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Getting Help Hearing God Lessons Ministry Prayer, Intercession, Angels, Success

Ask

Asking Increases the Opportunities for Experiencing Answered Prayers

It’s important to ask God – in many situations.

And I forget, far too often; and sometimes for far too long.

I remember a time when I had a business problem that I had no idea how to handle. I suffered and worried about it for about two weeks. Finally, in frustration, I went for a walk by the river which hear my house.

When I went out the door, it finally occurred to me to ask God for help. I had an intention to ask. (An intention can be a kind of prayer. What happened next is a powerful sign that this is so.)

As soon as I had formed an intention to ask God for help, I got a “download” through Holy Spirit. Suddenly coming into my mind were all the ideas I needed to solve the issues I had been worrying about.

I could not help but think to myself that if I’d only thought of asking earlier, I could have had the help I needed, much sooner.

I was grateful for the help, glad for the ideas that were just what I needed and that I could not come up with by myself.

It also embarrassed me.

And worse, this sort of thing has happened all too often since then.

After 71 years, I finally came to understand that I could and should ask Jesus how to pray for people and for situations. To pay careful attention to what I experienced next, to consider that an answer unless it was against the character of Jesus. So far, it has always been a wonderful answer. And I am responsible to continue praying until that prayer answer is fully enforced. This has changed my life.

Why it took me so long, I have no idea. And I had long wanted to minister like Jesus, doing as I am shown and as I hear. And all I had to do was to ask. (He sometimes answers in other ways, too.)

I’ve had family problems, money problems, health issues, business issues – many problems. I am not the only one – we live in a broken world full of all kinds of problems.

Ask God. Have an intention: ask!

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Conversation with God Discipleship Jesus's Communication Leadership Learning Ministry Success

Jesus Was Never Boring

Jesus Invites – by Sitara

Jesus never taught a class. You will find no classes taught by Jesus in Scriptures. He did not teach in a linear way. What he did was something far better.

Jesus had conversations. He responded to questions or things said by people he wanted to disciple or teach. He responded to what they were interested in.

Or he showed something, told stories or parables: he gave interesting, attention grabbing examples. Then continued the mutual conversation.

Sometimes he answered questions. Sometimes he changed the conversation – such as about not being so happy that even demons obey you – don’t lose perspective: what’s important is that your name is written in heaven. Notice that the starting point for changing a conversation or introducing a new idea begins with what the disciple, the person who is learning – what they are saying.

When I mistakenly try to teach people things, they resist – covertly, usually. Sometimes overtly. It does not work out well. And I have tried to do this too often. Too often I have been slow to learn.

But, when I respond to something that someone says or asks, I am building on what they are already interested in. Their motivation is already present. I even build on their metaphors: I use them or change them, or use them as an agent of change (when I transform a metaphor someone identifies with, they may also change.) Or I tell stories or parables or in other ways give examples, just like Jesus did.

This works out very well, I have their attention, interest and motivation: I am talking about things they are already interested in. Much more effective than talking about things I am interested in. Tremendous difference!

Have conversations. Start with where the disciple or the person who is learning already is. Build on or transform their ideas. Like Jesus does. He did it in Scripture, and he still does this in our hearts. You can join with Jesus and do this too.

Disciples and other people will learn more easily, learn better, and are more likely to remain interested and motivated.

If you want to have class outlines of what you want to teach, that’s fine for you. And you can use these powerful points in conversations, demonstrations, examples, stories and parables. Teaching more like Jesus. And teaching less like boring people who are trying to force their ideas onto someone else who is not yet ready, nor yet deeply interested.

Teach more like Jesus. You can do this!

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Conversation with God Hearing God Holy Spirit Jesus's Communication Learning Success Worship

I’m a Christian & I have a Spirit Guide

Yes, I have a Spirit Guide.

When I pay attention, ask, listen and do as shown or told, I do extremely well in life and in ministry.

When I do things on my own, sometimes things go well. Sometimes not. Sometimes I am smart and effective. Sometimes I am, by hindsight, incapable of doing smart things on my own. So I need help.

If only I could reach Jesus and get the help I need.

My Spirit Guide tells me what Jesus has to say to me, now.

