WHAT’S IN YOUR HAND?

Staff

Last month marked the 9th Anniversary of the September 11th Islamic Terrorist attacks that rocked the United States of America to our core.  From that monumental day, America has been in a continual tailspin with our economy and our war against terrorism.  As we approached this time of remembrance, we found a great controversy that surfaced as someone dared to finally speak up and send a message to America (and the world) that there is something critically wrong with our country and that it is time for us to “Stand Up” and confront terrorism.  What the world would term “small and insignificant”, yet this one Pastor whose congregation totals 50 people gained global media coverage.

 We also watched as some “No-Name” candidates emerged from the Tea Party, and how this party which has not been a part of the democratic system heretofore, won several primaries- some by a rather significant margin.

 What is going on?

People whom the world thinks as small and insignificant are finally rising up and are letting their voices be heard.  I truly believe this is a “Kairos” moment for the church.  Now more than ever, we must rise up and declare the word of the Lord and instigate transformation in our churches, cities and even our nation.  America has experienced this decline simply
because we failed to follow through with the core values and convictions that this country was founded upon, a land that has placed their sole trust in Jehovah God.  But this is our moment to truly effect change!

With the passing of one generation and the entrance of the next, those core values and convictions have continued to drift further into the background as we continue our pursuit of education, success and wealth.  And even today, the church now finds its voice silenced because we have spent more sermons on financial prosperity and cultural relativism than we have being Holy for HE is Holy.  We have removed the Blood of Jesus and the Cross from many of our hymnals and liturgy so that we do not offend people and present a “Bloody Christianity.”

We have removed our Sunday night prayer meetings so that we can pray at home with our families…only to realize that we spend more time at the river or the movies, and less time actually praying.

We have allowed prayer to be taken out of our schools and have joined the campaigns of the world to remove the Ten
Commandments from our governmental establishments.  And now, the campaign continues to remove, “In God We Trust” from our currency.

In the church, we are silent because we think it is someone’s responsibility other than ours to speak up and say “NO”.

I think of the Boston Tea Party.  These were the kind of revolutionaries that America has endorsed and rallied behind.  I am sure that there were many who thought dumping all that tea into the harbor was both countless and stupid.  I am also sure that many of them feared the wrath and retaliation from England that would ensue.  Yet, their passion for the right far outweighed their fear of the potential negative reactions.  They chose to declare that the purpose and passion was far greater than the backlash that might occur.  They had already experienced what taxation without representation had done for them in England.  And as a result, these revolutionaries united and stood together to send a clear message to the world….”NO”!

Today, we the church must realize that “United we stand, divided we fall.”  Now is our time to unite.  We need to quit “DOING” church and once again “BE” the church! 

A minister recently shared that when something is malfunctioning, go back to the place where there was a “disconnect” and correct that which caused the thing to begin its demise.

Perhaps the change needed seems too great.  We are seemingly so far away from where we need to be, it is as if there is no hope.  And although those feelings are accurate, your voice is needed today to begin to affect change.

When Israel faced their greatest enemy in Goliath, God raised up a little shepherd boy from the wilderness with only five small stones.  Because of the time in intimate worship, God raised David to from a shepherd boy and
established him as King.

When Jesus was feeding the 5,000, God took one little boy who had five loaves and two fish to feed the multitude.

It is amazing how great the seemingly small and insignificant can become when the hand of God moves upon a willing soul.  As a young boy growing up in the church, we used to sing a song, “Little is Much When God is In It”.  May that become our battle cry!

Today, I am asking you the same question that God asked Moses.  “What is in your hand?”  What gifts, resources, influence and abilities has God placed in your hand?  And then, my second question would be “Are you using what is in your hand to effect change in your atmosphere and see the Kingdom of Heaven advance?”

Do what you know to do, and trust Him for the rest! 

WHAT’S IN YOUR HAND?

Digging the Wells of Worship!

Keith Duncan

The Building Blocks of Success

If you follow us on Twitter or are a friend on Facebook, you will have heard that Michele’s step-mother lost her battle to cancer and past-away during the month of March.  For us, that month was a blur as we journeyed to Nashville, returned home for one day and then had to turn around and travel back to Nashville to conduct the funeral. 

Interestingly enough, as we were returning from the funeral, our coach broke down.  This time, we were stranded in Chattanooga, TN.  We were detained for several days as the technicians made every attempt to diagnose the problem.  The final prognosis:  There was shredded metal in the engine and was clogging the fuel injectors.  The cost:  $7,500.00.  Oh boy, did that hit us by surprise!  However, as we began to seek council from others, we learned that this was only part of a larger problem that would ultimately require us to replace the entire engine…at a much greater expense.  After much council, we decided to spend $750 and clean out the fuel injectors which would help us to make it home to Charlotte.  As it turned out, we made it all the way to our exit, and the bus began to crash.  We chugged along at 5 miles per hour as we were fervently praying in the spirit attempting to make it to our parking spot.  We made it to our parking space, backed up the bus so we could unload it, and it gave up the ghost and died.  Of course, Michele and Judah and I were so thankful to God that He helped us make it home safely. We made provision to get rid of the bus, so we now travel in our mini-van.

