RIP TIDE...




It was an interesting day yesterday. We were at the beach enjoying the waves, sun and sand. The red flag was flying when we arrived, so we knew we needed to be careful. 

Winston, my brother in law, and I were looking at the waves and the people swimming. Suddenly, we noticed a lady on a small floating air bed struggling. A girl, the moms daughter about 11 years old, was on a small kick-board attempting to help her mom back to shore. They were stuck.

We talked about the situation, and decided to wait a minute to see if they could break free. When it was obviously a no go, we both ran into the water. Winston ran further down the beach and swam straight to the lady. When I approached the area from the right I could feel the undertow pulling me out, I instantly swam a little right toward shore to get out of the current before I was overpowered. 


When I reached a place I could walk I moved toward two kids that were obviously heading out toward danger. Both were non swimmers barely able to touch bottom and they were being pulled out further from shore into the rip, so I said 'grab my hand', I pulled one closer to shore and went back for the other kid and also pulled him closer to shore and handed him over to his German non English speaking granddad, who sadly did not have a clue the kids were in danger and what was going on. I shouted, "Keep them out of this section and close to shore."

Meantime Winston was with the mom and child, they were in distress. The mom had swallowed a lot of water and was very tired from trying to kick herself free of the current. He calmed her down and encouraged her to relax, lay on her back and allow the raft to keep her head above water. He kept assuring her he'd stay and that they would be ok. He also, told the young girl to use her flippers and paddle to shore.

It was evident they were stuck in the very unusual rip, it was stationary, not going out like normal. He was kicking right, left, forward, backward, with no movement. It became obvious he needed more help. So I swam to shore, then ran and grabbed my phone and called 911.

I also notice a guy who popped on the scene standing on a large beginners paddle-board and shouted and pointed to Winston and the mom. He paddled over and all three clung to his board. By this time the lifeguards arrived, ran, dived in, and swam to the people in distress. All were pulled safely to shore and the mom and daughter reunited. A lot of thank you's ensued.

This scene happened very quickly, and lasted probably a little less than 15 minutes.

Pondering... 
Why didn't other people notice?
Why didn't they move to help? 
Why did they sit still and view the drama?

There a psychological profile about this. Seems few are wired to be responders. Those who do respond in such situations usually have some sort of training, or experience in their past that pushes them forward. Winston was and is an accomplished swimmer and was a surfer in his 20's living much of his life near the water.

Others are wired more passively.

During my self defense training there are four profile stages:
Unaware
Aware
Alert
Alarm

Guess where most people live? Most people live in the unaware state, living life drifting on an ocean of routine. 

One teacher in Kettering was abducted because she was text-ting while walking to her car. Once in the car she continued to text. The guy simply jerked open her door, jumped in the drivers side, pushed her into the passenger seat, and took off with the terrified lady. She screamed and opened the  passenger side door. The guy ended up wrecking the car, escaped and was later apprehended. She was not practicing awareness. If she had been looking around as she walked to her car and then locked the doors as soon as she sat down the incident would have been adverted. Now she lives with the trauma of the incident.

On a spiritual side, the rescue made me think of all the people in my sphere of influence who are drifting, and are in danger. The ocean we call life is flowing, some are caught in it's negative current and need to be rescued.

As in this case they are stuck and in danger of perishing.

They are living in an unaware state. One day, unless reached, they will perish. 

This incident certainly encouraged me to continue to seek and to save those who away from God's presence.  

The reason we were able to help was because of our training, having a willingness to act, and to take a risk to help someone in distress. 

 It's hard to see something you are not looking for.
 
Life in the Kingdom is really about learning to live in God's space where God things happen.

Every believer should practice being aware and noticing the unnoticeable.

 I'm glad God has graciously given me the eyes to see, and a heart that seeks to understand. I'm working on responding.

Worship is the scene of His appearing.



And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, "We have seen extraordinary things today." Luke 5:26 ESV

Wow! Our services have certainly been exciting. We've been privileged to have Randy Clark, Chad Dedman, Marc Dupont, Doug, Scott, and Christy Wimber share important truths about miracles and God's power to heal. Many people are now better than when they came. Healings, financial breakthroughs--yes, miracles.

