I recently underwent open heart surgery to replace an aortic valve which had been defective since birth. The entire ordeal took our family quite by surprise as I was showing no symptoms of heart problems. Here is how the events unfolded.
All of us at some point in time have been really thirsty. You probably don’t have any problem recalling how a cold drink of water feels going down your dry throat. I can remember as a child my brother and me spending some time with our Pop and Granny Coker during the summer when school was out. We would run and play outside, get hot, the sweat just pouring off us and work up a big thirst.
Though it gives me much joy to see what my children have become now that they are grown, I must admit that there are times when I miss certain experiences of their childhood. Some of those “magical” moments would have to include birthdays and Christmas.
Early one morning around 5:00 o’clock I was sitting on the love seat in our living room having a time worship and prayer. During my prayer time I was intensely praying for God to show me his glory. Just as I got the words out of my mouth the room lit up with a bright light. My heart felt like it would explode from the force of the pressure. I could feel it beating rapidly in my throat. Fear gripped me as I sat frozen to the love seat. Never in my life have I been so afraid. It is almost indescribable.
When my wife and I were deciding on what names to give our children, we determined that at least one of each of their names would be the name of one of their relatives. We thought it would be good for each of those names to be carried on to the next generation. Little did we know that each of their names would correspond with either a physical or character trait that each of them would possess. We named our first born daughter Amber. We used the name Amber because of the description Ezekiel gives of the brightness in which God appeared to him (Ezekiel 1:4, 27, 8:2). Imagine the surprise when she was born with amber colored hair. No one in either of our families has that color of hair.
Prophetic voices all across the world agree that we are in the last days before the coming of the Lord Jesus. In Acts Peter is recorded as saying, For he (Messiah, Jesus) must remain in heaven until the time of the final restoration of all things, as God promised long ago through his prophets. (Acts 3: 21 NLT) In other words Jesus is literally held hostage in heaven until all things are restored. So, in these last days, God is about the business of restoration. I believe he is revealing and restoring the biblical concepts of worship, evangelism and the Kingdom of God to a temple of people whose one desire is to see his will done on earth as it is in heaven.
In his gospel, Luke records a story of a woman who was not ashamed to display her affection toward Jesus.
One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at the table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.
I have been leading worship in small groups and corporate settings for many years. No one loves worship leading more than I. The rush that comes when the band starts playing and the audience begins to respond can only be described by those who have experienced it. While leading worship in small groups I have seen the floors of dens and living rooms covered with people on their faces in the presence of God. On many occasions I believe we could have sung Mary had a Little Lamb and God would have shown up.
I began playing football when I was in the third grade. Year after year I suited up in the spring for spring drills and again in July to prepare for the season. For ten years (that’s a professional career for some folks) I banged heads with my fellow team mates vying for a starting position. The off season was spent running and lifting weights to stay in shape in hopes of gaining an advantage when the season started. All the benefits of that hard work were realized on the opening kick off of the first game.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:3-6 ESV)