30th birthday

Was like. 

Last night, what I would guess was around 20,000 people gathered to celebrate 30 years of Watoto church ministry. 

To try to describe this would sound at best like sheer exaggeration, and at worst inarticulate, however I will try to let you in in one of the greatest experiences of my life. 

A night filled with beautiful, passionate voices, and skilled traditional, as well as modern dance weaving a story throughout the night of the burden, vision, and fulfillment of a dream given to Gary and Marylin Skinner who, when receiving it must have been overwhelmed by it, while not being able to see in full what has actually become of it.   A dream that has fought cultural, spiritual, and economic battles to exist, and might I say has come through in victory on the other side. A dream that is consistantly and continually giving a hand up spiritually, economically and culturally to an amazing city of Kampala and Nation of Uganda. 

Everything about the beginnings of this, it’s place in history, the nationality of its leaders, the dream itself screams “this wil never work!”  Yet 30 years later to call it a success would be to underestimate it on every level. 

The stories as told through music, media, readings, narration and the fact that the story tellers are not acting out the life if another, rather were telling their very own story. The sincerity and authenticity of that left me in tears most of the night. 

Stories of the most graphic unspeakable horrors that can be perpetrated on one human being to another. They didn’t stop there but went on to finish the stories with the hope and forgiveness that only Jesus Christ can bring in any circumstance. 

I want to give specific examples but it would be impossible because one would lead to another and another and another. Stories of devastation followed by hope and forgiveness. I guess you should have been there. 

All this was capped off with Israel Houghton leading one of the best worship sets I’ve ever heard and what must have been 20,000 people singing, dancing, rejoicing in our great God and Savior Jesus Christ in a unity I have rarely felt anywhere, ever and the energy level was off the charts. To tell the truth the rapture of the church would having been fitting at the end of that night. Just another level. It was all culminated in a song befitting these victorious Ugandans and their understanding of the testimony God has given them. “I am not forgotten”

I am not forgotten 
God knows my name 
He knows my name

And I will praise Him for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 

Light in the darkness
The father to the fatherless 
Strength in my weakness
He knows my Name

At the very end the combined Watoto children’s choir and the Watoto church choir which must have been 250-300 people strong. Sang a song about rising from the ashes, and as they sang hundreds of floating lanterns rose from the back of the stage and filled the night sky, leaving us with a visual affirmation of a people who have and are rising from the darkness carrying a great light. THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD!

We left their last night lifted, strengthened, refreshed, convicted, and empowered. 

Let me just say this, without being presumptuous, for the sake of the spiritual hunger in your church, for an opportunity to make a difference in the world, for perspective and hope, do yourself a favor and get connected to Gary and Marylin Skinner and Watoto church. So many ways to get involved, so much benefit to your church in eternal, purposeful ways. 

I love the church, and Watoto church like all of us is not perfect, but are what I believe Is one of the best examples of what God intends for the church to be. 

The idea that #wecandosomething is the way they live every single day. 

http://www.watoto.com
http://www.watotochurch.com

Uganda

Today was our first full day in Uganda, and it was an excellent time. We woke this morning and had breakfast with some of the team here and just talked about what God was doing in our lives.

We then had the good fortune of being able to visit the bulrushes the ministry to rescued babies by Watoto church. One of the most unique ministries I’ve seen in the world.

A ministry that truly rescues babies from trash heaps, public toilets, some who’ve been buried alive and others who were picked out for sacrifice to whatever god would demand such a thing.

Babies who were unloved and unwanted, for whatever reason. There is hope for such children in Uganda because of a special place called Watoto. Watoto this year is celebrating some significant landmarks. 40 year marriage anniversary of the senior Pastors Gary and Marylin Skinner, there 30th year as a church, and the 20th year committed to child care ministries.

Watoto is one of the great churches in the world! We are so excited as a church and as Global reach for Justice to be partnering with such an amazing church and vision.

The team of this great church are compelled and compelling people. I am stirred with passion every time I get around them. Their culture of compassion exudes from their very pours. They love God and love people, and I believe they are one of the great innovators of our day.

I could go on and on with stories of at risk women who’ve been helped and orphans who’ve been taken in and lifted to places and opportunities unavailable to them otherwise, or churches that have been planted and lives changed. The truth is Watoto church is an incredible extension of the hand of God in a beautiful nation, and what’s more they are a huge inspiration to the church at large. If you think your facing an impossible task read the history and bio of Watoto church and realize if God says to do it NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!

