Revival in America Again

Yup, I’m hearing Carmen in my head right now. And it’s glorious. When I was little my mom would often play Carmen on a little cassette player right next to my bed to send me off to sleep. I loved him and I would tell her that someday when I was old enough I was going to play Carmen REAL LOUD while driving around in my El Camino…

But I digress. Yesterday was my first Revival History class. My notes said the class was called “Introduction to Revival”. “Why we need Revival” would have been more accurate and the class was pretty heavy. I found myself purposefully holding back on the intensity that I felt inside so that I wouldn’t overwhelm my students, all 6 of whom are shy introverts.

Tonight I had another reminder of why we need Revival in America. I’m exhausted and so hungry, but I came into a sleeping house to find that my mother had brought me Ramen. Comfort food, Holy Spirit who is my Comforter and Kelanie Gloeckler serenating me and I’m sure to sleep tonight.

I’ll wait up for You Jesus. Dance with me while I’m dreaming.

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The Next Great Awakening

Ever embarking on an adventure tonight I am writing notes for the first of a 7-session class on Revival History that I will be teaching for our Student Ministries 3.12 school. My thoughts on this class follow:

  1. I have never taught a class before (ie. setting curriculum, writing notes, making assignments).
  2. Truth be told I’m a Storyteller, and there’s almost no topic more on my mind these days so I’m not very worried about teaching.
  3. Preparing has given me reason to read and think about the moves of God throughout history like CRAZY these last few weeks and my soul feels nourished from the books I’m inhaling.
  4. Alyssa is going to lead worship for my class, and that’s going to be REAL good.

Tonight I am staying home from the Awakening to write and ensure that everything is done by tomorrow mid-morning with plenty of time to print. Now that I say that I remember that only 5 kids are signed up for my class. No matter, those five are worth it. I pray that a hunger for Jesus is sparked in their hearts that will never be put out.

The soundtrack to my study tonight is Jake Hamilton’s cd. Jake and his wife are apart of Refuge Prayer House in Rancho Cucamonga CA. His team led many of the prayer meetings during the 40 Days preparing for TheCall CAin 2008 and I love them. Why this music of choice for an evening of work? Check out the lyrics to his The Next Great Awakening.

I see you in the valley, Transferring death for life
I see an army coming, They all bear your light

I am not bound to reason, I live in violent love
This world can not define me, My hearts set above

For me to live it Christ, For me to die is gain
I am not shrinking back, I’ll never be the same

Four walls can not contain me, I know I’ve been possessed
I know that God is love, And there’s no failing love
So I am fearless

Come, love is overtaking me now.

This is the sound of a revolution.
This is the sound of a prophet’s cry.
This is the sound of a reformation.
This is the sound of a warrior bride.
This is the sound of a giants falling.
This is the sound that you can’t ignore.
This is the sound of a red moon rising.
This is the sound of an open door.

God, release the sound, Release the movement
I’m laying down everything

God, you promised nations, I want the nations
I’m not gonna settle, now
I, I hear the cry, I hear the longing
This is the sound of freedom

I stand in the gap, I stand here praying
For the next, Great Awakening

Revival’s not a method or a mission
Revival’s not program or a play
Revival is not a slogan
Revival is a man
His name is Jesus

“When peace like a river attendeth my way”

11.49pm and my alarm goes off at 5am tomorrow.

This morning I awoke with a weepy heart, whispering on the inside ” Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This morning I wished for coffee with Jeremy to help me untangle my thoughts and emotions. This morning I cringed at the list of things needing my attention this week; emails, meetings, planning, research, note making, preparing for class, books to be read in class preparation, phone calls, and on and on. This morning I wondered again why the Lord did not have me go to DC in January. This morning I did not want to be a leader, and this morning I did NOT want to go to youth church.

But I got out of bed, grabbed coffee with my best friend, and went to service anyway. Walking down the hallway I hoped for a room full of the teenagers whose faces I have come to love, thinking that the sight would lift my spirits. What I saw was the sound guy, the worship team practicing and only five kids in the room, 3 of whom I had never seen before.

But I sat in the front so that I could think about Jesus and not the empty room. And more kids came despite the snow, the faithful teens who are the reason I show up for 6 hours worth of planning meetings every week. And I watched Zac, our anointed 16yr old worship leader break down crying while singing about the soon return of Jesus and in that moment it was worth it. Getting out of bed today was worth seeing the longing for Jesus coming out of that young man’s heart.

This morning peace came to me with tears as the small group of 30 worshiped the Lord in that little room. This morning I called my soul to remember my hope, He is coming. We’re not always going to live like this, at a distance from the One who we love. Hear me, the Lord IS pouring out His Spirit in a fresh and powerful way and that is real. But….

But one day we will see Him face to face. And He comes back to the song of His bride longing for Him to return. Today I saw longing in the face of our students, and all of my changed plans and the accompanying pain and questions were worth it. Tomorrow I may need another reminder, but today it was worth it.

Today the healthcare bill passed by a narrow, narrow vote. And tomorrow I submit myself again to the “weakness” of prayer, asking with the same fervor of today, not discouraged or dismayed. Today I still believe for the mercy of God. And tomorrow I still stand in faith for the salvation of the unborn.

And this is what I live for, a generation to be friends of Jesus. This is what I wake for, this is what I pray for. Revival for breakfast, revival for lunch, revival for dinner (Thanks Alyssa).

Thy kingdom come Lord, thy will be done on earth, even as it is in heaven.

For the sake of honesty

My father bestowed in me a love for antique cars and the ability to build anything I dream. My brothers taught me to climb trees, read comic books and talk with enough attitude to cover for my small stature. I garden, landscape, aptly take care of my car, have a rabid flare for adventure, barbeque in the summer and can start a fire better than most boys I know. All of that is fine and good but this also is true, Jane Austen ruins me.

One and Two

I live in a world with two constants: 1) Jesus unchanging love and 2)everything else is CONSTANTLY changing.

These things in mind I have two big changes happening in my life.

Change number one: I have received the honor of serving as the current Jr.High youth director for IHOP-KC. Utter craziness! My plan is to give it my best and roll with it as long as the Lord leads me. At the moment I find myself overwhelmed with meetings, going to bed each night wondering what in the world I’ve gotten myself into. The thought that keeps my mind grounded is that were I on the streets of Europe working with orphans as I dream….. I would probably be doing the same things, running into the same problems, and most likely would be getting less sleep. It’s a bumpy but a good road.

Change number two: I am leaving the country for 8 days in April to minister to teenagers and children in western Europe. It’s a big deal. This will be first time in 5 years that I’ve felt the peace of the Lord to leave the country. The finances are coming in supernaturally and if my passport comes in before the fourth then it will TRULY be a miracle. Every time I think about April my heart overflows with gratitude and I cry. Literally.

The team I am going with has been consistently encouraged through emails from those serving in Europe. Here is a piece from the most recent letter,

In our continuing relationship with each other there is a bottom line. There is a goal that can be defined. I would define it as this:

That one day in a thousand years or so we all meet together again. At that meeting we’re jumping up and down, giving each other high fives because IT happened.

We define IT as the in-gathering of the complete harvest of souls in the nation(s) that we were called to serve. That in heaven there is this vast group of people from the people group we were called to that “made it”. They are there worshiping the Lamb, rejoicing in the eternal life that they have together with us forever and ever.

Amen & Amen! If you would like to know more about my trip & how to pray or would like to help with finances, please comment with your email address and I would love to talk with you.

Grace and Strength to you all, Lord knows I need it 🙂

the violent take it by force

In the book of Matthew we hear the voice of Jesus declare “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.” Proverbs 28 says “the Righteous are as bold as lions” and history tells countless tales of those who were friends of God, the ones who lived fearlessly. Think about it, we don’t hear many stories about pansies. They would hardly move us to have faith.

Oh but John, that “burning and shining lamp”, his story stirs us. Smith Wigglesworth, Charles Whitefield, John Wesley, Mother Theresa, Jim & Elisabeth Elliott, Corrie Ten Boom, so many saints, revivalists & evangelists. They move us, their stories burn within us stirring our faith and revving our engines but I am tired of being moved and then going to sleep. I’m ready to live fearlessly, ready to do great exploits for God, ready to do… something.

It’s true that I’m a dreamer & a visionary. My tendency has been to dream big dreams while lying on my back on sunny afternoons. I’ve fought to put feet to the passion in my soul….. kind of, all the while being surrounded by a multitude, a GREAT cloud of witnesses pleading for me to LIVE and RUN, to truly count the cost of knowing Christ and to deem Him worthy of throwing off every little thing that would weigh me down.

Meet Katie Davis. She’s a dreamer, with feet. She’s also one of my modern hero’s. Somewhere around my age, Katie is a single mom living in Uganda and has adopted ten children. Rather unconventional dont’ you think? Whatever you believe about single people adopting orphans you can’t deny that ten of the abandoned have found a home. Thank you Katie for loving Jesus with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength.

Faith that moves mountains anyone? Today my buddy Richy Clark made a comment about the greatest hindrance to a harvest of souls in America is undoubtedly not the message, but the messengers. Living in a  house of prayer community leaves my experience a unique one but most of my friends consider themselves “messengers” and yet I can count on one hand how many times in the last four years I have witnessed any of them telling a stranger the gospel of Jesus Christ. Hear me, I am not being cynical. I can count on one hand how many times in the last four years that I have told a stranger the good news of SALVATION FROM THEIR SINS AND FREEDOM FROM EVERY CHAIN! I who have identified myself as missionary, messenger, friend and Nazarite. So what am I, and what are we doing?

Something is stirring inside of me and I feel like it might be faith, the kind that does something. Strange musings today, but I’m about ready to see some of the kingdom of heaven here on the earth, and with or without you I’m about to take it by force.