AWAKEN

AWAKEN
AWAKEN NOW!

Friday, October 30, 2015

A DESIRE FOR A DESIRE (A CALL TO REVIVAL)

(Revival Hymn)

Dear American church:

I have been a Christian since 1994 (approximately 22 years). I have preached the gospel for nearly 20 years of that time period. I have met many different people from many different walks of life and have preached in many different types of churches (independent Pentecostal, Church of God, Church of God of Prophecy, Assemblies of God, Baptist, etc). I am no authority on the subject of revival, but I do know that all of these denominations were started with a mighty outpouring of God's Spirit-a revival of religion. The same can be said of every true born again Christian, they were birthed into the Kingdom of God by a life changing encounter with The One. Unfortunately, the revival fires that birthed these great movements are now merely smoke and ashes; and most would be glad to have even that. Now, I'm not saying that there aren't congregations that are experiencing New Testament level manifestations of Divine power, but I will say I personally don't know of any, and if there are some, they are very few and far between.
 
Some will say, "Well, I know of a church with 10,000 people in it. They have to be on fire with God!" No, they don't! People are attracted to personalities. You want proof? In 2009, a Paul McCartney concert sold out in 11 seconds! That's 40,000 tickets in 11 seconds! Is Paul McCartney on fire for God? Of course not, but he doesn't have to be because people are attracted to personalities. The truth is any preacher (with plenty of charisma) that will go light on sin and will hire some good musicians can fill a church with gullible souls! It also helps if they have good hair and an attractive smile. 
 
Dear reader, the sobering fact of it is there is no revival in America today. Why? What happened? These denominations (and the majority of Christians I know) did not continue doing the things that brought the fire of God into their lives in the first place. Preachers became silvered tongued orators. They quit preaching on eternity. They became politically correct in order to keep from offending lukewarm Christians who might withhold their tithe. Churches forfeited their all night prayer meetings. Fasting became non-existent. Their Bibles gathered dust. The concept of the traditional family unit became perverted (men were feminized, women masculinized, children became head of the house). The end product is a church world full of unregenerate men and women who hate the holiness of God; an American church world that operates quite well with Jesus standing on the porch, knocking, wanting in; a church world that thinks they can build the Kingdom of God with the arm of flesh.
 
Ga 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
 
I'd like to ask you to search your own heart. Can you remember when you first came to God? How your heart was consumed with passion and desire for Christ and the things which pertain to Him? How you sought God day and night for the baptism in the Holy Ghost? How you couldn't get enough of the Word of God? How it grieved your heart if you were hindered from going to church? How you wanted everyone to receive the same life changing experience that Christ gave you? How your heart overflowed with love toward everyone?
 
Now, let me ask you if you presently find that these traits are no longer a part of your every day life? That you are simply saved by association? That you claim to be born again because you go to church and no longer smoke cigarettes? Do you find that the love, joy, zeal, and desire you once had is a thing of the past, a relic of days gone by? Have you become entangled with the affairs of this life? Entangled to such a degree that you go days without visiting your secret place of prayer? Days without reading the Word of God? Months without pushing the plate back? Years without winning a soul to Christ? Are you now doing things (sinning) that you one time would never do? Honestly, have you allowed the fire of God to die out of your life? Have you allowed troubles, trials, heartaches, pain, death, sickness, sin, or something else to get the best of you?
 
The bottom line is this: are you on fire with God or are you lukewarm? Have you become apathetic and disconnected from God? Honestly ... are you walking in the Spirit?
 
For the vast majority of you, I know the answer to that question. So I want to ask you whether or not you still care that you are in this condition? Do you even care whether you get up? Do you no longer "feel like traveling on"? Tell me, do you have a desire to get up?
 
If you are finding it hard to get up; if you are finding it hard to locate a DESIRE to get up; I want you to do something for me. I want you to pray that God will give you a desire for a desire. I know that sounds strange, but it's not. If you're not willing to do right, become willing to be made willing. God will come to you. He will help you. If you can find even an iota of desire He will place a divine spark in your heart that you can kindle into a holy inferno!
 
No matter what, you cannot stay like you are. You cannot stay lukewarm. Listen to what the Bible says about the lukewarm soul:
 
Re 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

You will be vomited out of the body of Christ. You are not going to leave here in the rapture! You must get concerned about your soul. Pray that God will give you a desire for a desire. When the desire comes, the rest will be much easier. You will find that God will send a great fire into your hearts. You must maintain that fire or it will go out, leaving you in the same condition you were in the beginning.
 
