Sunday in Mubende

Greetings from sunny MMubende, Uganda.  It rained for about an hour early this morning, but then cleared and it has been a gorgeous sunny day.  When you say “sunny day” in Uganda, they hear, “sanide” which is a Lugandan word meaning Worthy is the Lamb.  He is surely worthy of our praise in thiss place..  After a wonderful hour of singing and dancing this morning, Bshop Grivas called me to the pulpit to speak.  I had handwritten some hurried notes and had a moment of panic when I realized this was a different pulpit.  It was so tall it came up almost to my neck which meant my notes were too close to my farsighted eyes to see.  I looked around to see if there was anything I could stand on..  NNothing.  So I grabbed my Bible, stepped away from the pulpit, and gave the message that hadd been stirring in me all night..  Since the services last all day, you have greater freedom, not tied to a clock, and you can focus on how God is moving and how people are responding.  I spoke on the authority of Jesus, and I couldn’t tell you what I said, but it was from the scripture and from my heart.  Judy followed [they call her “Jude”  I think that’s funny] with a message on the power of the Holy Spirit.  The group that  had gathered were new convertts from the week’s meetings.  Grivas had encouraged all the others to go to their home churches.  It was a unique crowd.  You could sense the hunger for God, the excitement of New Birth, and the desire to learn and experience His Presence.  It was a holy tent and holy red clay mud, and holy oil that we used to bless and anoint each one who was there.  We prayed individuallly for each one, from the babies to the oldest.  I losst my voice after a while, as did Grivas.  Judy’s stomach is not so good but here voice is holding out!!

Grivas had arranged with the place that had prepared the formal dinnner for the city officials on Thursday night to prepare a dinner or us.  I was so grateful we did not have to go back to the restaurant.  I ate curry and a mash of some sort.  It had peppers and okra in it, and perhaps some onions.  It was a great mix of good food.

We have had a couple hours to rest, andd will return to services shortly.  We drove past the field after lunch and it was already filling up with people.  The electricity and internet has been very iffy so I decided to write while it is available.  It went pich dark when I was in the shower this morning.  I felt sorry for Judy because I knew she was next door with a curling iron, and that is just a little too American for this place!  The joy of the Lord is everywhere.  I love Mubende!

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Supernatural day in Uganda

The conference days are long, but today was so incredible, I am going to try to capture it before trying to sleep.  Today I spoke about God’s seven divine appointments.  There was such a wonderful response.  Judy asked me to speak first because she was so sick.  But God gave her energy to give a powerful message on Deborah and Esther.  There were about 30 in the day services who came forward declaring they wanted to be born again.

We went for our daily meal, and the resetaurant was particularly awful today, but there is only one restaurant in Mubende so you get what they have.  They had no fish and the meat was too tough to eat, but I had a wonderful cole slaw with a vinegar dressing, and a small potato.  I will be glad when the food choices are better on Monday.  But we are in a heavenly place, so I am enjoying God’s supernatural presence, and praying for health and the anointing to preach and pray.

Tonight there was no rain!!!!!!  The field at the crusade was jammed, the music wonderful beyond description, and the smiling faces were as far as you could see, and beyond in the dark.  Grivas brought a powerful salvation message, and over a hundred responded.  It took a while after prayers for them to fill out cards with contact info so the local pastors can follow up.  A team from Prayer Palace is staying here for a week after we leave to coordinate all that.  The presence of God was heavy on the meeting.  Grivas began praying for healing.  A man who was completely paralyzed on one side of his body was instantly delivered.  Many others came forward and declared they had been healed.  We got back to the hotel around 10, and Art and Judy and I met to pray for the Sunday meetings.  Grivas asked me to speak in the morning about the authority of Jesus.  Hey!  I’m not a regular preacher.  I don’t do spontaneous messages!!  I take it back.  I have been very free here to speak, and I knew immediately the scriptures I needed to read to prepare.  He will open my mouth.  Judy will speak in early afternoon, and then we will have an extended time for prayer for the many who have accepted Christ this week.  Then the grand finale at our last evening crusade.  It has been a whirlwind week.  The schedule next week is less intense, and hopefullly we will be in a place where we can buy some necessities.

I just want to praise God for His faithful care for us this trip.  It is such a blessing and privilege to be with these visionaries who have given everything for the gospel.  We are the beneficiaries of their sacrifice.  Love and blessing to New Life Church as you worship tomorrow.  We carry your prayers and gifts with us!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

God is bigger than the storm

Last night we were disappointed when the rains started again around 5:00.  It stopped about 7:00, mostly, and Grivas decided we would move forward.  There were several hundred people who stood in the light rain and hung on every word.  Eric told us people walk several miles to come, and if the rains will just subside, we will fill the field tonight.  Grivas preached in Lugandan, and an interpreter sat beside us and tried to keep us in the loop.  The glory of God transcends language barriers, and we could see Him moving in the sea of faces in front of us.  Even the smallest children were fixed on the message.

