That Fragrance is Head Turning

82206053The aroma filled the room, as my wife sprayed her perfume each morning, as she would get ready for her day. The smell would change the very atmosphere in the room and catch my attention every time she walked by. There was just something special about her fragrance that represents more than just a good aroma. It represented her and who she was. That daily routine never seems to get old.

It reminds me of the story in Mark 14:3-9, where we are introduced to the women in Bethany who ministered before Jesus. We read in verse three she, “came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.” This caused an outcry of disapproval and disgust from some that thought it should have been sold and the money given to the poor. Yet, someone else’s head turned also.

Before we judge this as a menial disagreement about some cheap perfume being wasted, let’s look a little bit closer. This wasn’t a story of a bad practical joke that had gone bad, but was a sacrificial act with a much deeper meaning. This women we know as Mary of Bethany who we also read about in Luke 10:42 as well as in Mark. She had an Alabaster


When we minister to Him. It’s a fragrance of beauty that will turn His head and catch His attention.   (tweet)


box filled with a costly fragrance valued at a year’s wage. This wasn’t just any perfume but more of an heirloom that had probably been given and added to over time. It was much like a hope chest that is given to a daughter and then filled over time with things that would be useful for her future. It represented her past, present and future!

So in essence she was giving her past and present successes and failures, as well as her future hopes and dreams to Jesus. She wasn’t pouring out just a perfume but her life. The aroma that filled the room moved Jesus’ heart. It was much more than a temporary fragrance, but was her life’s incense that came before the one who would give His life as a


We are called to stand before Him as Priests! (tweet)


sacrifice for her and the world. Jesus took notice, standing up for her and declaring that this would be a memorial to her through out history. Mary was standing before and ministering to Jesus.

Mary’s actions were representative of what the Levites were separated to do before God. (Deut. 10:8-9) It says they were chosen to “stand before” and “minister” to the Lord. The phrase to “stand before” means to remain and present oneself and the word Continue reading

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Seasons of Life will Mold Us and Grow Us!

647348213It was as if God took His pallet of bright oil colors and creatively painted on the canvas of the landscape. It was so breathtaking; the leaves were so bright and colorful. There’s nothing more beautiful than the changing of the seasons especially in the fall. The crisp air is so fresh and exhilarating along with the beauty of God’s handiwork.

For those that live in a region of the world where you’re fortunate to experience four seasons, you know how incredible it can be to see the change unfold before your eyes. When you really stop to think about it, one moment it is hotter than hot and then before you know it it’s chilly in the mornings. Frost on the windshield soon turns to ice and snow. Then before long the trees begin to bud and the grass comes alive and


Embrace each season in your life with faith in God and allow Him to mold you and grow you through it. (tweet)


turns a vibrant green. God transform the scenery all year long displaying the miracle of His hands.

In scripture we see Jesus using the natural examples to reprimand the people for not being aware and knowing the seasons that they were living in. In Matt 16:3-4 we read, “You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.” Most of us can get it right in depicting the seasons and times of nature but are clueless when it comes to the season of life. Yet God desires us to understand spiritual seasons. It says in 1 Chron 12:32, that the family of Issachar knew the times and what to do in them.

We are gripped as we read the changing seasons in the story of Joseph. His life is laid out before us in Gen. 37-50. It starts out with his youthfulness being mixed with Continue reading

I Caught Something!

Image   The April sun broke through our kitchen window. I had sleep in my eyes. My siblings and I sluggishly forced ourselves to eat our morning oatmeal. There was nothing uncommon about this morning in 1967. It began like any other typical day. Until, the telephone pierced the silence and brought all of us to attention. My mother answered in her normal cheery voice, but immediately her tone changed. Her cheerfulness went to a devastating, “Oh my God” and from that moment my life changed forever.

Our daily priorities were obliterated by the news that my dad had just suffered a heart attack (that would later become fatal). As my mother hung up she insistently cried, “Everyone go and pray in the front room for your dad.” The sluggish sleepiness that just moments earlier was so prevalent vanished as we all began to cry out to the Lord. In the midst of disaster, we prayed!

Praying became a natural response in times of crises and need in our household, because it was instilled in us as a daily way of life. I can remember how my mother loved to take walks on our ranch in the beautiful Rocky Mountains to pray. On several occasions we would run up the trail to catch her only to find her deep in prayer. It was memories like this that had a profound impact on my life.

I believe some things must be caught not just taught. Joshua had evidently caught something as he followed Moses. The young Joshua saw the results of Moses’ communion with God. He talked to God and then walked in His power every day.  Joshua caught the spirit of prayer and abiding in God’s presence. I love Exodus 33:11 where it says, “So the Lord spoke to Moses face-to-face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.” Picture this scene: Moses returned to camp and to his responsibilities but Joshua stayed in the Lord’s presence. Evidently Joshua caught something; he understood that a life of intimate prayer and communion with God will result in a walk of power.

A lifestyle of prayer was birthed in my own life through being raised in the shadow of many great men and women of prayer. Even once I had left for college and then continuing down the road to marriage and raising a family; it seemed that God would always place me in the midst of men and women of prayer. Through colleges and seminaries rooted in prayer such as Christ for the Nations Institute and others. Speakers that taught and motivated us to minister out of the place of prayer such as Dick Eastman, Mike Bickle, Bill Bright, as well as, great Pastors such as Dr. Larry Lea, who were used to call a generation to pray. God was definitely orchestrating in me a lifestyle of prayer.

Over the years I have reflected on many of those days and memories and have been encouraged that I had caught an attitude of prayer to sustain me in and through my life. It has kept me through many trying times and has become a lifelong message of mine as well as a book I have published, “Igniting the Power of Prayer”.  It is my desire to see God’s people live a life empowered through a life of prayer

We Can Do It If We Will

haystack  “In 1806 a group of students at Williams College in Massachusetts sought refuge from a sudden rainstorm in a haystack.  As the rain beat down, they turned their retreat into a prayer meeting.  They asked God to use their lives.  As they prayed, their faith rose to believe God could use them significantly to fulfill Christ’s Great Commission.  When the rain subsided, they left with the rallying cry, “We can do it if we will!” This unobtrusive meeting went down in history as the Haystack Prayer Meeting.  Today this spontaneous prayer time is seen as the beginning of the mission movement in America.  As a result, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions was birthed.”[i]

Through a simple small non-organized prayer meeting the world would never be the same.  God used a group of young people that had a relationship with Him to shake the world through missions. Not because of who they were or even that they deserved anything.  It was all because they chose to allow God’s heart to be vocalized through prayer. That small group came in agreement with God’s will and because of it changed the world!

If the believers of God would only understand there is an incredible power when we come in agreement with heaven through our prayers. We could virtually change our surroundings and our world. The question is, will we no matter what the circumstances are find a place and time and begin to pray prayers that will make a difference?  Let us also make our rallying cry as did that small group many years ago

“We Can do it if we will!”

 

[i] David Shibley, A Force In The Earth, Florida: Creation House, 1989 P. 85

There’s Life in the Vine!

Image    There is a definite difference between the life that is separated unto prayer and the life that has separated from prayer. One has the power of God flowing through it and the other is powerless. We must understand that Jesus is the vine and we are only the branches. (Jn. 15:5). As long as we stay connected to the life-source then we will walk in His power.

Paul encouraged the Christians in Ephesus with these words: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might,” (Eph. 6:10). We walk in His power as long as we are in fellowship and communion with Him. I remember my former pastor, telling the church that some things must be caught not just taught. I believe Joshua caught something as he followed Moses.

Joshua saw the results of Moses’ communion with God. He Talked to God and then walked in His power every day.  Joshua caught the spirit of prayer and abiding in God’s presence. I love Exodus 33:11 where it says, “So the Lord spoke to Moses face-to-face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.” Picture this scene: Moses returned to camp and to his responsibilities but Joshua stayed in the Lord’s presence. Evidently Joshua caught something; he understood that a life of intimate prayer and communion will result in a walk of power.

We cannot survive without being grafted into the vine. Joshua was committed in making sure that he was grafted into the vine. It was a daily choice he made. Just as it must be a daily choice in our life to make sure we are connected into the life source of the vine.  As we come into the place of prayer and communion with God, we are strengthening our connection in the vine!

Unforgiveness is the Cancer of the Soul

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The effects of revival in our land have on different occasions in history touched even the White House.  President Lincoln, being concerned about America’s condition, its success and independence as well as a country be ripped apart.  He gave his Proclamation for a National Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer.  On April 30,1863, President Abraham Lincoln said, “… It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”[i]   The results of the great revival that had been happening in America not only carried on, but lasted for many years.  It had begun in a passion for prayer and was sustained with faithfulness of prayer!  Mathew Henry once said “When God intends a great mercy for His people, He first sets them a praying.” We must find the place of prayer!  We must allow the Holy Spirit to convict us of anything that would stop His flow in us and through us. 

God wants us to pray from a heart of purity that we might see Him in His fullness and in dimensions of His great mercy.  Even in the midst of blessing and revival we can allow the enemy to get a foot hold in our lives. In Matt. 6:14-15 it says, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (NKJV)   Anytime we allow our soul to be infected with the spiritual cancer of bitterness and unforgiveness, it will hinder God’s moving in our lives and those around us.

  • Unforgiveness will stop your prayer life!
  • Bitterness that is bottled up inside you will defile you and others.
  • Lets deal with our bitterness and unforgiveness so that we can have a pure heart.

How can we expect to talk to our heavenly Father who has forgiven us when we ourselves are holding bitterness and unforgiveness in our own hearts towards others?  In the Gospel of Mark we read “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”  ( Mark 11:25  NKJV)

 Search your heart for any area

of defilement in you.


[i]   Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation , The Rebirth Of America, 1986, p. 151