Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Should I know you?

Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders and they will explain to you. Deuteronomy 32:7

We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statues for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds abut would keep his commands. Psalm 78:4-7

In these two passages we see the significance of telling, explaining, teaching, etc., by the fathers of the Hebrew culture in order to perpetuate their faith to the next generation. Failure to do so was in fact disobedience to the commands of God. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is a God who concerns Himself with the coming generations—therefore, we too should cultivate the same outlook in both our natural and spiritual families.

You may be wondering after reading several of my postings on this very subject, “Do we really need to concern ourselves with becoming spiritual fathers and mothers?” We have a Scriptural obligation to steward the emerging generation(s), which requires each one of us—regardless of our vocational calling in life—to tell, explain, and teach (discipleship) the next generation. I want to share two brief stories to highlight the absolute necessity of passing on the faith to the next generation.

This past Sunday Cal Ripken—a living baseball legend—was inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. This is an honor held by few. Even more impressive was the record breaking turnout of 75,000 fans to give honor to this man. The opening remarks during his induction speech illustrates the principle of teaching the next generation. Remember, Cal Ripken is a living legend among baseball fans due to his professionalism and endearing play which won the hearts of fans during his career. Cal states:

"I've really appreciated all the people who have congratulated me in the months since my selection to the Hall of Fame. It sure helped me get over a conversation I had recently with a 10-year old boy I was instructing. I was teaching him hitting and he was starting to have success and feeling quite proud of himself. And he asked me, ‘So, did you play baseball?’

I said, ‘Yes, I played professionally.’ And he goes, ‘Oh, yeah, for what team?’ I said, ‘I played with the Baltimore Orioles for 21 years.’ And he said, ‘What position?’ And I said, ‘Mostly shortstop but a little third base at the end.’ And he began to walk away and he looked back and said, ‘Should I know you?’”

This 10-year old kid was being taught how to hit by one of baseball's greatest, a living legend—amazingly, he had not a clue who was instructing him. Only a few years removed from the game, Cal was just another coach to this young lad. I'm not harping on this poor little kid. Possibly he didn't even have a father figure to instruct, explain, and teach him the sport of baseball. Yet this innocent and inquisitive kid was provoked to ask, “Should I know you?” Although he wasn’t taught previously as to who this legend was, after a brief conversation with Cal Ripken, he stumbled upon the realization that possibly someone very significant stood before him.

My Stumbling Before a Signficant One

Now I want to also share a personal story that amplifies the urgency of the principle that I am highlighting.

In the spring of 1992 I was getting ready for my graduation from high school. My plans were to attend Bridgewater College so that I could continue to pursue my passion—football. At that juncture in life, God wasn’t even on the radar screen. I did not grow up in a Christian home, although I was taught the principles of respect and honor. It seems that I can recall going to church three times—at the most—with friends during my high school years. Regarding Christianity, I was ignorant and knew nothing about Christ Jesus or the Bible.

One day as I was sitting in the living room by myself, I had an open vision, although at the time I would have been hard-pressed to explain what it was. In this vision I saw a man standing before me. As I looked upon him, everything in me longed to love this stranger. This sudden surge of intense desire from the core of my core to love this unknown man standing before me puzzled me greatly. “I don’t know who you are, but I know I am supposed to love you,” I said as I gazed upon him, “But I don’t love you…I am sorry. I know I should, but I don’t...I don't know you.” This man was silent during the whole time, yet my heart was awakened to love this unknown person.

You have to understand, I didn’t know anything about Christ. I didn’t know that he was crucified on a Cross on my behalf so that I could know the God of love intimately and live my life for His glory. My parents were wonderful parents, but they didn’t know the Lord. With the exception of a few visits to Sunday school when I was around five, we did not attend church. I had no exposure to the teachings of the Scriptures. Although I was taught certain principles that have biblical origins, they did not instruct me in the way of the Lord. Yet, at the time of this encounter, I had this, "Should I know you," sense deep within. I suspected that it was this Jesus that I had vaguely heard about, but lacked any understanding as to who He was.

Prior to leaving for college, an old friend gave me an extra Bible that she had with the instruction to read the book of Matthew. My response—Where is the book of Matthew? This was the first time I had ever read the Bible. A month later at college someone did take the time to explain to me who Jesus Christ was. So at seventeen years old, I surrendered my life to Christ and became a new creation in Him! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

No longer did I have to say, "Should I know you?” Rather, the words burned within, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matthew 16:16)

There are many within your sphere that you are called to tell, explain, and teach the Truth of the gospel. Many of the emerging generation today stand ignorant concerning the things of God, namely the glorious splendor of Christ Jesus. Be bold! Allow the Spirit of God to fill you afresh so that you may go forth as a father and mother to this generation! Tell them of what Jesus has done in your life. Explain the reality of a relationship with Christ. Teach them to obey all that Christ has commanded!

