Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Oh my goodness...New Zealand played South Africa last night in a semi-final of the World Cup of Cricket. It was an AMAZING game!! Either could have won it in the final moments of the game...but NZ prevailed...just!!! This is our first time in the final of the Cricket World Cup...and what a way to make it! For those of you who have never seen cricket...or think it is a boring game...watch these highlights:

The Black Caps dream lives on after they won what must rate as one of the most memorable of all World Cup games by four wickets. Grant Elliott, perceived by some to be the weak link in the New Zealand batting, ended a wonderful, pulsating semi-final by hitting the penultimate ball of the match from the finest fast bowler on the planet high over wide long-on and into the heaving stands to send 40,000 people into raptures.

As the ball sailed over the boundary, Elliott raised his arms aloft. It was, said the South Africa captain, AB de Villiers, afterwards, scarcely holding back the tears, the shot of his life. Dale Steyn, who had been treated harshly in previous overs, sank to his haunches in utter despair. Yet again South Africa have fallen at a hurdle they found insurmountable. We said there was nothing between the sides but this was astonishing. Perhaps the magnificent crowd and the support of the entire nation made the crucial difference.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Zion Thunder Drum

Harvey Woods helped me to make this Zion Thunder Drum. We made it based on Micah 4. This is a prophetic sound calling for worshipers to arise from all nations and come to Zion. There are 2 tones - 25 feet and 15 feet of PVC pipe. If you have suggestions to help us improve the instrument...please let me know. Make sure you listen with speakers or good headphones, and you will hear the great sound:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Psalm 36: Man's Wickedness - God's Perfection

In Psalm 36, there are 6 verses that describe man’s wickedness (verses 1-4; 11-12) and then 6 verses that describe God’s perfections (vs. 6-10). There are 13 descriptions of man’s wickedness, and 14 accounts of God’s perfections.

The number 13 in the bible represents rebellion and lawlessness. Nimrod, the mighty hunter who was 'before the Lord' (meaning he tried to take the place of God - Genesis 10:9), was the 13th in Ham's line (Ham was one of Noah's three sons who survived the flood). Thirteen represents all the governments created by men, and inspired by Satan, in outright rebellion against the Lord. The dragon, a symbol for Satan, is found 13 times in Revelation. Satan is behind all rebellion against God.

The number 14 in the bible represents deliverance and salvation. It is also a double of the number 7, which represents completion. In the verses of this Psalm that describe God’s perfection, there are 14 pronouns: (Your, You).

Here are the 13 descriptions of man’s wickedness:

The wicked man has no fear of God
The wicked man flatters himself
The wicked man loves to sin
The wicked man hates others
The wicked man speaks deceitfully
The wicked man turns from wisdom
The wicked man turns from goodness
The wicked man plots evil through the night
The wicked man walks in evil
The wicked man loves what God hates
The wicked man crushes others with their pride
The wicked man pushes people around
The wicked man falls down and is unable to rise again

Here are the 14 descriptions of God perfections:

God’s mercy is as vast as the heavens
God’s faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds
God’s righteousness is as powerful as the mountains
God’s justice is as deep as the oceans
God’s care extends to every man and creature
God’s love is precious and unfailing
God’s shelter under His wings is secure
God’s provision is abundant
God's drink springs from His hand
God’s pleasures flow like a river
God’s life pours out like a fountain
God’s light gives us light for our eyes
God’s kindness extends to all who know Him 
God’s virtue covers the upright in heart

The number 14 also represents David - the numerics of his name add up to 14: D_V_D represent the numbers 4+6+4=14. David was the 14th generation from Abraham. Then there were another 14 generations to babylon and another 14 generations to Jesus (Matt. 1:1-17). Jesus is the Divine King who is descended from David.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Seattle Seahawks Superbowl Bound!

I am so happy for the Seattle Seahawks - they had so many set-Several Seahawks and backs this year...and that last game against the Packers was so horrible for 3 1/2 quarters. My goodness it looked as though their season was over. Any reasonable person would have written them off...but...they kept believing in themselves and didn't give up. 

So many things had to go right in such a short amount of time in order for the Seahawks to catch up to the Packers and finally win the game...but they did. Against all odds, and with fans streaming out of the stadium early, they fought their way back into the game and won. Now they are headed to the Superbowl in 2 weeks.

God bless you Russell Wilson - let's do it again!!

