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Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

Here I go again stepping up on my soap box ever so slowly. I am sure  to get polarized comments to come, so let us all take a deep breath and examine some scripture that may help us all avoid some pitfalls.

soapbox

My motive here is nestled in my bewilderment of the changes in the church. I have been a christian for 32 years as of yesterday. But my history goes back just a tad further being born in 1961. I remember the BLUE LAW, no business on Sunday it was “Fellowship day”, no high school sports on Wednesday night that was “prayer meeting night”. Let me go on, school class room started with pledge allegiance to the flag followed by a volunteer student praying for a good day. Now you might say “for real” YES maybe you think that was terrible, maybe you think it was good, but we will all can agree it has changed.

I could focus on the fact that since 1973 there have been 57,191,366 abortions in the US as of today. But I would rather focus on the sin of the church one in particular. James 4:17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. If you dare to check the context you will find it is on boasting. Wow that would be way down the list of sins in the church. Why pick that one? It is starting to look like a horse race of sins in the church, the usual like sexual sin, is now common place and passed up by Being Proud Of It. The old front runner of gossip and backbiting was long passed by the new comer I Don’t Care Anymore. Yes I am being a bit silly making my point. It dawned on me this year while in Uganda when I watched a teen age ballet student who was on our little team gave an alter call in a PUBLIC school and nearly 1000 kids excepted Christ. 1000 you say? Yes and can you believe they can pray out loud and public in school something we have not done in the US for 40 years. Do I agree with everything they do NO they can be way to harsh on what the bible calls sin. We do not know how to even define sin anymore.

This brings me to my point defining things. How does the Church DEFINE the spiritual climate in America. It has become very divided mostly depending on End Time views, or the lack of, or the replacement of things to do with THE END. It would be great if Jesus would come back and release His long awaited justice and rule as KING. However it might be a while. So how we respond to the spiritual climate is important.

Let me say right now I am personally slowing down and seeking the Lord. Just Him, not what do you want me to do, or not do, just HIM. I am doing less and praying more when I say praying I don’t mean talking. I am doing that less. Listening praying, looks something like this. Reading scripture then being quiet. Yes I do have my list, but it is loosing its order of importance, and being in the Lords presence is increasing my desire to know Jesus more. Doing christian work out of that place seems better some how. Did I mention I am in a real place of weakness and brokenness and I can not even put my finger on why. It is actually refreshing to admit. So there!

With that said the title that brought you to this blog post is “Decree a thing! Who said that?” If we define Decree as telling the world what God has said, or even declaring to the heaven’s, then well done. However there are some, well meaning Christians who may have stepped over into something that will cause confusion in the end. If you do a study on google about Christians decreeing a thing you see their is a foundation to the theology. There are many scriptures having to do with decreeing, again if we are talking about prayer or singing the WORD, Scripture, the bible, What God has said, then fine.

What if its your own words, many websites speak of the fact that God created us in His image so we can do what he does create by OUR WORD. I would prefer to leave that to God. The foundation for this theological view comes from Job 22:28  Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.

Wow that is cool huh, God said to do it, NO actually He did not, that is actually Eliphaz the Tenanite one of Job’s friends. You might say wait a cotton picken minute, its in the bible so God said it. Hold on my friends the serpent is recorded in Gen 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: God did not say that, the devil did but it is in God’s word. That my friends is why we have 2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Yes we actually need to study.

If you read Job 2:11 and think God wants you out doing this as apposed to how I mentioned decreeing scripture earlier than you need to read the whole book of Job. When you get to chapter 42 you find God has a few things to say to our old friend Eliphaz. Here it is 7And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. 8Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job. 9So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the LORD commanded them: the LORD also accepted Job.

I think there is warning here, be careful quoting something that Eliphaz says as if God said it. The problem started a few years back when some of the Big name preachers starting doing this and selling books and Cd’s and the whole charismatic church followed with out being like the Bereans in Acts 17:11. They took every thing the apostles said through the grid of scripture. Sadly we could see some real changes in a good way right now in prayer for our country, but so much of the church does not see the real spiritual condition because they are to busy being Eliphaz.

Just sayin

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Quiet I think He has something to say.

I think we have all been in situations where the quiet guy finally has had enough and speaks up. The rooms becomes awkward, everyone is hanging on to every word. The bombshell of honesty settles in and the crowd goes away in deep thought. Thoughts like “wow I never thought of it like that” or “man he really let us have it”. In reality the quiet guys never gets a true invite into dialog.

I don’t think I have ever been accused of being to quiet, a big mouth yes, smart mouth yes, know it all, YIP. Quiet NO. I recently preached a couple of weeks at the Barn in Kansas City. I had done a series on the book of James and it’s impact on Church history through the dark ages and the protestant reformation. In Particular James 5:16-17

16Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.17Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.

I was captivated how these verses impacted John Huss , Count Zinzendorf, John Wesley and their impact on prayer and  world  missions.  In the middle of it as I went back and studied out the prayer that Elijah had prayed that stoped the rain and released it 3 and 1/2 years later.

1 kings chapters 16-18 tells the whole story but I see declarations made, but not what we would normally call prayer. UNLESS prayer includes conversation yes even 2 way communication. Then what God had said back in Deut 28:12-13; 15-18; 22-24 about famine being a result of Israels rebellion. Then listening to the Lord with a questioning heart would be prayer. Lord this wicked King Ahab is going to cause you to do what you said, or am I missing something.

I just think Elijah did a lot of listening prayer which means He agreed with what God said.

Well I have challenged myself to spend a few weeks not asking for anything in prayer. But simply lifting up a name, then being quiet and meditating on the Lord Jesus himself, and how He, the great intercessor in heaven might be adressing the Father about that particular person or issue.

I have not had any great revelations or voices from heaven, but the most overwhelming feeling of seeing a long lost friend after many years of absence. As wisdom is released from heaven, while basking in the fear of the Lord, I hope one day I would be known in heaven as a quiet man. That my voice would be decreasing and His increasing that I would be still and know he alone is God.

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Information just below is from the Hope City web page http://www.hopecitykc.org

Ray and Lisa Stribling

Ray and Lisa Stribling

Ray and Lisa Stribling are the directors and founder of Hope City KC. They carry the heart and the mandate to see the message of prayer break into the inner city. Ray and Lisa through Hope City, long to see the lives of the addicted, the homeless, and the poor radically and powerfully changed and brought into a productive, self managing, and independent life style, and as a result have a clear and defined function by which they actively participate within the body of Christ.

 

Ray and Lisa, have many years of experience in jail ministry, housing for the addicted, prayer ministry and street ministries involving feeding the poor.  The Striblings have a high level of commitment to the task at hand, as well as have the courage and heart to stand in the gap and to see others given an opportunity to succeed.

The ministry HOPE CITY ” inner city ministry located in Kansas City Missouri ” through my eyes, which are the eyes of a world missions guy. I bring that up because, through the years I have taken a lot of flak for doing ministry around the world while their is such need right here at home. The truth is, I have found such a similarity with 3rd world nations and the inner city and I love to be involved in both. Let me list a few.

#1 Needs are beyond complete human intervention !

#2 No facades, what you see is what you get !

#3 They are ready to receive !

Those 3 my friends are the ingredients that draw the heart of God. That my friends gives us Hope

HOPE CITY

Hope City KC
Hope City KC

I do have a point here about my eyes of world missions, it is this thing called indigenous. The meaning is this :: having originated in and being produced, growing, living, or occurring naturally in a particular region or environment.

My point is that ministry is usually from the outside, coming in with all the answers, not understanding the culture or the needs. Indigenous ministry, are those from the outside coming in and serving what the Lord is doing in the local area. It means less control and Americans don’t like doing that, but the advantage is huge.

In Africa where I helped start an orphanage, we came in first and built relationships, and served the vision of local Christians. This form of missions work has been transforming Africa. it is effective because they understand the culture, and the needs, from a heart level, not a head level. It will transform the inner city as well.

INNER CITY : DO you really think white suburbanitescan can relate to what it feels like to live under a bridge in winter. You get my point, and it is that point that Ray and Lisa get. I have worked with them for several years and have watched them respond to zealous gifted people who are jumping at the bits to preach in the inner city. Their response ,”OK”  but first come serve in the Kitchen for a YEAR and we will see when you are ready.

