Declarations

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I am still listening to the Orange Revival from Elevation Church.  Normally, I just listen to the podcasts.  This is a great message so I am sharing a link.  Elevation Church graciously shared (for Free)  each night’s service.  I haven’t listened to all of these messages yet but Joyce Meyer’s message and Christine Caine’s messages are worth taking the time to listen to as well.

Orange Conference Craig Groeschel

At the end of this message, Craig Groeschel shares a list of declarations that he says each morning.  These are good, so I am typing them up.

  • Jesus is first in my life.
  • I love my spouse and will lay down my life to serve her/him.
  • My children will love God and serve Him with their whole hearts.
  • I will nurture, equip, train and empower them to do more for His kingdom than they can think or imagine.
  • I love people and believe the best about others.
  • I am disciplined.
  • Christ in me is stronger than the wrong desires in me.
  • I am growing closer to Jesus every day.
  • Because of Jesus my family is closer, by body is stronger, my faith is deeper, and my leadership is sharper.
  • I am anointed, empowered and equipped to reach people far from God.
  • I am creative, innovative, driven, blessed beyond measure because the Holy Spirit dwells within me.
  • I develop leaders.  It is not what I do, it is who I am.
  • My thoughts and imaginations are under the power of Christ.  I take thoughts captive to be obedient to Christ.
  • I wake up with purpose, direction, and meaning every day of my life.
  • Pain is my friend.  I rejoice in suffering because Christ suffered for me.
  • I bring my best and then some.  It is what happens after my best that glorifies God.
  • The world will be different and better because I serve Jesus today.

I have been thinking about a 90 day challenge our pastor put forward on Sunday.   Making some declarations (maybe these or some version of these) would be a good place to start.

He ended his message by having us say, “Let me see what God can do through me.”  The message meshed so well with our pastor’s (Harry Fleming, City Chapel at Slaughter Creek click on the link to listen) message on Sunday.  Sometimes the small changes we make in our lives lead to the biggest changes.  Let’s do something and “let’s see what God can do through us.”

 

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Safe vs. Good

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As we step out of a place that has been very safe for us I have had this in my head…a quote from Narnia (C.S. Lewis’ classic book).

Lucy:  “I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”

“That you will, dearie, and no mistake” said Mrs Beaver; “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”

“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.

“Safe?” said Mr Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.

Of course Aslan represents Jesus.  Is Jesus safe?  Of course He isn’t safe.  But He’s good.  He’s the King, I tell you.

There are seasons in our life when we need “safe” but most of the time God’s heart for us is not that we feel safe but that we know His goodness.

Several of our friends who are transitioning to plant City Chapel at Slaughter Creek are giving up their jobs, the positions they have held in at their church(es) for many years, paid positions as staff pastors.  They are walking out of a job into nothing right now.  No back up plan…just,” God told us to plant a church”.  While that is scary as hell for a man with a family it is also just the opportunity for God to show Himself good; to showoff His goodness.

Psalm 23 says, “goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life”.  It’s time for goodness and mercy to overtake some folks.

I often say, “everyone wants to see God’s miracles but no one wants to be in the position to need a miracle.”  Think about it.  We want to see God heal but no one wants to be sick.  We would like to see an amputee regrow a limb but no one wants to lose an arm.  We want to see a financial miracle but no one wants to lose a job.  We want to see cancer healed but no one wants to have cancer and no wants anyone in their family to have cancer.  We want all the good with none of the risk.

God’s Kingdom isn’t safe.

I’ve often heard…and I believe Ruthanne Garlock said this at the prayer retreat, “God is more interested in your character than your comfort.”  I think of it like this…God is more interested in you learning to trust Him, believe in Him, believe in His goodness than He is in your comfort.”

Do you believe in the best things about God when you are at your lowest point?  

There was a time when I quit a very nice (say “safe”) job in Texas and moved to Alabama (say “no job”) because God told me to.  The first year was…let’s say “not great”.  My electricity got turned off and I had credit card companies calling me.  Some days the only people I talked to (because I had no friends) were the credit card people (Yes, I’ve discovered Dave Ramsey).  I was working at a temp job while praying for a real job in my field. You see, I was a system analyst who worked on computers but Mobile, Alabama isn’t exactly a techie mecca.   I continued to pay my tithes.  I got my check, paid my tithes and paid the rest of the money to the electric bill but the electric company wouldn’t turn it back on because it wasn’t the full amount owed.  It would take another week for me to get the money to get the electric turned on.  I laid on the floor in my semi-dark apartment (early evening) and cried out to God (say “threw a tantrum on the floor”).  I asked God, “Did you bring me out here to die?”  and He said, “Yes.  Some things have to die.”  Not exactly what I wanted to hear.  What did it grow in me?  Two things.  1. I am so sympathetic to people who have had their electricity turned off.  They can come shower at my house.  2. I do not give them money to have their electric turned back on because I don’t want to interfere with what God is doing in their lives.  Through all of that…I learned to trust in Jesus.  (Yes, those are song lyrics to a Andrew Crouch song…it’s old school but rings true).   BTW. a few DAYS later I found out I got a job as a software trainer and God turned things around for me.  To this day, I know He did it and not me.  And several years ago, just a week or so before Christmas,  my boss walked in and said, “The bank called in our loan so don’t come to work next week, we cannot pay you.”.  We didn’t worry.  I prayed and I told the Hubs, “God’s got this”.  And He did.  The Hubs got a raise, I didn’t have to work and a few months later, God sent our boy and I was able to stay home with him.  Because goodness and mercy follow me and over take me.

Following God is not safe but it is very good; the ultimate adventure!

Listen for His voice, step out of your safety zone and see what goodness follows.

Wonder

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According to Webster’s  wonder = “something or someone that is very surprising, beautiful, amazing, etc.”

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend one of  Rick Pino’s events, Heart of David Worship Festival.  I went to hear Dr. Cindy Jacobs speak.  Rick Pino is a phenomenal worship leader…a prophetic psalmist.  He spoke a word over our city that said, “God is restoring wonder to this city.”

The word wonder isn’t a word I use much or that has in the past had much significance to me.  However, of late, it has become important.  So when he spoke this word…I snagged out of the air and agreed wholeheartedly.  Why?  Because, our friend Harry Flemming is planting a church in our far-south Austin area.  The church…City Chapel at Slaughter Creek.  The Church’s mission statement is simple yet so in line with God’s purpose in Austin, “We are here to reflect the wonder and beauty of Jesus Christ and join Him in the renewal of our city. ”

It is my deepest desire that God restore wonder to me personally and to my city.  I am convinced that God has an incredible outpouring and indwelling of His Spirit in store for Texas and that it will begin right in the heart of central Texas and pour out to every corner from Orange to El Paso from Laredo to Amarillo.

Let’s be amazed, surprised and blown away by the beauty of Jesus!