6 Things You Need To Know About Getting Good Counsel

Hate to admit it, but here’s one of my favorite jokes: King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. That means he could’ve honestly looked any of them in the eyes and said, “Honey, you’re one in a thousand.”

Rim shot aside, the “joke” was on Solomon. All these wives and concubines ended up being his great downfall – and ultimately, the downfall of Israel. How could this possibly have happened to the wisest man ever? Pretty simple. Unlike his father, David, there’s very little (if any) record of Solomon surrounding himself with good counsel during his reign as king. Counselors who would have questioned his actions. Counselors who would have warned him of the consequences. Counselors who would have declared God’s sure word. But these voices were noticeably absent in Solomon’s court. He must have figured he owned the market on wisdom.

So, where do you go for counsel? Who are the wise counselors in your court? How do you respond to their words of wisdom? In a day and age where we’re just one click away from a flood of worldly thinking and values, we desperately need access to good kingdom counsel. Godly guidance that can stem the lies and confusion and seduction that aim to steal His destiny for our lives.

In this first of a two-part series, I reveal six things you need to know about getting good counsel in your life.

How To Believe For Your Healing

I’m guessing that a few of you are presently battling serious, chronic, or even terminal disease, believing God for a healing miracle. I’m also guessing that more than a few of you have been in this fight for some time now. You’ve prayed. You’ve believed. You’ve made declarations. You’ve sought out the prayers of anointed others. You’ve done everything you know to claim your healing miracle from God. And the test results still come back positive – the sickness still alive and kicking. (Maybe even spreading, thriving, getting more aggressive.)

I know how it feels. After one full year of hormone therapy designed to beat back the onslaught of cancer in my body, and another full year of watching the effects of this treatment slowly subside, the results are finally in. Two weeks ago, the doctor announced that the cancer is growing strong again.

And I Was Worried About The Rats

Some years back, I worked at a missionary training base in Honolulu that was lovingly referred to as “the only third world base in a first world country.” Can’t begin to tell you how true that was. For part of my time at that amazing place, I lived in a tiny, tiny room set off the front porch of a house called Calcutta Mansion. I do mean tiny. There was only enough space inside for a single bed, chest of drawers, and a narrow aisle. (I’m talking something like an eight-foot by four-foot closet here.)

In one respect, however, my little room was Titanic-like. The floor listed so badly that I had to be careful getting out of bed in the morning or I’d lose my balance and fall out the window. And as you can imagine, what with the funhouse floor and all, the door to my beloved room didn’t even come close to shutting all the way. Which was a big issue for me because of the huge family of rats that lived in our attic – an attic that conveniently opened up right over the front porch, just outside my little room.

Every night, this horde of rats would run through the attic, screaming at the top of their little lungs. And I knew – I just knew – that some morning I’d wake up to a bunch of furry bed-companions and a half-chewed-off toe.

The Perfect Translation

As you can see, I’m trying something new for this week’s blog. Sure hope it works! (And that my learning curve is short and sweet.) So … here goes. My first ever video blog. Chatting about a hugely important key to greater revival breakthrough in our lives. Hope you enjoy!

(And please feel free to let me know what you think.)

It Lived Up To Its Name

Gregg and Heidi

A few weeks ago, our church held its annual Glory To Glory revival conference. Wonderful testimonies of God’s goodness are continuing to come in.

Jumping Out Of Bed

There’s the story of the young mother who’d been diagnosed with A.S. – a severe arthritic condition of the spine. The fatigue and pain were so debilitating that she needed help just getting out of bed in the morning.

On the second day of the conference, the speaker asked those who had any discomfort or pain in their bodies to stand and raise their hand. The pain in her shoulder made it too difficult for the woman to do this, so she walked up to the front and stood there.

Another conference participant, following the speaker’s explicit instructions, came up to her and prayed the “shortest prayer in history.” Something like, “Your shoulder pain is completely healed.” That’s it. Nothing else. In an instant, all her pain disappeared. Not just the shoulder pain, but every bit of pain in her body. The next morning, this young mother jumped out of bed completely healed.

Are You A Flute In The Wrong Orchestra?

I’ve finally decided to weigh in. Not an easy decision, since the weigh-in is usually followed by a fight. And there’s so much to fight about these days, isn’t there? Racial injustice, gun control, police killing, Supreme Court decisions, illegal immigration, Donald versus Hillary. Keyboards across the country are burning up in response to these contentious issues.

What troubles me the most (by far) are all the believers who are climbing onto bandwagons that are driven by the winds of fear, hopelessness, anger, fatalism, and frustration. And responding in kind. It really shouldn’t be this way. (And most of us know it.)

