Saturday, April 9, 2011

God's Place

The Purpose and desire of a believer is to reach the place and position where we find ourselves standing in God's Place. God's Place is a position most try and find out through many different areas. We try and place ourselves in it by so many different things in life. Our thought process is, if we begin to do something, if we become a certain thing, or if we say specific things to the right person then we will be put in God's Place.

Do not get me wrong, yes there are times and there are places for those things. Am I saying these things will not help you reach God's Place? Quite the contrary, but they are not the sole things to help you reach God's Place.

I am reminded of the story of Joseph and his life long journey. From the birth of his dream to the reality of his dream is around 16 years. At the conception of his dream, he thought that if he told the right people and if he said it that it would become a reality and he could reach the place which his dream had shown him. Yes, he had the first point down. He believed his dream, therefore it would be able to come to pass. In order for the dream to become a reality we know that we must first believe that it can come to pass.
We see that there was one thing lacking, and that was his ability to realize that in order to reach God's Place, he first had to get there and in order to get there, he first had to take the journey.
The journey from dream to reality can sometimes be long and weary, but when we reach it, we will see that we have made it and we will then realize why the journey took us that way.

Looking at Joseph we see his life outline and events that took him from dream to being thrown into a pit, to being sold into slavery, to being made head slave of the house of Potiphar, to being lied upon and thrown into prison and again being made ruler over those around him and finally being asked to come and stand before the ruler of Egypt and coming to the point of realizing that he was standing in God's Place.

God's Place is a place that we sometimes don't understand the purpose and the reason for the journey. Our minds perceive that we would go another way and it would happen another way. In order to reach Gods Place we must first realize that the journey may be treacherous. It is not always about what right now is like, but it's about the dream, and how we position ourselves before God. Once we can do that then God will be able to bring us into His Place. And when we are standing in His Place, we are then able to understand why the journey took us through the pit, through the lies, through the darkness or the prison. Our position is the most important thing we need to remember because our position says to God, that we are not concerned about right now, but our concern is about what He is doing on the journey and that His dream will become a reality.  

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Learning In Each Moment.

There are things in life that we are unable to always predict. There are times that just seem to pass us by, and then there are times that we jump to make decisions that are based upon what is right, but possibly not in Gods timing.
Leaning and knowing Gods timing is not something that is always easy. It can be very difficult at times, because He shows us what is right, and lets us know what will be, but in that moment, we loose focus of His timing.

Everything we do in life, is based upon timing. Eating, sleeping and breathing are all based upon  timing. So is our relationship with God. I was once told, "The right thing may be the wrong thing, if at the wrong time." That statement is so very true. It is all part of the growing process, we sometimes learn as we go, yes others may have to learn faster and more often because of one word, "patience" something that many of us struggle with.
Many things in life are unsure but one things we are able to hold to is this, if God has spoken it, if He has confirmed it, and if He has opened the door, then there is nothing or no one that can keep the will of God from  happening if in fact His people continue to walk in His way.

Life is full of these learning process, but learning to dance in the rain is something that we must all learn. Making the best out of everything situation and making it a learning time, is something that you will never achieve anywhere else. Learning in the very moment, is the greatest thing that a person can do.
So learn to dance in the rain, take the journey one step at a time, only in time will you realize what God intended us to learn.

Monday, September 13, 2010

My Dream Came True.

Well where do begin? August was such a wonderful month. But please let me take you back to where it all begins. Almost three and a half years ago, I moved to Louisiana to intern for the summer. Upon arrival I was told of this wonderful girl named Halley, who was beautiful and who loved missions. Being the person that I am, I wanted to know more of her, I wanted to meet her but after trying, nothing came about of it.
I moved back to St. Louis to finish my last year at Gateway but during that year, I began emailing Halley on the old “Everyonesconneced” wow now that was a funny website. We emailed a few times back and forth, but it seemed that nothing was going to ever come of it.
So at that time I didn’t put any more work into things and I just let things be for that time. May came around and I was invited to move back to Louisiana and made it my home. I was excited to move back because of all the wonderful people who I had come to know and fall in love with.

During that year, Halley and me would see each other, but it never seemed to connect, until last June. Myself, Halley and her room mate Maurisha were able to get together for coffee, at that moment I became so nervous, not sure why but all I could think about was that beautiful girl who was sitting across the table from me. There was something that was radiating out of her. More that just the noticeable, but it was something that I really cant explain, at that moment I felt as if there were a strength that was pouring out of her.

During the next few months before leaving Louisiana in September for Austria, we would see each other and we would often get together. I can remember my last night in Louisiana, and Pastor Jenkins had asked me to preach and I had asked Halley to come and hear me. During service I can remember looking back, waiting for her. Not until getting up to preach did I see her and all of a sudden that strength that I had felt came pouring back to me. 

