Friday, August 31, 2012

Aug | 31 | Singing Songs at Midnight


Title:- Singing Songs at Midnight

Acts 16:37 But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us openly, innocent Romans, and have thrown us into prison. And now do they put us out secretly? No indeed! Let them come themselves and get us out.”

Paul had met the band of women alongside the river at Philippi. Lydia had received the message of salvation with joy and she and her whole household had been baptised. Paul having been invited to her house, encamped himself and the band of brothers with him, right there! Daily he proceeded to prayer at the synagogue and daily was accosted by a demon possessed girl who loudly followed them proclaiming his mission, his proclamation and his purpose. After many days Paul must have judged that this was becoming ‘bad press’. Turning around then and addressing the spirit of divination within her, he cast it out in the name of the Lord Jesus. The slave girl is now free but unable to fulfill her previous and profitable role; her owners therefore have lost a good earner and are not well pleased! In spiteful revenge, they stir up an angry mob in the presence of the local magistrates who hearing only the accusations and not the defense, publicly tear off the clothes of Paul and Silas and have them beaten with rods and thrown into prison.

Naked, badly bruised and beaten, their feet in stocks, Paul and Silas sing songs at midnight. By Earthquakes without and earthquakes within, the watching jailor and his whole family are saved and baptised…all in one night.

Morning comes. The misuse and madness of the magistrates is now passed, the slave owner’s revenge is satisfied and the crowd is dispersed. All is well in Philippi once more, except that the earthquake of the night which had rocked the city and released the prisoners had probably also been seen as an omen of judgment against the magistrates of Philippi. Their conscience aroused, in the morning, as early as possible, the magistrates send word to the jailor to release Paul and Silas.

The new Christian, the saved jailor, is obviously delighted and says “now depart and go in peace.” Paul of course before the new believer, and above all wanting to keep the peace, will set a good example and turn the other cheek and scurry off into the distance from whence he came. Not likely! Nope! Surprise surprise, for with a flash of fire, ‘Paul the Peeved’ thoroughly rooted in the scriptures says “Noah waya Hosea!” let them come and get us! Let them do the hurrying and scurrying, this is outrageous!” Paul was intent on the whole city seeing the mistaken magistrates humbled for their illegal proceedings and also see that they as innocent Christians, had been unjustly condemned.

Friends there are three things of note here.

Firstly, that the battle we are engaged in is fierce. It is a battle that is waged on physical, material, magisterial, economic and spiritual levels. It is a pan-dimensional battle front.

Secondly, that God expects His servants to endure hardship. It would appear that naked and scabby midnight singers that did not ‘do a runner’ when they had the chance were the only people that could purchase an audience with this hardened individual of a jailor!

Lastly and most wonderfully, despite and because of all the ensuing drama, the purple house of Lydia is quickly becoming the peopled house of Lydia. Jesus is building His church through it all. HOW ABOUT THAT THEN! Don't be too frightened about a little controversy.

Listen:- You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 2:2-3

Pray: - Lord in all our endurance, send us glimpses if gold, baskets of fruit and messages from heaven. Come and tread upon our obedient pathways, come and shake the earth before us O God. In Jesus name, Amen.

Aug | 31 | Deep Speaking

Dream Word – POWER

John 6:63,64 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. NKJV

Deep Speaking
I remember speaking to another minister whose long-standing friend from high school years was demonized to such an extreme and possessive extent, that you would have called him possessed. In his more lucid moments this same man reported that he knew when other people he met were demonized, because that which possessed him, communicated with that which possessed them. In other words, he was aware of the darkness in him communicating with the darkness in them.
Believe it or not, there is a spiritual principle here for us children of Light to really get hold of. We as sons and daughters of The Light can and should communicate with all the other children of Light. I am not talking about social communication, or what we so glibly refer to as ‘fellowshipping’ with one another! I am talking about three of the most underutilized, but powerful modes of communication you could ever use top side of this earth and underside of heaven! I need to tell you as well, that there are three levels of life-giving power associated with these three modes of life-giving communication. Let me start with the latter.

First, the three levels of communication are as follows:-

Level one communication is cerebral. It is from one mouth to one ear landing on one brain. You might share something from the Word of God, a verse, a text, an insight and it’s good, it’s powerful and it’s right, but it's only been fired from the mind through the mouth, into an ear and lodged itself in another person’s mind. It's easy to deliver at this cerebral level and relatively easy to receive and consider; it’s level one communication.

Level two communication is deeper in its source, for it is a soulish communication; it is emotional in content and context, for it is from one heart to another. The delivery of such communication demands openness on the part of the communicator and some transparency, some authenticity and some vulnerability, but its content is received at a felt level and therefore a truly known level and an soulishy understood level! This is powerful level two communication.

Level three communication is the deepest of levels, it is guttural in both its delivery and reception, it is spiritual, it is commanding, it is declarative, it is life changing. It is exceptionally powerful; it is communication at a completely different dimensional level. It is spirit communication; it is deep calling to deep, Spirit to spirit.

Just what level of communication have you been mostly communicating in today? Just how deep can you go?

Now if these are the three levels of communication for the children of light, let me now share with you the three modes of communication.

Mode one communication is AFFIRMATION. It is right and proper, it is necessary and vital that we all participate in this mode of affirmative communication. This takes the form of acknowledging just who the other person is, their existence, their calling, their gifting, their anointing, their good choices, their right directions. We need to at a guttural level, a deep spiritual level, acknowledge and honour the very being, position, personhood and standing of one another in Christ. Imagine the power of this, imagine the affirmation of personhood and position to other members of the body!

Mode two communication is IMPARTATION. It is right and proper, it is necessary and vital that we all participate in this mode of impartative communication. This takes the form of speaking words of power, words of direction changing encouragement, words of wisdom, words of knowledge, words of strength, comfort, love, words that will swallow loneliness and breed a family that stands like an army on which the gates of hell will fall and break in two. Imagine the power of this, imagine the ability to impart all that is necessary to one another to be enabled to stand victoriously.

Mode three communication is DECLARATION. Not only is it right and proper, it is necessary and vital that we all participate in this mode of declarative communication but Oh God! This is something which is so sorely missing in the church of the modern day.Oh how we need to put into practice the ability to call forth life from the dead, the ability to in faith declare the things that are yet to be seen and experienced in another person’s life! Now I am not talking about a God-like activity of calling into being the things that are not, but rather, calling into the open the things that are hidden, calling into vision those things which have been lost, calling to attention those things which have been ignored, left alone, underutilized, calling onto the field of battle the manifold, life-changing, life-giving, blessings of the Father toward us in Christ Jesus our Lord, that they might be made manifest and actioned right onto the hearts and into the very spirits of the sons of His love.

So tell me. How have your communication skills been today dear friend? Think about that for tomorrow, I want to challenge you to move into a mode three and level three communication with the other saints. NOW is the time to let our words change each other, change the world, shape each other, shape the world. Now is the time to communicate effectively.

Listen:- These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For "who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:13-16 NKJV

Pray:- Lord, give me words of power. Lord, give me words of life. Lord, give me words of formation and change, words of resurrection and life. Lord anoint my lips with living words and dancing light, anoint my lips with the sound of many voices, the rush and crash of waterfalls, the solid certainties of Your deep calling unto deep. Amen!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Aug | 30 | Charging The Church


Title:- Charging The Church

Matthew 10:34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.”

