Sunday, March 06, 2005

Retreat, retreat, retreat -- Part 1

I was very blessed this last weekend as the men of our church (The Men Of Hope) went on a retreat up north to a camp. God was stirring in my heart as we prepared to leave, I had an expectancy in my spirit.

I have been struggling in my Christian walk over the past year, seeing the gift that God has given me of new life as common. I hadn’t even planned to go to the retreat as my wife had just given birth to our baby girl a week and a half previous.

Well my wife really wanted to see me go so I decided I would.

The Sunday before the retreat God started moving in my heart in a whole new way. I knelt down at my pew and started weeping, not really knowing what for but knowing that God was doing some renovations on my heart.

As we drove up to the camp I enjoyed fellowship with my brothers in the van but had a nervousness that kept me more silent than I normally would have been. The expectancy was growing.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Retreat, retreat, retreat -- Part 2

I was fortunate enough to room with my best friend and the first night we ended up talking till early in the morning. I told him at that time that I felt like we (all of us) were behind a curtain, getting ready for a school play. We were getting ready but on the other side of the curtain we could hear the murmur of the audience anxiously awaiting the curtain to rise. I didn’t know what it meant but I was excited.

The following day God asked me to keep bringing my brothers before God and to pray for them as we worshipped and heard the spoken word. God met us immediately as we started our praise and worship as the powerful sound of 35 men lifted our voices to the one who brought us. We formed small groups and confessed our sins to each other and prayed for cleansing. God brought me to weeping bitterly for the sin in my life and for my brothers.

We played a great game of hockey on the frozen lake later that afternoon and my team emerged triumphant after going 4 games without one loss.

Our pastor spoke to us that evening after supper about our resisting coming under the authority of God in our lives and taking responsibility for our families. We were called into a time of repentance and prostrating ourselves before God. We were met by the holy spirit and he cleansed us of all our unrighteousness.

This next part is going to get a little hard for me to explain, so please have patience with me as I am still trying to understand everything that happened to me and through me.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Retreat, retreat, retreat -- Part 3

One of our leaders approached a brother who had verbalized a separation that was occurring in his home. This leader called him to a deeper level of repentance and renouncing and breaking off of spirits that had influenced these separations in his home. He called the men to gather and a number of us leaped out of our chairs to surround our brother in prayer. As our brother struggled to release these things from his life God called some to start proclaiming truths and others including myself to weep for him.

I was brought to bitterly weeping for my brother and circumstance and I cried like I have never before. Unfortunately I had forgotten to restock my pockets after my last sobbing session, what a mess.

As we were praying and I was weeping our pastor called out for those that wanted to whale for our brother to release those gifts and immediately something came from my mouth. It started in my stomach and pushed its way out of my mouth. Waves kept on pouring out and the more I tried to keep it in the more my body would shake until I would release it

This went on for sometime until it was discerned that we were finished. I sat down and tried to collect myself. The tears kept on coming and the shaking and were not going away. Alright, now this was going from strange to down right scary. I called out to one of my brothers that was sitting next to me to pray for me, but it kept on. The brother called our pastor over to help. My pastor started asking questions if what I was going through was still for my brother with the separation in his family. I felt in my spirit that that was done so no. I pleaded to him to help me make this stop. He asked me if this was for my family and immediately the bellow came from my stomach again.

The next while I spend taking my family one by one before the Lord and canceling and nullifying the curses that I had brought into my family. And as each one was released I would roar again. When I had finished my fight the shaking stopped and I could finally rest.

We saw many other amazing things that night including a brother give his heart to Christ.

My hearts cry since coming back has been that I would not just be touched and not changed but that God would change me into a new man. That Jesus would make me the man he wants me to be.

Lifting my voice

God gave me a wonderful dream the other night. Many of the circumstances seemed weird as many dreams do, but the core message came through. I was on a stage singing a duet with someone, and I kept trying to sing but my voice would constantly falter. Then God would grant me His spirit and a mighty beautiful sound would bellow out of my mouth as if a fire was alive in my stomach and needed to be released. I still remember how beautiful my song was even though I don’t remember what it was.

I still wonder if it was a dream and if I were to stand in front of a microphone right now that God would release that song and that it would sound as beautiful to all of you as it did to myself.

You know what? It doesn’t matter. My song was and is beautiful to my God and is not limited to my earthly vocal cords. God has called me to lift up my voice, when I am by myself in private worship or when I am worshiping with my church family. And from now on I WILL lift my voice wherever I am, because I need to lift up the one who lifted me.

Thankful for this?

Ever since our fourth child was born mid February I have been the one getting my son on the school bus every morning. I have done this in a heart of servant hood to wife as she is getting only a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.

No a big deal right? Well in our case it is a bit more of a chore since my son cannot do anything for himself due to his Cerebral Palsy. Meds, sponge bath, lifting into the wheel chair, doing up all the straps, putting his cover on, getting down the stairs, it is a lot of work especially for 7am.

This particular morning my wife agreed to put him on the bus so that I could go to one of my regular morning meetings. Well the long and short of it is that I ended up sleeping past when I needed to get up for my meeting. My wife feeling that I abused an act of good will, retaliated and the fight was on.

I did go to me meeting even though I was late. One of the last words my wife said to me was “your welcome”. The rest of the way to the meeting I kept saying to myself “yeah thanks for the wonderful morning” and “thanks for your servant heart”.

How many times has my savior done this for me? He laid down his life, so that I may have a new life empowered by His Holy Spirit. How many times have I looked at that gift as common?

“God give me the eyes to always see your sacrifice for me. That you, a Holy and sovereign God would die for me. So that I would be able to have eternal communion with my heavenly father. Thank you for my wife and her true servant heart, please help me to appreciate her more”

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Make Me The Man

During my devotions this morning this song echoed my heart's desire, I thought it a very fitting first post.

Phil Joel - The Man You Want Me To Be

I played the fool so long
Thought I was so strong
All the while You knew it wasn’t true
Rerunning in my mind
Memories of another time
When all I ever lived for
Was You

Make me the man You want me to be
Make me the man You want me to be

I’ve been listening all my life
Words are spoken all the time
I have heard the liars and the true
Voices twisting in the air
Sweetly sounding so unclear
But nothing can replace a word
From You
A child is but for so long
Turn around those days are gone
Nothing can replace the years of youth
I have swallowed lies
That tasted true
The plans I thought were sent from You
When all You wanted was for me
To be still

The burning in the heart
Of man’s deepest desire
Is rising like a flame
The burning in the heart
Of our deepest desire
Rising like a flame
Burning higher and higher
Burning in the heart
Of our deepest desire
Is to know You

Unqualified To Drive\Live

Were you driving today? Try and think of your drive to work or wherever you were going and ask yourself how aware were you of your driv...