Sunday, February 20, 2011

Revelation 19:10

"For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

Saturday night and Sunday night, Zoran Spasovski, one of the pastors at Christian Center 490 in Macedonia taught, preached, and ministered concerning the prophetic here in Thessaloniki.  I believe it was a very encouraging time for the entire body.

I don't think I fully understand Revelation 19:10, but I saw at least one aspect of how the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.  The spirit of prophecy releases GRACE.  Paul said the Lord had given him authority for building up and not for tearing down (2 Cor. 13:10), and that's exactly what I saw take place in our body these past few nights.  As the spirit of prophecy was moving and ministering, people were lifted up to a level they couldn't attain on their own.  And that's what Jesus came to do from the Father.  He was full of grace and truth.  He was always lifting people up, calling them to come up higher, to live at a higher level, above the world, in Him.

Words started to fail me, so I sketched the image I had in my mind.  I felt like the Lord really lifted our body to another level through the spirit of prophecy this weekend.  Hope was birthed also with the seeding of His promises.

Much love,

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ezekiel 37:3,10

"He said to me, 'Son of man, can these bones live?' And I answered, 'O Lord GOD, You know.'
So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army."

I wanted to add these photos of the university campus as a reference for prayer.  Pray that we would have favor, open doors, and divine appointments in this place.  Pray that the love, joy and presence of God would fill and surround us, attracting people to the abundant life found in Christ Jesus.

1 John 3:1

"See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God"

Man, what can I say?  Seeing people being pursued and touched by the living God, Himself is breathtaking.  To be a conduit for someone to know and be transformed by God is such an indescribable privilege.  What honor He has bestowed upon us.  What manner of love this is.

I met a guy playing basketball a couple of weeks ago.  He came to church.  Then he wanted to come to Tuesday night prayer.  He came.  We prayed for Him.  The next day he texts me and wants to hang out and pray.  I invited him to Thursday night homegroup.  He came and he's coming to the Friday night group in Michaniona.  He's hungry for God and he needs Him - like we all do.  He wants me to bring him back a Bible and some Christian books from Serbia (where I will be visiting in a little over a week).

God certainly gives such beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61:3).  Tommie, the pastor here, was a self-proclaimed blasphemer before he met the Lord, some 30+ years ago.  Now he has worked throughout Europe, planting churches in the Balkans, fathering men and women in the Lord.  Zoran was once a heavy-drinker with a propensity for fighting.  Now he is pastoring a growing church in Macedonia and ministers to the body of Christ around the world, serving with a strong prophetic gifting.

God takes blasphemers and violent aggressors, and transforms them into beautiful reflections of Himself (1 Tim. 1:13).  And it is not by might nor by power, but by His Spirit (Zech. 4:6).  So, continue to pray for us and for the people of this city.  The Father always hears us (John 11:42).  The bowls of incense in heaven are the prayers of the saints and they will be poured out upon the earth (
Rev. 5:8, Matt. 6:10).

Pray that we would be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that we will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God (Col. 1:9-10).

The pastors, teachers, prophets, apostles, and evangelists of the next generation are in this city.  The Balkans are pregnant with the children of God.  The whole of creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.  It longs anxiously, eagerly awaiting the revealing of the sons of God (Rom 8:19-22).  Pray that God's will would be done in our lives; that His plans and purposes would be established, and that we would partner together with Him, fulfilling the works that He has prepared beforehand for us to walk in (Eph. 2:10).  Please also pray for an abundance of financial provision for all the He desires to do!

God bless - Love you all!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Exodus 30:29

"You shall also consecrate them, that they may be most holy; whatever touches them shall be holy."

I've met a handful of guys here so far.  Most of them I have met on my own, through tennis or basketball.  Some of them want to bring me into their world.  I want to bring them into mine.

In an effort to facilitate this, I wanted to gather some of our guys from church to go see a movie Monday night and invite my friend, Tasos.  After talking with the guys at church, it looked like getting everyone together to see a movie that night wasn't going to happen (though there would be other opportunities for my new friends to get to know my brothers in the body in other ways).  I let it go.

