keep you busy and mentally focused upon the task of getting through the day.

I also see that as I grow closer to the end of the fast that my mind and body are preparing to eat.  I have looked up menus for coming off a fast—none of them are appetizing.  Mostly juices and steamed vegetables.  Absolutely no meat for at least four days, some say a week, others question why you eat meat in the first place.  Needless to say my mind and body is trying to be ready.  This creates tension however in the body.  My body craves food intensely and its cravings are sometimes overwhelming.  It is not pain as such as it is a deep anxiety, a deep longing for something that is missing. Read more…



Expansion

Expansion of the Kingdom comes through sacrifice.   The greatest move of the Spirit that I experienced in Russia came after a time of an intense Daniel fast in 1998.  Healings and salvations were common place and the Word of God came alive to me as never before. In 2009 after years of sowing in fields in China revival came.  Over 13 years I had traveled multiple times in China each time after I had spent time fasting with the Lord. Fasting is about Kingdom expansion. Read more…



The Purpose of Fasting

 Many people ask why I fast and I don’t truly have a good answer except that it seems that fasting works for me.  God works more in my life during and after a fast, than if I don’t fast.  I don’t think everyone is called to the same level of fasting that I am.  But I would contend that you should have some seasons of the year where you demonstrate to God that He is more important than food, or entertainment, or comfort.  This fasting helps us break out of spiritual ruts and malaise.  It wins the victory over the darkness and oppression of the enemy.  Fasting and prayer just works. Read more…



Trusting God

Recently I was confronted with a ministry challenge that reminded me that I desperately needed the Lord’s help in order to accomplish what I had to do.  He gave to me the verse,“I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).  I memorized that verse as a child and quoted it many times to myself and to others.  It has a tendency to become a cliche-something we quote but never truly experience.  Yet over the past few weeks I have experienced the strength of Christ daily.  I needed his strength and he supplied.  I needed his comfort and he was there.  I needed his wisdom and he spoke to me.  I can do what God has called me to do, because he has given the strength to do it. Read more…



Man Does Not Live By Bread Alone

 
Fasting is often a solitary practice.  I have fasted many times and in sundry ways and the one thing that stands out in my mind is the loss of conversation and connection at the table.  My wife and I stop eating together because it is at home where fasting is the most difficult.  As long as I am active and busy and away from the refrigerator then I am not tempted to check and see what there is to eat.  Our evening usually include some early evening snack like popcorn or chips and dip so fasting interferes with that connection.  We become single adults living together during a fast and the connection is sorely missed. Read more…