But the Church was Praying

Acts 12 begins with James the brother of John dead – beheaded by Herod. Herod knew that he was barely seated on the throne Rome had given him, because he was a Jewish convert, and Jewish law was clear that only a descendant of Jacob could be king. When he saw how happy it made the Jews when he murdered James, he arrested Peter, and announced that after Passover, he would kill him too.

But – there was fervent prayer happening at Mark’s Mom’s house. Therefore, Yahweh sent an angel to un-arrest Peter. Herod was so embarrassed and angry that he had the soldiers executed who had been assigned the impossible task of keeping Peter arrested.

Luke wrote that Herod then went to Caesarea. There, he gave a public address to the people of Tyre and Sidon. When they responded to it with cries of “This is the voice of a god, not a man!”, because Herod did not give praise to Yahweh, an angel of God struck him down and he was eaten by worms.

The chapter started with James dead, Peter in prison, and Herod triumphant. But – because the church prayed, it ended with Herod dead, Peter free, and God’s word triumphant.

It (God’s word) continued to spread and flourish.

Seriously…

Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him and be firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world.

Now the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will personally restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little. The dominion belongs to Him forever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:8-11, Holman Christian Std Bible)

Most people I have met are focused on the past. Getting back to a time when things were easier, or cheaper, or more fun, or included someone who is now gone, or something.

The awesome people I have met, however, are focused on the future. They believe that the best hasn’t happened yet. They are planting seeds and expecting harvest. They are dancing through the fires and floods and pests and pressing on to become their most awesome selves yet.

You are them.

The people who are clawing and dragging and screaming for the past probably won’t find it. The people who are pressing for the best yet no matter the cost probably will. In fact, it will be better than they have imagined.

Giving Life

Because we are born of God, and the life we live in these beautiful bodies is just a passing thing compared with how long our lives really are, no matter how you live here, it is going to cost you everything.

Laying down your life for your friends costs all you have and more. It takes the manifestation of the Spirit of God to have that kind of strength.

Wasting your life on frivolous entertainment or distraction will cost you all you have and more. It will cost the people who would have received blessing if we had been on duty.

So, its all spent. Half to death and the past, and half to Life and the future. Go ahead and be super rational and look at every encounter as opportunity. Look at every loss as privilege. Count every injury as a sacrifice on the altar of praise that Jesus is worthy of.

Stop playing around. Go be awesome~!

Supper with The Lord

I suggest that if you aren’t eating meals with other believers very often that you aren’t very connected to the body of Jesus.

The church is not made of congregations. There are families and tribes, but the church is made of relationships – Ephesians 4 style “joints”.

India is not a nation. It is thousands of tribes who speak thousands of languages. The false national identity was imposed by people from Britain who wanted to control it and live off of its wealth.

The western church, with denominations and congregations that resemble orphanages instead of families, works a bit like that.

Build families and tribes. Build real relationships. You don’t have to leave the congregation if you have work to do there, but don’t pretend it’s the real thing and wither up from lack of Life giving Fellowship.

Invite people over. Take them out. Go visit.

Be awesome.

 

Being Powerful

Commander Naaman, from Syria, contracted leprosy. His wife had a servant who had been kidnapped from Israel and enslaved in Syria. She suggested to her mistress that if Naaman were to go to the Israeli prophet Elisha, he could be healed.

Naaman asked permission to take leave from his duties as a warrior and go to Israel to see Elisha. Because Yahweh had given him favor, the Syrian king gave him a letter to take to the king of Israel. He took with him as the payment he expected to have to make: 660 lbs. of silver, 6000 pieces of gold, and ten changes of expensive clothing.

The king of Israel thought that the Syrian king was trying to start a fight with him. Elisha heard what was going on, and sent a message to the king instructing him to send Naaman to see him.

When Naaman arrived at his home, he sent his servant out to tell him to wash himself in the Jordan River and he would be healed. Naaman was insulted by the fact that he had an audience with the king, but that the prophet had sent out a slave to interact with him. It almost caused him to miss the healing encounter.

While in Capernaum, Jesus was approached by a Roman centurion who asked Him to heal his paralyzed servant. Without hesitation, Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”

Let the mind that Jesus had about how to serve Yahweh be yours. He is a King, but was willing to serve the enemy of His nation and bring blessing.

2 Kings 5 / Matthew 8 / Philippians 2

Loving the World

Our lives are being written as volumes that will rest between the bookends of John 3:16 and 1 John 2:15.

God loved the world so much that He sent Jesus. The same John wrote that if you love the world, the love of the Father is not in you.

Somewhere in the middle, (John 20:21) Jesus sent us like Father sent Him.

G. K. Chesterton said, “We must hate the world enough to change it, and yet love the world enough to consider it worth changing.”

