my people – my place – my time

Morning Moment
In a conversation with the Father concerning futures, this verse in Haggai is relevant to me. Many versions attempt translation. Most vary in how they see it. Consider that tremendous scholars struggle with this verse. To apply a verse is to extract meaning alongside the Counselor, the Holy Spirit. Walk with me a moment into application to your future.

1. The Father is consistent and works by principles. His ways are consistent. His intentions toward us are consistent and for good.
2. There is a timing to delivery of every promise of God.
3. All the promises of God are positive in Jesus.
4. Relationship and obedience are important in accessing the full extent of a promise of the Father.

The present season will be more splendid than past glories, and in this place and time I will give my people prosperity and peace. The Lord almighty has spoken. Haggai 2:9

You will not find a version that says exactly these words. They ar e my application version. The words are spoken first literally applying to the second temple to be built in Jersusalem after years of captivity. The Father wants to give you glory in your life after captivity, pain, addiction, anger, grief and loss. It is His heart. Will you let Him? Can you believe He can give greatness to you? Even after such hardnness of life. Then walk with me.

The glory of today may differ than the glory of yesterday. Have you had greatness that you no longer see? The Father is more concerned with your heart than your actions. Greatness and goodness and glory are not measured in dollars and things but heart and influence. He wills His kingdom to come. His kingdom is not of this world. What greatness and glory does He wish to do through you? Greatness in family? Friendships? Fellowship? Faith?

As a young man, I witnessed and participated in great moves of the Holy Spirit personally and in the local churches. I still do, but differently. In my life I have been a part of building a 5000 member congregation multiculturally, seeing a city-wide move in fathering, building a mission feeding 20,000 meals a month and more. That was then. This is now. It would take the rest of my life just to tell you the miracles of the past of my life. What could be a greater glory? A stronger prosperity? A deeper peace?

Yet, He wishes to do greater, more, and exceedingly abundantly above all I can ask or think. He moves to give greater presence in our present.

I have also lived through pains of rejection, misunderstandings, mistakes and messes while living in the moves. Maybe, you have had disappointments? He looks to give you greater good.

These are exciting days. Churches are failing. Families are a mess. Violence is rampant. Anger seethes. Depression prevails. In such a time, a move of the Holy Spirit will do much good. Believe for a greater glory. Believe for a deeper peace. Believe with me for a fresh prosperity of mind, heart, will, emotion, spirit, soul, body, relationships and provision.

Step into this moment of promise with me. Apply the verse to your life and family and city. For me and those joined with me in the local church, I say this:
Hope C : my people – my place – my time.

This is the people to whom I am joined in Jesus. Some are online and some are onsite. It is something new. Join a people that is a church.
This is the place He is happening for me. Take your place. Quit looking fir somewhere else. Enjoy this place and change it to look like His kingdom.
This is the moment, the hour, the time of His action and appearing in my life. Seize it.

What about you?

1520290606685_image

Advertisements

Stand


​The fire of life is a consuming agent meant to cleanse and strengthen.  It sure does not feel like it when you are in it. 
Oh, trouble’s a ton, or a trouble’s an ounce, Or a trouble is what you make it. And it isn’t the fact that you’re hurt that counts, But only how did you take it.  Edmund Vance Cooke
A good friend and mentor reminded me this morning that when God is prepping us for good things, the enemy launches defensive attack to stop us.  Jesus knew this in the garden and prayed for us. In  my struggle to stay on top of issues instead of buried by them, I needed that loving reminder.  Maybe it can encourage you also.
When Jesus prayed for us in His last recorded prayer before his execution on the cross, He prayed ‘a full measure of joy’ along with a commission to live in this world “as it is not as we would have it” (Serenity Prayer – Niehbur).
He let us know that the systems of the world will hate us.  How true is that today? Education, government, politics, arts, even benevolence would like to crush the heart of a believer in Christ.  Even knowing that it is only the presence of that heart of genuine compassion birthed in Christ that is the eternal engine of dignity and hope in the very world that rejects Him. 
It is the heart of real Christianity that sees there is neither male nor female nor black nor white nor EU nor USA in God’s family.  There are just people for whom He died and lives and unites.  It is the real heart of Christians that treats all with dignity even in disagreement.  And it is that heart that is hated because it convicts and convinces of mistaken living and imperfect obdience.
“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.  I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.  My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.  Sanctify them by  the truth; your word is truth.  As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.  For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

John 17:13‭-‬19 NIV
When you read this prayer, pray it over yourself and your leaders.  Pray in agreement with Jesus.
Father, I agree with Christ as He stands in front of You on my behalf right now. Fill us with the full measure of His joy  that is unspeakable and full of glory.  The joy that shines bright in the middle of a lost and distorted generation filled with violence and greed and self fulfillment.

