Monday, February 27, 2012


The books of Kings have always thrilled me, and yet leaves lingering questions in my own mind of how long I will be able to serve the Lord as He has called. In Kings (both books) the times of the king's reigns are listed, some reigned many years, but many reigned just a few years. The reasoning behind the length of their reigns were: they didn't follow the Lords commandments; they didn't follow the Lord like David did; they were more wicked than any other king before them; and, still others, all that was stated was the year or two they reigned. That's a sobering thought. How long will our reign be? Will there be any more said of us other than the year or two we served?
1 Kings 3:3 says "now Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, except he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places." Wow, he loved the Lord...except. I was researching the gods to which Solomon sacrificed, and was intrigued by the name of one god, Molek. The Hebrew origin of the word was a combination of "mlk" meaning king, and "boshet" meaning shame (Holman Bible Dictionary paraphrased) ironic.
I recently had a dream where I was fighting demonic beings, probably from studying these gods. Two of them explained how they worked, starting at the feet where we would feel the most pain being bothered by this idol until we tolerated it enough to allow it to move on up. They said by the time they reached the head, they would no longer be wrestled with and the people would even be enticed by the feeling of sin, because sin had so engulfed the people that anything is okay. I continued to fight them the whole time, and tried to wake up others around me, but they wouldn't get up. There was so much more to the dream, but when I woke up, I realized how true it was. Are we any different than Solomon...loving the Lord...except?
One more thing and I'll hop off my soap box. Jeroboam was king after Solomon, he was given 11 of the 12 tribes of Israel to reign over, all he had to do was serve the Lord whole hearted; but, he was so afraid of losing his people that he set up gods for them, made priests that had no business being priests. It was a free for all, no rules, a do what you want sort of thing. It was another downfall for the people of Israel. It was fixable with just the turning of the heart back toward the Lord.
I don't know about you, but if I lose all my friends, I will serve Him without exception. It won't be pretty, and people will hate me for speaking the truth, but what have I to lose? In the end, maybe I'll have a word or two beyond my years of serving. :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012


What is leadership if we do not listen to others, we do not strengthen others, and we do not have faith in who the Lord has called us to be?
Listen to people. I was talking to someone recently who brought up a current situation I am dealing with at home and the person walked away from me while I was speaking. I understand this person doesn't appreciate negative speak, but the situation wasn't positive and was brought up anyway, and I was not afforded the decency of being heard to completion. When we truly listen to what people are saying, we have the ability to see beyond words, and recognize the person's own area of struggle. If it were drugs brought into my home (which it was NOT), and I were battling temptation because of my leader, I would rightfully expect you to hear me out and pray for me as I would hit my knees just as fast for you. We all go through tough times, and as I have said before, there is no shame in struggling. The shame comes when we have to stand before our leader with evidence of a prayer-less battle lost unnecessarily. When you walk away as a leader, you are rejecting their words and shaming the person. Listen to the pain beyond the words.
Pray for's where our strength comes from. Moses didn't have the strength to keep his arms up to win the battle in Exodus 17; he had two others to hold up his arms. When his arms were not up, the battle was lost; when his arms were up, the battle was won. We don't fight battles as they were back then; but, the spiritual fight will continue on until the day He returns or until we meet Him face to face. Our arms may fall & it may seem we are losing the battle, but we are winners with others at our side.
Strengthen one another. When I think of mentoring, I think of strengthening. My heart weeps because of what I see in leadership. I see a people so terrified of losing position. To be honest, I was there not long ago. While I didn't lose position, I walked away from positions I held in obedience to what I believe was the Lord's leading. Now I am searching for accountability for myself, and looking for ways I can be the leader He has called me to be. It's not easy. People will say "I will be your mentor" but they don't mean it, though in my heart I wish they did. I am fully aware of how flippantly people will say something and not truly mean it. It's a sad state we are in when our words cannot be steadfast.
Larry Burkett, in his book Business by the Book, stresses the importance of leadership. He states "the key to success of any organization is found in two key elements; the leadership and the people..." (p. 103). With the proper people in place, regardless of the inevitable human imperfections, an organization cannot help but flourish. The Bible states "plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed" (Psalm 15:22). When proper leadership is in place, the integrity of any organization will remain steadfast. We don't have to fight for position, and if we are where we should be, we should bring others along side, and even press them to achieve more. I want this not just when the time comes for me to open Destiny's Refuge, but NOW; and, I want to see it in the leaders around me.
I struggle so much to try and fit, but realize so clearly now that I am simply a misfit. I don't fit into other's idea of perfection, I may not have a brilliant mind, but I am me...I do my best to live right, to be an example for others...and what is that if not leadership? I came across something I wrote once: "at times I wonder if I am potentially not skilled enough to be a strong leader, or not qualified enough to be a manager; however, I have come to realize that for me, it is best to be both [not qualified 'enough' & not skilled 'enough']." Because of Christ, we are sufficient; and, I know that deep within each of us is the knowledge that God is intimately involved in our lives. We can turn and attempt to become self sufficient, or we can let go and allow the grace of God to be sufficient for us. The Bible says "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me" (2 Cor 12:9).
Let's be leaders by listening, strengthening, and KNOWING who we are in Him!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Prayer & His Presence

I am not a prayer warrior, in fact, it scares me to no end when asked to pray for people and/or in front of people. I had to do it for years as church leadership & it terrified me every single Sunday. It's not that I don't pray...I have a very active prayer life and I LOVE to pray...when I'm alone. Last night I was invited to a gathering of intercessors. There is nothing like being in a room full of intercessors, it's powerful, it's amazing, and to me, it's also intimidating. When it became my turn to pray, after hearing other people flow with incredibly powerful words, my heart raced, my mind went blank, and I'm sure I turned beat red, but I plowed through, quite void of any eloquence I'm sure. One thing I know though, my prayer reached the heart of God just as the prayers of others did.
This morning I was reading 1 Kings 8, and thinking how appropriate this chapter was after last night. Solomon had just finished building the temple and I LOVE how The Bible says "It happened that when the priests came from the holy place, the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord." (1Kings 8:10-11 NASB) Wow! We felt a sense of His presence last night, but it didn't knock us over. I often find myself asking the Lord if it is okay to claim a scripture verse for myself even though I know the audience for whom it was intended. I know the Word is not restricted by time, and what was written even in Solomon's day holds no bounds, but I always like to ask. Today was no different. I understand He lives within us...our body is His temple, but I still want His glory to reside in my church...even so much that His people can't stand for the glory of His presence. Is that too much to ask for this day? I think not.
Well, Solomon had to take over praying, 'cause the priests were...floored. (haa haa) Read his prayer if you have a minute, it's amazing, and prophetic (seeing beyond the rest Israel was experiencing at the time & knowing the winds of change would blow as they historically had). The Lord heard Solomon's prayer, and I know full well He also hears our hearts cry.
That's all. I want Him in the midst of my prayer & my house (the one I live in and the one I gather with His people to worship in). So, in the words of Solomon, I pray "that He may incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His ordinances, which He commanded our fathers. And may these words of mine, with which I have made supplication before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, that He may maintain the cause of His servant and the cause of His people Israel, as each day requires." (1 Kings 8:58-59)