Time passed and I arrived in Austria. Something began to happen that I really couldn’t explain. Our communication began to grow. We would Skype a few times a month, we would email back and forth, we would txt here and there and our friendship began to grow and mature. Time passed and I reached a point that I was no longer satisfied just being friends with her, but I realized I cared for her way too much and I wanted things to go to a different level.
I can remember emailing her Pastors Wife, trying to figure out where she stood, and after hearing I decide to send Halley a card, just saying I was thinking about her and a box of Swiss Chocolates. During that time I realized that I needed to put some focus prayer and fasting into this, and I began to pray and ask the Lord that if it be his will, that he would give me the right time to tell her about my true feelings.

May 4th and I received an email from Sis Robinette saying she had emailed Halley, basically telling her that I was in love with her. All of a sudden I got sick because all I could think about was that things had just been messed up!
A little later I received a message from Halley saying we needed to talk and so she called me and we chatted and she began talking about the email and right at that exact moment, clearer than ever before I heard the voice of God say, now is the time to tell her.
I began to express my true feelings to her and at that moment she said, I am glad you finely said something I feel the same way. What a relief knowing she felt the same way. Such joy and excitement came flooding in.
I remember getting off the phone with her and all of a sudden I realized that I loved her and wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.

Three months passed and she arrived in Austria to help with our youth camp. Being the planner that I am, I had it all planned out that I was going to ask her to marry me during that time. I had it all set up; I had purchased tickets to a symphony at the Hofburg Palace.
On Wednesday the 11th we set out for our evening. We first started at Café Central, which is considered to be Vienna’s oldest café. We had such a wonderful dinner together. Live music, a romantic candle light dinner, everything was just perfect. After dinner we walked down the road to where our Symphony was. I must say, being my first symphony, we had such a wonderful time.

After we walked through the gardens of the palace and through the imperial gate, across the road to two museums, which are two of the oldest in Vienna. They are twins actually, and in the middle there is a large courtyard. We started walking around, we stopped in front of one and I pulled out a card and at the end it said, you have one last surprise and you have to close your eyes. At this time she knew something was up and at that moment I get down on one knee and I ask the girl of my dreams to be my wife! After I talked to her and told her some words from my heart, with tears in her eyes she said YES!!!

I can say this from my heart! She is the girl of my dreams not because of any talent or what she could bring to a marriage. But more than anything I love her for who she is. If I never had a position, if anyone even or I never a title knew me, as long as I had her I would be content. She showed me what love truly was and I know that I cant live without her in my life.  She brings out that little boy in me, something that had been missing since I was a little boy. She completes me, me in every way possible, she brings out everything good thing in me, and gives a strength that I still cant explain, except that she is my angel that God sent to me. 

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Times of Silence

No matter who we are, or what or occupation is in life, we all walk through times of silence. Merriam Webster’s definition of the word silence is: absence of sound or noise, stillness in the silence of the night.
I can remember during my younger years, my mother would tell me to be quiet because of something that I had done. The old game, “who can be quiet the longest“ was one that many of us probably played on our siblings one time or another. During certain times of life, many of us must have times of quietness from the rest of the world.  If you are anything like myself, than you understand the importance of the quiet time. Some of us go out to nature in order to have our silence. Some of us scuba dive for that place of silence, that place that enables us to close off all the noise of the world.
During those quiet times, we are able to refocus our minds and our thoughts. The world that we live in is so fast paced, we are constantly moving at rapid speeds, our minds are constantly filled with noise from the world that at times causes us to loose focus.

As yes we have times of personal silence that we give ourselves, there is another type of silence that each and every person goes through. 
In the book of Job, we read that Job went through a period of silence. He went through a time where he received nothing, where he heard nothing and even where he felt nothing. [Job 23:8-12, 8.Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: 9.On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:] (KJV)
We read the story of Job a man who has everything and one minute later he goes from having everything to having nothing. At that very moment Job is faced with the dilemma to either keep serving God or to curse Him and die.  
Many of us end up with similar cases. Some of us loose loved ones. Some of us begin fighting diseases that take every ounce of life out of us. Some of us face financial set backs, but no matter what type of problem it is, we all face some situation that takes us through the time of silence.
See that time of silence is when everything is going perfect, God is speaking to us, we hear His voice clearly, we feel His presence and we can even see His hand working in our lives. And all of a sudden everything goes completely still. No longer do we hear His voice, no longer do we feel His presence, no longer can we see His hand working in our lives. And all of sudden we turn and panic because in our minds we think that He has left us. We can’t imagine our God leaving us to where we can’t even feel him.
There is one thing we must remember though, Hebrews 13:5 says this…He will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
See the times of silence are not given to destroy us, but rather to strengthen us. I once had a professor explain it like this. Many times we are always looking for that mountain top experience. Yes there is nothing wrong with the mountaintop. The mountaintop allows us to see to the next mountain. If you ever look at a mountain, you will notice that there is a timberline.  Nothing past this line grows for reason of a lack of oxygen. We can’t live that long on the mountaintop because there are not enough resources on top to keep us alive. When you begin to look in the Valley you will find beauty, you will find lush vegetation, and beautiful streams flowing. In the valley you always find life because everything can grow in the valley.
The valleys are where we grow; they are where we find our strength. The valleys are where we find what we are made out of.  When we are walking through those times of silence God begins to mold us into His masterpiece. He begins to impart the pieces of the puzzle that are needed for the increase of our ministries. I once heard one of my elders say that many times all we have to hold onto is a past word that God had given.
Many times all we have are past words that were spoken to us; many times all we have are dreams that were given or visions that were seen. The silence was never for destruction but for making stronger.  
Even though you feel as if you are all alone remember what final words of
Job 23:10.But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
We can never despise the times of silence, because those are the times that we are made stronger. Those are the times that we find our true strength in Him. Those are the times that God entrusts us with the essentials that enable us to do more for His kingdom.
If we never faced times like those, our love for Him and our desire for Him would not be increased. Because we go through those moments, if we pass the test, we are only increased with power. This power that enables us to reach our world.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Importance of the Process

