Monday, August 31, 2009


August 31, 2009


– Dateline yesterday.

I had been on the church campus for over two hours already…prowling the grounds, looking at the building, watching the day accelerate from start and now well into the second service. I decided to go back out the front entry and just see what I could find of interest. And I found a lot that I think will help the church be even more effective in opening up ways for people to come towards Jesus.

We were there yesterday to look the church over and do an evaluation of everything on Sunday morning.

From the parking, to point of entry, to the facility cleanliness and the strength and effectiveness of worship and teaching it proved to be a great church.

And now it was 11:15.

As I re-approached the entry, I saw four teens standing together, nicely dressed, but looking uncertain as to what to do. One stood a bit apart and I approached her with a friendly, "Hi, I'm Dave. How are you doing?" Her response, a very shy - "Ok, I guess."

"Are you new here?"

"Yes, it's my first day."

"Can I help you figure this place out a bit?"

Almost in a whisper…."Yes…thank you."

I moved towards the three standing nearby her…and discovered that all of them had never been here before either. They didn't know where to go, what to do, how to respond…..but then it hit me, how much they must be hungry for God to come and risk (as teens!) and enter a new (and mayby crazy!) world!

(The music was sounding strong from the auditorium, worship was in full swing.) There were only a handful of people left in the sweep-around front corridor….almost everyone had gone into the service and the place was almost full. One of them saw us and came over with a bulletin to give. That helped.

They seemed to relax a bit and smile more genuinely as I offered to take them up a flight of stairs and make sure they found a place to sit.

And then I left them in the hands of an usher, ready to find them a place to sit, and in his kindness to help them begin to discover what God is really like.

And I wonder if they were among the eight at the end of the service, that indicated a desire to encounter Jesus personally.

And I thought of what a great compliment He had paid to all of us in bringing such special people into this community.

And in my heart I volunteered to be a greeter until I can't stand on two feet or shake hands any more. J

Four teens

…brand new

…shy, but hungry.

And Jesus, only Jesus, can make them into world-changers and family-builders and prophets and teachers….and heaven-dwellers.

And some of us get to be the first to say "hello."



If you are a pastor reading this, I hope you have a greeter's ministry that really connects with people. Anyone can hand out a bulletin – and some do as a task, a have-to, a I hope-this-gets-done-soon job - but what a difference it can make if they learn to reach out and quickly love people, to see people as Jesus sees them…and make them start to feel like perhaps they have just come home. If they see what they are doing, not as volunteer service, but as a critical pre-birth ministry it will make a great difference indeed.

I hope that your greeters won't just get done, and then leave the entryways too quickly. I hope that they will realize that visitors probably come a bit late (at best), and often have to take the furthest away parking places (?) and navigate to the entry (if they can find it) and enter a new world (will it be ok?). Maybe they have come late to avoid too much crowd…and just sneak in unobtrusively. Jesus ran a welcoming ministry, but remember, they came to Him often "by night."

Ah, they have been brought there by the Spirit of God…but the final steps into life in Jesus will have to be by becoming part of the world of some people who know Him well, and just can't wait to introduce one more person to Him.

May the front doors of our churches be so full of sensitivity and love that people just can't wait to go all the way into Life with Christ.



Monday, August 24, 2009



My son-in-law returned from Canada recently and produced two (count em) two Coffee Crisp chocolate bars for me to savor. One is gone already….and the other, well, there is a bit of strategizing going on here…considering the options as to how to enjoy it fully.

Coffee crème…crispy wafers…and chocolate all over and around it.

Voila! The Cadbury people have produced a long-standing savory treat indeed.

And then there is white chocolate, chocolate bark, hot fudge, and a bunch of other cacao magic intended to make the moments even more palatable. (And who can withstand the allurement of chocolate fondue?)

Decadent? ……….("falling into moral degeneration")

Devilish? ……..… ("yielding to satan's intrigues and temptations")

Another sign of North American church decay?


Just another cause to get more Biblically sound (and culinarily happy).

"Nothing to excess."

Nothing to bulge the "temple."


