Friday, December 11, 2009

WWJD

Although what you are about to read may seem harsh, it is true and reflects the general Christian church of today. I choose to be a part of the change.

The church is a funny place. Preaching one thing and doing quite another. Thankfully, there is a remnant, though minimal, that really is a reflection of the attitude of Christ and embodies the same passion to change the earth. I am absolutely convinced that if Jesus were alive in the flesh and walking the earth today, almost all "Christians" would crucify Him. I'll explain why, and perhaps some minds and attitudes will change because of the reality of this letter. Too many Christians are too lazy and selfish to really reflect a Christ-like attitude. While declaring "what would Jesus do" about every issue around them, they do nothing that He would do. For certain, He would not be rewarding lawlessness with blessing and a lack of discipline with a bag of groceries. He is the same one that was willing to whip money changers and offenders of His Kingdom without worrying about people thinking He wasn't showing any love. He walked past many that were sick and lame because He would not bless their lawlessness while looking for those who had a heart for change. If He were here in the flesh, He would not be liked because He would say to the one who lacks, "discipline your life and finances and change will come." He would say to the one who is unemployed, "get a job at Taco Bell if that is all that is available and the greater will come." He would ask the one who always has their hand out for charity, "why are you in this position, what got you here, and what are you doing to get out?" He would say to the one that is always complaining yet never doing, "since your right hand offends you, cut it off!" Contrary to what most Christians believe, He would not tolerate the present stupidity that is reflected in the church. He would not act like their are no issues. He would not be concerned if He offended you. What Jesus would do and what the church of today does are in no way similar.

If the earth is going to be changed, the church is going to have to grow up and take responsibility. Most of the church looks foolish to those outside because most Christians are unwilling to deal with the very thing that brings change, and that is truth. I am a believer and I wouldn't want anything to do with the Jesus most of the church reflects. He is too weak and silly and far too passive and disconnected. I am blessed to know the real Jesus Christ. The one who is the Son of God and who doesn't pansy around, but has the guts to deal with difficult situations and require obedience to His Father and mine. While He may pray for my healing and need, He would also require me to make changes in my life in an effort to keep me from the same situation again. He wouldn't want me to stay needy and sick; after all, that would not cause others to want to know Him. The Jesus the church is looking for to return is not going to be recognized by most. He will be coming for a mature church that has changed the earth, not a needy one that has disgraced His name. It's time to change!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Race

I was blessed Saturday to witness fifteen runners from The Rock of Central Florida complete the OUC 5K/Half Marathon. All those who entered, finished! How many people, I wonder, started that race but came up short? How many quit because it seemed to hard, or because it was raining, or because they lost the one who started the race with them and they didn't want to complete it alone? Maybe they suffered an injury and was justified in the termination of it, but there is a difference between the one who suffers an injury and stops for the day but will start again another day and the one who simply quits because it was a challenge they didn't expect. Of those I knew, some were well trained and have run races before, but some were newbies that decided to change their life by completing a challenge they had never faced. All fifteen of them made a commitment to finish what they had started, and they did. The commitment wasn't made the day of the race. It was made long before the actual race day as they signed up online, payed their dues, started to train and prepared their attitude for any and all challenges months ahead of the race. They all made a decision to prepare themselves for the race and they were well prepared. Many in the church choose to run the race of the KIngdom but without any planning or preparation along the way, they come up short of the finish line. They enter in through salvation but never really see the finish line because there is no depth of heart or commitment in them to finish what they began. Challenges arise and they quit. They trip over an offense and wound their pride and they quit. The lights aren't flashing and the bells aren't ringing so they quit. They find themselves alone and feel abandoned so they quit. I believe I am like the Father. I believe the joy I experienced as I watched sons of The Rock finish what they started is the same joy Yahweh experiences as He watches you and me complete the race before us. The obstacles didn't stop us, being alone along the way didn't hinder us. We made a decision long before the race to finish it and do what it takes to be equipped for success! People, enter the race! Be a part! It is what you were born to do!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

We are the Kingdom!

What an amazing weekend!  We, the people of The Rock, celebrated the end of 10 years and the beginning of 11!  It was an amazing time of reflection and demonstration.  I watched with delight as people who were once strangers worked together and ministered to others as friends.  Some who came to us broken and battered stood as a testimony of deliverance, strength, and victory.  The "house" was filled with people anticipating what is to come.  As different ones shared their heart, it was clear that Yahweh's hand was at work through His sons.  The Kingdom of God is not a mythical place, or a territory in the heavens.  The Kingdom of God is not defeated or even shaken.  It is strong, present, and more powerful now than ever in history.  It is those of us who have made the decision to hear and obey God's voice and make His name great in the earth.  We are the Kingdom of God!  Religion wants the church to believe that we are only pawns without power.  The Father wants us to believe we are sons with authority!  I choose the latter.  How about you?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

10 years!

Wow! We are about to celebrate 10 years of ministry to Central Florida. It has passed so quickly and slowly at the same time. I could not be more blessed by the people that Yahweh has joined to me and The Rock in order to make His name great in the earth. Some have come and gone, but those who are faithful and remain are witnesses to the favor of Yahweh in obedience to His word. The vision He gave me 10 years ago I am more passionate about now than ever. Almost nine years ago we were self supporting. Seven years ago we purchased eleven acres to build on. Two years ago we built a building to facilitate the vision. This year we began The Rock Academy. Next year, we as a body will send out the first "son" into ministry from The Rock of Central Florida. The Kingdom of Yahweh is ever increasing and we are a part of that!

For all of you who are a part of this wonderful and exciting time, thank you! Thank you for being faithful and staying the course. Thank you for listening to the voice of promise and hope. Thank you for trusting in the unknown and walking out on nothing. Thank you for walking with me and my family. We love you more than we can ever express! You are our family!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Atlanta

I was priviledged to be part of a meeting of apostles this week in Atlanta. I enjoyed, as usual, the diversity of approaches to building the Kingdom of Yahweh. Some would incorrectly assume there is but one way. That would indicate a trust more in the natural order of things than in the ability of the Spirit to work outside what is commonly accepted. I am thankful for the difference we are making in the earth, not by acquiesing to popular expectations, but by hearing and obeying the Voice that calls us out from among them. May we all be refreshed by the voice of truth and make Yahweh's name great in obedience to what we hear.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Kingdom Characteristics!

How much of the Kingdom of Yahweh is evident in you? Are you faithful, committed, tithing, on time, forgiving? Do you honor your spouse, your children, your employer or employees? Are you faithful over another man's things, faithful over money, and faithful over the little tiny things no one sees? Can your church leadership depend on you? Are you making Yahweh's name great or are you embarrassing Him? Are you positioning yourself to be equipped? Do you embrace change and rejoice in the fruit of it? Are you zealous for Yahweh and unashamed to make His presence in you known to others? Is living a righteous life more important than memorizing some bible verses? Is it more important to you to participate in the life of Christ than to practice Christianity? Is there any evidence in you that reflects a life lived unto Him?

Monday, August 3, 2009

"Fallow Ground"

   Yesterday, we gathered at The Rock again for the first time since June.  You see, we—by the word of the Lord—did not have regularly scheduled services for the month of July.  It was our time of letting the “land” rest and giving opportunity for the ground to be prepared for what is ahead.  Our “firstfruit” to Yahweh.  
    In June, my wife was speaking with a friend of ours—Caroline— and was sharing with her what we would be doing at The Rock in the month of July.  Caroline immediately began to share with my wife the story of her grandfather, who was a farmer in Canada, and was known for producing the highest quality produce in the region.  She explained that her grandfather allowed the ground to go “fallow” seasonally to get rid of weeds and enrich the soil for the upcoming season.  This got my attention because I knew that is what Yahweh was doing with us.  Caroline added the description to the purpose.  Webster's defines fallow like this: 1.) Cultivated land that is allowed to lie idle during the growing season.  2.) to plow, harrow, and breakup land without seeding to destroy weeds and conserve moisture.  Wow!  That is a perfect description of what Yahweh desired for us during this season of firstfruits.  We were obedient, and now we will see the fruit of our obedience in the days to come.  In fact, some fruit is already present in the testimonies shared Sunday morning.
    I know that part of this is the removal of “weeds,” and none of us likes to see people go.  However, I can tell you, I am more interested in people hungry for the Kingdom than I am in people hungry for more religion.  Those who hunger for more religion and aren’t willing to change are weeds.  They need to be uprooted because they are leaching the soil of necessary life meant for the son’s and daughter’s of Yahweh.  I want everyone to be sons and daughters, but I cannot make that decision for them.  Each one must choose for themselves.  What will you choose?  As I delight in those who are pressing in, I can only imaging the joy Yahweh must feel.  At The Rock the soil is enriched again in anticipation of the forthcoming season!
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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Michael Jackson

Just another man with talent, praised and immortalized, while those who do the world good go out without a bang. I have many thoughts regarding this man with tremendous anointing and talent. It is amazing though how a man who two weeks ago was reviled all over the world can now somehow be king of the world. This is a true demonstration of the lack of morals and standards this nation has fallen to. Even the media that looked under every rock to uncover his "bad behavior," are now praising his “legacy.” Here again is a man with God given anointing who wasted it on what can produce nothing, and in the end did just that. There is no eternal fruit of the life of MJ, only sad memories of a talent lost and forsaken, and children now left fatherless. It is sad to know Michael died the way he did, yet it could have been very different. His story could have and should have been different.

