Pour Your Oil

Elisha multiplied oil - 2 Kings 4:1-7 
Jesus multiplied fish - Mark 6:30-44
You don’t have to be called to leadership in ministry to be called to serious ministry - 
John 15:16 / 1 Corinthians 12:18

It did not take but a little bit of faith for Peter to walk on the water -- Matthew 14:22-33
You don’t have to have much in your vessel if your pipeline goes to heaven by faith.
Jesus divided 2 fish between 12 apostles. They divided them among the thousands of people.
If the servants who gathered the stone jugs and filled them with water for Jesus had stopped along the way to taste what He sent to the master of the banquet, would it have just been water for them? They were obedient, though, and took it to the man who could have beaten them if it had still been water, and it was amazing wine.
Stop looking at your oil and pour it.
Stop counting your fish and serve them.
There will be enough.

 

Dark Friday (Black Friday)

Friday is dark enough just having been named after a demon. English pagan goddess “Frige” is the source of “Fri-day” and the matching Roman demon is Venus, hence “viernes” is the Spanish name for the same day. Having all the fake deals hype on black friday to launch the sales frenzy as people started to check names off their gift lists made yesterday a bit darker for me.

The Roman church needed a big holy day to associate with the importance level of winter solstice and chose a mass dedicated to the birth of Messiah. Christ mass. 12 days of the solstice/Christ mass feast and then they added “Epiphany.” “Light,” as in – Light has shone on the Gentiles by reaching the magi. Debatably, Jesus was not born at this time of the year, but at least they got Epiphany correct as a contrast, by celebrating the two events separately.
January 6 is Epiphany – the day the Roman church made a mass to celebrate the eventual arrival of the magi. The Scripture text describing their arrival made it clear that they found Jesus, Mary & Joseph living in a house by the time they came. Herod made his decision about what age male children to massacre based on the timing that the magi had first seen his star. Maybe as much as 2 years since Jesus’ birth, Herod thought.

So – while being annoyed by the mamonism yesterday, the thought came to me that we should celebrate at Ephiphany mass instead of Christ mass. Everything will be marked down to the regular price the day after the Christ mass (even better than yesterday!), so we could either save money or give twice as much stuff away for the same price.

People will ask what we are doing, and we can use the opportunity to point out to them that we took the magi out of the manger scene for accuracy, and wanted to celebrate with the wizards this year instead of the shepherds.

Lance Wallnau just told me that I am part of “the Resistance,” and it got me in a mood! Ha.

New Normal

Rational thinking is what we are told we should base all of our decisions on. Everything should line up with evidence and rational predictability. An example could be that the sun is likely to shine tomorrow, but only until evening, then it will get dark.

If you see something that fits into miraculous better than it fits rational, I suggest that you should change – your new rational should be based on that new revelation of what God is willing to do.

One day in my office I was replacing a light switch in a rest room. The only light in the room was the one I had removed the power from so that I could replace the switch safely. There was a window across the room from the rest room door, but not much light was coming that far through it.

I prayed, “Help me, Lord!” Immediately, a car parked in the rear of the building, directly out from the window that was across the room. The sun, shining on the car’s windshield, was reflected in through the window. It was aiming directly through the rest room door onto the rest room mirror. It reflected from the mirror directly at the light switch box, which was on the wall by the door.

I almost instantly had light from the sun (pretty bright!) shining exactly where I needed to have light.

It is hard for me to think of a good reason not to upgrade my “normal” to this now proven higher level. I should expect super natural, super rational, super ingenious answers every time I ask someOne as wondersfully inGenious as Yahweh for help!

Evidence supports the rationale upgrade!

Easy Work

If I put $50k in a checking account in your name and gave you the checkbook, you could give anyone money until it ran out. It would not be hard to do – just decide to give someone some money, write the check, and hand it to them. Or mail it.

It is just as easy to forgive someone. No matter what they did to you or failed to do for you. No Matter!

It isn’t easy to forgive because it doesn’t hurt, or doesn’t feel like injustice, or any of our other excuses for pretending its hard. It is easy because all you have to do yourself is make the decision. The rest of the process is drawn on the Blood of Jesus that was tortured out of His body the day He was sacrificed.

All bitterness, anger and wrath, insult and slander must be removed from you, along with all wickedness. And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.
(Ephesians 4:31-32 /Holman Christian Standard Bible®  ©  2005 by Holman Bible Publishers.)

Forgive one another just as God forgave you – in Christ. There is no other source of the power to forgive but the cross of Jesus.

Release the power! Be insanely generous!

Odds & Oddities

People argue about how many adults were in the crowd Moses led out of Egypt. I hear ranges from 1 to 6 million.

Trim all the fat out of the picture you like, and pretend we know there were 1,102,303. Based on that pretense, let’s create some minimal odds. Joshua and Caleb we don’t have to guess at. 2 people out of however many (1,102,303 pretentiously, today only) is a pretty small percentage.

If the perspective is typical (as in type / antitype), the odds of you being successful at a calling that is not maintenance of some tradition are not good. Half a million to one, you won’t be and do what Yahweh has called you to if it’s new or if it disrupts the status quo.

No problem with those odds when you are an oddity, though! Be encouraged! Your awesome God picked you because you are going to be and do what He likes. You are not going to quit, surrender, faint, fail, or die without accomplishing what He put you in the earth for.

He likes doing things that way. He likes embarrassing His enemies and nay-sayers by picking the likes of us to take out or out last the likes of them.

Go be awesome.

Set Like a Diamond

In John 15:16, Jesus told His disciples that He had “ordained” them to go out and bear much fruit. In 1 Corinthians 12:18, when Paul is writing about the ministries each believer brings forth by the working of the one, unifying Holy Spirit, he used the same word Jesus used in John 15:16 when he wrote that “God sets the members in the body just as it pleases Him.”