Is this wrong, do you think?

Am I misled? Is this more foolishness in my life? Or am I perhaps beginning to touch wisdom, at least a bit?

Do you have The Spirit Guide? Do you want him?

If you have The Spirit Guide, do you pay close attention, often?

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Blessings Multiply Calling Ministry Success

Realize & Accept Who You Are Called To?

When you finally realize and accept who God called you to minister to, who God equipped you to minister to, and who are the people group in your heart, you will:

  • When you find who God calls you to, you will find your love and enjoyment through.
  • You will find love streaming through your heart to them.
  • The love of God flows through you and ministers to them.
  • You know you are authentic and real and so is your love, when you discover and accept who God called you to serve.
  • Many people are waiting for you and for the message God is giving you. Reaching them is easy when you accept this.
  • You reach them with the smile of God.
  • You are gifted to serve them and to minister to them.
  • God gifted these people to receive through you.
  • Love pours out to them, and from them to you. That’s the love of God.

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Anointing Calling Joy Ministry Success Vocation

Favor of God in Show Business

I have a brilliant friend, Herb Otter, Jr. – who has long been in show business. Says he often gets terrible reviews and people talk about not wanting him. Yet they keep calling him back to perform more. He has had as much business as he could handle.

How does this happen, you might wonder?

I am sure I know why. He has Jesus in him; he expresses Jesus often. He has Holy Spirit in him and on him.

He also considers his audience; on purpose he gives them fun and shows the value of improvising. He also teaches, encourages, and reminds us all to have fun and to improvise.

Personally, I have long suspected that this is his mission: to teach, encourage and remind us to improvise and have fun. It’s a brilliant way to live!

Also…this sounds to me a lot like the work of Holy Spirit that he’s teaching and encouraging. This is an important part of how Holy Spirit operates in us, and through us, and in our lives.

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Discipleship Healing Jesus Preaching Key Article Kingdom of God Ministry Miracles Prayer Success

Jesus Taught a Progression – Going Beyond Disciplemaking

Jesus taught lots of things; in particular, there is an important series of things to do in order to minister more like Jesus. From one point of view, here’s an overview:

First, it’s valuable to know what an Ecclesia is. That’s a Greek word frequently translated as “church” in many bibles, today. And that can be confusing because the meaning has changed over the years.

When the Roman’s conquered a new territory, one of the things they would do was to appoint people to transform the local culture to Roman culture. To teach them how to talk, dress and in many other ways act like Romans. So that when the Emperor would come, he would feel at comfortable and at home. These people were backed up by the power of the Roman Empire.

Jesus apparently borrowed the term and used it to mean local Christians, disciples, who would meet in small groups – such as peoples homes (in addition to public places). Encourage and build each other up. Teach and help one another And, to change and transform the surrounding culture – into becoming a Christian culture with lots of disciples. An Ecclesia is backed up by the Kingdom of God, led by Jesus – our King.

This was a period of extremely rapid growth of the Body of Christ, and this was a huge method of helping that to happen. Ecclesia’s made of disciples were very important to the rapid spread of Christianity.

They practiced what is now called “Marketplace Ministry”. Not in local churches with separate buildings where they sat passively as one mostly person spoke. Everyone participated and many were business owners – fishing business, sheep business, a tax collector. Jesus was a worker of wood – making many different things. Later St. Paul was a tentmaker. At that same time there was also a dealer in expensive dyes. And others….

How were such disciples made? Through Ministry. It went something like this:

-Jesus and later his disciples always began with prayer. Prayer, prayer and more prayer. Always much prayer before growth in numbers ad in effective ministry happened.

Then to go. Going for the Harvest of souls. Going took several forms, which we will explore later. The key point: people were sent.

-Then the Proclamation or Preaching of the Good News of the Kingdom of God.

-Then in that context, the healing of the sick, freeing those bound by unclean spirits; and also the cleansing of lepers and raising the dead. (I often speak of this as being healing the sick and freeing the bound for a shorter phrasing as well as focusing on what is more usual these days. The other two items are still valid.) This attracts a lot more people!

