Holy Ghost Premiere… You don’t wanna miss it.

Religion sucks, but a living relationship with our Father through the Holy Spirit… is awesome… simply awesome.

If you haven’t seen it yet, the world premiere of Darren Wilson’s newest film Holy Ghost from Wanderlust Productions is streaming free on bethel.tv until September 8, 2014, 5pm PST.  It… rocks.  Watch it… period.

Check it out here before it’s too late.  (Or just go by the DVD when it’s released in a few weeks.)

Oh, man, am I hungry to see the Holy Spirit work through me.  As a missionary in a new culture, barely able to speak the language, this has been one of the most frustrating things here… how to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit to people with whom I can’t communicate.

But, church, we just gotta do it, teach it, and lead others into it.  It’s time to be an encounter.  The world doesn’t need more advice; they need an encounter with the Father who’s searching for his sons, the shepherd who’s searching for his sheep.  The world doesn’t need religion… it needs relationship with the Father by the power of the Holy Spirit through the sacrifice of Jesus.

Oh, man, this movie has made me hungry for what’s real.

John 14:12 – “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.”

Help us send Michael and Annie Fisher on a sabbatical!

michael and annie

Michael and Annie are the reason I’m in the ministry today, and I owe them more than words can describe.  They’ve served Jesus faithfully 31 years, through easy times and hard, and it’s about time they take some time off to write, reflect, and get strengthened for the next step God has for them in ministry.

I’m definitely looking forward to getting to help support financially the man who’s supported me in so many ways through the last 15 years I’ve known him.

Check out the link, pray for Michael and Annie, and consider donating to help them pursue this next phase in their walk with God.  (You can read more of their story and donate here.)

The Winter is Gone – Kate Hurley

I first heard this song at the end of the Deadraisers movie that came out a while ago.  I immediately loved its simple style and poetic lyrics.  Not to mention Kate Hurley’s awesome voice.  Of course, I had to find the chords for it.  Although google knows everything, this one thing it couldn’t tell me, so I found Kate Hurley’s website and sent her a message asking for help.  She was kind enough to respond and sent me the chords you see below.  :)

While the song isn’t yet on youtube, you can listen to it here on bandcamp and fall in love with it just like I did.  And then copy these chords and have fun!  (P.S. WordPress doesn’t seem to like extra spaces, so I can’t line up the chords correctly.  So you’ll have to figure that out on your own.)

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Sweet! The stains are gone!

vapoorizeDecent pants are expensive in Romania. I have a few pairs of blue jeans in various conditions, but I don’t have many pants I can wear for work at the school (i.e. not jeans). Two days ago, I found two of my pairs of pants got these big blue ink stains on them somehow. I quickly grabbed some soap and started scrubbing, but there was absolutely no change; the stain didn’t even smear.

Finally, I “prayed” something like, “Well, God, this sucks. I don’t have any money to buy more pants. I’ll get over it; they’re only pants, but still… You made the Israelites’ clothes last for 40 yeras, so you can make my clothes last, too. And they weren’t even trying to be faithful to you; I haven’t been perfect, but at least I’m headed in the right direction.”

And then I stuck them in a bucket of water, no soap, and thought to myself, “Maybe they just need to soak for a while… Maybe God will do something. And if not, I guess I’ll just have a couple pairs of shorts.”

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Every Bird Poops – or – God’s Power to Protect His Word

birdI remember one time beginning preaching open-air by shouting out, “There are two things that will happen to everyone.  Number one, you are going to be pooped on by a bird.  Number two, you are going to die.”  I don’t know how effective it was in drawing people to hear the gospel, but it always made me snicker.  (Seriously, who doesn’t enjoy yelling the word “poop” in public?)