I’m inspired to reach my community, region, nation for Jesus. I’m inspired to love people, beyond their problems and weaknesses. I’m inspired to give people and hand up and not insult their dignity by giving them a hand out. I am inspired to do what we can to effect positive change.

Tonight I go to bed happy to have held and fed little Ruth, who will live a fruitful life, fed, clothed, educated, cared for and most importantly loved. It was my honor and privilege to pray for her and declare the word of God over her life and I have no doubt God rescued her for great purpose. Now lets go about the business of rescuing all those around us who desperately need it.

Global Reach for Justice Africa 2014

I have the same anticipation that I get every year, when we begin our Journey to the Great Continent. As usual we will make stops in Uganda and Rwanda. Two places that God has truly put in our heart.

Global Reach for Justice is a local church ministry partnering with local churches around the world to effect positive change.

It is our goal on this trip to help the marginalized and to train leaders to continue to do so. To do our part in the over all scheme of Gods will in this nations.

Really I we want is to know that we have made a difference in one way or another.

This year I am doing something I have never done before. A mentoring trip. Two young men who see missions as a part of the dream of their life, a purpose for their life are going with me for the purpose of making a present difference, but more importantly to learn and develop thoughts, strategies and plans for their future in being global leaders. People who see the world as their home and fearlessly pursue the will of God to Go into all the world and carry this message.

My goal on this trip is to train, develop and poor into their lives the minimal knowledge and understanding that someone else gave me, so that together now and in the future, we can continue to help people around the world.

Leaders we can’t fear new leaders growing and developing we must empower them to do so. So we can see everything God wants us to do come to pass. Instead of fearing that they will be different, or that they will do it better we better hope that they do, or the dream will die.

Make sure what you are doing is not just providing for the present but that it is looking into the future and preparing to make a difference in the world has yet to come.

What is your AFRICA? Who are you taking with you?

Prayer for our National Leaders (at national day of prayer in Canyon Texas)

Father God we come to you today in the precious name of your son Jesus. The only name given among men whereby we can be saved. In the name of the way, the truth and the life. The name that is above every name. At which name every knee will bow and every tounge will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. 

We as a community today gather humbly to ask for your blessing. We ask you to put your hand of favor on our land. 

We are so thankful to live in this great nation. We are grateful for the freedoms it affords us. We are grateful for the opportunities to prosper as a people and the freedom to unashamedly and unabashedly proclaim the good news of the Gospel in an uninhibited way. 

We are grateful for those who have, and, are and will pay the ultimate price for our physical national freedom, and even more grateful for the one who paid the ultimate price for our spiritual, eternal freedom from death, hell, and the grave. 

Father we place our President, Congress, and Judges before you now. We bring to you by way of prayer our national leaders. We pray for them in the spirit of honor and respect. As your word says in 1 Peter 2:13-17 MSG

Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; they are God’s emissaries for keeping order. It is God’s will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you’re a danger to society. Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.  

Lord we honor those in authority in our nation and the greatest honor we could give them as believers is to sincerely pray for them. 

Today we pray for our leader, President Barack Obama. We pray first and foremost that His heart will be turned towards you. We pray that He will hear your voice, that he will know your truth. We pray that as he walks out the remainder of His term He will be led by your hand. We pray he will make decisions based on righteous principles and not on political positions. As your word says in Proverbs 29:4 

A leader of good judgment gives stability;…

We pray for His health, safety and protection and that of His family. We pray that you will surround him with voices of good judgement, encouragement, and strength. 

We ask you father that our legislative leaders will be informed by right and wrong as they make the laws of this land and represent the people of this land. Let our congress men and women love righteousness and abhor wrongdoing. As your word says in Proverbs 16:12 MSG

Good leaders abhor wrongdoing of all kinds; sound leadership has a moral foundation. 

Let them lead by principle and not by powermongering. Emmerse our leaders in humility and empower them by love for God, country, and the for the people of these great United States. Let their minds, hearts, ideas, and ideologies be given and surrendered to you and help them to remember the founding principles of our nation, and revere the position they Hold in history. 