"everything to richly enjoy" - I Timothy 6:17

part of the "everything to be received with thanksgiving" – I Timothy 4:3-5

So line 'em all up

….the slugs, the leaves, the shiny rocks, the penguins, the star specs, the sunsets

……and chocolate.

Called in some places…theobromine….literally, "the food of the gods"…not devil's food!

So the next time you have some in your grasp…

…give thanks, enjoy it richly, but don't eat it muchly.

Mmmmmm.............................:) David.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


August 21 2009


And so today, the reports and video accounts are coming in of women, many veiled, voting at small, cardboard voting stations
....risking their lives to express their opinions.
Some are not veiled
...refusing to be cowered into oblivion.

Men who refuse to remain in their homes, but vote to express their hope that their rugged land will move thereby towards order and well-being.

And in our home there were tears.

The evil seems to be being pushed back
...and we will see what the lasting results actually are.


Hopefully, a system of peace and order can come more into place.
People can live their lives not captive to the evil prince of darkness and terror.

And even, in the midst of it all, somehow, encounter the Prince of Peace....the One who bestowed such dignity upon women for all time and played freely with children. And Who gave the entirety of His life for the redemption of the world.

And who turns and by grace restores all who look to Him in faith.


Jesus...Savior of the world....and Afghanistan.

Thank you to our men who have and are serving the cause of peace.

You have spent your energy doing something that truly matters. Look on and see your shaddow falling across the paths of the people who today walk bravely towards a new and hopeful life.

We are all thankful today as we witness the progress.

Well done.

Watching this day with a grateful heart.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

We wrestle not

August 18/09


The three words above would in some contexts be taken as a complete statement of fact. We do not wrestle -would the sense.

I am lifting these three words, however, out of St.Paul's letter to a church in a very pagan city. As originally written it was this way: "We wrestle, not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against rulers of wickedness in heavenly places." (Ephesians 6)

IE - we (the whole church in Ephesus and by extension, all of us who are followers of Jesus)
we are in a wrestling match, all of us
- but it is not people that we are matched against.
It is the evil powers behind them that are really casting the slurs and putting the moves on us continually....seeking to wither our faith, discourage our spirits, sap our energies.
Somewhere, a long time ago, I saw a comic rountine (the three stooges?) where some in the ring were not wrestling but while seeming to wish for less, were being tossed here and there around the ring.
Funny - if it's the commedian - but not if its us.

Recently I felt myself to be very much in a struggle....intense and mind captivating. Fear-producing and withering. And I fought back not heeding this verse, but in murmered prayers for help and waiting for the moment to pass.

In a sense I resisted, but in a true sense: I wrestled not.

And it was really a hard time.

This passage is calling us to wrestle against the powers set to do us in.

Here is a handful of helpful ideas for spiritual wrestlers:
1. Speak the name of Jesus out loud and with force. His is the name above every name.
2. Resist the enemy and he will flee. Attach "no" to what you are saying...and "get out of here " and "be gone"...whatever words put force from your spirit into the match, making things clear to all concerned.
3. "Stand" not get lured into his tricks or dazzled by his "moves." Just stand devoting your energy to the building up of your faith and focus.
4. Keep reminding yourself, no matter the ups and downs, that "greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world."
5. And remember, in a hundred years, we'll all be in an eternal place, Jesus will still be reigning and none of us will even remember this which now seems so huge.

Wrestling...on the team with you.



Friday, August 14, 2009


Yesterday I was contacted by the Evangel, a weekly publication reaching most of our churches nationwide with the assigned topic of writing a brief article on Healing. This morning I wrote the article on what happend to Micah some time ago and I am letting it be my blog for today. Your feedback is welcomed....and pray for it to be a blessing to many and spark healing graces of our Lord all over the place.

