So many are talking about the commercialism of the holidays. They tie it to Black Friday, August Christmas ads and now “black Thanksgiving!” People are working on holidays. On some levels they are two different things. People are working because a company has asked them to with the hopes that people will come shopping. And the commercialism or cheapening of the holiday.
It is one thing to talk about commercialism and the holidays. It is another to just get through the holidays! So many bemoan the commercialism of the season and miss out on the coolness of it. I remember a young pastor one year talking about the unbeliever and how the lights of the season might be the closest understanding of heaven for them. I sat there thinking about that for days. I get it. Not everyone celebrates the same way. Continue reading Crowds Or Family? Your Call→
All too often I watch a parent see their children walk away from the church, leaving thoughts of Christ behind. The parent feels the failure. I have “been there.”
Let me first say I am not a “pastoral” gift” despite years of being the “pastor” of the church I started. I am a prophet, and the perspective I take here may be more prophetic than pastoral or teacher.
But more importantly I am husband, a parent and a grandparent. My view is in part based on scripture and my understanding of it combined with my experience. Between my wife and I we have 5 children. We have 6 grandchildren. We have been married for over 20 years. We have made a lot of mistakes. Continue reading When Your Children Move Away From God→
This was an amazing weekend for us at Village. Ordinations, families, friends, food and faith. We had friends visiting from around the region. I want to say thanks to my church family for being one of the most awesome people on the planet!
During that time I felt the Lord speaking to me about family. I began to get this picture of two people, a husband and wife as they embarked on their relationship together. I saw the siblings show from time to time, the parents and grandparents as well. But the new life that was to be added to the family would come from them and their love for one another. In the natural they would develop friends and those friends would sit at their tables. But ultimately “new” life would come through them. There was dynamic working. And I was reminded of a vision I had on Saturday night. Continue reading Multiplication Is Easy→
I think at one point everyone wants to be the favorite. In first grade because I did well with studies the teacher let me be the milk monitor for our class. Each day I would go down to a refrigerator and pull out a case of small milk cartons. The favor? I was allowed to receive 2 chocolate milks for my efforts each day. I was the favorite.
Many have tried to curry favor with another in an effort to receive goods, money, attention or something else. But what about working with God? Continue reading I Am Your Favorite→
Lately I have been feeling the pressure to change the culture. Not just the culture of my community but the culture of the church. There is a lot out there about the culture and what we “need” to do but my thinking is along the following lines.
From Merriam’s a particular definition set. In bold I am hitting some key words.
a: the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations
b: the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; also: the characteristic features of everyday existence (as diversions or a way of life} shared by people in a place or time <popular culture> <southern culture>
c: the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization <a corporate culture focused on the bottom line>
During worship in our fellowship, I received a vision I felt I was to share with the prophetic class I would be working with at night. Holding my granddaughter Naomi, the vision appeared and began to just “consume” me with intensity.
I saw a large ocean area far from the beach. The blue-green of the water intrigued me. In the far distance I saw the white crest of the waves from the foam as they moved.
And then my eyes saw the lone surfer in the water. Paddling, it was clear to see that he was losing his energy. In the back ground I saw the long, beginning arch of a gigantic wave. But the surfer was not seeing it. It got larger and larger in my view. The intensity of it was real. I could hear the hissing of the foam. I could hear the quiet as it began to consume the smaller waves.
The Lord took me out of that vision. I was looking into the eyes of my granddaughter. The music was playing. A couple was dancing.
I thought “wow, is this for now?” Nothing fit. Nothing made sense.
I went through worship a little discombobulated. I was thinking. Was he going to miss the wave? Was he going to turn around? The Lord spoke to me about timing. I thought of Issachar. (Funny my friend Mark would share about the woman and the oil who was from Shunem in the tribe of Issachar.)
Last night I shared with our prophetic class the vision and what I thought was being spoken.
That many saw themselves as the surfer. Out there. Paddling. With no around.
