Five Days Starting Tonight!

Real quick. I’m going to take a quick nap before I hustle down to The Fire & Glory Outpouring One-Year Anniversary at 7 pm.

Read last night’s post for more information.

There are 11 opportunities for worship (counting Summit Church’s Sunday morning service) during the next 97 hours. Here’s a preview of Shawn Bolz from a Fresh Awakening last year. At about 1:48:00 Jerame Nelson introduces Patricia King who introduces Shawn Bolz.

God bless you!

The Canadians Are Coming!

Wednesday night (tomorrow!) is the One-Year Anniversary of The Fire & Glory Outpouring and it kicks off five days of worship and celebration.

Sam Robinson is one of the guest speakers and I’m pretty sure he said that he’s bringing at least 60 Canadians with him to Summit Church in San Marcos, California. Last I heard there were at least 500 people registered, but that was Sunday and most of those were from out of state and outside the U.S.

Miranda Nelson said that most people actually register in the three days just before these special Fresh Awakening-type events. So I don’t know how many people will come for someone like Shawn Bolz. 700? 800? A Thousand? I’m not sure everyone will fit if we get 1000 people.

For this event I say “we” because my wife and I are volunteering as ushers. I don’t know if we are guaranteed seats, but I know I’ll at least have a place to stand!

If you’ve never experienced a revival-type worship event, I urge you to COME ON DOWN. (Because so many people are expected, based on my experience I recommend getting there 90 minutes early. If you want to attend when there are likely to be not quite so many so that you don’t have to come early, then shoot for 2:30 on Friday or Saturday. No guarantee, but based on my experience those times aren’t usually packed to the rafters!)

Remember, it’s not about getting you to switch churches. Attend your home church AND come to revival! Revival is EXTRA! Think of it like summer camp for adults (though kids are welcome as well).

The other really important thing to remember is that The Fire & Glory Outpouring is about the love of Jesus. So, don’t expect to switch churches and focus on giving and receiving the love of Jesus. You’ll probably learn a lot AND it’s very likely there will be prayer for healing. Bring your family. Bring your friends. Bring your enemies. They need God, too.

If you really can’t make it, you can watch online. I like numbers so I have kept a pretty accurate count. So far (mostly since July 2016) I’ve watched The Fire & Glory Outpouring on Youtube 24 times and I’ve attended live 68 times. Get more details by visiting the new website, ElishaRevolution.com.

Here’s the schedule and a song to take you out:

Schedule:

Wednesday | 7pm – Miranda Nelson
Thursday | 10am – Samuel Robinson
Thursday | 7pm – Shawn Bolz
Friday | 10am – Shawn Bolz
Friday | 2:30pm – Jerame Nelson
Friday | 7pm – Mahesh Chavda
Saturday | 10am – Mahesh Chavda
Saturday | 2:30pm – Andrew Hopkins
Saturday | 7pm – Jerame Nelson
Sunday | 7pm – Samuel Robinson

God bless you!

We Encourage When We Share

Most mornings I wake up with a song in my head. I truly enjoy music and during the last six months or so I’ve been listening to a lot more worship music. (I think I even mentioned this in an earlier blog post.)

Here’s how I think it works for me and I believe that means it can work for you as well.

Because I’ve been sincerely seeking to know God better through semi-regular worship and creating a study with two like-minded friends from church, I’ve been led/gone down a different (or deeper) path.

When I was 24 and my mom died of lung cancer I didn’t try hard enough to find help through people of faith. I remember reaching a point where people were telling me that maybe I needed to go to a professional (or semi-professional student counselor at SDSU, in my case) counselor to discuss my grief.

It is not my intention to sound harsh, but maybe what I should have done is found other believers who were willing to meet with me and pray with me (and counsel me) AND if I couldn’t find those believers at MY CHURCH, I should have looked at other churches for believers who would help.

