It all starts with a spark

When you stand in front of a fire, it’s hard to imagine where it started, how one spark in the right environment could evolve into a flame. We have the tendency to overlook the small beginnings and only look for big fires. But no matter how large, every fire starts in the same place.

I remember a time in my life back when I was in high school where I was working at a kids camp. I was eating lunch with some of the other workers when conversation started about revivals in history and revivals that were prophesied to come. That was the moment in my life where a spark was ignited. It wasn’t very big, but it was the meager beginning of something new.

Additional moments like that later turned sparks into a flame large enough to sustain itself. I’m not really sure if I had any idea where my choices were leading, but by some miracle, I ended up in the best place I possibly could have. Without the sparks though, who know where I would be or who I would be right now.

So start small. If there’s something you’re passionate about and a project you want to pursue, don’t be afraid of the small beginnings. Yes, the sparks are the hardest part of the process to keep going, but once it grows, all the work is worth it.

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He’s doing something new…

I fall under the category of people who really likes new things. I’ll admit right now that I’m one of those people who preordered the new MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar. When I get new clothes, I want to wear them right away. But I also know when something should be fixed rather than being thrown away. Just last weekend I fixed a broken lightbulb in a light fixture. Now the belt in my dryer needs fixing.

One of the good and bad things about my generation is that we really like to have the newest thing. The good side is that when God does something new that looks different than what we expected, the culture of my generation is likely to embrace it the same way that we’ve embraced all the changes in technology. We’re quick to adapt to the newest thing.

While there are older generations who will also adapt to the new, there are some who try to hold onto the old as much as possible. I have respect for those who are older and wiser than I am, but there are times that we can miss what God wants to do right now if we hold onto the “old pattern.” Any of us can be guilty of that, but I think the more seasoned generations have a higher chance of it. Let’s be real; people are mad about the iPhone 7 missing a headphone jack while there are still people who don’t even have smart phones.

God is getting ready to do a new thing on the earth, and it could look like anything. I’m willing to roll with the punches if it means being in the midst of revival. I refuse to miss what God can do in my life because I tried to hold onto my own ideas of what it looked like in the past. He’s doing a new thing so let’s embrace it instead of fighting it.

Perspectives: lightning strikes more than once

There’s an old saying that says lightning will never strike the same place twice. Recently when I was driving home, there was a storm about to start. I watched as the sky lit up when lightning struck across the atmosphere. In that moment, I realized the significance of lightning.

For those of you who have never heard of the Smithton Outpouring, it all started on March 24, 1996, when my pastor Steve Gray was hit with the power of God, a moment that has been coined “lightning from heaven.” Like most moves of God, people often said that it could never happen again, that what happened on Smithton, MO, couldn’t happen to the same group relocated to Kansas City. They were wrong.

From 2008 til 2012, World Revival Church hosted another updraft of the move of God while on Daystar Friday nights. You see, it’s just a myth that lightning can’t strike twice. In reality, lightning can strike the same place many times during the same storm. Lightning will strike the places that attracts it.

There’s something stirring in my church again, and I can see that it’s the energy building as the lightning of heaven is about to touch earth. Can a move of God happen in the same church three times? Only when the people are positioned to attract the lightning.

Recovery: the regaining of substances in usable form, as from refuse material or waste products

Lately one of my pastors did a sermon about recovery as part of the process of personal and corporate revival. It’s been a constant topic ever since Pastor Kathy Gray spoke on it, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind.

I’ve been here for over four years, and it would take a whole book to really tell everything in my life that I’ve seen restored and recovered. One of the most impactful things that I’ve seen recovered in my life is my song.

Throughout high school, I did a lot of songwriting as an outlet for everything I was feeling and going through. As much as I loved worship music, I struggled to write worship songs. When I moved to Kansas City, I was ready to be done with the worship ministry. But God was taking me through the process I needed to become what I’ve been created to be.

About nine months after being a part of World Revival Church, I started writing worship songs. Slowly, I was beginning to write the things I could never write as a teenager.

Now I’m writing songs that I can feel His breath on. The Holy Spirit had to tell me to take myself seriously as a songwriter, and now I’m finally at the point where I am. My song has been recovered.

The time I went to Nebraska…

I know this is late, but I was out of town last weekend on a ministry trip. It’s amazing how it’s taken me five days to catch up from being gone for two. So yes, I went to Nebraska last weekend to a friend’s old church to lead worship for a conference. It was definitely an experience I’m really glad I got to have, and not just because traveling was one of this year’s goals.

Lesson #1: God backs up His children. There were times before a session that some of us would start to feel nervous, but when we would pray, we would feel the strength of God. I could feel Him in anticipation, excited to see us successfully do the things we’ve been trained to do. He was excited in a way that a parent was excited for their kids, and that made the nervousness go away.

Lesson #2: Things never go the way you think they will. As prepared as we were for this trip (both spiritually and musically), things didn’t always go the way we thought they would. Just because it doesn’t look like what we’re used to doesn’t mean the people aren’t responding or that God isn’t doing anything. At World Revival Church, people are used to responding in worship. Singing and raising our hands is the normal, but outside those walls, responding that way is the best response some people have for where they’re at.

Lesson #3: Showing honor builds trust. One of the biggest things my friend told us over and over is that we were there to build a relationship with the pastors. In many churches like that one, pastors have lost their trust in their congregation because people leave over small offenses. Pastors and churches won’t walk into their full potential until the people learn to honor the pastor in a way that the people are then trusted to minister freely. Pastors and leaders shouldn’t be doing everything.

Driving back home, I could feel an ache for those people. I was feeling an ache for people and pastors that I had just met because I want them to experience the same life and freedom that I’ve been experiencing for almost four years. Yes, ministry trips are physically exhausting, but I’d go back again in a heartbeat if it meant helping people experience revival.

The time I lost 40 pounds – Part 2

I never really knew how much I could learn about God from getting fit until I did it. Yes, I lost 40 pounds, and I’ve been maintaining it for 6 months now. But developing healthy habits was actually preparing me for something else that I haven’t seen the fullness of yet.

Doing my part in being healthy is taking care of what God has given me in order to function on the earth. He created our bodies and considers it just as important as the other parts of us. I believe in trying to be fit almost as much as I believe that God desires to heal (as a side note, if I wake up sick, I declare healing over myself then get ready for the day and it usually works).

I really want to encourage you to ask God for yourself what He thinks about this. He definitely gave me the grace I needed to keep doing it. Also, healthy habits now also mean being able to physically withstand more in the future. Worship leading can be hard on your body, and I want to be able to pull a Catherine Mullins every once in a while without passing out afterwards (keeping up with her is like doing worship cardio).

Ultimately, you’re going to be able to do more longer when you take care of the physical aspects of who you are. Character and spiritual health are important too, but they’re also tied with how you take care of your body. God wants all of us healed, whole, and fully functioning the way He created.

P.S. If you have a physical condition that makes it hard for you to physically do what should be normal, I just want to speak the healing and life of God over your body. Healing is right (check out the Healing Is Right app as well)