Operation Mobilisation

on 9/29/2009

Operation Mobilisation International operates around the world, sharing the Gospel and blessing people. I felt amazed and inspired while reviewing their website, really in awe of God for empowering these people to do so much.

Operation Mobilisation's heart is missions. This group trains, equips, and sends out thousands of ministers to over 100 nations. They preach the Gospel and also help the practical needs of the people. They have many operations in these countries dedicated to starting new churches, teaching practical skills, and helping the poor and downtrodden.

This organization has truly established a worldwide ministry presence. If you are looking for an awesome job, albeit unpaid, working your trade while also serving God's kingdom, then you should check out their opportunities page. They also have terrific mission trip opportunities which provide life changing experiences for thousands each year. Operation Mobilisation also sends two ships around the world, the Doulos and the Logos Hope, providing aid, witnessing, training, and blessing the nations. They have even developed Middle Eastern and Muslim evangelism ministries, glory to God.

Truly God has mobilized this powerful ministry to shake the nations for Him and to show the love of Jesus Christ to the world. You can see that God won't be left without a witness in any nation. In fact, God has His hands across the globe, in towns and villages, cities and states. God is determined to see the lost and unchurched come to Him, and God clearly uses this strong ministry to do His work. Check out the Operation Mobilisation website for more information.

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A New Beginning

While I attended graduate school God led me to write a series of Bible studies that I mailed or emailed to family and friends.  These were called "A New Beginning.  As you will see we covered a wide range of topics.  This lasted for nearly two years until I felt God's urging to take a break.  That break lasted about 2.5 years, and ended with God encouraging me to begin this website.   

This was really my first public ministry effort.  These were fun to send out, for I really found out which of my friends considered themselves Christians.  I also found out which didn't.  But much good came from doing this, and truthfully this completely changed the direction of my life and relationships.  I went from regular guy to minister of the Gospel.  Start publicly preaching your Christian faith and you'll see what I mean. 

I encourage you to read some and see what you think.  Then you could come back whenever you want some encouragement or guidance in a particular area.  Most have many Scripture references, so this could also be a good Bible study resource for you.  So enjoy and be blessed.  (There are, I'm fairly sure, some spelling and grammar errors.  I'm sorry.  The picture is of the orphan rhinoceros, Maalim, we adopted and visited in Kenya.  Please check out The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to adopt your own orphaned elephant or rhino.)

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Love Others

on 9/26/2009

While living in Atlanta, I attended World Changers Church International, pastored by Dr. Creflo A. Dollar. Now, everything Pastor preaches comes out with the fire of God and the full backing of Heaven. But I realized not every sermon finds the same crowd reaction. You see, some sermons focus mainly on God’s promises and how to obtain them. These sermons often inspire furious note taking and loud shouts of “Hallelujah.” Other sermons focus on appropriate Christian behavior and obeying the commands of God. These often inspire a far more subdued crowd reaction. For example, preach a sermon on giving only because you love God, without highlighting the potential harvest, and I’m sure you’ll see what I mean.

The irony is that the less exciting sermons contain the keys to receiving the personal manifestation of the more exciting sermons. During my time at World Changers Dr. Dollar preached a multi-week series on love. Now Dr. Dollar has a very mature flock. And I’m sure many of my fellow World Changers saw the importance of this series. Dr. Dollar clearly understood this, even saying that he wanted to be the ambassador of God’s love. Yet love is a topic that easily falls by the wayside. I know enough now to sow seed all the time. I know I need to be praying in tongues and saying my confession. I know to read and meditate God’s Word. And whenever an opportunity to unexpectedly bless someone practically slaps me in the face, I’m smart enough to take it. I know many Christians who also have this practical knowledge. But the practice of living in God’s love, this I find often escaping Christians.

How many times have we heard that faith works by love, yet on Monday morning we are yelling at the kids to get ready, yelling at traffic, and yelling (either inwardly or outwardly) at coworkers. As a body of Christ we have got to change our focus. The time is at hand. I know Joyce Meyer has taught and written now about a “Love Revolution.” God wants to manifest Himself through the church to this world, more than we could ever imagine. But God, who is love, can’t do it through a loveless church.

Remember Jesus saying to the church leaders about how they tithe on mint and cummin, yet they omitted the weightier matters of the law. “These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” (Matthew 23:23) Church, in large measure we have left the law of love undone, which is clearly the weightiest matter.

