Tag Archive: Ministry


Praying for Peace And It Does Not Come

  • I’ve been a committed Christian for over 40 years.
  • I’ve served in vocational ministry for over 30 years.
  • I’ve earned a master of divinity and a doctor of ministry.
  • I’ve preached over 1,000 sermons.
  • I’ve memorized hundreds of Scriptures.
  • I practice spiritual disciplines such as prayer, solitude, and fasting on a regular basis.

You’d think that with that spiritual pedigree, I should always experience God’s peace or at least when I lack it, should immediately regain it through prayer, quoting scripture, etc.

Not so in my experience.

One of my all time favorite scriptures is Philippians 4:6-7:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

That verse, as do many others, implies that when we feel anxious and lack peace, if we turn to the Lord, cast our anxiety on him, pray, and yield our wills to His, then emotional peace should readily follow.

When I’ve done these things, sometimes I have regained His peace. At other times I haven’t. Not only have these experiences perplexed me, but when I faced difficult times with our oldest daughter’s rebellion and chronic illness with our youngest daughter, no matter how hard I prayed and quoted scripture, peace would sometimes elude me.

When peace didn’t come, an accusing voice inside me would add to my misery by suggesting that something must be wrong with me.

Maybe I didn’t have enough faith (so I would try to muster more of it).

Perhaps unconfessed sin was in the way (so I’d confess any unknown sins that I may have somehow missed).

Possibly I didn’t pray correctly (so I’d reframe my prayers).

Mostly these techniques failed. So I soldiered on, figuring something was still wrong with me.

My neatly packed theology hit a brick wall. It was like when Neo in the movie The Matrix said, “Something was just not right, something was missing, something was lacking, something bothering me like a splinter in your mind.”

My spiritual coping strategies fell short. I don’t mean to imply that we reduce Christianity to pragmatism. We love and obey God simply because He is God and is worthy of our worship and allegiance. Even so, I finally allowed my honest questions to bubble to the surface.

Why, if I did the right things, did peace not come?

Then… I began to understand how our brain works.

I began reading about the brain and enrolled in a master’s program in neuroleadership (a process that applies neuroscience insights to leadership principles). I began to understand that our brain is not simply like a computer, but also like a pharmacy. It’s constantly releasing chemicals into our blood that profoundly affects emotions like peace, anger, fear, and anxiety.

I’m learning that I can be right with God in all respects, and yet not feel emotional peace in the current circumstance. What a relief to learn that lack of peace does not necessarily mean I’m messed up.

As a result of these new insights, I have begun to see how we can use this incredible gift from God, our brain, for healthy living and productive leadership.

Have you ever struggled with this issue? How are you dealing with it?

This week’s article is written by Charles Stone (www.charlesstone.com), author of the book, People Pleasing Pastors. Submitted by Russ Olmon, President of Ministry Advantage, and Deb Mertin, certified Ministry Advantage coach. For more on this and other helpful subjects, go to www.ministryadvantage.org.

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Help! I’m sitting here with a loaded gun!

I once heard a story of a man who was desperately down to his wit end of troubles. In his desperation, he went into his room and loaded a gun.  He was about to kill himself!

As he sat there with the loaded gun, he decided that he had to pray before committing this suicide. He prayed and asked God to intervene to show He’s really there, and if He does, then he would not kill himself.

After praying, the man waited to see what would happen. Lost in his suicidal thoughts, he was startled by the ringing of the telephone. He jumped and quickly looked to see who was disturbing his intended mission. To his surprise, he saw the name “Almighty God” on his caller ID!

Seeing this, he sat there scared and shaking. In a state of shock, he couldn’t even answer the caller on the other end of the line. After a few minutes had elapsed, he finally got the courage to investigate. As he pressed redial on the telephone, he waited nervously to see who would pick up. The phone rang for a while, and just as he was about to hang up, he heard the husky voice of a male on the other end of the line. “How may I help you?” he asked the caller. The caller replied and asked, “Where is this?” The other male replied, “Almighty God Tabernacle.”

The husky voice turned out to be that of a pastor, who was at his church that evening preparing his sermon for the next day. He had dialed his wife’s number to tell her that he was wrapping up for the evening, and would soon be home. Fortunately, he mistakenly dialed one of the digits, which happened to be the telephone number of the man about to commit suicide. The reason “Almighty God” came up on the suicidal man’s caller ID was because “Tabernacle” was too long to fit on the caller ID.

Well, to end this story, the man explained to the pastor what happened, and the pastor prayed and ministered to him. He was overcome with emotions, by seeing how God had intervened in his life when he was at his lowest point. Right there, the man accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. From that day on, his life has never been the same again. This man was telling his story from the pulpit while preaching a sermon one day. That’s how I came to know this story.

You see, when you are in your darkest moment, God is there with you. Jesus is the light that will guide you through the roughest time in your life (Psalms 119:105). It doesn’t matter how bad the situation appears, God is still in control. While there is life; there are hopes. Suicide is not an option, if you allow God to guide you. He can take whatever the situation is and turn it around for your good (Romans 8:28).