Your word is a lamp to us, a light to our path in the dark.  We are hated for living Your word and heart. Days can be cold.  Never let our hearts get cold to reach out with hope and life in Jesus. No matter the rejection, the lack of gratefulness or persecution, never let us be bitter or cold.

We are not of the world any more than Jesus is  of the world.  My prayer is not that you take us out of the world but that you protect us from the evil one.  Sanctify us by  the truth; your word is truth.  As you sent Jesus into the world, you have sent us into the world. We accept and acknowledge our selection and calling as hard as it may be. For us Jesus sanctified Himself, that we too may be truly sanctified, equipped, and set out for this special task each and every day.
Stand strong, a generation separated from God needs you. You are loved and appreciated in the highest court of heaven by the King of the Universe.

The Age of Adventure II – Faith

Psalm 37

23 The Lord makes firm the steps
    of the one who delights in him;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall,
    for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

25 I was young and now I am old,
    yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
    or their children begging bread.
26 They are always generous and lend freely;
    their children will be a blessing.[b]

27 Turn from evil and do good;
    then you will dwell in the land forever.
28 For the Lord loves the just
    and will not forsake his faithful ones.

39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord;
    he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and delivers them;
    he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
    because they take refuge in him.

This is our age of adventure. God is full of miracles and right answers for right living for those that align their lives, thoughts, actions, and attitudes with His truth.

Up to now, you may not have seen all you want to see in life.  You might have some physical and emotional pains.  Scars of the heart and mind could be plaguing you.  Why settle?  Why not have a better life forward?

In 1976, some 40 years past, Francis Schaeffer published a video series entitled Why Shall We Then Live?  It is based on his book by the same title.  Without taking too much time, there are two premises.  One is that the growth of man’s concentration of himself as the center of the universe is leading us into dangerous and hellishly painful living.  Second is that God gave us a moral base as a solution that will keep that from happening as we invoke it.  Schaeffer’s prophetic conclusion is that unchecked man’s concentration on man will end up in an authoritarian government overseeing and oppressing our lives with decisions from an elite few. This is the story of history and the certain end result of a view of life of societal definition verses moral absolutes based on God’s revealed Bible.  Certainly the United States has suffered greatly under this oppression from administrative and judicial branches for some years now.  The EU poses this oppressive approach as does the United Nations. An elitist group defines what society needs and imposes on it.  Without a Biblical absolute with which to challenge, the oppression goes unchecked. Stalin’s Russia, Hitler’s Germany, the abuses of major religions that turned to religion instead of Bible all have proven this true.

You may feel you are in such a situation.  You may feel that a government entity or a family tribunal or a set of circumstances have put you in an oppressive situation from which there is no escape.

The joy of the Believer is that God provides miracle escape in our personal lives, when we apply right approach.  It may not be as quick as we would like, but it is a certain promise.

Take time to go back and read the excerpts from Psalm 37.  These are promises.  There are conditions.  Never should we believe we can just “run to Jesus” and answers will fall from heaven.  That is ludicrous and not the promise of the Bible.  That is bad manipulation and bad belief.  It is not true.  He wants the Lordship of your life.  He wants to be master.

When I understand:

1.Of myself, I cannot get it done.

2.God, the Creator, a personal God, made a way in Christ to be forgiven, accepted, and empowered.

3.I can rest in His death and resurrection.  He has built a limitless bank of grace and peace.

4.The King of the Universe loves me and that makes me valuable.  You cannot take it away. He has poured His Holy Spirit into my life.

5.He gives me a true “church” family that loves me, accepts me and takes me in.

Anger has no hold.

Addictions drop away.

Depression is defeated.

Discouragement dies.

Provision is at my door.

Strength engulfs me for difficulty.

This simple statement has guided me recently in helping others gain faith in Christ and Christ alone.  It is simple. It doesn’t encompass everything, but it encompasses all I need to begin a limitless life of freedom in Him.

Living that statement takes daily application.  Daily application opens my life to daily miracles.  Many times the influence of God in my life is a compound effect.  Day after day, I build relationship and connection and cooperation with Him.  Each step builds my faith and my strength.  Each connection plants seeds that blossom in my future.

liftedlovedlinkedWhat is a way to connect every day?

Take this format for a season. I’ll share more as you grow, but begin here and more will be added. Don’t make this a magic formula.  Make this a daily discipline to open your heart, your life, your family, your work, and your friendships to continual influence of an ever loving God.

When you rise and before you go to bed.  Do these four things.

