Saturday, February 26, 2011

YOU ARE VERY SIGNIFICANT

Last year Brian Francis Hume posted the following comment on his status update for Facebook after returning home from a retreat:

"This past weekend I went to a men's retreat with a wonderful group. ALL the young men (in their 30s) made statements about their need to do something SIGNIFICANT with their lives. It seemed as if they felt they weren't seizing the opportunities to do so. Why do you think this is such a common theme among men in this age demographic (myself included)?"

In response were a few insightful comments including one by Kelly Deppen that was helpful.

"That's a two-edged sword, isn't it? One one side, this is a valid feeling as men are not getting eternal significance from living out roles, careers and so on. They may need a benediction or blessing over them to release them to grab these opportunities.

Secondly, men are not taught or 'allowed' to derive Significance from Fatherhood. Often that gets relegated to Providerhood. Take your child up in your arms and gaze into those eyes---how can you not know you are significant?...

OK, thirdly, maybe they equate significant with BIG. Maybe that paradigm gets broken first. Jesus had this one all wrapped up. The little children are most significant, a little child will lead...when you have spiritual eyes to SEE the small people, the children, the seemingly insignificant---then you go on and do the stuff of a larger scale.

Could it be?

Love you Brian.

YOU ARE VERY SIGNIFICANT."

Monday, February 21, 2011

KAIROS MOMENTUM: Seismic Shifts that Accelerate God's Kingdom Purposes

Opening remarks: I wrote this short posting in embryonic form back in '07. Today the Lord led me to this specific article to revamp it completely. Previously I had written about the San Francisco earthquake and the Azusa Street Revival, which consisted of the core elements of this template I expanded upon today. I infused into it the framework of the KAIROS MOMENTUM. However tonight as I neared upon the completion of this article, I received an email from Kathyrn Walters concerning an urgent appeal to pray for the city of Christchurch which had just experienced a devastating earthquake. I felt that it was no coincidence regarding the theme of this article and the unfortunate earthquake in Christchurch (by no means do I want to minimize the suffering and hardship that many are enduring as I write this). It is my desire that we unite together to pray for God’s Spirit to move mightily upon those in the Christchurch region—both in bringing forth physical, emotional, and mental solutions while also addressing spiritual needs. Right now is the time to pray as lives could be hanging in the balance in wake of such destruction.

I will be praying for Christchurch.

Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a NEW THING! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
                                                                                                                          ~Isaiah 43:18, 19

I want to pose a question to you:  Are you ready to step into the kairos momentum? Kairos is one of two words in Greek used for time (the other is chronos). The actual rendering of this Greek word is best described as the fullness of time. Kairos speaks of an opportune time within a limited timeframe (versus chronos which is linear, chronological, ongoing time). It is a season that is pregnant with God’s destiny. In essence it is when the eternal invades the temporal realm; the mundane is overtaken by a heightened sense of God’s presence and eternal purposes. It is the window of heaven.

You may be wondering the full implications of the two terms together—kairos momentum. Kairos momentum is the overall, cumulative acceleration of God’s kingdom purposes manifesting within a specific timeframe, with staggering outcomes (which can only be orchestrated by heaven’s decree). It is a divine crescendo of sorts that culminates with a breakthrough of epochal proportions.

It is not business as usual; quite the contrary.

SPRING FORWARD

Traditionally when it came time for the daylight saving time (DST) shift in the fall or spring, I had to pause for a moment to recall which way to move the clock—forward or backwards? Honestly, I could not remember; my mind kept confusing the two. However, I finally learned a cliché that solved my dilemma: “Fall back, spring forward.” In the spring of 2007 Congress enacted legislation to shift forward the daylight-savings time by three weeks. The primary goal was to save money by conserving energy. It also had a leisurely benefit:  extra daylight in the evenings (for me, this meant an evening stroll with my wife!). It was a SHIFT that many took advantage of to enjoy the cherished daylight in the evenings (after a drab winter of short days and limited exposure to the sunlight, extra daylight is so refreshing!).

There's a shift that is going to bring us from the constraints of the chronos time into the kairos momentum. It is a shift to spring forward into the kairos momentum decreed by the Lord for our times. And it is sooner than you think! Now is the time to agree with heaven's decree that you are on the brink of stepping into your kairos momentum. No more procrasination and unbelief. The Holy Spirit is stirring faith in your heart as you ruminate upon the rhema of Isaiah 43:19:  "See, I am doing a NEW THING! Now it springs up..."

