Monthly Archives: February 2023

What is Revival?

According to Webster’s Dictionary, revival means:

1 : an act or instance of reviving : the state of being revived: such as

a : renewed attention to or interest in something

b : a new presentation or publication of something old

c(1) : a period of renewed religious interest

(2) : an often highly emotional evangelistic meeting or series of meetings

2 : restoration of force, validity, or effect (as to a contract)

A religious revival in the Christian community is a sight to behold. Certainly there is some emotion attached to it. As anyone who has ever been convicted of their sin and need for a savior can tell you, such an interaction with the Holy Spirit often brings repentance, tears, and a renewed commitment to the Lord.

Yet something is missing from the Webster’s definition. A Christian revival involves the full presence of the Holy Spirit, and in His presence is fullness of joy. It is also accompanied by divine healing, deliverance, and liberation. Bodies and psyches are healed. Addictions are crushed. The chains of bondage to the works of darkness are broken and people are set free – of alcohol addiction, drug addiction, pornography addiction, and a host of others you could name. The work of the Spirit is a work of cleansing and restoration and when He begins to move, lives are changed.

The current revival happening in pockets around the U.S.A. is beautiful to watch. Two thousand years ago Jesus Christ came into the world to destroy the works of the enemy. What we are seeing in these revival meetings is exactly that: the destruction of the works of the enemy.

So here’s a question: if what is happening is so beautiful to see and peoples lives are being forever changed for GOOD, not evil, works, WHY is there so much negative ‘press’ about it? WHY are so many taking to social media and other outlets to denigrate this mighty move of God?

I’ll tell you why: because those people who are condemning this move are not children of the One True Living God. Don’t let them tell you they are. A true child of God knows that there are things they have yet to experience in the Kingdom of God and there is much to learn. They know, for example, that just because they have never experienced Holy laughter doesn’t mean it isn’t of God. If it is good, it is GOD. If it exalts the Savior, it is good, and therefore, GOD. The only evil we can see in this current revival movement is in people who are NOT participating and are, instead, denigrating it and everyone who is participating. Don’t let it concern you. EVERYONE will meet God eventually. We can only pray that they will meet HIM before they leave this world, because afterwards isn’t going to be pretty for those who deny Christ.

My prayer today is that the revival continues, spreads, and reaches your house too! Praise the name of Jesus!

Psalms 85:6 Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?

Psalms 80:18 Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name.

Psalms 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Psalms 80:19 Restore us, LORD God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.


Roommate Troubles

Imagine, if you will, being invited to live with a dear friend. This friend of yours is close and you get along very well. Together you plan how you will divide the chores and expenses and how you will each maintain your ‘space’. Decision made, you move in, and the first days are like a honeymoon. Everything is going along nicely, each keeping to their end of the bargain, and living is easy.

Then, slowly, things begin to change. Your roommate-host has begun to reveal parts of their personality that you never knew existed. For instance, they are basically a slob and have to be reminded constantly to put away what they have taken out, or clean up after themselves. Not only that, they have begun to leave things laying around, like their socks and shoes, newspapers, magazines, and even blankets.

Tension builds in the relationship and you have many ‘discussions’ in which your roommate-host vows to change. But they don’t. Not only do they not change, new ‘offenses’ have begun to creep in. Like inviting some rather dubious characters into the house who tend to stay late, eat everything, use language and substances you would never tolerate, and turn the house upside down. In addition, the new television seems to constantly be blaring and showing scenes that make you cringe in dismay at their distaste or vulgarity.

Your happy home which you were invited into has become a cesspool that your roommate-host is completely happy with and seemingly immune to. What do you do?

Obviously your roommate-host cares more about their downward-spiral lifestyle than they do about you or the agreement you both made when you moved in. They have broken that agreement. Do you take that as an invitation to leave? Do you leave? After all, they have turned their back on you and all that you stand for, crowing about your being ‘too strict’ and ‘no fun’.

Now shift your imagination: you are the roommate-host and Christ is the invited friend who joyously responded to your invitation to live together. Is your house, which you cleaned up so diligently when you first invited Him to stay, now become a cesspool? Have you let in friends who should never have been allowed – friends like lust, greed, perversion, addiction, selfishness, pride, arrogance, laziness, slothfulness, mediocrity? Have you had many discussions with your new roommate and promised to change but then fallen back into your bad habits and immoral behavior? Do your wants and desires take precedence over your relationship with Him? Are you turning your back on Him? Are you driving Him out? Would you blame Him if He moved out?