(Hebrews 12:12 “For this cause let the hands which are hanging down be lifted up, and let the feeble knees be made strong,”)
That there many who felt as though they had “missed” a previous wave and were destined to just paddling. (Joshua 1:5 “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.”)
That it was necessary to evaluate our circumstances, to look around. (Psalm 8:6-8 “You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.”)
To recognize why you are there. (Habakkuk 2:3 “For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”)
To see the timing of it all.. (1 Chronicles 12:32 “Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their kinsmen were at their command.”)
Recognize that when the wave comes it will be a time to stand. (Ephesians 6:13 “Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”)
You will “walk” on the waters of life and be in His rest. (Psalm 93:4 “The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.”
There is a beginning and an end to most things. This describes where we might be. You are not too old (Caleb –Joshua 14:11-12), too small (Gideon-Judges 6:15)or too uneducated (Acts 4:13). You did not miss it. You may get caught up in the circumstance, but lift your eyes to the hills …wait …you can look inside! That is where your help comes from. You are not subject to atmospheres. You are the atmosphere. You are a thermostat and not a thermometer. (I Timothy 4 Paul asks this of Timothy.) You are not looking for the light, you are the light. You are not looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, for you are the light in the tunnel.(Matthew 5:14)
A wall of water can be pretty destructive. Or you can get on top of it. This is a season of walking on waters, (Matthew 14:22-33) of rising above (Isaiah 40:31) and being the head and not the tail. (Job 9:8)
I encouraged the class to take this word and begin to prophesy to their families, their friends their communities.
“Stand! Stand up! Get up! This is your season. This is your wave. This is it! The great wave that will sweep to families and friends, will wash over communities and nations! Your time is here! Look around. The wave is coming. No longer will you paddle but you will STAND!”
(Reminded me of a song by Sly and The Family Stone)
I think I want his jacket…
In the end you’ll still be you
One that’s done all the things you set out to do
There’s a cross for you to bear
Things to go through if you’re going anywhere
For the things you know are right
It’s the truth that the truth makes them so uptight
All the things you want are real
You have you to complete and there is no deal
Stand!. stand!, ooh!
Stand!. stand!, ooh!
You’ve been sitting much too long
There’s a permanent crease in your right and wrong
There’s a midget standing tall
And a giant beside him about to fall
Stand!. stand!, ooh!
Stand!. stand!, ooh!
They will try to make you crawl
And they know what you’re saying makes sense and all
Don’t you know that you are free
Well at least in your mind if you want to be
Veterans Day is to honor the living veterans amongst us. (As opposed to Memorial Day offering honor to those who have given their lives for their country.) Every time I see a flag, I think of the service my dad and others gave to for this great country of ours. And each time I see a man in uniform, I thank them for their service. But veterans do not wear their uniforms, except on special occasions for the most part.
The son of a military man, I learned the values of who they were and what they stood for. Regardless of whether you believe they ought to have been “over there” or not, it is a time to value the men and women of our country.
I know we have a lot going on in America, but I think it is important that we pray, as well as do what we can for these men and women. Many of them have made the sacrifice in their bodies, their families and their communities. These folks are our “family” and our community. We need to do what we can. Continue reading Veterans Day-A Day For The Living Warriors→
A few months ago I began to write this and for whatever reason, I stopped. Then we moved. One of the things in our home is our refrigerator and the pictures of family and drawings. Children often come and look at it. When we moved, my wife put the pictures in a box and when we arrived here it was one of the first things done. (One person was quite surprised at the fact that the pictures were already up.) Nothing makes a house a home like pictures. Continue reading Pictures On The Walls→
On my Facebook I have an ongoing message with my wife and children, called “Family Is Best!” (It is here we share with one another daily things, prayer requests, great things and little things.) There is no doubt in my mind in the truth of that statement. I have weathered enough storms and circumstances in 58 years to know.
I am the child of divorced parents and divorced twice myself, but I still have no thought in my mind that anything is better than family. Family is God given, God designed. Continue reading Family Is Best!→