Feb. 12, 2014–Feel the Fear & Follow Through

feel the fear“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

Someone asked me if I ever fear being wrong when I prophesy.  I would have to say that this is not a motivating force in my life.  I may feel fear from time to time but I have learned not to allow this fear to drive me.  I think we have all heard the saying, “feel the fear and do it anyway.”

There are times that I say things to people that I don’t know where it is coming from.  One time I prophesied over a guy I never met.  I said, “I see that you have a farm where ministry occurs.  God is going to use that place for revival.”  I knew nothing about this guy and stepping out with such a word scared me, but I did it anyway.

It turned out that this man not only had a farm, but he had a tent that he used on that farm to hold revival meetings every year.  I went down about a year after this word was given and preached on that farm.  Together we saw God do some tremendous things for his glory.  In fact I prophesied further on that farm that gold would appear in the soil.  Even that night we saw this manifestation.  This man’s wife looked down and there was gold dust in the soil.

On another occasion I prophesied over a woman in Texas.  She came forward for prayer for her mother and also to receive a prophetic word.  Just as I was about to give her that word I had a vision.  In it I saw these balloons go up into the air.  I had no idea what it meant, but I spoke out the word anyway.

Apparently the woman asked me to pray for her mom because she was very ill.  In fact, she died shortly after.  Within two weeks of that word this lady was at a memorial service in the town in which her mother lived.  She had forgotten the word that I had shared with her but had recorded it.  She didn’t share that word with anyone either.

At the memorial service balloons were released into the air.  The woman was so excited telling me this story.  She said that all the balloons but two white ones went up into the air.   When they got up so high the wind began to push them south and they disappeared.

The two white ones hung over the ground for a while and then they too went up into the air.  When they got high, instead of going south like the rest they went north where her mother’s house was located.  They hovered over that house for a little while and then went straight up into the air and disappeared from sight.

If I allowed fear to be my motivator then I would never have prophesied either of these things over these people and I would not have had these testimonies as a result.  We must feel the fear and follow through anyway.

Scripture says that without faith it is not possible to please God.  We must step out in faith and do the work of ministry.  I pray for you today.  I pray that you will not be motivated by fear but by faith.  I pray that you will step out in new ways and begin to see the fruit as a result.

June 17, 2013–The Security of a Son

Son-004-belongFatherJesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. (John 13:3-5)

In John 13, we read how Jesus modeled servanthood to His disciples by washing their feet. This was an act of service that even the lowliest of servants tried to avoid, yet the Son of the living God was happy to humble Himself and serve His friends in this way.

I think the key to this passage of Scripture is found in verse 3 where John says that Jesus knew that He came from God and He was returning to God. It was the very knowledge that He belonged to His Father that motivated Jesus to do what He did.

He knew that He belonged to His Dad and that His Dad put all things under His power. Jesus was also keenly aware that the greatest in the kingdom would be the servant of all (Matthew 23:11). In Jesus’ own words, He told us that His Father was greater than Himself (John 14:28), so because His Father had a servant’s heart, Jesus too, was happy to take on the form of a servant (Philippians 2:5-8).

Because Jesus knew who He belonged to, what He did, did not define who He was. Because He was the beloved Son of the Father, He could take on the form of the lowliest servant and wash His disciples’ feet. A son knows that he belongs to his father. There is no question of that in the heart of a secure son.

An orphan on the other hand, does not carry within himself the security of knowing who he belongs to. Without knowing that we truly belong to God and are His beloved children, we will tend to try to create a sense of acceptance around us by the things we do. If we are not convinced that we are accepted by being and not doing, then all we have in life is to keep on doing.

And the things that we do will define who we are. I can’t imagine someone that struggles with an orphan heart truly embracing servanthood like Jesus did. Though we might appear like true servants on the outside, if we do not carry the revelation of our Father’s love and acceptance on the inside, the result will be an ongoing pursuit of fulfillment by what we do and not who we are.

In John 17:10, Jesus declares to His Father “All I have is yours and all you have is mine”. This is the cry of a secure son. The truth is that everything that belongs to our heavenly Father belongs to Jesus and everything that belongs to Jesus belongs to us because we are IN Jesus! We don’t have to strive to attain a relationship with our heavenly Father apart from Jesus.

My prayer today is that we would know beyond the shadow of a doubt that we truly belong to our Father in the same way that Jesus knows that He belongs to His Father. As we remember how Jesus humbled himself, washed His disciples’ feet and took our place on the cross, may we have the security of a son, knowing that we truly belong to our God and Father.