The entire day was blessed.  Judy spoke first in the pastor’s conference from John 15.  Jesus has chosen us as His friends.  I gave my life story at Grivas’s request.  It creates a close connection with the people, and they are so gracious and thankful.

We had a very “Ugandan” afternoon dinner.  We have a light breakfast at the hotel, and then eat one meal around 3.  I decided to try somethhing different on the menu,, and after waiting about 45 minutes for our food, the waiter apologized and said they did not have what I ordered.  It didn’t seem to occur to them that I would order something else if they had just said something.  Anyway, I asked them to bring me a glass of juice, and I had a protein bar in my room.  No problem.  The restaurant had COFFEE, even if it was instant, so I couldn’t be unhappy!  Next time I will stick with the fish that looks at you from the plate.  It is ddelicious if you don’t look back.

The weather is gorgeous, and we are ennjoying breakfast on the porch.  Pray for us today..  Pray that Judy’s health will be perfectly restored.  Although she has not missed a beat, she is struggling on the inside.  There is great joy here.

I talked to a Ugandan farmer for an hour this morning.  They can have free chemicals and GM seeds.  He was surprised that the seeds don’t grow the next year when you save them.  I told him God’s seed and his plan are always abundance.  Beware of what is happening.  He says the chickens take 2 years to grow here.  I think it’s less than 3 months at home..

I am out of time.  Much to do here!  Love to my grandchildren.  I am thinking of you all.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Day 2 I think?

I have a few minutes to tell you about our day before heading out to the pastor’s conference.  We have just moved to a new room so I am a little disorganized.  Judy is struggling to stay well.  She doesn’t sleep on the move like Art and I, and last night she was feeling really bad, and couldn’t sleep in the noisy room.  They gave us ground floor accommodions since Judy broke her foot a few weeks ago.  Well, we have lovely quiet rooms today, but there are about a hundred steps up the mountainside to get here.  It is beautiful, and hopefully Judy can get more rest tonight.

 

I am feeling great, and looking forward to the day.  Last night a torrential rain cancelled our outdoor meeting.  We drove up and there were hundreds of people standing in deep 5 or six inches of water.  Grivas was driving, and Judy and I were sure we would soonn be pushing the car out of the red mushy mud.  But we got in and got out.  They was just no way to go forward.  We met with city officials and had a wonderful traditional Ugandan ddinner.  I have never tasted goat that was so tender and good.  The meat is often too tough to eat.  I enjoyed beans and rice,, white stuff that tasted like sweet potatoes, more white stuff that tasted like turnips, more white stuff, not familiar…you get the drift.  It is all delicious, and I was hungry by 9 p.m.  We got to bed at midnight.  I was sound asleep at 12:01.  I have never heard a more movingg gospel message than was pressented at the ddinner.  It was so blessed of God.  Grivas has hired extra security to travel with us, and to guard our doors at night.  “No more opportunities for the devil,” he says.  He has more than 375 churches started in Uganda now, and he has plans for many more when the television station is up and running.  Over here the spiritual realm feels like win, win win.  I wish I could pack up the electrifying atmosphere and bring it to you!  I am asking the Holy Spirit to bring us more of this state side.  You must taste heaven like this!

It is time to go.  So glad for Eric and his portable internet device.  Grivas asked me to give my life story today.  I don’t like spontaneous, but God blesses it, so I’m game.  Pray for our health.  I am thankful for my Arbonne fizz sticks.  My coffee pot burned up from the 220 electric.  I guess the converter wasn’t strong enough.  There is no coffee in this hotel, and not much in town.  We will get coffee again when we get to  Kampala.  They are here to pick us up!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Greetings from Uganda

We are safe and sound in Mubende Uganda after 32 hours of travel.  We were all a little sick and exhausted, but got a short and restful night here, up early and ready to head to the crusade!

