Then He Opened Their Minds...
"The Lord opened my mind to an awareness of my unbelief, in order that I might Remember my transgression and turn with all my heart to the Lord my God." -St Patrick
In the gospel of Luke we read that Jesus Christ opened the minds of two people. That is a statement worth repeating. Jesus Christ opened the minds of two people. Why?
The Book of Luke shares with us a simple answer. Jesus opened the mind of two people so they could understand the Scriptures.
If there is one thing that would help guarantee the salvation of our family, friends, and communities, I think it would this; that we understand the scriptures.
It would be near impossible to separate a true understanding of Scriptures from an understanding of the Messiah figure interwoven throughout the entire Bible.
What if we all truly had our minds open to understand the Scriptures? What is we all truly had our minds open to the understanding of the Jewish Messiah?
In Peter's first letter he writes about the Old Testament prophets. Peters writes that The Nevi'im (Hebrew word for The Prophets) had The Spirit of Messiah within them.
This Messiah Spirit, which can also be understood to be breath, or wind, indicated, or expressed through their writings the sufferings of this Messiah.
According to Peter's understanding of the Scriptures, the Nevi'im carefully investigated and searched for the very salvation available today through Christ.
Peter even goes so far as to share with us in his letter that these prophetic messages about the Messiah were provided, not for the prophets themselves, but to Peters audience.
The messages of the New Covenant which have been announced through those who spoke and declared the Good News by the Holy Spirit are being passed along to us thru the understanding of Scripture.
Did you know even the angels desire to catch a glimpse of these things?
Pray with me, "Lord God of Heaven and Earth, who fills my heart with wonder, grant to me an open minds. Open my mind now, that I may come to understand the fullness of your plan for my life. Your words are not old only, they are also new. They are life giving and present. May I come to know you more intimately as you open my mind to understand the scriptures. In Jesus Name. Amen."
The Devil's Weapon...
It may sound a bit humorous... but Peter, the great apostle and follower of Christ, writes in one of his letters that the devil prowls. The devil prowls.
Peter plainly calls the devil an adversary AND enemy and warns his audience to be on guard….to watch out…..to stay alert.
Peter writes that the devil, like a lion, is actively looking for something (or in this case someone) to rip open and eat. He searches.
Now, although I believe the devil will eat anyone, I also believe he is looking (or searching) for someone important.
The devil is looking for a very specific group of people. He is looking for God’s elect. The devil is looking to tear apart people who have been chosen by God. Those chosen by God are the ones God the Father has set apart by his Holy Spirit. Peter even writes these elected ones of God have been been chosen according to God’s foreknowledge. Wow.
It sounds to me like this means before they were born, God already elected them. Peter writes in his letter that God The Father set them apart before they were born. He set them apart by His Spirit for obedience.
What is one of the devils weapons?
Peter helps us today understand a very subtle tactic used by the devil to devour, tear apart and destroy.
If you hold on to your cares, concerns, worries and anxieties you will be devoured. The scriptures give us great insight into the eternal strategies of what I would like to call, The Divine Saga.
Peter urges the believers...both Jew and non-Jew (Gentile) to STAY ALERT. Peter warns his brothers and sisters who are living among the idolatrous and pagan culture to WATCH OUT. He says pay attention!!!
Peter writes in his letter, “Hey, i know things are a bit tough right now...it may seem like everything's falling apart and the promise is far off, but hold on. You are definitely not alone. There are plenty of others going through the same types of sufferings….the same emotions….the same feelings…..the same doubts and hardships. There are so many others with the same questions. DON’T BE DEVOURED. DO NOT LET THE DEVIL EAT YOU FOR LUNCH. Cast ALL your cares on Him because he cares for you.
Pray this prayer with me, “Lord God, Maker of Heaven and Earth, Thank you for your living word. It is life to my bones and breath to my spirit. I make a choice now to lay any burden or weight I have been carrying down. Right now all anxiety of mine is handed over to you. I know you care for me, and I trust you to take every burden from me now. You have called me with all the saints into your eternal glory. Thank you Lord for the gift of your Son Jesus Christ. May all power and glory be yours forever.”
Your Biggest Enemy
You have an enemy.
You have several enemies.
These enemies want to keep you from Life and keep life from you.
It is the first day of my summer schedule. For the last few weeks I have been planning and setting up my summer schedule. Part of my summer schedule is to wake up at 5:30am to spend a quality, concentrated and focused time reading The Bible.
As my alarm clock sounded this morning at 5:30am my hand stumbled in deep sleep searching for that snooze button. With my eyes closed, my fingers frantically searched for the little button on the side of my phone.
After what seemed like an eternity, and a rising frustration, I finally was able to press the button for snoozing. I relaxed in the comfort of my bed sheets and pillows knowing I had stalled the unattractive task of waking up early.