  1. Adore Him – tell God how much you love Him.  Center your universe on Him.  Ask Him to teach you to love like He loves.  Recognize Him for the fact that He is your Father, the Creator of the Universe, all powerful and all loving.
  2. Confess Your Faults – be brutally honest.  Talk to him privately about what you have done wrong, when you have lost control, what you did not do that needed done.  Confess, receive forgiveness, ask to be built stronger. Listen to the stirrings of your heart.  Hear His quiet voice bringing correction.  Do what He tells you.  Be obedient.
  3. Thank Him – think of all that has transpired and thank Him for the good and the bad.  That is right.  Don’t thank Him that bad has happened.  Thank Him that He gave you freedom to live in both circumstances.  Thank Him that He will turn the bad events into growth and good in your life.  Thank Him He is the author of all that is good and the Defender against all that is evil to deliver us from it.
  4. Supplication – Ask for what your family needs, your friends, your world and you personally.  Tell Him what you want.  Talk it out with Him.  Don’t gripe.  Don’t complain.  Stand as a strong and confident child of Heaven after you have acknowledged His greatness and goodness and your mistaken living and imperfect obedience and be assured He is listening.

Watch what begins to happen.  Keep a journal.  When you put Him first, you will begin to see miracle birth.

For  a Better Life

In His Service and Yours,

P

 

Morning Musings

This morning I read through Nehemiah, Psalm 5 and Proverbs 5 before entering the study. The impression that God protects His people in mercy and justice was overwhelming. To follow a mistaken course of living like the fool in proverbs 5 living in lust and adultery ends up in loss of years and loss of reputation. To marry into unbelieving relationships like the men of Jerusalem does the same with children that do not know their heritage.
Simultaneously, those that have followed a mistaken course of living are still overseen by God’s mercy and given opportunity to repent and start fresh. Everything is forward.
Yesterday in the meetings at HCIPHC, the minister looked into my eyes and said, “Go forward.” I knew exactly what he meant. On May 22nd, I recorded a video “Get Up and Go Forward”. I had been in fasting for some time and the Holy Spirit was screaming these words and continues to pummel them into my soul.
Get up and Go Forward. Don’t dwell on the mistakes of the past or the life lived yesterday. Whether it was great, good, or groaning, find the future.

 

Speak Life

 

1      The Challenge

“A quiet and comfortable obsession with an ultimately destructive hurt, habit, or hang-up can led to final failure.”  Phil Larson

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Mahatma Ghandi

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”  Paul of Tarsus

Proverbs 21:23(NKJV) 23 Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles. Solomon

Proverbs 13:3 (NKJV) 3 He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction. Solomon

These wisdom guidelines speak to me this morning.  This week I am in a time of prayer and work and rest.  The prayer is to focus my soul and energies and seek the intervention of God.  The work is to get outside and do those things that I enjoy.  The rest is to honor the principles of trust and Sabbath so directed in Christ and break from the normal.

As I start this week I have two books in my hand.  The Power of Optimism by Alan Loy McGinnis and The Bible by the Holy Spirit of God.

2      One Pain

“A quiet and comfortable obsession with an ultimately destructive hurt, habit, or hang-up can led to final failure.”  Phil Larson

“Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” Vince Lombardi, George S. Patton and every leader under which I have served.

Courage stands. Cowardice grovels.

Courage advances. Cowardice retreats.

Courage envisions. Cowardice tunnels.

Courage empowers. Cowardice controls.

Courage gives. Cowardice takes.

Courage resolves. Cowardice complains.

In a survey of young women gathered to reconnect with fathers, a great truth was discovered. The young women told us they wanted their dads to be more vulnerable and transparent. They yearn to hear Dad talk of his mistakes and recovery. They want to know he gives them room to make mistakes and be human because he acknowledges his mistakes and humanity. It is tough to relate to a prideful leader full of himself and his stories of conquest.

One of my flaws under pressure is to release negatives into the air about those items and people most disconcerting to me at the moment.  It is not that I don’t appreciate the item but that it is irritating me at the moment.  It is not that I don’t love and appreciate the person, but that some aspect of resistance is irritating me at the moment.  Then my mouth opens and my foot inserts and someone is damaged.

A leader carries great power of negative and positive.  Life and death exude from the tongue.  Of course we think hard thoughts and must process them.  But we should not as leaders process them out loud.  They should be as privately engaged as prayers in our closets.  In fact, they should be prayers in our closets until resolved in our heart.

3      Serve

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Mahatma Ghandi

Serving solves stupidity and soothes struggling souls. When we serve, our mistakes can be covered.  People see the heart and love covers a multitude of sins.  That does not excuse sin, but hey, a little cover is good.  We are all flawed human becomings that need to give and receive grace. Be gentle with yourself, repentant when making a mistake, and serving of others.