I have heard so many stories of people who were about to kill themselves for whatever reasons, but were prevented, and their lives have changed for the better.

I have a song that I love so much, and I sing this song when I am at my lowest. It might not be the song that you sing, but I will share the first few lines, along with the video with you:

Like a ship sailing out on a trip so rough and long
So far from shore, so far from home.
I SET OUT IN SEARCH OF A REASON TO GO ON
And I found it in the eye of the storm

No matter what storm clouds may rock this ship of mine
The light of my Savior will lead me safely through the night
Though my ship may be rocky and my sails may be torn
I shall rest in the eye of the storm.

The Power of Deliverance

Demons have been wrecking havoc all around in people’s lives today.  There are different kinds of demons that plague one’s life. Many times people believe that because they are Christians they won’t encounter or be possessed with demons. Demons can enter through a lot of open loop holes that you have no idea they would enter through. Demonic strongholds can tie people to them in a variety of forms. If you are not loose by deliverance, these demons continue to tighten their grips in your life, creating disturbance, confusion, addiction, hurt, abuse, poverty, sickness, infertility, impotence, singleness, relationship problems, and a variety of other setbacks relating to anything that you would do that will positively move you forward in life.

If you are having setbacks after setbacks, and no matter what you do in life, you keep moving backward instead of forward, it’s time to seek deliverance. Deliverance will move you forward, and give you an upward mobility. This will enable you to come into the spiritual revelation and truth of God concerning your life and your spiritual well-being. As you are delivered, you will have the ability to advance to the next spiritual level. This will give you a spiritual awareness of kingdom tools and resources that will enable you to elevate yourself.

When deliverance is initiated, this will break the chains that the demons have used to chain you to them. As this diabolical entrapment is broken, you will be free! You will have to be delivered by someone possessing the spiritual anointing and level of understanding of the power and process of deliverance.

Our ministry has helped many people who have been bounded in spiritual captivity.

It’s time to move forward, as you seek to break every barriers and chains in your life today!

Are you being spiritually attacked in your dreams at nights? Have you had a near accident recently? Was there some form of disappointment that occurred in your life recently? Were you recently diagnosed with a sickness? Have you been having an attack on your marriage, ministry, job, family, business and finance?  Have you been meeting setbacks after setbacks, as you venture out in executing your plans?

As you go through these dilemmas, you have to understand that these are the plots that Satan has been plotting against you. However, these plots have been manifested to reveal the weapons of the enemy. You have to understand the season that you are in (Ecclesiastes 3).

There’s a spiritual warfare going on in your life, as you face a period of transition. This is when the attacks are more frequent. You have to muster every strength and go in warfare mode (Ephesians 6).

Spiritual Warfare

It’s not time to play a pity party or throw in the towel. It’s time to fight! You’re being transition for a purpose. God is getting ready to settle you, after you have suffered a little while. He will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you (1 Peter 5:10).

When you’re in warfare mode, you are sensitive to any and all demonic presence. Furthermore, you understand that attacks can surface from all angles, because the enemy realizes that you’re in a period of transition. He feels you will cave in under the pressure, in order to rob you of your glory (John 10:10).

In mustering every ounce of physical and spiritual strength in your body, you should continue to press into your purpose. The glory that you will gain, will be greater than your pain.

For spiritual deliverance and prayers for specific warfare attacks, please contact our ministry.

God bless you.

When Ministry Knocks You Down

If you’re a pastor, a missionary, or serve in a church, you can’t avoid discouragement, disappointment, or hurt from ministry. The bible even uses the not-so-complimentary metaphor “sheep” to describe those we serve. And sheep get dirty and smelly and often kick and bite.

Sometimes those sheep in the church do the same to their shepherds.

So when you get kicked, forgotten, disrespected, ignored, mistreated, gossiped about, or misunderstood, how do you move forward?

The story recorded in 1 Samuel 30 gives great insight. David had just begun his career to fight the bad guys. Early on he faced a huge defeat. While he and his army were in battle far from home, the bad guys, the Amalekites, attacked the city where his family and the families of his army lived. They burned the city and kidnapped their wives and children. When David’s men discovered this, they considered removing him from his position, not by a vote of a board or a congregation, but with big rocks to the head by stoning.

The Scriptures then record one of the most beautiful verses ever written. The King James Version captures it well:

David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.  (1 Sam. 30:6)

It worked because his guys didn’t stone him but marshaled their energy and once again pursued the bad guys under his leadership.

As I’ve faced discouragement in ministry, these simple choices have helped me encourage myself in the Lord.

