September 30, 2015

Psa. 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God.
  I will be exalted among the nations,

  I will be exalted in the earth!” 
This verse has been special to me for many years. It was actually the one the Lord used to speak to me in 1977 that ultimately landed me back home in New Orleans. Taking matters into your own hands often leads to bad choices that, in turn, lead to unpleasant consequences. 

Often times, especially when we are in tight spots, we tend to get ahead of ourselves, or better, we get ahead of the Lord. Yielding and trusting in the Lord puts us in position for Him to orchestrate the circumstances ahead of us as well as pouring His peace into our hearts. Thinking back to my dilemma in 1977, I could have strived and pushed to start a ministry where I wanted to go, or I could be still before the Lord. I am so glad I waited, favor and guidance is better than stress and frustration any day. Here are some thoughts from Jonathan Edwards on being still before the Lord. 
“The great works of God, wherein his sovereignty appeared, had been described in the foregoing verses. In the awful desolations that he made, and by delivering his people by terrible things, he showed his greatness and dominion. Herein he manifested his power and sovereignty, and so commands all to be still, and know that he is God. For says he, I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. In the words may be observed…A duty described, to be still before God, and under the dispensations of his providence; which implies that we must be still as to words; not speaking against the sovereign dispensations of Providence, or complaining of them…We must be still as to actions and outward behavior, so as not to oppose God in his dispensations; and as to the inward frame of our hearts, cultivating a calm and quiet submission of soul to the sovereign pleasure of God, whatever it may be.” 
Recognizing that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God, ruling all things is a good place to start in our ‘being still’. He is orchestrating events for His kingdom plan to be realized. He turns the evil plans of the lost into tools to advance His kingdom. He blesses the work of His sons and daughters who joyfully wait on Him. Be still!! God will be honored and we will rest in His love. 


September 29, 2015

Acts 19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying.

This story, about the planting of the church in Ephesus, is classic. Paul had just asked these young disciples this question,”have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed”. These newly converted, non-Spirit filled Christians had no clue about the ministry of the Holy Spirit. They weren’t sure what Paul was talking about but they were sure going to find out. Paul laid his hands on them and then it happened, these baby Christians began to speak in tongues and prophesy. Wow! Is it really that easy? Can anyone speak in tongues? I think there is a lot of confusion in today’s church about praying in tongues. Often, scripture that applies to tongues and interpretation of tongues are thrown out there to quench the use of the prayer language. This is part of the reason today’s Christians are largely without power in their lives. Here are some thoughts from the Fire Bible about being filled with the Spirit and speaking in tongues. 

“This event occurs about 25 years after the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Yet, the pattern of these twelve people receiving the fullness of the Holy Spirit is consistent with the pattern seen throughout the book of Acts. (1) They had believed in Jesus and were born again by the Spirit. (2) After they were baptized in water, Paul laid his hands on them and they were baptized in the Holy Spirit. As the Holy Spirit came on them, they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. The book of Acts never presents the outpouring of the Spirit without any outward evidence. Rather, it shows it to be an obvious and identifiable experience that could be verified by the initial physical evidence of speaking in tongues. This practice is a Holy Spirit-inspired way of speaking, praying or praising God by which a Christian speaks in a language they have never learned.” 
The prayer language is an intricate part of our Christian faith. It comes out of the deepest part of our lives and enjoys a deep, intimate relationship with the Lord. Our faith is built as we pray in the Spirit and we are filled with the power of God. This supernatural power enables us to live a godly testimony in a dark world and energizes us for powerful ministry to the hurting. Have you received the Holy Spirit like they did in the book of Acts since you believed? 

 A New Tomorrow

September 28, 2015


“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 1 Peter 1:23
Every Saturday morning after Beyond the Grave, I wake up and spend thinking about the ones that went up to receive Christ. For some it will be just like any other Saturday, they will sleep all day, meet with friends and go to another party. Beyond the Grave will become a distant memory. But others will wake up and hear birds singing for the first time, or how pretty the blue in the sky is. They look in the mirror and sense a future for themselves.

