Saturday, December 24, 2016
When I was a Student pastor one of the highlights of my year was to attend the Youth Specialties Conferences. It was a time where I could fellowship with other Ministers, and gain some fresh perspectives on how to approach my Ministry. Each day there were breakout seminars on various topics of interest from some of the top names in Student Ministry. One seminar I always attended was from former Student Pastor and author Barry St Clair. Barry was one of the few I met that had a great perspective on the balance of Evangelism and Discipleship. In one of those years Barry shared and illustration, and I started a tradition in my life that I hope to continue to the end.
He came in that day and asked "What is the hardest substance in the world"? Well immediately about 8 people called out "A Diamond"! Barry looked at us and said "No its not a diamond. The hardest substance in the world is Fruity Pebbles". We all looked at him amusement, as he went on to explain his theory. He said that every morning he ate Fruity Pebbles, he loved them. He went on to say that he noticed there are always a few of them floating in the bowl after he finished and that led him to a choice. If he immediately went to the sink and rinsed the bowl it made washing the bowl a snap. However if he just let the fruity pebbles sit then during the day the sun would come up and shine through the window and bake those same fruity pebbles into an impenetrable substance! He's right. You can pull your fingernail off trying to get that thing off the bowl. It takes a jackhammer to do the clean up!
Barry continued. "It's like that with sin in our lives. Its amazing how much easier it is to deal with it immediately. The longer we let it sit the harder it becomes." The easier it is to let it stay there and turn into a set in hard mess. I have found that to be so true in my life. The Bible tells us to confess our sins because He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us all from our unrighteousness. There is nothing like the feeling of being clean. Im at least a 2 shower a day guy. I love to sit under the water and let the grime of life wash away. So I decided to do that in my life.
I started a Christmas tradition that I have never told anyone about. I find an empty church one afternoon during the holidays (doesn't have to be a church) and I sit and I confess any sin I can remember. I simple sit under shower of the grace and mercy of God and come clean! Being cleansed from your sins is a feeling that people who don't know Christ cannot understand. When I come clean with God, I usually sit and listen to playlist of Christian songs until time to go.
Christmas is about Forgiveness. The first Christmas is where God initiated and began His plan for you and I to come clean. I want to encourage you to do that this Christmas season. Find His forgiveness. Come clean! Don't let those Fruity Pebbles sit.
Friday, July 8, 2016
On another tragic day in the life of this nation, I am reminded and even warned again that I need to be in prayer. I sincerely believe that the only hope for a country that judgement has been declared on is found in Jonah chapter 3. Repent and call urgently on God.
Prayer is mentioned so many times in the Bible, and yet so very many professing Christians do not pray. We know we should, we are supposed to, its the right thing to do, we just don't do it.
For many (I would say most) Christians, asking them to pray for an hour seems daunting. So I put together this quick guide to help you.
How to pray for this country for an Hour:
10 minutes: Still yourself and read Jonah chapter 3. Ask God to still you, and show you what He wants in this passage.
10 minutes: Spend some time confessing your sin. (Sin is anything God is displeased with). Repent from it and turn towards God. If you can't remember them ask God to show them to you.
10 Minutes: Spend this time praying for Our President and our leaders. Whether you agree with them or not. Call out to God to grant them Wisdom in leading. Ask God to give them a heart for him. Earnestly plead for their repentance (turning away from sin and towards God)
10 Minutes: Spend this time praying for the families of those who were shot. In this shooting and all the others. Call them by name. Plead for their comfort, salvation, and restoration.
10 Minutes: Spend this time asking God for a Great Awakening of true spiritual Revival. Confess the sins of our country, our ancestors (yes that Biblical), and anything God brings to you Mind.
10 Minutes: As God to grow you spiritually. To bring genuine Revival in your own life. To find, know, and develop the gifts He has given you when He put His Spirit in you. Ask God to burden you to continually pray. To seek His face not just what he can do for you.
You have spent an hour in prayer.
Do this!! Share this!! Pray to God while He may be found!