Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bondage Breaker-buy it...

Neil T. Anderson wrote a book called Bondage Breaker. Christians should check it out. Last Night at New Heights we went through step four of the seven steps to freedom. I can email the notes to anyone who posts a comment requesting them or message me on Facebook(tm).

Anyway, Step four is about submitting to authority. People don't like to so it. We are trained by the world to be rebellious. We even start thinking if we aren't rebellious we can't be our own person.

Trust me, you don't want to me your own person. You want to be God's. His stuff lasts.

Anyway, we went through an exercise thinking about where we have failed to submit to authority. I found several in my own life. It turns out-and I should have known this-that when you do not submit to the authorities that God has placed in your life you are opening an avenue for Satan and evil spirits to get at you. It makes perfect sense since God said that rebellion is like the sin of witchcraft when Saul was being denounced.

I want to submit myself to the authorities in my life and I made that commitment yesterday and last night. If you see me not submitting. I give you the permission to mention it.

It's serious. Satan is a rebel against God's system. How about you?

Pastor Dan Stevenson

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Crunch Time

I've always performed well when the chips were down, crunch time, at the wire, at the last minute, under deadline... etc. Does it say anything that we have so many ways of saying it?

Now it seems that I've orchestrated (under God's leadership) my life so that almost everything happens like this. I know when my theoretical productive time is. I know what needs to be done but I seem to have difficulty lining up the two.

A person has a period during any given day when they are most 'on.' This is their productive time. It has many factors in it but it will be when you feel the most alive or awake and when you can get the most done. If you bounce your sleep schedule all around you can hardly find your productive time and in some cases it pretty well ceases to exist. So, sleep roughly the same eight hours evey night and look for that time of day when your at your best and put the most demanding things in that time. Your life will be better for it.

Where was I? Oh yes, crunch time.

Oh and by the way. Cap'n Crunch cereal rocks. The crispiness must be good for your teeth and I am assured that if you brush and floss regularly the sugar won't hurt your teeth. Consider that cereal has more vitamins in it than say, veggies and it begins to look like a good snack. However, we must remember that there are those nasty calories and oils. Some say calories unused make you fat-hmmm could be... Oils coat your taste buds and makes you like other foods less-some of which are healthy too (This is one opinion but may prove true through scientific research as well.) So go ahead live a little, eat some sugar cereal, brush and floss regularly and keep eating other healthy foods as well.

Crunch time. The joys and freedom thereof. If it's due when the time comes to turn it in-whatever you have managed to do will be good enough. If it's needed then when the time comes to be done whatever you have done will be appreciated. It's heart pumping, mind-racing speed that accomplishes the task in the last few seconds or even on the last day.

Procrastination is a sin. Planning a set time to do something and to stick to your plan and do it is not necessarily a sin unless you have decided to put things out of order of importance. When God says to do something you should not plan a time in the future but do it immediately. Unless of course His command comes with a schedule. Anyway, after being issued a command any delay is disobedience. That being said, people put off everything it seems. I rarely do this anymore (procrastinate I mean.) I figure I'll get around to it though...

Back to crunch time: I enjoy a fast pace in almost everything I do. My mind was built for speed-and sometimes functions like a train wreck. Usually, by the time I sort out what it is that I was doing from what it is that I'm supposed to be doing, I have very little time left before 'On-time' passes me by.

There are exceptions: Everything that I am certain God has given me to do must come before everything that I am figuring on doing. Lots of stuff falls through the cracks this way but I figure God knows what He's doing and I really don't-I mean I REALLY don't. So, better Him than me.

So, if you find yourself spending most of your life in crunch time-I wouldn't worry too much about it. maybe you were built that way-However, never let your need for speed interfere with your need for obedience.

They say: If you really want something done you've got to do it yourself. I say, If God really wants something done, all He should have to do is point me in the right direction.

Yes! I am a loaded weapon for the Lord! "Go Jesus! Go Jesus! Go Jesus! " -now read this again and sort of chant it or make a song or something. Add a little hip shift and circle your arms like you just don't care. But, you are a loaded weapon for the Lord because you do care.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have something that I am supposed to be getting done and I'm running out of time...

Pastor Dan
originally 12/8/10 1137AM

Taking a Hit

So, Here is what I've figured out-That the anticipation of taking a hit is often worse than taking a hit. This assumes of course that the hit comes and goes or that the hitting does not continue.

Many have been through grueling physical torment that goes on and on. that's not for me to speak of except in general terms because I have never endured such.

However, when it comes to spiritual matters we are all subject to hits now and then. The enemy is tactically clever and we even expose our weaker defenses at times perhaps because we care about someone a little more than we thought or the like.

Then, it occurs to you that you might be about to take a hit and the person is not really talking about the problem...

Anticipation begins to eat at your soul. You just know this is gonna be bad. Relationship hits might be best handled like getting a shot-take a deep breath, don't hold it, and relax. When you're about to get in a car accident people do best when they assume the position in a relaxed manner.

So, what I am saying is that tensing up or fretting over a coming spiritual hit is bound to make it worse. Better, would be to leave it in God's hands and say-It's gonna be whatever it's gonna be. relax, He's got this. He told you what He can do. Just look at the hits Jesus took and He didn't want to. He prayed against the cup of wrath but He needed to in order that you and I might be set free, justified...

