Sunday, December 12, 2010

They are Hungry!

They are hungry- will you bring them lunch?
John 6:1-9

Intro.- Have you ever gone to a good restaurant and you are about to take the bite of the best meal ever- Then Somebody wants a bite? That is what this story is about!

I. You are ready to share your lunch!
Will you Stand out when people are Hungry!

John 6:1-4, (message) Sometime after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), 2 and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick. 3 Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. 4 The Jewish Passover Feast was near.

The Passover feast was drawing near! Jesus new he would eventually be the Passover lamb!

II. The crowd was hungry!
John 6:5, When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?"

I have learned that hunger and expectation is often dependent upon who draws the crowd!

III. Jesus asks his disciples to see with different eyes!
I love that- he asked the guy with the Faith problem

John 6:6- He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

Jesus knows what he is going to do, but he gives you a chance to buy into the vision!
You have to understand Jesus always gave the disciples opportunities to prove they believe!

TL Osborne- physical eyesight can blind spiritual vision!

IV. The truth and reality are very different!
Look at Philip- he gives the reality answer! He didn’t give the truth!

John 6:7, Philip answered him, "Eight months' wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!"

Reality is People are hurting- truth is Jesus can heal them
Reality is finances can hinder you- truth is Jesus is the banker
Reality is some kids are born into horrible situations- truth is Jesus can take them out
Reality is you may not be a great speaker- truth is when Jesus gets your life he creates a voice

Reality is you may not have very many gifting- Truth is God looks for availability

Psalms 51:6, Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

(Put leaders around me that know the truth and we will change the world and see the supernatural while the reality speakers live the mundane life of the natural!)

The problem in ministry comes when reality is a brighter neon sign than the faith God has placed in you!

Acknowledge reality on every level- but you fight the devil with Truth!
It sets you free!

Psalms 25:5, guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.

God is looking for people in this room that will defy the odds! The enemy will tell you that you will never change lives, you are never going to be great! But you have the truth!

Psalms 145:18-19, The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.

I continually live in a state of reality denial! It is an adventure!

Jesus started so many scriptures with- I tell you the truth!

I heard a song called- “Wait and See” by Brandon Heath- I loved it- it described someone who was told he would never be anything- he made so many mistakes!
Here are some of the Words from the song- “He is not finished with me yet. There is hope for me yet cause God's not finished with me yet.”

They were wrong! Prove the world wrong! And God right!

1 Corinthians 1:19, For it is written:"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."

God loves to prove the world wrong!
Romans 3:3-4, What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness? 4 Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written:
"So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge."

V. The pointer and the producer!
John6:8, Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up, 9 "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?"
Here is Andrew- He points out to Jesus the little boy!

Every leader must have around them someone who points out others gifting! In other words he was the facilitator!

Here was Andrew the brother of Simon Peter! He introduced Peter to Jesus! He knew how to bring people to the master.

What do we know about Andrew? Andrew, disciple of Christ, was from the city of Bethsaida near the region of the Sea of Galilee (John 1:44). He and his brother Peter were a fisherman by trade. In fact, it was Andrew who introduced his brother Peter to Jesus (John 1:41-42). According to the Gospel of John, Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist (John 1:35-40) before becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Andrew chased the anointing!

What were some main points in the life of Andrew? We know he pointed out the little boy!
• Andrew (along with Philip) introduced some Greek fellows to Jesus (John 12:20-22).
• Andrew inquired of Jesus regarding the destruction of the temple (Mark 13:3-4).
• He was among the disciples who gathered in the upper room after they had been indwelt by the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:13).

By studying tradition, we learn that Andrew preached in different regions and started a church in Constantinople. One account states that he refused to make sacrifices to heathen gods and was beaten and crucified at Patrae and Achaia.

****Andrew hung for approximately two days and during this time he praised God. (He was always pointing towards Jesus even in death)

Throughout his life, Andrew was a man with whom many of us can identify. He expressed doubt at times, did not always understand or comprehend the Lord's teaching, and he occasionally lacked faith. However, Andrew persisted.

He would point out the CHOSEN! Be a leader that can see the chosen! He saw the little boy!

Many are called but few are chosen! (Matthew 22:14)
Scene- He chooses a kid- can you see the kid- he is about to eat- then a bully disciple says- Hey kid give me your lunch!

Will you show up ready with a bag full of lunch? What is in your bag?

Five loaves! Two fishes! That meal represented so much!
Bread- 5 loaves- (The number of Grace) You better have the word in you! Be ready to share the bread! Jesus always break the bread!

Fishes! – there were two- (represents the joining of two different ones- You and God) that means each one is called to win more than yourself!
We are fishers of men!

If you come prepared he will pull you out of the crowd! You and God with some Grace!

VI. The field was full of people!
John 6:10, Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

VII. Let nothing go to waste!
When you call something leftover- Jesus calls valuable!

John 6:12, When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted." 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

VIII. Make Jesus Famous by your obedience! Learn to hide!

John 6:14, After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, "Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world." 15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

Jesus knows how to hide from the peoples desires and requests! He slips away!

Notice the little boy didn’t make the headlines! He wasn’t on the front of Time magazine!

Nope he went home having done his best! The people were fed! Jesus was more famous! Welcome to ministry!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Awaken the Shepherds!

Dear Friends and Leaders,

I write you tonight after just seeing hundreds of students touched at a University in Texas today. It is hard to believe that six months ago we launched back to the nations. God has been so faithful. We have been able to see tens of thousands saved, healed, and set free by Gods power. We have traveled over 90,000 miles to cities, states and countries. We simply couldn’t have done it without your help, prayers, and support. Karen and I are amazed at the awesome favor of God. The schedule has exploded.

In this holiday season our heart is to see families restored like never before. The enemies goal at the beginning was to destroy the home! How does he do it? Take out the shepherds! Jesus said when he was speaking to Peter and predicting his own death in Mark 14:27- “I will strike the shepherd and scatter the sheep! Today let the shepherds awaken and go tell the world the Savior is Born! We must stand firm! There is a stirring for the shepherds to wake up!

Awakening the Shepherds!

I want to take you back 2000 years ago on a cold dark night. We know that on the night Christ was born it was in the town of Bethlehem (as was prophesied in Micah 5:2). His family had gone up to pay taxes and be a part of the census. What amazes me is that God made sure a public record would be kept of His son’s birth. We know that he would be born in a manger behind an Inn. Paul said this of Jesus in II Corinthians 8:9, “ For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” We know that Jesus would become our shepherd! We know that Jesus is our shepherd. Take a look at John chapter 10:11, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Jesus would be the shepherd that would protect the flock!

