Saturday, March 29, 2008

Back to the River - Part 2

Ezekiel 47
" it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross. He asked me, "Son of man, do you see this?"
Then he led me back to the bank of the river. When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. He said to me, "This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Sea. When it empties into the Sea, the water there becomes fresh. Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds—like the fish of the Great Sea. But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing."

If you remember from a previous post, I discussed the River of God and how it pertains to corporate worship. I want to continue that discussion with the last part of that amazing passage. If you pay attention closely, Ezekiel did not see the "trees" until he reached these swimming depths of water. Some say that these trees represent healing. So, once we reach these depths of the river in our worship services, we will no doubt start seeing miracles and healings on a regular basis.

The "Sea" that Ezekiel mentions is the Dead Sea. This Sea is described as a Dead Sea because of its salt content. The salt percentage is so high that no living creature can live. So, this River will bring healing and life to places that have the stinch of death! This is not unlike some churches and worship services around today. But Ezekiel offers a prophetic declaration by saying there is still hope for these churches; the River of God will bring life to the dead areas of religion and traditionalism through worship. There is hope church! It's found in finding the River in worship.

This passage concludes with an abundance of fish. People, believers and non-believers, will begin to flock to churches where the River is found continually in worship. Some will refute this and say that churches will scare away people if we really get into the deep depths of the River. Ezekiel prophetically saw the contrary. He envisioned fish being drawn to places where life and miracles and fruit abound!

Again, the River is what we seek and ask for in our worship services. I want it. I need it. I long for it daily. Join me and ask/pray for a longing, a thirsting for this River [Psalm 42:1].

Grace and peace.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Great Scary Scott

My mom sent me this picture the other day that a TV tower took the night of the tornado in downtown Atlanta. I'll just let the picture speak for itself. Stinking scary for real! [Just click on the picture to make it larger]

Much grace and peace.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Faux sho

So today I did something pretty random and out of the ordinary for me...I decided to give myself a faux hawk. Here's some pictures for your viewing pleasure below. The pictures were taken with Photo Booth so the quality isn't as crisp. I will try it out for a little bit and if it doesn't work for me, then I'll just cut off the rest. Anyway, let me know what you think and be honest [You know where liars go!]

Thursday, March 20, 2008

"Come and you will see"

Lately I have been trying to dig deep in the Word and try to figure out the "next step" in my life. My routine consists of worship, reading some, then worship some more and listening. Unfortunately no answers yet but I know God is pleased with where my heart is. I am still praying for clarity and wisdom, but I just want to be with the Lord, where He is, in His pocket so to speak.

I'm reading John right now and something in the first chapter stuck out to me in a way that hadn't before. In verses 35-39 we read of two of John the Baptist's disciples leaving him to follow Jesus. John [the writer] mentions one of the disciples, Andrew. In case you didn't know, the other disciple was John himself [again the writer, not the Baptist]. Anyway, the two ask Jesus, "Where are you staying?" Jesus then answered them, "Come and you will see."

What connected most with my spirit as I read this story was the question the two disciples asked Jesus..."Where are YOU staying?" They wanted to be wherever Jesus was. They wanted to be with Him, stay with Him, commune with Him, dine with Him, learn from Him and soak all of Him in by simply being where He is. The disciples knew that it would be best to be where Jesus was.

Here is where I have failed [and you may be in this boat too]: I approach God with good intentions of giving my life, future, etc to Him, but I want to put Him in a box close to where I am at. "I know you are staying over there God, but it would be so much easier if you just come over here where I'm at. Everything seems to be going good right here, so if You could just come over here to my area, that would be great." We need to be ready and willing to ask Him where He is staying so we can go there to be filled and fulfilled. It's in our best interest to be where Jesus is and partner with Him in what He is doing. We can't force something into being. We just have to be able to sense where God is and where His river is flowing and go there.

So God where are you staying? Because I want to be with You...

Proverbs 21:1 "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord; He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases."

Psalm 143:8 "Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul"

Grace and peace.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


If you haven't seen or heard about the tornado that ripped through downtown Atlanta, then I ask you to either wave your hand in front of your face and tell me if you can see your hand or, place a finger up under your jaw and feel for a pulse. Ok? Good...

