Prayer and Missions Movement Conference

One of our local Houses of Prayer in the Dallas – Fort Worth area, called the Prayer room will be hosting a conference the weekend of January 18-19 on the prayer and missions movement.  There appears to be a convergence of the movements that God appears to be orchestrating.  The two appear to be rising together and supporting each other.  The guest for the conference will be  Dwayne Roberts who started years ago in misssions across Europe with YWAM and became concerned about the lack of power in their efforts.  For the last several years he has served in leadership at IHOP (International House of Prayer) in Kansas City.  He will soon be moving to Brazil to begin a Houes of Prayer there.  This conference is free but seating is limited.  If you have any interest in missions and prayer go to the website and check it out.

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End of World-What Do We Believe

Harold Camping has stirred up a great deal of activity with his predictions of the enced of the world today.

I for one am convinced he is totally wrong. However, I am more than a little concerned about the reaction in the church.

First there has been a lot of scoffing at Mr Camping. It doesn’t seem to be a response based on love. I don’t know if he is believer or not, I actually feel sorry for him.

Another critical issue in the response of believers has been the scoffing and talk of rapture parties and even laying clothes out in the yard like they had been raptured as some kind of a joke.

2 Peter 3:3-4 (English Standard Version)

3knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”

Is the scoffing at the date setting – or is it about something deeper, a lack of belief that Jesus really will return. I’ve had a sense in the spirit over the last few days that this indeed is what is happening in the church.

I pray before we say anymore about this, that we examine our hearts.

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What Should a Christian Gathering Look Like? What is the Church- Continued

I’m still exploring what it is to be the church.  At this time, I am not attending a formal gathering.  I’m really not comfortable with that, but that is the direction the Lord has led me.  I still give.  I certainly consider myself part of the church.

It’s not that I don’t gather with believers.  I do.  I do not nor never have believed in “lone ranger” Christianity.  Currently I meet with other believers a couple of times a week for periods of extended worship, prayer, and listening to God.

It’s not a formal gathering.  There is no preacher.  There is no formal teaching.  People do step out in a number of ways according to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Is this the church?  I believe it is.

Now there will be many that will challenge this because we don’t do an hour-long teaching when we gather.  Frankly in the case of those I am gathering with,  we are all mature Christians who spend a great deal of time studying and reading the scriptures ourselves.

Even though it’s not a one stop shop, I do consider this a gathering of “the church.”  I’m still getting comfortable with this idea because I’ve always been a part of the “one stop shop” type of gatherings before.

The interesting thing is that even though we have no “formal” teachings, our informal discussions about what the Lord is showing us in scriptures is far more lively and for me life changing than what I get from “sermons.”

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Missional – Social Justice or Salvation

There has been some discussion lately, actually it’s an old discussion about the meaning of “missional.”  Is the focus of being missional about social justice?  Or is it about salvation?  The answer is YES.  God is interested in both.  I believe salvation is primary.  Without salvation of individuals you will not ever really succeed on the social justice side.  It can’t happen without Jesus and Jesus works primarily through his people.  Remember,  true justice is established as the Kingdom of God is established in the Earth and Jesus told us the Kingdom does not come with observation but is within you.   Without individual hearts being changed or converted, there is no justice.

So does that mean we forget about justice.  Absolutely not.  When people are dying because they have no food or water, I believe Jesus weeps.  When women and children are forced into slavery or the sex trade, I believe Jesus weeps.  But it also is of little value to help their temporary situations on Earth if they are not given the opportunity to know about Jesus and lose their soul.  What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?

The question is not which should we be involved in.  I believe that God wants to save.  I also believe God wants to see the oppressed and the hurting comforted and helped.  But it’s not up to us to choose what actions to take.  I believe we have been ineffective in reaching the lost and helping set captives free because we have been involved in trying to figure it out ourselves.

I believe that Jesus set the example.  He did what he saw the Father doing and he said what he heard the Father saying.  Jesus didn’t do anything on his own.  I don’t believe we should be doing things because it’s a good idea or we think that’s what God wants.  We need to really seek him and ask him.  God is faithful to let us know what he wants us to do.   It is not about us standing in our own righteousness, but standing in his,  which is through obedience to his will.

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Living in Christ Like a Scene From the Matrix

Christianity and the Matrix

Did you ever feel like your were in a chair sitting in front of your Heavenly Father and he’s presenting you with a choice of pills.  Take the blue pill and wake up and believe whatever you want …but take the red pill and you’ll see how far this rabbit hole of the Christian Life can go.

Things are changing.  My perceptions of reality, righteousness, and other things are being challenged.  It’s actually very disorienting.

What is life?  What is abundant life?  What is purpose?  Lots of questions?  Lots of challenges?

