Monthly Archives: July 2009

Poverty Stinks in BASECO

povertyFeeling down because of the economy?

Maybe your home value has dropped 50-60%. Or your IRA’s, 401’s or stock portfolio has slipped into the toilet. Or even worse yet, you’ve lost your job. Tough times, right?

Well, check out this picture. Then, click here to read the less than 100 word article by Mark Pedder. He and his wife, Christine, are missionaries to one of the worst slums in Asia, BASECO.

After reading the article, ask the Lord if you can help Mark and Christine. They are not good at asking for help, but I have no problem in doing it for them.

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Swimming Upstream: “Obamacare Versus Miracle Healings”

Smith Wigglesworth was born in northern England in 1859. Though Wigglesworth was uneducated and normally spoke with a thick cockney accent, his healing and miracle ministry has been unequaled in modern times. At least, fourteen people were raised from the dead and thousands were healed in his meetings.

Just before Wigglesworth died in 1947, he said, “There are now so many healing options for sick people nowadays, that in the future it will be hard for people to be healed by faith.”

With the exception of the 1950’s Healing Revival in America, Wigglesworth’s statement has been accurate. For the most part, today’s believers generally seek the Lord for healing as a last resort after all medical options have first been tried.

But now, along comes the possibility of Obamacare. This massive legislation could allow federal employees  to determine whether any treatment is “comparatively effective” for any individual based on the cost, likely success and probably of the years left in the person’s life.

So, what do you think? Could Obamacare frustrate people enough so that they will seek the Lord for their healings in the months or years ahead? Or will we just fall in line with the other lemmings and suffer the consequences?

Swimming Upstream appears at this blog site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s  a little of this and a little of that, all written  to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys.

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Swimming Upstream: “Should Prophecy Be A Primary Goal Of Our Church Meetings Rather Than A Secondary One?”

church2“Larry, let’s pray, okay?” says Honey almost every morning over the last thirteen years.  “Who knows, maybe the Lord has a prophetic word for us today?”

Then, Honey and I seek the Lord specifically asking Him to speak to us through the prophetic gifts.

Does the Lord always speak to us? No, not always; but the percentage of times that He does speak is rather astounding.

Do we make mistakes? Yes, we do. Some of the mistakes are funny, and some are not. But then again, the accuracy has often been amazing, especially with knowing about family problems ahead of time, financial instructions, intercession, even deaths of relatives and so forth.

We write the prophetic words down which gives us an accountability system.

Now, most churches which allow prophetic words in their services do so as a part of the praise and worship time. The music dies down and then a prophecy or two may be spoken. But then, it’s back to the normal service schedule.

So, would churches be better off doing what Honey and I do? Specifically seeking the Lord for His now-input rather than having the same old-same old service. Or is a little prophecy more than enough? After all, there will be mistakes, some of them may even be major ones.

What do you think?

Swimming Upstream appears at this blog site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s  a little of this and a little of that, all written  to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys.

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Swimming Upstream: “Does Jesus Ever Go On Vacation?”

Does Jesus ever go on vacation? Silly question, right?  mickey_minnie_disneyland_small

Indeed, He who watches over Israel never tires and never sleeps. (Psalm 121:4 NLT)

So, rest easy, Jesus is always available and never takes time off to go on vacation. But this is not true for Honey and me as we are heading off to Disneyland with the Grandkids today.

See you tomorrow.

Swimming Upstream appears at this blog site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s  a little of this and a little of that, all written  to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys.

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Swimming Upstream: “Does Jesus Have A Sense of Humor?”

swineA few years ago, another believer and I had an extended discussion over whether Jesus has a sense of humor or not.

“How can you possibly believe Jesus could laugh about anything with all the problems in the world? Like AIDS, Israel, terrorism,  abortion, poverty, starvation, war,” he proclaimed. “I just don’t think you know Jesus as you should.”

“Well, maybe I don’t know Him as I should,”  I said, conceding the point. “But if He’s not laughing at both of us right now, He’s missing a golden opportunity. We’re certainly silly.”

The conversation went down hill from this point onward.

So, what do you think? Does Jesus have a sense of humor? If so, give some examples.

Swimming Upstream appears at this blog site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s  a little of this and a little of that, all written  to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys.

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Swimming Upstream: “Are We Sitting Ducks or What?”

sitduck2

Isle’s comment on yesterday’s post ended up really, really bugging me:

I’ve been attending church my entire life, and have never witnessed ‘obvious’ spiritual gifts of prophecy or tongues like you describe. I don’t doubt that they exist (indeed, your story is encouraging in that respect) but I wonder why I’ve never observed them in myself or the people around me. Is it my circumstances or my perspective? Or are they really that rare?

I googled here, here and here, checking on facts.

Here’s my findings: 3.5% of Americans are designated as Pentecostals or Charismatics, which means they have some spiritual gifts (usually speaking in tongues). But here’s the kicker: only 10% of this small group states they prophesy or give interpretations.

Thus, only .35% of Americans prophesy. And guess what? Most of these people are clustered in the southern states which are known as the Bible Belt.

Put your thinking caps on, okay? Do you see this as a problem for our churches, our cities, our states or America?

Swimming Upstream appears at this blog site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s  a little of this and a little of that, all written  to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys.

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I’d Like To Prophesy…But* (Part 9)

shy2Click on following links for: Part 1Part 2Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6Part 7 and Part 8.

What is the price for rising above entry level prophesying?

5. Humility

“The world has yet to see what God can do with a man who doesn’t care who gets the credit.” (Dwight L. Moody)

If I had to pick just one character trait which Jesus is longing to see in us prophetic people, it would be humility. And yet, this seems to be the hardest one for us to attain.

Let’s say, you are on a platform with a microphone in your hand. You look into the audience and see a woman.  There’s nothing remarkable about her, but you instantly know something.

You point at her. “Your prayers are about to be answered,” you say, “that man you have been praying about for years and years is coming back into your life. Buy a wedding dress.”

The woman breaks down and cries. She raises her hands and shouts, “Thank you Jesus!”

Afterward, you find out the woman has been praying for her ex-husband. She believes they will be remarried, but everyone, including her pastor,  has told her she’s nuts. They say that her ex-husband will never, ever change his ways.

Six months later, you are invited to the wedding of the woman and her ex-husband. The man had an experience with the Lord and was instantly changed.

This actually happened to me, and countless other ones like it.

Pretty heady stuff, right?

Today, as I look back at the guy who held that microphone and spoke those words, I cringe and shudder. I hate him. I hate his pride, his arrogance, his thinking that he was the man who prayed, fasted and heard God for other people. I don’t even like to remember the time period because I am so ashamed of that man.

But let’s be honest, okay? I still give prophetic words. So, what’s changed in me?

“I remember the day and the place where I died.” (Katherine Kuhlman)

Maybe, Kuhlman was fortunate enough to completely die to all of her pride on just one day, but I wasn’t.  I can take you to street corners where parts of me died. Or to dumpsters where I crawled into searching for cans. Or to jobs I failed at. Or to countless other experiences where my heart was crushed.

Am I a perfect example of humility now? No. No. No.

But I am no longer the same guy who held the microphone and spoke the words to that lady…and I pray that I never will be like him again.

Humility takes time, lots of it. It is an ongoing work in my life, one which I continually struggle with; and yet, I embrace it.

(This series will be continued in the future.)

*I have used the word prophesy in a general sense to denote prophecy, words of knowledge and words of wisdom (1 Corinthians 12: 8-10).

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