I am reminded on that very special night of the birth of Christ who the angels decided to visit to announce the birth of the savior. It was the shepherds! A night when shepherds were slipping into a time of watchful rest! Then the sky lit up! God always uses the shepherds. Look at Moses and David. They were shepherding when their lives were interrupted. “Shepherds- in the Greek is “poy-mane” meaning a herdsman, overseer to which ones care has been committed.” God wants to interrupt the shepherds! He wants to interrupt the ones He trusts with care of others! I want to look at those special first responders. We are called to shepherd those around us. But first we must awaken in the night! I want to give you four things concerning the shepherds that were interrupted on that glorious night by the song of the angels!

4 things you must understand about this special band of brothers!
#1. The Shepherd is always on duty!- Luke 2:8, “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.”Here they were living in monotony. They had no idea what was about to happen. They would be a part of the greatest worship service of all time. What made them so special is that God knew they would be obedient. God knew they would handle the message. God knew they were the best ones to interrupt their lives! These were not normal shepherds. These were Near Eastern Shepherds- The tasks of a Near Eastern shepherd were:- to watch for enemies trying to attack the sheep- to defend the sheep from attackers- to heal the wounded and sick sheep- to find and save lost or trapped sheep- to love them, sharing their lives and so earning their trust.

I am reminded of during World War II, a shepherd was a pilot who guided another pilot whose plane was partially disabled back to the base or carrier by flying alongside him to maintain visual contact.

#2. The Shepherds realized their time had come for their mission! They were awakened from the monotony of life- Peace and favor was here! Luke 2:15-15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” I can see them sharing with each other as they walked along. Dude- nobody is going to believe this. This was an incredible sign of the first church coming together! There was such an excitement- They knew they had been visited by God. They were probably running- They were probably weeping- here these lowly shepherds were the first evangelist! God chooses the simple things to confound the wise. He chose the watchers of the lambs! These shepherds were going to find the Head Shepherd. 1 Peter 2:25- For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. Mom and Dad’s, you are the watchers of the lambs! The Shepherds understood they were on a mission. Luke 2:16-18,” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.”

#3. When the Shepherd shows up everything becomes ok! Luke 2:20, “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.” I bet when they showed up at the manger scene Mary knew everything was OK. Luke 2:19-“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” We have to have some shepherds show up in this generation-These shepherds were the ones who Mary would sit back and say- “I Think everything is going to be ok.” God proved himself thru the Shepherds-

#4- Today let God awaken the Shepherds to the Great Shepherd! 1 Peter 5:1-4, “ To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.”The enemy wants to destroy the shepherds- But the angels will awaken you!

Karen, the Forerunners, and I appreciate you so much. Have an awesome Christmas! Let this year be the best ever! God is going to use you greatly! Please let us know if you need anything at all. We are honored to serve you. Merry Christmas! Pat and Karen Schatzline

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

“Selah”- The Place of Quiet Transition

“Selah”- The Place of Quiet TransitionText: Psalms 71:23

This blog is for everyone that feels their lives are on hold! You are in a Selah moment!

Psalms 71:23, (message) When I open up in song to you, I let out lungsful of praise, my rescued life is a song.

Today there is a sound coming from the throne of heaven! It is a sound of incompleteness!

God began to burn the word “Selah” on my heart over two months ago!! He said son The church is in the place of the “Selah!” What is that?- The place of transition!

I. Your life is a song to God!
Psalms 104:33-34, (message) Oh, let me sing to God all my life long, sing hymns to my God as long as I live! 34 Oh, let my song please him; I'm so pleased to be singing to God.

Psalms 98:1, (message) Sing to God a brand-new song. He's made a world of wonders! He rolled up his sleeves, He set things right.

Ephesians 2:10, For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Workmanship- Greek- poiema (poy'-ay-mah); a poem, a song, a product (literally or figuratively): thing that is made in unique fashion, of the works of God as the creator and author.

Psalms 9:14, (message bible) I'll write the book on Hallelujahs; on the corner of Main and First
I'll hold a street meeting; I'll be the song leader; we'll fill the air with salvation songs.

II. The song isn’t over!
God is a God of completion! Half finished songs equal unfulfilled promises.
Philippians 1:6, (message) There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.

In Revelation Jesus says I have not found your deeds complete!
Revelation 3:2, Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God.

All through the Psalms and Habakkuk the writer used a phrase to force the song to stop. This was called the “SELAH.”

It is the place used to show God isn’t finished with the song! God always finishes what he starts! The problem is we sometimes stop in the middle of the song! You must take time to realize God isn’t done!

Selah, [celah], is from the primary Hebrew root word [calah] which literally means 'to hang,' and by implication to measure (weigh). The place of pausing, reflecting, ponder deeply, valued by weighing, the divide of a time-line, the moment of conjunction, the changing of a point in history. [ Amplified bible: pause, and calmly think of that]

There is a Selah waiting on you. Your song isn’t over! In the bible whether it is urging our meditation upon our sinfulness, declaring God is our refuge, or speaking in 'types' about Christ, this word is an exhortation for us to be wise and measure or weigh what has been said that we understand its true meaning. It is a pause- a changing of course!

It is used in the Psalms seventy-three times, and is also used in Habakkuk three times. Each time it is illustrating that we should measure wisely or 'weigh' solemnly what is said.

Can you imagine listening to music and the song stopping halfway through it?

Imagine if these songs never got finished! (CUE: POINT TO BOARDS)

What about this song…. Blessed Assurance
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! O what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, born of his Spirit, washed in his blood. (pause)
…. What if this part was never in the song!

This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the daylong; this is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long.

What about this song…. Amazing Grace
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, but now I see.

…. What if this part was never in the song!
T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear. And Grace, my fears relieved. How precious did that Grace appear The hour I first believed.

What about this song…. Blue Suede Shoes
Well its one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, now go cat go….

…. What if this part was never in the song!
Don’t you step on my blue suede shoes. You can do anything but don’t you step on my blue suede shoes!

What about this song…. Wind Beneath My Wings
Did you ever know that you're my hero, and everything I would like to be?

…. What if this part was never in the song!
I can fly higher than an eagle, 'cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

There has to be the next part! The part that brings it all together! The part that completes the thought! The part that just makes it work!

It is time to realize there is a quiet moment in the midst of your chaos!
I am here to talk to you about the next part of the song!

The moment in the song where you feel a shift- you feel something has changed- you feel as if we are going to another level- but first there is a pause-

III. The moment when words don’t work!
I have learned that when God gets ready to shift me- everything gets loudly quiet!
It is the quiet transition of seasons! When God begins to take you to the next level!
You can’t describe where you’re at, because words haven’t been created! (frustration)

Romans 8:19-21, For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

Psalms 77:11-12, (message) Once again I'll go over what God has done, lay out on the table the ancient wonders; 12 I'll ponder all the things you've accomplished, and give a long, loving look at your acts.

I’m talking to everyone that has been in a quiet place!
Everyone who has no words to completely say where you have been at!

Romans 8:26-27, (message) Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.

God wants you to know he built this into your song! You are a song that hasn’t ended!

Psalms 42:7-8, (message) Chaos calls to chaos, to the tune of whitewater rapids. Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers crash and crush me. 8 Then God promises to love me all day, sing songs all through the night! My life is God's prayer.

IV. Seven Selah Moments!

#1. The Selah moment forces right emotions!
Psalms 4:4, In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Selah (think about it, weigh it, then go forward)

Psalms 4:5-8, Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord. Many are asking, "Who can show us any good?"Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord. 7 You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. 8 I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

So in Psalms 4- the Selah- pause- think about your reactions and emotions- then begin the next part of the song- BOOM… The next part of the song says- I will approach God correctly- I will stand in your light! I have your joy in my heart that is more precious than riches and sustenance- and now I will rest in peace and safety!

#2. The Selah Moment establishes Gods sovereignty in your life!
Psalms 62:7-8, My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. 8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah (weigh/ scales)

Psalms 62:9-10, Lowborn men are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie; if weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath. 10 Do not trust in extortion or take pride in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them.

#3. The Selah establishes who you trust in!
Psalms 57:6, They spread a net for my feet — I was bowed down in distress. They dug a pit in my path — but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah

Psalms 57:7-8, My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. 8 Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn.

#4. The Selah moment restores hope!
Psalms 77:6-9, I remembered my songs in the night. My heart mused and my spirit inquired: 7 "Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? 8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? 9 Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?" Selah

Psalms 77:10-15, Then I thought, "To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High." 11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. 12 I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. 13 Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? 14 You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. 15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.

#5. The Selah is the place to realize His favor!
Psalms 67:1, May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us,

Psalms 67:2-4, that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. 3 May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. 4 May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth.

#6. The Selah takes your worship to the next level!
Psalms 47:1-4, Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. 2 How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth! 3 He subdued nations under us, peoples under our feet. 4 He chose our inheritance for us, the pride of Jacob, whom he loved. Selah
Psalms 47:5-8, God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets. 6 Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. 7 For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise. 8 God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne.

#7. God also has Selah moments!
Zephaniah 3:17, The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult [Dance] over you with singing.

V. Your life is a song with many conjunctions and grammar!
***Quit thinking your life ends before the comma and conjunction!

We have all had conjunctions- It is the but, and, or….. (you faced divorce… but, you were wounded but, you faced got into trouble ….and, she could have chosen a rough path …..or

What if your life was half a song? We would be in trouble! Conjunction changes everything

Selah, [celah], the moment of conjunction, the changing of a point in history.

In the Hebrew words are assigned a numeric number- the conjunction is numerically the lowest number zero- any time you see but… it is a zero moment… it literally means everything before the conjunction is cancelled out!

Psalms 49:14-15, 14 Like sheep they are destined for the grave, and death will feed on them. The upright will rule over them in the morning; their forms will decay in the grave,
far from their princely mansions. 15 But God will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself. Selah

Psalms 66:18-19, If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;
19 but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer.
pp. Psalms 73:26, My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

Don’t confuse the comma with the period. God knows his grammar!
Pick up the pen! Wipe your eyes. You stopped at the end of a stanza- god is still speaking!
There are too many incomplete songs in this room!

VI. Make sure your song doesn’t belong to the world!
The enemy wants your song! He will even get you to use them in the wrong places!
Look at Israel. They are in bondage. They are forced to live by the river. They have masters over them. Then the masters cross a line!

Psalms 137:1-6, Alongside Babylon's rivers we sat on the banks; we cried and cried,
remembering the good old days in Zion. 2 Alongside the quaking aspens we stacked our unplayed harps; 3 That's where our captors demanded songs, sarcastic and mocking:
"Sing us a happy Zion song!" 4 Oh, how could we ever sing God's song in this wasteland?
5 If I ever forget you, Jerusalem, let my fingers wither and fall off like leaves. 6 Let my tongue swell and turn black if I fail to remember you, If I fail, O dear Jerusalem, to honor you as my greatest.

Oral tradition teaches- at night the harpist gagged each other to quiet the noise- then they smashed each other’s fingers- and cut off their index fingers- they understood their gifting were to only be played for the King of Kings.

The enemy wants your song!

VII. There is a choir being assembled!
Psalms 40:2-3, He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.

Psalms 118:14, The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.

Read- Revelation 5:5-14…….

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Understanding and Prioritizing The Call of God

Why me Lord? I know very few people who have ever felt the call of God when they didn’t first say “WHY ME?” In fact is the healthiest question a leader can ask when they feel the stirring to take up the high call of ministry.

I remember as a teenager questioning the call. I have always said the best way you know your called is “You go to bed thinking about it, You wake up thinking about it, and Everything that happens to you would fit great into a sermon illustration!” Welcome to the call of God. So much has been said about doing ministry, but few write about how to answer the call.

One of my all-time favorite verses can be found in Romans 11:29. It is the verse about Gods guarantee and touch upon a leaders life. The verse refers to Gods continued love for the Jew, but it is also a life verse for the Gentile.

Romans 11:29- (message bible) God's gifts and God's call are under full warranty — never canceled, never rescinded.

What this verse tells me is that regardless of your life decision to take the journey called ministry the “kiss” of God is still upon you. The most miserable people I have ever met are those who ignored the call of God. Maybe it was out of fear, insecurity, or even hurts they ran from Gods plan for them. Here is what you must understand the call of God is not for the faint at heart or the angry in Spirit. The call of God is for those who simply have the never ending desire to minister Gods healing power and deliverance. The call can operate in an office, church, or on the open market.
I want to take a few minutes to answer some questions and give some insight to “The Call.” I believe with all of my heart that everyone is called. I believe that every person can walk under the mantle of Gods hand. I also believe that God take the common, and with one command make them a conqueror! Let me give you some precepts for the call. I may intertwine the precepts with scriptures and concepts.

1. The calling of God is always absolute!
God won’t change his mind about you- so don’t change your mind about him!
Realize on your worst day of ministry you are still called!

Romans 1:5-6, Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. 6 And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

Luke 9:1-6, When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 He told them: "Take nothing for the journey — no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic. 4 Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. 5 If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them." 6 So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere.

If your called to him today then you must lose what you followed yesterday! Hurts, fears, pains, attitudes! He is calling you to him!

God doesn’t make mistakes. He created you for his purpose. He has unbelievable plans for you. He just wants you to step into the great adventure.

2. It started first for me with the mud and the mirror!
It wasn’t till I realized I was nothing without Jesus that I began to question if he could use me. You see it is at the end of yourself that the beginning of God begins.

I am reminded of Saul (later to change his name to Paul) laying in the mud blinded by a light that he had an encounter with Jesus!

Acts 9:3-6, As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
"Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked."I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. 6 "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."

Saul had to go to his kness! He was brought down from his thrown of killing Christians, and suddenly left blinded by Gods power. For three days all he could see was his own life flashing through his mind. He was the most learned of all Roman citizens! He had Government power in his hands. Yet, on that lonely road called Damascus he was interrupted by Gods plan.

He was in the mud and looking at his life in a mirror. That is how God grabs people. He allows them to wonder and then in one moment- He interrupts them.

That is what happened to Elisha when Elijah found him working the fields. It is what Jesus did with the disciples.

3. The call begins to consume the called!
I know what it is like to go to bed hearing the screams of the lost. I know what it is like to walk on a stage in front of thousands and wonder “how did I get to do this?” You see when God calls you there comes a period of time where you begin to realize if I don’t answer- I will just die.

It overwhelms you. Everywhere you look you see desperate man in need. In fact the best thing that could happen to you is realize that God can do it without you, but he chooses not too.

The beating heart screams out like an Edgar Allen Poe story. It becomes intoxicating. In fact I will dare say, it even becomes a cross to bear!

4. Your motives are always the first to be tested.
David understood this as his brother sat next to him at the camp fire questioning him for asking about a giant. Peter was criticized by the religious.

Psalms 78:72- And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.

Jesus was asked over and over- who do you say that you are? It is always the enemies plan to question you about the big question of your life. He will always tell you that you don’t belong, or that you will fail, but realize that God started this thing with you. I am reminded as Moses got ready to go meet up with his nemesis and step brother pharaoh. He asked God the powerful question “whom shall I say sent me?” and God said tell him “I AM.” Enough said. I love what Paul said in regards to preaching with the right motives!

Philippians 1:14-18, It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

So if you have accepted the call and your motives are under attack take heart, because you have joined a great fraternity! The fraternity of the Unashamed!

5. The call of God resonates in the lives of those who are broken and desperate.

The call of God is rarely recognizable on the pompous and self consumed. If it is upon such a person then they usually have a longer journey in the first stages of ministry. The touch of God is not indifferent to personalities or even a persons upbringing, but it is manifest most in the broken and desperate. God is simply looking for those who can stay real and walk in continual desperation.

Psalms 51:6-11, (message bible) What you're after is truth from the inside out. Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life. 7 Soak me in your laundry and I'll come out clean, scrub me and I'll have a snow-white life. 8 Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once-broken bones to dancing. 9 Don't look too close for blemishes, give me a clean bill of health. 10 God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. 11 Don't throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me.

These are the people whom God can trust to lay down their nets and take up the cross. God doesn’t always use the most talented, but he must use the most broken.

6. The call of God is for those who understand priorities!
John 3:30- I must decrease that he might increase!

Matthew 6:33-But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

In other words you must be a leader who maximizes what is important. You make up your mind to pray, study, and pursue destiny. The call of God is for those who understand that it is a continual growth. You never arrive. You have to continually better yourself in every area.

Stay a student! Be willing to pay the price and grow where your planted. You must be willing to serve and stand by those who believe in you! Ministry doesn’t happen overnight! Learn and learn more!

2 Timothy 2:15, Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

Your walk is your first priority! Everyday pursuing Jesus. Everyday you worship harder than others, pray deeper than most, and you continually crucify your flesh. That is why the bible says in 1 Thes. 5:17, Pray without ceasing.

The called must always be sure that their family is healthy in every area. Your family must know that without the church you are ok. In other words with a job in ministry your ok. That way the church/ or a job doesn’t own you.

Roams 14:12- Everyman will give an account of himself.

The called prioritizes the difference between vision and ambition. Ambition is flesh driven, but vision is God birthed. You must always make sure your priorities are right. Keep Gods plan first in everything. He has plans for you. (Jer. 29:11)

God has secrets he wants to share with you. (Jer. 33:3) Seek out advice of those who have accomplished the great and of those who have accomplished the unseen.

Keep people in your life that can speak into your life, and also have those in your life that are simply there to encourage and be your friend.

7. The called must always be aware of the pitfalls waiting on you!
Paul spoke in Romans of the thorn in his flesh. The moment you accept the call you are now on the enemies radar. You now are a threat.

The list of the fallen are usually more recognizable than the list of the proven.

1 Corinthians 4:1-5, So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. 2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

You have to guard your flesh at all times. I heard an old preacher tell me once that many times the devil will leave someone with deep flesh flaws alone until they become popular or big in the church world and their fall effects many more because of their prominence and popularity.

Get dressed correctly ever day!
Ephesians 6:10-14, Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Remember if you play with the call of God- he will find someone else to take your place – Saul!

8. The called must always avoid being judgmental or flippant!
It is so easy to become callas in hardened in ministry! Guard your motives and tongue!
I have watched young ministers fall into the pit called judgmental attitude.

2 Timothy 2:16, Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.
It is easy to stand on the sidelines and call plays. I challenge every leader to guard that demonic spirit called religion which causes a leader to think to highly of himself.

Matthew 7:1-6 (message bible) "Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults — unless, of course, you want the same treatment. 2 That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. 3 It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. 4 Do you have the nerve to say, 'Let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is distorted by contempt? 5 It's this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor. 6 "Don't be flip with the sacred. Banter and silliness give no honor to God. Don't reduce holy mysteries to slogans. In trying to be relevant, you're only being cute and inviting sacrilege.

9. Realize the called have always faced persecution!
2 Timothy 3:12-17, (message bible) Anyone who wants to live all out for Christ is in for a lot of trouble; there's no getting around it. 13 Unscrupulous con men will continue to exploit the faith. They're as deceived as the people they lead astray. As long as they are out there, things can only get worse. 14 But don't let it faze you. Stick with what you learned and believed, sure of the integrity of your teachers — 15 why, you took in the sacred Scriptures with your mother's milk! There's nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another — showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God's way. 17 Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.

10. The truly called must live in a constant place of walking in faith!
Hebrews 6:12-15, We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, "I will surely bless you and give you many descendants." 15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.
The call of God is all about believing in something bigger than you. You have to walk in supernatural faith. That means everything will not always make sense.

I heard someone say years ago that where God guides he must always provide.
Walking in two key components at all times is the priority: Wisdom and Faith!

2 Cor. 5:7- We live by faith and not by sight!

Hebrews tells us you can’t please God without Faith. It is about an assuredness that is mind blowing!

Hebrews 11:1, Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
o Washington Carver – success is not what you are but what you paid to get there!

Your calling is to build faith in others!
Romans 10:17, Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

Quote- CS Lewis- faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted in spite of your changing moods.

No one can stand in the way of your faith!

Romans 3:3-4, What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness? 4 Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written:
"So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge."

11. The called have a huge inheritance waiting on them!
Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

We are called to finish- not just start something! You are called to complete your assignment!

History is not made by the starters, but the finishers! Heaven is cheering you!

2 Timothy 4:7-8, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day — and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

If I can say anything to you it is this one statement: It will all be worth it! You are not your own- You were bought for the satisfaction of the King!

Heaven is your reward. At the Bemus Seat of Christ they will line up and say thank you. Your called because he called you.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Running the race together!

