In recent months I haven’t felt compelled to write. I love writing. I haven’t felt much like praying either and I love praying.
Today we visited some friends of ours at their church. Our friends brother was preaching (evangelist – we really dont’ see a lot of true evangelist any more) and she invited us. So we attended our church and then their’s (because we try not to skip our church – do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together). Hopefully, what I say next will not offend anyone. The church they attend is pretty small compared to what I am accustom to. What I am accustom to is excellence, perfection, you could even say the “wow” factor. I am used to churches with media; lights, sound systems, screens, technology. There is nothing wrong with that. This church is still “starting out”. As we were enjoying worship this morning I began to think about why we keep visiting this church. I have lots of friends who attend different churches that I very seldom visit. This church is not fancy. Nothing about it would be considered opulent or spectacular or even cutting edge. The simplicity of it all is conducive to the Holy Spirit. There is freedom in worship but it is small enough that everyone (anyone who is looking) would see you. They are pretty much out of space. There is no Sunday school program for the kids, so they are in the service, sometimes walking around. The message is the Bible. Sometimes you look up 20 or (today 30 ) scriptures. After service, people hang around. There are lots of hand shakes and lots of hugs (I think that is why Dennis likes to visit). They are still small enough that they are a family. (Which reminds me of something T.D. Jakes said on a CD that pastor gave the leaders to listen to he said as your church grows, in order for it to work, it will have to become less of a “family” and more of an “army”. Which the army has some similar aspects as a family but with a militant attitude – that last part was me-hey, I said this would be random). The point is, God isn’t always in what we think He’s in. He doesn’t need or (I think) want our concert worship, so much as He desires authenticity.
Why does God skip over some of the larger churches and come to a small gathering of believers with one keyboard and one guitar (not even any drums-how can we even raise our hands without drums??)? Because it’s not about all that…it’s the heart that counts. Simplify.
Which leads me to another though. So I have started writing again. It has started in a place that it started to begin with. It started with writing letters; notes really. Last week I wrote a few notes to friends who helped us out last month. Which made me think of something I am going to do for the servolution (I’m not going to tell what it is)…but it involved writing some letters.
At a Promisegroup we attended recently we talked about the subject of Spiritual gifts. And someone said they had gifts that “come and go” which I said isn’t true because the Word says “the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29) which means, once He gives them He doesn’t take them back. God is NOT an indian giver (is that politically incorrect these days?). I concede that sometimes a gift can lay dormant for a while.
Which takes me back to the writing thing. I tend to be a hyper critical person in some ways. (maybe on our next “Game On” that will be my bad habit to break-or perhaps I should just work on it) So I am not one to “hand out” complements. If I happen to complement ( someone, it is true. I don’t make things up. I think I used to be an exhorter. The memories seem vague but still there that at one time, I encouraged people. Awaken gift!!! (just going to go ahead and speak to that) Actually, I’ve been feeling that stirring in me.
Tonight I read a posting by my Bishop (Bishop Phillips will always be “my Bishop”). He said that he felt that he did not preach well today; basically that he failed. So I felt compelled to write a note to him. He wrote me back a personal note…always encouraging. Recently, I had thought about some things at Promiseland from when I was growing up. We always take things for granted. Almost everyone does it. Maybe it’s human nature. We acclimate. If we attend an anointed church, we will eventually acclimate to the anointing there. We are not as sensitive to the Holy Spirit as someone who walks in who isn’t accustom to the anointing. We become accustom to the man of God who does most of the preaching (that is why they bring in “special speakers” – to raz everyone up a bit and who doesn’t love to hear some Bro. Kevin Neland?). Today I quoted Bishop to some of the young singles. I find that I quote the Bishop quiet a bit. Why? Because if you attend a church for years and years and years, you hear some things over and over. You know, those things that your pastor says over and over, are many times what you need to hear echoing in your hear in your darkest day. Bishop always says “Pray”. You will always hear some or all of the following at Promiseland, “Come early and visit the prayer room. Pray. Intercessory Prayer is on Thursdays in the ****. Early Morning prayer is Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m.” This is not an exageration…we got tired of hearing about prayer and prayer meetings (wow, he is sooo Moses and we are so the despondent children of Israel sometimes). Bishop always appreciated the intercessors. Not over the pulpit necessarily but every time he would see you he would say ,”Thank you for your prayers”. Aknowleged. Appreciated. That and the fact that he prays (always led by example) make him a leader people are willing to serve and follow.
I used to work on 51st street (one random thought leads to another) and I would frequently go Promiseland and spend my lunch or right after work in the prayer garden. So many times while I was in that room (divided by a brick 1/2 wall) I would hear the Bishop come in and walk around on the other side praying. I would never see him and he would not know anyone was there…he doesn’t just talk about prayer – he prays. That’s not to say I need to see or hear my pastor to know that he does it. It’s just a testimony of a great man I know. There are no shortcuts in the Kingdom. If you want to be great, spend time with the ONE who is great. Greatness comes from reflecting the One with whom you spend time.
As you can see, I felt like writing and it came swiftly and rushed in and there was volumes to write. But that’s all for tonight (oh no, now I am rhyming – that’s not right). Good night.