Spurgeon says about the new creation is, “How the Spirit of God openeth upon the mind, how it is that he renews the faculties and imparts fresh desires by which those faculties shall be guided, how it is that he enlightens the understanding, subdues the will, purifies the intellect, reverses the desire, lifts up the hope, and puts the fear in its right channel, we cannot tell, we must leave this among the secret things which belong unto God. Have you partaken of it? Do not merely look back to some hour in which you felt mysterious feelings. No, but judge by the fruits. Have your fears and hopes changed places? Do you love the things you once hated, and hate the things you once loved? Are old things passed away? Have all things become new? Christian brethren, I put the query to you as well as to the rest. It is so easy to be deceived here. We shall find it no trifle to be born again. It is a solemn, it is a momentous matter. Let us not take it for granted because we have given up drunkenness that we are therefore converted, because we do not swear, because now we attend a place of worship. There is more wanted than this. Do not think you are saved because you have some good feelings, some good thoughts. There is more required than this—ye must be born again. You must change the heart. It is not the skin—it is the blood—nay, deeper than the blood—the very essence of the nature must be altered. The man must be as much made anew as if he never had an existence. Nay, a greater miracle than this, these most be two miracles combined—the old things must pass away, and new things must be cleated by the Holy Ghost.”     

The incorruptible seed of God was implanted into so many that night. History will tell the story of how in a moment a heart was changed. There is nothing more amazing than a new creation. They will spend the rest of their lives with many firsts. First prayer, first trial, first convert, first time reading Bible through and most amazingly first time they realize the love of God. 


September 27, 2015

John 4:23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.
John 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Worship is more than singing songs about God. Worship is spiritual by nature. No one can truly worship God until they are born again. As Jonathan Edwards used to say, “they may be able to howl but they can’t sing”. Worship is the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. The Spirit of God convicts us of our sin, awakens us to the reality and majesty of Christ, and He magnifies the Lord in our eyes and in our hearts. What is the result? Worship! An awakened heart has no other options, part of the package is making melody with our hearts to the Lord. John Piper spoke powerfully about worship in his book “Desiring God”. Here is a clip from his chapter on worship. 
“The fuel of worship is the truth of God; the furnace of worship is the spirit of man; and the heat of worship is the vital affections of reverence, contrition, trust, gratitude, and joy. But there is something missing from this picture. There is furnace, fuel, and heat, but no fire. The fuel of truth in the furnace of our spirit does not automatically produce the heat of worship. There must be ignition and fire. This is the Holy Spirit….In other words, until the Holy Spirit quickens our spirit with the flame of life, our spirit is so dead and unresponsive it does not even qualify as spirit. Only that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. So when Jesus says that true worshipers worship the Father “in spirit,” He must mean that true worship comes only from spirits made alive and sensitive by the quickening of the Spirit of God.”
The worldly man sings songs about what he knows; love that went wrong, love that went right, or whatever vice he is dealing with at the moment. If he sings a spiritual song there is no life in it because it comes from his soul, not from the his spirit energized by the Holy Spirit. To an awakened saint the difference is obvious. When the Lord is not present in a song it has no life. God is still seeking worshippers. He is seeking them by His Spirit. When He finds one, that person is awakened and empowered to glorify God with their voice. 


September 26, 2015

On the last and greatest day of the Feast,  Jesus stood and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”.

John 7:37

The scene portrayed in today’s verse is more radical than it appears at first glance. It was during the feast of Tabernacles, one of the most important Jewish feasts, when Jesus made this bold declaration. The priests were singing from Isaiah, “With joy we draw waters from the well of salvation”. If it was like most religious services, they were singing about joy but sadness and ritual ruled the day. Jesus stood up in the temple and began to shout, “If any one is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink!” The cry was filled with passion and compassion. Hurting man was thirsty, religion could never quench this thirst. Living water was the only thing that would do. Martin Luther spoke about this spiritual thirst in his day, check it out.

“Those who are thirsty have a comforting preacher in Christ himself. He shows them where they can quench their thirst—in him, the Lord Christ. But first we must ask, “What kind of thirst is this?” Only then will we understand what Christ means by drinking and how we can quench our thirst. This thirst is not a physical thirst that can be satisfied by drinking beer and wine. Rather, it’s a spiritual thirst—a thirst of the soul. It’s the desire of a sad, miserable, frightened, and battered conscience. It’s the desire of a despairing and terrified heart that wants to know how it stands before God. The thirsty are the timid and fainthearted people who feel their sinfulness and the weaknesses of their spirit, soul, and body. They study God’s warnings. They fear the Lord God and take note of his law, anger, judgment, death, and other punishments. This fear is true thirst. Naturally, those with fears, temptations, and needs are very thirsty because of their anxiety. Their tongues become dry. They become feverish, and their fears dehydrate them. This fear is what creates spiritual thirst.”

So are you one of those thirsty ones? Have you tried to satisfy your thirst drinking from the wells of the pleasures of this life? Have you tried to cleanse your conscience at the wells of religion. Both of those wells will leave you dry and thirsty. Jesus is still crying out to whosoever will. His voice is filled with acceptance, love, and urgency. Come and drink and find rest for your soul.


September 25, 2015

Psa. 46:1 ¶ God is our refuge and strength,

a very present help in trouble.

Martin Luther used to sing this Psalm in times of trouble. I love this incredible promise. He is a ‘very present’ help in times of need. He is not just a promise that somehow things will work out, He is very present when things go bad. I can’t think of a better promise, God Himself is with us, especially in times of trouble. In the margin of my Bible it says that the Lord is a ’well proved’ help. He not only shows up Himself, He has proven over and over again to be faithful to help His sons and daughters. Your problem may seem overwhelming but just stop for a moment and sing. He lives in your song and is much greater than any of our troubles. Here is what Matthew Henry said about this verse.

God is our refuge and strength; we have found him so, he has engaged to be so, and he ever will be so. Are we pursued? God is our refuge to whom we may flee, and in whom we may be safe and think ourselves so… Are we oppressed by troubles? Have we work to do and enemies to grapple with? God is our strength, to bear us up under our burdens, to fit us for all our services and sufferings; he will by his grace put strength into us, and on him we may stay ourselves. Are we in distress? He is a help, to do all that for us which we need, a present help, a help found (so the word is), one whom we have found to be so, a help on which we may write —It is tried, as Christ is called a tried stone. Or, a help at hand, one that never is to seek for, but that is always near. Or, a help sufficient, a help accommodated to every case and exigence; whatever it is, he is a very present help; we cannot desire a better help, nor shall ever find the like in any creature.”

So if you are going through some troubles today let’s join in with Martin Luther, David, and countless other saints who have sung this

Psalm. If you sing softly and pay close attention you may hear those songs from centuries gone by. Trouble often comes but trouble also is temporary. Our God is eternal and is a very present help in our lives today.


September 24, 2015

John 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit”.

Sometimes the things we appreciate the least or seldom think of are the most important things. What am I talking about, things like air or water. They are so common and abundant that we never give them a thought; unless….. Unless what? UNLESS WE DON’T HAVE THEM ANYMORE. 

If there is no water we won’t last but a few days; with no air, maybe just a few minutes. In this verse Jesus is touching on the most important element to human existence, the Holy Spirit. Without Him the universe would turn into a giant nuclear explosion or some sort of super black hole. Without Him we are dead, dead in our sins and separated from God for eternity. He is the air we breathe. Jesus was introducing His disciples to life in this verse, they were really breathing for the first time. Here is how Andrew Murray describes it. 

“There can be no goodness or happiness in any human being, unless it is the breath, the life, the work of God within him. Goodness can only be in God and it cannot exist separate from Him. He can bless and sanctify by Himself becoming the blessing and sanctification of man. There is thus no goodness in the life of man from anything but the immediate indwelling and working of the Holy Trinity. Perpetual inspiration from the Holy Spirit is as necessary to a life of goodness, holiness, and happiness as the perpetual respiration of air is necessary to animal life. It is a mistake to confine inspiration to particular times and occasions, or to prophets and apostles. Inspiration is for every Christian who trusts to be continually led and inspired by the Spirit of God. Devotion to God is not limited to certain times or occasions. It is always alive and stirring in our thoughts, wills, desires, and affections. If we are all called to this inward holiness and goodness, then a perpetual working of the Spirit of God within us is absolutely necessary.”

Inspiration, by Biblical definition, is God-breathed. Without Him there is no love, no understanding, no forgiveness, no holiness: there is nothing that even resembles life. Not until you take that first breath of God for yourself can you begin to understand. From that time forward He is our breath, no one has to tell you to breathe, it becomes naturally supernatural. 


September 23, 2015

Psa. 46:4 ¶ There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
  the holy habitation of the Most High. 
Far too often, the missing ingredient in the church is joy. As C.S. Lewis famously said, “Joy is the serious business of heaven”. Jonathan Edwards also said, “Heaven is a world of love”. Being loved is the source of our Christian joy. Heaven is a place of joy because it is a world of love. So what about this happy river that David sang about? The river is a picture of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives us a foretaste of heaven, an actual taste of what heaven is like.  

