Thursday, August 27, 2009

Times of Transition by James W. Goll

I was sent this article by a friend.  I found it to be very appropriate
considering the times as well as an encouragement.

James W. Goll:"Praying Through Times of Transition"

As the senior leader of Encounters Network and its associated ministries, I
recently called for a special time of Praying through Transition. As we adopt
this into our Prayer Storm efforts, I trust the Holy Spirit will reveal to you
specific strategies for Spirit-led and Spirit-empowered prayers. Adapt this theme
and make it practical for your own life, ministry and nation.
Worldwide Convulsions
The entire world is in the midst of one of the greatest times of change and
transition I have ever witnessed in my lifetime. This is both for good and evil.
Having prayer-walked over the Reconciliation Bridge from Heil, Germany to
Strasbourg, France recently, I marveled at the atmosphere of genuine friendship
and change. It is breathtaking for me, having sowed specifically into Germany
for so many years. Not long ago, such a friendship between the citizens of
France and Germany was only a pipe dream—but now, in part—it is a reality.
But consider on the other hand the worldwide threats to "wipe Israel off the
face of the earth to be remembered no more." (See Praying for Israel's Destiny
for details prophesied from Psalm 83.) War also rages in the mountains of
Afghanistan, Pakistan and beyond. Many nations of Africa are in great turmoil,
torn between one tribal group and another.. There are wars and rumors of war...
With the worldwide recession under way, many people in the U.S. and other nations
are losing their jobs; new leaders in power in Israel, the U.S., England and
beyond, it does seem that everything around us is teetering! From my angle,
we are in the midst of a worldwide convulsion. But we must drop the anchor
of hope in such a time. We must be a light which shines brightly in the midst
of darkness.
The Process of Transition
Transition means crossing over to a new place from one condition to another.
Transition times are times when the Lord redefines and adjusts the rules necessary
for us to move forward. He gives us focus and direction. He teaches us about
Himself in a new way. We must admit that we have not been where we are headed.
We have not crossed this way before!
In a literary sense, a transition is the phrase that connects the past
communication or paragraph with the future thought. This is so important to
understand as we move forward. We must seek the Lord for His revelation during
times of transition. When He communicates to us, we can bridge the past season
with the new. This causes a great treasure to arise.. Without the communication
being distinct during transitions, we lose the strength and wisdom of our past
There is a process which takes place in a time of change. Part of that transition
• A fresh level of revelation is released.
• Your present vision is adjusted.
• New vision is released and established.
• A mantle of restoration is placed upon you.
• You are healed and made whole from the past.
• A new identity is developed within you.
• New strategy is revealed to you.
• You see the fullness of your inheritance before you.
• You have the strength to overthrow your enemies.
• You secure your inheritance.
Keys for Times of Transition
Charles Stock reminded us at a recent Encounters Network Alliance Leaders
Summit, that we can "shine" the brightest when it is the darkest. He emphasized
four basic keys to help us grow through our seasons of transition:
1. God knows what He is doing! 
2. Our scars can be changed into trophies of His grace. 
3. Every battle we survive is a graduation to new realms of authority. 
4. Grace works through time—and time is on our side!
In my family and ministry's time of great personal loss and tragedy, there are
a few basic things I will never let go of. Yes, God is good all the time, and
all things work together for good. Period! Sometimes my lack of understanding
screams at me, but in those very moments I must yield my right to understand
and push the button called "Trust!"
James W. Goll
Encounters Network • PrayerStorm • Compassion Acts

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Noodle-ing & Physics?


I was taking my dog for a walk today and I began thinking about several things that I have thought about before.  I call this noodle-ing.  It is time that I spend thinking about, contemplating, reflecting upon, analyzing, etc some particular thing.  Today I was once again noodle-ing about the physical property of light and it relationship to dark.

I do so love the physical universe.  There are so many Spiritual realities that we can get from the physical world.  For example, I love the Law of Gravity.  It is a physical absolute that gives credence to the idea that there are also spiritual absolutes.  No matter how hare you try, no matter what you believe, no matter how sincere you are in believing that you can fly, if you step off a building you will fall to the ground and be severely hurt.  That may seem kind of obvious but I think you get the idea.

Tonight I was thinking about light and dark.  I had heard a radio pastor talk about a thing he noticed about light and dark as his son opened the hall closet.  This pastor was standing in a place where he could see easily into the closet as soon as it was cracked open.  The hallway light was on.  What he saw and came to realize is that when his son opened the door the darkness in the closet did not come out invading the light but that the light went into the closet and pushed out the darkness.  Darkness is nothing in and of itself but the reality that there is an absence of light.  Any miniscule amount of light can over come even the darkest of places and the darkness can do nothing to prevent it.