God bless!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A WORD TO THE ANGRY PREACHER

 I have always been tenacious; if I believe something, I will stand for it no matter what it costs me; I will fight until there is no fight left in me. Over the last twenty-two years, God has refined this quality (as much as I have allowed Him to) and used it to win souls and steer men to the truth. It has helped me to fight the good fight of faith; to keep on the firing line. For this I am thankful. However, at times, this trait has been a thorn in my flesh; a stumbling block. When coupled with pride, anger, bitterness, or resentment it has been very dangerous.

To my defense, I have had to do a lot of fighting to get to where I am today. I was raised up to believe many false doctrines and my departure from them wasn't easy. My family, friends, and acquaintances did not want me to leave their churches and the doctrines they held so dear. For some, it was because they loved me and didn't want me going astray. For others, it was the pride and arrogance of their hearts. After years of arguing and warring with them, I became frustrated, hardened, and even angry. I started fighting with them in ways that did not represent Christ well. And I did it so often, it became a part of who I was; I started thinking it was proper and even God's way. Because I had war in my heart, I assumed everyone else had war in their hearts. If someone approached me in any manner other than approval, acceptance, or agreement, I immediately assumed they wanted to fight and I would start swinging (verbally or with written words). And, please, don't get me wrong, I wasn't that way every time I dealt with people. If I felt the person I was talking to was sincere, I would be extremely careful with my speech and the demeanor in which I approached them. I would soften my voice; I would be respectful, gentle, and patient, but if I thought they wanted to fight . . . it was on.

It was very easy for me to win the debates; I had the Word of God backing me up and they did not. And, typically, I had a much vaster arsenal of Scripture verses to use in the warfare than they did, so I would try to humiliate them. I would try to smash them. I would try to destroy them. After all, they were the "enemy". The louder they got, the louder I got. The louder I got, the louder they got. The angrier they got, the angrier I got. The angrier I got, the angrier they got. It was a never-ending cycle and was almost always counterproductive.

When I wrote the book Absolutely Trinity! and uploaded the teaching series to youtube.com it happened on an even larger scale. I was engaged by hundreds of angry Oneness adherents. When I responded to their emails, phone calls, comments, etc., I almost always used my "righteous indignation" against them! And very seldom did that approach bring good fruit. It was pretty much a repeat of what I had done my entire life. On a side note: God has used the Absolutely Trinity! book and teaching series to bring many Oneness adherents (pastors and laity) to the truth of the holy Trinity, but I wonder how many more I could have won if my personal encounters with them had not been so aggressive and disrespectful?

Several years ago God began dealing with my heart about this subject in depth. He didn't tell me I shouldn't defend the truth of His Word. He didn't tell me that I shouldn't confront false prophets and teachers. He didn't tell me to stop trying to expose false doctrine, in fact, He has placed a very strong calling on my life to do just those things. He told me there was a more Christ-like manner to do it. He showed me how I had allowed past hurts and conflicts to open the door to anger and bitterness. He showed me that it was the SPIRIT and truth that breaks the hearts of men, not ANGER and truth. He did this by showing me 2 Timothy 2:24-26:

2Ti 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

The word strive means to "war, quarrel, dispute, or fight". It speaks of the spirit and attitude the minister possesses when approaching those he is trying to minister to. God told me to be gentle, patient, and meek when I dealt with people that opposed me because it wasn't really me they were opposing, it was themselves and sometimes ... Him. He reminded me of Proverbs 15:1:

Pr 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

He also brought 2 Timothy 2:23 and Titus 3:9 to my attention:

2Ti 2:23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

Tit 3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

God used these verses to show me that I need to try and discern those who want to engage in a productive and godly discussion about the Scripture from those that merely want to fight and "prove a point". Those that want a godly discussion--those that I feel can be won to the truth--need to be dealt with in meekness and love. Those that want to fight and argue merely to prove their point need to be ignored and prayed for, but also treated with meekness and love. This is the way of Christ.

I said all of that to lay some ground work for the testimony I want to share with you now.

Several years ago I posted a blog entitled "Do You Desire a Desire?" A pastor friend of mine contacted me, telling me of a fellow evangelist who had gotten very aggravated at my blog. He had previously shown interest in attending a revival I was going to hold in his area, but, after reading the blog, said he would never come hear me and made some pretty cutting remarks about me (to his defense, he did not submit my name). He didn't know me, so when he read my blog he understood what I was saying to be a slam at the denomination he belongs to. I am from an independent Pentecostal background and he had had some terrible experiences with independent Pentecostal people. He assumed I fit the stereotype and cut me off.

In the past, I would have just shrugged him off and labeled him as a hypocritical devil, but God is changing me. I felt the Lord would have me pursue this brother. God showed me that he, too, was dealing with issues of the past, so I contacted him. I told him that I did not appreciate the things he was saying about me because they were not true. I told him that he was equating me with those that had hurt him without even knowing who I am. He responded. I responded. He responded. I responded again. We went back and forth for hours. We both spoke straight, plain, and openly, but I did not use my "righteous indignation" against him like I always had when engaged in conflict. I was getting weary and felt like I was wearying him, but I knew he was worth any effort I may have had to put forth.

The conclusion of this story is we are very good friends now! We are ministry partners, helping each other carry our burdens. We pray for each other and have made each others' life a little better (at least he has made mine better).

Kindness and patience won me a life long friend. I said a lot of the same things I would have said years ago, but I said it with meekness, patience, and gentleness, and it worked. (My brother also overcame much and learned a great deal about himself, but that's his testimony).

I'll be honest, I have a long ways to go. These engagements aren't easy for me. I have to weigh every word. I have to take a deep breath and think every response and action through before taking them. I have to go very slowly. If you see me engaged in a mindless debate, pray for me. I am a work in progress. 
I am so glad that God is merciful and patient with preachers like myself.
 (Walt Disney - Donald Duck - Self Control)

Friday, October 23, 2015

A BURNT OUT MINISTER IS IRRELEVANT




I've been reading staggering statistics about clergy burnout. Statistics revealing how depression, obesity, hypertension, and diabetes are incredibly high among clerics. Did you know the life expectancy of a minister is much lower than the average person? 1,500 preachers leave the ministry every month. Why? I know what some will say, "They're hirelings. They don't pray. They don't love God. Etc." I'm sure that's true way too often, but that's not always the case. And those that readily say such things usually aren't pastors or (if they are) have a congregation of 8 people.

We are living in a different world than the men of old. Did you ever consider the fact that John Wesley, Charles Spurgeon, Charles Finney, Jonathan Edwards, General Booth, A. B. Simpson, etc, didn't have access to phones, planes, cars, internet, Facebook, email or text messaging? If the congregation got a hold of them it was on Sunday or via horse and buggy. And if your preacher was a circuit rider ... you DIDN'T get a hold of him.
They didn't have to compete with cell phones, ipads, ipods, television, radio, internet or Hollywood. People weren't gospel hardened and entertained to death. People didn't expect the preacher to cater to their every whim because they knew they COULDN'T cater to their every whim. Now, compare that with the hundred phone calls, text messages, emails, and literally thousands of Facebook messages I receive per week! I'm not unique, any pastor worth their salt has a similar story. Today's pastor is on call 24/7! The expectation level is insane. People want them to be at all places at all times having the answers to every dilemma. The minister (and whole family) never fully meet the requirements demanded of them because they haven't yet figured out how to be God! John Wesley attributed his long life to taking naps as often as he needed. If today's minister takes a nap someone rings the door bell and accuses them of being lazy and sleeping all day. (Do I sound whiny? LOL!)

But concerning the men and women of old ... they had revival and we (for the most part) do not. They spent most of their time praying, reading, and preaching. Their greatest stress came from wrestling with God, not men. 
They understood that the church belonged to God, not them. They understood that counseling can never take the place of the unadulterated preached Word. They understood that the hard-hearted and stubborn laity sitting in the pews were lost and in need of conversion and not to be reckoned as church bosses.

The answer? You need to remember that you're a Christian before you're a pastor! Let's spend more time in prayer and the Word, talking to God about men; and less time on Facebook, answering text messages and counseling people to do what we've told them a hundred times from the pulpit.

If you're tired, sleep. If you're on the verge of burning out, shut your phone off, take a few days off, spend time with God and your family. Learn how to say "NO"! If you're overweight and your health is breaking down ... man up! Get some discipline. Eat right and exercise! It'll pay off in the long run.

Don't let your wife suffer because you're ministering to another man's wife and don't have time for her. Don't lose your kids trying to save other people's kids. If you burn out you will wreck yourself and then be irrelevant anyway. You have no business overseeing spiritual business if you can't overseer your own personal business! (1Ti 3:5)

Don't allow anyone to push you beyond your capacity. And ... remember it all belongs to God. He's the husbandman. Let the divine stay up all night. Let the omnipresent be every where at all times. Let Him be responsible for HIS church. You? Just do what you can. You ask what the people will think? The true Christians will understand and be merciful. The hypocrites? Who cares?

