Royal Guards of Earth

Years on earth has a way of revealing patterns that unlock understanding in order to not be moved when situations arise. If you understand something you are less likely to be spooked when it arises. It is no wonder Proverbs highly values pursuing wisdom, knowledge, insight and understanding. Solomon even says there is great reward in these things. What is the reward? It is peace of mind, it is rest, it is being settled in a storm. We do not need to be tossed to and fro, if we know what is happening and we understand it has happened before and will happen again.

I was reading Ecclesiastes 10 this morning and verse 4 jumped off the page at me. Listen to what Solomon says, “If the ruler’s temper rises against you, do not abandon your position, because composure allays great offenses.” We are living in a day when the rulers temper is rising against sound judgement, rising against Christian values, rising against definitions we know to be true, but they say are false. Oh my friends, the ruler’s temper is rising against our Judeo Christian culture and country. This is not the first time this has happened, nor will it be the last, so what are we supposed to do?

Wars, rumors of wars, inflation, confusion, earthquakes, fires, chaos all around. You see it, I see it. The church says, Jesus is coming, Jesus is coming, we are about to be raptured out of here. This to me is abandoning our position, the very thing Solomon tells us not to do. I remember in the late 80’s early 90’s and at Y2K, the world was ending then as well. But friends, the world is not ending, Jesus is not coming, not yet, so we must not abandon our position when the ruler’s temper rises against us. Church we must learn how to settle into our position as salt and light no matter what we see and hear. We cannot abandon our position, we are the light the pierces the darkness, the wisdom that speaks into the foolishness. If you can do nothig else, stand and keep on standing, but do not abandon your position.

Pentecost Sunday Drive

Driving home to Nashville on Pentecost Sunday was more enjoyable than I anticipated it would be. I really wanted to be in church somewhere yesterday morning, but that did not mean I did not have church while I drove for 8 hours. Sometimes, we have to sacrifice the traditional for the spontaneous only to find God is in both. With the sunroof open, the worship playing and my hands in the air, we joined a crew of drivers who all were going the same speed in the same direction and the flow of us three cars was seamless for miles and miles.

When I recognized what was happening with the cars I was flowing with, the Lord spoke to me and said, this is what the body of Christ is to be like. Same speed, same direction. Our cars did not know each other, but there was synergy that took place as we chose a speed together and deferred to one another as other cars were going a different pace. It happened all day long with larger and larger groups of cars. In many ways, it felt prophetic on Pentecost Sunday.

I was praying in tongues for much of the drive, and when I got to Wentzville, MO, 30 miles from St. Louis, the Lord spoke to me to cleanse the East Gate of Missouri. I knew the East Gate was in St. Louis and was going to be the Arch, so I was driving along, praying in tongues, cleansing the East Gate and then there was the arch in sight. Immediately the Lord had me release fire angels to stand in the East gate of Missouri, so no unclean thing could come in or go out of that gate. I sensed these fiery angels were with flaming swords protecting the East gate, similar to those placed in front of the tree of life in Genesis 2.

What a Pentecost Sunday it was. I wanted to be at my home church in Nashville, but I was able to have church with Jesus and the Holy Spirit in the car, then I attended Dr. Greg Hood’s church in Franklin, TN last night, for I wanted to worship with people on Pentecost and I am so glad I did. His message was fire and worship was powerful, thank you Hannah McDonald. Now it’s Memorial Day and I am thankful for all those who put on a uniform to defend the freedom of this country in which I live. I am so thankful for the angelic military and the human military. Freedom is costly, and I am grateful.

Taught Different Things

Everyone ages but not everyone is wise. I was sitting with a woman of wisdom yesterday and I knew it, so I listened closely to what she said. She is 87 years old, but age is not what made her wise, for wisdom is not an age thing, it is a listening thing. Wisdom comes to those who have ears to hear. Many people think they are wise, but as my mom would say, they are just know it alls. You can’t teach a know it all anything, because they think they know everything already. It was such an honor to sit with this woman, for she espoused wisdom with every word she spoke and every word she chose not to speak.