The common word is translated into English in the John narrative as either “ordained” or “appointed”. In Paul’s letter, it is translated “set”. It describes having been put in place on purpose. You don’t climb into the place or achieve the place, you are put there. You have to get the authority, the power, the freedom, even the information of the assignment, from God.

Presuming to walk into a “calling” prevents your work from being a “calling”. When Jesus “called” Matthew (Mark 2:14) He commanded him to “follow.” When He called you, He commanded you to enter into the identity, purpose, and relationship with Him that make you complete with Him. When you began to follow Him, He then began to reveal to you the burden that He wants to use to motivate you in the calling He designed you to fulfill.

When you accepted the burden and abandoned yourself to it, following His heart in being burdened with it, He began to entrust you with a yoke that He designed just for you, just for your burden, and wants to give you abundant life through your cooperation with Him in the work that flows from your yoke being effectively fastened to your burden.

He did not invite you to drop by the agency and see what career you might be interested in pursuing. He did invite you to be part of the work He is doing in the Earth.

If you are not sure what that work is, ask Him. He wants you to know!

Courage

Maybe it was the greeting cards industry in America that watered down what “encouragement” means. Now, it means something between “comforted” and “cheered up.”

What it really means is the impartation of courage.

If you are trying to bless someone who actually needs a well-fluffed pillow and a nice nap, by all means offer to help them into that. If the person has been assaulted by something or abandoned by someone, has just been told they have cancer, been fired by their 30 year employer, or some similar promise of misery has been dealt to them, they probably need courage. So, give them some of that!

Remind them of their prophetic words. Remind them of Yahweh’s everlasting never failing unquenchable love. Pray for them, then and later. Check on them tomorrow.

Remind them that they are awesome, and that the real battle is what this lion or bear is preparing them for – something like Goliath.

Aim at their courage more than their comfort. If they get courage, they are likely to find comfort. If they only get comfort, but need courage, they won’t likely have either soon.

Clouds

Heat is measurable. There are even multiple gauges to measure it with. It is energy. Cold is only measurable in terms of the absence of heat.

Light is measurable. Darkness isn’t, really. Once you get down to the point of NO light, darkness doesn’t get darker. Light is measurable above and below the ranges at which our eyes can’t perceive it, but there is a point at which there is zero of it of any frequency that is simply, completely dark. No further darkness past that.

Faith and doubt are a different sort of opposites. We were designed to all have faith (Romans 12:3). Some have been given more faith than others, even to the point of there being a spiritual gift of faith (1 Corinthians 12:9). Because it is also a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23), the amount available in us at different points in time varies, based on how submitted we are to Him when we respond to problems or opportunities.

We always have faith at work in us, because we were designed for it to always be active, even in small measure. Small seems to be much, though – Jesus told Peter that he didn’t have much faith after he had just walked on water!

Faith and doubt seem to be opposite of each other like cold and hot, because even though faith is always working, it is only aimed at a certain target. Faith in one thing amounts to doubt in another. Even if I have a disease that I have completely surrendered to, seeming to have no faith at all, my faith has targeted the power of the disease to take my life. I therefore have doubt in all of the possibilities of types of healings.

Faith is able to see past the clouds on a dark day and believe that the sun is still shining on top of them. It is able to take a prophetic word that says I have been called to Palestine from Egypt and see past the desert trip to not just the validity of, but the real-ization of the promises. It allows me the ability to hold in my heart the things that I am hoping for, so that, in time, I will hold them in my hands.

Doubt the likelihood of your failure. Doubt the abilities and strategies of your enemies. Doubt the power of rejection and loneliness and insufficient information and others’ jealousies and of fear and any other contrary thing you could make a list of here.

It is hard on days to tell the difference between pretending something is true and standing in faith. That is true whether what you are pretending is true really is true or not. It is true whether what you are pretending is true is good for you or bad against you.

So don’t worry about it. Prefer living with hope for the things God has promised you to living in fear or other misery of believing that they can’t happen. Lean over into what feels like pretending. Let your imagination create a space where faith can create a space where Abundant Life can fill the space.

Be filled with faith in the Lord your God, and His everlasting love for you.

Open Up

Walls are pretty much everywhere. You could probably go your whole life without adding any walls to the world’s collection and things would be OK.

Windows are rarer. Creating a space in a wall for connecting with outsiders or communicating with strangers might leave the world in a poorer condition if it didn’t happen.

Doors are most valuable of all. Through a door, you can go out and discover your neighbors have needs that you can help with. You can invite them to your fire and to your table.

You can invite them to meet Jesus. Or, you could take Him out to visit them.

Do your walls have any holes?

Psalm 24:7

Repent!! part 2

Paul wrote to the believers in Rome (12:1,2) that their transformation should come through having their minds changed. That is a picture of repentance – “metanoeo” – changed knowledge.

Every time you respond to opportunities to do things an old, unconverted-to-Jesus way, if you do it the new, “like Jesus” way, you have proven you have repented. We change our behavior slowly sometimes because we have so many different responses in different situations. If Mom is watching, we have one set of values. If a policeman is watching, we have one set of values. If a friend we like to do stupid things with is watching, we may do things differently. If no one is watching, we use another set of guidelines.

Until you have changed all those values, and always respond the same way, your behavior is lagging behind your mind with regard to change. Until you change all of your mind, you will not change all of your behavior.

When you are converted at the level of your values, your behavior will change to a new normal. At some point in your past, if I had offered you a choice between a $50 bill and your favorite flavor of ice cream, you would have chosen the sweet treat with no questions. Then one day you learned that the money was more valuable.

Set your mind on things that have value in heaven.