Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Jesus' Bones...Are You Kidding Me?

This past weekend a special aired on Discovery Channel which purported to have found Jesus' bones in a tomb. As if that was not enough, they also found bones of His son and wife - Mary. Enough already! This was clearly a promo job by James Cameron who simply wants to add his name to the list of Hollywood money grubbers.

There is clearly an antichrist sentiment rising in America and I am not sure the church is ready for it. This past week, ABC also aired a special showing an ex-con who calls himself Jesus. No, not Jesus, as in the spanish name but he is actually telling people that he is the second coming of Christ! Of course, the gullible are following him and giving him their life savings to help him live well. This smoking, cursing and hard-liquor indulging Jesus who encourages all of his members to get 666 tatoos is clearly "out there." My concern is simple: what is the church doing to counteract this rising anti-Christ sentiment? The New York Times best sellers list has many books in the top ten who all believe that the christians and religion are the biggest problem facing the world today.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the church is mired in denominationalism, sexism, racism, traditionalism and many other 'isms that only strenthen these antichrist arguments. People, we must come together. Enough of the flashy television shows and the latest product offerings let's get down to old fashion deliverance.

I am hungry for revival in this country. I am preparing my church, The Tabernacle, to take the mantle waiting for an authentic spiritual awakening in this country. This antichrist sentiment will not go away since the time is drawing near for Jesus to return. Until then, it is up to us to start invoking signs, wonders and miracles to follow our ministry...not just prosperity.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

To Grow You Must Be "Pruned"

I am writing to share with you a key key principle for growth - “sometimes you must cut-back before you can have more.” I believe that the church and many of its members want to have far too much and do not want to give up anything to get it. Let's examine this principle outlined by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in John 15. In this passage, Christ describes three types of branches (servants) and the divine methods He uses to get them to grow:

1. The Fruitful – Jesus says these faithful servants must “pruned” in order to grow. This means they must be trimmed or cutback so that they can be more effective and productive. This means they must be relinquish some of their ministry responsibilities, or buy cheaper clothes, for a season so that they can get to the next level. On the surface, this seems unfair that good people must be demoted, yet, beneath the surface there is an incredible revelation - every time you trim a branch it grows back stronger and produces more than it did before.

2. The Fruitless – Jesus says that the fruitless must be “repositioned” so that they can grow. This means that they must move into another place or position to be more effective. These branches are not dead; they are just not in the right place. The key is they still have the ability to produce. Why? Maybe the branch is fruitless because it is being “blocked” by another branch. Perhaps the branch is not getting enough water to build strength. Whatever the reason, this kind of servant must be moved to a more effective place to serve.

3. The Withered - The key difference between the withered and the fruitless is that the withered no longer have the ability to produce. No matter how hard you try to work with a withered branch it will bring forth nothing for it’s time has past. Jesus says we must move on from these branches and caste them aside.

Which kind of branch are you right now? Fruitful, fruitless or withered? Where is the church right now? Fruitful, fruitless or withered? If you want God to release greatness in you and you want to be a part of the coming revival then prepare yourself to be “pruned” or “repositioned.” The Lord is conducting a SHAPE analysis right now on every believer and the Holy Spirit is trying to help you discover how, why and where you were sent to serve. I do not intend to offend anyone, but some of us are not ready for the Lord to do his work and we approach these changes with a carnal mind. I desire for you to be blessed and highly favored of the Lord serving with passion until he comes. So ask yourself a simple question, “Do I want to grow?” If the answer is yes, then you must be willing to be “pruned” or “repositioned.”

I believe that each leader in the kingdom has been called to serve in this season by divine appointment. I hope you feel the same. I hope that you realize that bondages are about to be broken in your life simply because you are either going to be “repositioned” or “pruned” to grow. Do not let the enemy convince you to become one of the “withered,” or shall we say the caste-a-ways. I want you on our team, the Kingdom squad, serving where you are gifted and needed in ministry....kepping it real. This may not be where you want, but it will be where you will be unlocked to prosper. We are going to have a revival real soon!

I pray the Lord’s peace, grace and prosperity upon you and your family. Holla back.

Faithfully Yours,

Pastor D

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Problems In The Pulpit

Recent news stories surrounding a mega-church Pastor who secretly engaged in homosexual activity with a male prostitute shows us how much "the church" needs revival. Here we have a "man of God", who was very politically active and vocal regarding his stance against gays, caught in a relationship with a gay man. Most people I know have reacted one of two ways:
  1. They can't believe something like this could happen; or
  2. They are happy to see a hypocrite fall publicly.
The truth is a public fall often causes many to overlook all the good of the church and laser in on the secular belief that the "church is full of hypocrites." Are they wrong for believing this? Can you really blame them? Christ was greatly concerned with the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. Wasn't He the one who advised us in Matthew 7:3-5 to first consider the "plank" in our own eye before we try to take one out of our brothers? Frankly, as a new Pastor, my "planks"are the things with which I'm most concerned, since I do not want to be a preacher with a plank (that's a sermon title for someone!).

The greater issue here is not the Pastor's fall, the real hypocrisy is in what we call Christianity. Evangelicals support wars for oil in the name of God, yet turn a blind eye to countries practicing slavery. Evangelicals support the death penalty and yet on Sunday morning the church is the most segregated institution in America! We have acquired an unhealthy appetite for wealth, prosperity and the good life instead of demonstrating our love for others to show Christ. Christian television used to be a place where we could find a Word from God, now we can find a product from His "stand-ins". What's wrong with us? Are we blind? How can Pastors prosper so much and have even one person in their congregation on welfare?

The church needs to get right.
How do you get there? I do not have all the answers but I am sure some of you will have some great suggestions. As I embark on my journey to lead my local congregation into a "real" relationship with God and others, I pray that my "planks" do not blind me from the truth: I will always need to be submitted to Christ. Holla back.