Monthly Archives: September 2009

Swimming Upstream: “Can Old Dogs Like Me Learn New Tricks?”

dogMy biggest struggles over the last ten years have been the unlearning and relearning processes I have gone through since Honey and I left the traditional church system.

Now, if you know me (or if you read my stuff on FaceBook), you’d understand that I’m not the type who changes easily. I stubbornly hold onto old things and am not quick to try new ones.

And you’d think that I would be the last person in the whole world the Lord would try to change, especially considering I’m 63 years old, right?

But my quirky wrinkles have not bothered the Lord in the least. He just used His special steam-iron to press everything out of my life. And to be honest, it’s a  very, very hot steam-iron.

So, starting next Monday, I will disclose the changes and the processes I have walked through and undergone since hearing the Holy Spirit say, “Too much pastoring in the church.”

The reason I’m doing this is that I feel Christianity is in the time period when the prophetic words spoken to Mike Bickle in 1982 will be fulfilled. The words were:

“I [the Lord] will change the understanding and expression of Christianity in one generation.”

If you are interested, stop back on Monday.

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: “Will Christians Ever Unite To Change America’s Ways?”

flagIn today’s edition of World Net Daily, the main article is entitled, “Why Can’t Christians Unite to Change America’s Ways?”

The article is based on findings from a new study conducted by the Bliss Institute of Applied Politics in partnership with Public Religion Research. The study was a survey of 3,000 political activists who associated themselves with the religious right and the religious left.

It’s an eye-opening and discouraging article, one that will cause you to wonder if the Body of Christ will ever walk in unity again.

Whether you take the time to read the article or not, what do you think? Will Christians ever unite to change America’s ways?

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 You Hanging On Or Letting Go?”

bad_economics

I remember a story about an early Pentecostal who wanted to speak in tongues. His church prayed for him as he tarried before the altar.

As he waited on the Spirit,  he listened to what people were praying over him. Half of them prayed, “O Lord, help him to hang on” while the other half prayed, “Lord, help him to let go.”

His mind raced back and forth, wondering which prayer he should listen to. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit arrived on the scene and took over.

This story illustrates the dilemma most believers who live in Western nations, especially America, are faced with right now. Massive government deficits. Home foreclosures. Shrinking retirement funds. High unemployment. Still more bad economic news on the horizon. Terrorism. Illegal immigration. Confused politicians in all parties. On and on it goes with no rhyme or reason.

So, what do we do? Hang on or let go? 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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Waiting On The Lord, You Know, Just Waiting On Him! (Part 3)

The_Thinker,_Auguste_Rodin

Click on following for earlier articles: Part 1 and Part 2.

So, what can a New Testament believer do to help bring a personal prophetic word to pass in his (or her) life?

B. If The Prophetic Words Are Not Confirmed Right Away, Then What?

Many years ago, a pastor stated, “If a prophecy is not confirmed by the Lord in a quick fashion, just place it on the shelf. Eventually, the Lord may confirm it.”

At the time, I thought what the pastor taught was wisdom, but since then, I have changed my mind. His words are not only unscriptural, but they are also foolish.

Are you shocked?After all, isn’t this an example of waiting on the Lord?

For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power. (1 Corinthians 4:20)

And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:4-5)

The Apostle Paul preached the gospel to the Corinthian Church; he was their spiritual father. When Paul states that his preaching was a “demonstration of the Spirit and power“, he is talking about the gifts of the Spirit and prophecy. Who do you think first taught the Corinthians about the gifts of the Spirit? Of course, it was Paul.

So then, prophecy and the gifts of the Spirit are a part of the kingdom of God benefit package for us believers, okay?

But Jesus made an important point about the kingdom of God when He said:

Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all. (Mark 10:15)

Now, let’s say, you tell your four year-old son that you are going to give him a new bicycle. What will happen next?

Your son will start pestering you and asking questions. “When can we go? Can we go now? Why not? Let’s go. Can I have a red one? Aren’t the stores open now? Why can’t we go now? Huh? Huh?”

He will continue until you either take him to buy one or tell him he can’t have a bicycle. He is not going to allow your words to collect dust on a shelf and just wait for some time in the future. He wants action now!

This is the attitude the Lord wants us to have with unconfirmed prophetic words. He wants us seeking Him until we know the answer.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek , and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8)

(Continued in Part 4.)

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Swimming Upstream: “Does It All Pay The Same?”

money“In the Kingdom of God, it doesn’t matter whether we are raising the dead or taking a nap because it all pays the same, if we are in the will of God,” said Bob Jones many years ago.

If you have ever heard Bob Jones speak, you are instantly aware of two things: Bob is an Arkansas country boy without any pretense of urban sophistication, and he is a profound prophet and seer.

So, what do you think about his statement? Do you believe it?

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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Waiting On The Lord, You Know, Just Waiting On Him! (Part 2)

The_Thinker,_Auguste_Rodin

Click on following for earlier article: Part 1.

So what can a New Testament believer do to help bring a personal prophetic word to pass in his (or her) life?

A. Confirmation of True Prophetic Words by the Lord.

And He has confirmed His words… (Daniel 9:12)

And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. (Mark 16:20)

The Lord is not an idle babbler. His words spoken through a prophetic voice to you have a purpose behind them. So much so, that He will confirm them to you in His own perfect timing.

Biblically, there are four possible time periods in which the Lord will confirm every true  prophetic word to you:

(1). The personal prophecy could confirm what you have already known and heard via the Holy Spirit through an earlier dream, vision, another prophetic word, prophetic impression or by hearing the voice of the Lord for yourself.

Except that the Holy spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me. (Acts 20:23)

(2)  The personal prophecy may be confirmed to you at the moment it is spoken to you. Maybe, you’d say, “My spirit really witnesses with this prophecy.”

They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32)

(3)  The personal prophecy may be confirmed to you after it is spoken to you. It could be days, months or years later.

Jesus prophesied to Peter: “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan, has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22: 31-32)

(4)  The personal prophecy could be confirmed to you after your death.

All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. (Hebrews 11:13)

At some point, you can be assured that the Lord will confirm His true prophetic words spoken to you via prophetic voices.

(Continued in Part 3.)

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Swimming Upstream: “Want To Reap What You Sow?”

reapingOnce, I heard Lester Sumrall say, “I don’t always need a prophet to tell me certain things.”

I agree with Lester. After all, scripture states that “we know in part and we prophesy in part” (1 Corinthians 13:9).

With this in mind, it does not take much thought on our parts to realize jobs could be a major concern for our neighbors and ourselves in the near future, especially in Western nations and America.

My city – Temecula, California – has a current unemployment rate of 15%, with no new employment opportunities lurking on the horizon. And according to the Labor Department, it could get much worse in the months ahead.

We need jobs. Period.

A loss of jobs will cause friction and despair in households which will cause marital problems which will cause children problems and on and on and on.

To counteract this trend, I have prayer walked my neighborhood and I am now prayer walking past businesses. As I walk by, I mention the name of the business and cry out to the Lord for His mercy on the business and for Him to create new jobs in Temecula.

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:9-10)

My opinion is that the Church needs to be on the offense and not sitting in pews. How we handle our current circumstances will determine what we reap in the future.

So, 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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Filed under Christianity, Christians, Church, church planting, Emergent Church, Faith, Gifts of the Spirit, God, grace, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, Red Letter Christians, reformation, Religion, spiritual warfare