Title: Healing

Micah is our youngest son.
He was playing in a summer softball league….and broke his foot.
A trip to the doctor confirmed that it was broken – x-rays to substantiate.
And now the worries.
In just a few days he would be facing the extensive final medical clearance process which would clear him (?) to enter the army.
With a broken foot?
He came to see us for a final visit prior to the medical process.
And before he was to leave, it “seemed like a good idea” that we pray over him.
He sat in the big, easy chair in the living room….and two of us knelt by him and began to pray softly – and with very limited faith…at least that is what it felt like to me. It had been a family time entirely, and now it was mostly a farewell moment.
Faith? I sure could not sense much of it…..just obedience, doing what Jesus told us to do as His followers.
As we prayed, invoking the name of Jesus over him, suddenly he came up out of the chair with a shriek. (I am embarrassed to admit it, but I thought I had done something wrong….or “laid hands on him” too firmly!)
After all, I thought we were just following the directive of scripture: “lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Lord, do I need to apologize to him?
Several days later he called us, having just seen an army doctor and explained the situation to him. The doctor took fresh x-rays and in a few minutes came back into the room, both sets of x-rays in hand. And he began the consultation with this question to our son:
“Are you a religious man?”
Micah’s answer: “Yes, Sir, I am.”
The doctor then said: “Well, I am too, and from all I know, I am holding the evidence of a miracle in my hands. In this set of x-rays your foot is broken, and in this set, it is healed. Your foot is fine and I have no problem clearing you to proceed with your plans to enlist.”
The shriek from Micah as we were praying over him was the bone being reset: God’s “hand” under ours.
(The pain he still felt to some degree in his foot, was simply the foot adjusting to the new wellness, and in several days, as the doctor predicted, the pain disappeared.)
Micah was cleared fully, enlisted, shipped out, and just weeks ago returned from a full tour of duty in Afghanistan.
No foot problems.
I reflect often on what happened….how easy it would have been to have not prayed, and instead told him we “would be praying” for him.
How often I have waited for a feeling inside of me, of inspiration or faith or energy, actually, I can see it now, falling into the trap of thinking that is something in me is the key to healing happening. How often I have tried to measure my own faith or preparedness so as to merit what is actually and fully God’s gracious action.
I so easily get it wrong.
More and more, I realize that healing occurs because God loves us, “knows the plans He has for us” and has an infinite measure of health to pour down upon us. He is full of grace and mercy…and surprises. And, as in the process of salvation, “it is not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Most (about 75%) of the healing moments in the New Testament are recorded as occurring in an informal setting…the “store,” the home, the business places, the seaside, on the road, in “the restaurant”…rather than in the more formal settings - the temple, the altar, the courts - church.
So often we limit the healing process to the formal settings, the prepared, the controlled, the predictable, the bright-light events. Could it be that we would enhance the in-breaking of the life of God in healing all around us, if we would not put limitations on His activity and plan? Yes, yes, yes.
So, my objective is to listen to the Spirit everywhere.
To acknowledge it is all of God…and so little about me at all.
To be in the laboratory of His life and activity every time it comes to my mind to do anything like Jesus.
And take the healing graces of our Lord with me everywhere I go.
Jesus said:
“’These are some of the signs that will accompany believers….they will lay hands on the sick and make them well.’
And the disciples went everywhere preaching,
the Master working right with them,
validating the message with indisputable evidence.”*
*From The Message – Mark 16:17-20.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


August 13, 2009



He entered the classroom with a flourish….short, stocky, balding, broad-faced. He was there to deliver a speech to some prep-school boys.

Pencils, and papers were readied in anticipation of hearing a great treatise from a man who literally had the ear of the world.

Striding to the lectern, Winston Churchill, faced the boys and then in a very forceful, measured manner barked out these words…





And with that he turned and walked out of the room.

He had spoken an incredibly pivotal truth into their lives…a truth he was living himself as the Prime Minister of England…the bulldog, the leader unwilling to give in to the barrage of bombs and missiles that were devastating London and the whole land. He was not standing on popularity, but principle.

He was unwilling to give up.


And his nation followed.

And the world was rescued in time from one of the great evils yet known to history.

Jesus said:

"Never will I leave you." (Hebrews 13:1-5)

Jesus, in the shaddow of your "never," may I today live as a courageous leader.

