Break the Bottle

Romans 12:1 (AMP)

1I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.

Definition of worship:

reverence honor and homage paid to God
formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage to God

Break the Bottle.

Mark 14:3-9 (NKJ)
3 And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. 4 But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? 5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply.

1. A woman boldly Came.

Praise and worship is something we do on purpose. It’s a choice we make, a decision that we come to. Its not a feeling, its not a gathering, its not a night, it’s a decision.
When David Brought the ark back into Jerusalem he decided to worship radically.
When Miriam arrived on the other side of the red sea, she decided to take a moment and worship him.

When this woman who had so much sin, who had been delivered from so much pain, basically couldn’t take it any more and decided to worship Him.

When The children of Israel walked around the walls of Jericho, they were instructed but had to make a decision they would do it.

2. Have an alabaster flask of Very Costly Perfume…And she Boldly Broke it.

Worship is a “using what you have” experience
Worship is a “giving it all” experience
Worship is a “sacrificial” experience
Worship is a bold experience

I Chronicles 21;24

Then King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will surely buy it for the full price, for I will not take what is yours for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing.”

3. Some people don’t like boldness.

Some times people don’t understand why we worship the way we do. They don’t
Get the faith in it, or the celebration of it. It makes them uncomfortable. They’re not
uncomfortable seeing this kind of behavior in other areas but for some reason
When it comes to praise and worship they just can’t take it, it offends their pride.
It offends their religious thinking.

They said this is too much, we could have given that to the poor, too much?….to much for the king of Kings, too much for the Creator of all?….too much for our savior?….no its never too much.

David’s wife Michael mocked him, david continued to worship with complete surrender

The People of Jericho mocked Israel, and the walls fell

Regardless if people understand it, regardless if people are to religious for it, regardless if peoples pride hinders them, Our King, our savior is deserving of our praise and worship….we must give it to him.

4. What she does is good.

God created us to worship Him…..Everything created was created to worship its Creator. Jesus said even the rocks will cry out…revelations 4 says we were created to worship him.

5. Our praise and worship is our breakthrough….its the fragrance of our lives

When we praise and worship God in advance of our solution we are doing it in faith. It is like a sweet smelling savor to God, and brings unbelievable results in our lives.

Paul and silas after being beaten, prayed and sang praises to God and their chains fell off, and the chains of those around them fell off.

6. How do we praise and worship God

Don’t misinterpret our worship for the expressions of it. Worship is the embodiment of bringing glory and reverence to God, based on who He is. The expressions of that worship are many.

Singing,
Playing instruments
lifting hands,
Dancing
giving
Shouting
on and on the biblical methods of the expression of worship go…

but worship is our everyday being the believer, the Christian, the church God has called us to be, paying homage to God and bringing glory to His name.

No more talk of how bad it is, and who doesn’t care, and what are they going to do about it, lets let the fruit of our lips be praise to God.

Every time its hard…Break the bottle,
every time we get a bad report, Break the bottle,
every time our family doesn’t act right…break the bottle
every time we are facing a challenge….break the bottle
instead of complaints….break the bottle and let the fragrent smell of our worship go up before God and see what happens.

When we break the bottle we are fully pouring our lives out on Christ and saying Jesus you are Lord, and I reserve nothing of myself for myself, but I give it all to you.

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Come with Me

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I’m doing something different this year in our global reach to Africa. In the past I’ve written blogs, posted pics, and videos, but this year I am taking you with me.

I’m going to treat this blog like a day to day journal.

Today I did what we normally do, got our supplies, went through the checklist and started packing. I’m expecting great things as we reach out with practical expressions of Jesus love to these wonderful African people. Rwanda first then Uganda. I love these nations and can’t wait to stand on their soil once again. We’ve gone through 8 weeks of training and raised a lot of money. We
Are ready to do this. We have an excellent team!

I’m at home all over the world. JOHN 3:16

Dedication

We went to the build site today to dedicate the classroom we built.  We all gathered around and prayed over the building.  It was a moving experience.  In the words of one of team members Sam Laymon.  “As I laid my hands on the building and begin to pray i could see generations of students coming in and out of that building.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.  Our goal at Global Reach (The missions arm of Church of the Harvest) is to have long term impact.  Even though we take short term missions we want to have long term impact.  So when I partner with people I want to be someone who has a proven track record and great vision for the future.  Then we purposely work on projects that will benifit long term.   Like, instead of just doing a crusade, we do events through the local church and center everything around that so when we are gone, whatever we have done short term, has pointed people to a more long term connection.

Like instead of renting equipment for an event, buying the church some equipment then use it, then when you leave they have the long term effect of this new piece of equpipment, instead of a one or two night event of rentals.

Building classrooms at Watoto ensures, literal generations of orphans will be cared for, educated, as well as encourage to lead using biblical principles and leadership.

Short term trip, long term impact.  God is good, and thats it.

It’s a hard knock life…Be thankful

1 Thessalonians 5:8 (AMP) Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].

Of course we shouldn’t have the attitude that his is a hard knock life, because attitude is everything, and that is what this passage of scripture is all about.  Its not a hard knock life, but as Christians we can not deny that life has some hard knocks.  Just because we know Jesus and have a relationhip with Him, does not mean we will never face adverse or difficult circumstances.  What is different, or should be different, is the attitude we have regardless of those circumstances.