Hussars were originally Hungarian mounted troops raised by Matthias Corvinus in 1458 to fight the Turks. The name Hussar, meaning “twenty,” indicated that one man in every twenty inhabitants was pressed into the service. Long ago, the demand in the British Army for light cavalry with greater mobility than Dragoons, led to the formation of several Hussar regiments. Today of course, all light Cavalry Regiments have been turned into armoured Brigades.

At their inception into European Armies, Hussars became the incredibly brave and ferocious fighters that broke in waves upon the squares of marching pike men and musketeers. They had great success, their lances being lighter and longer than the average pike. Certainly the Polish Hussars constantly defeated much larger forces with far fewer casualties than any other mounted force. The Hussars with frightening force advancing on the enemy, moving forward from a walk to a trot and then to a gallop, was a most terrifying sight to see. One writer records a charge of the Hussars as follows:

“We saw it…. the hussars let loose their horses. God, what power! They ran through the smoke and the sound was like that of a thousand blacksmiths beating with a thousand hammers. We saw it…!!! The elite's lances bent forward like stalks of rye, driven by a great storm, bent on glory! The fire of the guns before them glitters! They rush on to the Swedes! They crash into the Swedish riters…. Overwhelm them! They crash into the second regiment - Overwhelmed! Resistance collapses, dissolves, they move forward as easily as if they were parading on a grand boulevard. They sliced without effort through the whole army already! Next target: the regiment of horse guards, where stands the Swede King Carol. And the guard already wavers!”

Calculated, repeated, fast and persistent bravery seem to sum up the success of an Hussar attack.

Now friends we know that God has many weapons in His armoury. We know that He also has different types of soldiers. Right personnel for the right job, with the right weapons, at the right time. I would assume that in the host of heaven there are not only charioteers but companies of charging Hussars. It’s also my opinion that in the church militant that there is need today of some charging Hussars to break upon the well organized and marching gates of Hell.

The tenor of scripture is clear. Persistence and bravery are the marks of the day. Maybe if just one in twenty of us were to take up some lighter and longer weapons and charged in persistent fierceness against the pike men and musketeers of the devil, the mangling of Michmash and the crash of Jericho would occur more frequently! Tell me, just where are the Kings own Hussars today friends? Where are they?

Listen:- Then he said, “Take the arrows”; so he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground”; so he struck three times, and stopped. And the man of God was angry with him, and said, “You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck Syria till you had destroyed it! But now you will strike Syria only three times.” 2 Kings 13:18-19

Pray: -Lord, help me to be persistent in attacking the ranks of our advancing enemies, that they may be truly defeated and routed, for I believe that the gates of Hell shall not be victorious over your charging church. Amen.

Aug | 30 | Let's Face The Music & Dance

Dream Word – PERSEVERE

Deuteronomy 6:5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. NKJV

Let’s Face The Music and Dance!

These past few years of my sojourn here, I have walked the road with not a few ‘long-time Christians,’ who have lately proclaimed that, “I don’t know if I have ever truly believed?” or, “I don’t know anymore about the reality and truth of Christianity,” and often, “You know Robert, I have lost God and so much so, I wonder if I ever had Him.” It’s quite a concern don’t you think? Whenever this is said out loud, it is usually by people who have an overwhelming tiredness about them. Whenever this is said out loud, it is usually by folks who have an overwhelming sense of a disappointment in God and especially a disappointment in His people, the church. More frighteningly though, is the fact that this is felt by so many people, who have neither previously had the desperation nor the courage, to vocalize out loud their most definite and inward experience! Let’s face it, these proclamations dear friends, are increasingly common.

Let me tell you right now, that whenever I hear that ‘long-time Christians’ have ‘stopped believing in God,’ I do not believe it! In fact their extreme tiredness and disappointment in God, is usually indicative of their continued belief, rather than a contradiction of it, for you do not get disappointed and distraught, you do not get desperate and disillusioned about someone you had no real investment or value in, or experience of! What’s happening here then? Why are so many long-standing Christians now seemingly disowning God altogether?

I believe the first reason for disowning God, is that there has often been a low value put on personal experience. There has been a low value put on the emotional content of their faith. I tell you now though, that how you feel about God and how you experience your walk with Him, is so very important! Your experiential relationship with God is absolutely vital to your continued spiritual health! If the Words of the Bible are not received as Spirit words into your experiential soul, then your following unfulfilled and ravening hunger for the experience of God will eat you up! Your unquenched and rapacious thirst for an experiential encounter with God, will leave you as parched and dry as an empty old seed husk, left broken and cavernously open beneath the greenest of trees. To stop this happening, you MUST cultivate an experiential walk with God! The Bible itself will not suffice, for it is only the Bible declared and Bible promised accompanying the manifest presence of God, that is sufficient for life, that is sufficient for love and that is sufficient for the pursuit of happiness.

The second reason for the disowning of God, has been a failure to maintain our own vineyard. Most of these folks that have uttered these words to me, have been former faithful servants of the most High God, however, they have been sucked dry in the service of God, bashed about, chewed up and spat out like green snot sputum on the grey and gravely ground. No, it’s not nice, no, it’s not nice at all. It is so easy to become dehydrated in the service of God. It is so easy to compare and to compete with one another in such a fashion, that we just cannot keep up the race, we cannot keep up the pace. These folks are simply and most profoundly burnt out.

The third reason for the disowning of God, is that the product we are selling will not do the job we are telling! Yes, we ministers of Christ are sales people. We invite people to come and buy, to taste and see, to turn and learn, to open and invite, to have God make things better for them, better for their health, better for their finances, better for their family, better for their future! However, when the product does not perform in this ‘better way’ in the way in which we have said it would, then the buyers reject it and we the sellers, eventually, get very disappointed in the veracity of the product itself.

The fourth reason for people disowning God, is quite simply sin. I have observed that unrequited love, desperate thirst and harbouring hunger, if not fulfilled righteously, will be fulfilled unrighteously. When people get desperately disappointed dear friends in close relationships that promised so much but gave so little, they feel betrayed, they feel robbed, they feel they have lost out in their righteous restraint, and often their response to these strong feelings, is to break all previous boundaries in trying to have that hunger filled, to have that thirst quenched, to have that sense of so severe a loss, somehow now satisfied. Of course, these my lovely brethren, have simply taken poison to themselves and often locked the door behind them as they left the building of God to die quietly alone. Now, they are more hungrier than they ever imagined, but now they have nowhere to go.

Tonight then, I leave you with five antidotes to a possible future disowning of God. Oh, and don’t be arrogant in thinking these things might not happen to you, for I have seen it happen to better men than either me or thee!

FIRST then, be sure to experience God! You must FEEL your relationship with your Father. The pump of desire must be primed and the circle of satisfaction must be complete. Make sure your emotional life is satisfied in God, is satisfied WITH God. If it isn’t, then there may be trouble ahead!

SECONDLY, take care of yourself, for NO ONE ELSE WILL! You had better get that brother, NO ONE ELSE WILL! Take time to rest, take time to recharge, take time to rejuvenate, take time to court Jesus in the courts of The Most High God. Make the most of the moonlight and the music, of the love and the romance. Take time to dance! You need to do this friend, before the fiddlers flee thee.

THIRDLY, if the product you are selling is not working, then maybe you’ve not read the instructions correctly or, you’ve got the wrong product! Is your Gospel working? Check it out and if it is not working, then chuck it out for you’ve undoubtedly not got the real deal. GET THE REAL DEAL! You need to do this before the bill needs paying.

FOURTHLY, you need to rejoice in the wife of your youth and let her breasts satisfy you at all times. Can the Scripture be any more clearer than this? Make sure you have a passionate relationship with God and that your satisfaction is found fully in Him. This has to happen! If it doesn’t, then there maybe teardrops to shed.

FIFTHLY, recognize that you have the key to your heart and therefore the key to unlock the door of this your heart and to return to God your maker, return to Christ your lover. Dear friend, you have the possibility to re-open the door of your heart to desire! Tell me, if you are desirous of the reality and the fullness of the Father at no matter what the cost, indeed at any cost, do you think that He would be interested in such a proposition?

I tell you, God is always interested in the propositions of your heart! Always!

Listen:- "Remember these, O Jacob, And Israel, for you are My servant; I have formed you, you are My servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me! I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, And like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you." Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it! Shout, you lower parts of the earth; Break forth into singing, you mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the Lord has redeemed Jacob, And glorified Himself in Israel. Isaiah 44:21-23 NKJV

Pray:- Jesus, when You have fallen in my heart and Your flavour and the scent of Your presence and power have become to me but a rumour on the wind, have mercy upon me and please come knocking upon my doors once more. Jesus, lover of my soul, come and throw stones at my window, get me up from my death bed and ask me to marry You once more. Amen and Amen and Amen.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Aug | 29 | Learning The Lute

Key Word:- BECOME

Title:- Learning The Lute

Matthew 22:9 Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.'

To be a poet in earlier centuries, one had also to be a musician. The Parish church of St Aldhelms, Walmington on Sea, may have been fictitious, but the saint was not. Aldhelm was a ‘pop idol’ of his own time, writing poetry in metrical Latin and in Anglo-Saxon as well, setting many of his own compositions to music. Despite the fact that none of his songs, which were apparently popular in the time of King Alfred the Great, have been preserved, never the less, his legend lives on!

Aldhem’s songs must have been good, for he used them as bait. History records that because he found the people of his care slow to come to church, he stood at the end of a bridge singing songs to collect a crowd and once he had them, then he would lay down the lute and take up exhorting them in eternal and sacred matters! I like this ‘whatever it takes’ approach. I suppose St Aldhelm was, dare I say it, a ‘Seeker Sensitive Saint’.

One of my dear friends and ancient mentors, has been a missionary and open air preacher for years. John Howarth, however, if he started singing, would scare a crowd away before he had a chance to speak on the sacred and divine. No, his method and the method of the ‘Open Air Campaigners’ is to use a large ‘sketch-board’. Taking this and some paint, they set up in a shopping centre or on a crowded street and begin to paint. They don’t say a word. Believe it or not, such activity does gather a crowd and so when sufficient people have gathered, they turn from the painting to preaching and with swift brush strokes, the listeners hear the gospel and see it live before them on the canvas. Whatever it takes!

I know another man who used an amazing combination of miracles and story telling to preach the good news. Incontestable miracle after miracle and story after story. It got him into trouble with all kinds of people, especially the religious folk but it worked. Whatever it takes!

Friends, we must gather a crowd before we can tell them about the eternal, the sacred and the Divine. This is our mission after all, to tell people about Jesus, for He will have His heaven FULL TO OVERFLOWING. Maybe today then, without watering down the Gospel one iota, we should take ourselves to prayer and then go and learn the lute?

Listen:-So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. Matthew 22:10

Pray: -Lord, break me out of my box, squeeze me out of small thinking, coax me from my corners and send me fishing on the other side of my boat that my nights of fruitless labour would turn to mornings of abundance and fullness. For Your glory Lord, Amen.

Aug | 29 | Driven by The Demonic

Dream Word – CHANGE

Revelation 18:2-6 And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! 3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury." And I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. NKJV

Driven by The Demonic

I remember listening to two missionaries who had worked for many years amongst tribal people, recount their experiences of occult and paranormal practices amongst those same poor people. The missionary of a more practical character and nature, ‘poo-pooed’ both the occult ideas and experiences of the tribal people he worked amongst and the other, more poetical and mystical in his character and experience, validated the presence, practice and product of occult magic amongst tribal people. Some ignorant and nasty stuff is carried on amongst ignorant tribal people you know!

Now for tonight, it does not matter witch side of the fence you come down on (no that’s not a spelling mistake) for I would like to focus not so much on the validity or otherwise of the observations of these two missionaries, but rather, how we as fallen human beings respond to the practice and seeming evidence of occult paranormal activity amongst us. This is important, for in the 21st Century, it is now reported that Papua New Guinean tribal folk are in fact burying alive, people who are HIV infected AIDS victims! Why is this happening and does it have any bearing on us civilized and not demonized by occult practice, people of the West!? May I suggest three reasons why we these poor and ignorant demonized folk are burying their problems?

The first is that occult practices always flourish in ignorance. Ignorance of the facts, ignorance of science and ignorance of God’s Fatherly goodness. Don’t be a dummy in avoiding the facts of any matter. Don’t be a stupid Witch. Don’t be a silly Shaman. Don’t be ignorant of the facts! If you are burying people alive, then you are obviously under the sway of a terrible darkness. In the West of course we would never do that, we are far more civilized and wise and this is clearly seen in the way we treat our young; cutting out the backs of their live little necks and sucking the brains out of all those small and unwanted little babies, or soaking them in salt, or vacuuming them alive out of their mummies womb in tiny little pieces, then incinerating them or…….. well you get the picture. Thank goodness that it is only those crazy Papua New Guinean tribal folk that are under the sway of dark occult-like practices!

The second reason we bury our problems alive, is that the human heart needs help, even those hearts ignited in the fiery compassion of God, need help. For without blowing provision on the flickering of goodness, any hope that flourishes like a flame amongst humans can be so easily extinguished. Humans need help! The help of education, the help of administration, the help of provision, the help of rest, the help of finances, the help of comfort, even the help of chastisement and correction, for without help, hope so easily dies in the human heart and the icy cold hopelessness that death leaves behind, then makes room for a dreadful occult darkness to arise. Thank goodness we have hope in the West! Where no mentally ill person sleeps under a bridge, where no child is left behind, where cities sunk beneath the waves are not abandoned, where the suicide rate is virtually non-existent in all our young men, who all have the certain hope of good futures with excellent jobs and no access to mind-numbing, life- devouring, all-addictive drugs! Thank goodness we have hope in the West and are not under the influence of any occult-like practice of deception.

The third and most terrible reason we bury our problems alive is that we are essentially, the most evil of creatures. When hopelessness stalks the land, when all the faces of the goodness of God are eclipsed, then we humans crawl like rancid head-lice amongst the matted darkness. We refuse to see how evil we truly are. Left to ourselves, I say again, left to ourselves, we would utterly consume one another, for the profound propensity of the human heart to propel itself towards the icy depths of a deep darkness is absolutely shocking! Yes, when left to ourselves, occultism rises and our response is mostly cannibalistic.