Our coffee outreach on the university campus went really well on Monday.  At first, it seemed like we were going to be taking home 3 thermoses full of coffee.  It didn't seem like anyone wanted free coffee!  We were there at least an hour or more without having much conversation with anyone.  We discussed giving the rest of it away to the homeless.  Then all of a sudden we struck up a conversation with a group of students nearby and a bunch of people started coming.  Coffee and conversation started flowing.

It was so awesome to see our crew interacting with their crew.  I could see everyone's unique personalities and giftings flowing together in our group.  I just stood there thinking, "I'm so glad Jen is here!  And Amy!  And Tiffany!"  Jen was making everyone laugh.  Tiffany was talking to some med students about doctors in Florida.  It was so awesome.  It felt so safe and it took such a burden off.  We exchanged numbers and are looking forward to hanging out with these guys soon.

After seeing the Lord move so much in our corporate work together, I had thought perhaps that my solo efforts to meet guys may have been in vain, fleshly or illegitimate.  That night I was feeling a little anxious so I sat down at the kitchen table, took a deep breath and said, 'Lord, what are
You saying?'  Within a few seconds, I get a text from Tasos: 'Hey! Do you like to watch movies? Would you like to go to cinema?'  I hadn't said anything to him about my thoughts to go see a movie with him Monday night and here he is texting me!

I heard the Lord say, 'Don't forget about Tasos.'

Only Jesus.  His timing is impeccable.  He can redeem anything.

Please continue to pray for me.  I can become easily distracted by the 'unknowns' of the future and lose focus of the call and purpose of this season and today.  Pray that I would be filled with the 
knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

Love you all.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

1 Corinthians 13:5

Hello friends,

This past Tuesday we did our weekly coffee outreach on the university campus.  It went really well.  We talked for some time with a few girls that were part of the socialist club on campus.

First of all, I have learned so much about evangelism.  The Lord really impressed upon me that love is 'no strings attached,' and I think that giving away free coffee really expresses this facet of love.  You want free coffee?  Take it.  Enjoy it.  Be loved.  Love doesn't force itself on anyone.  Jesus doesn't force His love on anyone.  What good does it do me to try to force my beliefs on someone else?  Not much, I don't think and that never feels too good on the receiving end.  There is only one Author and Finisher of faith, and I just want to stick really close to that Man of love.

After telling one of the socialist girls that we were working with a church, she said that was good and all, but society is what can/should really help people.  I felt the urge to challenge her statement begin to rise up in me, but I felt like I should just let it go.  You can be "right," but quickly become "wrong," speaking the right thing in the wrong spirit.  "Debating theology" for me has historically been a one-way ticket to the Division Station - especially here.  Titus 3:5 is a good one to keep close: "But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless."

I played tennis today with a group of 19 year-old guys from the military university.  It was great tennis, especially with this guy, Bobis.  He is a really fiesty little player.  I really liked his intensity.  I think the Lord likes it too.  We exchanged numbers, so hopefully we will play again.  I've thought a lot lately about the turning point in my life when I really began to follow Jesus after hearing a campus pastor speak back in '05.  The Lord probably called that dude and I'm sure it wasn't always easy, but because he was obedient to the call, the course of my life was altered for Jesus forever.  I'm not as fiesty as Bobis, but in a way, Bobis is like me, circa 2005.  Being thankful for so many of the men and women of God who were faithful to their call and persevered in it, I'm encouraged to keep that in perspective myself.  Perhaps Bobis is the next campus pastor or evangelist to the nations?  Thank God for an abundance of grace and mercy.

Please continue to pray for our body, that we would put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.  Pray that we would clothe ourselves with humility toward one another, and that we would be merciful, just as our Father is merciful.

Please continue to pray for favor and open doors for all of us, as we seek to partner with the Lord in establishing kingdom relationships.  Pray also for wisdom and discernment as we steward the relationships we have been entrusted with thus far.

But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.

Love you all.