4      Remember

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”  Paul of Tarsus

Mistakes, slips, falls, failures, glitches, or problems easily beset us and blur vision.  Remember who you are.  Remember whose you are.  It is right to view your mistakes, change direction, and move forward. It is not right to grovel. Step up and step out.  Admit. Change. Move. Learn.

F.U.M.B.L.E.   Sport analogies are overused, but here is one.  A fumble in football defines a team.  There is one focus.  Get the ball.  Focus on the issue. Understand the impact. Maintain esteem. Build relationship. Lead by example. Expand to other areas. F.U.M.B.L.E.   When the ball is loose, get the ball.  Don’t point fingers.  Don’t try to find someone to blame.  Don’t isolate from others and sulk.  Don’t wait on someone else to get the ball.  Figure out how to prevent in the future. You’ve fumbled before.  You’ve recovered. You’ve learned.  Do it again. Do your part.

Focus on the Issue. What needs fixed?

Understand the impact. What has been damaged?  What else needs fixed? How far has the damage gone?

Maintain Esteem. No finger pointing. No blaming. Believe in every player.

Build Relationship.  A fumble is a great opportunity to discover strengths and weaknesses in a team and strengths and weaknesses in our opposition.  To every positive there is a negative trying to keep it from happening.  Gain understanding of friends.

Lead by Example. Hesitation increases damage.  Don’t wait on someone else.  Get on the ball.  Take action.

Expand to Other Areas. What will cause one fumble will cause twenty.  A blip in one area will blip in another.  Where can the solution be expanded, applied to something else and help growth?

Remember your victories.  David, legendary king of Israel, faced not just Goliath but his four brothers.  Entering into the moment he reminded himself that he had killed a lion and a bear and that God was on his side.  I’m sure he also remembered there was a great reward waiting for the victor.  Memories of prior conquests and present helps and future rewards all moved him forward.  Remember.  You have conquered before and will conquer this.

Speak of the truth of the positive.  List out all the positives and begin to speak them to others. Okay, be transparent in the positive along with the pains.  Focus on the positives.

5      The Challenge

Proverbs 21:23(NKJV) 23 Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles. Solomon

Proverbs 13:3 (NKJV) 3 He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction. Solomon

Oopsadoodle.  Is that a word?  Yes, it is what we say to babies when they drop something.  We say it with a musical lilt as we reach over and fix it.  Later on we get angry and scowl at a four year old who makes the same slip. Ouch.  What is wrong with us?  Contain your consequences to right time and place. Allow for recovery.

There are ten tons of troubles to tackle. Focus on the one in front that needs present attention.  Contain your discontent for the prayer closet.  Most will solve themselves with no help from you.  Trust God.  You asked Him to help did you not?  Why are you taking it back?  Put some filters on your words.

Thinking out loud can get you into trouble.  I do that sometimes.  I am processing something and it comes out of my mouth and someone hears and thinks I am upset.  I’m not.  I’m processing.  But they don’t know that.  Then they take it wrongly and I don’t even know it.  The damage is the same no matter my intention. So I go to the lake in the woods and yell at God, who loves me and understands me, and the birds and trees don’t care.  Then I get back in the game with a resolute heart and cheerful. Heavy on the cheerful.

After noting the story of a young man beset with a disease that ended in death, this poem was penned by Edmund Vance Cooke.

 

 

How Did You Die?

 

Did you tackle that trouble that came your way

With a resolute heart and cheerful?

Or hide your face from the light of day

With a craven soul and fearful?

Oh, a trouble’s a ton, or a trouble’s an ounce,

Or a trouble is what you make it,

And it isn’t the fact that you’re hurt that counts,

But only how did you take it?

 

You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what’s that?

Come up with a smiling face.

It’s nothing against you to fall down flat,

But to lie there — that’s disgrace.

The harder you’re thrown, why the higher you bounce;

Be proud of your blackened eye!

It isn’t the fact that you’re licked that counts,

It’s how did you fight —  and why?

 

And though you be done to the death, what then?

If you battled the best you could,

If you played your part in the world of men,

Why, the Critic will call it good.

Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,

And whether he’s slow or spry,

It isn’t the fact that you’re dead that counts,

But only how did you die?

 

6      Summation:

Each of us faces tough days and defeatist moments.  You can reduce their number by focusing on the positive and speaking life into those around you and situations.  Remember the victories you have seen in life and apply those lessons to new challenges.  And hey, have a great life along the way.  Death will take us all, be living when it finds you.