Anyway, so as a birthday gift I was given tickets to the SEC basketball tournament. My dad and I went down to the Georgia Dome Friday around lunchtime for the first 2 of 4 games. The games were exciting and we were having a good time. Then there was a dinner break and Tate Welling met us for the last 2 games. The first game was Alabama against Mississippi State [To this day I still say that little saying to help me spell Mississippi...anybody else with me?]. The game was back and forth and it eventually went into overtime. With about 2 minutes and 11 seconds left in overtime all of a sudden we saw people across the Dome scattering and frantically running. A minute or so before I had heard some rumbling but didn't think anything of it. What was going through my head initially is that somebody was sick and they were running to find help or there was a fight happening between fans from Alabama and Mississippi State. Then boom, the entire Dome started to shake and it sounded like a freight train was going through the middle of the Dome. The scoreboard, big screens and scaffolding were swaying back and forth. The lights were shaking. It felt as if an earthquake was occurring. I looked up and the entire cloth rooftop of the Dome was rattling and it looked like the "parachute" game we used to play on the playground when younger. You know the one where everyone holds a piece of tarp and starts to shake it up and down. The balls on top start bouncing around like "popcorn." Remember?

Anyway, people were scattering all over the place running for the exits. For a brief moment I was thinking that this could be it. I don't want to be over-dramatic but we had no where to go because all of the aisles were jammed. I thought, "What am I going to do if the roof comes down?" Then all of a sudden 3 panels from the side of the Dome were ripped open. You could see the rain and lightening outside from where we were sitting! Debris was falling all over the court and the people in the stands. After what seemed to be an eternity rapped in about 30 seconds, the freight train-like rumbling quieted down. We could still see the rain and lightening though outside. We found out later on that a big bolt fell from the roof in front of somebody, which set off the mad-scramble at the beginning.

After about an hour delay, they came back out and played the last 2 minutes and 11 seconds of overtime [which Mississippi State won]. The overhead announcer told everybody to stay in the Dome and there is still severe weather outside. Roughly 30 minutes later they announced that the UGA-Kentucky game was postponed until the next day [GO DAWGS!].

Even though it was very frightening, things could have been a lot worse. The roof could have fallen it or blown off. The big screens, scaffolding, lighting and scoreboard could have fallen on people. Also, if the game didn't go into overtime, there would have been a large crowd outside leaving the Dome, which could have resulted in devastating injuries or even deaths. The Lord definitely had His team of angels protecting us that night! I am thankful!!

I didn't have my camera with me but I did manage to take some pictures with my phone. Here are some of those:

These are some views of the Georgia Dome from the outside. Look at all of those panels ripped off...

Here is some of the debris outside. There were benches overturned, glass was everywhere from doors and windows blown out, trash cans blown everywhere. That sign with the C on it usually stands upright. It is a solid concrete sign that was almost toppled over by this storm!

If you look towards the top of the Dome you can see the holes ripped into the side. In case you can't see them, I utilized my pointer finger to "point" out one of the openings...

It was a crazy scary night my friends. Continue to pray for those that lost homes and other possessions.

Grace and peace.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Birthday Laugh

In honor of my birthday, I am going to show a video that I recently came across again. I laugh out loud over and over every time I see it. It's from the Wesley Men's Retreat a year or so ago. Enjoy! You can thank Clay Kirkland for the video...

Grace and peace

Thursday, March 6, 2008

White Out Wednesday

Aren't these pictures stinkin' sweet?! And yes, we are wearing headbands!! What is White Out Wednesday, you might be asking? Well my friends, let me explain. Last month the Wesley Foundation in Athens, GA had "Fun February." For the last Wednesday of Fun February, they decided to have "White Out Wednesday" modeled after our fantastic football team's Blackout game against Auburn. The night before we covertly mounted black lights all around the sanctuary and over the stage. So Wednesday night around 500 or so students strolled into the sanctuary wearing their white shirts, jackets, vests, pants, etc. The opening song was as usual (Everything Glorious by David Crowder), then there was the announcements and video. Then the entire sanctuary went pitch black and the lead guitar player started playing the opening lick to Typical by MuteMath. As soon as the full band kicked in, the black lights turned on! It was pretty sweet. As you can see in the pictures, everyone in the band wore white headbands.

So the entire main worship set was under the black lights. You might be thinking that would be a little on the irreverent side, but I will tell you that it had the complete opposite effect. Maybe it was the fact that nobody could really see the people around them, but worship escalated to new heights that night!