At the end of each day, you have given another slice of your life for or to something or someone. Leave tracks that could lead someone to Jesus. Ask Jesus for clarity regarding where and to whom He is sending you tomorrow.

You know – be awesome!

Free and Ruling

A trusted friend told me recently that I don’t have to live like a refugee.

It is hard to stay out of that mindset on the days that you feel like you are managing Pharaoh’s prison. Even if that is our assignment today, as Paul told the believers in Philippi “In any case, we should live up to the truth that we have attained.” (Philippians 3:16)

Being yourself, full blast, will mean that you pass through the preparation and are therefore ready to rule Pharaoh’s nation next. When he has his dream, he will send for you. You will have the answers he needs. By being you.

Just live like you’re already free and ruling.

Strength in Your Ear

The last time I checked the statistics, almost all new believers stayed in a congregation less than 4 years before moving on to something else. 96% or so. Some reasons for that:

The congregation they found themselves in was not culturally relevant to them. Contrasts of age, financial status, music preference, clothing style, dialect of English, etc. made the new people not fit into the congregational relationships that could have held them.

The congregation had leadership that was not pastoral. If the person behind the pulpit was an evangelist or a teacher or a prophet, pastoral ministry was not likely to be happening. There are people in “the pews” who sometimes fill in to do some shepherding, but sometimes they are not welcomed or encouraged to do so by the people who are “credentialed.”

There was pastoral leadership, and, therefore, weak teaching ministry. If “the minister” really is a pastor, but held responsible for also (without the spiritual gift of “teacher”) preaching every Sunday, the teaching will likely be dry and lifeless.

The congregation is full of people who have no heart to serve or develop relationships with new believers. The picture Paul drew in Ephesians 4 of the Church doing things right was that She is built up in love by what every “joint” supplies. A joint is a relationship between two body parts. The church is not made of congregations. it is made of relationships.

New believers found Christian fellowship somewhere other than the congregation they tried to connect with. Either they ended up in other congregations, or outside the traditions of men and in places and gatherings that were made up of believers, but were not “Sunday Services.”

New believers found that they had no purpose, and felt that there was no point in the trouble of attending “services.” When assisted in finding their spiritual identities, based on what Yahweh has called them to, people become connected and responsible. When their identities seem to fit into the “laity” and the important work is done by the “clergy,” people sometimes grow disinterested in watching the show and stop buying the tickets.

Some representatives of Jesus so terribly misrepresent Him that some people simply decide that following Him was a mistake made in an emotionally low condition and leave to find something else to live for.


You need love. You need to hear through your ears that you are important, that you have a God-inSpired identity, and that you are likely to succeed at the profound calling He has on your life. You need to be equipped by the combination of multiple gifts operating around you that can draw who you are out of who you used to be.

If you are not finding that where you “go to church,” pray for connection to the Body. If you have some sense of who you are in Christ, take responsibility for speaking success into the ears of others who also need more courage than they can muster alone.

God sets the solitary in Families (Psalm 68:6). Men drop them in orphanages. Let’s do what our Father is doing.

Bridge Out

Today I felt led to greet a gentleman who was sitting in my patients’ waiting room.

We did a little bit of shallow stuff but quickly were talking about the Kingdom of God. Ed shared several testimonies about his health and then impressed me with one about business. 

He owned 3 semi’s and had contracts to haul things both directions between NYC & New Jersey. One afternoon he was praying over his business and saw a movie-style vision. He knew when it was over that the George Washington Bridge had a crack in it and would be closed the next morning by 6am.

He called all 3 of his drivers and told them to be at the terminal where they were to pick up whatever produce the shipper wanted loaded by 6am. They argued that the terminal didn’t open until 7:30, but he prevailed and they obeyed.

The next morning he got a call from the shipper’s dock manager wanting to know why his trucks were there so early. He only answered that he felt that it was supposed to be so.

When he arrived at the terminal a couple hours later, he was greeted by the owner and every worker in the building with a standing ovation. Because the bridge did get closed at 6am, only his trucks made it to the terminal before much later in the afternoon.

Since the produce shipper was the only one in the territory with trucks, they made an extra $24,000 that day.

Talk to Dad often. Listen carefully. It is available to All of His sheep to hear and to know His voice.

Go be awesome.

Purpose Full

Mark Twain said – the two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why.

Wolfgang Simson said –

10% of all humans conceived never reach the age of 5

Only 10% of all humans are born again

Only 10% of all born agains know their devine callings – their mission in life

Only 5% of all who know their calling finish it

That’s 1 out of 200.

Part of preaching the Kingdom is helping believers believe that they are called to purpose. Part is helping them discover what the purpose is. Part is helping them live in it.

Preach the Kingdom. Heal the sick. Raise the dead. Cast out demons.

Fulfill YOUR purpose!