I have been noodle-ing this idea of light being the tangible quality and darkness being an absence of that tangible quality or reality.  I was also thinking of this in light of what the scriptures have to say regarding Moses and his interactions with Pharaoh.  In some places it says that Pharaoh hardened his heart and in other places it says that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart.  This has caused me to also wonder, “Why would God do such a thing?  If God hardened Pharaohs’ heart isn’t it then God’s responsibility for Pharaoh’s actions?  Is the Word correct in what it wrote down because it doesn’t make sense to me that a loving God would cause someone to sin? Etc, etc. etc. 

As I was considering all this I began to wonder if this same truth about light and dark is also true about God and his interactions with people.  Is it possible that God’s hardening Pharaoh’s heart came about not by anything that God did to Pharaoh but by God removing and withdrawing from Pharaoh, leaving Pharaoh to his own self and thinking.  Even as I’m typing this I am now thinking also about what it says in Romans chapter 1.  Three times it says that, “God gave them over….to there own thinking (my paraphrase).”  Does God give us over to our own devices and thereby default we end up in darkness?

Thanks for listening to a bit of my own noodle-ing.  Hope it has caused you to think.  I appreciate any comments to help me expand my own thinking.  Of course I will continue to invite God into my thinking to keep me honest and humble.

Blessing to you. 

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Hope In The Future

I have been asking God to show me just how do I bring into today and put to use in today the reality that God speaks of in 1 Peter about HOPE.

The hope that is being spoken of is tied to several things, first it is a Living Hope (1 Peter 1:3), it is provides an inheritance that is imperishable and undefiled (1 Peter 1:4), it provides an inheritance that does not fade away and is reserved for me in heaven (1 Peter 1:4), it's a hope that is protected by the power of God thru faith (1Peter 1:5), it's a hope that provides a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time (1Peter1:5), it's a hope that gives me reason to rejoice greatly even while suffering for a little while by necessity (1 Peter 1:6), this hope is tied to my faith and this faith is more precious than gold (1 Peter 1:7), this hope is tied to my faith that is tested by fire and will result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:7), it is a hope tied to my faith that will obtain as the outcome the salvation of my soul (1 Peter 1:9), and this Hope tied to my Faith are in God who also happened to raise Jesus from the dead and gave Jesus glory (1 Peter 1:21).

Again, how do I gain something for today knowing that this Hope and Faith that I have will not actually be gained until Christ comes again (or I go to Him). Being the very practical and pragmatic person that I am, I just could not get my mind around this. It was to far away for me to gain any tangible benefit from. Yes, yes, yes, I know in my head all that Truth but how does that help me today. So I have prayed for understanding and wisdom.

Yesterday our Sr. Pastor was away at convention so our Pastor of our seniors preached. He has lived a long and full life serving the Lord and was honored to be in the pulpit. He said that it is just so refreshing to be in the book of 1 Peter again. yep, 1 Peter. He shared about the first 10 verses or so. I will not go into the whole thing but just the part that God used to answer my prayer. Pastor Harry made reference to the word used in verse 4 regarding our inheritance being reserved for us in heaven. He commented about loving to have a reservation for dinner, or a hotel, or even a car rental reservation. We just show up, tell them our name, and whatever it was that was reserved for us is now ours.

Well that got me to thinking. How do I feel when I have a trip coming up where all the reservations are already made. The trip is planned, paid for, committed to, all I have to do is wait for that day to come to drive to the airport and I begin to receive all that has been reserved for me. Well, after I had made the decision to go to the Exodus Conference and had made all the reservations I began to get excited every day about the day when I would leave and begin to experience all that the reservations had in store for me. So, while I was still engaged in my life, washing laundry, cleaning, ministering, going to church, spending time with my family, etc I had this excitement building in the back ground of my mind, knowing that the day to leave was getting every closer. This was continually there, not distracting me from my priorities but still there, reminding me of good things to come.

This is just what I needed to learn how to bring that reality of what is being talked about in 1 Peter into today. The reality is I'm not going to experience it today but I can get excited about the truth that the day to leave is getting ever nearer. Now to be honest, I do not believe that Christ is coming in the next week or two, or that my life will be ending either. This does create a bit of a delema because it is still a bit far off. So I'm going to ask Jesus to give me that excitement because it is beyond my human ability to appropriate by myself. I will let you know how Jesus answers this new prayer.

Perhaps you can join me in this and you too will be blessed.

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