One of the losses in culture today is the loss of generations sitting together, learning from one another. One generation is technology savvy and we need to learn from them about technology, another generation is relationship savvy and we need to learn from them, but there is a generation that does not always get acknowledged and that is those 70 and older who grew up in a completely different culture than the one we are immersed in right now and they carry a wisdom other generations need to hear. My 87 year old friend said to us yesterday, “The difference between my generation and this generation is that my generation was taught to think and this generation is taught to feel.” (Drop the mic)

Her statement caused me to pause, caused me to consider, caused me to hear what she was not saying, for that is all she said. One generation was taught to think, another generation was taught to feel. This statement is loaded with wisdom, loaded with insight and loaded with truth if we can stop and hear what my 87 year old friend said. Feelings are based on circumstances and our interpretation of that situation. Thinking is taking in data, contemplating it, comporting it to other information and then formulating a conclusion. Thinking and feeling are two different ways of doing life. One is not better or worst, but they do produce very distinctly different fruit and I hope we can agree today’s feeling culture has fruit that truly distinct from the generation my friend comes from. Something to ponder this Saturday.

Powerful Combination

My favorite sport to watch and my favorite sport to play is American football. When I was child growing up in Minneapolis, MN, I would play football in the street with the boys almost every day. We used the curbs as our out of bounds and trees as our first down markers. I was quarterback much of the time and the boys on my team would run routes that led to touchdowns. Oh the fun we had on those streets in North Minneapolis.

Being in Kansas City, one cannot escape the reality of the Kansas City Chiefs and their presence in this place. From grocery stores with Chiefs gear to signs that proudly display the arrowhead logo. Then today when I walked into the kitchen at my friends house, on the counter was a KC Star newspaper from when the Chiefs won the Super Bowl again last January. I grabbed the paper and immediately the Holy Spirit spoke to me about the power of the right combination. You see, Andy Reid was a great coach when he led the Philadelphia Eagles before coming to Kansas City and Patrick Mahones was a great quarterback when he played college ball in Texas, but when these two men met in Kansas City, it has proven to be a combination tha produces the highest results. Then add Travis Kelce the best tight end in the league and these three are a triple threat. They were all good individually but they are champions together.

Many of us have been told one person can change the world, but that is just not true, we love the power of one, but God loves the power of us. We value independence, but God values teamwork. We value the self-made millionaire, but God values the village. Solomon even said in Ecclessiastes 4:9 “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.” My friends, The days of the one man show are out the door, it is the day of the team, the community, the us, the village, the we. God is putting together combinations of people for a powerful move of God of likes we can’t even imagine. It’s not about you, it is about us and we are going to overcome, we are going to arise and shine, we are going to be victorious.

Guard Against Roots

Sitting on the back porch drinking tea with my friends in Warsaw, MO brought out a conversation about the land that is directly adjacent to their property. It is a beautiful piece of land with wheat that is thigh high. In the distance you can see an old dilapatated barn and a horse trailer. From a distance it looks like someone had a farming situation that brought them great enjoyment in years past. At least that is what I thought as I gazed out over the field on which I was looking.

Little did I know that the story I was creating in my head was true in the past but the reality behind the story was quite different. My friends told me that the man who owned this land, barn and horse trailer died rather abruptly of a heart attack and ever since his death this land has just remained in its current state. No one has come to do anything with the many pieces of farm equipment in the barn nor the what was once a brand new horse trailer. I was informed the wife will not allow anyone to do anything with this property or these possessions. Not the children, not the city, no one, she herself is doing nothing with it, just sitting on it.

I listened to this story and I sensed a root of bitterness is in operation here. I am not saying I am correct, I have no idea who the woman is, but hearing the story triggered Hebrews 12:14-15 inside of me. “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble and by it many are defiled.” I was thinking about this early this morning while out walking and the Holy Spirit said, the devil is a destroyer. The devil destroys relationships, destroys us, destroy our property and our prosperity.

I may never meet this woman or the children who may inherit this beautiful land and the possessions on it, but what I do know is that I never want to let any root of bitterness grow in me, so I sit on something because it has taken root in me and now I can’t let it go, whatever it may be. My friends, Let it go, so no root may grow that causes you to hang on to something you don’t want.

Rejoicing Together

Spontaneous trips tend to unlock treasures untold as they unfold right before your eyes and are heard in your ears. I think the Lord loves the spontaneous, for there is adventure in it, there is joy in it and there is a sense of the unknown in it. I wonder if many people are bored because their life is too controlled, organized, planned out, routine if you will. I wonder if walking by the spirit is our invitation to an adventure we cannot plan, we cannot see, we cannot prepare for, because it carries with it an air of mystery that is enjoyable not scary. Just some things I wonder on this Tuesday morning.

Yesterday I was with friends who haven’t seen me in a year, but watch my journey on this platform. They see pictures, they read blogs, they watch videos, and in their own words they have said in one way or another, Tennessee has been so good to you. Tennessee is evidence of the harvesters, and Missouri is the sowers. You see while I lived in MO people watched me sow, sow and sow some mo, but with very little fruit. Now I know it was because Missouri and my life in this state was for sowing. Sowing the secret place, sowing into the soil, the rivers, the atmospheres here, and then when I got to Tennessee it was time to reap. God placed me with sowers in MO and placed me with reapers in TN.

Last night after a great day of seeing people I loved, the Lord revealed to me an understanding of John 4 I had not seen before. “He who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this case the saying is true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor.” My MO friends love seeing how much fun my TN friends and I have, my TN friends love seeing pictures of all my MO friends. One group sowed with me, another group is reaping with me, but all are rejoicing together and they have never met each other except on this platform. Our God is truly an awesome God. Thank you MO sowers and TN reapers, we are all rejoicing together in what our God is doing!

The Old Wooden Cross

We have arrived safely into the arms of our good friends Michael and Gail Roberts Collins here in Warsaw, MO. What a sweet reunion it was to be welcomed home last night. After a good night sleep, Hunter (our dog) and I got up early and went for a walk around the neighborhood. Being new territory Hunter was having the time of his life, sniffing here and looking there. Up one street and down another we went exploring the new neighborhood we were in. With the fog sitting on the grass, the sun starting to peek through and the sound of birds singing it was a perfect morning walk.

When I was much younger, my grandma would take my brother and I out on walks through her neighborhood in Minneapolis and she would have us bring a brown paper lunch sack with us. The reason for the sack was to collect treasures we found on our walk. We would find things like rubber bands, coins, cool rocks, or a variety of other things. She taught us the difference between what she called treasures and trash. We never picked up a pop can because according to her that was trash not a treasure.

While on my walk this morning with Hunter, I remembered my grandma’s treasure hunts as I turned a corner in this new neighborhood I was walking and I saw an old wooden cross. It literally stopped me in my tracks. I looked closely at it and it had the nails in it and a sign on top that says INRI. I immediately walked up to it, knowing I just found the treasure of all treasures on my walk this morning. As I stood in front of that cross, I remember my Savior Jesus Christ and the price He paid for my life. Oh the thoughts that old wooden cross evoked in me this morning. Then my thoughts went to the truth that He is no longer on the cross, but is fully alive, seated in the heavens making intercession for me. I was so thankful for this treasure I found this morning, for Jesus is the greatest treasure that has ever found me. What a morning it has been. There is just something about the old wooden cross.

Justice Is Love

One of the attributes of love is justice. Justice is not wrath, it is not condemnation, justice is love. If there is no justice, there is no sense of love. For injustice gives people the sense that they are not protected, cared for or loved. When I was a youth pastor, many years ago, I would tell the parents of the youth that greatest gift you can give you children is boundaries, for they say I love you. The youth that did not have parents who gave them boundaries, were very insecure and did not feel loved. Justice is God’s love for us, His boundaries around us, saying if you go outside of these boundaries it will hurt others and yourself, so stay in the safety zone of my boundaries.

When people go outside of the boundaries God has set, justice comes in order to tell others they are safe, and to tell those who have transgressed that the Lord wants them back in the boundaries He has set for everyone’s safety. Now the devil is a boundaryless entity. He doesn’t like boundaries, for he is a vagabond, a wanderer, a dark entity that does not want to be told what can and cannot be done. Henceforth, why the enemy inflicts pain on people. When we do not see justice on those who have transgressed against our city, our nation, the nations, people don’t feel safe. God knows this because He created us this way.