We had a delightful breakfast with Grivas, and I could not wait to present him with the money for the television license and the TV camera Art was able to get just before we left.  Unbelievable!  He danced around the breakfast room and we all waved our hands and praised God.  He has dreamed about this moment for years, and it has happened!  We saw some pictures and videos of the conference that is already in session.  Supernatural in every way.  Judy willl speak at 11:30 this morning and I will speak at 2:00.  We resume this evening, and will have dinner with all of the city officials and leaders at 9:00 this evening.  Grivas has a strong vision for this area of Uganda, and he has involved so wisely the leaders of Mubende.  He intends to get them all saved tonight.  At this point, I am sure God can do just that!
We are always concerned about getting stopped at customs, and this year with a television camera and cash for the license, we were uneasy.  After traveling 32 hours, it’s hard to think and negotiate and get through that last hurdle.  I started throwing our large suitcases on the xray belt, and prayed for the little suitcases that would follow that contained our gifts.  The large suitcases must have gone sideways because the machine jammed.  The security guard told me to stop, and then looked at Art, and told him just to load the other bags on a cart and go.  So we were through with all of the equipment God had provided, and no problems!  Eric picked us up with two vans, one for luggage and one for people!  We arrived at Mubende about 1:30 a.m. local time, and we are running on adrenaline as we head for the conference.  There is no internet here.  I hope to send this soon.
I feel God’s pleasure as we start on this year’s adventure.  How the people back home have given!!  A few dollars here is life changing.  I wish I could help people understand how much their gifts mean to our brothers and sisters here.  God has united us as one people this year.  Please pray for us.
Afternoon update:
We are definitely in the rural area of Uganda as the food and accommodations testify.  I don’t mind Ugandan food, although it is mostly soft and white and unidentified.  Grivas took us to lunch after the conference took a break.  I ordered fish, and it arrived very large and looking at me.  After I ate the fillet on both sides, John took it and said he would show me how to eat fish.  No brains and eyes for me, though he said I left him the best part.  Our rooms are simple, tiled, a bed with mosquito net, and a flush toilet and shower head.   I was grateful to see a fat lizard in the ceiling as he would be more effective at keeping out the mosquitoes than the net.  I slept well the first night here, and feel like I have made the time change.
Judy and I both enjoyed speaking in the morning/afternoon conference for the pastors and leaders.  The leaders conference is in a large tent, and there is a huge open air field with a platform set up at one end where thousands will gather tonight for the crusade.  It was very picturesque to sit in the tent and glance out at the field that is currently sparsely populated with cows andd goats.  Tonight it will be a sanctuary.
I thank God for the days he has ordained for us here.  I am having a blast.  The worship is rich.  People who truly love God just naturally love one another.  I am caught up in the move of God here and these dear people with whom there is no barrier of color,, culture, or language.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Warning: This Post Is NOT for the Faint in Heart

From Numbers 11:

 Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat!We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.”

Here is God’s response

18 And say to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat, for you have wept in the hearing of the Lord, saying, “Who will give us meat to eat? For it was better for us in Egypt.” Therefore the Lord will give you meat, and you shall eat. 19 You shall not eat just one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days, 20 but a whole month, until it comes out at your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have rejected the Lord who is among you and have wept before him, saying, “Why did we come out of Egypt?”

Numbers 11 is a troubling story that poignantly illustrates the draw of food on our bodies, minds and spirits.  The people wept to go back to Egypt!  Why?  Because they had food there.  Meat and fish, fruits and vegetables.  They did not want food that would simply nourish the body.  They wanted to satisfy an appetite that the scripture describes as “strong craving.”

Go back to Egypt?!?!  Really????  That’s where their babies were thrown in the river!   That’s where they were beaten and broken in forced labor camps.  That’s where every imaginable human freedom was taken away from them.  But they cried to go back…for the food.

OK all of us pot luck aficionados; will the church have ears to hear?  According to Fox News we are significantly fatter than the general population.  Processed food, genetically modified food, food industrially grown in depleted soil with chemical fertilizers–our American food is much more likely to come out of a drive thru window or a sealed bag or box than out of the ground or pasture.  Research over the past decade clearly links this food to chronic illness in our youngest children as well as our senior citizens and everyone in between.

If God’s anger burned against the children of Israel because of their desire for pagan food, what does He require of us?  The church today is called to walk in health which is God’s will for every one of us.  But we are more like the people in Numbers 11 than we want to admit.  Most of us choose to stay in our food Egypt.  We are addicted to sugar–Americans consume an average of 150 pounds of sugar per year–each!   Diabetes is the most expensive disease in the world, and it is directly related to our refusal to leave our food Egypt.

Sugar is also closely related to the increase in Alzheimer’s disease.  The Journal of Neurology published a study of over 1,000 patients with dementia, and found when blood sugar remains high two hours after a meal, there is a high risk of dementia, and the risk is doubled when there is a diagnosis of diabetes. Alzheimer’s deaths have increased 15,000 percent from 1968 to 2005.  Studies point to exposure to chemical fertilizers and processed foods.  Parkinson’s is also linked to pesticide exposure in multiple large scale studies.

If there is one thing Numbers 11 teaches us it is this–eating is a spiritual issue that God cares deeply about.  And one more time, [please don’t be offended] I am here to give you a very radical proposal–will you give your appetite for food to God?

When I was 57 years old, my doctor gave me some very troubling news about a tumor on my ovaries, and some suspicious spots on my liver.  I had arthritis that made it difficult to get dressed, and it was painful to walk up and down stairs.  My daughter who was a senior in high school was approaching 300 pounds.  The irony of it all is, I thought we were healthy eaters.  We didn’t buy potato chips.  I cooked a lot at home, though we were lovers of Papa Johns, Burger King and Krispy Kreme. I figured out how to get out of Egypt.

