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Archive for December, 2008

I’m up early starting the morning fire in the wood stove. We are so blessed to be warm this morning as the ice storm has taken it toll on many family’s leaving them without electricity. My fire wood is just a little damp so its takes a little more effort to get it going. I was just thinking how relationship compare to a fire. When its working right we warm up to one another and find such comfort. When its not, to be honest we just get burned. I think we all understand that like a fire, relationships need to be cared for and maintained or they just burn out. Every once in a while you find a friend that God himself puts in your path and those we need to pay special attention to. Sometimes it’s through those people that the Lord speaks to us.

If you have the time read with me of my account of the outward spiral of sparks that came from meeting one person and all the threads and connections that came from that original fire. Hang on here we go.

It started with my great friend Kato and His invitation to come with him to His home in Uganda. A few days into the mission trip we were in the home of Tim Way a missionary from Tulsa Oklahoma. We had relaxed after a great meal Tim’s wife Jill had fixed and sit down at the computer to try to send an email back home. Tim asked me if I lived near Kansas city knowing we were from Missouri and if we knew about Metro Christian Fellowship and Mike Bickle “before IHOP”. I said we had been hanging around their meetings for about 10 years but I didn’t know him personally. He then said I think you are suppose to connect with my friends Dave and Joanne Norton who live in Nebraska they have spent time here in Uganda as missionaries and have a heart very similar to yours and looking to connect with Kansas City.

“SIDE NOTE” A few days later we were at John Mulende’s church  “The Trumpet Center” in Kampala Uganda. John asked us if we knew Mike Bickle and we we said not personally but we could get a message to Him. We took a short video of Him addressing Mike with an invitation to come to Uganda. Years later while at a transformations meeting in Kansas city with Wes Adams they meet. As I watched from the back as they shook hands I thought Wild how things connect in God’s timing.

“Back To Tim” Tim seemed so sure of meeting them I dared not contact them. We connected by email first but I don’t email well or often so we decided to meet in person. They came to Kansas city and stayed with Dianna and I and we hit it off, Dave plays the keyboard and is a great worship leader and full of wisdom and humility. Joanne is the christian version of military secret ops with great faith and discernment. Together they make the perfect couple and the Lord seems to have them at the right place at the right time.

Through the years we have connected at key times and I am so thankful for them. Joanne unlike myself is great at sending out emails and I remember time and time again requests to pray for Her friend Susie.

Susie Jones is a trooper but fights her battles with constraints most of us could not handle. Susie is paralyzed and because of her condition she has had frequent health concerns. We have all prayed for her for years but Joanne has been a friend to her like no other. Several years ago I had several dreams about the Mississippi river and wanted to travel up to its source and pray. Joanne reminded me that Susie lived in the region and maybe we could meet there and pray for Susie. We did just that and had a great time. Ever since that time Joanne’s friend became my friend. She loves to pray, I need lots of prayer with all the crazy traveling I do… I know if no else does Susie is praying for me. I left on one trip and asked my Mom to call Susie and give her updates on the mission trip and its seems they have now become great friends and call each other every two weeks. The fire just keeps sparking and igniting new fires of relationship.

The day we walked into Susie’s house my eyes caught a painting on the wall. All week I would find myself staring at the picture. It appeared light was shining out of it. I would move to different angles to see if that was possibles. Finally I asked Susie what is the deal with the painting I am not and art guy and it seems to be drawing my attention. Susie explained that her son Jay is an artist and that he had given that to her as a gift. She went on to say that he calls it Illumination. I told her that if he ever made prints of it I wanted to purchase one. Long story short that happened and My wife Dianna had it professionally framed and is wrapped up waiting for Christmas morning. I leave in a few days for Uganda and fly in on Christmas eve I can’t wait all my grand-kids will be there opening their gifts and when the last one is open I will open the painting and hang it on the wall near the wood stove. My favorite place snuggled up with Dianna the babies the fire and  the painting reminding me forever the barn for me is my life its old warn full of memories yet still full of purpose. At this Christmas season it will stand as special reminder to me that of all the places God the father could have chosen to reveal His precious son He picked out a stable a barn so to speak. I may be an old barn but the King of Glory resides inside and when you see me shining its not me its the King Shine on Jesus Shine on.

Here is the picture enjoy it, I only ask you be honor Jay’s Art and if you like it purchase one from Him. I look forward to seeing Jay’s art continue to display God’s gift. You may contact Jay by email at  jgraphics@gvtel.com

Dec 2007

illumination.jpg

1 year Later Dec 2008

the-fire

Update the picture is on the wall this Christmas

mydog

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Is 59:19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

 

Isaiah uses the Hebrew word Nahar 21 times which is understood to mean stream or river. Only one time in Isaiah is it translated flood, that is in 59:19 “found above”. God declares in Isaiah 41,42,43,50 “found below” that He opens, makes rivers in the wilderness and desert. He also says He will dry them up. In chapter 43 He says that while we pass through them He will be with us. But the most comforting of all is when the enemy comes in like a flood the Lord lifts up a standard against.

I heard it read one time with the coma moved over like this When the enemy shall come in, like a flood the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. I love it either way God stops the enemy in his tracks that the point. Wow wait a second. there is the first part of the verse. So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. Funny or not so Funny what people do with the Lords name when in hot water, high water, or no water at all. Call on Him or curse.Check out the verse’s a bit for your own edification then pick up my story on the other side.

Is 41:18 I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.

Is 42:15 I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools.

Is 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

Is 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

Is 43:20 The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.

Is 50:2 Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst.

It was late in the year 1982 and the Canadian river broke it banks in Oklahoma City. I was at work and got a call from my wife, she and the kids had been rescued and was safe in a shelter. Well the little trailer park where we lived was hit hard we lost the house and decided to move back to Missouri. I had just become a Christian and trusting God for a new start for our little family caused us to grow at an accelerated rate. God was so faithful and we now had our own history that declared scripture true in our hearts.

A freak storm came through Kansas City a couple of days ago. It sounded like a train and took a roof off an apartment complex a couple of miles from our house. What? At the end of December that is crazy, yip.

Well I think about 7,000 of us had no power. For us that meant no sump pump, which meant flooded basement. Our house sits on a spring. We ran an inverter to power 1 of our pumps which stopped the rise of water. About 12 hours later power was on and the clean up begins.

A couple of days have passed what a mess. I have an option to complain, NO I refrain; God is so faithful there are so many things that could have been worse. We have turned it into a time to stroll down memory lane pull together as a family and be thankful.

flood

 Floating house plants among the mess

 Let me end here and get back to helping my wife clean

SONG OF SOLOMON 8:7 Many waters cannot quench love, Nor can the floods drown it. If a man would give for love All the wealth of his house, It would be utterly despised.

 

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Difference between a pipe and a bucket ?

Difference between a pipe and a bucket ?

Upper left is a photo of Bujagali falls on the great river Nile in Uganda. It is an awesome display of power and danger to the novice. The Nile transports an massive amount of water, can you imagine moving that volume one bucket at a time. A pipe would be a much faster way to move water, why? Because the pipe does not have a bottom.

The difference between a pipe and a bucket is: a bucket has a bottom in it.

Let me step up on my soap box and say we Christians and especially us in the western world like to  release God’s resources to the poor one bucket at a time so we can control waste and bring accountability. God forbid our alms would reach the hands of an alcoholic who wasted it on booze. Well sure we need to be accountable and sure we should be good stewards BUT. To be honest we like the control, we like to hold the purse.

There’s a great little movie called Bucket List about living your dreams before you kick the bucket. Well here is my version “The bottomless bucket list”.

Here is what I am starting to notice the less I hold on to MY money meaning giving to the poor the more I have. In other words the Lord Jesus is stretching me, as I cut a little more of the bottom out of my bucket. Who knows one day it might just be a pipe. I have a friend who wants to be a Christian millionaire so He can distribute much wealth to the poor. I had the thought wow I would like to give away a million dollars by the time I die but not to die a millionaire. There is a difference I’m sure.

 God is calling us to be pipes not buckets He has a great supply when we get rid of our bottom.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Matt 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Prov 19:17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.

This is the season to give, the greatest thing that we can give away is Jesus.

What would our bottomless bucket list look like?

Would it look like the Bottomless Bucket List Jesus had?

Bottomless Bucket list make yours out today!

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Overcompensation : excessive or exaggerated corrections

Like so may others I have lost  friends to automobile accidents. Several caused by something as simple as a tire dropping off the edge of the road. A sudden jerk of the steering wheel to gain control actually ended in the loss of all control. On the same measure I have a friend who  was worried about being over weight and because of being taunting a radical weight loss began.  The sad thing is they lost to much weight even to the point of serious illness.

We are trained from chilhood to correct our mistakes and you would think we would be better at it than we are. The truth is in many cases from our personal lives to our occupation is ridden with examples of us over correcting a problem.  In many cases what we end up with is far worse than what we started with. If you have ever seen a car that overcompensated a lane change whiping back and forth across the road unrtil either control is regained or a wreck occurs.  

Overcompensation : excessive or exaggerated corrections , Is that happening in America now?

Remember these definitions from school?

Inertia: means that bodies in motion, will stay in motion; bodies at rest, will stay at rest, unless acted on by an outside force.

Pendulum: Something hanging from a fixed point which, when pulled back and released, is free to swing down by force of gravity and then out and up because of its inertia.

pendulum

Well, anyone watching TV knows our nation is in motion politically and morally. It is now swinging left, and the right “in which I am a part” has had the ball in its court and has failed to make much moral impact on the nation. We have been guilty of lots of talk and NO action.

Example: We the right, are extremely against abortion yet we do not have the same extreme when it comes to adoption. I do know a wonderful lady in Texas who has adopted many, many children and has put her money where her mouth  is. I am sure there are many across the country just like her. My point is to say, we as conservative Christians as a whole lack compassion. Our nation is now overcompensating because of our lack.

Jesus was certainly against things, yet at the same time He had real answers, like sell everything you own and give it to the poor.

Matt 10:17-22  17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?  18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. 20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. 21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. 22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.     

 

 

 We have been given a treasure, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and have used it for personal gain. Political policy makers have in most part replaced compassion ministries, that should have flowed from the wealth of multimillion dollar churches. At what point will the Pendulum change in the church. Million dollar churches spend thousands of dollars on the poor.  “Pendulum Change” Hundreds of house churches and small relationship based churches spending millions of dollars for the gospel of Jesus Christ including compassion ministries. The Christian Empire Pendulum is about to swing, it will be painful, and it will be resisted but it will happen, as persecution is released in America like the rest of the world has experienced for many years.

We are entering the Christmas season, the time that used to mean family, giving, and Jesus, but now means net sales, profits and gains. It is now the season of depression and suicide for those who find themselves alone. Let me offer a suggestion this year say no to fear, unbelief, and doubt that God can take care of us and do what He does, GIVE. We say give until it hurts but honestly give until in feels good.

These are shaky times both morally and financially. My prayer is that we slow down see what God is doing in our midst. That we would respond correctly and not react or even over react to change which can be very dangerous. I am not interested in worldly change but a truly transformed heart.

Part Two is coming I’m calling it ” My Bottomless Bucket List “

 

 

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