I am sitting on the balcony of my hotel room here in L.A.. Its a beautiful morning! To the west of me I can see the ocean, Malibu, Venice Bch. and the Santa Monica pier is just minutes away. East is the big city, north is the Hollywood sign and I am surrounded on three sides by majestic mountains. The scenery and landscape in Califonia is amazing and varied! You can be surfing at breakfast and snow skiing before 10 am.
I have been in ministry this week at the “Dream Center” and I am preparing to do TBN tonight with Matt and Laurie Crouch. This has been a jarring time for me as I have witnessed the phenomenal ministry firsthand of Pastor Matthew and Tommy Barnett and their church. On Thursday I toured the Dream Center, a former hospital converted into a 400,000 sq. foot oasis of Christ’s love. Multitudes are being delivered, fed, cared for and ministered to. 2000 meals a day are served there and 35000 people a week ministered to. 600+ live full time on the property and their lives are being changed every day for the glory of our King.
The church is amazing! From the most repressed and addicted, to multi-millioniares, to stars of current hit shows and movies, to the top producers in music today….all of them are there. From every walk and station in life. The people in that church are like the landscape of this area, varied and beautiful. I have been running in the mornings, and my run has carried me right through Beverly Hills and the famous 90210 area code. I have been struck by something powerful. I have ran by beautiful homes, full of beautiful people, driving beautiful cars living what seems to be a beautiful life. I have ran through awesome public parks in Beverly Hills….and as I ran through these parks I saw something very surprising…..HOMELESS IN THE 90210! Yep, there they were right in Beverly Hills!
This was such a dichotomy to me. I realized something afresh….These people all need Jesus! They are as different as the oceans of California are from the deserts…But they were the same in one way…they desperately need the love of Christ. Whether 90210, 32174, or any other zip code, I want to share with everyone HIS precious love!
See you here next time!!!
I am presently about six miles above the surface of the earth flying through the air at a high rate of speed. No the rapture hasn’t taken place, I am on a nonstop flight to L. A.! I will be ministering tonight at the L.A, Dream Center Church with Pastors Tommy and Matthew Barnett. This is truly a privilege in every sense of the word.
This great church was founded by dreamers for dreamers. This mighty ministry has been instrumental in rescuing, loving and caring for the least, the last and the lost. Each week they have about five thousand or so in attendance, but the major thrust of the ministry is still outreach to the hurting. When the ministry began, it was just a dream, beating in the heart of an awesome man and his son. What made their dream so great was this…..they dreamed for others. Their dream was so much more than just for them. They dreamed of an oasis of love and caring right in the middle of the most repressed and struggling in all of Los Angeles. What a dream!
That’s when you know your dream is from the Lord, when it’s about more than just you. Any dream fulfilled that only benefits and blesses you isn’t much of a dream at all. The biggest dreams and the best dreams are those we dream for others! Join me in 2009…..Dream for others and DREAM BIG!!!
See you here next time!!!
I love the Christmas story! There are so many lessons we can learn from the story of Christ! One of the greatest is the provision of the heavenly Father.
Those three wise guys we talked about last time came to worship Christ bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Each of these items were of extreme value. In fact the frankincense and myrrh, were more valuable in equal weight than the gold was. This is significant because if you remember the story, Jesus, Joseph and Mary were going to have to make an expensive and arduous journey into Egypt. No doubt they needed resources for their future, and those gifts were worth an incredible amount of money. God used the faithfulness and obedience of the wise men to provide for HIS son. Don’t ever forget, that child who laid in a lowly manger 2000 years ago was the SON OF GOD! Joseph may have raised Jesus, but God almighty was his Father. I guess you could say that God payed child support!
Isn’t it great to know that God our heavenly Father is not a dead beat dad? When God births a thing, God will provide for it! This is why we must make sure that our dreams, our futures and our destinies are all God birthed! As children of God we have the right to claim child support from our heavenly Father!
Have A great Christmas Child of God!
See you here next time!!!
I love the Christmas story. When you stack the story of Jesus up next to the stories of Santa, Frosty and Rudolph, the real Christmas story wins hands down! Action, romance and adventure all rolled into one!
Some of my favorite players in the whole Christmas drama are the three wise men. They searched for Jesus and when they found him, they immediately fell down and worshipped him. Bear in mind, they had just met Jesus, he was but a babe who had done no miracles at all. He hadn’t healed the sick, raised anyone from the dead or fed even 1, much less 5000. He had yet to even speak a word. So it is powerful to me as I read what the wise men did, they fell down and worshipped him! Oh how I long for that kind of worship to live in my life! This is mighty because these men were not worshipping Jesus for what he had done, they were worshipping him for who he was. We could learn a lot about worship from these wise guys!
Why is it that we so often struggle in worshipping Jesus, espeicially after all he has done for us? I have so many reasons to worship him, bless him and adore him…..But tonight, on this Christmas Eve I want it to be different. Tonight I want to be one of the wise guys who worship him not just for what he has done, but for who he is…. JESUS, My King. My Lord, My Light and my Greatest Hope!
Pt. 2 Tomorrow!!!
This has been an incredible weekend, intense but incredible. I had 8 services all together. Friday and Saturday night our church hosted “A Calvary Christmas” and was packed with chairs. Saturday morning early we began ministering in the prisons and I was blessed to preach in two great services. Sunday morning brought three awesome worship experiences, and finally Sunday night I was in Panama City, Fl. at a great church…Whew!
Truthfully, as I write this blog, I am pooped with a capital “P”. But you know what? I am so very grateful! Grateful to God for the gift of ministry, grateful for the chance to be spent for HIS work. I want to be currency in HIS hands. I don’t want to be like money wasted, spent on nothing with nothing to show for it. I want to be spent serving my King, my family, the lost, and the saved.
I love Jesus so much today. I love and I trust him. I place myself in his hands trusting him to spend me wisely, to spend me on what matters most. This Christmas season I encourage you to place yourself in His hands and let him spend you.
Whenever we are spent by Jesus, we are never wasted!
I will be back…..TOMMOROW!!!
This weekend was so beautiful at Calvary. On Saturday morning we bussed in close to 600 kids for the Jesus birthday party. It was truly awesome and it blessed my heart to see their smiling faces. For a lot of them, this was the biggest part of their Christmas. The greatest gift we gave was not wrapped in paper or topped with a bow. The greatest gift was the gospel. About 150 children gave their hearts to Jesus for the first time.
On Sunday we fed well over a hundred homeless men and women before and after second service. The love of Christ flowed like a river! After third service we love on about 80 single Moms and their kids and this year we provided Christmas gifts and stockings. Then to top it all off some of our people made a giant Christmas dinner for all the Pastors and their families.
Ministry is an intense thing, but never forget, ministry is a privilege. Webster’s defines privilege like this; “something regarded as a rare opportunity and bringing particular pleasure.” Jesus said in the Book of Matthew, “when you have done it (ministered) to the humblest of these, you have done it unto me.” That is so awesome! Anything we do in ministry for others, Jesus views it just as if we did it for HIM! Wow! What a privilege!
This Christmas season minister to someone who needs it, reach out in love, help a needy family, be kind to a homeless person! Remember, you are ministering to Jesus when you minister to them! What a privilege!
See you here next time!!!
Forgiveness is like setting a prisoner free….and then realizing the prisoner is you!
Forgiveness is beautiful and precious, but for many of us, forgiveness is a fight. Often times we think of forgiving someone who hurt or wronged us and within ourselves we struggle greatly. One of the main reasons we refuse forgiveness is because we feel those who have wronged us don’t deserve our forgiveness. But I have learned, those who deserve forgiveness the least, actually need it the most! It’s easy to say, “after all they cost me, after all they put me through, I cannot forgive, in fact…I need to get even!” But listen, the only people you should try to get even with are those who have helped you! You can never get ahead as long as your trying to get even!
Forgive and let it go. The person you forgive may not even want your forgiveness, and your forgiveness may not set them free. But here’s what your forgiveness will do, it will set you free! You’ll get unshackled, unhindered and unbound. Forgive today, don’t spend even one more minute bound by unforgiveness! Unforgiveness does more damage to you than it does the person you refuse to forgive.
When we harbor hate and unforgiveness, what results is the slow suicide of our destiny. It is not worth it. When we forgive, we win the fight, and you know what? It’s time to win the fight. Forgive your enemies, ITS THE BEST REVENGE!
See you here next time!!!