Bless each and everyone of them, their families and most importantly their Spirit, soul, and Body. Give them the spirit of wisdom and revelation, in the knowledge of you mighty God. Let their eyes be opened and minds be enlightend to your truth. 

Father we ask you to bless the judiciary of our nation. Impart justice into the hearts of our judges. Give us a sense of righteousness. Help them to make judgements and bring justice that would honor you. Give them the wisdom of Solomon and let their judgement be founded on the precepts and principles of eternity. Help them to walk in the light of your love. 

We pray for blessings to them and their families. 

Father today we submit all our national leaders to you, in honor of you and in honor of their leadership in this land. 

We pray for your hand to guide us, your heart to lead us and your mind to inspire us to become what you have intended. For all these things we give you praise Glory and honor. 

God bless our leaders and God bless the United States of America. 

And father as the word says in James 5:16-18 MSG

…The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t—not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again. 

So we pray for rain in the entire panhandle. Saturate the soil, prosper this land. We believe you to do it. Thank you Jesus. 

Amen

Open House – The Only Way to Live 3

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Matt 5 (MSG)

Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
 

Matthew 10:5-8 MSG

 Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge: “Don’t begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don’t try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously. 

II Corinthians 5:20 NKJV

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 

BIG IDEA:

It is clear that Jesus was not here just to save us. It went farther than that. His ultimate goal was to impart the message of what He was doing into a team of people who would pass this message perpetually through the generations so the love displayed through Jesus actions would find its way through this entire planet and into the future. Currently the “believers of today,” we are that team. 

So in essence Jesus is saying share this message and the spirit of this message with this world so they have the opportunity to believe, and their lives can be changed by a relationship with God through Jesus. 

BIG QUESTIONS:

WHY do we struggle with open house living?  WHY do we close the door behind us?

1. Do we forget the importence?
2. Do we make life about other things first?
3. Do we forget to care?
4. Are we distracted?

>This thought reminds me of a story Jesus told when he was teaching people about the way the kingdom works. 

A life changing Story:

It was a story about a farmer who was planting seed. He said the man scattered seed. Some fell on the side of the road, and before it could take root the birds came and carried it off. Some fell on stony soil, this seed quickly sprouted up but roots were shallow so the sun came up scorched and killed the growth. Some fell in the weeds and thorns, the seed took root and began to grow, but being surrounded by thorns and weeds the plant was choked out and died. Finally the seed that fell on good, prepared, rich soil took deep root, and due to the nutrients in the good undisturbed soil the plant grew, and produced major growth and life. 

Thought:  I think the weeds and thorns are what we deal with in today’s culture more than any other thing

Mark 4:18, 19 MSG

“The seed cast in the weeds represents the ones who hear the kingdom news but are overwhelmed with worries about all the things they have to do and all the things they want to get. The stress strangles what they heard, and nothing comes of it. 

(AMP)

Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless. 

(NLT)

but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced. 

HOW do we begin to live this open house life?

1. Throw the door wide open

(Take the pressure off)

What we can’t do…

We can’t change someone
We can’t save someone

What we can do?

We can love everyone. 
We can be generous to everyone

We should focus on what we can do, and leave what only God can do to him. 

>We are NOT trying to MAKE A POINT
>We ARE trying to MAKE A DIFFERENCE

2.  Remember what Jesus did for us and share

>Don’t ever forget where Jesus brought you frame and what he did for you, share your story. Every member a messenger

>You don’t have to be a great theologian what you learned this morning you can teach this afternoon

>Take the pressure off just be you and share your story

3.  Intentionally open our lives to people seeking for answers and love
Be aware

>Pray this prayer…”who’s it going to be today?”

>Share the love

4.  Look beyond our prejudices, our inconveniences, and their sin

>Aknowlege that at times we all have some sort of prejudice. Prejudice simply means to pre-judge. 
Fire yourself from the job of judge (Gods Job)

>You can disagree and still love

>expect to be inconvenienced and be ok with it.

>Create some margin in your life.

>Love covers a multitude of sin

5.  Make this a way of living. 

This is not a strategy its a lifestyle. 
It’s not a method its a way of living
it’s not a religeous obligation, it’s the overflow of love from Jesus. 

BIG THOUGHT:

>We are his mouthpiece
>His ambassadors
>His representatives to the people of this world.  