Several Seahawks and 1 Packer kneeling in prayer after the game

Quarterback Russell Wilson weeping as he prays at the end of the game

 Oh the joy!!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thanksgiving History: The English Roots of the The Pilgrims and the Plymouth Colony

November 26, 2014 By John Rabon

Every fourth Thursday of November, Americans come together to celebrate Thanksgiving, a meal that commemorates the Pilgrims making it through their first winter at Plymouth Colony. However, long before this holiday became an institution or even before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, they were English separatists. Ultimately discovering that being opposed to the Church of England is not the best way to get along with the authorities, they picked up and moved to America by way of the Netherlands. There, they sought to live life and practice religion as they wanted, becoming a part of America’s early history.

The English Dissenter movement kicked off in the 16th Century and comprised many groups, including the Puritans, Anabaptists, Quakers, and more, often referred to collectively as Separatists. One of these groups, the Brownists, originated with Robert Browne, a minister who believed that church congregations should govern their own affairs rather than have them determined by the Church of England. One of his adherents, a Brownist pastor named Richard Clyfton, began preaching at a church in Bawtry near Scrooby after being suspended from the Church of England under suspicion of nonconformity. As the government’s attitude became increasingly hostile to the Separatists, they began to meet in secret in contravention of the law that banned services not connected with the Church of England.

When Tobias Matthew replaced the more sympathetic Matthew Hutton as the Archbishop of York, he began a crackdown on Separatists in an effort to purge the archdiocese of any nonconforming influences. The Scrooby Separatists by this time were meeting secretly in house of William Brewster, a former diplomatic assistant to the Netherlands. As the ability to worship in England became increasingly difficult, he used his connections to help the congregation relocate to Holland.

Eventually, however, the Dutch culture didn’t agree with their stricter morality, and as the children started to identify more with the Dutch culture than the group’s conservative attitude, the Separatists felt it was necessary to leave before their cultural identity was extinguished. Not wanting to head back to England, they began to turn their attention to the west, where England and other European nations were establishing colonies. Ultimately, the Separatists felt they should settle near Virginia for the potential trade and protection the larger colony would offer, but far enough away that they could practice their beliefs without interference or influence.

The Pilgrims were then able to negotiate for their own colonial settlement that was to be located to the north of the Virginia colony and called New England. As they set to leave, Brewster, being the oldest layperson in the congregation, was tapped to lead them in the New World. Since they didn’t have enough money to be completely independent, they formed a partnership with financial backers, with the investors supplying resources to get the colony started in return for natural resources harvested in America.

Originally two ships were going to set out for the new colony, the Speedwell and the Mayflower, but the Speedwell had serious structural problems that forced the group to turn back for England and eventually leave on just the Mayflower. The original destination was near the Hudson River in New York, but winds and bad weather forced the ship further north into Cape Cod. Arriving in November, weather conditions made it increasingly difficult to get out of the cape, so the settlers decided to establish their colony in Cape Cod and named it Plymouth for the place from which they had sailed.

Arrival didn’t bring about a happy ending, though. While the settlement was being constructed, many of the colonists continued to live on the ship and had to contend with harsh conditions that brought about illness that reduced their numbers from 102 to 52. Eventually, the Pilgrims came into contact with the Pokanoket Wampanoag tribe and made a treaty of mutual protection with them.

One of the Wampanoag men, the legendary Squanto, helped the Pilgrims become successful in growing Indian corn to sustain them. Squanto had his own ties to England, having been once captured by English soldiers and living in London after his escape. His experiences in England led him to act as an interpreter and guide for the Pilgrims, helping to transform the struggling Pilgrim colony into a successful settlement.

Though the English ties of the Pilgrims fall by the wayside in the celebration of the holiday, it is worth remembering the backstory of America and the role that England played in its formation.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Poetry - Bonnie Wilks

In a week from today, we will be celebrating the life of Charlotte Baker - in a worship service in Dallas. (Please come if you can - we will worship into the night just as she would want us to!) One of the things I am most grateful to her for, is her vision for the restoration of the arts...not just to have arts restored to the Church, but to see arts restored to worship and the prophetic realm. All this to say how much I have always loved the poetry of Bonnie Saul Wilks. Take a moment today to meditate on these words and draw near to the Lord. Bonnie always takes us on such a sublime journey...stay a while…linger in this one thought:

One Thought Alone
Bonnie Wilks

Mortality and eternity
Pull me at once
In opposite directions.
I am indentured and indebted, living in realtime
And heavenly seasons. I am a soldier and princess at once, waging war and dancing before my King.
But one day I'll let
Go this world in its
Decay and corruption to
Fly through golden skies
Awash with Angels with
Sounding silver trumpets
With one thought alone--
To see His face
To kiss His hands
To bury my head
In His riven side