In fact, I sense that we are on the threshold of an actual divine shift that is about to spring forth in the United States (and abroad) today among the emerging generation. It seems that the Lord is doing a new thing in the midst of desperate people hungering for the full Reality of Christ to be revealed in the earth today. Prayer movements are springing forth all over the earth today. Miracles are transpiring with countless stories of God’s miraculous healings, deliverances, and breakthroughs flooding the Internet. God's people are responding to the grace invitation to seek His face above all else.

We are on the verge of stepping into a kairos momentum.

The words in the text of Isaiah 43:19, “springs up” speaks of a shift that precedes the kairos momentum, the "new thing". (For sake of clarity, I’m using the term kairos momentum and “new thing” interchangeably.) This shift has a causative function, meaning that it is the primary catalyst that ignites a kairos momentum. Think of it in terms of a cause and effect relationship. The shift—the “springs up”—is the cause that catalyze the effects of “the kairos momentum.” It is the shift that sets in motion the kairos momentum to sustain the epochal breakthrough.

No shift. No kairos momentum; albeit no new thing.

Sometimes shifts can occur in a linear fashion that unfolds in an incremental manner, gradually over time. However, nonlinear change can be abrupt, elusive, swift, and without warning; creating an upheaval along the way. A shift of the San Andreas Fault at 5:12 am on April 18, 1906 created a massive, tumultuous catastrophic event that was one of the worst natural disasters in history of the United States. The actual shift itself lasted approximately 48 seconds—however, the ramifications extended well beyond the short-lived fault shift. The earthquake registered at a conservative estimation of 7.7 magnitude, which was felt from Oregon all the way to Los Angeles. The city of San Francisco was in ruins due to the fires that ensued after the shakings, destroying 80 percent of the city.

Chaos abounded—normalcy for many dissipated within a mere 48 seconds. Lives were lost. Homes were destroyed. Families were stricken with grief. Destruction was rampant.

Shifts can be costly. It can either abort or accelerate the catalyzing of the kairos momentum.

Ten days prior to the San Francisco natural disaster was an unprecedented outpouring of God’s Spirit in Los Angeles; otherwise, known as Azusu Street Revival. It was a seismic shift whose epicenter was at 216 North Bonnie Bray Street, but with a magnitude of world-wide impact. Indeed, it was “the new thing” (i.e., the kairos momentum) that forever changed the landscape of Christianity in the 20th century. Lives were forever ruined for a powerless testimony and witness. Hearts were set ablaze by God’s flaming Spirit as this epochal shift brought about a kairos momentum to the ends of the earth—lost souls were converted; desperate souls were baptized with power on high; ministries were birthed; missionaries were sent; apostolic movements were pioneered. Worldwide was the reach of this kairos mometum.

A shift transpired. The kairos momentum coalesced God’s purposes with pliable human hearts; and the world was never the same.

What is on God’s heart for this hour?

Dutch Sheets, author of God's Timing For Your Life writes concerning the phrase “springs up” in the verses mention earlier in Isaiah: “These words mark a shift in time. Something new is about to spring forth…when He does move, it can transpire quickly. Never give up. Your shift may be closer than you think.”

You are in a kairos momentum season. The new thing is close. And the shift is even closer.


Copyright © 2011, Brian Francis Hume

ISAIAH 6: Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty

1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: 

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

9 He said, “Go and tell this people:

“‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ 10 Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes.[a]  Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”

11 Then I said, “For how long, Lord?”

And he answered:  “Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged, 12 until the LORD has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken. 13 And though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land.”

Footnotes:


a.Isaiah 6:10 Hebrew; Septuagint ‘You will be ever hearing, but never understanding; / you will be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ / This people’s heart has become calloused; / they hardly hear with their ears, / and they have closed their eyes

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Family Tradition

I came across this brief account of a godly Mom who went the extra mile to celebrate Valentine's Day with her family as a reminder of God's love for all. The story so inspired me that I'm determined that my wife and I take the responsibility to celebrate God's love in a tangible and unique way. While the world focuses on the eros "love"; I want to build a foundation in my family that is centered upon Christ's AGAPE love (Greek word for love that implies an unconditional love).

Enjoy the reading by Donna Daigle on her blog, FIERY HEART.

I was in my teens before I realized that Valentine’s day was viewed by most people as a romantic holiday. My mom has always been a bit of a nut about Feb. 14th. We always had little valentines to give our friends at school and usually had something red or pink to wear.
 
When we got home from school, the pink table cloth would go on the table and the red glasses and plates would come out, there was always a heart shaped cake, flowers on the table, napkins with hearts on them and heart shaped doilies in red, white, silver, pink and gold just about everywhere! My mom would fix a favorite of everyone’s, usually some meat with plenty of gravy for my dad, beets for me and macaroni for my sister.