(Barry Adams is the humble vessel chosen by God to bless the world with the revelation known as the Father’s Love Letter. Along with his wife Annelise, Barry ministers the Father’s Love all over the world. Today’s DWOD is from a post he wrote for A Son’s Life Blog)

May 18, 2013–How you treat the “Noglides”

noglide razorsIn yesterday’s DWOD, you read about how yours truly made the choice to keep a pack of noname, noglide razors that were, to put it mildly, unpredictable.

Sometimes the razor would leave a cut behind, sometimes just a nick. Other times, it would take a bit of skin with it or leave a scrape as a memento.

It was not pretty.

Surprisingly, I did not have the heart to simply return to vendor.

Blame it on Indian frugality. Or credit it to Christian compassion.

Either way, the razors stayed.

How do you make the best of this not-so-good situation? The Brain went to work. It was quite obvious that the thickness of the facial hair was a tad too much for the thin blades to handle. Hence the nicks, cuts, bruises and scrapes.

Soooo, how does one match the thinness of the hair to the blades? Aha!

Enter the little-used electric razor, a birthday gift dating back circa 2006 A.D. Here is the solution spit out by The Brain.

Let electric razor mow down as much of the stubble as possible on a couple of quick passes. Then apply the thin blades of the manual razor to the leftover thin layer.

Voila! Now you have a close shave. Bonus…you get to keep and use the mediocre razors.

Noglides saved. Dollars too :-)

That, beloved DWOD subscriber, is how the noglides ended up getting used…every last one of them.

Holy Spirit used this incident to remind me of the mandate the Father has given us to “strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way…” (Isaiah 35:3)

The apostle Paul translates the metaphorical into the practical when he writes in Romans 15:1-2: “Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, ‘How can I help?’” (The Message)

A quote that is attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill, Harry Truman and Pope John Paul II among others goes like this: “The greatness of a nation is measured by how it treats its weakest members.”

In his parable of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46), Jesus surprises the nations on Judgment Day by pointing out how it was He they chose to serve or not serve when they encountered the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and the imprisoned.

“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Conversely, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”

Then He shocks everyone by saying that the latter group “will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Wow! That is how significant it is for us to ensure that the “weakest members” among us are not neglected.

Who is the “noglide” in your life that you are called to support? Who is the “weak” one whose hands and knees you are called to strengthen? Who is the “least of these” that you are called to serve?

May I suggest that one critical way in which the greatness of a follower of Jesus can be measured is by how we treat the noglides in our midst.

Ditto for the Church. Your business. Your family. Your city. And yes, even your country.

May 15, 2013–The Shepherd is also A Sheep

sheep-following shepherd“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27).

On Monday of this week, Sulojana and I were at a “Growth Day” for pastors and ministry leaders organized by Open Bible Faith Fellowship (OBFF).

George Woodward, the Secretary/Treasurer of OBFF was trying to get all the attendees back into the sanctuary following a refreshment break. Not everyone was heeding his pleas.

Spotting the frustration on his wife Marilyn’s face, I quipped: “It is not easy to herd a flock of shepherds, is it?”

That is when she came back with these words: “The shepherd is also a sheep.”

The profundity of what she said did not strike me until much later when I had some time for reflection.

There are times in my life when I get so caught up in the duties and responsibilities of “ministry” that I fail to make time to minister to the Lord by simply sitting at His feet.

Yes, I am a shepherd, but I remain forever a sheep who needs to listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd on a regular basis in order to be a good shepherd to my flock.

Jesus did not say: “My shepherds hear my voice.” He said: “My sheep hear my voice.” Hello?

“Shepherd” is your title. “Sheep” is your identity.

You may have heard it said that the greatest teachers are also the greatest students. They never stop learning. The more they learn, the better they teach.

One of the healthiest churches in our area that is known for raising and releasing leaders in great numbers has a very interesting small group philosophy.

Simply put, every small group leader is also part of another small group where they are not the leader. Usually this group is led by a pastor.

In other words, while they continue to serve as shepherds of their own flocks, they are simultaneously sheep in their pastor’s pen.

They never stop listening. They are forever growing….and leading!

Dear DWOD friend, on your journey to your God-given destiny, you too will be entrusted with responsibility for the lives of others in positions of leadership.

You may not be in pastoral leadership as a shepherd. You may be in a position of leadership in business, in your workplace, in your home, in your school, in politics, in your community.

As the favour of the Lord shines upon you, you will find yourself being promoted and being raised up to greater levels of responsibility.

You may even turn out to be the acknowledged Shepherd of your tribe.

When you realize that the Shepherd is also a Sheep, you will place yourself in a posture of listening to and learning from the Good Shepherd himself, Jesus, our Lord. Always.