Let go and let God!

Peace, love, hope!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

IS THERE HOPE FOR A SLEEPING CHURCH? (4 WAYS TO DETERMINE IF YOUR CHURCH IS SLEEP WALKING)

IS THERE HOPE FOR A 
SLEEPING CHURCH?


*        I AM A CHRISTIAN trying to find a spiritual community to fellowship with and help strengthen my walk with God. I am trying to find other believers that I can team up with to labor in God's kingdom, enjoying the synergistic dynamics of a missional church in community! 

*        I AM A HUSBAND AND FATHER that is responsible for teaching my family about the necessity of having a loving relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ, leading them into a healthy, spiritual environment that will allow them to grow in grace and the Word.

*        I AM A PASTOR that is responsible for feeding the flock of God which He has made me overseer of (Acts 20:28, 1Pe 5:2).  I am to cast the vision that God has for the local church and then empower the saints to bring that vision to fruition.

*        I AM A CONCERNED CITIZEN OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.

I fear that something is missing. There seems to be a slumber befallen the people. The Church shouldn't need revival. We should be awake. We should be alive. We should be powerful in Christ. We should be influencing our cities, seeing the lost saved and the sick healed. Look, I know that there are great churches that are alive and seeing a mighty move of God, but the American church is, by and large, in desperate need of reviving.  Oh, I know they're doing stuff, going through the motions, but look a little more carefully. Their eyes are closed. They are sleep walking!


They're like the gate keeper of a certain city. A couple of men were trying to get entrance in to his city, but the gate was shut. 
 
They rang the bell and the gate keeper yelled, "Coming", but never came. 

They rang it again and again and the gate keeper kept saying, "Coming" over and over. 

Finally, he came and gave them entrance to the city. When asked why it took him so long he said: "I was asleep. I guess I have yelled "Coming" so many times that I can do it in my sleep now."

Have we had so much "church" we can do it in our sleep now? Singing in our sleep? Preaching in our sleep? Going through the motions, but asleep?

How can we know if our church is sleep walking? Glad you asked! Here's four ways of knowing if you're church is sleep walking:

1. PRAYER ISN'T A PRIORITY! If our churches aren't houses of prayer, they're nothing more than a social club. You can gauge the health of your church by the prayer meeting. Do you even have a prayer meeting? Most don't. Most have tried, but they couldn't get anyone to show up and it fizzled out! But ... HEY! Somebody give me G, I have a song on my heart!

Why is prayer important? It's the bridge to the throbbing heart of the universe. Without communion with God, we are impotent. Yes. Even though we're having church, dancing and singing, preaching and hollering "Amen"; if we're not praying, we're straying, playing, and flailing. Where there is no spirit of prayer there will be no revival.


2. WORSHIP IS AWKWARD! "Come on saints! God has been good to us! He's King of Kings and Lord of lords! Let take some time to worship Him!" Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock . . . 10 seconds later . . . Yaaaaaaaawn! "Come on. Let's sing a fast song so we can dance!" People struggle with worshiping God at church because they don't worship Him at home. They aren't really familiar with Him. He's more of an acquaintance than ruler of their life. The reason folk don't worship is you have to be familiar with Him to worship Him. You have to be overcome by His greatness; hungry for His presence in order to worship Him. Worship requires you to seek His face, not just His hand (blessings). Until people get hungry for the person of God, there will be no revival.

3. A BURDEN FOR THE LOST  ... WHAT'S THAT? Our churches should be growing exponentially every year. It should be as simple as 1+1=2! A saved person, filled with appreciation, telling the world about Jesus Christ and His saving grace. ONE BEGGAR TELLING ANOTHER BEGGAR WHERE TO FIND BREAD! But service after service people come to the church with empty seats in their vehicles. What can we deduce from that? Do we not care that people are going to hell? Are we so preoccupied with ourselves that we don't even think about the plight of other people? Have we forgotten what God has done for us? We need an update on our walk with God; a fresh experience that makes us want to tell the world about Jesus Christ. OR IS IT JUST THE PREACHERS JOB TO EVANGELIZE?

NOTHING troubles me more than watching people step over top of a lost man/woman praying at the altar in order to go home to do ... well ... absolutely nothing! Watch some TV? Get to KFC buffet before everyone else? I wonder if that's who they would respond if it was their child being saved?  
Until we rid the church of selfishness, there will be no revival.

4. PREACHING IS A SOURCE OF ENTERTAINMENT, NOT EMPOWERMENT. Things have to be pretty exciting to keep our sleepy eyes from closing for good. If the preaching isn't loud and spit (not Spirit) filled, it isn't anointed. Right? Wouldn't it be a sight if our mailmen were held to the same standard as the preacher? Dude comes flying through the yard, jumps over the bush, climbs the walls, throws the mail into the mailbox all the while yelling to the top of his voice, "Wooo hoooo! Come on now! You're not helping me!" LOL! That'd be a little weird and a lot funny. 

I know that the fake preachers of the world have given good men of God a bad name. I understand that. But we've got to get back to the place where we believe preaching is instruction from God and we desperately want to hear it and apply it! We need to be excited about Bible studies and small group teaching sessions. We're not studying the National Geographic! We're studying the Word of God! Until we fall in love with God's Word again, there'll be no revival.
Isa 51:9 Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old.... 

We must awake from our slumber! Life is about more than our little selves! We must glorify the King of Kings ... Jesus! We must work while it is day; night is coming and no man will be able to.
God bless! 

Do I Have Enough Religion to Love?

Do I Have Enough Religion to Love?

Some people have enough religion to make them hate, but not enough to make them love.

Love should be the driving force of every Christian. In fact, without love we're not Christians.

1Jn 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

We must love God:

Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

But if we do not love men, we cannot say that we love God:

1Jn 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

Being a preacher, demonstrating the love of God is an absolute necessity. If I do not, I have no business preaching in Christ's stead. And that does not mean that the theological subject has to be the love of God, it means that everything taught and preached must be saturated with it. It means that the manner in which I shake the people's hands, hug their necks, the manner in which I listen to their problems (serious or trifle), must be sincere and with the compassion of Christ. God is love and His people are loving.

One of our major problems is pride. I've found myself pushing doctrines because I wanted to be right, not because I wanted men to be saved. The messages were not motivated by love for God and people; they were motivated by a love for myself. May God smite me, and every preacher, when we use the sword as a threshing tool and not a razor sharp instrument of life.

One of the hardest things I had to learn was that those who were trying to convert me over to their false understanding of the Bible were often doing it because they loved me and truly felt I was deceived. So, although they were doctrinally wrong, their motive was right. It softened my heart toward them and made me realize I was attacking people that loved me.

Let us weigh our motives. Why am I saying what I'm saying? Am I trying to prove a point? Will this actually build the kingdom of God? Even if I'm right, will this destroy the weak? Is this the proper venue for such a message? If the love of God and His kingdom are the motivating factors, check yourself again, and then love the people.
God bless!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Home Stretch (America's Days of Darkness)

 The Home Stretch (America's Days of Darkness)
(EXCERPT FROM DAVID WILKERSON'S
"A CALL TO ANGUISH") 
 I write today because my heart carries a heavy burden. I will be brief, but straight to the point.

We are in the home stretch now. You and I are the generation that will see the coming of the Lord. For some, that is a glorious thing, but for the vast majority, that should be the most frightening thing that could be said because they are not ready for what is about to take place in America.

Eschatologically, I lean toward the pretribulation rapture doctrine. This is the idea that the church will be called out of this world into heaven with Christ before the last 7 year period of tribulation and wrath described by Daniel and John the Revelator happens. But this doctrine has seemingly caused men to rest, to be at ease in Zion. They seem to think that nothing tragic can happen in this country. That we will live life in the fast lane and be raptured out of our paradise into God's paradise. This merely reflects the image of their spiritual condition: loose, fast, and not concerned with the eternal. 2000 years ago our Christ told us to lift our heads, watching and praying for His coming, that we would not enter into temptation! The vast majority of people today are not watching and praying for His coming. They are so consumed and have such a love affair with this world, they would probably be disappointed if Christ were to actually take them to heaven to be with Him.

Please, read the words of the Apostle Paul:

2Ti 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE HIS APPEARING. (stress added by author)

I want to warn you, if you are not loving, looking, and praying for His appearing, you will be caught off guard. The crown is laid up exclusively for those that "love His appearing".

A dear friend of mine, a very humble man of God, told me the following occurence. He and his family are much like myself, they travel from church to church preaching the gospel, trying to stir the hearts of God's people, and trying to bring lost men to Christ. They were staying at a church that had an evangelist's quarter and were sleeping there instead of their RV. About two or three that morning, the Spirit woke him, impressing upon his heart the need to go out to his RV and pray. As he knelt, the Spirit came upon him--he was not sure if it was a dream or a vision. When he came to himself, he heard the voice of the Lord saying, "The church is not ready for what is coming upon America".