My dad always had a heart shaped velvet box of chocolate for my mom and my mom had presents for all of us. Not just little things either. It was always something nice, like a new dress or jewelry or once I got a book of Elizabeth Barrett Browning Sonnets.

After dinner my mom would get out her Bible and read to us different passages that showed us how much God loves us, always ending up in John 3.

I always thought everyone saw Valentine’s Day as a big holiday like Easter or Christmas! It was a bit of a rude awakening when I discovered that we were a very rare family in this!

My mom is 91 and still loves Valentine’s Day. It has always been her day of celebration of God’s love pouring out on and through her.

Father, let me be like my mom in this! Thank you, Father, for placing me in such a wonderful home!

Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends!
Donna

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Great Quote by C.S. Lewis

Have you identified the key spheres, also known as the 7 mountains (e.g. the family, government, media, arts & entertainment, education, business, church) that you are called and anointed to influence? Obviously we desire that our lives testify of God’s redeeming work through Christ in both deeds and words; hence lost souls are found through saving faith in Christ as He works through your life. Furthermore, each of these spheres represents an arena where ideas are clashing and contending for supremacy. This quote by renowned author, C.S. Lewis, qualifies the reality that we are also called to extend kingdom ideas of life into all spheres of society: “Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason because bad philosophy needs to be answered.” May your kingdom life centered in Christ—the Eternal Anvil of the Ages—be the very hammer that demolishes diabolical philosophy that ensnares the minds of mankind (see 2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Pray for Itinerant Minister Battling Health Issues

Recently I received an email from a friend, Rev. Jay West, concerning health issues he has battled in recent times. Roughly three years ago I was introduced to Jay via email though a mutual friend, Tom Corcoran of MultiChurchDC. Jay currently resides in Omaha and travels extensively all over the United States ministering as the Lord leads. He has ministered in over a thousand churches that spans denominational lines (over 54 denominations to be exact!). The passion of his heart obviously is for the whole body of Christ. Periodically he'll send out an email concerning the things that the Lord is doing in his family and ministry. More recent emails were a bit alarming as he described health issues that were affecting his ability to function daily. I want to share the email with you, my blogosphere audience, as a means to generate prayer on his behalf and any potential insights that the Lord may bring forth as to the root of the health issues he's confronted in the past few months. Here's more info on Jay West via his Linkedin public profile. Also he's on Facebook too.



Dear Friend,

Here is the latest information I have on what Jason and I have been experiencing with the headaches and such which have been happening consistently now for 38 days - jumping around - moving around on my head - back and forth - I am still able to sleep and can eat just fine too.

I went to the doctor and they gave me two different antibiotics but neither of them did anything.

Then we discovered that when I am away from home, the symptoms linger but gradually disappear - only to return again when at home and primarily when the heat is on - so we had a Carbon Monoxide test done by the Gas Company and they could not find any leaks. We also purchased an installed a working carbon monoxide alarm - then we bought an air purifier and I have substantially less symptoms when it is on and I am in that room - if we move it to another room, then the previous room becomes bad and the new room is okay for me. Having a window open in a room helps me some, but not completely.

Jason began to have mild symptoms of lightheadness too - but it was not consistent - we then paid nearly $700 and had our heating ducts cleaned and disinfected - the very next day I started having strong nausea when the heat was on - the headaches are still there, but not as strong - but the nausea has lessened considerably for which I am grateful, although it is there mildly, and I do get lightheaded too - Jason began to have more regular occurrences of lightheadedness - several times a day - and we both began to experience similar symptoms at other places such as Grocery stores Wal Mart, Target and Saturday at Beautiful Savior Lutheran and our church. Jason had to sit on a stool to play keyboard for worship as he was so lightheaded. The doctor gave me anti-nausea pills, but they put me to sleep really fast.

I opened up the house yesterday for a couple of hours without the heat on - just letting in the fresh cold air - it got cold in the house, but I felt pretty good - but then eventually had to turn the heat on and the symptoms came right back real fast.

Dan Kessler who is a heater technician came today and checked out our furnace - he really could not find much wrong - he did a test in which the heat exchange did not function totally right which would normally mean it is cracked - but if it is cracked it would emit carbon monoxide and those tests were negative and our alarm still would not sound - we know that alarm works because it sounds on a test. We consulted with still another heater specialist that we know and he said he could not think of anything different to do.
We are at a total loss as to what to do next - we have prayed repeatedly - and had people pray for us around the country - a group prayed at the service Saturday morning - -Friends came over and prayed and anointed the house and heater etc - the people of our church prayed for us. One person has suggested that we are allergic to the environment of the heater, but did not give clues for remedies. People have suggested that I move out of the house for up to a week, but that is not practical nor financially practical. Plus everytime I return the symtoms return, so being gone for any length of time will not eliminate the problem when I return.