After all, Jesus, though He was called Master and Lord by His disciples, still took time to listen to His Father. Yes, He was the Good Shepherd, but He was also a sheep who kept in constant touch with His Shepherd. Wow!

Can we do any less?

May 07, 2013–Why we need Adversaries

catfish“But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.” (I Corinthians 16:8-9)

It is plain to see from the gospels that Jesus encountered opposition wherever He ministered. Here are a couple of instances.

•    Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” (Matthew 12:10)
•    Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk. And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying…“What do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” (Matthew 22:15, 17)

It is equally plain to see that such challenges brought out the best in Jesus. For example, the latter exchange resulted in him coming up with this memorable saying: “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Matthew 22:21)

On the one hand, Jesus was able to reach out to many different people groups during his earthly ministry. Yet, even as those doors opened, in walked adversaries through the very same doors!

Ditto for the apostle Paul!

Could this be another example of the saying from Proverbs 27:17: “Iron sharpens iron”, which was part of the DWOD for April 15.

There is a great illustration of the need for adversaries that comes to us from marine life.

At the turn of the century cod fish were in much demand on the east coast. But there was a problem in getting the fish across the country while it was still fresh. Freezing the fish and shipping it by rail was fast, but when the thawed fish was cooked, the cod turned out to be very mushy and lacked flavor.

Someone came up with the idea of turning rail cars into giant saltwater aquariums and shipping the cod live. When the cod fish arrived they were still alive, but when they were prepared they were still mushy and tasteless.

Finally, someone discovered that the natural enemy of the cod was the catfish and started to place a few catfish in with the cod in those aquariums. Those catfish chased the cod fish all the way across the country. This time when they were prepared they were flaky and had the same flavour as they did when they were caught fresh. You see the catfish kept the cod from becoming stale. Indeed, they kept the cod fresh.

Bill Yount, a seasoned man of God, puts it this way in his book, I Heard Heaven Proclaim: “The Lord uses iron to sharpen iron, stones to smooth stones and people to grind people…the grinding we receive from other people sharpens us and our gifts…no wonder God says to love even our enemies, for He often uses them to shape us and drive us closer to Him.”

Now you know why we need adversaries on the road to our destiny!

Nov. 16, 2012–Dormant No More

Rev. Peggy Kennedy, www.TwoSilverTrumpets.caWe are grateful to Rev. Peggy Kennedy of Two Silver Trumpets for giving us permission to share this post as the DWOD for Nov. 16, 2012.

“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord…” (Hosea 10:12 KJV)

I have memories of listening to very scorching preaching from this text! So, when I recently heard from the Lord, “It is time…break up your fallow ground…” I went before Him rather ready to receive at least correction if not a scolding. However, what awaited me in the Word was an amazing announcement of increased fruitfulness and expanded harvest!

Yes, it is allowed that the initial readers of the prophet’s words disdained the message (both Hosea and Jeremiah use the phrase), but the announcement of the Lord is clearly there in the basic agricultural reference. Not all of us have a farming background, but all of us can hear the Lord referring to not the weeds in our landscape, but fallow ground…the “unplowed” (NIV) or “uncultivated” (Amplified Bible) portions of our lives and ministries. And the excitement builds when you hear the words “it is time”; that Hebrew word is akin to the Greek “kairos”…the moment has come.

The agricultural setting further informs us that fields or segments of the land can be left dormant or inactive for a season. This was not due to neglect, but rather was a wise practice that allowed the dormant land to be enriched. When in the regular cycle of rotation of seasons and crops it was once again cultivated, the land had an increased potential for fruitfulness!

While we are waiting, it is easy to lament the lost productivity of the land. We remember how lush and green and fruitful it was. In the waiting time the uncultivated portion is subject to weeds and feels like a wasteland! But, take a page from the farmer’s manual and hear the call from Hosea 10:12.

We’ve now arrived at that God-ordained time when once again that dormant part of our lives will be active. Increased fruitfulness is coming. The “waiting time” will ultimately be re-defined as a time of enriching for what the Lord has ordained for the now season!

Join me in this declaration: “I declare that the wisdom and goodness of the God of my calling has ushered me into a new season of anticipated fruitfulness. The formerly dormant areas of my life are now being called into activity–both His and mine! Those fields which only contained memories will now overflow with much fruit.

Forgive me, Lord, for any accusation against You in the dormant season when the uncultivated areas caused me to grieve and I envied the rich, lush fields of others. I align myself now with Your announcement of fruitfulness in the previously fallow ground. It is time! I praise You in advance for the new testimony that is arising of Your purpose and power. The greater yield will be realized for Your glory!”

With rejoicing,

Rev. Peggy I. Kennedy