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“Musings Of A Spiritual Father……Encouragement For Ministers”

You are not ordinary.  God has put His DNA in your spirit.  His imprint is on your life.  God has said your mouth is like a sharp sword, “…..He has made My mouth like a sharp sword….” (Isaiah 49:2).  The reason you have such significant battles over discouragement is that your primary purpose is encouraging others.  Christian encouragement is needed today more than ever.  Your enemy wants to steal your destiny.  Refuse to let that happen.

As you function in the gifting of ministry remember, you can initiate a season of overflow, a season of momentum by using the spoken word.  Your voice becomes the agent of change.  The “mouth” of the river is the end of the river.  It’s the point of enlargement, or change in structure.  It’s where we notice the most drastic change.  Once again…….your “mouth” becomes the agent of change!  Don’t be reluctant to speak the Word of God into your circumstance.

Since God has not stopped creating, you should not stop creating.  God spoke creation, this is the season to speak the vision God gave you and see its manifestation.  THE MOUTH IS THE POINT OF ENLARGEMENT, OR CHANGE!

It can be easy to question why seasons of adversity remain for such a long time.  Often, in the pain of the present, we begin a self-examination process to find what we’ve done wrong, and why this seems like punishment.  Please know that what we might call “punishment,” God might call “preparation.”  God is simply guiding you through the process of preparation for your next assignment.  It could be your greatest assignment!

An encouraging scripture is found in Isaiah 49:2.  The prophet Isaiah says, “…..In the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me…..” Isaiah 49:2.

Moses was hidden 40 years on the backside of the desert.  Other men went through seasons of isolation before God brought them out for their greatest effort.  David, Elisha, and Jesus were all hidden for a time.

We can find a dual meaning here as we take another look; “…..the shadow of His hand…..” can also mean “in the shade of His hand,” or even can refer to the five-fold ministry.  You are not being punished; you are being hidden for a special assignment.  Not just hidden, but hidden in a special place.  You are hidden in the “shadow of His hand!”

When a photographer takes a photo, he takes the film, which has the imprint of the image on it into a dark room to develop the negative into a color photo!  The imprint of your destiny remains in your life.  God has had you in a dark place to remove the negative.  Now is the season to bring you out for your greatest work.

Let this note be an encouragement to those in ministry.  Your efforts are not fruitless, God’s hand remains on your life.  God has never been sorry He called you to the ministry.  Gather yourself, get back up again and start moving forward.  Nothing can stop the person God has called into MINISTRY!

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“Musings of a Spiritual Father………Accountability”

We are living in a day when lives are being exposed on a regular basis.  Whether in the marketplace, or in the ministry, the significance of this exposure brings pain, heartache and disappointment that touches more lives that one can imagine.  It’s one thing to become successful and reach the top of one’s profession, it’s totally another thing to remain there and function at a high level.  It’s been said, “Be careful that your gifts and talents don’t carry you where your integrity and character cannot keep you.”  Today we find very talented people, very gifted people in ministry and high levels of leadership.  When they “fall” the rumblings go throughout the local church, the region, or the nation; depending on how high the level of exposure.

The results are devastating.  Families are broken, careers are lost, children are confused, the media often has a field day and folks leave the church, some of them never to return.  I’ve observed ministers who have stumbled and fallen.  It always breaks my heart.  I’m never glad when I hear the news.  It does seem there are common traits in the lives of the fallen.  Usually you can trace their habits to:  no daily prayer, no reading of the word, an uncommon love of money, or a lust for power, just plain lust, no functioning accountability and they always think it will never happen to them (they are “bullet proof”).

I think one area mentioned above stands out above the others.  Although all are important, the “no functioning accountability” stands out like a beacon.  Most ministers will say they have “accountability” relationships in their life and ministry but there is no function; it’s in name only.  Often “accountability” takes on the form of being a Spiritual Father who can be “bought off” from speaking the truth by significant checks coming in on a regular basis.  The temptation is to cover up the problem instead of speaking the truth of the Word of God to the person walking in danger.

Well, I suppose I shouldn’t get off on “Spiritual Fathers” who are dead beat dads, absentee fathers, abusive, demanding and controlling instead of being a father by using God as the example of the Perfect Father.  My heart breaks for sons who are craving attention, affirmation, and time with their spiritual fathers, all to no avail unless the check clears.  Again, the title of “accountability” is present, but the function is absent.  This absence of function aborts the “accountability” function and the relationship becomes a “business deal.”