That doesn’t necessarily mean leaving that church, but if that’s what I had to do then that’s what I should have done. As believers we have to take responsibility for our faith. (Check out Galatians 6:5-15 at BibleStudyTools.com which covers a great deal in this area.)

Today my wife and I attend Solana Pres in Solana Beach, California. I started attending a little over two decades ago. We also attend The Fire & Glory Outpouring Revival which is currently hosted at Summit Church in San Marcos, California. This doesn’t mean we are switching churches.

Tonight at 7:00 I expect that we will worship revival-style and tomorrow morning at 8:30 we will worship passionate-Presbyterian (or as close as Presbyterians get to passionate worship?) style.

When I started this blog I hoped to share my journey with Jesus honestly and assumed that a good number of readers would support me when I launch my brand.

What I’m finding is that by worshiping more frequently and continuing to meet regularly with good christian friends I can trust I’m more open to what God is calling me to do.

Evangelism is one of those things. I tell strangers that God loves them and I’m more open to conversations with them about what they want to talk about. Surprisingly, lots of people are open to someone who is sharing enthusiastically about their faith and many of those people are open to me praying for them. Sometimes that means right there on the spot.

If people support my brand when I launch, that’s wonderful. But, there is more to this blog than supporting me in what I do. Who’s supporting you?

Here’s Crowder with that song in my head when I woke up this morning.

God bless you!

Are You Leaning On His Glory-Strength?

Earlier today I wasn’t having a great time. For what was the third time in less than a week, one of our vehicles was in the shop. I met a nice man named Napoleon at Summit Church’s worship service on New Year’s Day and decided to try out his place, Bumper 2 Bumper, to fix the bumper on our new (used) vehicle.

In the process I let little things get to me and my wife and I ended up having an small argument. Even though we got to enjoy going out for breakfast while Napoleon’s crew worked on our car, I was bothered by something. I had read Colossians this morning and I thought I was ready for the day. Fortunately my wife is a teacher and has a few more days off. She urged me to cuddle up with her later when we got home and I ended up taking a nap.

Where am I going with this?

In the passage from Colossians below we’re reminded to lean on God’s glory-strength instead of the “grim strength of gritting your teeth”.

How do we do that?

I believe that frequent worship is an enormous help because if we are truly worshiping we are reminded that we are in the presence of God and that can mean we are impacted by his “tangible” glory.

Our culture doesn’t make it easy to spend lots of time in worship. This is not about making anyone feel guilty. This is about logical consequences.

If you spend more time exercising, you will see the results in your physical health.

If you spend more time worshiping, you will see the results in your spiritual health.

Now is the time to make changes. Even our culture makes it easier at the start of a new year. Regardless of when you’re reading this, I urge you to worship God more frequently in Spirit and in Truth.

Whatever you’re doing currently, why not add The Fire & Glory Outpouring? Attend in person or watch LIVE or recorded on Youtube.

My wife and I and a couple friends are attending at Summit Church tonight in San Marcos across from Cal State and I am really ready! (Boy, am I ready!)

Check out these verses from Colossians 1!

***
Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.
Colossians 1:9-12 The Message (MSG)
***

God bless you!

Citizens Of Heaven

What a wonderful New Year’s Day (and New Year’s Eve) we had! I’ll share about that another time, except to say that my wife and I attended The Fire & Glory Outpouring both nights and two regular worship services Sunday morning. If we include Saturday morning and afternoon I went to five worship services and my honey went to six in two days!

Last January I would have thought you were crazy (Though I PROBABLY wouldn’t have said it out LOUD!) if you told me I would participate in real congregational worship this often. Yet here I am. I encourage you to worship God more often in Spirit and in Truth. I believe I’m experiencing real effects in my life and in my intimacy with Jesus. This has everything to do with God and I deserve no credit except possibly for CHOOSING to seek intimacy with Holy Spirit.