While I don’t condone using birds or their digestive systems as a form of entertainment, probably the funniest video I ever saw involved bird poop.  Picture it, a group of teenagers are gathered at the beach pouring bags of potato chips onto a tray.  One teen looks at the camera, smiles, holds up a package, and almost sings, “Laxatives.”  They cover the chips liberally with the magic sprinkles.  Hardly able to contain their excited giggling, the teens carry the tray to a populated area of the beach, set it down, and then ran for cover.  Within seconds, seagulls descend upon the glorious treasure, gorging themselves on delicacies normally jealously guarded from them…  And then the white rain begins to fall…  It’s hilarious.  Completely disrespectful and rude and should never ever be repeated but outrageously funny.  (You can watch it here if you want a good laugh.)

So, bird poop.

Jesus tells a story about bird poop in Matthew 13:3-9.  Okay, so really it’s a story about seeds and soils, but there are birds in the story, and every bird poops.  Anyhow, he tells how a man is scattering seeds all over the place; some of them land on amazing soil and bring a harvest, others fall on rocky or thorny soil and don’t really grow so well, and the last of it lands on the path.  The path is the worst place because the seeds don’t even start growing at all; the birds come along and eat them all.

“Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up.”  (Matthew 13:3-4)

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Noah and the Flood

[In the Communion with God class, each student this year was required to research a story from the Bible and then write a paper about what he learned and what it means for us today, incorporating all we learned about studying the Bible and hearing the voice of God.  Every assignment I give our students, I also give myself.  The following is the result of my research into Noah and the flood.]

The single most devastating flood in modern history occurred in 1931 when the Huang He (Yellow) River flooded; 88,000 square kilometers of land were completely inundated, 80 million people were left homeless, and anywhere from 850,000 to 4 million lost their lives[1].  While grievous, this flood cannot compare to that which occurred during Noah’s lifetime when nearly all of human and animal life was eliminated from earth.  When we hear news of any natural disaster, we find it difficult to face, and our reaction is even stronger when we read about the flood in Genesis.  We wonder, “How could a loving God kill so many millions so casually?”, and we question the goodness of our Creator.  While our first reaction to the story is often one of disgust and bewilderment, the thrust of the narrative as told in Genesis 5:28-9:29 is not, in fact, the catastrophe.  The narrative of the flood is far more a story of redemption than of retribution, and we see this most clearly by examining the relationships within the account, in particular, the broken bond between man and nature and, by extension, the redemption of that between man and God.

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The Law, the Conscience, and the Gospel

A few years ago, I was driving to Spring Green from Madison after watching a movie at the theater late one night.  It’s an hour drive from Madison to Spring Green, and most of the ride is through small towns where gas stations aren’t open very late.  Knowing it might be difficult to find a bathroom so late in the night (and believing public urination probably wouldn’t be the best thing to have on my record), I remember thinking maybe I should go to the bathroom in Madison before I left.  But then my Y-chromosome called me a sissy and convinced me I could make it all the way home.

I realized pretty quickly that I had made a wrong decision, and so at every little town I came to, I looked left and right for any sign of some place where I could pull over and use the bathroom.  After passing through a few unpromising towns, I remember finally seeing ahead of me a gas station brightly lit up.  I could even see the attendant inside working at the counter.

I was so happy that, without turning on my signal or looking behind me, I immediately turned left from the right-hand lane and aimed towards the gas station.

Bright blue and red flashing lights behind me quickly revealed I had cut off a police officer in my pursuit of a toilet.

The law had found me.  And there was no escape.  I was caught red-handed, guilty.

When I came to a stop, I rolled down my window, held out my driver’s license, and shouted, “I really have to use the bathroom!  Can I give you my license and go run to the toilet?”

The officer nodded his ascent, so I ran as fast as a guy can run whose bladder is about to explode and took care of business.  When I returned to the car, the officer explained that under the circumstances, he’d let me off with a warning rather than a ticket. Boy, was I relieved! (In more ways than one.)

I share this to illustrate a truth:  To share the gospel effectively, my job is to help a person to see that he has broken God’s eternal law, that there are red and blue flashing lights behind him, and he’s been found guilty. Only then will he find the peace and the relief his soul needs, and only then will he gladly surrender all to Jesus.

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