However, thank goodness! That is not us in the West! Thank goodness that we do not need guns in America and thousands of rounds of ammunition to keep us safe at night! Thank goodness our children can play out in the street and be mentored and guided, cared for and cuddled, by all the wiser and watchful older folk. Thank goodness we can trust our elected officials, thank goodness we don’t need medical insurance and that our doctors don’t need malpractice insurance. Thank goodness we only put the best of nutrition into our bodies and the most wholesome of information into our minds. Thank goodness I say, that here in the West, when left to ourselves, only the very best is made manifest! Good grief, the crown jewel of the New Orleans sky line, the Louisiana Superdome itself, is testimony to the one sure fact, that in the West the best is made most manifest. Thank goodness we are not under the influence of any dark occult practice.

The terrible truth that ignorance, lack of help to fan the flame of any hope into practical goodness and our terrible, evil hearts, sitting like self-serving kings at the center of our own universe, are all manifestations of occult-like influences and practices. Under such occult-like sway, the outworking of sin, which is the preservation of self at any cost and at any price, is evidently manifest among us all and clearly seen when we bury all our problems and devour our young alive!

The truth us, we are all being consumed by occult-like influence and devilish practices. God help us all, for without Him, without Him implanting new hearts within us and those same new hearts, sucking in the air of His hope and breathing out the practicalities of His goodness, we as humanity are well and truly finished!

This ‘new heart’ transplant is the essence of the good news about Jesus Christ and this is the message that we purveyors of salt and light, should be preaching to those willing to hear. I say willing to hear, for many do not want to listen. We twice blinded, imbecilic, barefaced, baboon-like, bombastic, self-congratulating deceivers of our own true selves, are not willing to hear, not willing to consider our own evil, for we are under the influence of such occult-like manipulation, that even in the face of such barbed and brutal evidence, we still believe that humans are essentially, good!

In Papua New Guinea it is reported that ignorant people consumed by darkness are burying their problems alive. Thank goodness that’s not me. Thank goodness that’s not you. Thank goodness, that’s not us!

Listen:- Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:10-13 NKJV

Pray:- Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. Matthew 6:9-13 NKJV

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Aug | 28 | The Song of The Son

Key Word:- LOVE

Title:- The Song of The Son

2 Samuel 1:26 I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; You have been very pleasant to me; Your love to me was wonderful, Surpassing the love of women.

Our verse today comes from the last lines of a song entitled ‘The Song of the Bow’. It was taught and well known throughout all of Judah as a lamentation of both King Saul and his son Jonathan. However, the title betrays its true focus and intent and that is the love of King David’s heart, Jonathan.

David loved Jonathan and found his love for him to be constant, costly, faithful and true. Jonathan which means ‘Jehovah has given’, was a brave and resourceful commander in the Kings army. Jonathan was steadfast and of fearful resolve, with incredible faith. For example, without anyone knowing and having only the help of his armour bearer, he attacked the oppressive Philistine garrison at Miscmash causing such a defeat to them, that it spread a panic throughout the whole Philistine occupying army. Israel was delivered.

Jonathan became bosom buddies with David after David had felled the giant, Goliath of Gath and to ratify this covenant of friendship Jonathan gave David his robe, sword, bow and belt and so it is written that: “The soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” 1 Samuel 18:1  
There is a picture here of the desire Christ has for His people, and the desire Christ wishes from His people. For those who can hear, this is a backing track to this ‘Song of the Bow, called the ‘Song of the Son’. Do you hear it?

Jonathan was the bravest of fighters and so when out of all the thousands of Israel he found a fighter braver than himself in David, Jonathan literally fell in love with Him! I am convinced that when we Jonathans meet King Jesus the giant slayer and listen to Him, listen to Him singing His songs of love over us, that we too will fall head over heels in love with Him. Jonathan stripped himself of his finery and his armour and gave them to David. Saul’s armour would not fit David, but Jonathan’s fit him perfectly. Do you see that? True love fits the Saviour perfectly well indeed.

May I say, “My son, the best you can do today is listen to the giant slayer, see Him, fall in love with Him, give Him your very all and follow Him in covenant love.” Jonathan pleased David more than any other man on Earth. Tell me today, how hot is your love for Jesus, the greater David? Dearest friend, please Jesus more than any other man on earth today and for the rest of your life.

Listen:- Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. KJV

Pray: -Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature,
O Thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honour,
Thou, my soul’s glory, joy and crown.

Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.

Fair is the sunshine,
Fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling starry host;
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels heaven can boast.

All fairest beauty, heavenly and earthly,
Wondrously, Jesus, is found in Thee;
None can be nearer, fairer or dearer,
Than Thou, my Saviour, art to me.

Beautiful Saviour! Lord of all the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honour, praise, adoration,
Now and forever more be Thine.

Translated from German by Joseph August Seis

Aug | 28 | Bight Me!


1 Samuel 14:6
1 Samuel 14:12-14
Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armour, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few.”---------Jonathan said to his armourbearer, “Come up after me, for the Lord has delivered them into the hand of Israel.” And Jonathan climbed up on his hands and knees with his armourbearer after him; and they fell before Jonathan. And as he came after him, his armourbearer killed them. That first slaughter which Jonathan and his armourbearer made was about twenty men within about half an acre of land. NKJV
Bight Me!

A long, long time ago, one of my first torturous Petty Officers in the Royal Navy, was proud to have served on an old ‘Leander Class’ Frigate called HMS Niaid. We knew he was proud of this, because he wouldn’t shut up speaking about it, prefixing each dreadful diatribe of his with, “When I was on the ‘Naiad’…...yadi yadi yada” Good grief, I can still hear him now, droning on and ever on.

In those seeming golden olden days, all of the naming of ships within Her Majesties Navy, must have been done by someone with an Oxbridge classical education for ‘Leander’ of course, was the name of a man rooted in Greek mythology, who himself drowned in the sea whilst swimming across deep waters to make love to his beloved Hero. It was this same Hero who that particular and very stormy night, had allowed the wailing wind to blow her guiding night light out. You have to watch those Greek women that’s for sure, for they are most unreliable, especially those chaste virgin Nymphs, of which the Naiad’s of course, were Nymphs associated with water. One such water Nymph was called, ‘Arethusa!’

You need to hear Richard Burton reading Dylan Thomas’s ‘Under Milk Wood’ to appreciate the smooth sound and subtle silkiness of a Welsh man pronouncing the name of a ship called the Arethusa,’ rolling those heavy ‘Rrrrs,’ like the waves of the salty sea, riding high upon a sandy, crescent-mooned shoreline. Such a crescent-shaped shoreline is referred to as a 'Bight' and today in 1914, the first naval battle of the Great War was fought off the German coastline along the Heligoland Bight.

It was Commodore Reginald Tyrwhill on HMS Arethusa, who led the small formation of warships that struck into the heart of the German Navy, who also later in the battle, with the arrival of larger cruisers, inflicted one hundred times as many dead upon the enemy as themselves and sank several ships.

The First Sea Lord of the Admiralty at that time, a one Mr. Winston Churchill, later observed regarding the daring attack that “All the Germans saw was that the British did not hesitate to hazard their greatest vessels as well as their light craft in the most daring offensive action and had escaped apparently unscathed. They felt as we should have felt had German destroyers broken into the Solent and their battle cruisers penetrated as far as the Nab. The results of this action were far-reaching. Henceforward, the weight of British Naval prestige lay heavy across all German sea enterprise. The German Navy was indeed ‘muzzled.’ Except for furtive movements by individual submarines and minelayers, not a dog stirred from August till November that year”.

In our Bible text for this evening, there is no doubt that Jonathan, so lightly armed and in the face of such overwhelming Philistine forces, sailed like the ‘Arethusa,’ right into the heart of enemy territory, and like the Arethusa, Jonathan and his armour-bearer were not alone in their endeavor but very heavily supported by the weight of unseen sailing forces, speedily steaming to their rescue and the real cause of Jonathan and his armour-bearer’s most astonishing victory!

God demands of all Jonathans, of all lovers and best friends of Jesus, that in the face of overwhelming odds, they never the less have the faith and courage to strike into the very heart of enemy territory, knowing that their blow is indeed backed by all the forces of the First Sea Lord of heaven and earth, The Great God Almighty Himself!

So I say to you tonight O Jonathan of God, “Love Jesus! Give him your all, fight for Him and in the face of seeming overwhelming odds, dare to do great things for Him, for no other King is worth hazarding your very life for. Give your life for Him! For He gave His life for you. "
Listen:- And there was trembling in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The garrison and the raiders also trembled; and the earth quaked, so that it was a very great trembling. Now the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked, and there was the multitude, melting away; and they went here and there. 1 Samuel 14:15-17 NKJV

Pray:- Lord, help me be like Jonathan of old; a man who out of great love, is willing to hazard his life for the land he is from, the people he has been joined to and the good God he now serves, in Jesus name I pray, Amen!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Aug | 27 | Creating Kissable Feet

Key Word:- TRUST

Title:- Creating Kissable Feet

Romans 10:15 “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
"Walmington-on-Sea, an imaginary South-Coast town not far from Eastbourne, was the setting for the Second World War adventures of a disparate group of men, who prevented by age or some other disability from enlisting in the fighting services, enrolled as Local Defence Volunteers (LDV), forming part of Britain's 'last line of defence', a force which became known colloquially as 'Dad's Army.” Corporal Jones may have been the platoon leader on the ground, but the commander, par excellence, was one Captain Mainwaring. One of his many and thankfully recorded speeches refers to the awesome responsibility that any soldier of any age has in taking care of his feet. From the church hall of St Aldhelm Walmington on sea, he is recorded addressing his troops on one occasion saying: “And so to sum up. Whatever mode of transport we use, be it bicycles or Jones Van or other forms of vehicular transport, in the end, it all boils down to one thing. Three F’s.

1. Fast feet
2. Functional Feet (and last but not least)
3. Fit feet

A soldier without his feet is useless.”

What incredibly inspiring true and insightful words flow forth from the mouth of this most intrepid and fictitious Captain of men! A soldier without his feet is useless! Note well:- Even a fool and a pompous ass, knows the importance of taking care of feet!

Are you taking care of your feet dear friend? Are they fast feet? Speedily obeying the Master, carrying out what He has told you to do. Are they functional feet? In other words, will they hold you up, keep you steadfast unmovable and always abounding in the work of the Lord? Are they fit feet? Free of disease, sweet smelling, healthy, not being eaten away?

Take care of your feet today. If bad feet exclude you from the good fight, then you are useless for frontline duties.

Listen:- And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. Luke 7:36-39

Pray: -Lord, my feet are in a ‘bit of a state’, please heal them and teach me how to keep them fresh, washed, fragrant, attractive and kissable; that the message they carry may be a sweet smelling savour to those with needy noses! Amen.

Aug | 27 | UB 40

Dream Word – PERSEVERE
2 Thessalonians 3:6-11 But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; nor did we eat anyone's bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us. For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. NKJV

UB 40
I was watching T.V. one night and saw them again and wondered if they shall indeed go down in history as one of the great white reggae bands? UB 40 was formed in 1979 out of $8000 dollar damages which the lead singer received from an under-aged bar fight he was involved in. The band advertised their presence in the city of Birmingham before they ever had, or could play any instruments! Interesting eh! Oh and by the way, at the time of their formation they were all claiming unemployment benefit.

Actually, 'UB40' was the number and name of an unemployment benefit claimform. (Unemployment Benefit - Form 40) Whenever you signed on as being unemployed, but available for work, you would fill in a UB40 and then of course, you would be entitled to unemployment benefit, job seekers allowance, indeed whatever the financial support was then called, together with all the other personal and family social security benefits.

For those who cannot work, either through lack of fitness, lack of training, or simply lack of work availability, this quite frankly phenomenal national provision of finances for food and clothing formed in the United Kingdom after the Second World War, has been the physical salvation of many folk. For those who will not work through laziness through indolence, or through theft, it has proven to be a curse to them and a burden to the nation as a whole. For there is a GREAT difference between those who cannot work and those who will not work and it is to that difference that our text speaks this evening.
There are three things I need to say here.

The first is for those folk who are immediately grieved in their heart on reading these words. You may have been unemployed for some time and you may feel yourself hopelessly unemployable. The morning brings for you nothing but dark clouds, for you daily see others rise from their beds and get off to their profitable labour, while you drag yourself from yours to try and make it through another day of disappointment and rejection. The words in our text for today are not for you. I can only speak from what I am and what I am is a man, and I tell you tonight, there is no greater weight on the spirit of a man than for him not to be able to earn his own bread. Real men when jobless, especially over long periods of time become sick at heart and sick in the head. There is only one answer for such men and that is that they are afforded the opportunity of profitable labour! Until then, if this is you, you must on the morrow count your search for work as a full-time job in itself and one of the hardest jobs you shall ever undertake. I say again tonight, looking for a job is a full-time job and one of the hardest on the planet. In this you are to be most commended. Keep at it friend, keep at it my brother, my sister. No this text is not for you tonight.

The second thing that needs to be said is that if you have every intention of not using the system to assist you in finding employment, but rather abusing the system of your nation's provision with all intention of taking and no intention of making an effort to gain employment, then you are a thief. You should be allowed to go hungry and your hunger should force you to change your laxadaisical ways. This is tough, but it is tough love, for I tell you that a nation of skivers have no honour in themselves and brings no honour to their community or their nation. Such a people brings nothing to the table, such people bring nothing to any table! Such a people leave others hungry, but really should themselves be left to go hungry. These are very hard, but very necessary words.

The third and most important thing I must say is addressed in particular to the religious worker and those disorderly religious workers in particular, those religious workers who are in fact, out of order! Before I continue, let me say right now that my experience of religious workers, those labouring in preaching teaching and planting, has been to see them and their families mostly overworked! Indeed, my experience has been that most religious workers overexert themselves in their calling to the detriment of their own body soul and spirit. On the whole, I have seen them work like mad monkeys and get paid in just the same kind of monkey currency..... PEANUTS! However, there are those religious workers who quite frankly are fleecing the people of God in both their laziness and their trickiness. They are soldiers out of rank, exhibiting such slackness in their marching, that they have become disrupters of the rest of the rank and file. These people are clearly seen, in that they are nothing short of meddlers, busybodies, bustlers and hustlers, always sticking their spoon in someone else’s cup, always telling others how to buy and sell, what to do and where to go and how to do it when they get there! They are to be seen always busying themselves in trifling and in the end, useless matters. Avoid such ‘religious workers’ and make sure you do not support their financially philandering lifestyles.