-Then was the making of disciples (of all ethnos, – all people groups). People who learned and who applied and practiced what they were learning. And reported back to a rabbi for more instruction as needed. Most people went on with their lives, happy for the ministry help. A few even said, thanks. A much smaller number were open to learning and to applying what they were learning. The custom among in Israel at that time (where Jesus was ministering) was that a rabbi would teach, disciples would go practice and report back to the rabbi. Who would give more teaching to help, as needed.

-The disciples would in turn become sent ones, who prayed for their areas, then were sent to represent the Kingdom and make more disciples by going through this progression of steps.

-The disciples who were going through this progression and making more disciples would also meet to encourage, help, minister to, and teach one another. All participated. Leadership had the purpose of helping them achieve unity in the faith, maturity in Christ, and to prepare these people for ministry – and more. Ministry was to be done by people helped by leadership to be prepared to do such ministry. This was the biblical pattern.

And this was the progression. Prayer, then going to help gather the harvest – sent in a few but somewhat various ways. Proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Healing sick, freeing the bound – prisoners and captives. Making disciples of all people groups. Planting Ecclesia’s who prayed massively for the local area, ministered generously – who shared the Gospel, healed the sick, freed the bound (attracting many people), making disciples who again applied this progression that Jesus taught – and who made yet more disciples. Then ecclesia’s were planted who continued these continuing cycles leading to rapid growth.

When this pattern is followed, evangelization and ministry spreads faster better and more powerfully than any other method I have ever heard of. This is what Jesus taught. It’s Scriptural. It works powerfully. It helps Missionaries avoid money trouble, when the other methods of sending are added. (Can’t wait? See Luke 10; and also Matthew 10.)

Categories
Church Life Discipleship Holy Spirit Ministry Success

Had Never Seen a Pastor Cry

John, a revered yet aging Pastor, was crying in the parking lot. It was the end of the day and nearly everyone had left. The parking lot was nearly empty, the smell of car fumes fading in the closing early evening light. I had just finished sweeping, and was headed home.

And, I had never seen a grown man cry like this in such a public place, much less a Pastor. I was uncomfortable, embarrassed, and I had no idea what to do. And I could not look away, I was as fascinated as I was scared. No, I was more fascinated than scared.

Approaching carefully, lumbering along with his long legs came Ben, an unofficial elder in the church. He’d been around for years and never held an official position. Yet when he spoke, people knew to listen.

I knew he’d know what to do and what to say, so I paid close attention.

I did know, and I had heard some of the biting remarks, some people – I guess you could call it a faction, criticized the Pastor for how he did his job. Some people disagreed with how he did things. The Board Meetings had grown longer than they used to be. And when people came out from them, sometimes some of them were clearly unhappy. Or so I had fairly recently heard.

I was too far away to hear clearly. Ben got Pastor John’s attention and said something, I’m now fairly certain he’d asked a question. Pastor John took some time replying. I could not look away, though I tried very hard not to be seen staring.

They talked. After a while, Ben looked over to me and motioned for me to come over. I was scared and nervous; I knew I’d been caught prying. But I came, I had no choice.

Ben looked at me, I was the youngest there, and he told me, in a quiet yet very definite way, “I want you to hear this.” Now I felt caught in a place I had no business being; but Ben was as safe as he was wise. Like a grandfather who makes it clear that you are wonderful, the best, and who always believes in you. So even though I was nervous and had been caught out, I felt pretty safe.

Pastor John had his composure now, and stood looking at Ben with his arms no longer moving as when he was talking; they were just hanging by his sides.

I heard Ben say this, and I’d never forgotten that moment. “Pastor John, have you been doing your very best?” “Yes, of course I have.”

“Have you done what you know or believe what Jesus has wanted you to do, to the best of your ability?” “Always. I wasn’t always as sure as I wanted to be, but I’ve been careful to do my best.”

“Have you acted with loving compassion, as much as possible?” Pastor John thought for a bit, lifted his head and smiled a bit as he answered like he just realized something. Then he answered, in a more definite way than he had been speaking before: “Yes!” He looked almost surprised at his own answer.

“Have you acted with, as best you knew how, with the Holy Spirit?” “Yes, I have”, came Pastor John’s reply with a growing yet thoughtfulness, steadiness and strength.

“Well, then I have something to say. You are a success.”