Dear leaders,

This wed Sept. 29, 2010 Karen and I will reach the amazing mile stone of 20 years of marriage. Wow! What a truly wonderful journey. In a time when marriages involved in ministry are under an all out assault from the enemy. Believe it or not according to Charisma magazines poll of ministers the divorce rate is 50%. Karen and I have watched several dear couples we were close to walk away from their marriages. Many just allowed ministry to destroy their marriage or they simply grew apart. In honor of 20 years with my sweetheart I wanted to focus this 3M blog on “Running together to the finish line.” You see we believe that we are called to run together!

Our wedding: I will never forget looking to the back of that little church in Eagle Lake, FL upon the most gorgeous woman in the world. As she walked towards me on her father’s arm down that aisle I began to weep. How could this angel be marrying me? Her smile, her beauty, her sophistication, and her grace was overwhelming. Not to mention….. On that day September 29th, 1990 I started a journey with my lady. Twenty years ago I had no idea what it meant to be a husband. I had yet to truly even learn what true love meant. Karen would not only become my best friend, but she would teach me so much about life, God, and love. Karen would be the one that would teach me how to chase Jesus, how to have grace, how to develop a devotional life, and how to establish boundaries. God brought her to me and she has always been way more anointed. Our entire marriage we have been in ministry. In fact while we were dating I accepted my first fulltime position as a youth pastor near Tampa, FL. Due to the fact that the church also had a retirement community for pastors on sight we were continually encouraged (harassed- Lol) to get married. So we moved our date to Sept. We moved into a small and very old house that was owned by the church. Karen made that little house a home. I remember we tried so hard to clean the 30 year old dingy green carpet, and the mildewed walls. HAHA! I remember us asking the church to change the carpet in that old parsonage. One elderly fella (everyone in the church was over 60) on the board told us our carpet in the parsonage was better than his homes carpet, and we could just live with it. Back then I was as green as the carpet and didn’t know how to stand up for issues. Those were the days. We found out six months after we were married that our son had been conceived. I got home from a college class and Karen greeted me at the door with the news. I remember telling her to sit down and not move for 9 months. While those days were tough financially, and also geographically we had fun together. During those early days Karen was very shy in large gatherings and she would force herself to be a public figure. The thought of speaking publicly petrified her, but at the same time she knew God was going to use her. As small child her mother would tell her over and over someday God is going use you greatly. I remember the first few times she spoke she would break out in blotches from her nerves. Yet, she kept pushing forward. She would say to me “the girls must be told that they are all beautiful princesses.” She knew she had a message for a generation of girls that had to be spoken. She knew my secret. While on the outside walking in bold confidence I dealt so strongly with insecurity and fear. She made up her mind to help me get thru that in my life. To this day when I speak at a gathering she is the first to greet me with-“Sweetheart, that was awesome.” I can’t imagine being married to someone who would tell their minister husband or wife- You could have done better, or you went too long. In fact Karen still laughs at jokes she has heard 10,000 times. You see we learned a long time ago that we would be each other’s biggest fan! I still send her roses wherever she speaks and I always have them attach a bottle of Pepto-Bismol for her stomach. Now it has become a small sign of “look where you have come from baby!” That reminds me I need to call the florist today as Karen gets ready to go to Idaho on Thursday to speak. Let me give you 20 rules for marriage in ministry. These all can be applied to marriages, but my main goal today is to speak into the lives of those preparing for ministry.

20 Rules for Marriages in Ministry:
• Remember, that God never asks us to put the call of ministry ahead of our marriage or children. You see Karen and I believe that marriage done right causes the right kind of ministry. We have fun in ministry. The ministry has allowed us to go and see what we could have never done leading a “normal” life. The ministry has allowed us to accomplish dreams and goals. It is a awesome adventure.
• In ministry it is critical that you never allow the ministry to be a mistress. I remember early in years of marriage I would go to the office late at night, study late at night, and many times use the church as an excuse for being less than focused on my family. Over time I began to realize that the ministry is “constant,” and I that I must draw lines to protect my home and marriage.
• Never allow anyone outside your spouse to be your biggest fan. No one gets that spot. That is reserved parking for the love of your life. Make sure to step outside the mirror and keep an eye on your wedding photo. There are two people in that photo- not one! In other words it is your job to see the person who chose to stand with you that day. Make sure you continually take the time to praise your spouse.
• Guard your home from the continual attack of what is aptly called “the tyranny of the urgent.” You see people always need us. Most of the time people forget that you are a normal family. Somewhere in discipleship 101 that chapter gets left out. So it is your job to say “WHOA.” It is your job to turn the phone off. It is your job to guard the special occasions, and also regular days of life. Your spouse doesn’t mind sharing you, but there is a limit! Be the first one to say, “I would love to help you, but I can’t today. My family needs me!”
• Guard your marriage from the “office chatter.” In other words do not always talk about the church or the people. Instead, talk about each other. Remember, shepherds must always guard the sheep door. Learn what it means that when you are home- BE AT HOME!
• Guard your bedroom. You see Karen and I made up our mind early that our bedroom was a place of solitude and rest. We decided early on that no one else belonged in our room. That means we only talk about us, our family, and our dreams.
• Guard intimacy! OK- here we go! Intimacy in marriage must never stop. Your must make sure the flames of romance stay lit. Enjoy each other. That is God’s really cool plan. REALLY COOL! Sex is pure!
• Serve each other! I think in ministry we serve so many that we forget that we must serve each other. I wasn’t very good at this when I first got married. Many times it is what we see modeled by our parents that determines how well we serve. We come home from the office tired and ready to vegetate. Men in ministry especially have a tough time with this. We lead at the church, but we follow at home. Maybe it is because we get tired and for some reason think we have done enough. At some point the light came on for me. I needed to help around the house. I needed to get up early with the kids. It is not only unfair to not serve our spouses and kids, but is also a great romance killer.
• Stay enamored with each other. Have secret moments that take place in public. Karen and I have little signals and sayings that we share with each other in the biggest of crowds. It is our way of saying “we may be among hundreds or thousands, but we are really one and in love with each other in the crowd.” When she walks in the room it catches my breath. My eyes meet hers and I really don’t care who else is there. I am enamored with her.
• Some of the most dysfunctional marriages are in high profile ministries. They have “Image management vs. authentic living.” They put on the masks in public. So we have made up our minds early that we must show honor, love, and respect in public, and in private. We do not ever bring reproach or offense upon each other. We also do not allow people to cross a line in any manor towards our marriage. We believe that we are Christians first before we are ministers. When you are public people for some reason people think they know you and your spouse. They may even think they can speak into your lives from an outsiders point of view. Learn how to keep offense out of your marriage.
• HAVE FUN! Make sure the most fun you could ever have can only be found in the arms of your spouse. Learn how to get off the spinning world and have a vacation. Our spouses must see that when we are together nothing else matters. This is very hard in ministry. That is about setting boundaries. Also, laugh together, dance together, play together, and enjoy your time together. I will cover this more at the end of the blog. Remember, you were created for each other’s pleasure and joy! Go on dates. Use the 7-7-7-7 plan. Every 7 hours connect with each other, Every 7 days have a date, every 7weeks plan a getaway or really long day, and every 7 months take a long vacation!
• Pray together! This took me a long time to truly appreciate. I didn’t understand the power of agreement as a couple. In fact you really don’t understand this until you walk through tough times. Your children must see that you pray together. They must see that you walk as one as believers. When you pray together get real, and be honest. Disciple each other in the things of God. But don’t condemn! Instead push each other towards the savior.
• Never stop believing in each other’s dreams. In fact the more you believe in each other’s dreams the more your dreams will become one.
• As the priest of my house I must always be willing to serve, develop, and minister to my family first. Learn the power of washing each other’s feet. Learn the power of having a family covenant.
• Realize you married to each other and not the ministry. Jesus is married to the church not you. In other words realize “without the ministry- you are ok.”
• Keep the front door locked! In marriage it is absolutely critical that you are givers and great stewards of your finances. You see we believe we do not have to be broke, because we are in ministry. That means we have to plan for the future- use wisdom in spending- and always be tithe payers. This rebukes the enemy from your home. That means also that when it comes to finances make decisions together. Debt is a love killer. That means when spending don’t use the “God Card,” but rather “agreement plan.” Walk in agreement.
• In ministry we must also learn the power of sharing our spouse. This is hard. Above I talked about the importance of separating from people, but we must also realize that in some parts we belong to the people. If there is balance in the marriage then this isn’t usually a problem. Guard jealousy! Guard walking in tension. In fact God wants his best from you on all occasions. That means when things are tough at home take time to fix it. Karen and I have a rule that we never bring an argument into the pulpit. We fix it.
• Train together. Learn how to work out together. This is awesome in every way.
• Guard your tongue- Ok let’s get honest! When you spend your life using words to continually share the message and vision as a professional speaker- you thus can use the same tongue for evil. You’re a trained orator! That means your tongue can be a double edged sword. Be careful how you speak to your spouse. A huge love chiller is to demean, demand, demoralize, or denigrate your spouse! Build each other up. Don’t criticize. Do not allow yourself to become the church member that destroys churches. Guard being negative. Guard against expecting and demanding more from your spouse than they deserve. You don’t own each other! You are called to build each other up at all times.
• Leave the office! Drive home slow! Pull in the driveway! Get out of the car! Be ready to be life to the ones that matter most!