Now with all that said, we must be careful not to resist the justice God is about to manifest, it is justice not condemnation, it is love now wrath. Remember this in the come days and remember what Solomon said in Proverbs 21 “The exercise of justice is joy for the righteous, But is terror to the workers of iniquity.” The joy of the righteous is seen in the justice of God on the workers of iniquity. We do not rejoice in their fall, we rejoice in the manifestation of the love of God that is seen in justice.

We Need Power

Have you ever experienced seeing the same number over and over again and then it dawns on you, I think it is a sign pointing me to something, but I am not sure what? I have friends who see consistent numbers all the time. One friend was seeing 717 continually and could not figure out what it meant, then the Lord revealed to her it was a date, not a bible verse. Another friend, consistently sees 1111, she sees it so much she has declared it is her number from God, but what does it mean, she is still not crystal clear. Seeing numbers is very common, henceforth, why people like Troy Brewer has a whole series on Prophetic Numbers.

For the past three weeks or so I have been seeing 808 and 818 over and over again, on the clock, on the odometer in the car, on billboard phone numbers, on buildings as an address number, you name the location, I am seeing the same numbers there. I spoke to a good friend of mine the other day and was telling her about this and she said that is Deuteronomy 8. I filed that away and then today, the Holy Spirit was nudging me to read Deuteronomy 8 and I am so glad I did. This chapter speaks to me personally in so many ways and is a great word of encouragement about the past 10 years of my life. However, I also heard the Holy Spirit speak to me about us as church.

Doctrines of men have created a powerless theology, meaning they have taken away the power of God from the people of God. They did it by telling us God doesn’t heal today, there are no longer apostles and prophets on earth, or your sick because you don’t have enough faith. The enemy loves a powerless church, but God created us to be a powerful church. Friends, we need the power of God in the people of God. Deuteronomy 8:18 says, “you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”

This morning the Holy Spirit was showing me that we need the power of God for healing, restoration of marriages and families, forgiveness of other people who have sinned against us, to obtain wealth and for salvation. The power of God is needed for everything we need in life, so when the enemy uses theology to remove the power of God, then we have the people of God who are sick, relationally destroyed, poor or living paycheck to paycheck, or struggling with forgiveness. This should not be!!! I declare today, God is restoring the power of God to the people of God because we are created in the image of God. You can’t heal, save, deliver or make wealth without the power of God. It is time we take back the power of God, for it belongs to us the people of God.

Relational Equity

I took my son to get his haircut yesterday and while driving to the barber shop, we received a video from our housemate. Hunter, our dog, ran out the door and stopped the garage that was shutting by jetting out the garage into the grassy area in front of the house. My housemate kindly put down her things and tried to lure him back in the house, but despite rolling on his back when she called his name, as soon as she got close he jumped up and ran away. The neighbor across the street unsuccessfully tried to call him as well, but to no avail. Hunter was not coming to either one of these wonderful women who were trying to get him back into the air conditioned house on a hot and humid day here in Nashville.

Later that night, Hunter was seeking scraps from our housemate as she was eating her dinner. I said, “Hunter, you can’t expect her to give you food, when you have no relational equity with her. She tried to get you back in the house and you ran from her, now you want her to share with you some of her dinner, it’s not going to happen.” We all laughed, but I have been thinking about how many of us in the church do this. We have no relational equity with people yet we want something from them.

Relational equity is time spent with someone getting to know who they are for them not for what they can do for you. Relational equity is what you give to a relationship. If you spend no time with God, but only want something from God, there is a chance you might not get what you are looking for. Now our God is very generous, He is kind to us all, but there are only certain things that come out of relational equity. This not only applies to God, but to people. If we have little to no relational equity with people, we should not expect to have intimacy with that person or expect to be invited somewhere with them. We can long to have the fun their having, but it takes relational equity when no one is looking to experience public celebration when everyone is watching. Relational equity unlocks many things with God and with others. Invest in your relationships, you’ll be glad you did.