So I’m finally weighing in. Kind of. I ran across a sermon this past week that expresses my heart better than I ever could, so I’m simply going to point you to it. I warn you ahead of time, this teaching is not for everyone. First of all, it’s about fifty minutes long. (A huge no-no in blogland.) But believe me, it’s worth it for those of you who are struggling to figure out how we, as Christians, should respond to these troubling times and issues. It’s filled with hope, love, peace, faith, and honor. And sounds an awful lot like Jesus.

The name of the teaching is “The Gift Of Discernment” (by Danny Silk), but I’d rather call it, “Don’t Be A Flute In The Orchestra Of The Enemy.” (Taken from one of Danny’s lines in the teaching.)

Click HERE to be whisked away to the teaching. 

(Note: If you’re not already a member of Bethel TV, you might be asked to sign up – for free – in order to see this teaching. I encourage you to go for it. Such a great revival resource.)

I pray that the kingdom truths in Danny’s teaching will fill you with God’s heart, and release you into the precious assignment He’s given you as His beloved child.

 

 

Our Very First Marathon

Our church did something this past week that we’ve never done before. We held a Bible Marathon. With our children leading the way, 117 people joined forces at our Ministry Center to read the Bible (non-stop and out loud) from the appropriate “In the beginning” of Genesis 1:1 to the very last “Amen” of Revelation 22:21. (FYI – it took us 89 hours to finish the task.)

What surprised me (and really shouldn’t have) are the testimonies that are continuing to trickle in from this simple time of reading the Word of God.

  • Several people reported that the more they read, the more joy that filled the room … and them.
  • A few seekers (not yet believers) somewhat reluctantly participated in the Marathon, only joining because their cell group had signed up for several slots. But as they read the Bible out loud, a sense of hunger, excitement, and expectation began to fill their hearts. And they ended up falling in love with God’s Word.
  • As one woman read her assigned portion, she began to weep and weep. It was something that just came over her … she has no idea why.

3 Keys To Happy, Healthy Bones

I’m into bones. So here are a few fun facts to get this blog post off and running:

  • When you were born, you had 300 bones in your body. As an adult, you now only have 206. Go figure.
  • As an adult, your bones account for 14% of your body weight. (What a great excuse. “I’m not fat, I just have heavy bones.”)
  • Bones are about 75% water. Mostly on the inside.
  • There are more bones in your hands and feet (106) than in the rest of your body combined (100).
  • Over a period of about seven years, all the bones in your body slowly regenerate until they become brand new bones.
  • You have the same number of bones in your neck as a giraffe does.

I do love bones. Especially healthy bones. You can have the most amazing heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, brain, and muscles, but without healthy bones you’d just be a useless lump lying on the ground. That’s because your bones are the structure (the scaffolding) that forms the foundation for all the other good stuff in your body.

For this very same reason, the Bible talks a lot about having healthy bones. Spiritual bones. Kingdom values, truths, principles, and ways that form the very foundation of our lives. Without which, of course, everything falls apart.

Here are three things the Bible points out that can help us grow and maintain healthy bones:

A Valuable Lesson From John-John

There’s an iconic photo of the thirty-fifth president of the United States that I absolutely love. You’ve probably seen it. John F. Kennedy is sitting at his desk in the Oval Office, holding some important-looking papers, a big grin on his face, posing for the photographer. And down at the bottom of the picture is the President’s two-year-old son, John-John, sticking his head out from underneath the desk.

The photo wasn’t staged; it apparently happened all the time. Seems there was a standing order by the President himself that, during normal workdays, his son was never to be denied access to the Oval Office. In other words, John-John was always welcome.

Could you ever imagine going to the White House, running through the doors of the Oval Office and crawling under the President’s desk while he was sitting there doing his presidential thing? Of course not. We’d never be so audacious. Very few people are invited or even welcome to visit the President. But a beloved son is a different matter. Think about two-year- old John-John. Where other people saw JFK as one of the most powerful men in the world, John-John saw Dad.

What To Do When Worship Gets Boring

A few weeks ago, I had a bad worship experience. Everything started out like normal, with me in the front standing on our church’s famous blue mats, the music just beginning to fill the room, our worship team doing a fantastic job (as usual) setting the atmosphere for us to worship God, when … my mind wandered. And I struggled to get it back again.

Every few minutes, I’d rouse myself to the here-and-now and give a little pep talk to my soul, but the bored, listless feeling continued to lay heavy on me. As a pastor, I hate to admit what happened next. I actually (don’t tell anyone) started counting down the minutes until the last note was sung. Yes, I became one of “those” people.

The whole episode moved me to take action. I’ve learned that entering worship is something we need to fight for, so I geared up. The very first thing God reminded me to do during these going-through-the-motions times was to focus on the true meaning of worship. Anybody but me in need of this?

There are two basic words for worship found in the New Testament. Here’s what they mean and how they can help us: