As i wrote down the vision, i remember considering a number of things. But one item real struck me, The battle is already won, the army is being called. It is now time to decide will you go and be a part or not. With that said, i am careful not to place the term "interpretation" on that thought, i will blame that on me processing the obvious that is happing in our lives. As you read if the Lord gives you something i would appreciate your thoughts as well. PEACE
Sunday, June 28, 2009
This morning, our family partook in worship at Fellowship Bible as we do most Sundays. As we entered the second song, I began to have a vision. As a church we were singing the chorus "Worthy is the Lamb", and there before me appeared a map of the U.S. As I focused in on the map I remember paying more attention to the eastern half of the U.S. The Lamb appeared somewhere around the Nashville area and began to walk up I-40 and I-81 towards the Northeast U.S. As he walked he became The Lion and stopped somewhere around the Philly/Baltimore area. His destination was not the main focus, so i cannot be sure of location. What was significant was when he stopped, he sat up in a very victorious stance and roared 3 times. The growls were a battle call and the army of the Lord was being called there. He stood triumphantly as the battle was already won. Just as quickly as this all happened the image faded away, and i began to write.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Yesterday, Justus and I returned from camp with Grassland Heights Baptist Church (and guests Christ Church Columbia). What a great week we had! I had the honor of speaking and pastoring the camp, while my buddy Jerry Davis, the Youth Pastor at Grassland, served as the camp director. The team of adults at this camp were amazing, and really poured their lives out on the lives of the students attending.
Our theme for the week was TAPROOT. Our desire to dig deep
into the things of Jesus, dealing with the things behind, so that in time we could create momentum in our lives to Tap our roots deep in the Rock of Jesus, living in today and moving to the future for His glory. Yeah that's a mouth full, but it happened.
Each day we focused on what it meant to be the family of God, and the reality that we "need" the people of God around us, and in our lives. In this world of acceptance we found our identity in Christ, and that the blood of the Lamb and our Testimony are enough to change the world around us.
Like any camp i have been involved in, the students were divided into teams consistent with the theme of the camp. So that during each part of camp there was a smaller family there to be with them through the process. Each day we worked through many opportunities of "lecture and lab", in doing so we not only talked about what it looks like to live in Jesus, we practiced it together.
As i stated earlier, Justus joined me with for the camp. He did a great job being a part of the
family. The students and adult leaders were so gracious to him as he
joined us for each part of camp. Justus got to spend allot of time with my brothers, Carlos and Lamar. Each day as i would
head to be with Jesus, and make sure i was prepped for the evening services, Justus would hang out with them. They were a huge blessing to me, as they loved on him.
Camp was held on the Barefoot Republic campus in Scottsville, KY. It is their first year to have summer camps on their grounds. And we happened to fall in an off week, where their camps www.barefootrepublic.org, were on break. The campus has so many great amenities that created awesome moments for our camp. Here are a few; Barren Lake, The Treehouses, Disc Golf Course, and the Amphitheater. Speaking of the Amphitheater, on Tuesday and Thursday nights we held our evening worship services there. WOW, really, WOW. What a cool thing to watch the sun go down in the midst of worship and then look up and see the stars above as you are singing to the King, in the midst of His creation. Thursday night, we worshipped with only the light of TIKI torches, and after 2 hours of Lecture, Lab and Worship. The students began to spontaneously share what God had been up to in their lives, and what He was putting together that week. An hour later, after 16+ students testified. We all realized that we had been in the midst of what must look something like the original Antioch church services early in the NT. Three hours had gone so fast, and God had done so much. We just had to praise Him!!
As we packed up yesterday we finished with serving communion to one another. Only God knows what he has planned for the GHBC and CCC youth groups. What i can tell you is that a few huge TAPROOTs were placed in the Rock of Jesus, in each churches group; (1) Our need for Family - "who is my mother, brother, sister? Those who do the will of my Father" (2)We are all identified with Christ, and accepted as part (3) Jesus and our Testimony can reach the world - For God is not slow to keep His promise, as we understand slowness, He is patient, desiring none to be lost, that all would come to repentance.
What an honor to be a part, what a great God we serve. I will watch with expectation to see what Jesus is up to in these lives in the days to come. PS, you are all welcome to join us for a recap this Sunday Night at Grassland Heights Baptist Church, in Nashville at 6pm. There will be worship, Testimony, Family Time, and oh yeah, whole made Ice Cream.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Over the last 2 days i have had the great joy of having my 2 boys by me just about every moment of every day. Jess is getting ready for her first year of Art Exploration Camp, so I have been on major daddy duty. As i should, i want to pause and recognize my wife and all full time moms, and the extraordinary amount of patience they have been given by the Lord. Needless to say over the past 2 days though loving the time with my boys, my ability to extend them the grace they need as a 18month, and 4 year old is something i have to work at constantly, it is definitely not natural.