I am sick constantly when at home and for some hours after leaving - usually if gone for more than three hours I start to feel better. I am best outside in clear air altogether - but I am concerned for myself and for Jason - I don't seem to have any breathing problems - just the headaches, nausea and lightheadedness.

I have no appetite problems and can eat anything whch is also strange when having nausea - food does not bother me - in fact, when eating the nausea goes away temporarily only to return soon after I am finished eating. These are all CO symptoms but we have no leak - Diane has not had any symptoms - we had friends over Saturday for over an hour and they knew about it but did not have any symptoms - so if it was CO then they should have gotten sick to as should Diane - and you do not get these symptoms from Radon or Mold. My doctor who is a believer has all of this information too.
If you know of someone to forward this information to along with my email address, please do so - we need help and don't know what to do or where to turn. I am desperate!

The other thing that we need prayer on is that I had four cancellations this year and income has dropped so severely - it is tough to deal with that battle while trying to work on the other one too. Jason and I are working on the book too, but find it hard to concentrate with constant headaches and other symptoms. Thanks for caring to read this.

Jay W. West

Anointed 2 GO MdM
Look for me on facebook

Sunday, February 6, 2011

AW Tozer | THE OLD CROSS and THE NEW

ALL UNANNOUNCED AND MOSTLY UNDETECTED there has come in modern times a new cross into popular evangelical circles. It is like the old cross, but different: the likenesses are superficial; the differences, fundamental. From this new cross has sprung a new philosophy of the Christian life, and from that new philosophy has come a new evangelical technique-a new type of meeting and a new kind of preaching. This new evangelism employs the same language as the old, but its content is not the same and its emphasis not as before.

The old cross would have no truck with the world. For Adam's proud flesh it meant the end of the journey. It carried into effect the sentence imposed by the law of Sinai. The new cross is not opposed to the human race; rather, it is a friendly pal and, if understood aright, it is the source of oceans of good clean fun and innocent enjoyment. It lets Adam live without interference. His life motivation is unchanged; he still lives for his own pleasure, only now he takes delight in singing choruses and watching religious movies instead of singing bawdy songs and drinking hard liquor. The accent is still on enjoyment, though the fun is now on a higher plane morally if not intellectually.

The new cross encourages a new and entirely different evangelistic approach. The evangelist does not demand abnegation of the old life before a new life can be received. He preaches not contrasts but similarities. He seeks to key into public interest by showing that Christianity makes no unpleasant demands; rather, it offers the same thing the world does, only on a higher level. Whatever the sin-mad world happens to be clamoring after at the moment is cleverly shown to be the very thing the gospel offers, only the religious product is better.

The new cross does not slay the sinner, it redirects him. It gears him into a cleaner and a jollier way of living and saves his self-respect. To the self-assertive it says, "Come and assert yourself for Christ." To the egotist it says, "Come and do your boasting in the Lord." To the thrill-seeker it says, "Come and enjoy the thrill of Christian fellowship."

The Christian message is slanted in the direction of the current vogue in order to make it acceptable to the public. The philosophy back of this kind of thing may be sincere but its sincerity does not save it from being false. It is false because it is blind. It misses completely the whole meaning of the cross. The old cross is a symbol of death. It stands for the abrupt, violent end of a human being. The man in Roman times who took up his cross and started down the road had already said good-by to his friends. He was not coming back. He was going out to have it ended.

The cross made no compromise, modified nothing, spared nothing; it slew all of the man, completely and for good. It did not try to keep on good terms with its victim. It struck cruel and hard, and when it had finished its work, the man was no more. The race of Adam is under death sentence. There is no commutation and no escape.

God cannot approve any of the fruits of sin, however innocent they may appear or beautiful to the eyes of men. God salvages the individual by liquidating him and then raising him again to newness of life. That evangelism which draws friendly parallels between the ways of God and the ways of men is false to the Bible and cruel to the souls of its hearers.

The faith of Christ does not parallel the world, it intersects it. In coming to Christ we do not bring our old life up onto a higher plane; we leave it at the cross. The corn of wheat must fall into the ground and die. We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum.

