Monthly Archives: September 2009

Waiting On The Lord, You Know, Just Waiting On Him! (Part 1)

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“Larry, you told me the Lord was going to give me my own business,” she said, her eyes locking on mine. “So, where is it?”

This is the situation we prophetic voices absolutely hate.

On the one hand, we need to boldly speak by faith what we feel is a prophetic word to a person. But then, on the other hand, we have to recognize we can make mistakes.

“Well,” I replied, “what do you think? Was my prophetic word about the Lord giving you a business a true word or not?”

Her eyes blinked. “At the time, I really believed it was from the Lord,” she said. “But now, after all this time, I’m not so sure.”

“Okay, what have you done to bring this particular prophetic word to pass in your life?” I asked.

She sighed. “Well, I’ve been waiting on the Lord, you know, just waiting on Him.” Her eyes narrowed a bit, daring me to say something.

In my twenty-plus years of speaking prophetic words to people about their callings or their ministries or their businesses or prospective marriages or having babies or whatever, I have heard this answer countless numbers of times. In fact, I’ve heard it so much that I have to quell a scream from spewing out of my mouth whenever I hear it uttered.

What most Christians think waiting on the Lord means, compared to what Scripture actually reveals it to be, is about like the difference between night and day. Or in the case of New Testament prophetic words, it’s the difference between having a prophetic word coming to pass or one that fails.

A young Roberts Liardon said, “I knew that I was called to preach so I went out to meet my calling.”

Liardon’s words may sound brash to many believers, but they are scriptural.

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

(Continued in Part 2.)

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Back of Larry’s Truck

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This is the back of my truck. No signs, no bumper stickers, just a license plate. Sort of boring, huh?

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Swimming Upstream: “What’s On The Back Of Your Vehicle?”

bumperDelivering pizzas allows me to spend an inordinate amount of time gazing at the bumpers and rear-ends of vehicles. I’m amused, and often amazed, at what I see and read.

A few vehicles still sport Bush-Cheney 04 bumper stickers. Then,  of course, since this is California, there are myriads of Obama 08 bumper stickers.

Camp Pendleton Marine Base is only thirty miles away, so there are lots of My Son Is A Marine and Not As Lean, Still As Mean, Always A Marine bumper stickers.

Not to be outdone, Christians have all sort of bumper stickers and signs on the backs of their vehicles. The most popular ones in my area seem to be: Not Of This World, Got Jesus?, JOHN 3:16 and Forgiven.

There are various bumper stickers supporting athletic teams, honor roll students, hobbies, dog breeds, political beliefs, energy drinks, musicians and so forth. Everyday there is something new for me to look at and enjoy.

So, what bumper stickers or signs do you have on the back of your vehicle?

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: “Want To Be A Peacemaker?”

divisionThroughout my Christian journey, I have failed often and made numerous mistakes. Some of my errors have been catastrophic in size.

But usually, after my failures,  I have met people who felt led by the Lord to pray for me during my struggles.

I refer to these intercessors as peacemakers. It was their prayers, along with the grace of God, who prayed me through stormy seas into peaceful, calm waters on the other side of my problems. Without them, I have no doubts I would have ended upon the shoals and rocks, bloodied and destroyed.

Now, America is sailing through stormy waters which could easily scuttle our nation onto the trash heap of forgotten powers, such as Greece, the Roman Empire and the British Empire. To think otherwise and view our political situation as just “politics as usual” is naive and shortsighted.

When George Bush was President, the favor of God was upon him. Yes, he was hated by many; yes, he was victimized by the media; and yes, the church let him down with her faithless praying. But God’s favor bridges over what the enemy dishes out and where saints fail.

Our nation has had no terrorists attacks since September 11, 2001.  Period. Enough said, okay?

Now, we have President Barack Obama who has thirty to forty percent of the nation idolizing him and the media bowing down before him. But unlike President Bush, Obama does not have the favor of God upon him.

And what good is man’s favor upon our elected leader when our nation is facing enemies who are backed by demonic powers? Zero! None! Nada! Zilch!

We Christians need to lay our ideological opinions down and begin praying with fervent love and passion for President Obama just as if he were our son. We need to shut our mouths and pray!

It’s a new day in America. And we can no longer depend on a few Houses of Prayer and individual intercessors to carry what is supposed to be a corporate burden for our nation’s welfare. To continue relying on just a few doing the work for all the rest of us will invariably result in dead bodies covering the streets of our cities.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Matthew 5:9)

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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Book Review: Permission Granted

bookFor me, Permission Granted is a book that I could only read a few pages at a time. Then, I had to digest what I had read, especially the chapters which Graham Cooke wrote.

For the most part, Gary Goodell shares his experiences about developing new ways of doing church. He is a fan of the simple church format and endorses holding meetings in businesses, coffee shops, parks and so forth. You can quickly read his chapters and understand the basic gist of it.

