Monday, February 20, 2017

Tent Revivals and Awakening

I remember the smell of sawdust. The humid southern evenings. The funeral home hand-fans everywhere. Watching cars pull into the vacant fields. I remember my father, having put up the tent during the weekend, greet folks from all over the county he was in at the time, as they piled in for an old-fashioned tent revival. Mostly, I remember the sawdust! It was second heaven for a little boy with a handful of plastic army men playing under my mom’s chair on the front row. I also remember the altar calls! That was when the excitement was, really, intense! If you’ve never been to an old-fashioned tent revival or a camp-meeting, you missed a cultural phenomenon. I’ve often wondered what a real tent revival would look like in my culture in the 21st century. The last one I was a part of was in 2014 following my father’s sudden death and it really became a powerful time of healing for so many of people in our community who were reeling in the loss of a legendary revival-time preacher.

I guess the real reason for this writing is something that I’ve been praying
about and really asking God for over the last year, in particular. My dear friend, Glenda Orme Clark, wrote a book that covered the second great awakening, historically, in our region of the country. (here is a link to her great book) This book gives context to much that I’m writing now.
I receive a lot of requests from people wanting tent revivals and it got me to thinking… For those of us who are, truly, hungry for a move of God there are a few obstacles we must deal with. 
First, if we won’t attend our houses of worship faithfully, where we have comfortable seats, air-conditioning and state of the art facilities for our kids, not to mention the coffee bar in the lobby, why would you expect a meeting under a tent to meet your needs? Port-a-johns, Tennessee humidity, mosquitoes, your kids, actually, sitting with you during the, sometimes, several hour-long services… I could make a longer list, but I think you get the idea. Many would say,” there’s just something about being under that tent!”. I understand the sentiment but it is just that… sentiment. The reality is that where hungry people gather to cry out to a holy God, He will show up and He will awaken their hearts. I love the idea of tent meetings but not for sentiments sake.  Perhaps, we should take our eyes off the conveniences of modern church and begin to get back to the basics of committing our lives to “the way”.  Bottom line… We are spoiled.
Second, stop blaming the millennials for the woes of the local church.  Although there are issues within this age group let us not forget who raised these young men and women! I want to point out one more thing before I finish this writing. I see a hunger and desire for a real move of God in this generation that has been, largely, absent in mine.  I’m seeing young adults gathering outside and around campfires worshiping God. Gathering in living rooms, barns and coffee shops looking for the supernatural power of God for their lives. Perhaps the biggest step we can take is to come alongside these spiritually hungry millennials and learn from them as we allow them to learn from us.  As we get older we, simply, think that we know the ins and outs of life but, in reality, my generation could learn a lot from the passion of this younger, more open generation.

I will never forget the smell of the sawdust…

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Choosing Faith over Fear

Choosing Faith over Fear may not be easy... but it is the only way to move forward in your life and discover all the good things that God has for you! This life is a gift! Use it!

What it takes to move mountains

Today I wanted to give a follow-up challenge to all of you who have listened or plan to listen to the current series called "Moving Mountains".  We  need to talk about the process of upgrading our thoughts or as the Bible teaches us, to renew our minds daily. Every day we are bombarded by, what I call, "Junk" thoughts. We wake up...check our email...make some coffee...check our social networks... Watch the news... Then we listen to drive time talk radio (ok,maybe that's just We are basically polluting our day before we even get started! We wonder why we feel overwhelmed, depressed, or just uninspired but the truth is this.... You are what you eat! We believe that when it comes to our food intake but we need to learn to apply that same concept to our minds. Fill your mind with junk and it will output junk. Fill your mind with crude conversations and output crude thoughts... So today my challenge is this... Go on a "Mind Diet" (thank you for the concept, Tim Sanders, in your book 'Today We Are Rich'). Get serious about what you allow into your mind. I prescribe Phil 4:6-8 "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. ".      Let me know how it goes for you....