The set included:

Dancing Generation (Matt Redman)
My God Reigns (David Ruis I think)
We Make a Way (another old school song)
I Desire (Elliott DeJarnett)
Diamond (Vineyard)

The worship was intense and incredible. All around the room the Holy Spirit was invading students' lives and hearts and ministering to their spirits. After Bob Beckwith's message we had another extended time of worship under the black lights. Worship was interspersed with people coming up to pray or give prophetic words, or simply give a short testimony on how God is moving in their life. The service officially ended around 12:30am! (unfortunately I had to drive back to Marietta that night/morning)

Folks, the Lord is doing new, exciting and powerful things in Athens, GA. He is taking worship to new levels and He is releasing a healing anointing. I had the priviledge of playing drums again at Wesley this past Wednesday. I will say firsthand that last week was not a unique, isolated, one-time event. About 550 students showed up with ready hearts to encounter Jesus, and we did. We did a song called "God of this City" off of the new Passion CD. This song has a special anointing on it! If you don't have the new Passion CD, go buy it now!

The chorus says:
Greater things have yet to come
Greater things are still to be done
In this city

This is prophetic call to every city across the globe. We are crying out for greater things to be done! Lord will you do greater things in our city?!!

Anyway, I mentioned the word healing and you might be wondering if I was going to share some of the testimonies of how the Great Physician is healing folks over there. Two Wednesdays ago one girl stood up and asked for prayer during worship for her left knee. She had just torn her ACL and the doctor said she has to have surgery in order to have the chance of playing sports again. Well, folks prayed for her and her knee was completely restored! Last night there was a girl there who had been deaf in one of her ears for some years now. During worship people started to pray for her and then she was able to hear the people around her singing. She covered her good ear and she still was able to hear folks singing and praying! You want one more?! There was young man there who got struck in the eye with a bottle rocket last year and as a result, was blind in that eye. The doctors said he would never see again out of that eye. He was getting prayer and then all of a sudden he was able to see his hands. They kept praying and he could see his feet. They prayed more and he could see outlines of people 15-20 feet away! A 4th time they prayed and he was now able to see pictures on the opposite wall! He actually has a black dot on the affected eye and they said that as they prayed for him, the Lord shrunk this black dot down to a very small size. Glory to God!! He is truly revealing Himself in powerful ways.

These are just a few of the many testimonies of the Lord's healing power resting on students, staff and basically anybody that walks through their doors! I encourage any and all of you to make the trip to Athens on a Wednesday night [Not next week, it's their spring break. You would be there by yourself and I wouldn't want you to be mad at me!]

Again my prayer is that God will continue to move in greater ways in Athens and especially here in Marietta! In order for this community to be transformed, we need the Holy Spirit to move...for real!! Please join me as we cry out for more!

Grace and peace.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Life's ups and downs

I will be totally honest here and say that I haven't really felt like blogging in a while because a lot has been going on that I really didn't want to share publicly. I'm probably not going to give you the entire scoop but let's just say that the Lord is shaking things up in my life. On one end of the spectrum there is the possibility of losing one of my closest friends and companions. The Lord is teaching me to trust Him completely and surrender EVERYTHING to Him because He knows what is best for me. It has been real hard and frustrating and sad, but I have to daily tell myself that He is THE Good Father and His plans for me are so much better than I can muster up myself. My heart is crying out for clarity, for wisdom and for me to completely rely on Him. I need to diligently lean in and on Him for my strength, my joy and my affirmation. I've come to realize that in the past (or basically my whole life) I have relied too much on getting my affirmation from the people around me. Sometimes God does use the people around us to affirm us, but what He desires most is for us to come to Him so He can affirm us and download into us His delight and pleasure for us. This is huge beloved! It carries with it confidence, assurance and joy in walking with and serving the Lord.

We've all read this before, but before Jesus began His ministry, He first had to hear that God was pleased with Him. So it is even more crucial for us to know that we know that we know He is pleased with us. Before we set out on the journey that is our Kingdom destiny, we need to hear how near and dear we are to His heart. Song of Songs has to be rooted deep within us. Beloved, please know that His desire is for you! With just one glance of your eyes towards Him overwhelms Him! YOU are the one that "ravishes" His heart. The Lord has a jealous and zealous love for you. In order to captivate you and return you to your first love, He may shake things up in your life. I am learning this first-hand, and I will be the first to say that it is hard. But again I have to remind myself that "I am His beloved and His desire is for me."

So if this is you, I encourage you to read Song of Songs again, maybe even multiple times. He wants to tell you how much He loves you and how much He wants to be your everything. Please find the time for Him to do this; you will never be the same!

Not all things have been rough and tough for me lately. I played drums at the Wesley Foundation last Wednesday and the Kingdom Expansion Conference was this weekend at Riverstone Church. Both of these events were amazing! Out of fear of making this a super long post (and for the sake of your eyes and attention), I will discuss these later. But I will tell you that the Holy Spirit showed up in a MIGHTY way in Athens last week! More to come soon...

Grace and peace.