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, December 31, 2012

Advice from John Wesley

While I was still in Bible College, my homiletics teacher, Rev. Jesse K. Moon, taught us that some sermons are timely (meant to be preached for a defined, specific time) and others are timeless (preachable at any time). A few weeks ago, I downloaded to my iPad a book written back in 1746 containing what I consider to be a combo message (both timely and timeless). John Wesley's Advice to a People Called Methodist was written to the fledgling group of congregations forming to become the Methodist denomination. And yet, some 260+ years later, this message and admonition needs to be preached again and again today both to the Body of Christ at large and Pentecostal/Charismatic children's ministry leaders and workers in particular. Below are some passages from the sermon.

"And as much offence as you give by your name, you will give still more by your principles. You will give offence to the bigots for opinions, modes of worship, and ordinances, by laying no more stress upon them; to the bigots against them, by laying so much; to men of form, by insisting so frequently and strongly on the inward power of religion; to moral men, (so called,) by declaring the absolute necessity of faith, in order to acceptance with God. To men of reason you will give offence, by talking of inspiration and receiving the Holy Ghost ...."

" ... Keep in the very path wherein you now tread. Be true to your principles. Never rest again in the dead formality of religion."

"Yet expect not that others will deal thus with you. No: Some will endeavour to fright you out of your principles; some to shame you into a more popular religion, to laugh and rally you out of your singularity."

Wesley's advice back in 1746 is still applicable today. Let me remind you of your DNA. You are a blood-bought child of God, filled with the Holy Spirit, a passionate lover of the Word of God, and a devil-frightening dynamo for the Kingdom. Nothing more. Nothing less. Don't change who you are. Don't dumb down your assignment. Don't settle for anything less than a Holy Spirit inspired, endorsed, and equipped ministry. It's true that not everyone will embrace this way of thinking ... but Heaven does!

Meditate upon Wesley's admonition and then share it with those who work alongside of you. Selah.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas from the Burns Family!

Vickie and I along with America's most adorable grandsons,
our 2-year-old Gavin and 5-year-old Joey,
pray that this is a blessed, Christ-filled season
and that the upcoming year be a testimony of the 
goodness of our God!

Monday, December 17, 2012

The "New" Normal? (Give Me That Old Time Religion)

I'll have to admit up front that I don't watch much television. Give me an episode or two of Wheel of Fortune and perhaps a couple of cop shows and I'll have my quota of television for the week. Oh ... if there is a good World War II or Korean War movie (it has to be black and white - NO COLOR - to be considered good) on the Fox Movie Channel or Turner Classic Movie network, I'll gladly push everything aside for a couple of hours.

This year, I've seen commercials about a television program that is apparently a hit comedy entitled The New Normal. I've never watched an episode. Never have. Never will. Why? Here's what the NBC network says on the internet about this program ... "Two gay dads and a baby and mother create a totally new kind of family comedy." I won't waste the energy or the blog space to begin to tell what is wrong with this new normal.

Let's take a minute and look at what is considered normal in the life of New Testament church. Better yet, let me quote from one of my favorite preachers and authors, Leonard Ravenhill.

"In the early church, signs and wonders and miracles followed. They cast out demons, blindness and paralysis. That's normal Christianity!"

Our children are buying this "new" normal propagated on television because we haven't demonstrated the New Testament, Holy Spirit-filled normal. The fingerprints of the Holy Spirit can't be found on much of what we do. Let me continue the quote from Ravenhill.

"We're so sub-normal, if we ever became normal, they (the world) will think we're abnormal."

I'm here today to cry out "Give me that old time religion." It doesn't have to be packaged the same as in days gone bye. The tools might be different. The techniques might be radically different. But even with all of these changes, the New Testament normal is the only acceptable normal. What the Holy Spirit did in the Book of Acts is what He wants to do today. The same Holy Spirit that filled the upper room in Acts 2 and walked out of the room with the 120 enabling them to be the Church wants to fill your children's service and talk and demonstrate His presence.

Come on children's ministry leader. Let's preach what normal is. Better yet, let's demonstrate what normal is. Let's turn the church (a building containing lifeless, powerless, motionless people) into the Church (a living, breathing, power-packed representative of the most high God).

Monday, December 10, 2012

Let's Turn This Around!

William Booth, the founder and general of the Salvation Army, is quoted as saying:

"In answer to your inquiry, I consider the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and heaven without hell."

Church, are we there yet? Then, children's ministry leader, you and I can change this. Through the anointed, Spirit-led children's ministry at 7255 South Military Trail, Lake Worth, Florida (feel free to substitute your churches' address), let's create a generation of boys and girls who will go to church so that they can become the Church (notice the difference in the lower and upper case "c" in the word "church"). Let's turn this around ... starting next weekend!

Monday, December 3, 2012

What is Your Expectation Level?

I love reading the nineteenth chapter of Acts. Each time that I read it, I see things that somehow or another suddenly appear in this chapter that I've never noticed before. I know what is happening. As I read it over and over again, the Holy Spirit turns the black ink into red ink. I love when this happens.

Recently, I was reading this chapter again and I had trouble reading past verse 6. Let me share the verse with you:

"Paul put his hands on their heads and the Holy Spirit entered them.
From that moment on, they were praising God in tongues
and talking about God's actions." 
Acts 19:6 (The Message Bible)

Here is what the Holy Spirit told me in this verse. When Paul laid his hands upon the Ephesians, he got what he expected. I know that this truth is so, so simple. But evidently, it must be too simple ... simple enough that many have overlooked it.

Consider this. When you lay hands upon the children in your ministry, what do you expect? If the truth be known, many would be shocked if anything happened. The shock would cause them to pass out and their co-workers would have to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to revive them. To watch and listen to some leaders and workers pray, you can tell that the expectation level is mighty low.

That wasn't the case with Paul. In fact, just a couple of verses later it states that Paul was speaking boldly. His ministry in Ephesus was marked with boldness and confidence.

Let me challenge you. Lay hands upon the children and pray with authority, expecting God to supernaturally, instantaneously enter into the children and deliver what He has promised. Pray with confidence. Don't be timid. Your reputation isn't on the line. Move your expectation meter up to the highest level and get ready. Testimonies will soon follow!