In closing may I suggest that religious workers need three levels of accountability. First of all to God, secondly to themselves and thirdly and probably most importantly, to points of reference, points of accountability, points of safety, points outside of themselves. To the religious worker the Word of God is especially clear, be orderly in your work, and may I say that means, be accountable!

Listen:- For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread. But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. 2 Thessalonians 3:11-15

Pray:- Lord, bless your workers. Lord bless those folk who are ‘robbing’ other churches to do the work You have directed them to do in the hard places of the world. Lord please provide for all Your workers, remove the muzzle from the oxen and give them their daily bread. Lord, bless those without profitable labour tonight and grant them hope in the morning; grant them a mighty perseverance and with that, a real prosperity that follows hard on its heels. Lord please provide for and reward, both all your workers and all those that seek to work, in Jesus name we pray this together, Amen!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Aug | 26 | Hold Fast


Title:- Hold Fast

Revelation 3:8 for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name..

Corporal Jones, the calmest platoon leader who ever lived and veteran of the Crimea War, knew the enemy “did not like it up 'em” and we can all say an Amen to that! The highly decorated and very vocal (once he had permission to speak) Corporal Jones, would have had great empathy with this poem by Rudyard Kipling entitled. ‘Infantry Columns’. So today, I dedicate this poem to the millions of faithful men and women, who get up at the same time each morning and travel to the same job every single day and who by their faithful and consistent lives, give great testimony to Jesus each and every day.

(to be read to a marching rhythm)

We're foot-slog-slog-slog-sloggin' over Africa -
Foot-foot-foot-foot-sloggin' over Africa -
(Boots-boots-boots-boots-movin' up an' down again!)
There's no discharge in the war!

Don't-don't-don't-don't-look at what's in front of you.
(Boots-boots-boots-boots-movin' up an' down again)
Men-men-men-men-men go mad with watchin' em,
An' there's no discharge in the war!

Try-try-try-try-to think o' something different -
Oh-my-God-keep-me from goin' lunatic!
(Boots-boots-boots-boots-movin' up an' down again!)
There's no discharge in the war!

Count-count-count-count-the bullets in the bandoliers.
If-your-eyes-drop-they will get atop o' you!
(Boots-boots-boots-boots-movin' up an' down again) -
There's no discharge in the war!

We-can-stick-out-'unger, thirst, an' weariness,
But-not-not-not-not the chronic sight of 'em -
Boot-boots-boots-boots-movin' up an' down again,
An' there's no discharge in the war!

'Taint-so-bad-by-day because o' company,
But night-brings-long-strings-o' forty thousand million
Boots-boots-boots-boots-movin' up an' down again.
There's no discharge in the war!

I-'ave-marched-six-weeks in 'Ell an' certify
It-is-not-fire-devils, dark, or anything,
But boots-boots-boots-boots-movin' up an' down again,
An' there's no discharge in the war!

Friends when your calling and your obedience to it, leads to the often boring predictability of 'the daily grind', know that despite the lack of excitement and terror, you are never the less in very known and demanding circumstances. Called repetition, consistent witness and careful treading, demand a dedicated and faithful perseverance that will not go unrewarded for there is nothing more demanding than the daily grind.

Listen:- Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. Revelation 3:10-11

Pray: - O Lord, let me not hide myself in the mundane, or allow my heart to die in the debilitating and seeming nothingness of my days, that pass like infantry columns going nowhere. Where You have called me to be persistently and constantly faithful in the daily grind, give me the power to persevere in pleasing You. Give me please the warmth of Your pleasure on my back and the joy of Your presence in my front, for it is You who has called me here. Help me to hold fast. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen!

Aug | 26 | The Man Whom Jesus Let DIE

Dream Word – COST

Matthew 1:18-21 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” NKJV

The Man Whom Jesus Let DIE

Joseph referred to by the angel Gabriel as the son of David, gave to Jesus the Son of God, all the adoptive rights that a father could legally give. This same Jesus, then became the son of David through the adoptive declarations of Joseph. This primary declaration of Joseph is clearly seen in the enormous action of faith, when he took the divinely pregnant and virgin Mary to be his wife. Colin Kerr in the International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, writes concerning Joseph that “If a type is to be sought in the character of Joseph, it is that of a simple, honest, hard-working, God-fearing man, who was possessed of large sympathies and a warm heart.”

‘Joseph The Just’ was so honoured by heaven that he is the three-time recipient of direct revelation from God. Yes indeed, ‘Joseph The Just,’ was an honourable and magnificent man of faith to marry Mary in the midst of all the then and no doubt continued gossip regarding the origins of Jesus. The Holy family, lived their lives under a cloud of suspicion regarding the faithfulness of Mary and the probable illegitimacy of Jesus. Origen suggests that this was to purposely throw the devil off the trail of the incarnation of the promised Redeemer, for who would imagine the ‘Word made flesh,’ living and being brought up under such a cloud of suspicion? Yet He was, and ‘Joseph The Just’ bore the brunt of all the ‘under the breath’ suspicions. Make no mistake about it, ‘Joseph The Just’ was an enormous man of faith, a pious man, a providing man, a precious man to Mary and to all the other children later born to them through her.

No doubt Joseph was also an older man and therefore in the scheme of this fallen world, was destined to depart its shores before the younger Mary. We know for a fact that Joseph was around as a faithful provider and practicing Jew when Jesus was aged twelve, but it is evident that Joseph is no longer around when Jesus begins His public ministry when then aged thirty. Sometime then, in those intervening eighteen years, ‘Joseph The Just’ died in the arms of Mary and no doubt in both the face and the presence of Jesus. Think about that. Why did ‘Jesus The Good’ let this seemingly bad thing happen to ‘Joseph the Just’ in His very own family, in His Holy family?

My very strong suggestion is that, because a time was coming when Jesus would publicly begin revealing but one Father, His true Father, His heavenly Father to the world. Then there could be no doubt whatsoever, that this revealing and proclamation made no reference whatsoever to an earthly father. At this point, not only would the mystery and all the gossip regarding the conception of Jesus add to the veracity of His heavenly claim, but the long absence of Joseph from his earthly life, would remove all possible pointers to an earthly father and so clearly indicate our Lord’s proclamation to be but of His one, true and heavenly genealogy. This was the plan, this was the purpose and in light of that, despite the grief and despite the pain, despite the loss to other loving children and to the loving arms of Mary, Joseph The Just,’ just had to go.

The best of men may follow the greatest of divine purposes in faithfulness, quietness, piety and pain. Yet for whatever reason, should their continuance eclipse the revelation of the Father from heaven, then they shall be removed from the earthly scene. To that end, Jesus let this just man die.

I am sure that I am wrong, but I wonder if in heaven there shall be special gated communities, where adjacent to the fields of gold in the private gardens of God Himself, quiet, unheard of and quickly forgotten folk, magnificent men like Joseph, shall reside in such an honoured and well-loved bliss, that we well blustered and noisy disciples, could never enter in? I am sure I am wrong concerning this, but I am sure you also get my point.

Tonight, this will come as a shock to many of you I know, but your life, disciple of Christ, is not about you! The purpose of your life is to reveal the Son and so in turn, to reveal the Father. If you need to die to do this better, then friend, you simply need to die.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

Listen:- “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” Luke 10:22 NKJV

Pray:- Father by Your grace You have separated me from my mother’s womb and brought me into this world of Yours. Now Father, reveal Your Son in me, that I might preach Him amongst the Gentiles and amongst the Jews. I pray that in me, both He and You would increase and that I might decrease. I know this is a hard thing I ask O Lord, yet Father, make it so. Yes, amen, and make it so.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Aug | 25 | ‘Planes, Trains & Automobiles’

Key Word:- TRUST

Title:- ‘Planes, Trains & Automobiles’

1 Thessalonians 2:17,18 But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured more eagerly to see your face with great desire. Therefore we wanted to come to you — even I, Paul, time and again — but Satan hindered us.
‘What he really wanted was to spend Thanksgiving with his family. What he got was three days with the turkey.’ So goes the tag line of this comedy made in 1987 starring John Candy, an obnoxious slob of a travelling ‘shower ring’ salesman and Steve Martin, a pristine and uptight advertising executive. This story uses the horrors of travel to reveal how circumstances can link two lonely souls. One so uptight that he can't see his loneliness through the narrow controlling slits of his soul and one so hurt and in denial, that it pains him to even acknowledge it.

The two main characters in this film are more alike than they think and providentially are thrust together so they might learn to see more deeply and in so doing, be released, be healed, helped and be eventually, bonded together . I do believe that this is what God is about. You know? Using all things, including planes trains and (in my life especially) automobiles, to accomplish His purpose. For I hate being helped by other people and God both knows it and arranges my circumstances so I have to be helped by other people! Why do I have this preclusion to the help of others? Well, it’s because I feel so vulnerable you see and also so in debt to the helper, and so annoyed at being helpless yet again. However, God always seems to override and dismiss these feelings of mine, not really even taking them into account even! “How does He do this?” You may ask and I would reply: “He does this by allowing me to purchase cars that publicly drop their pants at the most inconvenient of times.” No how’s that for blaming God!

The Greek word for ‘hindered’ in our text today is from the Greek word ‘enkopto’, literally meaning, ‘to cut into’ and was used of ‘impeding’ persons by ‘breaking up the road’ and therefore ‘detaining’ a person unnecessarily. So if the winds are not blowing and the ships are not going; or if the car won't start and it's breaking your heart; or if the planes a pain and the your flight's down the drain and concerning the train, well it's all just the same…then maybe dear friend, just maybe, Satan is breaking up the road before you? He’s cutting into your schedule and your plans. This time it’s not God that’s restricting you, retracting you, oh no, it’s the enemy that is trying to restrain you!

We are in a battle and we do face felt resistance time and time again, yet no matter friend! Yes that's right! When this happens, no matter I say and don't worry! For even if your alternator is demon possessed or your mechanic is mathematically challenged, God is still in control and working out His supreme purposes of love. Love for you and love for others. Satan may seem to be pulling your travelling plans apart, but God is pulling them all together for good! Believe that.

So if the road you are travelling this morning is 'broke up' before you and you can see Satan with a hard hat on and a pick and shovel in his hand, sneering at you as you bang your fists on the wheel, be not dismayed. Look at God as He nonchalantly steps out onto your highway and puts up His very own sign saying, “Walk carefully, for in truth, it is your Sovereign Father who is actually about His business here!”

Listen: - And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

Pray: - Unstoppable, Almighty ever loving Father. Even if there’s only one wheel on my wagon, You O Lord will get me where You want me to be. So calm me, so teach me, and so help me today, in Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Aug | 25 | Nothing Great is Easy

Dream Word COST

1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. NKJV

Nothing Great is Easy

" As we stood face to face I compared the fine handsome sailor I had first met with the broken-spirited and terribly altered appearance of the man who now courted death in the whirlpool rapids. His object was not suicide but money and imperishable fame".

So was the comment of Mr. Robert Watson regarding his long-time friend, Captain Matthew Webb, who was soon to die in the whirlpool below Niagara Falls, as he pursued his $24,000 swimming attempt at fame and fortune.

It was today in 1875 that Captain Webb became the first person to swim the English Channel. Covered in porpoise oil, beginning at Dover he appeared out of the waves some 21 hours and 45 minutes later, wading ashore at Calais. From this point on,Webb became a legend in his own lifetime. The winning of other world-wide professional swimming races, coupled with extensive foreign lecture tours, brought in both the kudos and the cash this other Shropshire lad, so evidently craved.

No doubt, being almost assuredly aware of this grim attempt of his at Niagara falls, he was heard to say to himself  “If I die, they will take care of my wife.” Die he did and they found Webb’s body way downstream, some four days after the start of his ill-fated swim. His head had been smashed by the raging whirlpool current into the jagged rocks below the surface. Webb had pierced himself and his family through with many sorrows.

Captain Webb’s personal Motto was “Nothing Great is Easy.” How true, yet this legend’s focus was in fact rooted in the passing greatness of worldly fame and fortune and when these two seas come together in any man’s heart friend, they will rip his hull in two. Our text for this evening says that the love of money and all its associated fortunes and fame is like impaling yourself on a roasting spit and torturing your own soul in all its attending, life-licking flames. So, we read from our text tonight that such a double-death pursuance, is indicative of a shooting star grossly off its course and destined for adverse grief, for severe and piercing, pounding and penetrating sorrow! Interestingly enough this same Greek word for ‘piercing’ is translated as ‘falling’ in Acts 27:41, where we read. And ‘falling’ into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves.” What a picture for tonight, regarding the pursuit of fortune and fame, regarding the pursuit and love of money. 'Doing this,' says the Scriptures, 'is like swimming through a whirlpool of pounding seas, it is like impaling yourself upon jagged destruction, it is an eventual drowning in grief, it is the imploding of your life, leaving it like broken and washed-up wreckage on the shores of your epitaph.'

Now the Bible could not be any clearer on the destructive and deathly results of the final outcome of this love of money and this pursuit of all the confidence and comfort of this world's goods. Never the less, I tell you friends, the older I get and the less I have of money and of worldly security, the stronger becomes the desperate pull of this mad pursuance. The more I see my contemporaries seemingly settled and safe, then the more this measuring madness rises up within me. The possibility of deserting Christ and His call, of seeking my financial security rather than His Kingdom grows stronger in me with each passing day.

It is easier as a young man to be sold out to Christ, when the seeming safety of time yet to pass, allows the possibility of there to be yet some gathering in. Ah, but when time passes and all the planting seasons with it, when other’s crops are gathered in before your watching eyes, it is hard then not to sell out Christ and it is easy to bear the now sad and now pale and poxy face, of a once strong faith now gone. " As we stood face to face I compared the fine handsome sailor I had first met with the broken-spirited and terribly altered appearance of the man who now courted death in the whirlpool rapids. His object was not suicide but money and imperishable fame".

As we get older the call of Christ must get louder. As we get older the pull of His kingdom must get stronger, as we get older the focus of our eyes must get more laser-like and then, like old war horses, we must be blinkered in the slips, so that no distraction should take our feet from the sure path we have been walking on for so long.