Our outreach into our community has been off the chart too. Healing on the streets is normative as we experience His presence, power, love and grace coming upon the people we serve.

Worship is the scene of His appearing.

 

When He shows up, He reveals who He really is.

He is healer, provider, savior, protector, encourager, redeemer and more! As we worship we can reach out to receive all that He is and all that He wants to give.

The other day my wife Pattie and I were in the worship center (I like to call it "the big room"). I play the guitar and we sing from our hearts. Often it's a new song, or a song of prayer for His Presence to be with us on weekends, for miracles, or just playing cords as an expression of worship.

A couple of days earlier Pattie tripped over a computer cord and badly bruised her knee and leg when she bounced off our hardwood floor.

After about 45 minutes of worship she smiled and said, "My pain is gone from my knee. I think Jesus healed me." A few days later she called me from Mobile, Alabama where she's visiting her mom. She excitedly mentioned she was totally pain free. She is able to walk without pain, which helped her care for her mom and care for her sister who is recovering from hip replacement surgery.

I love this! No one prayed for her. She was healed as we actively leaned into His Presence. She simply had a flutterby thought as we worshiped, "I'd really like Steve to pray for my knee to be healed." Jesus heard her silent prayer. He showed up.



It's also been interesting to see people healed in the same area of our space. Three girls healed of leg and ankle injuries, and another lady healed of the same in the same space area as we worshiped. One girl who was healed was then able to compete in her gymnastic regional and was able to point her foot forward. The first time in years.

Worship is the scene of His appearing. 

His Presence is going to be increasingly sensed among us as we press in.

As you gather together on weekends to give thanks, praise, and worship, I'd encourage you to actively invite the Holy Spirit into your heart and upon your life. If you sense a weight or a warmth come upon you or rise up in you as we worship together simply ask God for more and receive as you open up your heart.

The reality--we are given the privilege to create God-space where God things happen as we give thanks and worship together.

This is what I'm going for. People healed and encouraged...as we worship.

Jesus exalted, honored, glorified. Thanksgiving abounding for every sense of His presence, every provision released, every person touched, healed, delivered and saved. 

I'm believing for more of His generous presence to be within us, with us, and upon us. Why? Because He is worthy of every honor and is generous with His love.




The Holy Spirit is God's active agent in the earth today. Kathern Kulman.

The Holy Spirit's main role is to glorify the Son and to reveal the Father's heart to the church and to His world. I want to see His kingdom come, His will be done, on earth as in Heaven. I invite you into the adventure as you.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. John 14:16 ESV

Sowers and reapers should rejoice together!

video
 Fun day on outreach. Here is a story captured today.  



Picture of him a month or so ago

Interesting, sometimes reapers seem to be in the spotlight, while the sowers are under valued. In the Kingdom both are important. Jesus stated in Marks gospel, "If you don't understand the parable of the sower and the reaper you won't understand any parable of the Kingdom." This is a stunning statement.

Jn 4: 34
Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.

Do you not say, "There are yet four months, then comes the harvest"? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.  

Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together.  

37 For here the saying holds true, "One sows and another reaps." 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. 

Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor."  

One translation says, "Other have done the hard work and you have entered into their labor."

Both are important. Sowing and Reaping. The key to the parable in Mark is to continuously sow the Good News by the means of words, actions, deeds, and in attitudes.  

Ever noticed the tune can be right but the tone can be wrong. People intuituvely know the difference. I refuse to pray for people if I'm irritated, angry, or frustrated by their behavior. Sometimes it's calming down on the inside before I pray, checking my heart and attitude.

That's why love is the foundation, and why serving, sowing with the attitude found in Jesus described by Paul in Philippians 2 and 1 Cor 13 is so important. 

Humility, kindness and love are the means by which seeds should be sown and people drawn into the Kingdom. 

Reapers often ask great questions, wonder their way into hearts, and proclaim the Good News with boldness. Now is the day, and now is the time is often the nudge people need to open their heart to the Good News. 

Both sowing are reaping are the sides of the same coin. No sowing = no reaping. No reaping, if we only sow. The good news, the really good news is that God the Father, by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, is the one who brings the increase.