So, when it looks like someone is going to betray you don't overreact. Stand your ground and take the spiritual licking that you've got coming. In fact, rejoice always, again I say rejoice. Rejoice that you were determined worthy to struggle as Christ did even if only in this minor way.

In that rejoicing, maybe you will find that the worst part of the hit is defused and that you can be "happy" on a bumpy road just as much as you can be on a smooth road as long as you know that God is in the driver's seat.

Pastor Dan Stevenson

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Evil spirits

Life is not safe. Stuff happens that is completely outside our control. God is sovereign and has authority to do whatever He pleases. Man has free-will and so can decide to do whatever he pleases. Man's free will breaks down at the place where he submits it to others.

An example: When a person joins the military. Military personnel had better submit some or all of their free will to their commanding officer or otherwise someone may wind up dead.

In non-military society persons must submit their free will to laws made for the greater good and social laws (which actually appear to be getting fewer.) But, there is much greater danger in submitting one's free will to something non-human in design. People are flawed but most realize it and know that ultimately their authority breaks down-thus they do not (where good will and reason exists) try to run you into the ground. Not so when it comes to evil spirits. Mad at God and mad at humans for being made in God's image they want to bring humans to their knees.

Evil spirits: I'll not name any and I'll not say that they are strong. In reality I think they have no power that is not gifted them by humans. They try to influence people and they can act but for a person who has submitted themselves to Jesus Christ there is always a better option-submission to Christ.

Evil spirits: Sometimes I wonder just how far this goes. I don't blieve they have any authority to stand in the face of determined faith. One said, paul I know, and Christ I know, but who are you?! Book of Acts-Bible...

Evil spirits: Still, they have a sort of supernatural qulality about them that is somehow enticing to mankind and our inherent desire to uncover the mysteries of the universe. This desire was of course given us to inspire our pursuit of God and the testimonies of God that the universe gives. Misused, we are enticed by their oddity and we are led into a trap.

So, the moral of the story is don't dabble. Don't glamoraize evil or think that the enemy has gotten one up on God. He never has and never will. Stand strong with the God of the universe, move when and only when He tells you to and don't sample the whares of evil. All who have have gotten caught up in the pull of such things and lost their standing in rightness until they have nothing of eternal value. And there-in lay the goal of those who eternally stand against and without God to get others trapped in the same state.

Evil Spirits:

Don't dabble.

Taking a day off in the ministry

So, I've been trying to take Thursdays off for about four months now. I try every week to schedule everything I can on the other days of the week and to organize my day off to allow me to get things done. It doesn't seem to work yet.

Taking a day off in the ministry...
A week ago-I actually had several people form my ministry call me and leave me messages that began with-I know it's your day off or maybe it's your day off- But. Ordinarily, you'd think a person might shake their head but I sort of get it. God doesn't take a day off anymore and different persons in the ministry get their day off whenever their employer says not whenever they want. They need to know what they need to know to make their day off from their secular employment as productive for God as it can be. I get it. I was actually grateful for the humble spirit with which they approached me on my day off. Some others have not done so.

Taking a day off in the ministry...
So, take a day off. Even, I say avoid the phone if necessary but going with Phil 2 we all should be concerned for ourselves and our walk with Christ as well as for others and theirs. So, when your day off is interrupted by say, a subpoena or some work that you've been putting off and it just can't wait now-Don't get upset. Like many other things in this life these things too can work for God's glory. What's more, He can use them to bless you if you love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Taking a day off in the ministry...
So, make sure you viciously attack hurry in your schedule, utilize whatever systems you need to to get the time adjusted so you can actually take the time off, and then just do it. In the process, never forget that God does not have to work on your schedule.

Oh, and Thank God, Because I'd sure hate to see what the world would look like if God took a day off.

Pastor Dan Stevenson

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Cross walk

I am looking forward to the Cross walk. The people of New Heights have really put a lot of effort into getting this event together. We will have free hot dogs, cotton candy, sno cones, popcorn, moonwalks, gospel, and prizes. It's neat to see how the community has rallied about this too. The donations and the people who have committed to participate are awesome.

God the Son died for us and we are blessed enough to celebrate that event. If we lived in a nation where freedom of speech was restricted then it would be different. Someday in the U.S. it may be different. I gotta' say I don't really like the looks of some of the trends.

Anyway, if you wanna march a cross or march with us as we march a cross we'll be "festing" from 12-4 and marching around 2:15PM.

The Cross of Jesus was the emblem of suffering and shame. We do not celebrate the method of torture and death of our savior but rather it has become a symbol of the price paid and to me the death of my old self.

Daily take up your cross, deny yourself, and follow after Him.

God Bless!

Pastor Dan Stevenson

Life gets busy

The reality is the world wants to keep us so busy we'll stay exactly where we are. So, consider that the God of heaven is moving in your life and that He wants to do something especially incredible.

Check yourself-The word of God says that we should test all spirits and only approve those that recognize who Christ is.

Consider that God is not likely to throw away all the work He has done to this point because even if we have made mistakes He has not.

God often asks us to step up our game but never asks us to dismiss His. What you have done may sometimes be insignificant but what He has done never is.

Life Got busy and I missed updating this blog for a while. We'll see if we do better this time.

God Bless and keep following only Him.

Pastor Dan