  • Acknowledge your pain and emotion to the Lord, but don’t wallow in it.
  • Journal your thoughts. Writing them down helps me stop the tendency to incessantly mull over the hurtful situation.
  • Read God’s word, especially those verses that speak of hope and victory.
  • Do something pro-active. Take action to move forward. In David’s case he took specific action to resolve the problem. He rallied his troops to chase down the Amalekites.
  • Stop condemning yourself and remind yourself that you are a child of God, loved by Him with great intrinsic value regardless of whether  your church is growing or whether people treat you with respect.
  • Pray for those who have hurt you. I’m amazed how God diffuses looming bitterness in my heart when I pray for the sheep that bite me.

If you get knocked down, sincerely seek the Lord and rise up in His strength to begin anew.

 

Contributed: The Ministry Advantage: A Weekly Mentoring Newsletter for Church Leaders.

 

 

 

Dark Path

I have been so busy today, after a break from the Memorial holiday yesterday, but I just stop by to tell somebody that if you are going through your darkest moment, your victory is about to be accomplished. The light is about to be risen upon you today. So arise, shine; for the light is come and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you (Isaiah 60:1).

It is when you are going through your darkest hour, your victory is most powerful and successful.

In the gospel of Luke 23:44-46, It was stated that about the sixth hour there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.  This was so, because Jesus had already given up the ghost – meaning, His spirit had already left His body, because He was dead. However, this moment of darkness was about to bring the biggest victory in the life of Jesus.

In Luke 24:4-6, when the women came to the sepulcher to bring spices to anoint His body, they saw two men standing there in SHINING garments. These two men were angels with bright ray of light shining from their garments. The light symbolized the victory and power that was gained through those hours of darkness. The sight of the angels and no body in the sepulcher caused the women to be afraid; But the angels said to them, “Why seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!”

Praise the Lord today, if you are going through your darkest moment, because your dead situation is about to be resurrected.

  • Your marriage is about to be restored
  • Your finances are about to be restored,
  • Your love life is about to be restored,
  • Your happiness and your joy is about to be restored,
  • Your peace is about to be restored,
  • Your business is about to be restored,
  • Your broken home is about to be restored,
  • Your health is about to be restored,
  • Your children will be restored,
  • Your job will be restored,
  • Your purpose is being birth and your ministry is about to be restored.

Just shout out to God, and say, “I receive these Words in Jesus’ name!” Amen!

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”

Aristotle Onassis

 

 

Help! I’m sitting here with a loaded gun!

I once heard a story of a man who was desperately down to his wit end of troubles. In his desperation, he went into his room and loaded a gun.  He was about to kill himself!

As he sat there with the loaded gun, he decided that he had to pray before committing this suicide. He prayed and asked God to intervene to show He’s really there, and if He does, then he would not kill himself.

After praying, the man waited to see what would happen. Lost in his suicidal thoughts, he was startled by the ringing of the telephone. He jumped and quickly looked to see who was disturbing his intended mission. To his surprise, he saw the name “Almighty God” on his caller ID!

Seeing this, he sat there scared and shaking. In a state of shock, he couldn’t even answer the caller on the other end of the line. After a few minutes had elapsed, he finally got the courage to investigate. As he pressed redial on the telephone, he waited nervously to see who would pick up. The phone rang for a while, and just as he was about to hang up, he heard the husky voice of a male on the other end of the line. “How may I help you?” he asked the caller. The caller replied and asked, “Where is this?” The other male replied, “Almighty God Tabernacle.”

Coincidentally, the husky voice turned out to be that of a pastor, who was at his church that evening preparing his sermon for the next day. He had dialed his wife’s number to tell her that he was wrapping up for the evening, and would soon be home. Fortunately, he mistakenly dialed one of the digits, which happened to be the telephone number of the man about to commit suicide. The reason “Almighty God” came up on the suicidal man’s caller ID was because “Tabernacle” was too long to fit on the caller ID.

Well, to end this story, the man explained to the pastor what happened, and the pastor prayed and ministered to him. He was overcome with emotions, by seeing how God had intervened in his life when he was at his lowest point. Right there, the man accepted Jesus Christ as his person Lord and Savior. From that day on, his life has never been the same again. This man was telling his story from the pulpit while preaching a sermon one day. That’s how I came to know this story.

You see, when you are in your darkest moment, God is there with you. Jesus is the light that will guide you through the roughest time in your life (Psalms 119:105). It doesn’t matter how bad the situation appears, God is still in control. While there is life; there are hopes. Suicide is not an option, if you allow God to guide you. He can take whatever the situation is and turn it around for your good (Romans 8:28).

I have heard so many stories of people who were about to kill themselves for whatever reasons, but were prevented, and their lives have changed for the better.

I have a song that I love so much, and I sing this song when I am at my lowest. It might not be the song that you sing, but I will share the first few lines, along with the video with you:

Like a ship sailing out on a trip so rough and long
So far from shore, so far from home.
I SET OUT IN SEARCH OF A REASON TO GO ON
And I found it in the eye of the storm

No matter what storm clouds may rock this ship of mine
The light of my Savior will lead me safely through the night
Though my ship may be rocky and my sails may be torn
I shall rest in the eye of the storm.

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