Archive for category missions

Take the Five-Minute Challenge

The Five-Minute Challenge

I discovered this video and the challenge just a few minutes ago.  I dare you to click the link above to watch the video, and I double-dog dare you to take the challenge…. join me and a world of others who dare to make a difference through prayer!

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Borrowed Blog Post

In checking my Twitter account this morning before work, I came across this energizing and encouraging post from South Carolina Pastor Perry Nobles.  I am so jazzed, I stole (I mean I borrowed) it.  Read it- I pray it energizes you for Christ as it energized me!

HE IS AWESOME…HIS CHURCH SHOULD BE AS WELL! May 5, 2010

From time to time in reading the Bible a verse or particular passage of Scripture will LEAP off the page at me and consume my mind…

Recently it has been II Chronicles 2:5

Solomon had a vision…it was to build something to show the world that his God was different, that He was greater and more powerful than any other “god” on the planet.

Honestly, I believe church leaders should have THAT SAME PASSION…to work as hard as we can to build a work that SCREAMS to the world that our God is different…that He is GREATER than all other “gods.”

With that in mind I am specifically praying for 15 things for the church…

#1 – That our church services would be a reflection of the fact that Jesus is alive, not dead!

#2 – That leaders would take what we do seriously and not EVER allow things to slip into cruise control.

#3 – That we will understand that the creative potential in HIS CHURCH is greater than the creative potential in the world!  Disney created a mouse…GOD created the Grand Canyon…HE HAS THE TRUMP CARD!

#4 – That we would have a heart for the same things that God has a heart for!

#5 – That we would meet people where they are and actually answer questions that they are asking rather than thinking they actually want to know more about where the Hittites came from!

#6 – That we would challenge people with God’s truth instead of worrying about how many people MAY get offended.

#7 – That our view of God will INCREASE…because the GREATER we see that He is the GREATER things we will attempt in His name.  (People who have small vision often have a small view of God.)

#8 – That we will STOP doing church for the already convinced and begin doing it for those who are far away from God.

#9 – That we would embrace an Acts 15:19 mindset by NOT giving people a list of rules but rather teach them how to have an active, vibrant relationship with a HOLY GOD!

#10 – That the church would actually begin to minister to “one another” rather than depending on “paid professionals” to do it all.

#11 – That our agenda would be Jesus and HIS KINGDOM and not a particular political party.

#12 – That we would model John 13:34-35 to a world that is ALWAYS changed when they see these verses in action!

#13 – That we would reject the notion that God deserves “just enough” and instead we would offer Him the very best we’ve got!

#14 – That we would STOP looking for a formula but rather seek God and HIS agenda for our church!

#15 – That we would spend LESS time declaring what we’re against and more time living out WHO we are for!

He is a GREAT GOD…far greater than ANYONE or ANYTHING on this planet.  And we as the church are called to point other people to that greatness…and I think our church services are a great place to begin displaying that truth to the world.  (Yes, it DOES go beyond the doors of the church…but it has to start somewhere!!!)

Thank you, Perry Nobles.  I hope to meet you someday…..

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Playing Not to Lose

For as long as I can remember, I have harbored a private, deep-seated and closely hidden fear.  This fear is so debilitating, and I know many people who suffer from it.  It changes the course of the future for many people.  The hidden fear?

The fear of failure.

“Really?” you ask.  “Failure?  Really?”

Really.  Fear of failure has kept many people from taking risks of any size that might lead to less-than-acceptable results.  So, we just don’t take the risk.  As a matter of fact, many people live their lives in a fashion similar to how some athletic teams perform during playoffs and stressful situations- playing, not to win, but playing not to lose.

I am realizing that it is no longer enough for me to risk just enough of myself that still guarantees some success, or at least, a neutral result.  I’ve done that long enough.  I am learning to put myself out there, to try different things, to risk reputation, comfort, and success, to be all that God has called me to be. 

It isn’t just a matter of being shy; it is a matter of faith.  And my faith tells me that as I follow Christ, I will be asked from time to time to follow where I cannot see the path; to speak where I cannot see the benefit; and to love when there is nothing at all to be gained.

I no longer want to safely play not to lose.  I want to get about the business of living; of taking risks for the Kingdom; and leaving the results to God.  Facing failure eye to eye, and working up a big spit for it.  And while my knees my knock and my palms may sweat, I will take the risk.  I will play to win.

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Dangerous


I recently participated in a concert tour of the middle east.  In a major newspaper in the capital city of Yerevan, Armenia, our group was called, “dangerous”.  

At the time, we had a good laugh about that.  We knew that a group of country boys from Oklahoma held no threat of danger at all to the Armenian people.  We were simply singing songs, enjoying the atmosphere, and enjoying the people.  We had great fun!  And the food- oh, my…. being dangerous to the people of Armenia was never a thought in our minds.
After having some time to reflect on that trip, I no longer think that being called dangerous is humorous.  Actually, I am a little embarrassed now.  Think about it-  in that remote country, western culture is still strong, along with a prevailing European influence.  There, I am dangerous- dangerous as in representing a spiritual authority that challenges the local high priests and religious traditions.  Here, I am successful.  I am comfortable.  I am one of the priests and part of the religious tradition.  But I am not dangerous.
What’s wrong with this picture?  Yes, our religious liberties are much more open and free in our American culture than Armenia.  Our traditions of religious freedom and the core beliefs of those freedoms go back to the founding of this nation.  It is easy to serve a church in our culture.  I get all that.  But I am no longer comfortable with the idea that our American culture has all the practical and spiritual answers for existing in and influencing a spiritual culture.  In fact, we are becoming more like Eastern European cultures that give influence to the “c”hurch, without giving enough concern to the “C”hurch.
My concern is this- what am I doing to make me spiritually dangerous in this religious culture?I don’t think anyone would consider me to have any impact at all on the spiritual culture in America, Oklahoma, Tulsa, or even this church.  The bother of that leads me to some questions:
1) Should the religious culture be challenged to the point that I become known as dangerous?
2) To whom should I be a danger?
3) To whom should I not be a danger?
4) What amount of risk am I willing to take in becoming dangerous?
5) What are the consequences of becoming spiritually dangerous?
6) What are the benefits of becoming spiritually dangerous?
7) What does a spiritually dangerous person look like?
All questions to ponder and pray over while seeking guidance from the scriptures.  I don’t want to be an “also-ran” Christian…. I want to be dangerous!

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