Without a second of hesitation, I drifted ever so quickly into sleep. However, that ten minutes of snoozing did not seem to like ten minutes to me as I was once again jerked out of my slumber by the sound of that alarm clock.
This time I used my experience to assault the snooze button like a heat seeking missile. With an instinct like that of a crouching tiger, my hand and finger launched to destroy that wake up alarm sound that was so rudely interrupting my coveted sleep.
Once more, in less time than I could think or imagine, I was asleep....until....
Now at this point I was dreaming throughout these two snooze sessions...which so far had totaled about twenty minutes. This dream was EPIC.
I was with a group of people on what seemed like some type of tour. It might help to think of a group tour to Japan, or Europe, or the Himalayas...
This group tour was to a mountainous region and the others in the group seems to be people of the same faith. They all seemed to be some type or expression of believer and follower of Christ...some type of Christian.
The trip was relaxing, yet had a scheduled which was available by through by selection of a track....much like a conference or seminar offering specific tracks of specialized interest.
I remember seeing people here and there in the dream. I remember being with people and being alone. and the dream was almost like a journey. The group trip ahad a bit of a final destination goal to it. The dream seemed to have levels of achievement....like climbing a mountain.
Actually, the entire dream took place on a mountain that emerged from the sea. If you could imagine the mountains of the German Alps emerging straight up out of the Pacific Ocean. It was a beautiful and fascinating dreamscape.
I gradually began to feel this amazing place was not all it appeared to be. I sensed there was a hidden evil force at work. It was a force that seemed to distract those in the dream with new discoveries, much like a scavenger hunt. Some of those in the dream found certain attractions that seemed to keep them from moving on to more, while others would go back and forth revisiting the attractions they a had previously discovered. While others seemed to move forward inspiring the motivated to try and catch up. I noticed as time went on, people seemed to be missing. The group was gradually getting smaller.
It was in a moment of moving forward that the third snooze button began to sound. As my consciousness began to melt into the reality of the dark bedroom, I started to move my hand and fingers toward that snooze button. As this happened it felt like everything was in slow motion...and I had the most unusual experience...
I was on a path leading up the side of a section of the mountain (and it was as if at this time I was moving to hit snooze). Suddenly to my right the side of opened. It was as if a door silently slide open. Quietly. There were bars behind the door. An image appeared behind these bars. It would be hard to describe this image with words.
Pale. Tall. Somewhat of a human form. A head with no mouth. No fingers. Somewhat smooth in appearance, like silly putty. Malleable.
This creature reached through the bars to pull me into the mountain in an attempt to encage me.
I knew instantly in my conscience that this was my enemy sent to keep me from my 5:30am appointment with The Bible. Seeing this creature and realizing its purpose was to 'steal' me away from The Bible was the very thing that caused me to throw of the covers, sit up and get out of bed while hitting the STOP button on my alarm.
In my dream I had the suspicion, that there were obstacles to overcome and within the obstacles there were forces assigned to restrain me from moving forward. I know upon seeing this creature that all sops had been pulled and this creature was the big gun of the enemy. It was direct and no longer would the attractive faces of deception work against me. The creature appeared in urgency to take me, and failed.
Your biggest enemy is whatever keeps you from your quality personal and focused time with The Lord.
If you are a believer, you have probably developed some type of routine for worship and devotion. I believe this is your lifeline. This is why I believe Jesus Christ was recorded as saying, "Man should not live by bread alone, but by EVERY word of God".
What is Prophetic Song?
I can think of many people who would answer that question like this: Prophetic Song is a song that is prophetic, right? How would you define Prophetic Song?
In his subtitle, Prophetic Song author Stan Smith seems to define prophetic song to be a gateway to glory.
Gateway to glory?……think about those words for a moment. gateway. gate. in and out. open and shut.
in and out.
open and shut.
smoke and clouds?
what is glory?
This prophetic song book is a complete educational meal when it comes to the prophetic song. It reminded me of a textbook. It took me longer to read than some of the other recent books. There were several things I really appreciated about this book, but first, let me share my favorite quotes:
Worship Leading quotes by Stan Smith, author of Prophetic Song.
Here are a few thought-provoking quotes from this worship leading book:
My Take-Aways from Prophetic Song
There are two things that really stuck out to me as I read Prophetic Song. These two ideas intrigued me because I had never heard or thought things this way before. Find out what they are…
I really think it is an exciting moment when what I have knowledge of is expanded to new borders and insights. I guess some people call this revelation. I heard a great definition of Revelation once: revealed knowledge.
In the book of revelation, it was brought to my attention that Jesus has two prophetic voices. Both sounds are the voice of the same God. Perhaps He has more, but these are the two prophetic voices I learned about:
There are two rivers flowing out from the throne of God. One is a river of living water clear as crystal. The other is a river of fire. Without going into any explanations, this idea also peaked my curiosity. This river of fire can be found in Daniel 7:9-10
“….His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him…..”
I think Stan Smith takes this idea of two rivers and develops quite an interesting idea of Gods Glory. Get the book and find out more.
Finally, This prophetic song textbook closes each chapter with two assignments. One for non-musicians and singers. one for musicians.
Envy almost influenced me to walk away from what I do best. Envy is a subtle and powerful weapon of darkness. If I am not careful, I will casually let envy erode the confidence and clear conscience needed to bring fulfillment in the plans and will of God for my life.
The book by Bob Sorge is a great exploration of the destructive poison of the spirit of envy.
Let’s get into our Worship Leader Review of Bob Sorge’s book called Envy -The Enemy Within
Quotes about praise
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Bob Sorge’s book Envy; The Enemy Within:
The Great Talent Showdown
My favorite chapter in this book is titled The Great Talent Showdown. This chapter contributes to a deeper understanding of the parable Jesus Christ shared regarding the talents found in the book of Matthew 25:14-30
…each according to his own ability. Matthew 25: 15
Bob concludes that when it comes to the ministry of music, one’s level of giftedness becomes so measurable, you can almost put a numerical value on it.
I also like this idea that Bob brings to light; It might be tempting to look at someone else with more gifts than you and envy what they have; but the truth is that if you had their level of gifting, you could potentially suffer quick burnout and utter frustration. Your ‘ability’ may not be meant to handle it.
Having said that, I like that Bob points out that you can only work with what giftings and talents god gives you, but you can also multiply them!
Bob Sorge has also included Mike Bickle’s perspective on talents. The more talent and giftedness a person is, more publicly and visually expressed towards a more prominent public platform.
And finally, when it comes to leadership, I like this thoughtful illustration Bob makes explain the various talents given by The Lord:
“If the level of excellence in the worship ministry (and other ministries) doesn’t grow with the church, the growth of the church will level off and will plateau according to the level of giftedness among its leaders.” -Bob Sorge
This is a 162 page compilation book of six authors who write from their experience as international worship leaders. This means variety in perspective.
In this book The Lost Art of Pure Worship, Chris Dupre, Jeff Deyo, Sean Feucht, Julie Meyer, Rachel Goll Tucker, and James W Goll all share their understandings and ideas of worship.
The book is segmented into three: For the Audience of One, Equal Access to the Throne, and Tips for the journey.
Quotes from Worship Leaders.
I like underlining the ideas I find in books that stick out to me. Do you? Here a few from this book. I have organized them according to worship leader.
This was the last required book for my services at the Orlando House of Prayer. Each Monday evening from 10 pm to midnight I hosted a live musical devotion which was streamed worldwide. I lead this two devotion from January 2017 to the end of July 2017. The program required a training on prayer and worship called The Harp and Bowl Training as well as list of recommended and required reading.
The lost Art of Pure Worship
How to Inspire Others to Help You with Your Vision...
You’ve got an amazing vision….an incredible dream. You know where you are going and you know how to get there. Now you are going to need to recruit some help to make it happen.
I like what Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States of America, says about delegated leadership, “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”
Top sales associate, motivational speaker and author of the book See You at The Top Zig Ziglar shares a very simple, profound and ancient concept. Some accept this ancient concept as a universal spiritual law.
“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.” -Zig Ziglar
Zig Ziglar’s quote sounds simple enough; work to help others get what they want and you will get what you want. hmmm…
You may have come to know this idea as the law of ‘sowing and reaping’. Perhaps you may have chosen to know it as ‘karma’….or….quite rhetorically, ‘what goes around, comes around’.
It may be a bit of a stretch of the imagination to think that helping other people get what they want is a viable form of delegation…but let’s stretch for a moment.
What did Joshua do to delegate? Then Joshua gave orders to the officers of the people: “Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your supplies ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan River and take the land the Lord your God is giving you.’ ” NCV
Joshua gave orders. Other versions say it this way:
Here is how delegation worked with Joshua. He simply issued a clear directive. He gave a short and quick order:
Joshua communicated to the masses, by communicating first to his appointed leaders and officers.
Joshua knew God was giving the land to the people. It was not Joshua land, it was the peoples. Joshua was giving the people what they wanted…guess what, He got what he wanted too.
Knowing what to do next is a very importantPerhaps, right now…as you read these words, you are finding yourself in a particular circumstance which is producing a required response from you.
You have come to the end of something and now it is obvious and apparent that you must make some type of decision. It is now time to move forward…to move on. You know it’s time for that next step, but you are unclear of what it might be.
If this is you, I suggest a reminder of how to find out where you are going.
You must first know where you are going and how to get there before you can confidently delegate.
Over the course of history, writing has proven to change lives. I write to continue the legacy.