But I found Graham Cooke’s writing to be enlightening, profound and deep. I underlined specific parts, reread his sections many times and I can still open the book at random and be blessed by finding new revelations.

Here’s some examples:

In order to be alive to God in this way, we must surrender to Him and to everything He brings. He allows in His wisdom what He could easily prevent by His power… page 24.

When the system is more important than the individual, then we become a Pharisee and are guilty of the sin of expedience; the individual should suffer for the whole (see John 11:50)… page 43.

A society that values the individual will always rise to the highest place of its power because this value enshrines integrity, decency and honor. But when we cease to honor the weakest member, we are diminished as a company of called-out people… page 43.

We cannot indulge in the laws of reason and logic and expect to fight off the demonic. We cannot hear words concerning the future without willingly changing our practices in the present… page 158.

We must make sure that our relationships are strong enough to attract the presence of God as well as endure the warfare that our corporate anointing will provoke… page 205.

In distress, as a church, we will discover who is really joined to us in heart and who is joined to the euphoria of what was happening in the meetings…page 208.

I highly recommend Permission Granted if you searching for some meaty revelations about change, transitions, warfare and new ways of doing church.

Paperback. 280 pages. Published by Destiny Image. List Price: $14.99 and can be purchased here and here.

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Swimming Upstream: “What About Change Do We Christians Like?”

Climate ChangeIf you asked my wife to describe me, she would probably say something like this:  “Larry is an easy-going guy who never gets upset or worries much about anything. But he is stubborn and resists change.”

Just this morning, she wanted me to dye my mustache and hair so that I might possibly look a few years younger. My answer: “NO! It ain’t me Babe!”

You see, I don’t like change. Period.

And I especially don’t like having my Christian doctrines blown apart so that I have to relearn them in light of new revelations from heaven. It’s like graduating from high school and being promoted backwards to first grade.

But this is where I have been journeying for the last fifteen years. Change. Change. Change. And more change.

Though I grit my teeth, bite my tongue and firmly plant my feet in the middle of the road, I always end up eventually replying to the Lord much like Mary did when she said, “Behold the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to Your word.” (Luke 1:38)

So, what’s your thoughts on change, especially spiritual changes? Do you embrace changes? Or are you like me?

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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Ding Dong! Ding Dong!

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I’m upstairs, sitting at the computer, wondering what my next sentence will be, when my concentration is interrupted by a sound. “Ding dong! Ding Dong!”

I trot downstairs and open the door.  There standing on the front porch are two clean-cut men, wearing white shirts, ties and black slacks, with black name cards over their hearts. They smile, showing their white teeth.

Before they are able to speak, I say, “Where have you been, I’ve been waiting for you, come on in.”

Both of them blink their eyes and look at each other, but they do not budge an inch. “What?” they exclaim in unison.

I smile and nod. “Aren’t you missionaries?” I say, pointing at their name cards. “So, I assume you want to talk about Jesus and pray for me, right? I sure could use some good prayers. Who knows? Maybe, you’re the answer to my prayers.”

“You need prayer?” one of them finally says.

“Yes, come in, and sit down,” I say, pointing toward the sofa. They finally decide to come in and sit next to each other on the sofa. I sit across from them on the loveseat.

Introductions are made all around. One of them, Elder John, gives a quick sales pitch on the Church of the Latter Day Saints. The other, Elder James, nods in agreement as the first speaks.

As soon as there is a break in the conversation, I interrupt. “Hey, tell me your testimonies, okay? I love hearing about the how, when, where and why people decide to give their lives to Jesus and serve their churches.”

This is the Super Bowl and World Series wrapped into one perfect package for them. They eagerly relate their stories. I listen and ask questions because I truly care about them.

Both were born and raised in the Mormon church. Each was a freshman in college and decided to take a two year missionary tour before continuing on with their college education.

When they finish, I ask, “Do you want to hear my testimony?”

And of course, they politely  say, “Yes.”

I tell them my testimony. They, too, listen and ask questions.

As our time together nears an end, I say, “Okay, I need your prayers. So, pray for me.”

We hold hands and each offers a general prayer for me. Afterward, I add, “Why don’t I pray for you?” They nod their heads.

Then, I open my mouth, believing the Holy Spirit will fill it with His words. Sometimes, I have powerful words of knowledge for each of them. Sometimes, I have prophecies for them. But no matter what the Holy Spirit gives me, it always encourages them.

And every time, a missionary twosome – whether they are Mormons or Jehovah Witnesses – leaves my home, they invite me to attend their churches. Usually, they say something like this: “You’d fit into our  church; everyone will be happy to meet you.”

…I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. (1 Corinthians 9:22)

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