Modern-Day Haiku

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.

The Second Door

As I was reading the scriptures this morning, the Lord gave me a poem.

As you read the first part of Ezekiel 44, the Lord brings Ezekiel towards the Temple, and shows him the east gate, and says, “This gate shall be shut… and no man shall enter it…” (v. 2). I thought how that so often we perceive our reality this way in God. Discouragement sets in, and we feel like we somehow aren’t spiritual, “Yeah, I figured I wasn’t going to experience the presence of God in my prayer time. That’s why I don’t really like to pray – the heavens are brass, and the door is always shut.” But we’ve all heard the saying, “God doesn’t close one door without opening another.” If we persevere in prayer, the Lord will show us another door.

“Then brought he me the way of the north gate before the house: and I looked, and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord: and I fell upon my face.” [Ezekiel 44:4]

The Second Door

It’s time to pray
I hear the Lord to me say
And yet I feel so dumb
Will it be worth it if I come?

I know this gate is my fate
This door will be closed like before.
See? He says it’s shut
It’s just my luck
My doubts have locked the door

But wait.
Could it be?
I see a light
In the second gate?
O this second door is worth waiting for!
O the treasure that’s in store – for me!

Then the glory flowed
My face did glow
My Friend was found
My heart is sound
I’m as happy as can be

So don’t hesitate
From past mistakes
Or feel that prayer’s a chore

The sign you need
Is the invitation He brings
Faith unlocks the door.

RJG © 2011

The Most Anointed Word You Need to Know

You might be thinking, “Hallelujah”, or “Glory”. Those are great words, indeed, but the most anointed word is a practical word that needs to get down into the very fiber of your being – where it can radically alter the way you think and do things. This will be a bit of a faith-exersize as I share with you 3 ways to really see your life arise to a higher level. So get ready to be changed!

Psalm 27:6 And NOW shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: Therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord. [kjv]

When all Hell seems like it’s about to break loose on your life, you’ve got to know the secret that David used when he too had his back up against the wall.

1. The Lord IS My Light. When David was faced with opposition, he refused to somehow think he was in the dark, or didn’t know what to do – no. David lived in the brightness, in the powerful glow of the presence of God in his present moment – “The Lord IS (not “was” or “will be”) my light!” Say this out loud: “Right NOW I’m not in the dark!”

2. I Simplify My Life. David wasn’t the schizophrenic leader like King Saul was. He wasn’t “loving God” at one moment and then getting angry with his family, staff or volunteers at another – no. David had just “one thing” on his agenda every morning – Seeking God. Say this out loud: “Right NOW I’m simplifying my life.”

3. I’m Not Waiting for Victory. In verse 6, David used a good, old-fashioned, faith-filled word: “NOW!” (See also: Heb. 11:1). Even before the battle took place, David took control of his spirit, mind, and emotions; and in effect said…

“I know my enemies are trying to move in on me, trying to make me fearful, overwhelmed with anxiety, and trying to cause me to cower in discouragement; but right NOW my head is going to be held high. In fact RIGHT NOW I look down on my enemies. I’m so charged-up with faith right NOW that I’m going to sing a song and whistle a tune in the presence of mine enemies, because I know on Whom I have believed!”

Say this out loud: “Right NOW I’m taking charge of my life.”

Don’t allow procrastination to rob you of your blessing! Make a concrete decision today that things are going to be different!

Prayer-2-Pray
“Lord, please forgive me for always wishing and hoping that things will get better. I want to begin to use my faith, and adopt this faith-filled word: “NOW”, and I choose to do it NOW! In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen!”

“God, I Love My Goads!”

