Senin, 22 Februari 2010
Either Heaven or Hell
By Francis Frangipane www.frangipane.org
Since the massive 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, news images of the apocalyptic destruction have stirred intense prayer in me for Haiti. I know I am not alone. I'm convinced that, worldwide, multitudes have been similarly compelled to pray for Haiti. Consider: its capitol city, Port-au-Prince, experienced the deaths of over 225,000 people. This staggering natural disaster is the worst to hit the Americas in recorded history.
We must keep the focus of Haiti in our prayers. If we fail to respond appropriately, certainly hell itself will swallow up this nation. Conversely, when a great need, such as exists currently in Haiti, is answered by great prayer, great things will eventually occur. Thus, I believe the potential for significant breakthroughs exists in Haiti's future, even the hope of a spiritual awakening.
Yes, we have all heard of the voodoo and the curses upon Haiti - and I will offer some thoughts about this in my next mailing - but let me assure you there is a church in Haiti with whom the Lord is pleased. Indeed, even as we beheld the great devastation, and as we saw inconsolably distraught Haitians sitting with their dead and dying, there was something else to witness in this disaster. Against the backdrop of severe national trauma, media cameras turned toward another group of Haitians. These were people of faith, Haitian Christians. Their hands and faces uplifted, singing hymns of praise to God. In absolute defiance of their hellish circumstances, we saw men, women and children worshiping the Almighty.
I was so proud of my Haitian brothers and sisters in Christ; at the same time, I was also deeply humbled by the depth of their character. Those who were, perhaps, considered "last" in the eyes of man, God has esteemed and lifted as first. He has showcased their faith. Their remarkable trust in Him has become an unceasing witness of God's grace to the world, both the saved and unsaved. I cannot remember seeing anything more powerful in recent years.
So let us honor and thank God for the Haitian Christians for their obedience to Christ. Let us also thank God for the small army of first responders who have fearlessly and compassionately committed themselves to Haiti's redemption.
Finally, to all, in our world of rapidly changing priorities, let us not allow our hearts to soon forget the people of Haiti. This is an urgent hour. We must stand in the gap until victory rises from the ashes of this devastation. Please keep giving, but give in faith that God will bring a great awakening to these people. Keep praying, but pray with vision that godly leaders will arise, and that integrity and wisdom will preside over the rebuilding of Haiti. Yes, let us pray for God's will to be done on earth, in Haiti, as it is in Heaven, for either Heaven or hell will manifest on Haiti's streets.
Minggu, 07 Februari 2010
Giant Number Five - "Hidden Agenda"
By Bob Mumford www.lifechangers.org
These men are hidden reefs in your love feasts. Jude 12
Hidden Agendas are covered with words of peace and a heart of criticism. Similar to a snowball covered rock, it appears to be one thing, but when it unexpectedly hits someone, they are devastated. With this Giant in operation, we lie in ambush with undisclosed motives, watching for weakness and vulnerability, ready to spring the trap, which has been disguised and then set with lies or half-truths. We hide one thing in our hearts while proclaiming another. This Giant is a user; it seeks to use life, people, and every event for the express purpose of advancing our own interests.
In our day, hidden agendas are found everywhere–in social relationships, in politics, on television, and in the pulpit. Of the Seven Giants, Hidden Agenda may be the most destructive to relationships because it destroys unity and joy, violates trust and relational well-being, and sows seeds of rejection and suspicion. A hidden agenda is making up your mind before you go into a council meeting, then sitting through the whole meeting creating the impression that there is unity in the decision-making process. This is dishonoring to others. If we are only seeking someone’s approval for what we have already decided, we have a hidden agenda. Often the agenda itself is cloaked in Bible verses. This helps us see the ubiquitous nature of eros reappearing in ways that only God Himself can detect and destroy.
Some hidden agendas are overt, short term, and obvious; others are subtle, complex, and elaborate and may take years to play out. Judas Iscariot had a hidden agenda. Sayings like “all that glitters is not gold” show the prevalence of Hidden Agenda. When I was teaching at San Quentin Prison, an inmate once referred to Hidden Agenda as “sub-tile trickeration.”
The apostle Paul isolates three hidden agendas: “Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” Hidden agendas are maneuvered, cultivated, and nourished in secret, clandestine and often self-deceiving ways. Once engaged, we cannot rest until and unless our hidden agenda has been accomplished. Hidden Agenda requires cultivating negative agreements against others, especially the one who is the target of the agenda. Quietly and efficiently, Hidden Agenda carries out character assassinations through negative agreement.
Analogous conduct of Hidden Agenda: subterfuge, wile, fraud, conniving, cunning, guile, crooked, perverse, twisted, calculating, devious, crafty, manipulative, shrewd, trickery, self-preservation, and double-minded.
QUESTIONS & THOUGHTS
• Describe an experience where you encountered someone with a Hidden Agenda. How did you feel?
• Why do you think Hidden Agenda is the most destructive to relationships?
• Explain how someone would use Bible verses to cover their own hidden agenda.
Jumat, 05 Februari 2010
Oiling the Rusty Parts
There are times when your life feels like a piece of machinery that has become rusty over time. You know that there is a potential for power inside of you, but it seems that each time you step out, that you cannot do what you once did.
You look at your past and the things that you accomplished before and you wonder where the fire and ability went. You consider the experiences that you had in my spirit and the joy you felt and you yearn to have these once again.
My child I have not forsaken you! I have not taken my anointing away from you. You have simply allowed these things of power to become rusted over time. It does not mean that these things no longer work, you have just not put them into practice for some time now.
So as you are looking to me now to rise up once again and to experience my presence once again, you must start turning those things that have become old. Come back in my presence child and let my oil pour over you again.
Come and let me show you the way. Start now by taking your eyes off yourself and looking to others. As you begin to pour out again, the water of life that is inside of you will begin to flow again. For far too long now you have looked only at your own needs and conflicts. This has caused your spirit to dry up and my anointing to wane in your life.
If you hunger to sense my power again, then pour out to others! As you reach out your hand in love, my anointing will come once again and you will feel life in your bones. The rusty parts that have been dormant will begin to turn and they will resonate with a new life in your spirit.
So begin now by submitting to me and then look and see who you can pour out to. Slowly and quickly you will feel that stirring in your spirit again and you will be reminded of the joy you once felt in my presence. Come child and tap into the blessing that I have for you.