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Oral Roberts – Man of Faith

I was saddened today to hear about the passing of Oral Roberts.  He was a leader in the healing movement in the 1950s.  I know a lot of people don’t respect him, but I do.

I disagreed with some of his theology, but I rarely saw Jesus commending people for “good theology.”  He made mistakes.  He wasn’t perfect.  But I am convinced that he loved God and he preached Jesus.

Here’s what Jesus did commend people for – their Faith.  He commended people who were outside the covenant of Israel because of their great faith – with the promise they would be ones who would sit at the table with Abraham.

Oral Roberts was a man of faith.  He would lay hands on the sick and believe God for their healing.  Did they all get healed – No.  Did most receive healing- probably not.  But many did get healed.   Many also came to faith in Christ through his ministry.   So when all the negative stuff starts being said about Oral Roberts, count me out.  It is said in Hebrews that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness.

Even in his old age,  his faith seemed vibrant and alive.  He also seemed to me to be humble but confident in God.  I can still hear him saying as he always seemed to whenever I saw him in an interview or something,  “Have Faith in God.”

On a more personal level, early in my Christian walk, I remember God taking me back through some things I needed to repent of.  One of the things specifically was the way I had talked about Oral Roberts before I came to Christ.  I was very negative about him, and I made it known.  I felt convicted that I needed to make this right.  So I sent him a letter, told him what I had done,  and asked his forgiveness.

I received a personal response back.  It wasn’t a form letter.  It specifically mentioned things that I had put in the letter.  He assured me of the Lord’s forgiveness, of his own forgiveness and thanked me for writing to him.  Then he put in a blessing.  He didn’t have to do that.  He didn’t need to respond to me personally.  I was never put on a mailing list and never asked for money.  I honor him for that and for the humility with which he responded to me, a young man in the Lord.

I don’t know his heart at the end, but I believe he finished well, and I suspect that he will receive a “well done” from the Master.

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Signs of God – or Deception

There is a lot being said in Charismatic circles about some signs that people are taking as proof of God’s presence.  Some of these “signs” include:

  • orbs
  • angelic feathers
  • jewels
  • gold dust
  • oil on hands or other body parts

These signs” are disturbing .  We know the enemy is capable of supernatural acts.  I’ve heard people suggest these can’t be the enemy because the worship was so great.

When these “signs” appear what is the result.  I’ll tell you what the result is, people start getting distracted with them.  It takes the eyes off of Jesus and these “events” or “activities.”

What do they accomplish then?  Every supernatural act of Jesus had  a reason and a purpose beyond being a “sign.”  A person was healed.  Blind men were made to see.  The Deaf heard.  The multitudes were fed.  The dead were returned to life.

I am not opposed to the supernatural of God.  I am pentecostal/charismatic in my beliefs.  I long to see the true acts of Jesus – the deaf hearing, the blind seeing, the lame walking, people being healed physically, emotionally, and spiritually.   I have laid hands on the sick and seen God heal them.  I’ve prayed for changes in weather and God has done it when there was a real need.  When feeding groups of homeless people, I’m pretty sure that God has multiplied the food.  I believe in the real and supernatural power of God.

There is no record of  orbs, gold dust, angelic feathers or jewels from heaven during the ministry of Jesus or the Apostles.

When I’ve challenged some on this:  Their response is Jesus said “and greater things will you do.”  Really!  Jewels which have no value,  gold dust, oil on hands and angelic feathers are greater than raising the dead, healing the sick, opening blind eyes, feeding the hungry, making the deaf to hear and casting out demons?

I am convinced that these so-called “signs” are deceptions from the enemy to get us off track.    I don’t believe the Holy Spirit is interested in indulging us in trivialities.

For those that think these things can’t happen when the Holy Spirit is present.  I would remind you of the parable of the wheat and the tares.  According to this parable often the evil and false ends up planted beside the true and real.

I would ask you to search the scriptures.  I would ask you to ask the Lord and see what he says.

I also want to address those that are into the idea of  “toking” the Holy Spirit.  That is very close to blasphemy.  It is a substantial stretch from being “filled with the Spirit.”   The Holy Spirit is not your personal party pal.  He is the most High God and deserving of the respect, love, and obedience of the Father and Jesus.   I see this movement as nothing more than trivializing the  Spirit of the Most High God.  I am convinced that when he sees the excess being done in his name,  he is grieved.

I am beyond caring if people like what I have to say on these issues. I don’t intend to be intentionally offensive, but I intend to speak out on these issues.  I don’t care who does or doesn’t agree or like me.  If you are going to challenge me – fine – but do it with scripture.  Not your opinions.

When they came to Jesus looking for a sign, he said an evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign.  Jesus didn’t do signs to show off.  He did them to change lives.

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