This entire blog was written to encourage you the reader in God’s plan for your marriage. The devil hates healthy marriages. He hates it when you set a pure example. The enemies goal is to destroy your marriage so others will lose hope. Most of all the enemy can’t stand that you like each other. A few months ago Karen and I decided to start a new adventure. We started jogging together. It is one of the coolest things we have ever done together. We talk, laugh, complain, cry, dream, pray, and plan together on the track in the morning time. Not only has it helped us get in shape, but our marriage has gone to a whole other level. I would not give our mornings up for anyone. In fact we are pretty selfish about our mornings. We won’t plan meetings or appointments during our morning runs. It is our time. It is a daily date! There are more mornings where we simply enjoy each other’s company, and other times we do war with the devil. We fight for our children, finances, ministry, and friends. We pray for miracles for upcoming services. We encourage each other. So I challenge you as a couple to find something consistent that the two of you can do together. GUARD IT! You deserve each other. Our goal is at the end of the next 20 years we will be able to say- “the first 20 was incredible, but the last 20 was indescribable.”

So to my gorgeous wife I say, “Thank you baby!” You turned me into a man, and pushed me to understand true love. Thank you Jesus for my bride of my youth that will someday be my bride of my old age! Together we are unstoppable! A part we would just be half of a perfect plan! God Bless you! Pat

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Precepts for Revival

Dear Friends and Leaders,
I have watched lately as God is stirring churches to go deeper than they have ever gone in him. We have been seeing crazy physical healings and spiritual awakenings. It seems that we are living in a day of refreshing, outpouring, and miracles like not seen in generations. How have we arrived at this place? Maybe it is the political atmosphere of our nation. Maybe it is the financial crisis in our nation, or maybe the fear of terrorism. I am not sure, but I have learned that really it is about the leader. Yes, people can hinder a move of God, but God’s leader has to strive for a deep walk with Jesus. We all want miracles and we all desire to see the lost saved. True revival is when God gets so sick and tired of being misrepresented that he shows up. God is searching the land for places that His Dove can land. Most of my ministry I have felt like the weird one. That isn’t an insecure statement, but rather a reality. You see Karen and I have always been hungry for more. That doesn’t mean that we haven’t at times got lethargic, or that we have not gone through dry seasons. It seems that God continually shakes us. God simply won’t allow us to get comfortable. During one season of ministry God put on my heart the following teaching. You see I desire to see Acts 2 today in our services. I am reminded though that the first thing that happened to those 120 revolutionist in the upper room was UNITY. They were all desperate. They were all trusting. They were all ready to die for Christ. They were all awaiting His return. They were all simply hungry! They were in one mind and one accord. Read the precepts below. These are just a few precepts that will teach you concerning what will stop or bring a spiritual awakening. These are the days when dry bones will live again!

15 Things That Will Stop or Hinder Revival

• Leader, where there is no integrity there will be no authority. If God doesn’t trust you he won’t chase you. Signs and wonders should follow!

• If opinion of man far outweighs the direction the spirit to lead. Fear of man - position or passion - title or testimony? You see we don’t need title when we have a testimony! I love what Oswald Chambers said. “Find a man that fears man and he will fear everything, but find a man that fears God and he will fear nothing.”

• Your desire to entertain leaves no room for people to enter into God’s presence. We must do outreach, but we must also teach people to enter in!

• Your fear of manufacturing the Spirit or offending people will hinder God’s direction. You have to trust HIM! You have to make up your mind that people must have an encounter to truly change. Your job is to create the right atmosphere.

• You are building your kingdom in which there is an end! In his kingdom - this leads to building on personality instead of God’s reality-two kingdoms will clash.

• Your support staff lacks ability to lead or doubts yours. Reacting instead of acting upon! Where there is no respect God will not grant responsibility. You can’t lead where you refuse to go! Your team is watching you. Whether they are older or younger staff they have chose to follow your leadership.

• Your desperation level is overwhelmed by your perspiration level! Your schedule has cancelled your appointment with God! Your prayer closet has become a rare closet. There are times where you must hide away with God.

• Your spiritual level and depth is on the shallow end. Go deep. Jer. 33:3 tells us God has secrets for you. Fresh revelation awaits the hungry.

• When you don’t realize a closed door is not correcting you but a correction of direction. Rejection many times is not rejection but protection. Don’t lose heart for the vision when your plan doesn’t work. Hold on and believe. Keep crazy faith! Faith with wisdom is unstoppable. Remember, it is impossible to please God without Faith! Heb. 11:1

• Your home is not a refuge due to the refuse. We must guard our homes. Your family has to see someone real. I honestly believe that God builds our homes before he builds are ministries or churches. Ask your family if they want to be pastored by you. Their response will determine what you must change.

