Feb 10, 2010

Hopeful Haitians and prayer warriors wait for a revival in the midst of tragedy

A massive earthquake left the already destitute country of Haiti in piece on Jan. 12. Pre-quake, Haiti was one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world. Now it is left in ruin with over 150,000 estimated to be dead.

Recently, a couple who spends three months each year in Haiti as missionaries shared their story. The two happened to be there during the earthquake and told their first hand experience of the devastation that has occurred there. The wife first explained that because of the lack of media in Haiti, Americans knew more of what was happening with the earthquake than the Haitians themselves. Her eyes filled with tears as she described the amount of loss the Haitians have experienced. Brothers, fathers, sisters, mothers, grandparents, cousins and friends were gone, and those who still had homes standing were afraid to even enter them for concern of another quake. Her husband, who is a photo journalist, was sent to the capital to document the wreckage. In front of our congregation, he was very emotional and at a loss for words.

The Haiti earthquake is one of the worst natural disasters of modern history, yet the Lord is working in unbelievable ways in the midst of it all. Some family friends of mine were also in Haiti during the quake, and their testimonies of the incredible move of God were just a taste of all that He is doing there. They observed the presence of the Lord in ways they had never before seen, had first hand experiences of supernatural encounters, and participated in “loaves-and-fishes” kind of miracles. (For a full account visit http://charismamag.com/index.php/fire-in-my-bones/26003-miraculous-praise-amid-haitis-destruction#readmore).

I’m sure you are wondering, “How can I help Haiti? What can I do to really make a difference?” Well, the greatest thing you can do is pray! The couple that spoke at my church said that the main need is for truth. The lack of communication has left the people unaware of what is really going on, with many false alarms causing unneeded evacuations due to the fear that is controlling the people. The people of Haiti have long practiced Voodoo and other demonic religions as well, which is why I believe God is using this earthquake as a way to open up the Haitians eyes and to reveal Himself to them.

We may not be able to aid Haiti in the physical sense of going there and helping them to rebuild their broken country, but we can cover the Haitians and those that are diligently working to help them in prayer. We must plead for the souls of the lost and for the healing of the injured and sick. We can even believe for a massive widespread revival in this tragic time and an outpouring of the Lord’s spirit.

Our God is not a small, weak God, if He can move mountains and create a universe with a few words--He can surely bring revival and restoration to the nation of Haiti. Believe for the unimaginable and have faith in the impossible. After all, if God’s own people don’t have crazy, radical dreams, who will?


Triggering a kindness revolution

And so it begins, the most wonderful time of the year. The holidays are stuffed full of family gatherings, feasts, presents, memories, and most importantly the celebration of our Savior’s birth. But, many of us tend to get carried away with the “Christmas spirit,” spending far more money then we had ever planned, justifying that it is always worth it to see our loved ones finally getting those items which they just “couldn’t live without.” The world around us is constantly scamming us into the belief that the more we have the happier we will be, which as Christians we know is false. Yet, we continually buy into those lies.

The reason for the season is not to get everything on your Christmas list, and many of us may say we know that, yet we are in no hurry to spend our precious three weeks break from school doing something different from the norm. Jesus lived to serve, Philippians 2:5-7 says, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who being in the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” Those verses clearly tell us that we should be the same as Christ Jesus, and to do that we must make ourselves nothing and take on the nature of a servant. This doesn’t mean serve when we feel like it or when our Beta Club sponsors tell us we have to, we must live and breathe as servants.

Servanthood is often a tough characteristic to master, especially when our sinful nature is constantly telling us that others should be doting on us instead. Often we come up with excuses like, “I will be a servant when I’m older.” “I’m too tired today, maybe tomorrow.” “I have no money, so I guess I’m off the hook for giving to others.” “I really need this money for that new car, I’ll support those starving children next year.” And if we haven’t said it verbally, we have all thought something of that sort before. So, now you may ask yourself, “how do I change my lifestyle and serve others with the little I have to give?”

Giving is not rocket-science. You don’t have to be rich to be a giver and you don’t have to be talented to serve others, all that matters is that your heart is in the right place. Martin Luther King Jr. said it perfectly, “Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve.... You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” One random act of kindness could start something incredible. In our society it is so normal to be treated with rudeness and disrespect that it doesn’t even phase us anymore. Just imagine if each of us performed a daily act of kindness, think about how much of a difference we could make. As soon as you do something for someone else, they are going to want to do serve someone as well. This could lead to a chain reaction that would start a kindness revolution. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to be a part of something like that?

