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Archive for April, 2010

Rend Your Heart

This scripture is currently doing a number on me:


Return to the Lord

12 “Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;

When I read this verse I am reminded of what He spoke to Moses, "For He is Gracious and Compassionate – slow to anger and abounding in love" 


13 and rend your hearts and not your garments.” 

In the old testament, people had a tendency to tear their garments when they were upset. God is saying, don't just anguish externally, let your heart be moved! 


Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
and he relents over disaster.
14 Who knows whether he will not turn and relent,
and leave a blessing behind him,
a grain offering and a drink offering
for the Lord your God?

15 Blow the trumpet in Zion;
consecrate a fast;
call a solemn assembly;
16 gather the people.
Consecrate the congregation;
assemble the elders;
gather the children,
even nursing infants.
Let the bridegroom leave his room,
and the bride her chamber.

17 Between the vestibule and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep
and say, “Spare your people, O Lord,
and make not your heritage a reproach,
a byword among the nations. [1]

Where is the weeping for those we've not yet reached? It begins with me!!! It should extend to you. "Lord, we ask Your grace and blessing that You might truly receive Glory in this region – that MANY will turn to You and be saved!" 


Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’”

The Lord Had Pity

18&#
0160;
Then the Lord became jealous for his land
and had pity on his people.

Oh Lord, we BEG that this might happen in this region!!!

I close with a personal prayer: Lord, I ask You again that You would do something so amazing, so incredible that we CAN'T POSSIBLY take credit for it. Lord, I just want to bring You glory in this region… I know my heart is wicked – but You know the depths of that heart and You know my deepest desire for You… I have given myself to this – Be glorified in me.

Amen.


I Would Be a Hypocrite…

(Facebook readers – video available on my site: http://www.wholeheartedlife.typepad.com/

Pastor Francis Chan made a shocking announcement to his church of 16 years on Sunday morning: He feels that the Lord is leading him into a different direction. Let me say that this man is SO influential in my life as a preacher. His podcast is one of those that I look forward to week in and week out. One of the most refreshing things about Chan is his transparency – he has no need to impress me or make me think more of him. It is for this reason that he consistently makes me think more of Jesus.

Below is a video in which he shocks the interviewer as he doesn't know that this announcement was forth coming. In it he says, "I would be a hypocrite if I didn't go…" Huge.

Francis Chan is stepping out in faith… from Catalyst on Vimeo.

Following Hard After God!

If I asked you, "do you think that you are following hard after God?", how would you answer? Check out this prayer out of "The Pursuit of God" by AW Tozer:

O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, "Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away." Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Wow. How much do you really want Him? Something missing?

An Odd Couple of Days

The last few days have been different.

Ever since I awoke on Friday morning my heart and mind have been on fire with thoughts and ideas. My heart has been very open to the things of the Lord and I have strongly sensed His guidance in a lot of private thoughts and impending decisions to be made in my life. 

This morning, as I thought on this I was reminded of this verse that seems to be present in my heart often lately:

"And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it,' when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left." (Isaiah 30:21)

This is how I've felt lately.

The notes from my bible reminded me today that the Lord waits to be gracious to us. God know the perfect way to achieve His purpose, the perfect time to put it into action and the perfect disciplinary process that will awaken my heart and ignite my faith (which is quite great at the moment).

I guess that the part that is odd to me is that I'm reminded that when you walk in "His way" it is often a different path that you imagined coming up.

Interesting.

Sunday Nite (on a Tuesday Morning)

Sorry for being so late on this one. We had a pretty amazing Sunday at Hyde Park this week! Those of you who read me but aren't HP attenders must be like, "he's always saying that" – if you aren't a Hyde Park attender I just don't know how to express what Sunday is like here!

This will be short but here's what last weekend looked like:

  • Our guest speaker for the weekend was Jonathan Lotz. Jonathan is the son of Danny and Ann Graham Lotz . Jonathan is such a humble (and tall – 6'9") guy who brought a really great word that resonated with our people Sunday. It was obvious that the Lord was using him mightily Sunday morning.
  • I just gotta say, I am a HUGE FAN of Jon's mom. His grandad, Billy Graham, may have preached the gospel to over 220 million people, but I believe his mother is the best preacher in the family!!!
  • I had the privilege of hearing some stories about stuff going on with them – God is at work!
  • I also had the privilege of baptizing 3 people Sunday morning – "Yes, I have trusted Jesus as the forgiver of my sin and the leader of my life". YES!!!
  • Worship was sweet yesterday. I love when God's people just cry out to Him and allow me to lead them there. The song "Your Name" continues to affect me in a powerful way.
  • Sunday's Worship: "Blessed Be Your Name" (Matt Redman), At Calvary (G3 Worship Arrangement), "Your Name" (Paul Baloche), "Just As I Am" (Michael Neale arrangement). Great stuff.
  • I told Jonathan, "you are SUCH a rockstar!". You should have seen all the people standing in line waiting to talk to him at the end of the service. He has a great sense of humor and decided not to smash little ol' me after my smart comment :) (and no, it wasn't coffee that stunted my growth – I believe that would be the genes :)).

In closing, I felt like the Lord was really moving at the end of the service. Good to see people allowing God to deal with the issues of their lives.