May Judges 2:10 not be said of our emerging generation(s) during our watch:

"After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel."

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Few Good Questions

The reason many people fail instead of succeed is that they trade what they want most for what they want at the moment. Dr. Larry Chonko, Professor at Baylor University

What has God put in your heart that you really want the most right now?
What is God’s purpose for you right now?
Is there anything in your life that is sacrificing what God wants for you right now?

If so, what are you going to do about it?

Sometimes it is better to ask questions, and listen.

For the Cause,

Brian Francis Hume

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A Dream Come True

See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse. Malachi 4:6,7

In the past few days since The Call Nashville, my conviction of the need for the spirit of Elijah to be embodied within the generations increased a hundredfold. This must begin with the hearts of the fathers turning to the younger generation. In 1997 the Promise Keepers summoned men together on the mall in Washington, DC to seek God. It appeared that God was indeed doing something significant in turning the hearts of the fathers to the children—yet, we must honestly assess the current landscape today. Have those intentions brought forth fruit on a generational level? Is there an organic movement of spiritual fathers and mothers seeking to raise up spiritual sons and daughters for kingdom impact?

Recently I heard James Goll share that many prophetic voices have spoken for years that the next great move of God would be a move of the fathers. He noted that during the Jesus Movement of the late 60s and early 70s, there were many teachers, but few fathers. Spiritual fathers are paramount to releasing sons and daughters in the Lord that sustains a move of God in the earth today.

My wife and I are extensively involved with the Emerging Generation Ministries (EGM) at our church. Our responsibilities include leading a home group for young adults. One of our young adults, Ronnette Cooper, is a precious woman-of-God who is on the core leadership team for EGM. She is also an instructor for the upcoming Burn Intern that EGM is launching this fall for those who are seeking preparation for future ministry in the house of prayer. She is extremely gifted prophetically as indicated by the dream she shares below. This dream is an encouragement for those willing to pursue the call of becoming spiritual fathers and mothers.


Ronnette wrote the following in her own words.

Back in early January of 2006 I had a dream. I knew it was one of those dreams. You know the ones where you know it’s not the pizza you had the night before but God Almighty communicating something special with you. It was only a couple days later when I found out how significant the dream was and how intimate it was for the person it was about.

The dream—I was in an Olympic stadium and we were watching a race. The place was complete packed with people. On the field you could see a runner stretching. On the back of his uniform (resembled a football jersey) it had his name on it: SIMMONS. When he went to the starting block beside him was his son, who also had a similar jersey on with his name—SIMMONS JR.

The race started. Although there were other runners, SIMMONS JR and SIMMONS SR were the first across the finish line. JR outran SR by just fractions of seconds. Everyone was so excited but overwhelming amazed at how Simmons Senior celebrated genuinely about Simmons Junior’s victory. There was such amazement that the news crew was focusing on the father’s encouragement rather than the son’s win. Simmons Sr. was hugging his son, saying, “I am so proud of you!”


Two weeks later, I spontaneously decided to attend a conference hosted by The CAUSE USA. It was there that the dream kept coming to my mind. At this point I was thinking I might need to share the dream with one of their head interns, simply because I felt there was a real encouragement to the older generation that we the younger generation need you. That without your guidance and example and encouragement we will not make it to the finish line.

Well I shared the dream. The head intern—Roger Joyner—was flabbergasted by the dream! Immediately he started asking questions. His first question, I must admit caught me off guard: Do you know who Dick Simmons is? My reply was “no”. After several more questions it was quite clear that I was completely ignorant of the significance of the dream to both The Cause and to a guy name Dick Simmons. Roger proceeded to take me up to Lou Engle and had me retell the dream. Lou began to sway back and forth and say in his husky voice…”you have no clue, you have no clue”.

Later in the service, Lou tells the whole conference the dream. And much to my amazement after he tells the dream he says, “Dick Simmons will you come up here.” He was right there in the congregation! Lou proceeded to tell everyone a little bit about Dick Simmons. Dick is an intercessor who has been praying in Washington DC for over 25 years. The Lord spoke to him saying that he would live to see the day where a company of young people would come to DC and pray night and day. This would be the beginnings of revival. (Paraphrased).

I watched at Dick Simmons came up to the microphone and people stood and clapped for his faithfulness in the ministry. I do not know who looked like he was going to cry more—Lou or Dick. Lou looked at me and said, “You don’t have a clue, this man can die with the kiss of God on his life, knowing that what he started will be completed [by his sons and daughters in the spirit”].