Quite a long time ago I heard a verse that promises if you truly seek God you will find him. Because of my experience in personal development I remember realizing that what many people are seeking is fulfillment and that’s not necessarily the same as seeking God. In fact, I probably starting thinking about personal development in this way because of a wonderful and highly intelligent woman who was our senior pastor for a while at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, Roberta Hestenes. I asked people from time to time and don’t remember ever getting what I considered the right verse in response. (To be fair, I don’t think I ever asked Roberta Hestenes or our current senior pastor, Mike McClenahan.) I believe I found it with the help of Google and Bible Gateway.

Personally I have found The Message very helpful in understanding through modern language. Even if you normally read from a certain translation I highly recommend that you also read The Message for clarity. I’ve experience the Psalms and Epistles really coming alive for me recently when I’ve read The Message translation, which I believe is technically a paraphrase.

I’ve included two translations of the relevant verses. Also remember what I mentioned in the New Year’s Day post – Try New Things In This New Year!

Take hold of this promise!

***
But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.
Deuteronomy 4:29 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

But even there, if you seek God, your God, you’ll be able to find him if you’re serious, looking for him with your whole heart and soul. When troubles come and all these awful things happen to you, in future days you will come back to God, your God, and listen obediently to what he says. God, your God, is above all a compassionate God. In the end he will not abandon you, he won’t bring you to ruin, he won’t forget the covenant with your ancestors which he swore to them.
Deuteronomy 4:29-31 The Message (MSG)
***

My birthday is coming up on February 28th and if you could give me a present I guess I would first choose for you to actually attend The Fire & Glory Outpouring in San Marcos, California which I think is going through 2017. (Of course, Jerame & Miranda Nelson listen to Holy Spirit for direction so who can know the mind of God in advance?)

A very close second place gift would be for you to get The Message and read it often to help you receive God’s message in language that’s pretty easy to understand. I have The Message on my Kindle and computer, but I think today or tomorrow I’m going order or go and get a hard copy so I can read it when my internet connection is funky. Hopefully you are already watching The Fire & Glory Outpouring on Youtube. Don’t forget to watch old “episodes” (as I like to call them) in addition to watching LIVE on Youtube while worship is going on.

Today I’m leaving you with verses I read this morning during what many call quiet time. I have a friend who has said quite often that he’s a citizen of heaven and I believe that’s important to keep in mind. It’s helpful to remember where our authority comes from in relation to our identity as believers.

***
But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.
Philippians 3:20-21 The Message (MSG)
***

God loves you!

Try New Things In This New Year!

Happy New Year!

This morning my wife and I tried something new by attending Summit Church in San Marcos together for the first time.

Frequent readers may wonder what I mean because they have heard me refer to Summit at times. Summit Church hosts Jerame & Miranda Nelson who are the lead revivalists of The Fire & Glory Outpouring (revival).

We have been to Summit many times for The Fire & Glory Outpouring and yesterday we saw Charlie Robinson from Canada preach at both 10 am and 7 pm.

We enjoyed Charlie Robinson so much that we went to both worship services this morning and we’ll attend the revival tonight when he “tag teams” with Jerame Nelson.

If you haven’t been to The Fire & Glory Outpouring or you’re in the San Marcos area looking for a church or if you are traveling, check out Summit for the revival or regular worship service.

Tonight will be my 61st(!) time at The Fire & Glory Outpouring and this is a special once a month time called Fresh Awakening. I believe this is my 6th Fresh Awakening and I always find it amazing or wonderful or both when Jerame & Miranda invite speakers like Shawn Bolz, Ivan Roman, Sam Robinson (Charlie’s son), Theresa Dedmon, Mahesh Chavda and others to come.

Near the end of January is the One-Year Anniversary of this revival and anyone who has ever been to one may know that a year is actually a long time for a revival to last. I’ve heard that Jerame & Miranda expected to do three or four nights and Holy Spirit told them to keep going. So they are simply obeying God. Find out who’s coming in January by clicking here.

I encourage you to try lots of new things in 2017 and beyond. You can start with some music from Summit Church which you may not know. I hope to see you at revival soon, but if you really can’t make it, watch on Youtube!

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!