Joshua 24:15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Is It Love?

Ever been in love or thought you were? Did you question whether it was really love? Did you wonder if it was only infatuation? Or perhaps just lust.

There are some simple ways to tell if it is love or something else. And to make certain the object of your affection shares your emotional attachment, reverse the questions and ask yourself about their outward expressions.

First question: When you are apart do you think of your beloved all of the time? Are your thoughts consumed with not just thoughts of the beloved but of a future together?

Next: Do you listen with rapt attention to your beloved’s plans and dreams? Do you try to fit your plans and dreams into theirs, or theirs into yours?

And: Do you share interests or is your time together spent trying to convince your beloved that your interests are good and right?

And: When you disagree does it devolve into a full-blown fight with no winners? Or is it a discussion/debate where you either agree to disagree, or come to agreement, or one of you caves to the other’s position?

And: Do you give in to all of your beloved’s ideas?

And: If your beloved is offered a job across the country, do you give up your career and follow or demand your beloved stay?

And: If your beloved gets into legal trouble do you stand with them or cut your losses?

And, finally: Imagine your beloved has just been diagnosed with a terminal disease. There is no cure but one – your blood for theirs. A complete transference of blood from them to you and yours to them. The outcome of which means that they live a full life. You, unfortunately, now become the one dying. Do you do it?

I know some of these questions seem trivial and others so extreme they could never happen. Yet, the answers are important. We must understand that true love sacrifices itself for the object of it’s affection. At the same time, true love would never require us to make such sacrifices. Discussion, perhaps, but request or require it, never.

True love does not require us to change, yet true love changes us. True love drives out negativity and agitation and replaces it with peace and contentment. True love wants only what is best for us and is content to nurture us and encourage us along our life path. True love never dies. Real love stories never end.

I think very few people actually find true love because very few of us are willing to give up our right to ourselves for the sake of someone else’s happiness/welfare.

I’m one of the most fortunate people I know in that I have found true love. He delights in me and encourages me to be my very best. He takes interest in my interests and introduces me to his without demanding I participate. Yet, in my love for him my desires have become his and his, mine. We think and act as one effortlessly and he is always in my thoughts. After 30 years I am more in love with him than I was at the first.

This true love is available to you, too. His name is Jesus and more than anything he wants a relationship with you. Invite him in for a cup of coffee. I think you will discover that you want him to stay forever.

Jeremiah 31:3 LORD has appeared of old to The me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”

His Desires

In my pursuit of God I have encountered many obstacles. Lots of times I blame others (do you?) for interfering with my pursuit. Other times I blame the devil (well, he’s ALWAYS at fault). Sometimes I have even found myself to be a hindrance. Today, however, I made a discovery that has really set me back on my heels. I was reading the beautiful book of Haggai and it hit me right between the eyes – I am my biggest hindrance in the pursuit of godliness and the person of God. I am. Me. It’s me, it’s me, it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer!

I’m sure you are all aware that the Bible is like an onion. We might read a scripture and find it has one meaning today and another meaning or application the next time we read it. And yet again, the next time we run across that same verse, it has an entirely different impact upon us. I love that about Scripture. It never gets old. It is new every morning. And this morning it was REALLY new as I saw myself in a mirror of the words of Haggai.

Like all Christians I want to be about the Father’s business. Part of the business is getting to know Him intimately and sharing our lives with Him in constant communion and fellowship. Another part of that business is the care of other Christians as well as spreading the good news to anyone and everyone about the wonderful love available to them.

This morning I discovered that I haven’t been about the Father’s business at all. I’ve been about my business. I’ve been focused on me me me to the point of yuckism. I read Scripture to learn about the Father (so I tell myself) and yet when the Father exposes a part of me that needs work I justify and rationalize — with words like “you made me this way” and “how can I change that? It’s part of my personality that you created.”

There are times I recognize my sin and confess it to Father and repent, making an honest effort to change. Sounds so holy doesn’t it?

Here’s what I learned this morning: we are all so busy working on ourselves – our outer selves – that we are neglecting the temple of God – the true temple of God – our hearts. Our hearts are His sanctuary (if we have accepted Christ) and we are living our lives as if once Christ comes in the work is finished. Well, certainly salvation is finished. Yet WE aren’t finished. We have heart issues that are polluting the temple, the sanctuary of God. Things like offense, bitterness, envy, laziness, slothfulness, mediocrity, gluttony, judging others rather than ourselves, fear, anxiety, resentment, pride, rebellion, etc. etc. etc. The list of what we carry in our hearts and minds is staggering, and the impact it has on our lives and those around us is also staggering.