When I first heard Ronnette share this dream with me, I knew I had to share it with my readers. The dream highlights what we've been discussing the past few weeks here on this blog. It captures both the need for the emerging generation to humbly acknowledge their need for the tutelage of the older generation—and, it is an encouragement for the fathers not to give up on the younger generation. If you are seeking to raise up spiritual sons and daughters, you can be assured in the Lord that your work is not in vain.

How can you be a spiritual father or mother to those within your sphere? What would the Lord have you do? Please feel free to contact me if you need further clarification on this whole issue. We are all in this together!

And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. Luke 1:17

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Call Nashville

I am back from The Call Nashville after an eleven hour ride in the car. It is good to be back home to see my beautiful wife! In one week we are going to have a sonogram to find out if our first baby is a boy or a girl! Needless to say, I am quite excited!

Overall it was an exhilarating, but exhausting trip. A number of people whom I have conversed with so far are worn out physically, but are renewed spiritually due to the pilgrimage to this solemn assembly. As one guy stated: It was off the charts! Hopefully he was talking about the Lord and not the heat!

During The Call it was HOT in the direct sunlight. Obviously intense exposure to sunlight affects the body. Since no beverages were allowed in the stadium except for one small bottle of water, all drinks had to be purchased. Never in my life have I ever paid so much money for three small bottles of Gatorade! (twelve bucks!) It is amazing how a little heat will cause us to do things we normally would never do!

Altogether the trip was very significant for me personally. First I was able to reconnect with a high school friend that I haven't seen in 15 years! Interestingly we initially reconnected on Facebook when I came across his picture and name on an event page promoting The Call Nashville. Since then we have been in constant communication. The Call Nashville was the first opportunity I had to see him face-to-face. I was able to spend Friday with him and his precious family. Darrian is the worship leader for Bishop Wellington Boone in Atlanta. He has a tremendous calling upon his life.

I believe that a shift did transpire on some level. Ultimately the question remains: Will we continue to respond to the Lord as He seeks to bring transformation to our nation? As Rick Joyner so accurately stated at the conclusion, it isn’t about what we do at The Call that matters as much as what we do the next day, one month later or six months down the road. In other words we must daily shift our hearts so that it is in alignment with the heart of God for this hour. Will I still be crying out to the Lord for an awakening in our land or will the "excitement" of the event wear off? Will I be a different person, demonstrating a greater measure of Christlikeness in my life? These are critical questions that each one of us must ponder in order to daily pursue the Lord in this matter.

It will take a few days to digest everything, but another thing that I felt was quite significant was James Ryle sharing at the end about his “Sons of Thunders” prophecy. I mentioned this recently in reference to its application to what was transpiring with The Call Nashville; yet, I was not aware that James Ryle was going to share this prophecy at this historical gathering.

I will share more in the coming days as I reflect further on the overall implications of this solemn assembly for the Church and for me personally.

Also I would love to hear from each of you regarding how The Call Nashville has impacted you. Possibly you weren't able to actually go, but were able to watch it on God tv. Please share anything that you think might be beneficial for others.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Where Are the Elijahs?

“A Holy Revolution of unprecedented dimension is underway today in America. In the face of relentless spiritual and moral decay, thousands of believers are answering God’s call to a holy life of total and radical abandonment to Christ. In their burning passion for God they stand steadfastly for Jesus, refusing to compromise their lifestyles with the values of an increasingly secularized culture. Fired with the bold spirit of Elijah and the self-giving heart of Esther, these latter-day revolutionaries seek nothing less than the complete transformation of society through revival and spiritual awakening.” Jim Goll and Lou Engle, Elijah Revolution

Leonard Ravenhill's writings influenced many to burn for the things of God, wrote a book called Why Revival Tarries. I want to include a few quotes from chapter four, which is aptly titled: Where Are the Elijahs of God?

“Out of obscurity, Elijah came on to the Old Testament stage, a full-grown man.”

“Therefore the blessed Holy Spirit could write the life of Elijah in two words: ‘He prayed.’ No man can do more….”

“Elijah lived with God. He thought about the nation’s sin like God; he grieved over sin like God; he spoke against sin like God. He was all passion I this prayers and passionate in his denunciation of evil in the land. He had no smooth preaching. Passion fired his preaching, and his words were on the hearts of men as molten metal on their flesh.”

“E.M. Bounds is right in saying that short, powerful public prayers are the outcome of long secret intercession.”

“Our goal must be God alone.”