Language Translation

Books I'm Reading

  • "Surviving the Anointing" by David Ravenhill

Books I've Read

  • "Revival God's Way" by Leonard Ravenhill
  • "Tongues: Beyond the Upper Room" by Kenneth E. Hagin
  • "The Dynamic Duo: The Holy Spirit & You" by Rick Renner

Monday, May 30, 2011

Translating the Untranslatable

I recently received an email from a friend thanking me for the blog. He went on to say that he was amazed at how many blogs that I could write about the Holy Spirit. Well, to date, there have been just over 200 blog postings, a new posting every Monday for the past four years. Occassionally, I'll post an interesting idea for a service or activity for your children's ministry (i.e, our Easter Candy Drop or a Gross Out Saturday) or a no brag, just fact picture of the incredibly beautiful Burns family. But, I can safely guess that at least 95% of the postings have been about the Holy Spirit and ushering in a last day move of God's Spirit in our children.

This week, let me share this thought that I read some time ago from the respected Scottish theologian, William Barclay. Many of you are familiar with Barclay and perhaps have the Barclay Translation in your set of Bible translations. In his commentary of the Gospel of John, Barclay writes, "But Jesus does not leave us to struggle the Christian life alone. He would send us another Helper. The Greek word is parakletos, which is really untranslatable. The Authorized Version renders it Comforter, which, although hallowed by time and usage, is not a good translation. Moffatt translates it as Helper. It is only when we examine this word parakletos in detail that we catch something of the riches of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit."

Barclay is so right. The one word Comforter just doesn't adequately introduce the Third Person of the Godhead. Perhaps the best attempt at telling who the Holy Spirit is can be found in the Amplified Bible which, when telling of the Comforter, always includes this insertion "Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby". Again I come back to Barclay and repeat, "It is only when we examine this word parakletos in detail that we catch something of the riches of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit."

Do you have another four years? Can you see how it would be so, so easy to spend blog entry after blog entry on each of the aspects (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby) of the Parakletos and then additional weeks on how each portion of His personality and assignment relates to those of us ministering to children?

This week, do yourself a favor. Take William Barclay's advice and begin to explore the riches of this Parakletos. Take time to discover Him in each of the aspects shown by the Amplified Bible. Take time to study and then journal what He reveals to you as you begin to know Him as a Counselor and then as a Helper and then ... Then, watch out. You and your ministry will never, ever be the same again!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Seeing & Hearing

While reading Acts 2 recently, the Holy Spirit placed a special emphasis on verse 33.

"Jesus was lifted up to heaven and is now at God's right side. The Father has given the Holy Spirit to Jesus as he promised. So Jesus has poured out that Spirit, and this is what you now see and hear." Acts 2:33 (New Century Version)

That day, the Holy Spirit emphasized the three words "see and hear" and challenged me to look at our services through the eyes of our children. I felt that the Holy Spirit was asking me these questions ...
1. Can the children see His presence? This comes from my sensitivity to flowing together with Him. I can't be so glued to the prepared lesson that I can't deviate so that I can follow His promptings.
2. Can the children hear my passion and longing for Him? I sensed the Holy Spirit urge me to insure that the children see and hear my passion for Him and His presence. I felt challenged to emphasize aloud my passion for Him and my desire to see Him move among our children in that particular service. I was reminded that through the children seeing my love for the Holy Spirit and hearing the cry of my heart for Him to demonstrate His presence the children would follow my example and begin to long for Him.
3. Can the children hear Him pray aloud through me? One of the benefits of being baptized in the Holy Spirit is my heavenly prayer language. In reading Acts 2:33, I felt challenged again by the Holy Spirit to insure that I pray aloud in my heavenly prayer language and urge the children to join in with me in our services. Before doing so, it is important to explain that as we pray in other tongues the Holy Spirit will speak to God for and through us telling things to God that will open the door for great things in our service that day. And, this must become a part of each and every service.

As the people on the Day of Pentecost saw and heard the Holy Spirit, they were convinced and yielded to Him and their lives were changed. That is fruit that I want from my children's ministry services. So, from now on, I'm going to make sure that there is a lot of seeing and hearing going on!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Barbeque Tale of Woe!

Saturday was an awesome day at my church. We had perhaps a couple of thousand people on our property for Fun in the Son, a day that I promoted as being a family event for a church family. If the people didn't have fun, it sure wasn't my fault. In addition to having vendors with tables filled with beautiful crafts, Fun in the Son had awesome live music, games, and a parking lot filled with carnival games including a big ferris wheel, a bungee jump, a mechanical bull, and a rock climbing wall. The kids (and grown up kids, aka adults) loved the dunk tank ... especially when different members of the pastoral staff were on the tank. When I was on the dunk tank for two different time slots, the lines immediately became long lines. Throw in the grilled hamburgers, hotdogs, and pizza ... it was an awesome day.

One of the challenges of the day was the barbeque chicken dinners. In purchasing the chicken quarters for 360 dinners, it was necessary to go to a restaurant supply company and purchase the chicken by the case. Little did I know how many chicken quarters were in a 40 pound box. I took the word of an employee at the store and purchased 10 cases of chicken and was confident that I had purchased too much chicken. About 5 hours into our Fun in the Son, I learned that we were some 100 meals short on chicken. And, to make matters worse, not knowing how many chickens he had cooked, our barbequer had quit after cooking the last chicken quarter a couple of hours earlier.