My latest revelation was resentment. I carry resentment in my heart which Holy Spirit revealed this morning as I read the sweet notes of love in Haggai 1:4Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? 5 Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.

The Lord’s house lies in waste as we focus on everything except His desires. Today I am consciously working on shifting my focus to be on His desires. I am going to do my best to incorporate that into my daily walk, not because I think it will earn me any great rewards or a better ‘mansion’ in paradise, but because it is what He asks of me. How can I do any less? Look what He’s done……

Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

In the Midst of the Storm

What a glorious day! Bright sun, brisk wind, nippy temperatures. It feels like one of the last days of winter with spring trying to break through. It’s a little early for that yet, but this little foretaste is a welcome gift.

It’s one of the many gifts I have noticed this week. I and many of my acquaintances are battling a bug that is running rampant through the community. It feels like an old-fashioned head cold. You know the kind – a week coming, a week staying and a week to depart. Three weeks of ‘ugh’. And yet in the midst of this latest attack I have seen so many little gifts.

The first one I noticed was the gift of being able to just stay in bed: no one clamoring for help or needing me to do anything for them. What a beautiful gift to be able to just stay in bed and rest and take care of myself without having to worry about what everyone else needed. Someone else was taking care of that.

The second gift I noticed was the joy of 24-hour non-stop Christian sermons, classic movies and television shows. While I was so fatigued from the sickness and exhausted from not being able to sleep due to coughing fits, I was blessed by being able to pick up the remote and find something to take my mind off of how bad I felt.

The third gift I noticed was friends and family who checked on me but didn’t smother me. Friends and family who offered food, medicine, transportation, or anything else I might need or desire. Thank you God for those who serve as your hands and feet.

The fourth gift I noticed, and by far the best gift, is the peace of God which passes all understanding. Even in the midst of feeling miserable He is here. His peace and comfort surround me like a soft warm blanket on a chilly evening. I snuggle down into Him and await complete healing. In the meantime, I am content in these circumstances.

There are other gifts that I am aware of – a warm house, hot water on demand, a well-stocked pantry, books to read, and Christian resources to study on-line and in my library. Warm bread, pizza delivery, juice and soft tissues which don’t make my nose raw.

I am awed by the sweetness of the Father. He provides, protects, defends and vindicates. He is ever present and loving, constantly guiding and always cherishing. I am so grateful for this past week of downtime. Yes, grateful for the sickness that allowed me to stop and notice how very blessed I am. Thank you Father, for loving me.

I pray you feel the love of the Father today. I wouldn’t want you to miss out!

Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.

Joy Joy Joy

Have you ever been depressed? Grieved? In despair? Sad and lonely? Me too.

Yet in walking with the Lord I have discovered (with His help of course) the secret to not only surviving those periods of time, but thriving in them and through them. It really isn’t a secret – it’s right there in the Holy Scriptures for anyone to find and implement. The quickest way to restore joy? WORSHIP.

ISAIAH 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

JEREMIAH 31:3Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow

PSALMS 30:11You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning

Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness – the garment of praise is to turn your focus upon the Living God and worship Him. Sing and dance before Him with gratitude for your life and everything He is. Praise Him for His wondrous love and amazing grace. Offer the sacrifice of praise and watch Him restore you.

Believe me, I understand that sometimes it is a sacrifice to praise. Sometimes it is all we can do to lift our heads. The sacrifice comes in taking our eyes and our focus off of the circumstances and turning our focus to Him == letting Him have all the glory in spite of, or maybe because of, what we are going through. God is good ALL of the time and He intends our lives to be a bountiful feast for the eyes and hearts of others. He knows we will struggle and have tough times. He also has given us everything we need to prosper in those times and thereby bring glory to His name.

Just this morning I had to remind myself of these promises as I dwelt under the heavy blanket of oppression from the moment I awoke. I headed to my prayer closet and spent some wonderful time in reading, contemplation, prayer and praise. At the end of it I couldn’t remember the oppressive feelings as all I felt was the amazing peace and joy of the Lord. Times of refreshing comes from being in His presence and I am truly refreshed.

This gentle reminder is to bring us back to the truth of God’s Word which has been provided to us as a manual for a happy and healthy life – a love letter from father to child – not a rule book to keep us in bondage. Want more out of your life? Look in the book …… 🙂