• Offenses have destroyed the defenses. Hurts have taken over your life. You must lay down the offenses. They will destroy your passion.

• Controlling spirits are out of control. Make sure you confront what must be confronted.

• When you do not realize the calling of God without the timing of God will result in the absence of God! You can’t make it happen.

• Boxing God in and refusing to box with the enemy.

• When Spiritual gifts are never unwrapped. Read 1 Cor. 12 and 14, Romans 12, and Galatians. God has huge next level gifts for you and those who are called to greatness.

15 Ways To Set The Stage For Revival and Reformation

• Sometimes we Clean house-don’t protect rotten fruit, we must produce new fruit. Realize that there is a time when we as a leader have to purge our team. Check your team and make sure they are hungry for a move of God.

• Set the climate and secure the environment. Open the door for deep worship and make the house a safe place.

• Refuse to live in the land of lost dreams or pettiness will prevail.

• Preach repentance, refreshing, reaction, and a call to responsibility. Sheep want to be led. If you preach these things with love and compassion there is no stopping the vision.

• Resign in the spirit - allow God to pastor the church. Lean not on your understanding. When I made the decision that God was a better shepherd than me our church exploded. I remained the lead pastor, but I put God in charge.

• Develop strategy - setup diameters with parameters. Guard - establish the groundwork. If God is going to bless the house you have to get things in order. Prepare the people to love the lost, welcome the hurting, and develop the desperate. Remember: God will not stick a healthy baby in a sick incubator.

• Serve your way to the holy of holies. The priest should be the biggest servant of all. What does this mean? Continue in the attitude of gratitude. Show people what it means to be humble, but bold. Live a place of being the least!

• Find a resting place and hiding place for you the leader. Never allow anyone to have your private time. If you preach or lead without a prayer life you will become a salesman. Paul said- “I am not a peddler of the gospel.”

• Build expectation – let your steering wheel be faith- plant vision - be the first one to experience God’s outpouring!

• Color outside the lines! Do things only dreamed about by others. Faith is the key. Ask God to show you ways to touch lives in your sermons, outreach, staff, and vision.

• Love people like no one else is willing. If you will live your life like others won’t, You will change lives others can’t. You may build the vision on the less desirable, but over a period of time with patience and discipleship those same people will become the greatest you could have desired. People who have been rescued always stay close to lifeguard.

• Your circle of influence must never become a cycle. To be pregnant with a vision the cycle must stop. Show me you friends and I will show you your future. Get around the great! Chase those who have something to teach you. Avoid those who could rob you of the next level.

• Break through the wall - Psalms78- every runner hits the wall. When you hit the wall it doesn’t mean God is done with you, but rather God you are being called to push through the wall. The wall usually comes in to play when you are in your 3rd, 5th, and 10th year in a location. You have to press through.

• Go after intimacy to stop illegitimacy. Operate outside of carnality. Guard the anointing. Guard what you say, do, and see.

• Stay in the book of Acts. Remember, Physical eyesight always will limit spiritual vision.

I pray these little concepts help you in a special way. God is waiting to pour His Spirit out in a powerful way. He just needs you to set the stage. Let’s touch a generation. This is our time! Bend Us O’ Lord! Sincerely, Pat Schatzline

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Preaching the Gospel and Preparing the way!

Preaching the Gospel and Preparing the way!

I remember years ago sitting in my Homiletics class in college. Homiletics is the preaching or administering of God’s word. I don’t know why they do not just call it “preaching!” LOL! At any rate I remember hearing my professor share all of the times he had made mistakes and the pitfalls of preaching. I thought “there is no way I would do that- I am way sharper- way more cooler” boy was I wrong. You see preaching Gods word is so sacred. I personally believe that when I am writing a message it is a mixture of Jesus and I communicating as one. Although there have been times where he was silent and vice versa. In the day and age if internet drive thru sermons, and podcast duplication there seems to be a void in finding leaders who will simply hideaway and get a “Now Word.” What do I mean? There is something so powerful in getting that Rhema word from the throne room. A word that drives your Spirit to go deeper. A word that leaves the writer’s pen (or keyboard) smoking from use. There is nothing more satisfying to a true preacher than to finish a message and know this message will transform the hearer, and release a time released capsule of self evaluation.

I am reminded of how Jesus woke up each day. He had a mission! He started with prayer. Then he knew he had to Preach the good news. It burned in him. He waited for moments when the people were ready to hear and he would climb a rock, or jump in a boat. He was not to be distracted! It was his mission.

Luke 4:42-44, At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. 43 But he said, "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent." 44 And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

Jesus ignored the phone calls, text, and emails. He was focused on a plan. There have been times where I felt something wasn’t right in my Spirit. It was if a anxious anxiety was all over me. Karen usually realizes what is up first. She has said to me on numerous occasions "you need to go write a message." The anxiousness I was feeling was really a tugging by the Holy Spirit to get busy- He had a message for me. I would finally give in- go pray/ write and come out of the furnace with a hot message. By the way it was the last earthly spoken words of Jesus before his ascension:

Mark 16:15-18, He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."

I love what Spurgeon used to say- “Put a little fire in the sermon or put the sermon in the fire!"

Smith Wigglesworth was a simplistic man. He would write seven sermons- preach them for seven years- the throw them away and start over. Now we know that would never work today in a generation that must be entertained. In fact preaching is a combination of orator proclamation- sensitivity to Gods voice- dramatic art- and idea development. There should always be a sermon in you.

2 Timothy 4:2-5, Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

I want to give a few cue’s on how to best deliver your on fire message. These are simple, but I believe they will also guide you into becoming someone that causes others to realize you have something to say. God wants to use. He has placed His kiss upon you. Remember Romans 11:29. His gifts and calling are irrevocable.

Preaching for change:
• Remember when you begin a message or sermon- have in mind what your end result should be. In other words when you begin a road trip you need to know where your gonna end up or your just strolling in oblivion. Dream out your altar. See the people responding. This allows you to stay on point in your message. It will help guard from having a wondering pen. I challenge you to know in the beginning what it is you want to say. Also honor the time your given.
• Have fun. Preaching is fun. Sure it is normal to be nervous, but you don’t have to say it. You see those sitting out there are not judging you. They don’t need you to say your nervous. It makes the room awkward. Instead just begin to flow.
• Also never respond to your surroundings. That means crowd size should never determine motivation or passion.
• Minister from your Spirit man. If you truly studied and you developed your thought God will honor your study.
• Trust God Spirit. He will lead you. So many times we get up to speak and we try to make excuses for what god has told us to share. God doesn’t need your help in apologizing.
• When you begin your message prepare your opening according to your audience. If it is a familiar audience that knows your heart you can most always dive right in. In the situation where you’re a newcomer give the message time to grow. Take a few minutes and be funny or be open about you the speaker. This sets others at ease. I continually fight the fire burning in me when I get up and have to remember some of the wood in the audience is wet. So it is my job to get the wood stacked correctly. There have been times where the Spirit of God is moving so awesomely that I can step up and hammer the message immediately, but most of the time the people need to know the doctor they are giving permission to operate on them.
• When writing your message- be mysterious. Meaning lead them down a path that is getting more narrow. People love anticipation. In fact when writing your title don’t always give away your conclusion. Establish the thirst formula. The thirst formula is pushing people to get closer to the well as you keep pouring the salt in their mouth. I have heard young preachers give their entire message in the first three minutes and all anticipation leaves the room as the young leader goes full circle to where he began. BORING!
• When writing your message look for moments to give the audience a breather. It can be by a story, illustration, or dramatic pause. Here is what I found works for me- as Gods word is sinking in I will at times bring the scripture to life with a personal life story. You can almost hear the average hearer say- OH! That is what the scripture means. I also love to use illustrations in the flow of the word- It allows the hearer to experience the “In the moment” understanding. Guard though- too many distractions- AND I HAVE DONE THAT- it will cause you lose track. If you lose track then you better know the listener in the chair is way lost! LOL. Illustrations should compliment and never hinder. They should be simplistic, but real. Your audience enjoys capturing a memory. Most people won’t remember the story, but the illustration sticks in their psyche, and if you bring it right- IT STICKS IN THEIR SPIRIT.
• There are so many times of sermons: Expository (The speaker walks thru usually one text and brings it to life), Manuscript/ story- (The speaker brings to life a message that has been written out in detail), Topical- The speaker flows in different directions, but is focused on bringing one main topic or series to life, Illustrated sermons- This is the dramatic interpretation of a message, and lastly- the- OUTLINE sermon- The speaker generally makes a simple outline and runs with it. Why would I call it the Outline sermon? I guess for me it simply will not work. I have tried it, but I usually chase rabbits, get off course, and most of the time go way too long. It works for some speakers, but not me. I have to manuscript. It allows me to stay focused. Now I will say that when I am doing a leadership teaching- at times I can flow thru an outline. There are many preachers who find a scripture and just go- they don’t plan- they don’t lay it out- and they usually don’t grow a church.
• When writing your message prepare for areas to hover for a while. There are times where you need give room to elaborate or follow the leading of the Spirit.
• Make sure your very organized in your notes. Be able to see them clearly, and make each page easily accessible.
• Every speaker has speaker mentors. Find three-four leaders you can learn from. You will take something for yourself from each leader. In time those leaders may change. Be willing to evolve as a speaker. What used to work for you may not work anymore. Just be sure to never lose your passion and replace it with pandering. I have had many speaker mentors. Each taught me new levels of speaking. After a period of time you will eventually become your own speaker.
• That being said- listen to the Holy Spirit while you’re talking. You can feel God at times interrupt your message. He may tell you to stop and give the call for change.
• The call for change is a moment you must guard to never miss. You can preach your way out of a move of God.
• When speaking always do your best to be up! Never preach from a bad experience or hurt. You will poison the crowd. That means get free before you get up. Never allow the platform to be a bully pulpit, but at the same time you must speak with authority and power.
• Ride the roller coaster. In other words don’t speak flt lined. Flow with the spirit, your emotions, and wisdom. There are “moments in a message” that create memories. Watch for the moment.
• When you trip over yourself make it a fun moment. Everybody appreciates someone who can laugh at themselves.
• People want encouragement and reproof. Everybody knows they need to change, but it is better for you for them to discover that.
• Also, if you’re married- have your spouse be your biggest fan. Never enter the pulpit when stuff isn’t right between the two of you. Fix it! Then preach. Remember to never embarrass your family. That means avoid sharing hurting or private stories. If you plan to use something that could potentially harm your family ask permission first. As your kids get older that don’t always appreciate your stories. LOL. Trust me I know.
• Realize everyone out there won’t listen to you. Never just focus on the ones who dont seem connected with you. Focus on the hungry. The hungry will determine the Spirit you preach from.
• Don’t beat people to death. Instead lead them shepherd to fresh grass.
• When you get ready to close build momentum for the monumental moment of change. Get people excited. Prepare their hearts for change.
• Your preaching must be true to who you are as a leader. Remember, most likely your family and friends are in the room. They know when your being real. Use your real voice.
• Be real- people can see a phony coming from a mile. Be honest at all times. Never lie in the pulpit or the Spirit will lay dormant.
• Ignore interruptions (like a crying baby) or if you have to make a joke and help everyone else relax with the intrusion. Don’t condemn. You look like the bad guy. Plus embarrassing others only allows the enemy to fill the room with anxiety. In fact most interruptions are not intentional. This is where training leaders comes into place.
• Don’t preach for a reward! Preach for the Kingdom. God will bless you in due time. You’re not a salesman.
• Never be crude for shock value. It simply diminishes your influence. Be professional and sharp.
• It is ok to be transparent, but also remember you’re a leader. We must guard against ever giving the audience permission to do something we should have defeated in our lives. Be above reproach. I never bring my family or marriage down to the lowest common denominator.
• When your speaking always honor the leadership of the house. Do as your asked or you will never be asked to do again.
• In your message make sure you have the compassion of Jesus, boldness of Simon Peter, and worshiping heart of John. It is critical the people see you worship during the time before you begin. Get on your face. Be exuberant. Don’t be stoic! It isn’t pretty to look at.
• When you get done with your message- leave it all on the field. You did your best. That is what matters. Never invite a failure Spirit in.
• When you get done be ready for the crowd- show humility, but also show strength. Give praise to Jesus, but accept compliments with humility and graciousness.
• You can touch the world, but first you must touch the carpet!
• Remember it has to be fun!
• Get them in the altar. Be simple in your invitation but bold! Realize it is not your place to judge whether the people want to come to the altar. It is your place to prepare the way and open the door. Don’t miss the moment. Eternity will tell the story.

I remember hearing a powerful story years ago. There was a pastor who shepherded a congregation in a small mid-western town. In all of those years of pastoring in that little town only one person had gotten saved. It was young boy who came to the altar. The young boy eventually moved away. The preacher eventually became discouraged and left town defeated. Years later the now retired old preacher was in a service that a young preacher was ministering and sharing his heart for Africa. After the service the young preacher came up to the old preacher and introduced himself. The young preacher told the old minister that years and years ago his father was saved in his church as a boy. He shared that his father was the first to accept Christ in his family. He hugged the old preacher and thanked him for his faithfulness. The young preacher left and continued itinerating. He eventually made it to Africa to be a missionary. The missionaries name was David Livingston the great martyred missionary who brought revival to Africa.

Team I hope this helps you prepare to win a generation. There is more to come in lesson #2 of 3M!

1 Corinthians 9:16, Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! I can’t wait to hear you bring it!

Sincerely, Pastor Pat