-Archbishop of Canterbury: Praying in Tongues and Praying for World Evangelism

 220px-Archbishop_of_Canterbury (Source of Image: Wikipedia)

Here’s an encouraging testimony from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. Most American Charismatics and Pentecostals do not normally think of English Anglican Bishops as being daily participants in speaking in tongues or as willing recipients of words of knowledge and prophecy. From Christian Today:

He said: ‘In my own prayer life and as part of my daily discipline I pray in tongues every day – not as an occasional thing, but as part of daily prayer.’

He said he had been encouraged by words of knowledge and prophecy: ‘I expect to hear from God through other people with words of knowledge or prophecies – some of which I am unsure about, others I can sense there being something of the Spirit of God.’

Better yet, Archbishop Welby is supporting a special prayer initiative for World evangelism:

The archbishop was speaking in connection with the launch of Thy Kingdom Come, now in its fourth year, the prayer initiative that has united more than a million Christians from more than 65 different denominations and traditions in more than 114 countries to pray for evangelisation. It takes place between Ascension to Pentecost, May 30-June 9. …

He added: ‘It’s very unusual for something like Thy Kingdom Come to gather churches together on such a global basis. I don’t think it’s unique, I think it’s biblical. It started by looking at what the disciples did between the Ascension and Pentecost.  …

<Read the compete article>

Take a look at the website for the prayer initiative: Thy Kingdom Come

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-What Does a Genuine Move of God Look Like?

Preparing for the glory

          (Destiny Image Publishers, 2018)

What does a genuine move of God look like? It is allowing the Holy Spirit to do what he wants to do. It is seeking God and nothing else. It is doing what the Father is doing just like Jesus did.

In the context of a church and especially church services it might be somewhat chaotic or at least look that way to those visiting or on the outside looking in. Read the account about Pentecost in Acts 2. Folks on the street thought they were drunk.  A genuine move of God might even be uncomfortable for faithful believers and even strain some of our theology. At least past revivals have.

I recently read a book  by John and Carol Arnott about their experiences as leaders during the Toronto Outpouring or Blessing which is ongoing in many ways and in many places as far away as Africa. But the real focus of the book was on preparing for and sustaining the next move of God:

Preparing for the Glory: Getting Ready for the Next Wave of Holy Spirit Outpouring

Anyone interested in revival should take the time to read this book. It is full of great experiences and full of hope and insights into what God is doing now and what the next move might look like and how to prepare for it.

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-Merry Christmas 2018

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                                                                                          (Image via Wikipedia)

Merry Christmas to you and yours and may God truly bless you this Christmas.

The Real Christmas Story

When our children were growing up it was a family tradition to read about the ‘real’  Christmas story in the Bible on Christmas Eve.

You’ve probably seen a dozen or so ‘Christmas stories’ on TV in the last couple of weeks but the real Christmas story is found in Matthew (Matt. 1:18-2:18) and in Luke (Luke 1:26-56, 2:1-40). However, Isaiah should never be ignored:

Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Matthew gives us the story largely from the perspective of Joseph, including the dreams that he had and his family genealogy. In this gospel the ‘Kingship’ of Jesus is the major topic. Starting with the Davidic Kingly genealogy through Joseph and the coming of the Magi (Wisemen) who are looking for the new king. Also King Herod’s reaction is in Matthew.

The events in Luke are given to us from Mary’s view. The angel Gabriel appears to Mary and announces the coming of the child. Mary’s genealogy is also given in Luke (Luke 3:23-38), she was also a descendant of David, but not in the ‘Kingly’ line. Chapter 2 begins with the Christmas story that everyone is familiar with:

1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

However, nothing explains the real reason for the season better than John 3:16-17:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  -KJV

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-‘Bless Friday’ Instead of ‘Black Friday’

BLACK FRIDAY BLESS FRIDAY

blessfriday_logo_

Here’s a great way to start the Christmas season, in keeping with the teaching of Jesus who is the real reason for the season after all. From the Christian Post:

On a day when many Americans are crowding the stores for “Black Friday” bargains, a group of churches will instead do acts of charity as part of an annual observance called “Bless Friday.”

“We’re here to help connect individuals, groups and churches to the service opportunities that can transform our communities and our hearts,” noted its website.

     “We hope that by beginning their Christmas celebration with service participants will place their focus on Jesus.  We especially hope that Bless Friday connects Christmas and service in the minds of children, less Santa and more Jesus.”

<Read the whole article>

Response: This is an idea that Christians and churches all across America could get involved in. Making a difference in the lives of people is a positive way to start the Christmas season.

Already I see the Marines out with their drive for toys and the bell ringers for the Salvation Army. Bless Friday is something every church could get involved in some way in the future. It would be particularly helpful to include children in the event to help them understand what the season is really all about.                *Top

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-Happy Thanksgiving 2018

300px-Thanksgiving-Brownscombe

(“The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth”: Wikipedia)


Happy Thanksgiving 2018 to you and yours. The following is our traditional Thanksgiving message:

Thanksgiving is an uniquely American celebration that began nearly four centuries ago with a deeply religious people, the Pilgrims, giving thanks to God for preserving them though a very hard year and bringing them their first bountiful harvest which they gratefully shared with their indigenous neighbors.

It was our first President George Washington who proclaimed that our first official national day of public thanksgiving should be dedicated by observing and:

“…by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God.

In recent years the ‘politically correct’/secular crowd has rewritten the history of the First Thanksgiving placing an emphasis upon the hand that the indigenous American Indians played in helping the original Pilgrim community to survive. In the process they have redirected the emphasis on thanks towards neighbors and friends and away from the providence of Almighty God.

While it is always good to be thankful for others who have enriched our own lives and certainly that has a good part to play in the celebration. Nevertheless the major emphasis of Thanksgiving should always be upon giving thanks to God along with our family and friends as it was on that very first occasion.

For my family and I, we will be praising and thanking the Lord God Almighty for the bounties and the providence that he has bestowed upon us this year in the name of his Son Jesus Christ. May Our Heavenly Father bless your family today and continue to bless all of us and this nation during this holiday season and in the year to come.           *Top

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