I don’t know a single Christian who doesn’t have a laundry list of wants that they regularly present to God. Now we should always believe God for increase, promotion and a greater witness, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I see countless people not living in the full manifestation of God’s promises. This isn’t God’s fault. I believe our lack of love causes the malfunction of God’s spiritual operation in our lives. If without faith we can’t receive from God, and if faith works by love, then we won’t be receiving much if we have no love. Moreover, something tells me that if I got truly focused on walking in God’s love all the time, the windows of Heaven would open such a blessing deluge on my life that I wouldn’t have room enough to receive it.

Let’s also talk about our witness to the world. We spend so much time preaching on what not to do: don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t see “R” rated movies, don’t touch your premarital relation too much, don’t curse, and so on. And these days we also get all political about things, further driving away many people who need the Church the most. Yes, the Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin. But the Bible also notes certain other specific things that will draw the world to God: power, prosperity, and love. And the greatest of these is love.

We need to get love focused and love controlled. We need to put on love goggles and see the world with eyes of love. Love should be the chief motivation of our lives. And then, as Dr. Dollar point out, love will be the activator as well. Love the lost, love the world, love the sinners, even our greatest enemies. Love your neighbors, love your friends. Love those around you. Teach love, preach love, witness love. I tell you right now I have been terrible about this. But no more. God showed me my problem and I’m going to fix it. I know a lot of people. And when they see the love of God oozing from me they will come closer and receive. The world will know us by the love we have for another, absolutely and amen. But remember, if at the same time we are hating them we can’t expect them to join us.

Get your love straight. When your love for God and for people lines up with God’s Word, you will see God bless and increase every aspect of your existence. When you are a walking, talking fire breathing love superhuman, God will put a world changing anointing on you. The lost will see and come. Your prayer’s manifestation will come. Your family will come. Even God will come, for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit all abide with the person who obeys the commandments to love.

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Worship Works Ministries International

on 9/24/2009

While in high school Byron attended a church pastored by Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne, The River at Tampa Bay.  That church first introduced me to the awesome ministry of Pastor Joe Cruse and his family.  Pastor Joe led the worship there.  Now Pastor Joe and his wife, Becky, along with their children, have a church, worship school, and Christian academic school in Austin, Texas.

Pastor Joe and Becky have an anointing to worship the Lord in song that truly blesses the nations.  They travel all over the world leading worship, teaching, training worship leaders, and blessing people.  Within seconds of meeting them you'll feel their genuine love for people, as their warmth and friendliness (and Texan charm) radiate and fill the room.

God inhabits the praises of His people (Ps. 22:3).  We are to enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise (Ps. 100:4).  The importance of Spirit-filled worship can't be overstated.  I personally believe that worship can usher us into a place where we can clearly hear God's voice.  That worship opens a channel between Earth and Heaven, through which God can funnel revelation and direction directly to a worshiper's heart.  Praise acts like water to our souls, helping God's Word sown therein to grow and manifest.  I also believe that nothing hastens the manifestation of answered prayer like thanksgiving and praise.  For all those reasons and more, you just can't spend enough time praising God.

True worship involves more of the heart and less of the hymnal.  We can all praise the Lord in song.  Ministries that focus on worship emphasize a crucial part of the victorious Christian life.  Visit the website of Worship Works Ministries InternationalPurchase some of their terrific music albums.  They will provide you with countless hours of exciting listening and Spirit-led worship.  Also be sure to check out Joe and Becky Cruse's blog.  Lastly, I am so excited to say that Pastors Joe and Becky Cruse will be visiting our home church, Covenant Christian Center of Tampa, next Wednesday, September 30, starting at 6:30pm.  Be there and be blessed.

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Kenneth and Gloria Copeland

on 9/22/2009

I first learned about Kenneth Copeland through the ministry of Dr. Creflo Dollar. Dr. Dollar considers Brother Copeland his father in the faith, and Dr. Dollar talks often of him and their fellowship. I then learned that my mother had some old tapes from Brother Copeland, so I began listening. I also downloaded a free book from his website, The Laws of Prosperity.

I believe Brother Copeland and his wonderful wife, Gloria, are two of the most precious ministry gifts the Body of Christ has today.  You see I know that Christians could differ on so many topics, and I want this to be a place where we can discuss things in love and fellowship. But if we only talk about things without controversy, we'll end up not talking about very much. I believe that the end times are here, largely because of the current revelation I see given to the Body of Christ.

Today we see God's people with a greater understanding of "the believer's priesthood," than ever before. More than ever we understand that Christians are the children of God, and that the very life of God flows through their veins. This revelation began returning to the Body of Christ around one hundred years ago, with Dr. Kenyon and Kenneth Hagin really spreading it abroad. (There were others, but we won't mention them all here.)