I understand Spiritual Fathers don’t always know the secret details of the lives of their sons and daughters.  Just as parents in the natural don’t know the secret lives of their children.  However, once there is a stumbling, shouldn’t the father run to the son to provide help?  When the father of the prodigal saw his fallen son coming home, he ran to meet him.  Restoration was the order of the day.  In today’s restoration processes it seems more punishment and probation than restoration.

Ooops, I better stop here for now as my word count for this blog has expired.  Too long winded, I guess.  No, just passionate about being the best spiritual father I can be, and wanting the “accountability” function to be at a high level during seasons like we’re going through.  We need each other in the ministry.  No one should fall and not have a loving father to bring necessary correction, in love, and by a scriptural pattern.

I’ll try to add to this blog later if you would like to hear more…………………..Your thoughts?

“Musings of a Spiritual Father………Caught Between Seasons”

Have you ever felt like you were locked between two seasons?  You know another season is emerging, but the season you’re in right now refuses to give way in order to release the new.  This struggle often saps all your energy and has a negative effect on your emotions.

In the natural order of seasonal change, we regularly see the overlapping of seasons.  Uncommon temperatures occur.  It’s cold when it should be hot, it’s raining when it should be dry, it’s stormy when it should be clear are all conditions we face when one season is ending and another is beginning.  The weather is turbulent, and the unexpected is often experienced.

Let me suggest three disciplines you might use to help break out of the “locked between two seasons” experience.  This “in between” time is often the playground of your enemy.  He brings confusion to facilitate his desire to steal, kill and destroy your destiny.

First, refocus on the future God has provided for your life and ministry.  Stop building monuments to events of pain and discomfort.  Get a baptism of clear seeing.  God wants you to see what He sees.  His view is always from above, not beneath.  Crawl out from “under the circumstances.”  Climb on top of all the debris of this “in between” season and see your next God assignment.

Second, shift your language toward expressing your faith in God’s wisdom instead of constantly talking about the issues produced by enemy attacks.  Talking death attracts buzzards.  They can always be found at the point of fresh kill.  Your speaking must align with the Word of God and thereby choosing life so that you, and your descendants will live and not die.  You can now attract those who celebrate life, not death.

Third, look at your seed.  Far too often we stop sowing when times get tough.  It’s easy to stop sowing entirely when you are not able to sow at the level you once sowed.  Instead of being faithful with what you can sow, the choice is often to stop sowing altogether.  Regardless of how tough times are right now, find seed!  It’s in your life.  Start sowing what you can on a regular basis to get back into the discipline of sowing.  It shows the enemy you still believe what God said about sowing and reaping.

I believe these disciplines will assist you in breaking free from the grip of yesterday’s adversity and embracing today’s emerging season of favor.  Remember, you’re a champion……..and champions have “comeback ability.”  Your story isn’t over, nor has the final chapter been written.  Get back up and get going again.  A new season awaits your arrival!

“Musings of a Spiritual Father…….When Heaven Is Silent”

In the book of Revelation there is reference to “silence” in heaven for the space of half an hour.  I have wondered about that for some time now.  Mind you, I’m no theologian and no scholar of the Word.  However, it didn’t take much to go back through scripture and note a couple of times when heaven was silent.  Looking at circumstances which surround “silence,” it is quite noticeable something significant was happening.  Although I refuse to provide an exhaustive study on this, perhaps a nugget, or two, would suffice.  Take a short journey with me.

When Heaven is silent, there is usually a transition from one season to another.  Between the Old & New Testaments, there was silence; then God broke through with the voice of John the Baptist.  That voice certainly ushered in a new season.  When Jesus was crucified, heaven was silent; God broke through again with the New Testament Church.  Even though apostles had not been very effective when Jesus was on the earth mentoring them, after His death they came to life and begin to function a a very high level of ministry.

Let’s not forget my original thought from Revelation.  Silence, in Revelation, certainly ushered in a different season of the revelation of Jesus Christ. I’ve covered three instances of heaven’s silence.  By no means a thorough study, just a few instances, but enough to come to this conclusion.

We go through seasons of silence.  When it seems like God isn’t talking.  We pray, seek Him, fast, pray, tithe, give offerings, do everything we’ve been taught, even to extremes.  Yet there is still no voice from heaven.  Often the journey gets so difficult out energy level gets low and the fight within our spirit grows weak.  There seems to be no answer.