When we humble ourselves and realize that there are always people we can bless, God will bless us in return. Though we may not get literal blessings on earth, there will be an inheritance in heaven which we cannot even fathom. So, this Christmas I want to challenge you with a mission. Everywhere you go, everything you do, every person you interact with, search for an opportunity to serve. Who knows, maybe you will love it so much that it will become a life-long habit.


Removing the mask

At a very young age, we discover that wearing a mask is a part of survival. Not necessarily in a literal sense, but in order to fit into society, we learn to disguise all of the things the world may not accept.

Almost everyone feels the need to fit in; it is a part of our human nature to want to be accepted by our brothers and sisters. But the wise and righteous choice would be to look past the eyes of those around us and to turn our gaze upon the Father in heaven. His opinion is the only one that truly matters. Often what the world sees as right and successful is rather different from God’s desires, which is why we must come to a place where we are only concerned with glorifying Him.

Fitting in with the world usually includes disguising secrets about ourselves or our true personality. We try to be something we are not. We get so caught up in being normal that we forget that God has designed each and every one of us to be unique and unlike anyone He has created or will ever create again. Mathew 5:48 says, “Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously towards others, the way God lives towards you.”

Hiding our true selves only causes major harm. The result is often low self-esteem and the avoidance of close relationships. In John 8:32 Jesus says, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” If we ignore the truth about who we really are, we literally bind ourselves up and prevent the breakthrough of freedom in our lives. Jesus was the perfect example, lived the perfect life, and never even felt the need to conform to the ways of society. Romans 13:14 says, “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” Striving to be like Him will bring fulfillment, and handing our lives over to Jesus will help us to learn how to stay away from the desire to match the world.

So, now that we understand that becoming like the world or putting on a false face is detrimental, we must also realize that in order for us to succeed we need to accept and like who God has created us to be. Some questions to ask might be: What do you like about yourself? What are some of your gifts and talents? What makes you, you? When we begin to focus on the positive things about ourselves, the negative things become less significant. Therefore, we should center our attention on building up strengths and then improving areas of weakness.

Discovering who we really are can be a tough mission, but if we work to find our identities through God, He will reveal His purpose for us gradually and in His own timing. The disguises we previously clung to will no longer define us; rather we may freely stand before the King unveiled and confident in who He created us to be!

2 Corinthians 3:16 and 18 “But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away… So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord and the Lord…makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.”


Viewing missions as a lifestyle

“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.” -Acts 20:24

Among the Christians the term “missions” comes up rather often. The majority of us have either been on a mission trip before, or if not, we know someone who has. The incredible experiences that take place on those trips frequently result in changed lives of those who were ministered to and those who went to minister. But what happens, when we come home from such indescribable encounters with the Lord and life as we knew it just won’t cut it anymore?

Yes, coming back to reality is tough, and the “mission trip high” is a phenomenon that may inspire us to change, however there is something that many of us fail to recognize. Missions are obviously about reaching out to the lost and hurting, but why do we believe that sharing our faith must be accomplished in certain ways and in specific circumstances? The Bible never reserves the preaching of the Gospel to organized trips with youth groups or when our churches send missionaries to foreign countries.

As Christians we should be living our lives as if we are on the mission field 24/7. Our single most important job other than pursuing an intimate relationship with the Creator is to further His Kingdom.

Putting this concept into action may be as simple as encouraging someone at school who seems to be having a tough day, or challenging friends to a higher standard of purity and brotherly-love. Taking this a step further may mean gathering up the boldness to pray for someone while you are in Wal-Mart or even sharing the gospel with someone you meet while standing in line at Chic-fil-A.

God doesn’t put boundaries on where or how we share His good news. All we need to do is make ourselves available for His use. Living fully for the Lord means sacrificing the desires of our flesh and surrendering ourselves entirely to Him, when we do this, no matter what fears we may have, Christ will use us—simply because we are willing to be used. We don’t even have to worry ourselves with finding people to minister to or having the right words to say. All we must do is prepare our hearts, and He will provide the rest.


Jan 31, 2010



My intentions for this blog are to share insights and revelations which the Lord has given and taught me.

COL. 3:12