That revelation came to Brother and Sister Copeland, and now they have carried it around the world, and added much to it. They teach us about the glory that God wants to give us, the love God has for us, the power of our Christian faith, and so many other wonderful topics. We now begin to see Christians beginning to act like Christians should. Not broke, busted and disgusted, but risen, shining, wise, prosperous, and anointed with the Holy Ghost and power.

The glory God wants to see in the church, that will be manifest to all the world, must be preached to the Church before it can be seen in the Church. Kenneth and Gloria have that mantel, and they wear it boldly and tirelessly. Their spiritual and biological children will carry it after them. They preach God's Word,and build our faith, and the Body is growing to maturity.

Ephesians 4 says we will have ministry gifts until we "all come in the unity of The Faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." The Copelands do whatever they can to raise the body to maturity and edify us worldwide. They are generals in the Faith. They are warriors for Christ. And they are loving symbols of His glory.

Yes, I know much has been said about them these days, but the critics don't know them or sit under their ministry. Go to the Kenneth Copeland Ministries Website. Watch some of their meetings online. See their heart for yourself. You'll see they long for the true worship of God like all good Christians. You'll see they are worthy of our admiration and our thanksgiving to God for them.

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Serving God Should Be Fun

on 9/21/2009


Last Wednesday I led our church children's group, which we call Generation Faith.  My three younger brothers all take part and the comedy ensues whenever they speak.  After making fun of the teacher, the oldest made a profound comment for his sixteen years.  He said (paraphrasing) - why is it so easy for me to watch tv or read non-Christian materials, but so difficult to commit to reading the Bible.

I must admit I was proud of him for this observation.  I know you all have never had this problem, but I have and so I'm sure at least a few other people have too.  Why is it that I can easily sit through a two hour movie, but it would take a serious amount of focus to study God's Word for two hours?  I believe it comes down to original sin, and the fact that our pre-Christian lives influenced us more deeply than we suspect.  But more important than the cause, let's focus on the cure. 

Nothing is more important than God's Word.  Nothing else on earth can give us such wisdom and life.  God's Word is even health to our flesh.  No work of literature has stories more fascinating or beautifully written.  Spending serious time in God's Word helps us prosper and do wisely in life.  (See Joshua 1:8 and Psalm 1)   I didn't know these truths before I came to Christ.  But now, after reading the Word and hearing them preached.  I know them.  I know I must daily meditate God's Word to effectively live Christian. 

But while my brain knows this, my brain has somehow associated this with work.  My brain associates the newspaper and sports with recreation, but it associates God's Word, church, service activities, and all the like, with work.  And I don't mean "work" in a physical labor sense, but these things are often viewed as unfun or task-like responsibilities.  They are not viewed as recreational, relaxing, or fun.  But this is wrong.

The truth is that God is the coolest being in existence.  God invented fun.  God invented recreation.  God said we should labor to enter His rest.  Nothing should be more fun or relaxing or enjoyable than spending time in God's Word and presence.  So now we need to rewire our brain this way.   We must first decide that the above statements are true.  We must then confess that in Jesus' Name, we decide that God's Word and presence are awesome and fun and relaxing and we love to be in Them.  That is one of the beautiful liberties of Christianity.  I can believe whatever I decide to believe.  I can decide whatever I want to decide.  And when my beliefs and decisions are in line with God's Word, then all of Heaven backs them up.

Now I am choosing to delight myself in the Lord, knowing that He gives me the desires of my heart.  I then begin to walk by faith.  I decided reading the Bible is fun, so I start reading the Bible.  No, I may not enjoy it much at first or feel any differently, but God is with me.  The Word will open like never before.  God will comfort me and strengthen my mind.  Overtime I will enjoy the Word more and more, as it lives more and more in me.  The same process applies to church.  I love God with all my everything, and I still find myself looking at the clock on Sundays.  I must change my thinking.  Church is fun, church is great, I love church.  I love serving others, I love being there late just to fellowship, and so on.  Job 22:28 says if you decree a thing it will be established.

We need to renew our minds to the goodness of God and His Word.  Renew your mind to the true fun of God.  Use Spiritual weapons to renew your mind, and cast down every thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.  Spend more time with Him, and you will grow to love every second in His presence and His Word.

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Thoughtfulness

on 9/19/2009

"Thoughtfulness" means 'the quality of showing regard for other people,' or 'a propensity for anticipating the needs and wishes of others.' God always exhibits thoughtfulness. Our Heavenly Father knows what things we need, even before we ask Him. God sees the end from the beginning, and God knows everything we could ever need or want. God even knew we would need a savior, for the Lamb of God was slain before the foundation of the world (Rev.13:8).

Moreover, many Christians know the term Jehovah-Jireh, which most take to mean, "The Lord My Provider," or "The Lord will provide." But a more technical translation reads, "The Lord sees." In other words, in Genesis 22 Abraham knew God had supernaturally met his needs. When using the name, Jehovah-Jireh, Abraham essentially said, "The Lord sees the needs of His servants and provides for them." God powerfully displayed His thoughtfulness to Abraham.

We should all strive to exhibit thoughtfulness. However, there is a natural gift of thoughtfulness and then there is God's supernatural ability of thoughtfulness. I believe God wants to share this supernatural ability with His people. Doesn't the Bible say God will show us things to come? What if God started showing you what other people need so that you could bless them? Have you ever found or received something and considered it rather worthless, but soon realized that it perfectly meets a new need. You can call it coincidence, but I call it God seeing my needs in advance and providing.

I believe God wants me to encourage you all in this possibility. We know two Spiritual gifts are the "word of wisdom" and "word of knowledge"(1 Corin. 12:8). I believe God will use those gifts in you to let you exhibit His thoughtfulness to this hurting world. When you start surprising people with the exact thing they need, and then you tell them God told you, you are going to see some strange looks. But then you'll have a completely disarmed audience that is thankful and ready to hear the Gospel.

Be open and ready, the Holy Spirit will show you what people need. Maybe it's monetary, maybe not. Be ready to sacrifice. But also be ready to reap souls for the Kingdom and work directly with God to show His loving, generous heart to the World. God wants people to see Jehovah-Jireh, and they will see Him in you.

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One City Ministries

on 9/17/2009

Until recently we had a neighbor named Anthony.  I believe God used Anthony to help me look at certain aspects of Christianity differently.  We must focus more on the God of the church than the church of God, the people of the church rather than the church of the people.  Tuesday I saw Anthony's son, who the day before had started a nine month ministry internship with a large church in the area.  That is so awesome, train your children in the way they should go and when they are old they won't depart.  During our talk he told me about One City Ministries, and now I want to tell you about it.

The African nation of Uganda needs the power of God as much as anywhere in the world.  Terrible leaders and civil war continue to ravage the country and its people.  The rebellious faction calls itself the lord's resistance army, but it brings only death and destruction.  Our Lord came to bring life, and that more abundantly.  The LRA's use of child soldiers is particularly appalling, as we can only imagine what terrors those beautiful children experience.

One City Ministries does wonderful works to help Uganda's people in many ways.  Led by Mike and Deb Gilbert, this group seeks both to save the souls of Ugandans and help them save their country.  When you read their stories you'll hear about them helping locals go to school.  You'll read about them helping people improve their trades to feed their families.  You can see their awesome plans for the future, including a self sufficient village and an environmentally friendly fuel.  They also minister to the people's physical needs through their Christian Emergency Response Force and by helping a medical clinic in Sibanga.

We love Africa and its people. God has blessed us to visit 5 African nations, and we pray to see more soon. Yes, many Africans are Christians, and yes, our country and Christianity have done much to help the continent.  But so much work remains.  Many places in Africa need a powerful move of God.  This will take people, time, and resources.  And God is able.  Through His wonderful works like this we will see this continent truly saved and changed. 

Visit the website for One City Ministries, and then check out the great blog from Deb Gilbert about their life in Uganda.  Pray for them, pray for Uganda, and pray for Africa.

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Do Whatever God Says

on 9/13/2009

I thought today about some choices we have when we want something from God.  Let's say you have neck pain and want God to heal you, or at least you want Him to help the doctor. The traditional church taught you to pray and hope and have faith, then maybe God would answer your request.  Now the church teaches other options, all of which have a Biblical foundation, including: lay hands on yourself, have an elder lay hands on you, confess your healing, confess healing Scriptures, meditate the Word, pray, sow a seed, pray for another's neck healing, and so on. 

Right now Christians can have information overload.  I once heard two Christians arguing over whom would get the blessing when my dad tried to give a police officer a few dollars for helping him unlock a car door.  They couldn't figure it out. Christian living shouldn't be so complicated.  While the church tries to fatten us on information and Scripture, we can choke from a lack of general understanding and understanding of practical application.  

Now, for example, let's talk about my neck.  1 Peter 2:24 says that "by [Jesus] stripes, [we] were healed."  So that means Jesus already provided for my neck's healing 2,000 years ago on the cross.  (I know not everyone believes God wants us to have perfect physical bodies.  I believe that.  But if you don't, read on anyway, I still think this will help you.)  So last week my neck really hurt, and I considered what to do.  I then remembered some recent teaching from Dr. Creflo Dollar.