LAST THOUGHT:

We have been placed in our circle of influence. We may think life just landed us in our current role but God is far more strategic than that. You are there to make a difference for the kingdom of God, you are there to love people the way Jesus loves you. 

Do you know Jesus? You can have this love and life we are talking about. It is truly the answer you are looking for.

Practical Ways to Defeat Insecurity

Here are some practical ways to understand and overcome insecurity in your life…

Gadberry.me

I recently received a comment on a blog about insecurity, it was a question. “How do I overcome insecurity in my life?”.

As I have already established in other blogs insecurity is nothing more or less than fear. Our fears are based on our own perceptions, what we believe about something. I believe there a four major areas in which we can have wrong perceptions that will establish a foundation for a cycle of insecurity in our lives. I think in order to break that cycle we must change what we think about these four areas.

1. How we relate to God
2. How we relate to self
3. How we relate to others
4. How we relate to our purpose/destiny

Our perceptions in these area can create security or insecurity. The key is to have the right perspective and be purposeful in these areas.

1. How to relate…

View original post 1,240 more words

The Irony of Insecurity

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When I was a teenager, I had the opportunity to work on a construction crew. I helped roof houses for the most part but at times helped in framing a house, probably more clean up than anything.

I learned a very important fact however in this process. It was apparent that in order for the house to be built properly, the foundation had to be laid properly. Trying to frame a house on a foundation that had flaws or was not level was an impossability. Literally, when it is time to start framing if the foundation is not right, it has to be done again before anything is built on it.

The irony of insecurity is that its like building on a faulty foundation. Meaning, when you’re insecure its like a builder who is more concerned by the appearance of the house than the reality of the house. So let the chips fall where they may, as long as it looks good, its fine.

The problem is that when pressure, storms, someone living in the house comes, there are things far more important than appearnces. like safety, stability, strength, endurence. These things become incredibly important at this point, but if the foundation is faulty than the future of the home is in question. At some point it will come crumbling down, if the foundation isn’t fixed.

Insecurity in large part is an undue emphasis on appearnces. When we are insecure we function in pretend mode. Herein lies the irony. Insecurity causes us to pretend to be secure. We build on a faulty foundation. Our priorities are out of whack. Peoples opinions take first place in our lives, what it “looks” like becomes far more concerning to us than what it “is” like.

So we go about making the house look good. We put the right brick on it, we paint it pretty colors, we deck it out with the most current, trendy decor. Problem is, it is not what it appears to be. Once the family moves in and life gets started, cracks start showing up, things start breaking down.

Insecurity is a life built to look secure, but in reality is emotionally falling apart.

We look happy, but are truly sad. We look like, “the life of the party,” friends all around, but lack the security to have solid, lasting, vulnerable, loving relationships.

We look like we have it all together but have constant concern that someone is going to see the cracks.

We Look like we love mentoring that young upstart employee fresh out of college while fearing everyday they are going to take our spot, even to the point of subtly sabotaging them.

We look like our life is full, but it is a big gaping whole of emotional emptiness.

The reason I write about insecurity is because I think its terribly sad that people with such potential to be solid, secure, and confident, are raging fear mongers on the inside, and are getting in their own way, and keeping themselves from significance, and success.

So, put the breaks on. Get off this pretend ride. Tear this fake facade down, get rid of this faulty frame work, all the way down to the foundation, and start fresh.

How?

1. Realize your foundation should be laid based on the specs from the designer.

>God built you to know who you are, and to be someone unique and
special
>It’s in a relationship with Him that brings security, and confidence.
when you know the designer, you know the plan, and you don’t have to
pretend.

2. Listen to the builder.

>Its amazing how many people will hire a builder and then not listen
them.
>Out builder is Jesus Christ the son of God. When we know Him, and
listen to him, he puts us right with our designer and helps us apply
the plan in away that produces security and confidence, not in our
own ability but the ability of the builder to make a great product out
of the framework of our lives.

3. Stick with the plan.

>The plan is the Bible the word of God. Knowing the plan causes us
to be saturated with confidence, and security. Know that the plan is
flawless, and will ultimately give us the outcome that is best. A grand
palace of a life, not built on pretense or appearances but on a strong,
good foundation. Let the storms come, let life happen, the house will
be strong!