Wednesday, May 24th, 2017
PRAY FOR TRAVIS
I gave three talks yesterday at the Kandiyohi County Jail in Willmar, Minnesota, and gave away 25 copies of my book, Arm in Arm with the Holy Spirit to the inmates who attended. Each presentation was somewhat different from the others because the Holy Spirit led me in the way I should go for each group. The common thread in all three was an altar call, so to speak, to be born again. The first birth is natural. The second birth is spiritual. I explained to them in picture form how that works.
In the second group, a young man named Matt said, in a non-confrontational way, that he didn’t believe there was a God. He said he believed in the big bang theory. I felt the Holy Spirit say to me, “Put your script aside and deal with that young man,” so I did. I said it took a lot of faith to believe in God, but it took even more faith to not believe in God.
“Where did the big bang come from?” I asked.
“Matter that was blown by an energy force to form the universe.”
“Where did the matter come from? Where did the energy come from?” He had no answer. “It takes a lot of faith to believe that something came out of nothing. There has to be a first cause, and that first cause is an eternal God, who always was and always will be. We can’t understand that because we live in a world of time and space and He does not. But it’s the only explanation that makes sense.”
“I want to believe that,” he answered, “but I’m not there yet.” At that point the other men said they had been praying for Travis and were convinced that God was pursuing him and one day he’d come to Him.” Travis smiled, and the group of twelve of us prayed for him right then and right there. I believe a seed was planted in Travis that will bear fruit. He wasn’t saved that day, but he will be some day soon.
Pray for Travis as hard as you can. What a privilege for you to pray Him into the kingdom.
Thursday, May 18th, 2017
AND GOD WAS THERE!
My wife and I recently returned from an extended stay in London. That’s why you haven’t seen a blog from me in the last couple of weeks. And God was there.
He was in plain view in Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral. He was in Oxford where C.S. Lewis taught and lived in a house called The Kilns. We were given a private tour of The Kilns, and God was there. I saw the very room and place where Lewis died.
The next day we went to Cambridge where Lewis spent the last part of his life as a professor. I toured Magdalene College within Cambridge (pronounced maud’ lin) and had the incredible privilege of a private showing of his former quarters on the second floor, just me. It is now the office of the chaplain of Magdalene. God was definitely there.
From there, I went to the chapel where Lewis worshiped and sat where he might have sat. There was a young student practicing on the organ. At my request, he played Be Thou My Vision for a good five minutes. And yes, most certainly yes, most dramatically yes, God was there. I could feel the Holy Spirit hovering throughout the chapel, from the rafters to the floor, from the entrance to the altar.
Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017
I learned how to pray Scripture from Jeanne Guyon, a 17th Century Christian mystic.
For example, read the Parable of the Tenants in Luke 20:9-18. It’s a rather straightforward story of a king who planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers, and then went away. He sent three different servants at three different times to collect the fruits due him as the landlord. Instead the farmers beat the servants and sent each away empty handed. Then he sent his son, and him they killed.
Now, let’s try praying that Scripture instead of just reading it. “Oh, Lord, may I be a faithful and worthy tenant who freely gives You the fruit of Your vineyard that is due You. May I return in good measure the blessings you have bestowed upon me. May I be kind and generous to those You send my way. Give me the wisdom and the will to accept Your Son, my Savior and Lord, to be the head of my body and soul, through the power of Your Holy Spirit. Let me welcome Him with open arms and withhold nothing from Him. It’s in His name that I pray, Amen.”
Friday, April 28th, 2017
TYLER GOES TO SCHOOL
Tyler has signed up for a nine-month Computer Support Specialist program at the Takoda Institute of Higher Education in Minneapolis. While going to school, he is able to stay at the New Hope Center, less than a mile away. In May, he will be graduating from the eight-month rehab program he has been in at New Hope, a first for him. He can stay there without paying rent while going to school.
So far he is doing well in school. He has a good knowledge about computers and is enthralled with what he is learning. I ask you to pray that Tyler completes this program. He has a history of starting things and then leaving them soon after. I’m talking mainly about jobs and rehab centers. But most of those were B.C. (Before Christ). He will have completed the rehab program, and it is very important for his confidence and well-being that he earns a degree at Takoda. Pray, pray, pray. He’s a young man (22) worth saving.
Friday, April 21st, 2017
THE HEART OF CHRISTIANITY
Apart from Me you can do nothing. – John 15:5
This verse has haunted me for years. I came to an understanding of it in 2006 and wrote the following in my journal.
“If Jesus is not right there with me, and if the Holy Spirit is not speaking to me, and if the Father is not empowering me, and if I don’t have God’s perspective of a circumstance of situation, then what I do or say or think will be nothing but religiosity, legalism, and self-sufficiency – an exercise in futility.
“It’s either His kingdom and His will or it’s my world (the world of Adam) and my will. The one is heaven; the other is hell. We choose to live
- in a spiritual world that leads to eternal joy with the Father;
- as a nominal Christian who is saved but is of little use to God;
- or as those who have accepted the world and themselves as their only god and exercise their will of self-sufficiency to spend eternity in hell, alone with themselves and all they truly gained in this world – nothing.”
Tuesday, April 18th, 2017
THE WRONG PRAYER
Many years ago, while driving from Willmar to Minneapolis, I prayed:
“Lord, come into my world and show me how to live in it;
And I’ll be a shining light for You.”
Immediately, the Holy Spirit let me know that was the wrong prayer and
gave me the right one:
“No, you come into My world and I’ll show you how to live in it:
And I’ll be a shining light for you.”
Friday, April 14th, 2017
IT IS FINISHED – John 19:30
If it was finished, it have to have started. And it did – with Adam and Eve. The Father started the history of mankind with those two and finished the reign of sin with the death of Christ Jesus. The debt is paid. All that needed to be done is now done.
It is finished with each of us as well, if we commit to die to self. Let us say today, “My old life is finished. Today is the day of my white funeral, where my old life is buried for good, and I live fully in the life of the One who died for me.” What do you have to lose?
Friday, April 7th, 2017
Last Friday, as I left a medical clinic in Buffalo, I came across a grizzled, old black man sitting on a bench with what I assumed was all his worldly possessions in a large duffle bag.
What was his story, I wondered? Where had he been? Where was he going? I didn’t ask him any of those questions but asked him two others.
“How are you doing?” I asked him.
“OK, I guess,” he answered.
The next question I believe came from the Holy Spirit. “How are your finances?”
“Not very good,” he said, with his eyes checking out the sidewalk beneath him.
I reached into the God’s pocket in my wallet and pulled out a $20 bill and handed it to him. He gave me a curious look, and I answered his questioning eyes. “I have this God’s pocket in my billfold, and I give money to whom the Lord prompts me to give it to. Right now that’s you.”
He took the money and said, “I’ll pay it back when I get back on my feet.”
Don’t think for even one moment that I’m a wonderful guy. God was responsible for this exchange. He provided me with adequate resources. He put the old man in front of me. And He nudged me to part with the money He had put in my billfold in the first place. I simply said yes. What an amazing God!
Tuesday, April 4th, 2017
GOD LOVES BEGGARS
“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. Luke 16: 19-21
I am both the rich man and the beggar. Two parts of my personality jostling for control of my soul. Sometimes I’m rich in myself and look to do things my way. I know God does not like that me.
He wants me instead to be a beggar for His grace, dependent not on myself nor on anything else but Him. Praise God! He wants beggars.