In His silence, He is processing qualities in your life which you will need in your next assignment.  Remember, you’ve brought some excess baggage from your prior assignment which must be flushed out of your spirit or it will contaminate your next assignment.  Once the residue of your prior assignment is flushed, there must be an anointing received for your next assignment.  All this seems to happen during “silence in heaven.”

If you are  presently experiencing a season of “silence,” remain alert, refuse to be lethargic and passive…….when God breaks the silence, and He will, there can be a new season dawn with fresh energy and revelation!  God is not silent forever!  He will break through the silence in a “due season.”  Take heart, my friend, God still holds you in the palm of His hand.  He will never let you go.  You’ve spent a lifetime “trusting God.”  Now God, in His silence, is “trusting you” with His next assignment for your life.

Embrace this part of life’s journey………it’s part of His Master Plan for you, from before the foundation of the world.  It’s not “Plan B,” it’s still “Plan A.”  God believes in you.  Never doubt His trust.

“Musings of a Spiritual Father……..Living in the storm!”

We all remember the story of Peter walking on the water to Jesus.  There are a few “life lessons” to be learned from this experience.

Jesus used the word, “Come” to entice Peter out of the boat and into the water.  Lesson #1 is:  If the Lord doesn’t call you to do it, don’t do it!  To walk on the water one must learn to discern between God’s voice and our own impulses.  Our own impulses can betray us as our journey encounters “stormy seas.”  When life gets tough, be careful to keep your ear close to the voice of God so you can discern the difference between God’s assignment and your own impulses.

Getting out of the boat means leaving your comfort zone.  Lesson #2 is:  Identify your boat.  Your boat could be anything in which you place your trust during seasons of adversity.  It could be a job, a relationship, or even money that has been saved for a “rainy day.”  Whatever keeps you from a life of adventure in Christ can be called your “boat.”  It’s your comfort zone and sooner, or later, you must leave the comfort of your personal boat and go on the adventure with God.

What do you see.  Lesson #3 is:  Focus on the Lord, and not on your circumstances.  Everyone has stormy waves come to their life.  The Word of God even talks about difficulties that will come our way in this journey.  It’s just part of our journey of faith.  To grow in Christ often means taking on fresh challenges.  Each new challenge confronted will reduce fear’s hold on your life.  Fear must lose it’s power over you.  Always stay focused on God and not the circumstances.  Also, keep in mind that staying in your boat (comfort zone) doesn’t guarantee your safety either!

Lesson #4 is:  The real failure wasn’t the one who stepped out of the boat and begin to sink.  The real failures were the ones who never stepped over the side of the boat.  Their failure was not noticed by many and it was certainly a quiet failure, but inside each life they knew the truth about themselves.  No adventure, no trust, no effort of risk was made at any point in time.  In fact, had they known the storm would come, do doubt they would have stayed on the shore…….another comfort zone.

In closing these remarks please remember, Jesus isn’t in the boat.  He’s on the water.  Although He ultimately did get in the boat, the encounter was made on the water….in the storm.  God could be shaking everything up by asking you to face waves that are larger than you’ve seen in quite some time.  Should you choose to leave your comfort zone and start “Living in the storm,” two things will happen.  One:  Should you falter, you will not be alone.  Jesus is as close as an arm can reach from wherever you are.  Two:  Should you not falter, think of the strength you will have to do greater things in the Name of God.

From the heart of a spiritual father to sons and daughters in the faith……..refuse the comfort zones offered and be willing to step our of your boat, with courage and faith, into the great assignments God has planned for you.  Live the exciting life of God’s plan and be reluctant to settle for the mundane and boring safety of the average life.  Enjoy “Living in the storm!”

 

“Musings Of A Spiritual Father……….Ministers & Leaders”

My recent thoughts have been concerning “provision for ministers & leaders.”  Are you looking for your provision?  Do you feel like you have sown much and your provision still remains far away?  Are you looking for a “golden key” to unlock a tomorrow that is hidden behind a bolted door?  Your answer might be moments away.

I’ve never been more excited about your harvest.  You can’t stop now.  Your harvest is just ahead.  Isaiah describes the provision of God for the tired and weary when he said, “…..They shall mount up with wings as eagles…..” Stay faithful, your “due season” is at hand.  God promised you strength, and He will provide exactly what you need.

So you’ve flown for a while and now you are tired.  God said, “….they shall run and not be weary…..” Now you have earned the right to run.  God said that when you would run He would see to it that you would not be weary. That’s your provision.  Go ahead, just rest in Him.  God loves you.