Now, I share all of this with you- not to complain and whine (although God knows that I did much of that with Him).  But rather, I want to share with you what happened while we sat in the waiting room at the shop. 

There was a man who came in and asked me if I was in that brown bus outside.  I told him “Yes”.  He said, “The Worship Revolution!  WOW!  That is quite a powerful statement!”  As we began to dialog, I learned that this gentleman lived in St. Louis, Missouri and he was in route to Florida to work on laying down some tracks for some new worship tunes.  You see, he writes songs that God is giving him, and he does not know what to do with them.  So, of course, I began with my line of questioning.

It seems as if the number one question I am asking the people that God places in front of me is this one thought:  “If you could do anything in the world, and be guaranteed success- money and personnel were not a consideration- what is the one thing that God has placed upon your heart to do?”

Of course, this conversation lasted several hours and it offered this gentleman great hope.  You see, he had a sense of what the Lord wanted for him, but he did not know how to get there.

For me and Michele (as most Christians today), we have a sense of what God is calling us to do, but we don’t know how to get there.  And this can be a very frustrating and uncomfortable place.  However, we know because of God’s grace, He knows how to get us where we are to be, when we are to be there.  Unfortunately, in this situation, it required the bus to be broken down for this extended period of time, and me to be displaced from my comfort zone, simply so that I could meet this gentleman and minister to and encourage him to pursue the vision.

I often call this the process of purpose.  John Maxwell calls it the Law of Process.  But most everyone would agree that we can call this the desert place- a place of little comfort and many decisions. However, it is in this process where God causes our character to be refined, our integrity to hold fast, and patience to be tested- allowing His grace (which is sufficient) to carry us through this season of our lives.

I am reminded of II Peter 1: 5-8:  “…giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

These are the building blocks that God uses to shape our character and offer us stability in the day of calamity and adversity.  Verse 10 goes on to say, “…give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if you do these things, ye shall never fall.”

NEVER FALL? Wow, this is the formula that guarantees success to our calling in Christ Jesus!

Let’s define some of these terms to give us clarity to this formula:

v  Diligence:  Persistent and hard-working effort in doing something; the care or attention expected by the law in doing something such as fulfilling the terms of a contract.

  • Faith:  The substance of things that are hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
  • Virtue:  The quality of being morally good or righteous; a quality that is good or admirable, but not necessarily in terms of morality.
  • Knowledge:  General awareness of possession of information, facts, ideas, truths or principles; specific information; all that can be known; learning through experience or study.
  • Temperance:  Abstinence from Alcohol (Encarta Dictionary); self-restraint in the face of temptation or desire.
  • Patience:  The ability to endure waiting, delay, or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset, or to persevere calmly when faced with difficulties.
  • Godliness:  Devoted to or worshiping God; fit for or having the divine qualities of God.
  • Brotherly Kindness:  Showing the affection of a brother
  • Charity:  The voluntary provision of money, materials, or help to people in need; the willingness to judge people in a tolerant or favorable way; the impartial love of other people, especially as a Christian virtue.

Because God loves us so much, and because we are endeavoring to seek His face as we walk toward our own calling and ministries, the Lord (in His infinite wisdom) often puts us on somewhat of a “Scavenger Hunt”.  He gives us the list of things that we need, and we then make the journey to various locations to find each item on the list.  But oftentimes (as in the situation with our bus) we have to go to some very unusual places to obtain each of these key building blocks.

For many, they decide that the journey is too difficult, and therefore they stop running the race.  They decide to pitch a tent in Moab, rather than pressing past the obstacles and facing the giants to obtain their Canaan Land Promise.  And, this is very easy to do.

You and I need each other.  We need to encourage each other to obtain each nugget that God has strategically placed in your pathway.  Persevere through these obstacles that we face, and confront them with patience (the ability to endure waiting, delay or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset.)  Easier said than done, but this is attainable, and when we collect each of these nuggets, God’s word promises that we will make our call and election (being chosen by God for special favor, salvation or a task) sure. Here is the promise:  For if you do these things, ye shall never fall!

There is the formula for success!

Today, I encourage you to press past your adversity, your obstacles that you are facing, and add to your account each of these key building blocks.  If we are real with each other, we will both agree that both of us need encouragement to press past our feelings to pursue our destiny.

Michele and I love you dearly and we pray that your destiny be realized, developed, and deployed upon the earth as God has purposed it for you in the Heavens.  Keep pressing on!