When the enemy taunts and pours fear all over me, trying to make me quit…..with You and me may it always be….


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Blog 104

August 12, 2009




And so we all gathered in Orlando.

Didn't hear an exact count, but I presume all told there were some 30,000 of us. All ages, all colors, all stations.

All – with a commitment to Christ and desire for more and more of His Spirit.

It was memorable indeed.

Dr. George Wood – our General Superintendent – led with profound balance and fairness, and humor to break the tensions. His word to us (you can tune in to it at was breathtaking and deeply encouraging. Dick Brogden's word about taking the gospel to the farthest reaches of the planet, caused many to wipe tears coming from hearts deeply moved. (I'm there again even as I write these words to you.)

Hundreds said "yes" to the call at the end of the service and lingered long at altars packed with intensity and decision. I can only imagine how many will speak of this night as "the night I heard God's call to my life."

I felt the impact of your prayers on a regular basis while we were there.

I could tell of amazing "chance" J meetings with people and a sense of God enabling us to be a blessing to others. In fact, at one point I sensed clearly the same mantle and impact on us in that venue that we carry regularly in the Rocky Mountain District. That is the result of the Spirit's breath not ours.

And just think…in this one fellowship, there are over 344,000 acknowledged servants of the Lord, ministering in over 332,000 places of Christian gathering, to over 61,000,000 people all over the world. And this is just one organized group of believers in the world!!

("I will build My Church." Jesus. Hmmm…seems like HE has done it well.)

God's got a vast family!

Won't heaven be amazing?!

Thank you for praying for all of us.

Selah - David

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Tomorrow, early morning, Jackie and I leave for Orlando.

Seven hours later we will arrive and check in.

Thousands of others will join us from all over the world.

We call it The General Council - ie the big one, the biennial gathering for renewed focus, strategic business and celebration of progress.

I know already that there will be much to celebrate from around the world....with some countries on the brink of becoming know as "Assemblies of God nations." The missions arm and energy of our fellowship may well be among the finest there has ever been. This is a strategic hour for the planet...who knows how close we really are to His coming? One thing is certain, there are less and less who have not yet heard.

On the home front, the story is a bit different...with growth slowed and the decay of our culture proceeding at a very disconserting pace. Our District (Colorado and Utah) has registered growth at the last report and I can only guess we will be among the leaders - because of that - even though the figures are very slight. (I will leave it for others to disclose any specifics.)

And so I ask that as we go this week you will pray as often for all of us as it comes to mind, and perhaps even set aside times when you will huddle as a family or with friends and implore the Lord to be gracious and merciful to these ways. (This is a body of believers that has an increasingly strategic role to play in America. But we will do it well, only as God is constantly our source and our trust...)

Prayer Requests:

1. Repentance
That God would send upon us a great wave of deep repentance and that will ferret out the intrigues of stubborn hearts and dryed up tears, and one that will bring us to a renewed sense of deep fear of the Lord. Yes, I do mean fear, real fear, Jonathan Edwards kind of fear, Book of Acts type of fear. Trembling kind of fear. Hell kind of fear. Life-change kind of fear.

2. The chief...and our leaders.
That God would grant our Superintendant, George Wood, a most strategic sense of His presence and wisdom as he leads this gathering in so many ways. Pray for his energy, his protection from enemy attacks and his ever-increasing level of faith.

3. Can do...the faith that would seize our hearts.
Pray that there will be a sweeping sense of "can-do" among all of us. You know, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." The early church was marked by great boldness over and over....pray that great boldness will seize us as a people....and that great exploits will be accomplished in His name because of that.

4. Connections:
Pray that people will connect meaningfully with one another and with The Spirit - and hear the Lord in the hallways, in conversations, in words overheard....that the place will be alive with the Presence of God. Some will come looking for direction. Some will come thinking they need nothing. But all of us need greater clarity. All of us are guilty of doing things off target (see prior blog). So we need a prophetic unction upon us to speak and to hear when we are spoken to.

With you in prayer....where there is no distance apart.