Category Archives: Ministry

IF

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

Being Ripe

If fruit is ripe, it is usually sweet as an evidence and/or result. Ripeness and maturity can be synonyms.

Our maturity, whether it is emotional, social, or spiritual, can be measured by how quickly our responses to situations we face are manifestations of the character of Jesus. The list of such manifestations in Galatians 5:22 & 23 is what Paul called “the fruit of the Spirit.”

Having our hearts and minds given over to these response influencers makes us stable, trust-worthy, and not only useful in, but powerful in the Kingdom of God.

Speaking With Purpose

If you have opportunity to speak to a group of people and you know about it in time to prepare what you say, I recommend making one point.

If you go hunting with a machine gun, you might kill something. If you go hunting with a rifle, it is more likely that you will kill what you went for.

Ken Davis says in Secrets of Dynamic Communication that if you can’t boil what you want to say down to one sentence, you either don’t know what you want to communicate or you are trying to boil the ocean.

The options Ken suggests you have are to either suggest that the people listening to you “should do something and here’s why,” or that they “can do something, and here’s how.” It works as well for “shouldn’t” or “can’t.”

Put meat on the bones represented by the one sentence by offering testimonies, parables, Scriptures, and pictures. You don’t have to tell them everything you know. Just enough to give evidence that what you are suggesting is true.

If you only make one point, and the people hear it, are convinced of it, and take it home to be changed by it, you have accomplished much more than most “3 points and a poem” speeches happening over pulpits in thousands of sunday meetings in the last 6 weeks.

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~!

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!

A Seeing Date

Today I decided to stop counting my days as if one more day of my life was wasted on something other than my calling. Instead, I will count the day as having moved me one day closer to the door to my work. 

An heir, as long as he is a child, is no different than a slave, even though he is master of the household. He is subjected to managers and guardians until the date set by his father. (Galatians 4).

An date is set. I will finish what I have been given to do. Today I have hope.

 

Super Vision Advisory

Scary toys usually have a disclaimer printed on the packaging: “Adult Supervision Required.” Another one made famous when TV was young was, “Kids, don’t try this at home! We’re trained professionals. You could get hurt!”

Those warnings were probably imposed by a board member’s lawyer, not his mom. The concern was likely for the company’s safety, not  for the safety of the targets of their marketing campaign.

My warning is because I love you, though! Super Natural makes sense to you – it defies natural laws. Super Rational may seem useful to you by now – it defies popular or typical rationales. Super Vision is what you get when you are born of God (John 3:3).

You need Perspective – the ability to see from more than one source. It is why you have two eyes. The result of two sources of visual data passing through your brain produces the ability to discern depth and distance. You have two ears’ data coming into your brain so that you can discern direction regarding sources of sounds.

Having other believers around you who see you as Yahweh does, who can see some of the future and interpret some of current situations, who love you and want you to succeed – this adds even more “perspective” to your input.

The fact that they are born of God means that they have Super Vision, and having them Supervise you in love and in prayer increases the likelihood of your destiny becoming real-ized. They can ask questions that help you find details or direction from the Spirit of God.

Invest in them and pray often for their ministry to you. Thank God for them.

The Sword of the Spirit

When Paul wrote the letter to the Ephesian congregations that ended up in the Bible, his last instructions before the greetings at the end of the letter were about being clothed in Christ as armor. He told them to use His righteousness and His truth and His faith and His peace as their protection. They should pray in (under the influence and leadership of) the Holy Spirit and use His word as a weapon against evil. See Ephesians 6:10-18.

He identified the sword in his picturesque instructions as the Word of God. Someone wrote to Hebrew believers that God’s Word is sharper than any double-edged sword, and said that it was able to discern thoughts and intentions, able to divide between joints and marrow, and between the soul and the spirit (Hebrews 4:12). It can position itself between places that give life and places that need life.

Jesus used quotes from His Father to combat satan in His temptation experiences in the desert. Knowing and believing what Yahweh had said and prophesying it at the right moments caused Him to get through the desert in 40 days instead of 40 years.

When we get better at using things God has said as weapons against His enemies and as healing tools toward the people He died to save, this double-edged sword will bring His people Life and His enemies destruction.

Making it Worth it

Whatever I am up to in life is costing my life.

If I am just living for myself, I expect to answer for that one day. If I am living for others, it would probably be wise to be focused and committed.

I should probably have some sense of why I am here – what kind of work I should be doing. It would be valuable to have some sense of who the beneficiaries should be of the work I am here to do.

The more I can grasp of the purpose, the more I can see the faces of the people who are going to benefit from my commitment to my purpose, the more likely it is that I can bear the cost of spending my life on it.

Most encouraging is Jesus saying that if I do something good to His people, I am doing it TO Him. Not just FOR Him. Blessing Him is worth my life. That’s a good thought to think often. Especially on the days that its especially costly or painful being me.