Make your story matter while there is still today.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Always Changing!

I am so excited about the present moment and impending future.  Being a son of Yahweh God is so rewarding.  Notice, I said I am a son of Yahweh, not a son of religion or denomination.  I am a son of truth and a brother of integrity.  I have potential to be and do all the Father desires for me even if it is greater than I desire for myself, and it usually is.  Earth days are corralled by hours, but life in the Spirit is not limited by the same restraints.  I love that!  Because religion is not my fence and denomination is not my law, I can bless the Father in ways before unknown.  I can show my family a path without an end and lead them on a journey without a map.  I can explore the Kingdom of God, and do that without fear of offending the one who invited me into to His domain.  He loves my curiosity, and invites my exploration of who He is.  I love Him and the great news is-He knows it.  What will you do with your day?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Statement!

It has been a while since my last entry. So much has been going on, it seems each day has been used to its fullest not leaving time for the little things. The irony is, it is the little things that are usually the most important.

Three days ago I preached the celebration service of the passing of a woman who was both my mother-in-law and Yahweh’s beloved daughter. We were celebrating her life and legacy, not her dying. Yet in her dying she sowed seed for others to live. The seed being the testimony of how a life joined to Yahweh is a life lived without emptiness. She bought up every moment and used each one to advance His Kingdom and order. Linda Richert was loved by everyone and changed the lives of many. Yahweh is pleased with her even more than we. She has become His glory and our testimony. Linda’s life made a statement. She would live for truth even when it seemed she would not be victorious by the earth’s standards. She would lead the way even when it seemed the way was not clear. She would plant seeds even when the ground was dry and barren. She would give hope when everything around her screamed hopeless. She would preach the gospel when nobody wanted to hear it, and discipline when everyone wanted a pat on the back. She was a discerner and didn’t fall prey to opinion and emotion. She despised religion and embraced the Kingdom of Yahweh as the only way to true life. She was a life well lived and Yahweh is pleased. Linda Richert’s life was more than the sum of the parts. Her life was a statement, and if you knew her, your life was changed because of it!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Truth Revealed Through Fear

Here is an article written by my fifteen year old that is worth your time.

The Inauguration of 2009 and President Election of 2008

By: Kaleigh Lynn Parker

On this twentieth day of January in the year 2009, an historical moment is taking place that will change our lives and the history of America forever.

For the last eight years we have sat under the authority of President George W. Bush. Our lives have been drastically changed and our country has seen many hills and valleys. With President Bush's term coming to an end our country is about to experience a dream fulfilled. Everyone has heard Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream, but for the first time in history we will experience it within the walls of the White House. African/American President, Barack H. Obama, is now the most powerful man in the entire world. He sits in a place of the highest authority and he decides our future. In taking the oath he has committed himself to our country and is now the President of the United States of America.

President Obama promises America that our needs will be met. Many Americans in our country are uneasy with the fact that President Obama is an African/American, and the fact that his middle name is Hussein doesn't help either. Some say he is a terrorist and others think he is the answer to our prayers. Many believe he can turn our economy around and others believe things will only get worse. Every American has an opinion, but the question is - what's the truth? President Obama believes that today marks a new beginning, and in more ways than one. He says, "We need to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin rebuilding America." Our country is in an economic crisis, and lives everywhere have been drastically affected. President Obama promises that he will change what our country has become and form it into what everyone dreams of. This Inauguration will be read about in History books, and what is all new to us now, will be the only thing that generations to come will know. We know, undoubtedly, some type of change is about to come, and we can only imagine what America is about to become. As President Bush walked out of the White House for the last time, President Elect Barack Obama placed his foot where no man of his culture ever has before. We can only sit and watch the history of this presidency unfold. Our future is in the hands of an African/American President and our lives will never be the same. For years our country has considered people from the African/American race outcasts and have treated them with disrespect. The disrespect that has been shown for so many years throughout history is now coming to an end. We have considered people of the African/American culture outcasts for so many years and now a man from that very same culture rules over our country. So many lives have been sacrificed just for this day to come. The lives that were lost and the hope that those people carried is now rewarded. The dream of a man that will always be remembered has now come to pass. Our Nation is face to face with the fulfillment of a dream and a mark in history. Our future lies in the hands of President Barack Obama.

As President Bush made his last speech he stepped away from a very familiar place forever. Americans everywhere are wondering what is going to happen now, and only time will tell. We have to cling to our hope and believe that everything happens for a reason, and the Presidency of Barack Obama is going to open the eyes of many "sleeping" Americans. We fear the possibilities that the future holds because of the way we've treated the African/American race for so many years. I believe that this will be a year of change. I believe it may be uncomfortable change, but a year of change that will affect our country, and shake us up enough to get us to recognize what it is we NEED to change. I believe President Barack Obama is bringing a necessary change to our country. History is being made every second of every day - from this day forward.

I am only fifteen years old so an Inauguration doesn't mean that much to me, but it means more now than it ever has before. Growing up, I have been taught to treat every person, no matter their color, the same. Since that is what I've been taught from a very young age all of the racism and anger toward African/Americans is foreign to me. Having to read books in school that talked about slavery and showed the way African/Americans were treated was like learning a brand new language. Seeing all the disrespect and the violence, all the name calling and abuse, it didn't make me look down upon the African/Americans, but actually made me ashamed of our Country and the people in it. If America is supposed to be such a wonderful country where people can start "new lives," then why do we take pleasure in bashing other people around us? We're a very hypocritical country and everything we "stand" for has not been shown through our past actions. Learning about racism was only a shock because I was guarded from it for so long. This may stir some personal opinions, but I believe that Americans mock, what some call, disrespectfully, niggers, out of fear. They are different than us and we're afraid of what they are. In order to make ourselves feel better we take them down from every angle and act like we're concerned for our country when the truth of the matter is we're just afraid of their potential. We are so afraid of them because they're different. They are a different color, they talk with a different accent, and sometimes they dress different, but they still have just as much to offer to our country as you and I do. The mouths of blacks have been shut for so long, and I would like to hear what they have to say. For so long we have treated them like outcasts when really, they are just like you and me. I think this President is going to strike fear into the heart of people that need to be afraid. Because some people have lived in fear of African/Americans for so long that's the only door truth can come through. If truth has to open the eyes and ears of Americans through the fear of Barack Obama's Presidency, then so be it. I'm fifteen years old so I don't understand a lot of the reason for racism, but out of my lack of understanding I can see more clearly than most Americans can today. People are afraid because his middle name is Hussein, no explanation necessary - and I repeat - if truth has to come through the fear of Barack Obama's Presidency, then so be it. I am not into politics and I really don't understand them much, but I can recognize truth in any situation because of the way I have been raised. I believe this country is finally getting what we have been crying out for all these years. I believe truth is coming through President Barack H. Obama.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Living!

I think the church thinks so much about the death of Jesus, they forget about His life. After all, He spent more time living than He did dying, and yet few realize what He lived for. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for His death, but I am equally thankful for what I can learn from His life. For one thing, He didn’t enter into the religious system with acceptance…He challenged it and showed a better way! He went in to the temples and turned tables, not because He enjoyed a fight, but because He wanted everyone to know what He knew…relationship is better than rules!

We can learn so much from His living... how He lived, why He lived. When we better understand what He lived for, His dying will have new meaning! He lived to teach us a better way, and He died so we could live it! The popular slogan is WWJD. He would live-live free of shame, remorse, and all things oppressive. He would live to have relationship with His Father, and He would live to give hope to others. Look for life in all things, and death will lose its sting.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Ready and willing!

Here we are starting another year. I am so excited! I am not putting any limits on what this year may bring and, in fact, I am looking for every boundary to be exceeded. It is thrilling for me to have the joy of preaching and teaching every week to people that love truth as much as me. When I say truth and Kingdom living has changed my life, it is not just a statement of hope. It is fact! I feel sad for those who are still in the confession mode of what should by now be living mode. If you are one of those, stop confessing it and begin doing it. The confession will not change you, your choices will. Get an education to improve your existence, be faithful in your church to increase your relationships and understanding of the Father, get out of debt, open the door for your wife, meet someone, go out of your way to bless another. Choose to improve who you are and stop wasting your time confessing who you want to be! This year belongs to you. Buy it up and sell it not!