God offers life, but not an improved old life. The life He offers is life out of death. It stands always on the far side of the cross. Whoever would possess it must pass under the rod. He must repudiate himself and concur in God's just sentence against him. What does this mean to the individual, the condemned man who would find life in Christ Jesus? How can this theology be translated into life? Simply, he must repent and believe. He must forsake his sins and then go on to forsake himself. Let him cover nothing, defend nothing, excuse nothing. Let him not seek to make terms with God, but let him bow his head before the stroke of God's stern displeasure and acknowledge himself worthy to die. Having done this let him gaze with simple trust upon the risen Saviour, and from Him will come life and rebirth and cleansing and power.

The cross that ended the earthly life of Jesus now puts an end to the sinner; and the power that raised Christ from the dead now raises him to a new life along with Christ. To any who may object to this or count it merely a narrow and private view of truth, let me say God has set His hallmark of approval upon this message from Paul's day to the present. Whether stated in these exact words or not, this has been the content of all preaching that has brought life and power to the world through the centuries. The mystics, the reformers, the revivalists have put their emphasis here, and signs and wonders and mighty operations of the Holy Ghost gave witness to God's approval. Dare we, the heirs of such a legacy of power, tamper with the truth? Dare we with our stubby pencils erase the lines of the blueprint or alter the pattern shown us in the Mount? May God forbid. Let us preach the old cross and we will know the old power.

(A. W. Tozer, Man, the Dwelling Place of God, 1966).

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"We Need Men With Balls!"

John Meyer made a statement earlier today on the Converging Zone Network that caught my attention: “Belly laughter in a room full of lovers is way more fun than a room full of dream killers.” Immediately I thought of an experience I had back in ’09 when I ministered at a conference with my friend, Tom. I had ministered at this particular church before and witnessed the Lord move mightily in their midst; for this second trip I recommended Tom to the Pastor as a keynote speaker and he obliged. However it turned out to be one of the WORST ministry engagements I've ever done. Words cannot even express it all. I was slated to minister the opening night which was a bomb (in the sense that it was BAD!). We were shocked when we arrived to hear the pastor question whether or not this conference was of the Lord (just minutes from the start of a conference is not the time for such talk). Then the church bus bringing people to the meeting broke down while we were in his office. The worship was...uh, absolutely "off the charts" in a bad way (even one of the worship team members communicated this to me too). Finally the pastor introduced me in his best impersonation of a Pentecostal preacher and I’m thinking, “This is the same guy who was just preaching doom and gloom in his office and now he’s trying to work up the crowd.” As I got up to minister, there was absolutely no anointing on me for preaching or prophesying—it was humbling, to say the least. Regardless of circumstances, I should have risen above the distractions. I certainly take responsibility for my own action in that I was not prepared for such an onslaught of warfare against the meeting.

The next day Tom was scheduled to be the speaker at their main Sunday morning service, which was a packed house. I was in the front row with Paige Rowland, a dear friend who’s a precious brother. Tom ministers with an uncanny prophetic anointing and has a blunt way of saying things that can ruffle some feathers, especially in a religions setting. Honestly, I was feeling somewhat uptight myself after the horrible service the previous night. Now Tom was ministering as a result of my personal recommendation to the Pastor (I was hoping for a home run so I would somehow be off the hook for the dismal service the night before). In the midst of his message Tom was speaking a direct word to the men in the audience; and he pointedly hollered, “We need men-of-God here…we need men with balls!” At first I couldn’t believe what he said as my eyes widened. And to ensure that no one misunderstood him, he repeated his statement.

I could feel the heat rising as sweat glistened on my forehead. As I squiggled in the pew on the front row, my eyes caught the shocked look on Paige’s face as he glanced at me. When our eyes fastened, we simultaneously burst out laughing—uncontrollably.

Tom continued unabated with his message.

Here I was, with my friend, laughing on the front row for all to see. Just when things would calm down and I appeared to have regained a semblance of composure, I would peek over at Paige and we would burst out in laughter all over. Tears flowed freely down our faces as our bodies trembled with refreshing heaves of laughter. We couldn’t stop. This continued on for a good 10-12 minutes. And it was absolute bliss. It was the best I had felt in months.

And, yes, Tom did hit a home run with his message. It was powerful!

Well, we never did get a thank you follow-up from the church or even the special offering they took up for us after Tom preached (but we didn’t care because that wasn’t the reason we were there). But I did a receive something of far more worth than what money can buy—a good belly laugh amongst my friends Tom and Paige! I’m reminded of the truth of Proverbs 17:22 concerning the value of a merry spirit: “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones” (NASB). Dream killers are those who possess a “broken spirit [that] dries up the bones”; whereas, lovers operate within the AGAPE reality, i.e., a joyful heart, that give permission for others to express the laughter of joy that heightens the joy of laughter for all.