After consulting with Jesus about the wedding's lack of wine in John 2, Mary told the servants to do whatever Jesus said.  He told them to do something totally bizarre, fill the washing pots with water and take it to the master of the feast. They did so and that water became the best tasting wine ever (I'll bet).  Well that is a powerful message for the church today, and the Word I give you.  Whatever God tells you to do, do it.  This direction is the key for your prayer's answer, the seed you must sow for the harvest you desire. 

Back to my neck.  I knew my alternatives.  I could sow a seed, pray for myself, take medicine, see a doctor, confess healing scriptures or do several other things.  One day during this time, however, I went for coffee with a respected Christian friend.  During that meeting I clearly heard God tell me to ask him to lay hands on my neck and pray for its healing.  I had to humble myself before him and request this, which I wasn't wild about doing.  But I did so and he graciously obliged.  He then prayed for several minutes, talking about the joints lining up with the bones and marrow and etc.  I'm sure he did a great job, but I really don't remember what he said.  That wasn't the point.  I heard God tell me to do something, and I did it, and now I knew my neck would be healed.  It didn't matter what my Christian brother prayed.

As I drove away my neck still hurt badly.  I thought maybe it hadn't worked.  But I remembered that God had told me to do this.  That is the key.  When you pray for something, as Mary essentially prayed to Jesus for more wine, wait and listen for God to tell you what to do.  Then do it.  This action will always produce Divine results.  Now, four days later, the pain is completely gone.  Praise the Lord. I'm not tempted to crack my neck. I'm not even thinking about my neck.

I believe the way to open yourself up to God's voice in an area is by meditating on the written Biblical Word covering that area.  Spending time in the written Word of God opens your heart to hearing the spoken Word from God.  So whatever your situation, spend time with God about it.  Pray to Him, read and meditate the relevant Scriptures, then listen for His voice.  When He tells you what to do you can have confidence that the thing is done in the Spiritual realm.  Now it's out of God's hands.  You must do what God said.  Do that and then stand in faith about it.  You will surely have whatever your petition.  Glory to God. 

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Dr. Creflo A. Dollar

on 9/10/2009

Shannon and I feel so blessed to have the Christian life and influences we do, and in many ways it all started with Dr. Creflo A. Dollar. 

After college I planned on attending graduate school.  Still a devotionless Christian, I didn't know much about following God's plan for my life.  I had several schools in mind, and I prayed that only one would accept me, and that would be the one God had for me.  Well that happened just as I prayed.  When I went to Atlanta for orientation my dad came with me.  That Sunday morning he drove me down to College Park to visit a church.  We went to World Changers Church International, and I saw Dr. Dollar speak for the first time.

When I returned for fall classes I felt alone and frustrated.  Having nothing else to do I went back World Changers and heard Dr. Dollar again.  I asked God to show me a sign if He would have me join this church.  A man of God, a complete stranger, walked by me and gave me a friendly rub on the shoulder, so I went down to the altar to join.  10 months later I was a different person.  I went from the life of the party to God's witness for eternal life.  I shared Jesus with all my friends.  I read the Word daily.  I now loved God and I had clear understanding of many deep Spiritual subjects, the latter thanks in large part to Dr. Dollars outstanding and informative preaching.  Shannon joined me in Atlanta for the next two years.  We were baptized there, completed membership classes there, and even attended pre-marital classes and counseling there. 

Dr.  Dollar does have many critics, but we know the truth.  We sat in his church twice a week for three years.  We heard his multi-week series on love, joy, emotions, the Holy Spirit, fear, victory, holiness and countless other subjects.  Yes he did speak about prosperity and money, and boy I'm glad he did.

Dr. Dollar does so many exploits for God, we couldn't begin to list them all here.  But to us nothing compares more than his teaching the Word of God with simplicity and understanding.  The World Changers Church motto is, "in all thy getting, get understanding."  Dr. Dollar teaches the deep things of God so that anyone can grasp and apply them.  The gift of wisdom flows through his life and ministry in abundance.  When you sit under him that gift will flow right to you.

If you live anywhere near Atlanta, Georgia, you need to visit this church.  I also encourage you to join, your life will change very quickly.  He now also pastors a wonderful church in New York City, which we have been blessed to attend several times.  What an exciting time for you to join a fantastic young church with such an awesome man of God as Pastor. 

Use the following link to find out more about Creflo Dollar Ministries.  You can also go to the church websites here for World Changers Church International (Atlanta) and World Changers Church New York.   

