Release – Sunday 24th 2.30pm

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. ‘ James 5:16

https://my.bible.com/bible/59/JAS.5.16

Prayer is the channel of ultimate release of the God component of reality into full effectiveness.  Often we undermine the design of God through a lack of prayer.

Prayer is effective when coupled with faith.

This Sunday November 24th at 2.30 many congregations rise to prayer and praise in the community square in Gainesville.  You should expect the Lord to do something valuable and substantial in your life at this time.  This is not about meaningless drivel, but effective and powerful intervention of the Lord of Heaven and Earth.

Event Details for Sunday

Come expecting the miracle presence and power of the Holy Spirit to intervene in your business, your life, your home, your workplace, your church, your health, your government, and all that has effect on your daily living.  Come expecting.

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Finish Well at the Well

Finish Well at the Well:

This season, I have relaxed to watch a little football. Dallas and OU. What a mix. This is not my norm. Usually, I watch finals and bowl games but nothing in the season. The last two OU games are football at the finest. The favored team gets behind and pulls the game out in the last two minutes. Whew… That is like the old days of Tom Landry and the Dallas Cowboys.

In the last quarter, the announcers kept commenting how the OU offense had been on the field so long they might lose strength. They forgot the courageous Baylor defense had been on the field all that time also with no rest. Eventually, I believe the conditioning and sheer force of will to win in OU prevailed. It was a monumental struggle. It is a game for the history books and a quarter to be watched over and over. It speaks to us. No one lost that game, the clock just ran out.

And it is an analogy we all need. This morning I pray for those who are in the last minutes of a down and out situation. You have been favored before. You have seen success. It has all worked for you and now it seems to all be crashing. Or you have never seen the success you wish and here you are against the wall again.

Questions rake your mind and heart.

Where is the God of my prior success?

Why is this happening to me?

Is there any reason to persist?

Why not just give in and lose the game?

Haven’t I done enough in life?

I encourage you to finish well. Finish well. Dig into the well of reserved strength. A life of prayer and persistence has given you a resource of the Holy Spirit that will get you through this.

Jeremiah pointed out that we abandon the source of our strength too quickly and look for other solutions. The Lord is the source of our strength and our portion forever.

When I was a child visiting my dad’s relatives, my two aunts Willy and Helen lived out on a remote farm. The well water was not good. The neighbor down the road, George, had sweet well water. He would hitch a mule to a sled and bring large bottles of this sweet water to them. I remember the hot Summer riding that sled down the dirt road to his house and dipping into the water fresh at the well. It was cold and sweet and refreshing. Even today over 50 years later, I can smell the heat and the dirt and the mule and the sweet water and hear him, “Heeyah”, to the mule.

That is like the Lord’s fountain of life. When you are pressed to the max and turn to His well, you will never forget. You will go back. Go back to the well.

“For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭36:9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

https://www.bible.com/114/psa.36.9.nkjv

““For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.”

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭2:13‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

https://www.bible.com/114/jer.2.13.nkjv

Turtle on a Post

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word cheers it up.
Proverbs 12:25 HCSB

Ever felt like a turtle on a post? No way to get your footing? Stranded without a friend?

That feeling is insane. It drives heart and mind into a dither. Life can be like that.

That is when you need a friend. Someone who cares enough to take you out for a good steak dinner and laugh with you is a Godsend. A friend who meets you all the way at your doorstep instead of halfway to theirs is precious.

Be a friend to a stranded turtle. Don’t judge, correct, confront or constrain. Express kindness and companionship. They will find their footing. They need a friend.

Selah.

Pastor Phil

Change Psalm 30 #8

Change can bring you to your knees.

Psalm 30

I called to you, Lord;
    I begged for your help:

There is nothing wrong with begging, when you have been brought to your knees following God.  All moments in following God are not fun.  You may experience deep contrition and even despondency.  Elijah despaired and wanted to die.  Jonah become morose.  Jeremiah cried out in anguish.  Moses struggled.  Jesus sweated drops of blood.  God will take you to your breaking point.

Some teach that peace is the indicator of God’s will.  Really?  Have you read a Bible.  Men and women went through great anguish when following the voice of God.  He means to change us and change can rattle our souls.

It makes me laugh, when I think of the times God has completely thrown me into an unwinnable situation with my strength but a miraculous solution on my knees.

A major shift in which I am going today leaves me nowhere to go but my knees.  Every attempt I have made to advance the cause of Christ and move the vision forward failed miserably.  I don’t mean a little bit, I mean with embarrassment, misery, pain, consternation, frustration, lost dollars, pitiful results, humiliation, and humbling.  The humbling is God.  The rest is my human flesh mess.

It is hilarious.  He has brought me through all my attempts and all my understanding to a point of total dependence on Him.  I cannot do anything right. He will not let me fail.

He has intervened miraculously on every front of my life, where my efforts have failed.

This is not new.  This is deep training.  He and I have walked through other situations like this, where He intervenes and teaches me to trust and obey when all seems lost and flawed.

Go ahead and beg.  Get on your knees and cry out to God.  Give up all you know and let Him intervene.

Taking the Land

For they did not take the land by their sword — their arm did not bring them victory — but by Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your face, for You were pleased with them.
Psalms 44:3 hcsb

Taking the Land

Great ventures risk great failures and successes. Both are possible. Both can happen simultaneously. All success is not 100%. A good success can most often be found on the end of a trail strewn with flops. And then sometimes the venture is just a big flop. It happens.

Surveys

Doing faither/daughter summits, we uncovered interesting notes. Teen and twenty-something daughters were asked what they wanted most from dads. The daughters want to be told about failures. Seems dads like to brag about the good and ignore the flops. Daughters want to know. They want to know that dads know that it is okay to flop. All of us need to know it okay to make mistakes.

Workplace

A young assistant transitioned to a new job. It was a good promotion and I was excited for her and sad to loose her. Rather than say goodbye in person, she left a note. That was strange for me. In the note she explained how hard it was for her to say goodbye. She had learned much and was most grateful that I taught her it was okay to fail, to make mistakes. Her dad made her feel she had to be perfect and she learned to flop and go on when working for me. It so impacted her she would remember for life.

A Big Flop

This year I put together a grand plan for a Tree Festival. It was a huge effort with a lot of design, marketing, announcements, letters, phone calls, and energy. It was a flop. A big kerfuffle. A mash up. A bomb in the wrong direction. And I became exhausted after pouring every excess ounce of energy and pride into it only to have to cancel at the crux point in the exit plan. We were poised to send announcements out across 100 locations and invest thousands of dollars in marketing and I had to cancel due to lack of needed supporters.

Personal?

It seemed to say, “You are alone. You are a failure.” And more flop followed flop. Energy on another project resulted in the same. A team hit the wall and could not move forward. Three huge flops happened at once with my energy, a core team, and a needed project. Add to that a project at home that crashed. Get the picture. All looked like a flop.

Remember the Alamo

In the war between Mexoco and Texas, the Alamo flop became a rally cry. Can you imagine your battle cry being, “Remember the Big Flop!” Not a bad strategy really. Big flops can be big successes if you learn from them and pursue the goal and the vision not the skirmishes.

Pursue the Goal – Let God Prevail

My sword is not big enough for God ventures. I need His. After and in the middle of the flops, I sought God in prayer. The flops still happened. Even the prayer times failed. People committed and then in six prayer events one person showed one time. Talk about lonely! And then His arm was revealed.

In a series of moves, He pulled back the covers of several big successes in spite of my messes. Partners came along and delivered huge wins for the team that hit the wall, another new team appeared for which we had looked and prayed for years, a helper with specific abilities that we needed joined, and a community event that is more impactful that the festival I planned is in high motion.

The Lord had success planned in every area in which I flopped. Had I succeeded, I would miss His supply and been on my own. Yes, He worked through me, but He did the work. Now I can rest in Him and relax and be restored. What I really needed was a good flop that led me to lean on Him.

Lean

Take those flops and learn to lean. He has a mean right arm of power that delivers. He is ready, willing, and able to deliver the right wins even when we flop pitifully and especially when we remember to lean into His faithfulness.

More flops will come. More successes will be delivered. And I learn to lean.

Change Psalm 30 #7

“Lord, when You showed Your favor, You made me stand like a strong mountain; when You hid Your face, I was terrified.” Psalms‬ ‭30:7‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

The show and hide of God builds a confidence in us, when we let it. When we let it. When we let it.

Those are key words, “When we let it.”

Take the strength of the favor and apply it to the moments when He seems to be hiding. He is not hiding. He is watching. He is watching to see your faithfulness in the fearful. He is watching to see your loyalty in the challenging. He is watching to see your love when you feel unlovely. He is watching to see your faith grow.

Faith is amplified in favor on the mountainside. Faith is founded in the lone days in the valleys of desperation.

When we let it..

Too Stupid to Be Human?

Agur is a friend. He just dives in and levels the playing field as he approaches God and wisdom.

“The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh contain this message. I am weary, O God; I am weary and worn out, O God. I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense. I have not mastered human wisdom, nor do I know the Holy One.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭30:1-3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

His weariness causes him to get down on himself, but he pops out quickly realizing God is Bigger. He really is not stupid, he just positions himself as a lifelong learner and attacks his own pride. People don’t collect your writings because you are stupid.

“First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neithepoverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.” Proverbs‬ ‭30:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

This next piece of wisdom just is beautiful. Keep me with a reasonable happiness, Lord. Keep me contained. Let my life be neither too troublesome, nor too extravagant.

In the end, we do not take a UHaul to the cemetery. But our friends and family gather in the last moments and that is the sum of our lives here on this side.

God is faithful in these days of change. He speaks quietly, though. Do not expect Him to scream into your life, but listen for His small moments. Take an Agur Attitude – too stupid, willing to learn. You might see something you have never seen. Go someplace you have never gone. Enjoy someone you have never met. With an Agur Attitude.

Praying for you that God instills wisdom for the moments and a healthy attitude of adjustment that is ever learning and never too smart.

The Think Doctor, Pastor Phil