Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I remember a few years ago, a ship called the New Carissa ran aground on the beach. It was big news in our little town as everyone began spreading rumours about how it happened and speculated about how they were going to get it loose. At first, it didn't seem like that big of a deal, they would just bring in a couple of big tug boats and pull it free. No Problem! But then there was a problem. They couldn't pull it off the beach, it was Really stuck.

The Ship was full of fuel, so they decided the best way to get the fuel out would be to set off an explosion that would burn off all the fuel. If I remember correctly this would burn off the fuel, thus averting an environmental issue and lighten the ship so they could more easily pull it out of it's sandy predicament. I remember the explosion vividly, I was dropping some kids off at a child care providers house because we had a big event going on at our church. When I walked out of the house, I heard a large boom. I remember wondering if this was actually going to did not.

What they actually succeeded in doing was blowing the ship in half. Eventually they were able to pull a large portion of the ship off the beach and took it out and sunk it. The other part of the ship, however, would not move. Over the course of years, they finally ended up dismantling the ship right where it sat. It was not going to be moved.

I was at a Men's Bible study recently and somehow the conversation turned to "counseling" people. Helping people to deal with their issues and finding true freedom in Christ. One of the guys mentioned that sometimes people can't seem to put their faith into practice because they are dealing with too many things outside the church. For example, the married man or woman can't really focus on God because of all the issues that may be going on with their spouse. An individual can't get their head around an unexplained death. A young man can't come to terms with the abuse he suffered as a child. There could be a thousand examples, but the point is, I can't do the "God thing" right now because I have to figure out my problems first.

That may sound crazy to you, but the truth is there are a lot of people that seem to find themselves in a similar situation. They may not even realize it. Unintentionally, they put God on the back burner in order to deal with life. The problem is, many times, they can't find a good way to deal with life while the answer is right in front of them. The very thing that is being put on the back burner IS the thing that can help them.

What we have to do to find true freedom is to become a little like the New Carissa. We have to ground ourselves in God's word. God's word anchors us to an unchanging and always successful direction for our lives. If we need freedom from pain, abuse, addiction, dysfunction or anything else, the route to that freedom is the same. If we simply need direction for our lives, the answer is the same. The Holy Spirit empowering God's word in order to bring change,freedom and purpose to us.

The problem is, when we put God on the back burner to deal with our issues, our lives will always be at the mercy of our issues. We will be tossed around in our lives by the winds of whatever adversity comes our way. When we anchor our lives to God's word, however, the storms may blow, but we will not be carried off and destroyed because God's word simply will not move. The Bible says:

Matthew 7:24-25(NLT)
24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and obeys me is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse, because it is built on rock.

It also says:

Isaiah 40:8(NLT)
The grass withers, and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.

How often do we say "I can't trust God's word right now, I have to fix my problem." We may not say it out loud but somewhere in there we are afraid to, as the saying goes, Let go and Let God. God's word will NEVER FAIL US. The problem is not with God's word, the problem is in our lack of trust and our lack of focus on the truth of scripture, and not our waves of adversity.

What issue do you have in your life right now that needs to be resolved?

Anchor yourself to God and His word and He will guide you through your storm. I promise. How can I make that promise? Because that promise is backed up by God Himself.

Joshua 1:8-9(NKJV)

8“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Matthew 6:33(NLT)

And He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.

Philippians 4:19(NKJV)

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6(NLT)

Dont worry about anything, instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done.

Stop and meditate on those words for a minute. I mean really think about them. Do you need to make your way prosperous and have good success? Do you really need to be set free in some area of your life. The answer is in anchoring yourself to God and His word. He will not let you go! He will give you what you need and lead you where you need to go.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Revelation Song

I've heard this song a thousand times and it still puts me on my face in worship.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Kudo Corner 12/19/10

We want to thank Sarah Wood for organizing the Kids program and the Church Christmas party as well as your participation on the worship team. You are a huge blessing to The Refuge Church

Friday, December 17, 2010

Genuine Revival Isn't Free

Amos 9:13(NKJV)
13 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord,
“When the plowman shall overtake the reaper,
And the treader of grapes him who sows seed;
The mountains shall drip with sweet wine,
And all the hills shall flow with it.