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Global Revival

Christian Harfouche Ministries works tirelessly to bring believers around the world to full maturity, and to bring the lost into the Christian fold.  Dr. Chrisitan and Dr. Robin Harfouche train Christians, preach the Gospel and have a miracle ministry that must be included when discussing those who do Exploits For God.

Based in Pensacola, Florida, they have a home church called the Miracle Faith Center.  You can just check their event schedule to see how they going to the world for Jesus.  They also have a "Miracles Today" television program and a "Miracle Times" magazine, both of which are awesome sources of Word, encouragement and testimonies.  

They also promote their Miracle Faith Center Global Church.  You don't have to live in Pensacola to join their church family.  From anywhere in the world you can join and the Drs. Harfouche will pastor you and pray for you.  This is an effort to create more worldwide Christian unity, that EFG believes the Body so desperately needs.

I first fell in love with their ministry when a friend gave me some of their Bible School cds.  They have an awesome ministry training school, International Miracle Institute, and I would recommend that everyone get their hands on some of those teachings or even join the school.

The preaching of Dr. Harfouche drew me in immediately.  I knew God opened my eyes here to a different level of anointing.  My heart filled with faith when I heard the Word from Dr. Harfouche.  He spoke clearly, quickly, intelligently, and powerfully.  From the first seconds I was locked in.  He has a command of the Scripture that I hadn't heard before.  He wouldn't just quote verses, but also cited different translations.  He wouldn't always say, "Let's go to John chapter 3."  He would just say the verses, weaving Scriptures together seamlessly to preach the message from God. 

I truly heard the anointing when I heard Dr. Christian Harfouche preach.  I had heard anointed preachers before, I now realize.  But his preaching opened my eyes to this.  I now believe I know the difference between anointed preaching and the other kind, and God brought this truth to me with the help of Dr. Harfouche.

I would like to specifically mention a twelve tape series they have available called "Christ In You The Sacred Secret."  I didn't find it on their website bookstore, but I imagine if you called they could get you one.  This life changing teaching series opened my eyes to the reality and power of Christ in the believer.  With Christ in us, nothing can stop us.  We can function on His level, with His ability, praise the Lord.  Get this series and never be the same.

To find out more about Drs. Christian and Robin Harfouche, to follow their ministry or to get some of their teachings, visit the website for Christian Harfouche Ministries.    

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Christians Unite

on 9/08/2009


Do you know how important unity is to God?  Let me show you the 133rd Psalm: 

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!  It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descends upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore."

Can you see the power of these comparisons?  God says that unity is like the anointing oil and moisture from Heaven.  The anointing oil symbolizes God's supernatural choice and empowerment.  Moisture symbolizes abundance, refreshment, health and the presence of God.  So holy unity comes with selection, empowerment, abundance, refreshment and health directly from God.  Places of unity also receive the manifest presence of God.  (Remember, when two or more Christians are gathered together Jesus is in their midst.)

The Psalm also says God commands the blessing on places and people in unity.  In fact, a blessing has already been commanded of God over those who are unified.  So much so that if God sees unity for an ungodly purpose, He will divide (Genesis 11).  But when unity arises for Godly purposes, the world and the forces of darkness better look out.  When in unity we are chosen, empowered, provisioned and accompanied by God Himself.   

In these last days we must have unity in the Church.  Christians, all Christians, unite.  Put away from yourself all strife, envy and malice.  Put it out of your home and out of your life.  Seek to be a unifier in all areas of your life.  Most importantly, be united with all other Christians.  Put down your judgment and criticism of other denominations or sects.  Put down your arguments over doctrine and scriptural interpretations.  The time for those things has passed.

See yourself as a unifier.  Focus on the areas of agreement.  Focus on the core doctrines, salvation by grace and the sanctity of the Holy Bible.  Be joyful with Christians of all groups and names.  If your group insists on division and separation from the other Christian groups, leave it.  Where no unity exists, there is no commanded blessing.

"There is one Body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one Faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."  Ephesians 4:4-6.

Are we united as the Body of Christ or aren't we?  Can we have disunity within the Body and still thrive, no.  Every house divided against itself will fall.  I long to see the Church thriving in the prominence, position and power God intended.  But without unity this will never happen.

I decide that I am in unity with all Christians.  Yes I have certain doctrinal beliefs you may disagree with, but I still love you and am unified with you.  I won't argue them with you, but I will rejoice that we will be in Heaven together for eternity.  Here we can focus together on winning the lost for Jesus, feeding the widows and orphans, and doing other undisputed exploits for God.  I decide I'm unified with you regardless of your decision on unity with me.  God will see a group striving for unity when He looks on Exploits for God.

Decide today that you are a member of the global Body of Christ.  Seek unity with all believers.  Leave aside all strife and disunity, especially in your Christian walk.  We will see the commanded blessing on our lives and on God's Church.  We will see God's selection, empowerment, provision and presence.  Nothing will stop us.  We will be as one, and nothing will be impossible for us.  Glory to God.     

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Christ For All Nations

on 9/07/2009

Christ For All Nations is the ministry of Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke. His ministry does amazing and exciting exploits for God all over the world. They hold massive Gospel crusades in countless nations. These wonderful meetings typically have many thousands of attendants. They also have fire conferences where they preach directly to local Christian leaders, helping them receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and encouraging them in The Faith.

We recently subscribed to one of their blogs and now get some of their ministry headlines. Read the latest headline of God's wonderful works through their ministry. "More than 120,000 [saved] on first night." What's amazing is that those numbers aren't rare for them.  They are seeing nations of people come to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.  Praise the Lord. Christ For All Nations is literally fulfilling their slogan, "Plundering Hell . . . Populating Heaven!"

EFG highly encourages you to listen to Evangelist Bonnke preach whenever you can. We were blessed to see him speak live in Georgia. From the first word out of his mouth we knew this man had the fire of God inside him. That booming voice spoke with an incredible anointing, and God's presence immediately filled the room. He stirred our faith to do great things for God, and he encouraged us to start right away in our daily lives.

Follow Evangelist Bonnke and his ministry at the website for Christ For All Nations.  Please pray for their efforts, as they are on the front lines in this last day harvest of souls.

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Marriage Today

on 9/06/2009

Currently our country has an appallingly high divorce rate.  Worse yet, Christians have a higher divorce rate than non-Christians.  But God's power can do anything, and God sends ministry gifts to help the Body of Christ in every area.  As God sent Moses to deliver the Jews from Egypt, God gave the Body of Christ the ministry of Marriage Today and Jimmy and Karen Evans to help deliver Christians from the bondage of marital problems and divorce.

We first heard Pastor Evans speak at Dr. Creflo Dollar's church in Atlanta, Georgia.  Not yet married, we immediately recognized the value of these wise and understanding marital teachings.  Pastor Evans teaches on the importance of love, communication, honor, and intimacy in marriage, as well as many other related subjects.  Marriage Today consists of seminars, books, CDs, DVDs, a television show, a magazine, and even conference cruises.  Through all these channels the Evans wage war against the enemies of marriage and traditional family values.

Our society's foundation is the home, and the home's foundation is the marriage.  The devil knows that if he can destroy marriage, he can destroy society.  Marriage Today seeks to strengthen all marriages and help married couples overcome any obstacle.  The Evans know that they war on the front lines of the battle for our culture and our society.  God uses them as mighty voices to bless and instruct. 

I have also found that I benefit immensely from their teachings even aside from the marital context.  One listen to a sermon from Pastor Evans and I'm sure you'll agree.  Whether you are single, dating, engaged, married, or even divorced, Marriage Today's resources will help you immensely in your love life and overall relationship with God.  We give praise and thanks to God for this voice in our lives, as we know our marriage benefits greatly from this ministry.

For more information visit the website for Marriage Today.  Also be sure to watch their great television show archives.  Don't assume that you can get married or have a great marriage without God's instruction and help.  Accept God's gift of such an anointed ministry, and watch your marriage go places you wouldn't believe possible.   

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Writings

on 9/05/2009

We have blog posts on various subjects, and those writings can all be found by visiting the Post Archives on the lower right side of the home page.

Below are links to some other writings that I have done.   Those writings which begin with the letters "ANB" are from the "A New Beginning" Bible study series.  These were written while I attended law school. (There are, I'm fairly sure, some spelling and grammar errors. I'm sorry.)

OTHER WRITINGS


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E.W. Kenyon

on 9/04/2009

E.W. Kenyon lived from 1867 to 1948.  He has mightily influenced thousands of believers through his churches, radio ministry, Bible Institutes and books.  His books especially continue to bless believers worldwide.

I would call these books invaluable for a believer, especially a new believer.  Kenyon goes through great detail to show the realities, abilities and availabilities of the deeper spiritual life.  He releases powerful revelations concerning all the effects of our redemption through Christ.  He also helps believers understand the workings of faith, healing and other spiritual operations.