Monday, October 5, 2015

Blessed to be a Blessing

Do you understand what it means to be blessed? Do you really? That's what we taught about today at Living To Go Church... If you missed it I encourage you to catch up at this link. Next week we go even deeper into the "living laws"....

Friday, April 17, 2015

Built for More!

Have you ever felt like here was more to your life than what you're experiencing right now?
I'd bet that most of you feel like there is more to life than your present moment... but just can't put your finger on the "AHA" realization that can help you overcome that moment.  Well, I do bring you good news... If you're willing to receive it... THERE IS MORE! Bigger and better, exciting and adventurous, fulfilling and passionate... That's what LIFE should be! Here is the place where most people never make the leap to that kind of life... To get better, To experience greater, there is going to be pain! Yep.... PAIN! If living out your purpose was going to be easy then everyone would be living their dreams! So we have to accept that to GROW will require some pain... Some people can't make the journey with you and you feel loss (pain) but the truth is that the pain of that loss, if used properly, will bring the wisdom and stamina you need for achieving the next level of your life. I have found that "getting my head right" is the first step.
So here are 3 steps to achieving that end:  

1. I need to understand who I am & where I stand in God's view so that I'll see myself properly.      Jeremiah 29:11.... (God's thoughts and plans for you are GOOD!)

2. Realize that Just because someone isn't riding on YOUR bus (dream) does not mean they are your enemy. Don't destroy relationships just because someone moves in a direction in which you are not moving in.  Paths intersect all the time and down the road you may be amazed at how God brings them into your life at just the right time.

3. The way I feel is not the compass that directs my choices.  Pain is not usually the choice we want to make (if you are sane) but if you want to GROW to the next level in any area of your life you've got to be willing to do the hard stuff, even when you don't want to! In other words, keep doing what is "right", even when it's not comfortable, and the "right" things will begin to happen in your life.

Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Stay on Target! Never give up and keep your eyes on the prize in front of you.....  
You were built for more!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Issues... We've all got them!

Last week at Living To Go Church we started a new series about our ISSUES. The idea is that we all have issues (struggles) but it's really not an easy task to deal with them. Sometimes we ignore them or bury them so we don't have to look at them but the reality is that NOT dealing with our issues corrupts our heart. And like the bible tells us, we need to guard our hearts because it is the wellspring of life.The most common choice is to focus on EVERYBODY ELSE'S issues instead of our own... besides, it's easier to see another person's flaws... right? We all know that's the wrong response... so each of us must own up to our flaws and begin the WORK of getting better. Always remember, You Can't Manage What You Don't Own! Denial doesn't make it better. It makes it worse. Issues like BITTERNESS can and will cripple our effectiveness as witnesses of Christ. Issues can cause us to see the dark side of everything, including the intentions of others, even though we've never had reason to question their motives before or not. It is poison! Anger, Resentment, Laziness... these are all ISSUES that can corrupt the good that God is trying to do in and through us. So this month, leading into Easter, we're taking some time to look at ourselves and ask some tough questions. The reality is that GOD IS BIGGER than all of our issues combined and only HE can break the chains in your life... But it starts with PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY and bringing our issues to the one who can really make a difference in our lives.  Here is last weeks service in it's entirety... We dealt with ANGER ISSUES... 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Measure your words #5series

Today I wanted to share a thought and concern for my fellow followers of Christ.  

In a culture and time when our words are misconstrued and used out of context we find ourselves almost paralyzed to speak our hearts and minds and with the advent of social media our words travel faster and have a deeper reach than ever before, so my thoughts today are about the value of the words we speak (or type)...  
Someone once told me that "the greater your influence the more your words should be measured with wisdom."  Today, with outlets like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Your influence is far deeper than you realize. So just measure (understand their impact) and think before you type (or speak). As Christ followers our words and actions should point to Jesus. So here is my end game with this.... To go along with the November Series "5" at Living To Go Church I want to challenge all of you.... Make a point to use your influence for good! 
This week make 5 efforts... posts, shares, calls, emails, snail-mails... whatever you're chosen medium is and speak a "measured" word to the people within your circle of influence. Let's point people to Jesus!      #5series