In this thing we call life, we face the ups, we face the downs, we even face the obstacles that can sometimes steal our focus.  The life that we live can be considered a process. We know that the process of life begins at birth. As that child takes that first breath of air, the process begins. Maturity soon follows and there we find a young person, still walking through the process of life. They wake up daily, they get dressed for school, and they catch the bus early in the morning, just for the process of learning.

June 23rd I will turn 25 years old. It seems as if it were only yesterday that I was facing the process of my younger years. Yes the process of life is a wonderful thing, something to be cherished and enjoyed, but there is also one other process that we must never forget. 
It is called Gods process. Each and every person, desires to some degree, to walk in some fashion of ministry. Either as part time or full time, each and every person with ambition for the kingdom has some level of desire.
I have had great mentors in my life who have poured themselves into me, but the one thing they never failed to hide was the process that they had to pass. 
They never hid the times of struggle that they faced. They never hid that there were times that they had nothing to eat. They never hid that many times they just went without. They never failed to teach, that in order for great ministry to prevail, one MUST pass the process.
To many times we look at where our elders are now and we fail to see where they came from. They too passed through the process. They too faced many hardships in their lives. When living for God was not the thing to do, they lived for him with desire. Their desire to pass the process was greater than the moment of persecution.

God’s process is what builds character, Gods process is what builds a persons integrity, and Gods process strengthens you for tomorrow. Therefore Gods process can never be rushed; nevertheless it can only be taken one day at a time.
Many have the misinterpretation of passing through a process, you can pass through something and not be changed, because you rush through and miss everything that God is trying to do in your life. However, by passing the test of process, you can’t help but be changed. God’s process of ministry must never be disregarded; rather it must be looked at as his way of proving us. 
If we pass his process, we have than proven ourselves to him and he can than elevate us to the place that he "desires"

We can never fail to forget that if we allow ourselves to pass the process, we will only be elevated to a level that we would have never imagined. 
Passing Gods process always makes room for the supernatural.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Two Roads.....

One of my most favorite poems coming up through school was one by a man named Robert Frost. The poems name was "The Road Not Taken" As you read the poem you can sense the urgency in Frost writing that he is faced with the choice of which way he would go. He understood that in life there would be two roads that each and everyone would come to. He understood that we would be faced to make a choice for ourselves not based on what others were doing. Not based on what way looked suitable to walk down.

Matthew 7:13-14, Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

As you pass through life you find that yes not only was Frost right but the writer in the book of Matthew understood that same concept. I have grown up in this and at an age of only 24 years old I am saddened to say that I have seen many take that path that  was wide, it was fair and looked more appealing. 
Many have said that this Apostolic truth that we hold so dearly is no longer applicable or it does not fit this society any longer. 
Many are standing on the precipice of two roads. Looking down and the appealing view makes you ask yourself if this is the way to take. Its view looks full of life and full if excitement. 
The other is sometimes hard to see, you have to stop and pay close attention to the second road. Its over grown with thorns and briars. There is a narrow path through the middle but oh the joy as you begin to walk down. 

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

"Chicken and Fries"

I can never stop being amazed by the way God directs us and guides us each day that we walk with him. The bible tells us that He orders our steps and so I take it literally. I believe that every day God directs our steps to put us in the perfect path that will bring the best result and glory to Him.

Tonight I was supposed to have dinner with the manager from Starbucks and at the last minute he had to cancel due to previous engagements. I decided that I would go get something good to eat tonight. As I began eating two guys my age sat down and began talking. At that moment I was able to realize that they were American. 

As the gentleman that I am I decided to wait for them to finish eating before I sparked the conversation. As we finished eating I ask that first question that most people ask. "So where you guys from"? They began to tell me that they were from Tennessee but they both lived in Europe now. They began asking me what I did and what I was doing here and at that moment my door had just been opened! 
I told them I was a Pastor here in Geneva working on building a church. Both of them were at shock because one of them was working here in Geneva as a youth pastor and the other was helping pastor a church in Ireland. 

I dont for one minute take lightly the favor of God. I believe very strongly that each day He gives us unbelievable and undeniable favor with all sorts of people. Just as He did tonight with the two young men that I came in contact with. Tonight the Lord gave me a connection that will grow and I believe this will be a story that we will hear more about down the road. The one young man already wants to get together for coffee! 
No one can deny the power and favor of God.
When we walk in Apostolic authority you cant help but walk in God favor!