David Wilkerson (founder of Teen Challenge) has been prophesying the destruction of America for years. The following is a quote from one of those prophesies:

"AN EARTH-SHATTERING CALAMITY IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN. IT IS GOING TO BE SO FRIGHTENING, WE ARE ALL GOING TO TREMBLE - EVEN THE GODLIEST AMONG US. For ten years I have been warning about a thousand fires coming to New York City. It will engulf the whole megaplex, including areas of New Jersey and Connecticut. Major cities all across America will experience riots and blazing fires—such as we saw in Watts, Los Angeles, years ago. There will be riots and fires in cities worldwide. There will be looting—including Times Square, New York City. What we are experiencing now is not a recession, not even a depression. We are under God’s wrath."

These are just a couple of the many prophesies that have been given concerning America over the past few years.

Do I need to remind you of Furguson, Missouri? Baltimore, Maryland? How about Roseburg, Oregon where at least nine college students were shot in the head for being Christian? On and on we could go!

Brothers and sisters, I am nothing. I am a nobody straight out of no where, but I must warn you. God has revealed to me that a great darkness is coming upon this country. A day like we've never seen before and 99% of the church is not ready for it; they will be caught off guard.

It will require more than living an external standard of Christianity. It will require more than going to church and shouting and dancing and leaping in the aisles. We must repent of our sins. We must put off the world. We must come out from among it and be separate (2Co 6:17). We must burn the mid-night oil. We must fast like never before. We must pray that God rend the heavens and come down. We must see revival.

God bless you,
David Lamb

Monday, October 19, 2015

Are You Dealing With Depression?

DEALING WITH DEPRESSION!


DEPRESSION:
feelings of severe despondency and dejection.
Do you ever deal with depression? Me too and, unfortunately, we're not alone. Globally, an estimated 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression. 

That's more people than live in the
United States of America! 

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. More women are affected by depression than men, but we feel it too. And I hate that dark oppressive cloud just like you do, but I've learned a few things about it (and myself) that have helped me to cope.You have a lot to get done, so you don't have time to allow depression to paralyze you!

You'll find the following resources 
attached to this blog post:

1)VIDEO LESSON BY: DAVID LAMB
(DEALING WITH DEPRESSION) 

2) AUDIO LESSON BY: DAVID LAMB
(SOMETIMES I JUST WANT TO DIE)

3) POEM BY: DAVID LAMB
(JOY IN THE MOURNING)

I truly believe you'll find something here 
that will lighten your load!

(Click  link to watch Audio Lesson)



 (Click picture to listen to audio sermon)
Sometimes I Just Want to Die

JOY IN THE MOURNING
(Poem by: David Lamb)

The mind runs to and fro, a thousand places.
Desperately needing, yet rejecting embraces.
Isolated. Hiding in dreary spaces.
Closing your eyes lest you see smiling faces.
Rejecting, not accepting friendly graces.
The joy you had exists only in traces.
You’re scared at night, tears fall, you’re crying within.
When will this pass, when will this agony end?
You hide a bleeding heart behind an empty grin.
You feel alone while surrounded by your friends.
Can my heart be fixed? God will you not come mend?
I need light, love, hope! God, please, your mercy send!
When the heart is heavy the mind will wander.
With a foggy eyed look you stare there yonder.
Looking through a haze when the mind does ponder.
For perpetual darkness the soul grows fonder.
With no point or mark in particular to view.
You tried to disappear into someplace new.
But those places were covered in darkness, too.
And instead of relief, depression only grew.
You die from within, from something you can't explain.
You sleep in the sun, rise through the storm and rain.
You want to get up, but wonder, “Why, what’s to gain?
I’ll only fall again. It’ll only bring more pain.”
If you can hear your own voice speaking these lines,
If you are thinking them now within your tired mind,
Depression has come, my friend, that darkest grind.
You must hold on, have faith in God, His light will shine.
So, you can't give up, regardless of your mourning.
Weeping stays the night, but joy comes in the morning.

YOU ARE NOT SUFFERING ALONE!


Friday, October 16, 2015

The Weary Heart

THE WEARY HEART

I've noticed something among God's people that's somewhat troubling: 
A PERPETUAL WEARINESS.



2Th 3:13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

I've noticed something among God's people that's somewhat troubling: A PERPETUAL WEARINESS. There's a dark cloud that looms over their heads. They are tired. You can see the frustration on their faces. They are merely surviving from day to day. Mothers who feel like pulling their hair out; who weep through the night; trying to make the best of a not so good marriage. Single parents trying to raise children with the ever present feeling they are doing something wrong; who try to catch up, but seemingly are not able to. Fathers who are dying inside; trying to make the best of a not so good marriage; trying to raise children with the ever present feeling they are doing something wrong; trying to make a living in a terrible economy; screaming out for some respect in the house he provides. Young people who are trying to figure out why they can never "do anything right"; trying to cope with peer pressure in a public school setting. It saddens me.

It is not God's will for us to be so weary. Tired? Sure. We all get worn down by life, but I'm talking about something else. You will recognize it because depression is somewhere on its heels. A certain heaviness of heart and looming feeling that you're never going to get back up. If you are there, please listen to me. You are weary because you are doing this in your own strength. You are trying to be a father, mother, husband, wife, employee, church member, etc. in your own power. You must stop because you don't have the resources within yourself. Power belongs to God. Listen to what Jesus said:

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.I want you to notice that Jesus is "the life".

He also said, in St. John 10:10, that He had come to give us life more abundant.

The bottom line? You need to pray through. You need to find your place in Jesus. His name is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and are safe. He is your life. He is your strength; He is your love; He is your joy; He is your peace; He is your smile; He is the skip in your step; but something is restricting the flow of His life giving sap (the Holy Ghost) into your heart and life. He is the vine, you are the branches. Everything that is in Him can flow into you, but for whatever reason it is not. You aren't taking the time to pray through. Praying through? Now, that's a phrase not heard much anymore. What does it mean? It means to pray until you know that you know that you know! It means to pray until you touch Him. It means to pray until you are changed by God's grace and power.

Listen to this:

Lu 9:28 And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. 29 And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.

Prayer altered Christ's countenance; it will alter yours too! Prayer doesn't just change "things", it changes YOU! You need altered. You need to be changed. You need your perspective to be altered. You need to get sick and tired of being sick and tired. You need to get desperate. What would be better? Spend the next 10 years hoping that things will change, or find you a prayer closet, shutting the door behind you with the mind set that you are not coming out until God alters you, until He heals your weary heart; and then leaving that prayer closet a different man or woman? It might by difficult, but it would be well worth it.

Jacob had left his uncle Laban's house. He was on the run from his brother Esau, but more than that, he was coming face to face with who he really was. He caught wind that Esau was coming after him. Esau was going to kill him. Jacob sent his family across the brook Jabbok and then began seeking the face of God. The angel of the Lord came to him and wrestled with him all night. The angel asked Jacob to let him go, but Jacob would not; he wanted changed. He said, "I will not let you go until you bless me." In other words, "I will not let you go until you alter my life and who I have become." Jacob was a weary man. Running from God, and from who God wants you to be, is a frustrating predicament. God did it for Jacob. He touched his flesh and you need God to touch your flesh (the self-life, the Jacob within). God changed him from Jacob to Israel, the Prince; a man who had power with God and men! Prayer altered Jacob and it will alter you too. But it must be real prayer. The kind that latches hold on God and won't let go until . . . Dear readers, Esau would have killed Jacob, but he let Israel live.

The flesh cannot lift flesh. Flesh cannot heal flesh. You must draw nigh to God. You need His strength. You need His life. He alone can heal your weariness! You must be like the hart that panted after the water brook (Ps 42:1). The passage seems to imply more than a brisk run; a casual trek through the woods. This deer was being hunted; perhaps even struck through with a dart. Is that how you feel? Hunted? Struck through with a dart? Run for the water brook! Run for God and don't quit until you find Him! The cool waters of His healing love with lift you. It's what you've been needing all along. The answer belongs in God. Don't take it for granted that the storm you're in will move God, it doesn't. He'll sleep through your storms, but He will rise up when you cry out to Him, "Save me, I perish!" The storm has no chance against a praying saint!May God bless and help you! Be not weary in well doing because you will reap if you don't faint! 


 Be strong in the Lord, in the power of His might.

David Lamb

Thursday, October 15, 2015

BETTERness or BITTERness

HAS PAIN MADE YOU BITTER 
OR BETTER?




Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
 22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. (KJV)

Job 1:21-22 (AMP)
21  And said, Naked (without possessions) came I [into this world] from my mother's womb, and naked (without possessions) shall I depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed (praised and magnified in worship) be the name of the Lord!
22  In all this Job sinned not nor charged God foolishly.
 ______________________________

Take a moment and read the first two chapters of the book of Job. It is an incredible story. In a matter of moments, he lost everything! Satan's attack was thorough and absolutely ruthless! 

Consider this: Satan attacked Job's camels which were Job's means of TRANSPORTATION! Next, he attacked his oxen which typified his OCCUPATION. He plowed his fields with the oxen. The oxen allowed him to grow crops. Next, his sheep were attacked. He sheep also offered his means of INCOME/SUPPORT. Shearing their fleece brought income. Satan then attacked his FAMILY. He lost his ten children. He lost his home. His wife became extremely bitter towards God. Satan did a very thorough job in taking Job's possessions.

How would Job respond? Would he respond like his wife and become bitter or would he allow it to make him better?

JOB CHOSEN BETTERNESS OVER BITTERNESS!

Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
 22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. (KJV)

No one wants to be bitter. It sneaks up on us. Bitterness is unforgiveness fermented. The more we hold onto past hurts the more we become drunk on our pain and the experience can rob us of the joy we can find in anything. Job did some very intentional things to overcome bitterness!

 1. HE DIDN'T BLAME GOD!

Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. 

2. HE KEPT FAITH IN GOD!

Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:

3. HE HELD ON TO HOPE!
  Job 14:14 If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.

 4. HE CHOSE TO FORGIVE!

 Job had three "buddies" that spent a lot of time criticizing him and falsely accusing him of sins he had not committed. It wasn't until Job prayed for those friends that his life took a turn for the better (Job 42:10). You must forgive those that have hurt you! 

You don't have to trust people that aren't trustworthy, but you must forgive them. Forgiveness really isn't for those that have hurt you. Forgiveness is for you! It releases you from the chains of bitterness. Forgiveness liberates you! Ask Jesus to help you forgive. 
No one knows how to forgive like Jesus does!

As long as you are allowing people or situations from the past to control your mind, you are giving them power over you! 

NO ONE BUT GOD SHOULD HAVE THAT TYPE POWER OVER YOU! 


Here are my suggestions for overcoming bitterness:

1.  Forgive
Forgiveness does not mean "fake it 'til you make it"! It is not pretending everything is “OK.”  It doesn’t mean forgetting the hurt either. According to St. Augustine, forgiveness is simply the act of surrendering our desire for revenge; that is, our desire to hurt someone for having hurt us.   Forgiveness is the gift we give ourselves that enables us to stop picking at the scab and start making a plan for healing.

2. Make a plan
Forgiveness allows you to free up the energy you need to begin healing the wound. Your time isn't spent hating, it's spent healing! If the person who hurt you is willing to work with you, begin mapping out exactly what changes or effort you would need to see from that person to let you know that it is safe to reconcile. If you are on your own, focus your energy on making a plan for how you will strive to regain as much of what was lost/taken from you as possible. The more you strive to find alternative ways to recoup your losses, the less bitter you will feel even if the hurt persists.  It can be tempting to give into feelings that “there’s nothing I can do”  but resist the temptation. 

3.  Stop Dwelling and Retelling
When we are hurt, we have a tendency to turn the painful events over and over in our head or tell anyone who will listen about our pain–even over and over again. This seems to be a means of releasing pent up frustrations. It is fine to talk to people we think can help us heal the hurt, facilitate reconciliation or help us rebuild our lives, but other than that, we should do what we can to stop dwelling on the story of our injury ourselves and stop speaking of it so freely to others. When we are tempted to “dwell or retell” the best course of action is to refocus on what we can do–TODAY–to take at least some small step toward refining or actualizing the plan we’ve developed in Step 2. The more you are focused on solutions, the less you will experience the sense of powerlessness that comes from ruminating on the hurt. I know I am healing from a hurt when I stop rehashing it all of the time!

4.  Seek Grace
It can be next to impossible to heal some wounds without God’s grace. Bitterness causes us to shun God’s grace in favor of obsessing over the wound. We try to use our anger as a weapon. We feel it gives us strength, but it is actually eating away at us from the inside. If you are holding on to bitterness I encourage you to confess it to a close confidant (Jas 5:16). Please don’t be insulted by the suggestion. I know that you are the victim and you have a right to your pain. Still, holding on to anything except God’s love, mercy and healing grace separates from God and the life He wants us to have. Confession can open your heart to receive the healing that Christ wants to give you. It can help you surrender the pain and powerlessness and begin to discover new options. Stop hoarding your hurt. Make your desire for healing official by taking your tendency to dwell in the powerlessness to God first!

  Seek the grace of God to lay it down! 



 Peace, love, hope!