You might even believe that you are no longer running, you’re just walking at a slow pace.  Well, God still has provision for you.  He said, “…..you would walk and not faint.” God’s got you covered….relax…..enjoy your journey.  He just wants you to keep moving forward.

That restless stirring within your spirit is an indication that God is calling you to another dimension.  It’s the same as when the mother eagle stirs her nest, causing the baby eagles discomfort.  The baby eagles get restless and don’t know what to do.  They soon realize that their destiny is not in the nest. You were not made for the nest, you were made to fly.

This is a season for transition (going where you’ve never been), and transformation (becoming what you’ve never become).  Many will make the transition without the transformation. God is not only calling us to go where we’ve never been, He is calling us to become what we’ve never become.  To change locations as well as change attitudes, comfort zones, and countless other things will bring new challenges to our lives.

Remember, your provision is where you are going, not where you’ve been.  Your provision is in what you will become, not in what you are at the present.  God has already been in your future, He knows what you will need, and has placed your provision at strategic locations for you to enjoy. To receive your provision, you have to be obedient to God, and keep moving forward.

The seeds you have planted are leaving your hands, but they are not leaving your life.  They have simply moved into your future where they are multiplying.  You will find those seeds manifested as a harvest when, and where you need it most. You must keep moving forward to reap your harvest.

Remember the grapes of Canaan were never placed in Israel’s mouth, only within their reach.  They had to keep moving forward to reap their harvest.  Keep sowing and keep moving forward.  Your provision is within your reach.  WITH GOD, your dreams are coming true.

Ministers & leaders, you are incredibly special.  God has placed you in significant locations for this strategic season.  Remain strong and faithful.  So many are counting on you.  You are never alone for He is with you……….remember that!

“Musings Of A Spiritual Father……Ministers”

Like most folks I often have thoughts that never find their way to a printed page.  When thoughts linger for several days I think it’s a great possibility they need to be documented.   I’m feel impressed in my spirit to list significant reminders for those who minister the Word of God:

1.  Remember the moment of God’s call on your life to minister the Word.  Distractions are everywhere.  The umbilical cord of God’s call on your life is your anchor in seasons of difficulty.  God made no mistake when He called you and He’s never been sorry of His decision.

2.  Know your assignment.  Stay true to the focus God has stirred in your spirit.  Your adversary will always get you involved in too many good things.  Broken focus is deadly to your assignment.

3.  Just because you face a prolonged season of adversity doesn’t mean you have sinned, or you are unworthy to minister the Word.  Your battle could be a preparation for your next dimension, not a punishment for bad decisions.

4.  Never get too busy for time alone with God.  You can’t get so busy with the “work of God” that you forget the “God of the work.”  Your personal relationship with Him must be maintained at the highest level.

5.  Evaluate relationships from time to time.  Jesus only spent time with those who ministered to Him and those who received ministry from Him.  He had no time for Pharisees & Saducees for they did neither.

6.  Make time for your family.  Both your spouse and your children.  Refuse to make your ministry a mistress with whom your spouse must compete for your time, energy and focus.  Don’t be an “absentee” father to your children.  Invest in them……they are your first responsibility.

7.  Refuse the temptation to copy others.  Someone once said, “You were born an original, don’t die a copy.”  Be true to yourself and the gifts, talents & abilities God has placed within you.

8.  You need a Spiritual Father in your life.  If you don’t have one, ask God to connect you with someone with the heart of a father to speak into your life from time to time.  He should not smother you, or restrict you, but encourage you, bless you, and help you achieve all God has put in your heart.  Don’t worship him but respect, honor and receive from him as God speaks through him.

9.  Preach the Word of God with passion and anointing.  Have a clear voice, with a definite message.  Declare the Word of the Lord to this generation.  They must hear a clear sound from the Presence of Jehovah.  You are that voice!

10.  Never quit.  Regardless of the battle, or the intensity, refuse to quit.  You are a champion and God is not only counting on you, He is believing in you and trusting you to stand in faith and trust Him and His Word.  You can do it!

These thoughts have been on my heart for several days.  As a Spiritual Father, my heart is heavy with thoughts for those in a struggle.  It is my prayer that everyone who ministers the Word of God remain strong and complete the assignment God has given.  We need you.  Your audience needs you.  You are a difference maker.  Go forth and make that difference.  Blessings to all……………..