Where is your focus tonight young person? Where is your focus tonight old man? Do you hear the rush of water and the pounding of waves, are you in the thrashing middle of the crush of two seas clapping their salty hands around your ears? Remember, “Nothing Great is Easy”, but consider and consider well, just what it is, that is God’s considered greatness!

Listen:- But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ's appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honour and everlasting power. Amen. 1 Timothy 6:11-16

Pray:- Lord, some of us tonight are desperate enough to throw ourselves under Niagara Falls. Lord some of us tonight have thoroughly lost our focus. Would You please once again throw into our lives that ever buoyant promise, of seeking first Your kingdom and with it, the promise of the addition of all things necessary for this life and this calling of Yours on ours? Help us tonight Lord to get that ring of rescue around our waist and underneath our armpits, then will You lift us safely from these raging torrents and deliver us safe to Your most settled shores of goodness, we pray this in Jesus name, amen!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Aug | 24 | Stop Bloomin Blasfeemein!

Key Word:- BELIEVE

Title:- Stop Bloomin Blasfeemein!

Titus 3:1,2 Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.

In our text for today, ‘To speak evil of’ is a translation of the Greek word: 'Blasfeemein'. That's right, blaspheming! It is possible to curse, swear, and use foul and odorous language against other people. It is possible then to blaspheme other people, especially if they are politicians! I think that this is the context of the admonition related to this kind of 'speaking evil against'. The text for today appears to be saying: “Obey your rulers and authorities, your politicians and don't blaspheme them.” Now there's a challenge! No really, it is a challenge! Especially within free and democratic societies. Especially when they've all been 'on the fiddle'! Well, nearly all.

In my home country of England, our form, over the years of political debate has always been adversarial. In England, the floor of the House of Commons has two drawn swords facing one another. The government and the opposition in their opposing benches often going beyond probing and testing, to verbal prodding and tearing, ripping and ridiculing the other member to shreds, always in the most polite and ‘Speaker’ guided way of course. Indeed, prefix any statement with “The right honourable member” and you can carry on to kindly 'gut' anyone you do not agree with. This kind of a verbally vicious environment is the stuff of present day politics, ask any 'shock jock.'

In addition to this, some Presidents and Prime Ministers have ensured by their double dealing, dirty living and foul and odorous actions, to bring curses upon themselves and the countries they represent. It's hard not to speak evil of such people isn't it? But let's ramp it up a little further. How about not speaking evil of such leaders as Hitler, Nicolae Ceausescu, Stalin, Idi Amin, Pohl Pot, Saddam Hussein.....and the list goes on. Let me ask you, "Was it OK to speak evil of them? "

The church and its members are to be the bulwarks of any community, acknowledging the sovereignty of God and His administration of protecting the good and punishing the evil. However, we are called to discern when Governments protect evil and punish good. When this happens, that is when evil is rewarded and good is punished, our response to such calamity as individuals, communities and nations will be difficult, disconcerting and somewhat divisive, especially within our own communities of faith. History has at least taught us this! Never the less, in the face of such a sickness in social order, if we as Christians go on to merely adopt an attitude of ‘head in the sand spiritual other worldliness,’ we shall appear to be so disinterested that we will certainly be ridden over by the opponents of truth and good! We shall also be seen to be totally disengaged from the real world and therefore amongst our neighbours, we shall be powerless, disenfranchised and therefore ineffective for any good work whatsoever.

Every committee, community board, political party and neighbourhood scheme of every kind needs to have powerfully gentle, honourable and humble, truth talking, good working Christians involved in them, for we can be sure of this, if we don't: “Evil shall triumph when good men do nothing” With truth, goodness and honour, let us then fully engage the political world at community, local and naitonal level.

Listen:- of the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their command; 1 Chronicles 12:32-33

Pray: - Lord in all areas of our life, from local communities to national and international politics we cry out for the raising up and revelation of the men of Issachar; anointed ones who understand the many types of hurricanes and tornadoes, that the end of days shall bring upon us. Lord help us to engage in prophetic power. Amen!

Aug | 24 | The Unequivocal Affirmation Of the Heart, or, "Hooah!"

Dream Word – OBEY

Matthew 21:28-31 "But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go, work today in my vineyard.' He answered and said, 'I will not,' but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, 'I go, sir,' but he did not go. NKJV

The Unequivocal Affirmation Of The Heart, or, "Hooah!"

'Hooah' is of course completely different in meaning to 'Hoohah,' the latter referring to a large amount of pointless commotion and the former to a certain and most definite doing, or if you will, an unequivocal affirmation of the heart.

The word ‘Hooah’ is commonly associated with the United States Army, the actor ‘Al Puccino’ in the film ‘Scent of a Woman’ most thoroughly exemplifying its most affirmative use. Investigation into the etymology of the word ‘Hooah,’ and its derivatives in the other branches of the U.S. armed forces, are all quite interesting, indeed, the word is also associated with the armed forces of other nations as well. Even in deepest history, yes, from Mongol armies to British Redcoats, ‘Hooah’ is rooted in the cry of ‘Huzza’ and ‘Hurray,’ yes, the word ‘Hooah’ is a word found to be in use throughout history, from the secular to even the sacred!

However, one of my favourite linkages, is that the word ‘Hooah’ could refer to a three letter abbreviation, that being, 'H.U.A.' which of course means someone who has their head up their rear end! In other words, 'HUA', or ‘Hooah’ is a negative affirmation, even a comical and military acceptance of any order! Which in effect says: 'HUA' ‘You’ve got to be kidding me sir, I think you have your head up your rear end, but I’ll do it anyway’.

In summary then, the response of ‘Hooah’ to any given order, is that no matter how seemingly ludicrous the command, or outrageously costly the carrying out of it, ‘Hooah!’ It shall be done. I like that.

Indeed, our text for tonight could be summarized under that one single word, Hooah! Jesus commends to us two things here.

Up to Matthew 21:32, Jesus first of all commends and makes note of the immediate received forgiveness of what might be considered the worst of sinners, who, in their desperation and joy are seemingly taking the Kingdom of God by storm and in turn, their lives and communities, families and relationships are all being redeemed and being changed. This living redemption was impacting society in the most visible of ways; indeed, the veracity of this repentance as seen in the outworking of such redemption, was absolutely undeniable! Even so and most condemningly so, despite such certain signs of the power of the Gospel among their own communities, there was still no ‘Hooah’ from the religiously reluctant; yes, there was still no turning redemption from the religious far right of the day. In this parable then, secondly, Jesus is once again calling the religious to repentance, trying to get them to say, “Hooah! We might not have obeyed you at first, but based on all that we see, we shall at the last obey thee. Hooah!”

Some of you who have publicly had ‘YES’ on your hearts, but have lived out a ‘NO' in your hearts and life, need to most thoroughly repent if this cowardly and deceitful sin. Yes, some of you disobedient children need to begin to say ‘Hooah’ tonight. Go on! Get to it now - HOOAH!

Listen:- “Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said to Him, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him. (Matthew 21:31-32 NKJV)

Pray:- O great heart seer, O overseer of our souls, have mercy on the denials of our outworked lives and come encourage and promote, come praise and reward all those affirmations of our hearts, so that in the end, we ourselves with all your help will always put to shame, all the initial offences of our most disobedient of lips and legs. In Jesus name we ask it, amen.