Young Christians should spend a great deal of time studying the Bible.  They should also take the time to read books written by Christian leaders.  These books help Christians quickly understand Spiritual principals and their application to daily lives.  Moreover, the testimonies and stories help one grow and mature in the faith while reading of the joy a life serving Christ brings.

I would like to specifically mention Kenyon's book, "The New Kind of Love."  We will probably be reading and rereading this wonderful book for years to come.  Nowhere have I seen Christian love more powerfully explained and promoted than in this book.  Christians must begin to love properly, sacrificially showing God's love for everyone.  Read this book and begin living in the new love life as God wants you to.  This and other books make great personal reads or Bible study group texts.  I highly recommend all his books.

To learn more about E.W. Kenyon, or to purchase any of his materials, visit the website for Kenyon's Gospel Publishing Society.

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Speaking in Tongues for Unity

on 9/03/2009

We here at EFG believe the Bible.  Spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues are presented and promoted in the Bible, so we believe in them and desire them.  Speaking and praying in tongues regularly can produce much.  Romans 8 says we don't know how to pray as we should, but the Holy Spirit helps us with this by groanings that cannot be uttered (tongues).  Jude says praying in the Holy Spirit will build you up on your most holy faith and help you keep yourself in the love of God.  Those are awesome reasons to regularly pray in tongues.  The Bible shows us another use for speaking in tongues, Christian unity.  God loves unity, and Christian unity produces powerful results.

Remember the Tower of Babel.  That story begins with the following, "And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech."  The people begin building a city and a tower they wanted to reach Heaven.  God sees their works and says, "Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.  Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech."  So we see God changing their languages to stop their purpose.

But look how God wants to undo this for His people.  "For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the Name of The Lord, to serve Him with one consent."  God wants unity.  God wants to command the blessing on those in unity.  God also realizes that people need unified speech to truly have unity.  If we speak differently we will ultimately do differently.  So God promises to give us a pure language, that we can all serve God with one consent ("consent" meaning "shoulder").  This passage prophesies the gift of speaking in tongues, which Christians were to first receive by the Holy Spirit many years later. 

God wants all Christians serving Him in unity.  We are even to undertake the same works together, whatever God wants done in the earth.  To accomplish this God gives us a new, unified language, speaking in tongues.  But where the first unified language worked between men, this new, pure language only works through God.  We can all pray to God in the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues the perfect language.  Through this we all call upon God.  This opens us to Spiritual unity, and through this language God enables us to jointly serve Him.

The spiritual nature of this process defies human comprehension, but the Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it.  Do you want global Christian unity?  Do you want to serve God alongside all His followers?  God gives us this pure language as the way to "serve Him with one consent."  Begin praying in tongues regularly.  Aside from the other benefits, God will see you desiring unity.  God will see you desiring connection and fellowship and joint efforts with your Christian brethren.  God will then see to it that you experience these. In these last days Christians must unite, and tongues is a gift and tool for unity. 

Scripture references for this EFGE: Romans 8:26, Jude v. 20, Psalm 133, Genesis 11:1, Genesis 11:6,7, Zephaniah 3:9

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Covenant Christian Center of Tampa

on 9/01/2009

Covenant Christian Center of Tampa is Byron and Shannon's home church. 

Pastored by Byron's father and stepmother, Pastors Kevin and Gaile Howell, "CCC of Tampa" provides a nondenominational platform for the Word of God to reign supreme and the Holy Spirit to move freely.

Pastors Kevin and Gaile have a wide variety of Spiritual influences that God uses to help build this church.  They are active partners with both Kenneth Copeland Ministries and Creflo Dollar Ministries, and from these Spiritual leaders the Pastors truly learned about the authority of God's Word.  Pastor Kevin preaches the anointed, unadulterated Word of God.  He spends much personal time meditating God's Word, and therefore his sermons often include powerful, Scripture-based revelations of the Text. 

They also know that "true worshipers" must worship in both Truth and Spirit.  For several years they served Doctors Rodney and Adonica Howard-Browne at The River at Tampa Bay Church.  Doctor Rodney hails from South Africa and has a church and worldwide evangelism ministry based here in Tampa, FL.  Dr. Rodney's meetings truly exhibit the flow and leadership of the Holy Spirit.  Powerful miracles and an outpouring of the Spirit, often evidenced by the "joy unspeakable" and Holy Spirit laughter, often accompany the preaching of God's Word and anointed music ministry.  Here Pastors Kevin and Gaile learned about the leadership, unction, flow and power of the Holy Spirit, which are now indispensable parts of their ministry.

Find out more about this church, listen to archived sermons, and even watch the services live, at the website for Covenant Christian Center of Tampa.

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