Thursday, June 18, 2015


I was at a prayer meeting last night.  When I read about what happened in Charleston, a chill went down my spine.  It was happening at the same time 12 of us were praying in the Upper Room at Chapelwood.

I'm not a harbinger of doom, as I don't believe in putting that out there.  I don't know if these are "the birth pangs" before the tribulation or just a terrible, random, act of a man possessed by something evil - himself or otherwise.

But as my friend Cherri and I prayed together and she told me about her connection to the church in Charleston (where she lived for 4 years) - it hit me: what is going on in our church, city and nation is going to continue to meet resistance and it might escalate.  The Revival that is taking place - and has been building for some years - will not go unchallenged.

My heart aches for this church and the families who lost loved ones in such a grisly manner.  My heart aches because they were my family too.  We are blood relations because we shared the Blood of Christ (a mystery of our faith).  Yet, I rejoice in the fact they are home now.  They are now safe, wrapped in white robes and crowned with righteousness.  It is another, difficult mystery of our faith - to be so sad, yet able to not be in despair when we look (any type of) death in the face.  Because I share the same faith and hope they did, there is no longer a sting to death, even if it hurts very much.

I don't know how Body of Christ in Charleston will come back from this but I predict it will be spectacular.  Everything I'm hearing coming out by the public officials and speakers is centered on rebuilding in love.  They will know we are Christians by our love - even especially our love for our enemies.  In the coming weeks, months and years, I pray the Lord will take this event and make it so people will focus on the truth of the Gospel, what they have in common, not what they don't.  Forgiveness makes a way where nothing else will, so I ask the Lord to guide that city and His Church down the narrow road, the more excellent way so His glory will be shown through His people in ridiculously miraculous ways.

I pray for that young man.  I pray he is caught and I also pray for mercy.  He will face the consequences of his actions because the Lord has instituted authority on this earth and there is music to be faced.  But I pray for the Lord to help him, for his soul to be saved and his life to be one of transformation.  I pray those affected by his violence will forgive him.  I pray those heaping coals will drive him to his face before Holy God and he will find salvation and peace.

I also pray this will embolden Christians everywhere across the nation to stand up IN LOVE.  I pray this will galvanize the Body of Christ to preach, teach, baptize, heal, exorcise and serve just as Jesus did.  I pray we will see the need to take our calling, our mission seriously and GET TO IT.  Time is of the essence, whether Jesus comes back in our lifetime or not.

There are no easy answers here.  I do not claim to have any.

But I know the weapons of our warfare.  They are: 
  • love
  • truth
  • joy
  • hope
  • peace
  • patience
  • kindness
  • goodness
  • gentleness
  • faithfulness
  • self-control
  • mercy
  • graciousness
  • life-giving speech
  • forgiveness
  • trust
  • prayer
  • praise
  • worship
  • service
  • giving
  • witness
  • testimony
We need everybody.  We have room for everybody.  Everyone is called and will be equipped for their part in what the Lord is doing right now.

Pray for Charleston.  Pray for the Body of Christ.  Pray for your neighbor.  Pray.  Hosanna in the Highest - MARANATHA, COME QUICKLY LORD!

Write this to Smyrna, to the Angel of the church. The Beginning and Ending, the First and Final One, the Once Dead and Then Come Alive, speaks:  
I can see your pain and poverty—constant pain, dire poverty—but I also see your wealth. And I hear the lie in the claims of those who pretend to be good Jews, who in fact belong to Satan’s crowd. Fear nothing in the things you’re about to suffer—but stay on guard! Fear nothing! The Devil is about to throw you in jail for a time of testing—ten days. It won’t last forever.  Don’t quit, even if it costs you your life. Stay there believing. I have a Life-Crown sized and ready for you. Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches. Christ-conquerors are safe from Devil-death. (Revelation 2:8-11, MSG)
God appeared to Solomon that very night and said,  
I accept your prayer; yes, I have chosen this place as a temple for sacrifice, a house of worship. If I ever shut off the supply of rain from the skies or order the locusts to eat the crops or send a plague on my people, and my people, my God-defined people, respond by humbling themselves, praying, seeking my presence, and turning their backs on their wicked lives, I’ll be there ready for you: I’ll listen from heaven, forgive their sins, and restore their land to health. From now on I’m alert day and night to the prayers offered at this place. Believe me, I’ve chosen and sanctified this Temple that you have built: My Name is stamped on it forever; my eyes are on it and my heart in it always. (2 Chron 7:12-16, MSG)