I read this scripture this morning in my devotion time. I love this verse! The promise that harvest will come so fast that there will hardly be enough time to plant the seed. As a pastor and a God Chaser, I dream of a day when the harvest of people coming to know Christ as their Savior will occur so rapidly, we won't even have time to sow the seed, they will just come. I've heard it preached that way for a long time. A Revival of Souls so great we just can't contain it is right around the corner! And I believe it too.

But, as the great Sports commentator Stephen A. Smith might put it........HOWWWEVA!!!

There is a great big however to this line of thinking. Christians, especially westernized Christians are so quick to latch on to the "good" promises of God and make them our own, we leave out the other promises that are also equally important. Sometimes we even like to pull the good ones out of context to make them mean what we want them to mean, but check this out!

Amos 8:11-12(NKJV)
11 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God,
“That I will send a famine on the land,
Not a famine of bread,
Nor a thirst for water,
But of hearing the words of the Lord.
12 They shall wander from sea to sea,
And from north to east;
They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord,
But shall not find it.

How come us fired up Christians aren't posting this little encouraging word on our Facebook status, or on our twitter update? If we are going to believe in the former promise, do we not also have to believe the latter?

The point I'm trying to make here is that we can't just pick and choose what we want to believe about revival. If we choose to believe there can be a great awakening in the United States and around the world, we also have to believe there can be a famine of the word of God. A time of sin and Idolatry that can cause God to send judgment.

Uh-Oh there I went and said it! We're not supposed to talk about judgment. It's not politically correct. We're only supposed to talk about the 24 hour miracle or the ten thousand fold return on our 1 dollar we dropped in the offering last week. We are supposed to water down the true gospel so far, that it is barely recognizable as Biblical truth, so we can draw as many "Christians" into the Kingdom as possible.

No, I'm afraid it's not supposed to work that way. The Old Testament Prophets, almost all of them, have a message that goes something like this. You were my people, I was your God. I blessed you in huge ways, but you took it for granted. You turned your back on me and followed after idols.(In The Bible, Idols were things like Asherah poles, and baal statues, Today Idols are things like money, power, wisdom, and popularity. Same Problem just different Idols. But I digress) Because you turned your back on me, I'm going to rain down judgment on you(followed by a lengthy explanation of what that judgment would look like) UNTIL you and your people turn back to me with your whole heart, at which time I WILL POUR OUT MY BLESSING!

See, The problem is we want to shortcut the process. We love to quote 2 Chronicles 7:14 that says, "If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, THEN I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." We say we want God to hear us, to forgive us, to heal us, to bless, us but.......cant' we do it without all that Prayer and repentance and humble, contrite spirit stuff? Couldn't we just do what we want, when we want, and how we want and still have God bless us?

The truth is, it has never worked that way, and it never will. God will never shortcut His process in order to make us comfortable in ours.

As I'm writing this, we are about to come into a new year, 2011. I'm not one for New Years Resolutions, because they usually just set us up for failure. I do have an idea though! What if we come into the New year with humble, contrite hearts and spirits? What if we really focused on the first half of 2 Chronicles 7:14 and let God take care of the second half?

I really believe a great harvest is very close. I really do. I also know that it will not be free. Let's start a movement this next year... In fact, why not today, why not right now? A movement of those who are so consumed with Knowing God and seeing Him become known in our Cities and in our world, that we would be willing to pay any cost.

What would that look like?
What kind of impact would that make?
I have a feeling I know and I want it! How about you?

Let's do it!
Let's try it and see. I have a feeling the results could change the world.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Kudo corner 12/12/10 Peter Belastegui

We want to tell Pete thank you for your involvement in so many areas. It seems whenever help is needed Peter just shows up. Your help and encouragement are very much appreciated.