Do it Again

Lights turned out on 300+ kids in the middle of our worship set, no sound. I’m almost the only adult in the room (my worship team was teenagers, and the other camp counselors were in a counselors meeting)! Kid’s camp was about to get WILD! It was like instantly the blood pressure went up for everyone in the room – panic mode was loaded and ready! . . .

But God . . . had been BURNING IN MY HEART exactly what needed to happen next. I put my guitar down, and started yelling out over the crowd of 1st-6th Graders, “God’s wants to do something awesome right now, who in the room has pain or sickness right now?” About 70 hands went up. “Everyone else go to someone with their hand up and start praying for healing. Don’t pray wimpy prayers . . .”

About 15 minutes later the adults started filtering back into the room (they were a little bewildered). Lights had come back on, and there was a line of children coming up to the stage and telling about how God had healed them that morning. That morning Jesus healed 100% of the kids who were sick or in pain! Not one left with sickness or pain that day! Jesus is amazing! Only Jesus! That was the Pennsylvania-Delaware AG District Kid’s Camp of 2015 on the Thursday in July, 4 days before I preached at Journey Life Church for the first time.

I say all that to say, “Lord, do it again!” That’s the phrase that the word “testimony” implies – “do it again.” My HEART BURNS day after day for God to do what only He can do. Holy Spirit remembers how to do it and He’s energized by that prospect too. Join me in testifying and in praying, “Lord, do it again!”

2 HUGE Reasons Rahab’s Scarlet Ribbon Matters to You

I hear the word “Scarlet” and almost immediately think of “The Scarlet Letter” the famous book by Nathaniel Hawthorne that used a bright, red, letter “A” to brand someone’s sin. Yikes! That color needs redeemed for sure, and Rahab’s story goes a long way to exactly that . . .

Rahab’s scarlet cord out of the window of her house on the wall of Jericho was a statement of faith in God and faith that God’s people Israel would keep their word. It meant salvation not just for her, but for her whole family! It parallels the red blood of the lamb that was on the doorposts of houses so that the angel of death would Passover the houses. Because of her scarlet cord the army passed by her house, and what’s more God Himself designated her for salvation, even preserving her house in destruction of the wall. The scarlet cord parallels the blood of Jesus, which now washes your sin and my sin so that eternal death passes us over and instead we’re marked for salvation. This is why this matters for you . . .

  1. The blood of Jesus that washes sin is NOT a disgrace for you – it is your source of hope, cleansing and salvation. Just like Rahab’s cord, the scarlet blood of Jesus is a symbol of God’s goodness in your life. When spiritual death looks at you, it sees His blood and has to pass over!
  2. When you demonstrate your faith, by carrying a Bible, marking your house with Scripture, wearing Christian shirts, listening to the Bible and Christian music, talking about God’s goodness to you – you are telling the enemy he has no claim on you and inviting the work of God in your life!

So redeem the image of the blood of Jesus in your heart right now. Realize His hope, cleansing and salvation again. Also, boldly make plans to demonstrate your faith today.

What is victory?

“I got to tell her that I couldn’t do that, only God could heal her hand!” Juliana (my 9 yr old), says excitedly to me at 10 PM last night. “Whaaaaa!!??!! That is so awesome!!!! . . . Now, it’s time to go to bed.” Kids always seem to pull out the best conversation AFTER bedtime – haha. At school her friend was telling her about her sprained wrist, and she told her how they had prayed for mine on Saturday and it was healed (power in testimony!). So her friend said, “You can pray for mine if you want.” God is so good! That’s a win!

So what’s the difference between a win and a victory? Ultimately, we are seeking victory. Wins are awesome, but they’re also momentary. With God, what is the victory? Here’s some insight . . .

This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. . . . This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” (1 Jn. 5:2,4 NIV)

To love Father God, His Son and from that place to love His kids, builds our faith and that is the victory. However, I’ve had wins that caused me to celebrate a little too much in MY heart and not continue to press in to HIS heart. There was nothing wrong with the win, but my response to it did not produce victory – and that’s the difference. God will want to give us more wins, when we are stewarding those wins to drive us deeper into His heart. I have had losses that demoralized me and I didn’t dive deeper into God’s heart either. Neither the wins or losses are as important as how we are stewarding them. Are we allowing both wins and losses to push us deeper into God’s heart? Because that is the victory. We can live in a state of victory with eternity written on hearts (Eccl 3:11) as we do that.

So, celebrate the wins, learn from the losses and use both as motivation to dive deeper into God’s heart – that’s the victory.