Are you beginning to connect the dots? Joy is connected to God’s love and the Holy Spirit is the outpouring of God’s love. If that is true, the River of God, the Holy Spirit, flows through His church and fills His church with an abundance of joy. Here is how Augustine saw it some 1600 years ago.   
 “ When the mountains shake, when the sea rages, God deserteth not His City, by the streams of the river. What are these streams of the river? That overflowing of the Holy Spirit, of which the Lord said, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, out of his bosom shall flow rivers of living water.” These rivers then flowed out of the bosom of Paul, Peter, John, the other Apostles, the other faithful Evangelists. Since these rivers flowed from one river, many “streams of the river make glad the City of God.” For that ye might know this to be said of the Holy Spirit, in the same Gospel next said the Evangelist, “But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that were to believe on Him should receive. For the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.” Jesus being glorified after His Resurrection, glorified after His Ascension, on the day of Pentecost came the Holy Spirit, and filled the believers, who spake with tongues, and began to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. Hence was the City of God made glad…”

So maybe what our church, or every church, needs is more of the Holy Spirit. David was familiar with the River of the Holy Spirit. He sang about the presence, prophesied by the power of the Spirit, conquered armies by God’s power, and even danced with all his might in the presence of the Lord. So let’s be about that serious business of heaven, step into the river and maybe you will be dancing too. 


September 22, 2015

Acts 9:1 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord,

Do you have bad breath? I am not talking about the stinky kind, but bad breath nevertheless. You see we can only breathe out what we breathe in. The question we have to ask ourselves is this, ‘what atmosphere am I inhaling every day?’ If I put myself in an atmosphere where I am breathing in immorality, that’s what my breath will consist of. Whether it is uncouth profanity or just something not so overtly sinful like politics or athletics. Whatever atmosphere we live in and inhale is what is going to come out of us. If you inhale bad stuff, bad stuff is what is coming out. In the same way, breathing in God and His word fills us with life. Paul was breathing hatred against the church. This is how Stanley Horton describes it.

“‘Breathing out’ here is literally ‘breathing in’. In the greek it indicates it had become characteristic and continuous. In other words, Saul created an atmosphere around him of threats and murder so that he was constantly breathing it in. As oxygen enables an athlete to keep going, so this atmosphere kept Saul going. He put many in prison and voted to put them to death.”
Robertson’s Word Pictures paints the picture of Saul and his fierce anger against Christ and His people.

“Breathing threatening and slaughter… means that threatening and slaughter had come to be the very breath that Saul breathed, like a warhorse who sniffed the smell of battle. He breathed on the remaining disciples the murder that he had already breathed in from the death of the others. He exhaled what he inhaled. The taste of blood in the death of Stephen was pleasing to young Saul and now he reveled in the slaughter of the saints both men and women. In 26:11 Luke quotes Paul as saying that he was “exceedingly mad against them.”
Thankfully Paul had an encounter with God and the atmosphere of His life was radically and permanently changed. He was touched powerfully by the Lord and was filled with the Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit atmosphere became the new environment for Saul to live in. He was now breathing in life and breathing out life. Much of the New Testament is the result of this fresh breath of life. Take a few moments and think about the atmosphere you are living in. Take steps to change it, get rid of that bad breath.

“Moves of God”

September 21, 2015


“I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears. Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? That ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior.” Is. 43:1? 

We live in such an historic time. In my lifetime I have seen many moves of God of which I feel so privileged. From the Jesus Movement in the 70’s to the Charismatic move in New Orleans where our church experienced explosive growth. We watched church growth throughout the world traveling throughout the world. In the early 90’s we saw the iron curtain fall in the Soviet Union and went on multiple trips there evangelizing people who were so hungry for the word of God and His presence! When the twin towers fell on Sept 11, prayer meetings spontaneously erupted. In 1994 a revival of joy swept through our church and we carried this holy river of God to many nations and impacted our church creating Beyond the Grave and many other spontaneous acts. Ten years ago, Katrina blew though our city and from revival deep within we were able to pour into our city in ways that we never dreamed of. The scripture above is ingrained in me when many years ago we did early morning prayer 5 days a week and set ourselves in prayer, praying over the east, west, north and south commanding them to give up! 

I of late, feel such a stirring in my bones that harvest is all around us. Harvest is present, it’s here and yes more is coming! We can live so much in the future expecting some explosion when God is at quietly work among us. We need to live with a sickle in our hands thrusting it forth to everyone we meet. People are desperate for the real and I have to make sure I don’t become too “waiting for the next wave” or the next blood moon thingie to happen before I do anything. God is around us and is moving profusely in the nations. If you ever feel the “call”, well what are you waiting for my friend! Go ye, go ye anywhere! Get into bible school, go on a mission trip! Press in and listen to the voice of God and before you know, you too will be riding the waves of God!  


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