WOW , I tell you serving, lays the foundation to a life-long ministry, that is actually effective. Ray and Lisa have life experience not unlike those they minister to, but from a place of serving the local leaders of the inner city. It is powerful, to watch what God had been doing through the ministry of Hope City among all colors and backgrounds. Whether it’s free haircuts in the park or flipping hamburgers for 1000 people , those that have gathered around Ray and Lisa  to serve the HEART of Kansas City are Family and the Family is growing.

3 ways you can get involved:

#1 Pray for them/us “prayer meeting every Monday night on forest just north of 27th at the Prayer Dome.

#2 Come Serve : many opportunities with related shelter’s and group homes.

#3 Your giving :

http://hckc.us.churchinsight.com/PaymentGroup/Registration.aspx?payment_group_id=1000000257

 

Their Story : http://www.melodygreen.com/Articles/1000053722/Last_Days_Ministries/LDM/Discipleship_Teachings/The_Devil_The.aspx?page=1

contact information

Lisa Stribling
816.729.2848
lisastribling@ihop.org

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We better wipe the sleepy from our eyes and pray while we are going about our lives as usual. The END TIMES are approaching “at least they are not getting farther away” and we are still here so let us occupy. Let us Pray, Life as we have known it is changing quickly. It is time for us to humble our selves and pray and turn from OUR wicked ways. Then GOD !!!!

When I was a teenager I remember all the prophesies about Russia and China marching on Israel. Well then the wall came down and we all thought Russia was a thing of the past. BUT Russia has had its eyes on oil which means money and they are about to be a real player again we may all be surprised how right the old preachers were. Time will tell. I have a good friend who is a missionary connected to Venezuela so I’m very concerned about the news. There has already been increasing trouble.

Check out the AP story below

Russia to send ships, planes to Venezuela

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Russia’s plan to deploy ships and warplanes to the Caribbean for joint military exercises with Venezuela is allowing President Hugo Chavez to capitalize on tensions between Moscow and the U.S. and showcase a growing military alliance.

Russia announced on Monday that it will send a naval squadron and long-range patrol planes for the exercises later this year — a move that appeared retaliatory after the U.S. sent warships to deliver aid to Georgia following its conflict with Russia.

The deployment is expected to be the largest Russian naval maneuvers in the Caribbean — and perhaps the Western Hemisphere — since the Cold War.

Chavez considers the U.S. a defense threat, and his welcoming of the Russian navy contrasted with his sharp criticism of the recent reactivation of the U.S. Navy’s Fourth Fleet for the Caribbean and Latin America. He ridiculed possible U.S. concerns about the Russian deployment on Sunday, saying: “Go ahead and squeal, Yankees.”

“This is vintage Chavez. He rarely misses an opportunity to needle and provoke Washington,” said Michael Shifter, an analyst at the Washington-based think tank Inter-American Dialogue. “He is taking advantage of the growing chill in U.S.-Russia relations, especially over the situation in Georgia, to poke his finger in (President) Bush’s eye. There is nothing he relishes more.”

Chavez says the U.S. Fourth Fleet — which was dissolved after World War II — poses a threat to the region. U.S. officials say the fleet will help maintain security while performing humanitarian missions and counter-drug operations.

Anna Gilmour, an analyst at Jane’s Intelligence Review, said she believes the exercises will be primarily for the benefit of Venezuela, which has been drawing closer to Russia and buying weapons from Kalashnikov assault rifles to Sukhoi fighter jets. She said the maneuvers also appear to be a response to the relaunch of the U.S. Fourth Fleet.

“By allowing Russian vessels to dock at Venezuelan ports, Chavez is sending the message that the U.S. is not the only major power active in the Caribbean,” Gilmour said.

The U.S. government, however, appeared unconcerned.

U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack poked fun at Russia’s navy, saying if Russia really intends to send ships to the Caribbean, “then they found a few ships that can make it that far.”

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko insisted that Russia’s decision to send a naval squadron and planes to Venezuela was made before Russia’s war with Georgia and is unrelated to the conflict.

But last week, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned that Russia would mount an unspecified response to recent U.S. aid shipments to Georgia using Navy vessels on the Black Sea.

Shifter said it’s clear Russia in “unhappy about the U.S.’s increasing presence in the Black Sea” and “as part of its resurgent nationalism, Russia wants to flex its muscles and remind Washington that it too has important alliances in the U.S. backyard.”

Associated Press writers Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow, Lolita Baldor in Washington and Christopher Toothaker in Caracas contributed to this report.

Venezuela rejects US flight-safety advisory

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela’s aviation agency is criticizing a U.S. travel advisory informing travelers that the U.S. can’t vouch for the security of flights departing Venezuela.

The National Civil Aviation Institute insists Venezuela’s airports are in full compliance with international standards set by the U.N. agency overseeing civil aviation.

Institute president Jose Luis Martinez Bravo denied on Tuesday that Venezuela’s government has blocked U.S. officials from visiting its airports.

But he acknowledges disagreement with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration on its request to evaluate airport security. He says the U.S. agency only has the authority to evaluate its own airlines’ operations in Venezuelan airports.

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Something is stirring in China and it is not good timing with the Olympics starting in a few hours. In Kashgar just a few days ago Islamic Jihadists killed 16 Chinese police officers and wounded another 16. You can check out the story below.

 http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5j83e8Y4rma7KzI0c5UDlmxp1AJ8AD92BDD6G0

 

Threats have been made and Muslims have been warned not to attend the Olympics you can read about that below.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/08/sports/olympics/08china.html?ref=asia#

 

I normally do not pay close attention to the Olympics but several friends have called me and asked if I heard about the killings in Kashgar. Knowing I had been there several years ago they thought I might be concerned. I have combed the web and have come to the conclusion we should take the warnings serious and pray. I found not only the land but the people and culture beautiful. I might confess I was a bit scared being in Kashgar during Ramadan.

 

Kashgar is a hub on the Old Silk Road, a Islamic center in China. The province around Kashgar, borders Tibet to the south, Russia to the north, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The population is made up of mostly  Uighur, which are Muslim.

I

 

I was part of a small team on a prayer journey along the old silk road better called a vacation. While in Kashgar we stayed at the Seman hotel, “the old Russian consulate.” We went as far as the Pakistan border and had 7 flights in 11 days and found the country amazing. Of course my stories cannot be told but my impression is that these extremist must be taken serious.  

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January 13th early in the morning my wife Dianna woke me up and told me “you sure are sleeping loud” I knew it was true I had been dreaming I was back in Africa and I had been dropped into the middle of devastation. I was working to get orphans into homes. It was overwhelming, one minute I was in Africa the next I would be back in Missouri. Then the dream slowed down into slow motion. I had been trying to get someone to explain to me what had brought about such devastation in Africa and how I ended up in the middle of it all.

There it was the longest train I had ever seen, it was a old coal burning train. It was pulling passenger cars and on each car was written Show Me Orphan Train. In the windows were little faces pressed against the glass. At this point I am crying looking into the faces of desperation to be loved, it was overwhelming. In the dream Linda a 20 year old Ugandan girl that is living with us while going to college pointed at the children and said “John it’s about them” I woke immediately with all kinds of emotions.

I thought about the meeting I have today with my friends from Alma Missouri introducing them to Gizaw my friend from Ethiopia who will be talking to us about the need for orphanages in Ethiopia. I thought about our friends John and Sharon who minister in Kenya that had just been at the house talking about the conditions there. I thought about my own experiences in Uganda, Egypt and Ethiopia.

Then I thought about a teaching that Regina Shank does on overcoming rejection and She tell’s stories about the orphan trains that would move from the east coast to the Midwest dropping off children to waiting families. Of course there are some bad stories about abuse and using the kids as slave labor. As a whole the Midwest provided homes, I myself have a great grandmother who was an orphan and was taken in to a wonderful family in Beatrice Nebraska.

Here is an advertisement below that appeared in the Troy Free Press Feb 11, 1910. Troy is in Lincoln County.

Wanted
HOMES for CHILDREN
A company of homeless children from the East will arrive at
TROY, MO., ON FRIDAY, FEB. 25th, 1910
These children are of various ages and of both sexes, having been thrown friendless upon the world. They come under the auspices of the Children’s Aid Society of New York. They are well disciplined, having come from the various orphanages. The citizens of this community are asked to assist the agent in finding good homes for them. Persons taking these children must be recommended by the local committee. They must treat the children in every way as a member of the family, sending them to school, church, Sabbath school and properly clothe them until they are 17 years old. The following well-known citizens have agreed to act as local committee to aid the agents in securing homes:
O. H. AVERY   E. B. WOOLFOLK   H. F. CHILDERS
WM. YOUNG   G. W. COLBERT
Applications must be made to, and endorsed by, the local committee.
An address will be made by the agent. Come and see the children and hear the address. Distribution will take place at the
Opera House, Friday, Feb. 25, at 1:30 p.m.
B. W. TICE and MISS A. L. HILL, Agents, 105 E. 22nd St., New York City. Rev. J. W. SWAN, University Place, Nebraska, Western Agent

 orphantrain1.jpg

Orphan Train in Black & White – Diamond Someday “above”

Here are the words to a blue grass song: Orphan Train “below”

By (Utah Phillips)

Once I had a darling mother, though I can’t recall her name
I had a baby brother who I’ll never see again
For the Children’s Home is sending us out on the Orphan Train
To try to find someone to take us in

cho: Take us in, we have rode the Orphan Train
     Take us in, we need a home, we need a name
     Take us in, oh won’t you be our kin
     We are looking for someone to take us in

I have stolen from the poorbox, I’ve begged the city streets
I’ve swabbed the bars and poolrooms for a little bite to eat
In my daddy’s old green jacket and these rags upon my feet
I’ve been looking for someone to take me in

The Children’s Home they gathered us, me and all the rest
They taught us to sit quietly until the food was blest
Then they put us on the Orphan Train and sent us way out West
To try to find someone to take us in.

The farmers and their families they came from miles around
We lined up on the platform of the station in each town
And one by one we parted like some living lost-and-found
And one by one we all were taken in

Now there’s many a fine doctor or a teacher in your school
There’s many a good preacher who can teach the Golden Rule
Who started out an orphan sleeping in the freezing rain
Whose life began out on the Orphan Train.

Well I have to get going and get ready for Church, I just wanted to get the dream down before I forgot it. I hope it will stir you up to pray for those all over the world that have no place to call home and no one to call family. They need to know they have a father who has declared so from heaven. Some times we need to be reminded as the church we are His hands and Feet and more than that we are His Family with open arms and open eyes.

Psalms 68:4-6  Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds– his name is the Lord– and rejoice before him. 5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. 6 God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

Part 2   https://riverflowsdown.wordpress.com/2008/01/16/show-me-orphan-train-dream-part-2/

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Dianna and I just got back from seeing Bucket List. I feel asleep not because it was boring but because I had been up since 3 am and had worked until noon. It definitely was not a christian movie with some strong language and a soft message that implied all roads lead to heaven. There was however a cord struck in my heart. Living Life unshackled by fear and not waiting until the last moment to do something about it. 

The question is raised if you knew exactly when you were going to die what would you do different. I think the biggest enemy for a christian is fear. Fear of failing. Fear of rejection. Fear of being alone. Fear of making God mad. Unless we have experienced the depths of the Love of Christ we shrink back in fear.

In Paul’s apostolic prayer in Ephesians perfect Love is made clear. 

Ephesians 3:14-21
14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

If we are operating in fear or sitting back doing nothing because of fear realize that’s not coming from God, but the enemy. Power Love and sound mind now that comes from the Lord.

2 Tim 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Fear when it runs its course will torment you, friends the answer is in the Love of Christ, as we return with our whole heart to Him and rest in that Love that fear must flee.

1 John 4:18  There is no fearin love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

With a heart free of fear and made perfect in love we can live life without regret and live life to its fullest. What a difference we can start making in the lives of our family and friends not to mention strangers. They are waiting!!! 

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