When we as believers face hardship what is our response?  I think its interesting that Paul tells us to be thankful.  Have you ever tried to really be negative and thankful or grateful at the same time.  Its impossible to gripe and complain when our heart is truly thankful.  However, lets not get our theology confused here.  The bible does not say give thanks “for” everything, but “in” everything.

Many times Christians not able to explain “why” things happen, over sensationalize and spiritualize problems as if God is doing it to them to teach them a lesson.  That is not what Paul is saying, he is saying, no matter what this life throws at us, in the middle of it all, thank God.  Which is the true point of the story of Job.  No matter what, thank God.

Its that praise and worship of God that will see you through, but God is not doing bad things to you to teach you a lesson, because if we are not thankful “for” it, but “in”  it, then it can’t be God.  God compared himself to earthly fathers and showed us He is much better.  God would no more do bad things to you or I to teach us a lesson, than I would punch my daughter in the face to get her to obey.

It’s God’s will that we be thankful in the midst of negative circumstances because it lifts us and sets our faith above the problems, and on to the power of God Himself to lift us above or see us through the circumstances.  It also is a great testimoney to others of our trust in God.  So be encouraged, trust God, and be thankful, God is on your side.

what are some ways, you remain thankful?

Last Night…

Well the trip has come to a close. I can honestly say we have done all that we could to help the people of Cambodia on this short trip. We have laid a good foundation for future work and have further developed relationships with teams. I love my life, getting to share Jesus with people who so desperately need Him, and get to help people who have need.

Ended the night tonight with a debrief meeting with the team. We do this because I want to talk to them about returning to the states and re acclimating to the culture at home and not allowing reverse culture shock to set in.

We allowed everyone to share important moments to them, and to talk about how the trip made them feel and how they felt about the help we provided. As always it was a great meeting and good for perspective. This team was remarkable. They are resilient, flexible, positive, team players, great attitudes, a real joy to lead.

I am sorry that I haven’t been able to get up as many blogs as I would have liked due to poor internet connection and in some cases none at all, there will be more video and written blogs to come when I get home. Here are some things that the team said.

Some said they sensed the real responsibility to carry the vision of bringing justice to the world because of what they have seen. They vowed I will not forget.

Some said they were impressed by the leaders here and that there is hope because of the all out commitment to Christ that they have. They said that one leader told them that all the things we have done are such an encouragement because it makes them know that they are not forgotten and they don’t feel like the are in this all alone.

One said she was just so thankful for being able to come on the trip and sees it as a destiny move for her. God has opened her eyes to the need around her.

Others said, the have a revelation how simple it is to meet need if you just have a mind to do it.

One said it is so powerful how much compassion God has and how he provides for the orphans through Christians and the church. She said I have seen God use teams here and our team to provide the needs of widows and orphans, she sees how God works and what the church is really all about.

One said “I have never seen anything like the things we have encountered on this trip and it opens your eyes to our responsibility to use our blessings wisely and to be grateful for what we have been given.

Others comment were things like, “I have more compassion,” also “I see Hope.”

There was much more and these are just a few paraphrased comments. Truth is the experience is life changing, for us and the people we are helping. I’m glad God lets us be a part of helping others. Its awesome.

David

leadership is universal…

This year again I am so blessed by the pastors and leaders here in Rwanda, they truly want change, and are hungry to know better how to lead and develop leaders.

We had a great conference today, we have with us a friend from Uganda Pastor Samuel who brought a team of guys that sing and dance. They are amazing! High Energy. Just the way we like it at harvest.

Owen spoke for a few minutes on radical change, we are being flexible as our itinerary seems to be the most fluid thing here. Its really funny they are trying to get us into as many things as they can.

I spoke a message this morning on the heart of God. This afternoon on a spirit of Excellence. We had a Q and A which never fails to amaze me. Their questions are intense and they are hungry for true training and answers.

The leaders here are like leaders everywhere else. They need validation, they need encouragement, they need inspiration, and direction.

So what’s next? Tomorrow more leaders conference, then we go to an orphanage and fit them all who need it with glasses and take them food. Then tomorrow night starting at 9 pm our Next generation meeting. Which we found out today is an all nighter. Fortunately we get to go back after a few hours to sleep for the next day of conference. We will be in different churches on Sunday. Monday starts the medical clinic and Owen and I get to meet with the rector of the nations leading Law School, more to come. Please continue to pray for the teams strength. We are having a great time.

Please respond when you read these and be blessed.IMG_0145IMG_0259SDC10919SDC10783

Listening….

I’ve noticed that if you listen you will here things that are remarkable. I am setting here at “the hotel Rwanda” and listening to my friend Pastor Jackson Tell my team his testimony about how he started his church, how he went from being an accountant to being a pastor. He just started helping people, he started putting together proposals to govt and to governments in other countries to build programs to help kids and families. I noticed as we came over on the plane listening to lots of people who were coming over to africa to help the African people. There are so many people helping others in the world. We will visit the museum and an orphanage tomorrow, testing kids for HIV. We will be starting the leadership conference tomorrow. Pray for us, there are so many leaders and pastors over here who are hungry for teaching and training. They want help, they want to grow, they want to make a difference, especially the young generation.

take a minute and listen to those around you and see what you hear. You may hear what God is doing in the lives of others. Take a minute and let me know what God is doing in your life.