Now, I faced two major problems. First, it would take a while for me to find what I needed. No local store would have 100 chicken quarters in their meat department. Second, my cook informed me that the charcoals were cold. He would now have to start all over with new charcoal and it would take a couple of hours to get new charcoal hot enough to do the job. I was facing 100 people that wanted to have a meal. I had nothing to give these people and no fire to produce the meals once the chicken could be located.

How did I solve this problem? Thank God for Sam's Wholesale Club. As a last and only resort, I went and purchased 25 rotisserie chickens and then cut them into quarters and served the meals.

Here's an interesting observation that can be gleaned from my barbeque fiasco. In our children's ministry, it is all too common for us to walk into our classrooms with a Fun in the Son barbeque fiasco awaiting us. We don't have what we need and our fire is diminished or extinguished. The busyness of life during the last seven days has caused many children's pastors and teachers to enter into a ministry situation with nothing to give. And, to make matters worse, we try to produce from a cold, fireless spirit.

In Acts 3, Peter and John were presented with a challenge/ministry opportunity similar to what we face each week. Thankfully, they didn't have to go to Sam's Wholesale Club. Instead, they had what they needed ("such as I have give I thee") and the fire to deliver ("in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk").

Here is the answer to preventing ministry Fun in the Son barbeque fiascos. It is seen in the lives of Peter and John. Have communion with the Holy Spirit. Walk with Him. Talk with Him. Enjoy Him in the public services. Enjoy intimacy with Him in the private times. In doing so, the "such as I have give I thee" will enable you to always have what is needed when you need it and there will always be the fire to deliver for those in need!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Communion of the Spirit

Today's blog entry won't be lengthy. Consider this NOW verse ....

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen." 2 Corinthians 13:14

Just a passing thought ... when was the last time that you made time to spend to have communion with the Holy Spirit? The concept of having communion with the Holy Spirit might be a foreign idea to you. According to the Strong's Hebrew/Greek Dictionary, the word "communion" comes from the Greek word "koinonia" (pronounced koy-nohn-ee'-ah) and means partnership, i.e. (lit.) participation, or (social) intercourse, or (pecuniary) benefaction:--(to) communicate (-ation), communion, (contri-), distribution, fellowship.

This communion doesn't just happen. You will notice that in the last paragraph that I used the words "made time". This communion comes when you make time by pushing other things to the side and pull away from things/people pressing for you and your time.

So, rather than read my thoughts about communing with the Holy Spirit, I'll quit writing so that you can shut off your computer/smartphone/tablet and push everything aside so that this time of intimacy can begin. He has been patiently waiting for you. Let the communion begin!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Let's RAZE Hell!

Several years ago, there was a series of special television programs entitled Breaking the Magicians' Code: Magic's Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed in which the secrets behind many magic tricks and illusions were explained. In these episodes, viewers could finally learn how that a lady was cut in half with a buzz saw and then restored or how a caged tiger was instantly replaced with two or three ladies or how a chained, handcuffed magician submerged in a tank of water escaped. Needless to say, these programs caused quite an uproar from professional magicians. Exposing their behind-the-scene secrets limited their ability to fool their audiences.

This week, allow me to share a behind-the-scene "secret" for what happens when a Holy Ghost filled children's ministry worker walks into a classroom filled with boys and girls. Ready? You won't find this secret on a national television program. But, it is readily seen in the Word.

The "secret" is revealed in Mark 5 and Luke 8 in the account of the deliverance of the demoniac of Gadara. In reading this story, we learn that the demonic powers saw Jesus "a far off". In other words, they knew when Someone with power was invading their territory. They were on the lookout for any threat to their activity. Notice this. When they saw a far off the Spirit-filled, Spirit-led, Spirit-empowered Son of God, they instantly reacted. Their panic caused them to respond. They knew that things were about to change.

When a Spirit-filled, Spirit-led, Spirit-empowered teacher walks into a room, all of hell takes notice. They see you coming. They have been fearing the time when they would come in contact with you. They know that their business is about to be relocated (as seen in the demons fleeing into the pigs in the Gospel's account of the demonized man). As soon as your feet enter into the classroom, demons and Satanic imps throughout all of hell begin posting notices on their Facebook accounts and Twitter accounts are quickly opened as tweets are flying stating "Oh no. He's back! What are we going to do? Where can we go?" As a/the Son of God who is filled with the Spirit of God (I've just described Jesus ... and YOU) walks into Satan's domain, panic will ring throughout the corridors of hell!

Doesn't that excite you? Let's begin to see what hell sees. Let's recognize that Satan's imps and demons know who you are. They tremble in fear as they anticipate what will happen as you work together with the Holy Spirit. Let's walk in that knowledge and boldness and dare to do exploits for His Kingdom. Let's do it. Let's walk into the classroom to raze (I know exactly how I spelled the word ... RAZE ... which means to destroy, demolish, annihilate) hell.