I want to key in on two moments that have defined all that summer is setting up to be. The first
happened yesterday as Justus and I were playing outside, we both
realized my foot was better and it was time for bike riding. So after lunch, the 3 of us (J,N, and me) headed to a park on Concord Rd, to give Justus plenty of room to try out his bike. This was his first real ride since he got his bike for his birthday and it was way over due. Best of all he did great. He was hungry to figure it out, and the land had just enough slope and hill that he had to practice all skills on his bike, but still accomplish a number of small victories on his first try. At one point one of his pedals fell off, and he just laughed it off. Well if you know my head strong, highly emotional son, this too was a big deal he was living in the moment and enjoying the ride. What a great moment we had been blessed with, awesome summer weather. A new bike to break in, even Nate loved it as he giggled on the path as we tried to keep up with Justus while pushed his
stroller. As we headed home, Justus and i decided that we would need to do the bike thing again soon. So today we took the boys and Jess to the park, and he did even better. It is a wild thing to consider all the "rights of passage" my son continues to go through at such a young age. I am so honored to have this time in my life where i can be right there for all of them.
The second moment to mention also occurred at the park today. However it is about another one of my boys Lamar. Lamar has been a student under the ministries i serve in since he was in 6th grade. In a lot of ways. I am as close to a Father as Lamar has truly had. In a sense, ourchurch was his father, i was just one of a few that played the hands and feet, often. Lamar and I have gone everywhere together, camps, mission trips (Africa), ball games, he has grown leaps and bounds in our time together. He is now a 2nd year college student, getting ready to start playing ball for Vol State in Nashville. I began to tell Lamar's story today to a friend that teaches special education at McGavok High. Lamar's story needed to be told to him, to encourage him that some of the at risk kids we run into do make it past age 27 (Ps, that is the national life expectancy of Special Needs (no autism) students in our country, that is not acceptable). Fortunately there are men like Danny willing to pass on a promotion to make sure those kids have a chance. Back to Lamar, he has never known a consistent parent home growing up. By 12 he settled in with his grandparents, and survived that time, graduating from high school and excelling his first year of college. As Lamar continues to find ways to figure out what it means to be a man, i have often prayed for him that the Lord would put together a way for him to spend quality time with other African American couples that are dearly in love with Jesus. Then this summer that opportunity has come together. Lamar has accepted a position with Barefoot Republic this summer, a camp that will have those sort of possible influencers in his life for 6 separate weeks. I am praying that the Lord will bring him some new found wisdom and relationships that will continue him on his amazing path.
Which brings me to summer time. What an amazing time to live, to enjoy the heat and the ability to be outdoors in it. I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store. More to come on this end i am sure....
Thursday, June 4, 2009
This morning, i had one of those "only God could arrange this" experiences. I met a young man that i am extremely proud of named PJ for breakfast. PJ believes the Lord has called him into ministry, specifically in the area of ministering to students, so we decided to spend some time over pancakes at IHOP discussing what that means.
As we got into our meal, our waitress was very attentive to our discussion. She finally asked where my smile came from, so i told her, i was smiling because all that Jesus has done in our world, referencing my life and PJ's. Now Mounie struck me very unique from the beginning, she had an Indian (India) background and was in her late 50's early 60's. In some ways she fit the build of the type of person you would expect to be your server at IHOP. In other ways however, there was a deep need in her world that i could not shake.
As i answered Mounie's question, and gave Jesus glory, something seemed to fall off of her. She welled up with joy, and said, i knew it, i know it was the Lord Jesus. Turns out Mounie is a sister in Christ, who converted from Hinduism when her husband passed away 14 years ago. She gave PJ and i a brief understanding of who she was, and then asked us to keep her son's in prayer. We assured her of such prayers. Then i asked her if we could pray for her, which we did. She grabbed my arm like any grandmother would do of her grandson, which admittedly just about melted me. As PJ and I laid our hands on her and prayed in the restaurant, in the background i heard another server say "What the hell is that." Such opposition just made me smile, no devil, there are no restrictions to where we will pray for our sister, so "get thee behind me." in the mighty name of Jesus.
Mounie continued to stop by throughout the rest of our time at IHOP and as we left, she thanked PJ and I for coming in. We reminded her that she is never alone, God is always with her. We both spoke a few scriptures over her to encourage her and gave her hugs to remind her the body of Christ is truly all around. It is my hope that each of you get a moment with the Mounie's that serve you your meals today, and that you will commit to pray for her and them in your day to come.
Man God's timing and plan blows my mind, peace.