This verse is too raw in the King James….
“That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.” – Ecclesiastes 3:15
To people who think the Bible is some old book full of stories have absolutely no idea of the depth of God’s Word. I’d like to hear someone who “thinks” they’re wise try to wrap their mind around this verse.
7 Jump-Starting questions for you, as you prepare for 2012.
1. What do you want?
2. How do you plan to get it?
3. How do you plan to maintain it?
4. What’s your course of action?
5. What daily-disciplines need to be instituted & implemented?
6. Which “habits” need to be “deep-sixed”?
7. 2012 is right around the corner. How is this new season really going to be different for you? Make it count!
(*Copy and paste these to a word document, and then write down some of those things that pop into your mind.)
1. Set an alarm. With all our modern-day gadgets it’s easily to set a unique alarm on your phone, once a day, once a week, to remind yourself of your new season. Or it can be to remind you to stick with your goal of reading the Bible each day, or whatever. [Joel 2:1]
2. Flush, purge, and clean it out. Spiritually awake people are always scanning their life to make sure that garbage doesn’t pile up. They take a few hours on a Saturday and delete old music and files off their computer. They clean their room or redecorate so their environment is conducive to growth. [2 Chron. 34:8, Acts 19:19]
3. Create a “Prayer-Time” playlist on iTunes. This one has helped me alot. When you’re getting ready to spend time with the Lord it’s good to have some worship music on. (One of my playlists is 1.1 hours long, and I devote that whole hour to prayer). [Psalm 108:2-3]
4. Start a Bible reading plan. My wife and I have been doing this for years. Everyday you know exactly what you’re doing to read. It’s amazing how God can speak to you, even while going thru an obscure book like, Obadiah or Jude. [Matt. 24:35, Heb. 4:12]
5. Memorize scripture. Ok, ok… I know this sounds childish, or “Sunday-school-ish”. But if you’re wanting to really be awake spiritually, at some point you’ll need to renew your mind, (Rom. 12:2). Next time you’re at Walgreens pick you up some 3×5 index cards. Write-out the verse on one side, and the scripture address on the other. [Ps. 19:7-8, Ps. 119:11]
Burning Sugarcane in Maui
This morning as I was driving down the mountain I saw a familiar scene, but something was different. Fields of sugarcane were being burned; and the heat of the smoke was actually pushing away the beautiful white clouds that were being formed around the west Maui mountains. Brown, smog-like haze was beginning to overtake the white clouds. And I thought to myself, “I wonder how many times God has wanted to come down and hover over my life with His presence, but I have such a carnal smoke cloud burning that it pushes Him back.”
But I came across a scripture that gives the believer courage in times of struggle.
“Yet in Your manifold mercies You did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day, to lead them on the road; nor the pillar of fire by night, to show them light, and the way they should go.” [Neh. 9:19]
Here, God’s Word is saying that even when the children of Israel were creating the “smog of self-centeredness”, (#1.) They weren’t forsaken by God. And (#2.) The cloud did not depart from them! Just when you think you’re at your worst, and that God is “holding His nose” to your “fires of sin”, He stays with you, showing you mercy, and gives you a real hope that you’re still His, and that He’s not going to leave.
No matter where you’re at today – you may feel like a failure, or that you’ve worn-out your welcome at the altar of God by your multitude of transgressions, but God Word is true! You cannot chase Him away from you. Your “smog” is no match for His “cloud”. He saved you, He changed you, He’s got a vested interest in holding on to you! Think about it, He’s invested too much in you to, somehow, let you go now. No! He’s drawing near to you, and causing His presence to blow away all the carnal pollution that you’ve been spreading in your life. He’s letting you know that, the change you’re seeking is right around the corner, and that you’re new beginning can start today!
It’s been an amazing two months so far here in Maui. God is moving in an amazing way! I don’t think Jesus’ motto was, “Just Hang Loose”, because the Christ-Followers here in Maui are on the move, and hungry to see souls saved, and discipled.
This picture is of a rain cloud that came in yesterday. It so reminded me of the prophet Joel’s promise of God pouring-out a latter rain. In the Hebrew culture it was a rain that came just at the nick of time. I don’t know about you, but in times of feeling like I want to give up, or throw-in the towell, the faithfulness of God shows up and refreshes your soul to make it through.
I pray He does that for you today.
My family and I have enjoyed four incredible precious years here in the world-class city of Chicago. Most of you know that I was a Missionary/Church Planter in the Kingdom of Tonga for 6 years. During the last couple years though the Lord has been reviving us, and stirring up a love and passion in our hearts for the Polynesian people of the South Pacific once again. Although we were extremely happy in Chicago, and at Evangel World Outreach Center, and were not at all seeking change – the Lord has opened up for us a great and effectual door and is giving us the desires of our hearts. We will be ministering in the state of Hawaii, and I will be helping to lead an Internship program there where I will be raising-up young people to be pastors, worship leaders, children’s workers, and youth pastors with the objective of sending them out to the nations of the Pacific Rim and the South Pacific in starting brand new Churches.
Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that the Lord would bring the vision that I have carried in my heart for over 20 years now into reality. My wife had to bring something back to my remembrance. It was in 1990, when I lived in Maui, Hawaii that I actually received the call to be a Pastor. I then became an Intern at Calvary Fellowship in Seattle, and 3 years later was launched into the South Pacific to plant a Church. And now it seems like the Holy Spirit is bringing me back full-circle to the place where I was called. Now I will be the one who disciples young Interns that have a call to reach the nations. The King’s Cathedral congregation is predominately made up of Pacific Islanders, and Lokasi will be able to see family, and Addison will have a greater appreciation of his culture as well. People have been saying to us… “This is just… YOU!”
We will miss each and every one of you, especially Pastors Ray & Adrienne. Pastor Ray is one of the most amazing men of God I have ever met. He has poured into me, developed me, and has modeled for me what a Pastor ought to be. I will forever be grateful for being a part of Evangel’s Church family. I will also truly miss my young people – United Youth. We have laughed together, worshipped together, and even cried together. You are always in my heart and in my prayers. My Youth Leaders are the most incredible Team of youth workers this world has yet to see. There was never ego with us, but only humility and the common vision to see young people reached for Christ.
Lokasi and I will do our best to update you on Twitter and Facebook.
With Love for You All,
Pastor Robb Gorringe
Have you got some New Years’ goals, but aren’t quite sure how to implement them? Join the club. I’ve got a great podcast episode for you:: “How to Get Ready for a New Year“. It’s in the iTunes Store, and… it’s FREE!!
UNITED YOUTH CHURCH CHICAGO
If you would listen and review that would be totally awesome!