Thursday, May 29, 2008

Lakeland Revival (florida outpouring) Day 1

It was a long trip through the night Friday night. We arrived in Lakeland, Florida about 11 am on Saturday.

We stopped by our hotel. We wouldn't be able to get into our room until after the meeting that night.

Honestly, that put me in a pretty bad mood right there. I knew check in was at 3pm, but they said it would be 4-5 before they could have a room ready for us. That mean I would be going to the meeting without a shower for nearly two days. That didn't make me happy at all. We stopped someplace to eat, I excused myself and went into the men's room and cleaned up the best I could.

Hopefully, I didn't smell too bad. God used that to give me a little lesson. It was that I would let something like that affect my attitude to the point that I would not be able to receive from him.
So I determined to let it go.

When we got to the arena at about 3pm, there were about ten people there before us. Several people were praying for a lady. She had been deaf for fifty years due to a fever she had as a child. It was interesting, a demon actually manifested. It was cast out. Then the lady could hear. She pulled out her hearing aids and several people tested her hearing, making sure she was not reading lips. Her husband explained how long it had been since she had heard. While she wore hearing aids they were almost useless. She relied more on reading lips than the hearing aids. She began to hear singing. She went up and down the line looking for the source. She couldn't find one. Some speculated that maybe God was letting her hear in the spirit. That is speculation. We don't know. Maybe when God healed her physical ears he gave her spiritual ears. I don't know, but she was extremely excited. She was also excited because she had a numbness in her right foot that she had for years and it went away as well.

Of course I couldn't just keep rejoicing for this lady. One of my pet peeves acted up and it took a fair portion of the evening to get over it.

Everyone we talked to said the presence of God was strongest up front. However, even though people showed up early, the only people that got up front were the internationals and "pastors and senior leaders." So while most folks who were hungry for the Lord waited hours in line, the "pastors" got their own line and got to go in half an hour earlier getting the best seats of course

I could have done that well. I had the necessary "credentials" but I won't do that on principal. There is not supposed to be a clergy laity split. I know the reason for this. The folks leading the revival will say they want to encourage pastors to come, get an impartation and take it back to their churches.

I'm a bit of a skeptic about this. I've seen this in charismatic circles all too often. I think it is designed to bring favor with Pastors so they will 1. support the revival and 2. perhaps encourage them to think of inviting the leaders for meetings at their churches later. I really believe that's what is going on. I hate that. If pastors are really hungry, they can come stand in line like everyone else.

Anyway, I really got ticked off about this, almost to the point of not even wanting to go in. I hate the whole laity-clergy thing that I was quite ready to say the heck with it. I prayed asking the Lord to help me with my attitude. I really felt like he said this wasn't his doing, but there would be no difference between what people received "up front" and what they received elsewhere in the arena. He didn't care where people were sitting. He was after one thing only, hungry hearts. Whoever was hungry would receive.

With that, I was able to enter into the worship. God was true to his word. Some of the young people decided they weren't going to sit on the sidelines, they went outside and started praying for people and laying hands on them. I got blessed in a major way and most of it that night was from young people - kids as young as junior high students who were ministering with power.

Was everything done "of God." - No. Some was flesh. There needed to be some wisdom, but these young people were full of zeal, love, and a desire to see God do great things and God did.

So Day 1 was an interesting day with a lot of opportunities for me not to receive what God had for me. In the end I was blessed.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

John Got a Job

One of the men we've been praying for, John has a job and starts Friday. Thanks to Willie Butler, leader of THE WAY in Fort Worth, Kelly and Ben. They just got everything put together and got John over to Fort Worth for the appointment. Everything went great. He starts Friday. This is really exciting.

Just pray now we can work out housing arrangements for him until he earns enough to get his own place.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lakeland Florida Revival

There's lots of talk in some circles about the "revival" in Lakeland Florida. I don't know if it is a revival, outpouring or what, but after watching for several nights I am convinced that Jesus is at work.

I experienced the strong presence of the Lord several times, almost overwhelming. My focus was not on Todd Bentley or others "leading" but on Jesus himself. I've experienced a level of intercession and worship that I hadn't experienced before. In a very powerful way I feel like I've met Jesus again.

Is it God? Whatever is of God will stand. Whatever is not of God will not. Revivals tend to be messy business. You have what God is doing, then it gets mixed in with the works of the flesh and unfortunately often the enemy sends in some stuff too. That's why we have to ask God to help us discern what is of him and what is not. Never -Never accept that because some of it is God - all of it must be God. It just doesn't work that way. Remember the parable of the wheat and the tares.

I do know God is doing a mighty work. People who have been sick a long time are getting healed by their own testimony. There are notable miracles where Doctors have said there is no hope and yet God has intervened.

There are hundreds coming to Christ. That is obvioiusly Jesus. I'm sure that Satan is not going to be involved in efforts to lead people to Jesus. This is some of the greatest victory.

While there has been lots of focus on angels and one called Emma in lots of posts, I've not seen that much mentioned of Angels in this revival. I've probably watched about seven or eight nights now. I did hear Todd Bentley mention something of seeing the Angel of the Lord one time and that was to point out a woman to be prayed for. The vast majority of the time, he keeps pointing to Jesus. That's critical.

I know Todd Bentley has gone into some wierd doctrines before, but I haven't seen that happening the nights I've watched. It stayed focus on Jesus the healer, Jesus the saviour, and Jesus our Lord. I think Todd has experienced a change. If so, I'm thankful.

As for some of the physical manifestations people see that seems wierd. Church history is full of it. Some of it is God, some is flesh and probably some is Satan as well. Don't let the physical manifestations of someone else keep you from experiencing what God has for you. Don't focus on them. Focus on Jesus. It's not a show for you to watch.

How do we know that we won't be exposed to deception? If your heart is focused on Jesus. If you honor him and his word you'll be fine. What are you seeking? If it's more of Jesus. That's what you will get.

We have the promise from Luke 11:

9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for bread[d] from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

I am not comfortable with everything that has happened in Lakeland. I certainly am not comfortable with all who have been involved. I believe some have had some terrible theology and it concerns me. However, I believe Jesus is there. That's what I'm going for. More of him.
Can I get it sitting at home? Possibly. But there seem to be times when the veil between the Kingdom of God and the Earth seems a little thinner.

So I am going. I want to experience more of his presence.

Monday, May 19, 2008


This week, I told the guys that it is time to seek God about leadership within the group.
Some would say that this is crazy, but I really sense this is God's leading. So, I put it out there to them. I will be out of town next week, so I asked them over the next two weeks to pray and seek the Lord about who should lead the Dallas Street Church going forward.

I believe that God wants me freed up to reach out beyond the group more. We have a couple of guys that are quite capable of leading the study of God's word and prayer. We still need someone to lead worship.

I will not abandon them. I will plan to meet ocassionally with the person God selects to lead to help out. We'll work out ways they can communicate with me regularly. I am also looking to connect them up to our COAH network leadership team.

I still plan to be a part of the street church, but my presence will be diminished as the rest grow and mature into leadership. I've been leading the group for nearly a year and a half now and feel like we have a couple of folks certainly that God could use to continue helping the rest of their brothers in Christ grow.

In many ways I feel like Dallas Street Church is my ministry baby. But now, it's time for the baby to grow beyond what it can if I keep my hand on it.

I don't really know what that means for me. I'll probably be out on the streets more - sharing. I still feel that I'm supposed to spend time reaching out to other groups of homeless in the area. Maybe I'll be in other parts of Dallas. Maybe I'll be downtown near the new homeless center near downtown. Maybe I'll go to Fort Worth or Denton. I really don't know yet. Soooo, the adventure continues.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Back Downtown

I missed last week down on the streets. I had driven downtown, but was having trouble finding a place to park because of the Cinco De Mayo celebrations. I forgot to bring cash so I couldn't use any of the pay parking areas. Anyway, I was back this week.

Bill is still working, helping get a house ready to sell. Munday and Leonard weren't there, so I don't know how it was going with them.

We went to Subway. It's been a while since we shared a meal. We ate and I taught about hearing the voice of God. Reggie was supposed to teach, but said he hadn't had a chance to prepare. He says he'll be ready next week.

John is pretty frustrated with his job search. He's put in about twenty applications so far and hasn't had any interviews. He's frustrated with the application process. I pointed out that he has to keep working it.

Anyway, no real changes in the past two weeks. I really am praying for these guys to be able to find work. It's scriptural. God wants men to work. In addition, I think it will help them out of the cycle of hopelessness they often find themselves in. Of course, as we keep reminding them, their true value is in what Jesus has done for them. It really is all about Jesus.