The children of Israel were not satisfied with food that merely nourished the body.  They craved the titillation of the taste buds.  Like us, who don’t care that disease and misery are down the road if we do not deny the fleshly appetites that are harming the body by which we are commanded to glorify God.

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.  I Corinthians 6:20

Now our children are suffering our gross neglect and sinful gluttony:

  • 54% of the children in this country have one or more chronic illness.
  • There has been a 300% increase in Asthma in the last 30 years (6.7 million kids are affected)
  • 12 million of our kids have Type 2 Diabetes (this is a lifestyle and diet related illness, not genetic)
  • Obesity rates have tripled in children in the last 30 years (17% of children between ages 2 and 19 are either very overweight or obese)
  • 7.3 million kids suffer from allergies
  • The CDC reports: 1 in 6 children have either a neurological, developmental or behavioral disorder
  • 1 in 6 children in public schools now receive special education
  • ADHD affects 5 million children
  • 1 in 7 school aged children receive antipsychotic medication
  • The Autism rate which was 1 in 5000 30 years ago, is now according to recently released numbers from the CDC,1 in 45
  • And finally, the infant mortality rate of a country is one of the most important indicators of its health as a nation. It is the number of deaths of infants under the age of one year old per 1000 live births.   Currently, according to the CDC, the US has the highest infant mortality rate of all 27 developed countries.  Despite the fact that we spend more on healthcare by far than any other country in the world, a baby born in the US today is less likely to see his first birthday than one born in Hungary, Poland or Slovakia.

Why did God make us to love food so much??????

And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.  Deuteronomy 8:3

The hunger for food has a divine purpose and God’s anger burned against the children of Israel when they refused to accept it.  God wants us to learn to deny our most basic desires and make Him our supreme and only treasure.  Romans teaches us we cannot live for the flesh and walk in the Spirit.  I want to live on every Word of God.  This draw of sugar and processed potato chips is at my right hand.  I will cut it off and cast it from me.

I declare with Job today, “I will esteem the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” [Job 23:12]  Lord, feed me today with Your words until I never hunger or thirst again. To learn more, visit http://www.AppetiteForGod.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Holiest Holy of Holies

Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;  And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.  Hebrews 10:19-22

Do you want to know Jesus?  I’m not talking about the sinner’s prayer that people pray in their youth.  There is a new and living way, and I have spent my life looking for it.  Like a deer pants for water.  Hunger and thirst.  A mix of restlessness and desperation that drives me to call out to Him.  I know Jesus is my only hope.  There is no other way.

I see the way more clearly today, having spent the week searching this chapter of Hebrews.  The author and time are obscure, but the audience is not obscure.  They are the ones who were deeply entrenched in a system of sacrifice and priestly ritual that left people at a distance from God.  We 21st century Christians have invented our own ritual of Christian living.  We go to church.  We honor marriage and family.  We are honest in business, and occasionally help those less fortunate.  And that is the sum of Christian life for those who know no more than the prayer of youth.

The Hebrew writer invites us beyond the moment of salvation.  I hear him say, “Come into the Holiest Holy of Holies.”  What?  There is more than the sacred Day of Atonement?  I loved that day.  I was full of joy and the burden of past sin was washed away.  I cherish the memory!  God has given me the free gift of salvation.  I’ll stay at a distance.

“Come through the Holiest veil,” he says.  I cautiously draw near.  You must have a true heart, full of faith, deliverance from a tormenting conscience, and your body washed in purity.  There are no sin lovers invited to this new and living way.  It is the only way that leads to heaven.  The beginning of the way is through the Holiest Veil, which the Hebrew writer explains is the very flesh of Christ.  Now I understand more fully His suffering.  His flesh was torn as the veil of the temple was torn.  Ripped open, blood flowed, cleansing offered.  It is the Holiest veil.

A warning follows.  If you go through the veil, and are justified by the blood of Christ, you must give your life to the new and living way.  It is a paradoxical way of suffering and glory as you follow the way Christ chose.  If you say it is too hard, and go back to the old system of bulls and goats, and a high priest who “takes care of things” on the Day of Atonement, you will find yourself facing the fiery indignation and judgment of God.

“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins…Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace.” (vv. 26, 29)

Modern Christianity offers an option to go back as well.  We go to church.  We grow old raising a family, conducting business, and occasionally helping those less fortunate.  But our hearts do not burn within us to know Him.

Be bold, my reader.  In full assurance of the mercy and free grace of God, step through His flesh.  It is the holiest holy of holies.  But know you have not committed a mere moment.  You have just given a life.  There is no turning back.

“Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”  (v. 38)

Posted in healing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment