Unusual And Amazing 2016

For many Americans, the biggest thing about 2016 was our election and many people were surprised and disappointed.

As my wife and I have been involved with charismatic and prophetic worship since April I have met many who were expecting Donald Trump to win. I don’t mean to suggest that everyone in this “movement” or slice of Christianity voted for Trump. I didn’t. Until recently I mostly had political discussions with other Democrats as too many Republicans had seemed angry and unreasonable to me.

About six weeks out from the election I shared my belief that it would take God’s intervention for Donald Trump to win. Of course, that’s what many people believe happened. I even prayed for what are called “faithless electors” to abandon Trump and make John Kasich president through the electoral college.

My intention is not to start any sort of debate. I’m just being real. I was saddened and disappointed for America on election night and at times afterwards.

Because my wife and I have been so heavily (for us) involved in worship during this time I believe it has been easier because we are learning to trust God more.
God has been healing me as I have been learning how to have deeper intimacy with Holy Spirit. I realized that I hadn’t trusted God as much since my mom died of cancer in 1987 and Holy Spirit helped me give up that lack of trust this year. That era of my life is over. This year was a new beginning for me.

My sense is that frequent worship is part of what many refer to as “Pressing In” with God – that is, achieving more intimacy and understanding of his will for you.

By practicing listening to and communicating with Holy Spirit each of us can get better at it. A friend who is much more experienced tells me that Holy Spirit tells him that I am becoming more discerning as I am practicing pretty much daily.
It might almost seem too simple that we can practice “Pressing In” just as we would practice playing soccer, playing an instrument, learning Spanish or a whole host of other skills.

Just yesterday as we were leaving morning worship (Yes, on a Friday! Right now is Fresh Awakening and there will be another in late January.) I felt what I call a “nudge” from Holy Spirit about two women who were sitting a few rows back from us.

Soon I felt another “nudge” as we were walking out. By speaking with my wife as we were leaving the building I knew that she wanted to leave, so I asked her if I might go back in while she went to the car. She agreed so I went back in and introduced myself to the two women who were still sitting on the end of their row. When I asked if they needed prayer for anything they said they did because a friend of theirs had died of cancer very recently. So I asked if they were open to me praying for them and the woman’s family and they were ready for me to pray and that’s what I did.

Before April I wouldn’t have been sensitive enough to “hear” God nudging me. I’m practicing other ways of “Pressing In” as well. I even asked God to help me with this blog post. Who’d have thunk it!?

I am wondering what’s going to happen with our world and our country with a new and unusual president. I’m thanking God for Barack and Michelle Obama as well as Joe & Jill Biden and even Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom here in California.

I’m trusting God to get us through in 2017 and beyond.

Tonight we’re going to worship to hear Charlie Robinson from Canada at The Fire & Glory Outpouring – December Fresh Awakening. I highly recommend it. We still attend our home church, Solana Beach Presbyterian, and I recommend that you attend or find yours. Revival is extra, but it’s probably some of the extra we need right now.

I have always wondered what it would be like to worship God with a group of believers to ring in the new year. Tonight I’m going to find out!

God bless you and Happy New Year!

Now What? Worship God!

Today is the day after Christmas, 2016.

Are you ready to move ahead or will you wait until January 2, 2017? (There’s all that football and maybe family and MAYBE recovering from the night before on New Year’s Day.)

Will you move ahead while keeping that Christmas Spirit all year long?

We have access to the TRUE Spirit of Christmas if we want it.

Of course, I’m talking about Holy Spirit.

Do you want more of the Holy Spirit in your life, that is, more INTIMACY with Holy Spirit? You CAN have that greater intimacy.

I have a strong suggestion.

Worship God more. In Spirit and in Truth.

This year has been quite a year with Almighty God for me and my family. Things REALLY picked up in April. After Power & Love in Pasadena I shared songs that encouraged my faith.

What I’ve found throughout the year is that I’m learning to love NEW songs that I hear in worship and on the radio (Thanks, Air1!).

Through worshiping God at the Fire & Glory Outpouring AND my home church (Solana Pres) and even watching worship on Youtube I have been stretched by God in my capacity for worship. I asked God to stretch me when I first entered this revival back when it took place in Rancho Bernardo.

Since I asked God to stretch me in worship what I’m about to say may not come as a big surprise, but maybe you’ve never thought of it before. I know I have.

I have wondered over the years what it would be like to bring in the new year worshiping with other believers. That’s what my wife and I will do this year.

Join us and Jerame & Miranda Nelson and a special guest or two at Fresh Awakening at Summit Church (that’s where Fire & Glory Outpouring moved months ago after Rancho Bernardo).

Of course, if you can’t make it to Summit Church in San Marcos you can watch on Youtube!

Again, I urge you to worship God in Spirit and Truth more often.

One way is through music and singing. (Yes, I do listen to more than just Crowder.)

Here’s a gifted helper, Lauren Daigle, to assist you in worshiping God.

I Just Wrote 1500 Words!

Not in this blog post!

Were you worried? 😉

This morning I felt the Lord nudge me to get up. It was just before 5:30.

Soon I realized that he wanted me to write. He knows my desires.

Some time in the last 20 years I decided that my favorite verse is Psalm 37:4. (By the way, I feel that if it’s your favorite, you ought to have it memorized, right? So, if it’s not memorized, it naturally follows that it’s not your favorite.)

Here it is:

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.

I was very happy when I read those words years ago. (Maybe that’s another way to judge your favorite verse as well!)

I believe He was showing me that one of my assumptions was incorrect.

What is that assumption?

That I can’t write unless it’s really quiet or some soft instrumental music is playing AND THERE ARE NO INTERRUPTIONS.

If you’re like me then at least part of the time you like free stuff. When we got Kindle I checked out some of the free book titles and read “Sydney Smith” by George William Erskine Russell in the fall of 2014. Wikipedia says that Sydney Smith was an English wit, writer and Anglican cleric. He was born in the 18th century. Here are a couple Sydney Smith quotes I found on Google this morning:

It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little – do what you can.

A great deal of talent is lost to the world for the want of a little courage.

Sydney Smith used to write at a little desk in the same room while his wife was having sometimes lively conversations with groups of women with whom she socialized (and ministered?). I was amazed at the clergyman’s ability and I don’t think I’m quite there yet, BUT this morning I got up and wrote while helping my wife get ready for school a little and having some conversation with her at various times.

Some of you might be wondering why I think this is a big deal.

Well, for starters I wrote 1500 words in under 90 minutes!

For me to do that with distractions from wife, life, doggies and computer glitches is well, a miracle.

WriteNonFictionNow.com says that the average length of a nonfiction book is 50,000 words. I sort of knew this but now that I’ve written so many words in an hour an a half I can see light at the end of the tunnel!

Even if I were only to write 1500 words once every day that means 33-34 days!

Why do I believe this has happened for me?

I’ve been worshiping God a lot more frequently since April, but especially since July. Last night was probably night 52 for me at The Fire & Glory Outpouring and I’ve been worshiping God at home more. Of course, we attend regular worship services at our home church, Solana Beach Presbyterian (Solana Pres).

Put simply – more intimacy with God. If you prefer, I’ll say it this way – more intimacy with Holy Spirit.

As I learn to listen for HIS still, small voice I become more practiced at hearing him. I believe the bible talks about this.

Here’s John 10: 27-28

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

I’m not going to attempt to unpack these verses right now, but I do find them comforting and challenging.

I want to hear His voice and I’m (very) regularly seeking intimacy with Him.

Maybe it’s a lot like what I told our son about soccer when he was growing up.

When you practice and keep practicing, you get better at it.

I urge you: Go, and do likewise!