It is hard to believe that we are now preparing for our 2nd Christmas here in Raleigh, NC. Christmas decorations are going up, furniture is being rearranged and parties are being planned. Aside from the normal hustle of life, there is a difference in the air this time of year; our entire atmosphere changes.
This is the only time that radio stations preempt their normal playlist and begin to release the sounds of Christmas. For some, it is merely a marketing ploy to get you to buy more gifts for those you love. For some, it will serve as a reminder of time with loved ones we have lost. Yet for some, this can be a very discouraging time of the year.
Regardless of the motivation of others for this most precious Christmas Holiday, we know and celebrate the true meaning of Christ- mas. It is the birth of Christ that gives us the greatest gift of all- Salvation and of course HOPE. But this time of year also marks the ending of another year as the Holiday celebration shifts from Christmas to the New Year.
2014 has been a year of transition. Transition for our country and a year of transition for many of you whether that be in your family, your job, your ministry or simply a transition in your life.
2014 was a year when we continued to travel to conferences as we have done over the past 12 years. Surprisingly, God re-opened a door that had seemingly been closed to us and this ministry.
This year, INSP (The Inspiration TV Network) called us back on numerous occasions to assist with their Live events which not only broadcasts in the USA, but also globally. This was very different than before, and we watched as God allowed us to spread the mes- sage of the Kingdom through worship across the airwaves…Internationally.
This was also a year that God connected us with new friends in the television industry. We were blessed to forge a great relationship with Don Black (President) of Cornerstone Television Network in Pittsburgh, PA.
Perhaps what excited me the most about this new relationship is that God allowed me to be on camera and actually teach on the sub- ject of Praise and Worship. Not only were we asked to teach on the subject, but they asked me to bring a ministry team to teach by example and illustrate what I was sharing. This made such a great impact on their viewing audience; the network actually made a 1- hour special that combined my teaching on worship along with leading worship. The network has been very gracious to allow us to use this 1-hour as we desire. I will be uploading that to our special partner page on the website that I spoke of last month. Yet again, this is a new relationship that God has opened to us to teach, train and equip believers in the area of praise and worship, as well as communicating to the unchurched our ability to communicate the access we have been granted through Jesus Christ to spend time with God…in HIS presence.
But this has also been a year when we have lost several loved ones. Two weeks ago, we were shocked with the passing of Jay Nicholls. Jay and Laura have been very dear to me and Michele and His Call Ministries. They are not only friends and ministry part- ners, but part of our leadership team. You may remember the Ark of the Covenant that we have used at the past several Throne Zone events (Central & Carolina). Jay was the one who actually built that and allowed us to use it. Laura, his wife, wears many hats that include projection for all of our events and assisting Michele with all of the logistical details for all that we do in the Kingdom. We also lost Dr. Myles, his wife Ruth and seven others from their ministry team that were tragically killed when their private aircraft crashed last month. As I write you today, we will be remembering and honoring the lives of my spiritual father & mentor Dr. Myles Munroe and his lovely wife Ruth. Although Michele and I are unable to attend the service we will be watching it, via live stream, as will countless others who lives were poured into by this amazing couple.
One thing that Papa Myles shared with me that would be great for us to keep in the forefront of our minds- especially as we close this year out. He always said that our goal is to Die Empty.
I know some of you reading this right now may feel that you are (and have been) running empty for a long time. Promises and prophetic words seem to be so very far from ever becoming a reality right now. As a result, discouragement has set in. You have lost your pas- sion, your focus and even your desire to pursue the things that God once placed in your spirit. You find yourself asking, “What do I do now?” But this is NOT the “EMPTY” that Papa Myles was speaking of.
As you have heard me say many times before, DELAY IS NOT DENIAL!
It is very easy for us to feel empty, that we have nothing else that we can give or do. It is easy for us to think that we missed God’s tim- ing and therefore have missed His perfect opportunity for our lives. Just because it has not happened yet, does NOT mean that it will not happen. It simply means that it is not happening at this very moment. There are many factors that contribute to this reality. Some factors are dependent upon us, and then some are dependent upon others. Perhaps God has a specific job for you, but you are not able to move into right now because the other person who currently occupies that position is not willing to move….or the place where they are to move has not yet opened up. That doesn’t mean it will not happen for you. It simply means that your promotion is on the way, it is just not here at this very second. But it does mean that it is in the works, although you have not seen the complete manifesta- tion of that reality. Yet again, it requires faith & confidence. Confidence knowing that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to HIS purpose.
Do you love God? And has God given to you a specific purpose & destiny? If so, then you need to recite this scripture and live by it. ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD! All simply means ALL! The good and the bad. ALL THINGS!
So what do we do?
We must first realize that God is not through with us yet. If He were, we would have no reason to exist on planet earth. Remember, you were born for a specific plan and purpose that no one on planet earth can accomplish other than you. That is God’s plan for your life. So, if you have not yet fulfilled your purpose, do not grow weary in doing well because you will reap your reward and harvest in due sea- son.
Remember there is gap between conception of the vision, and the birth of the vision. With babies, that period is called the Gestation Period. During this season, many things happen to the baby, but many things happen to the mom as well. This is a period of growth for both mom and baby….and even dad! Furniture has to be purchased for the baby, clothes bought and that guest bedroom still has to be converted into the new nursery. Those red walls will be painted to more subtle baby friendly colors all the while mom and baby continue to grow.
January 1st is basically a “Begin Again” time of year. It is when gym memberships skyrocket as people decide again this year that they will get in shape and lose those 10 extra pounds. It is a time when businesses wipe the slate clean for their sales and begin a brand new. Some businesses experiences losses at the end of the year. When they do, they don’t quit. They use that period to reevaluate what they did well, and what they did poorly, and then make the needed adjustments. Other businesses experience great growth and profits, and this time of year they evaluate how they will take those profits and utilize them to grow their business and bring stability to their organization.
In other words, December is not only a time for us to give gifts to others and sing wonderful and timeless Christmas classics and carols. It is a SELAH moment where we stop long enough to reflect on the past year, make needed adjustments and prepare with fresh vision for the upcoming year. It is a moment every year when everything seems to stop and give thanks, and this is exactly what we need to do as well.
This is our SELAH moment. It is our time to stop, think back on all that God has done for us and give thanks. We count our losses and our gains, but we stake our total being upon Jesus Christ and our dependence upon Him and Him alone! It is this time when we listen closely to what HE is saying for our lives and business and ministry, and a time we make the CHOICE to obey HIS instructions for our lives.
May this Christmas season truly be a SELAH for you and your family. May you stop and meditate on the goodness of the Lord and the many blessings He has given to you even though you may have experienced great loss.
Michele, Judah and I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas. We wrap our arms around you with a great big hug. We desire to encourage you to continue pressing toward the prize of the high calling which is in Jesus Christ as we all endeavor to answer HIS CALL upon our lives.