Some people are great team players, while others are great at bucking against any, and everything. “What in the world are goads?” Goads are used to keep oxen from backing up. They have little spikes on them, and once an ox bumps into them he usually never does it again, because they give a pretty good wake-up call. Frank Damazio, in his book, “Successful Leadership” said, in regards to the “foot-dragger” types, “If you kick, be sure you kick towards the goal.” When I read it I though to myself… “…and don’t kick against the goads!” Saul of Taursus, who of course became the great Apostle Paul, was confronted by the Risen Christ on the Road to Damascus. As he heard a voice saying, “Saul, Saul… it’s hard for thee to kick against the pricks, (goads)”[Acts 9:5] If you don’t like what you’re doing, just do everybody a great big favor, and get out! But if you realize that there is some sort of reason why you are at that job, church, relationship, then why not accept the goads? In fact, you ought to be thankful for the goads in your lives, especially God’s goads!

“Are you serious?” Of course! Think of it this way. As long as we buck against the Word and think it’s too hard, or somehow think “God isn’t fair”, then you’re going to find yourself fighting against the very blessing that God is trying to bring into your life. That situation that you’re in – they’re your “goads”. God has placed them in your life so that you can grow, and move forward. As long as you and I kick against the goads we’re going to find ourselves getting angry and resentful. This is going backwards! God is calling you to go forward, and only forward! So, why not say, “God, I love my goads!!” It will make a difference in your life today.

Whatcha Doin’ with Your BFF?

Most people don’t really know the language of young people, but… a Best Friend is worth their weight in Gold. The link below will take you to a quick 15 minute MP3 on iTunes. If you have a BFF then take a quick listen and see if your relationship will improve as you head into 2009.
Whatcha Doin with your BFF?

The Art of Strategizing

Most people aren’t very good at planning, let alone “strategizing”, which has within it’s meaning the sense of systematically pin-pointing what needs to be done in order to accomplish a desired end. In Daniel’s case he needed to interpret a dream. Since his life was on the line there was a pretty good incentive to “get it done”. I want to share a few steps that the Holy Spirit gave me today in regards to strategizing and accomplishing goals. These insights are found in Daniel chapter 2. Here we go…

1. DANIEL NAILED-DOWN A SPECIFIC DATE TO ACCOMPLISH HIS GOAL. [vs. 16]
• Dan. 2:16, “And Daniel went in and desired of the king that he would set a date and give him time, and he would show the king the interpretation.” [AMP]. Think about it, if you don’t have a date in mind, it really won’t get done. Nail-down that date! You can always adjust it later, but this is the first step.

2. DANIEL WENT TO HIS HOUSE AND TALKED TO HIS FAMILY ABOUT IT. [vs. 17]
• This might sound like an unnecessary step, but think about it. When you share your goal with your spouse, a trusted friend, it does hold you accountable. I mean, if you make a goal to lose 20 lbs. in 4 months, but you don’t tell anybody, do you actually think you’re going to accomplish your goal? Our family and close friends will be our number one supporters, and it will be a catalyst to staying on track.

3. DANIEL PRAYED ABOUT IT. [vs. 18]
• The Apostle James said, “…ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” [4:15]. This may go without saying, but so many people these days simply bulldoze ahead and simply don’t consult the One who sets the times and seasons. I just love this Scripture: Prov. 16:1, “The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.” I mean, do you want God’s help or not? Prayer could make the different between failure and success.

4. DANIEL’S STRATEGY WAS REVEALED IN A NON-CONVENTIONAL WAY.
“Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. “ [vs. 19]. It’s not just important what you want to do, but how you’re going to do it. Notice how little Daniel assumes. He’s really looking outside himself for supernatural ability to accomplish his goal. We would do well to follow his example.

5. DANIEL THANKED AND PRAISED GOD BEFORE HIS STRATEGY EVEN WORKED. [vs. 23]
• The Bible says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Heb 11:1. This might be the most important key of this whole process. Because we all know how easy it is to start reading a book, to start an exercise regiment, but to complete it? That’s another thing altogether. Don’t just start good – Finish strong!

Successful Daniel Fast

21 days of “non-pleasant food”, and seeking God were what the Doctor ordered for me, my leaders, and the UNITED YOUTH in Chicago. So proud of them all.

UNITED YOUTH CHICAGO