Category Archives: Payette River Vineyard

A Black Coffee Day

coffeeIf you look, you can tell my mood by what I drink or what shoes I have on. For example, when I’m feeling tired, wore out or otherwise miserable, I drink my coffee black. If I’m doing great or if I want to relax, then I drink some tea or coffee with cream and sugar.

Today was a black coffee day.

It begin with my truck not starting (dead battery) and continued through out the day. Not because it was a “bad” so to speak – it’s just that I’m tired. I kept waking up last night coughing up crap and basically not sleeping. Sigh. It seems that our entire team (well, the US team at least) is still having health issues. If you think of us, please drop a line upwards for the Man to heal our bodies.

On the good side, I had a wonderful Bible study last night with the men from Sweet. We just started reading through the book of Galatians – talk about returning at the right moment (last night was chapter one). Our “usual” M.O. is to read a chapter out loud and then discuss it. Sometimes (like last night) this discussion takes off into other areas as there are a few of us who enjoy a lively “discussion”.

[@more@]In the past we have only studied ‘historical’ books (parts of Samuel and Kings as well as Acts). This time we are studying Paul – which I think will prove to be interesting.

One of the guys had a commentary by Martin Luther… which was “interesting” to say the least. In case you don’t know, I’m not a fan of Luther (or Calvin for that matter). Yeah, Luther did some great things for God, but he also had some strange and, in my view, incorrect views (but that’s another topic).

The main point of this is that the guy who had the commentary made the comment that I better bring a commentary on Galatians next week – someone to balance out Luther’s views. Rising to the challenge, I ordered N.T. Wrights commentary today (it should be in on Thursday). I’m looking forward to seeing what Wright has to say as he is one of the best Kingdom Theologians out there today.

I also have a New Testament Theology book by George Ladd that I’m going to look at…. And I may have another commentary on Galatians from my Paul’s Letters class at LU. Hmm… I wonder were it would be?

Tarshish or Caesarea?

Last night I gave my second sermon at the Sweet Vineyard church. This time we had quite the crowd – around 40 or so people. (and none of them walked out during the sermon!!!!)

The Pastor had asked me to talk a bit about world missions while giving the church an update on our upcoming trip to South America. As I prayed about the message, God gave me an interesting Biblical world mission’s connection that I normally don’t talk about… (normally when I talk about world missions, I do the whole “top line, bottom line” deal from Genesis to Revelation) Undecided

This time, I went straight for Jonah.

Note: the last “real” sermon before this one was about Acts 10 where Peter visits Cornelius’ home. It is interesting that both Peter and Jonah went to Joppa before going to the Gentiles…

Yelp – that little bitty book between Obadiah and Micah. I posted most of my sermon’s outline below just because. It’s missing some pieces as it is only there to “jog” my memory (and keep me on track).

West or North? When God comes calling we have two choices:

  1. Head West towards Tarshish and away from God
  2. Go North to Caesarea following the direction He gave you.

The choice is your. But know that if you go to Tarshish, there may be a storm or two in your path to force you back on track.

As far as the sermon it self, it went really good. I did get off track a time or two – the really interesting thing was that the sermon turned into quite the ‘turn or burn’ message as that’s what Jonah told the Ninevites. Undecided[@more@]

If you’re not a believer, you too have two choices:

  1. Repent and follow Him
  2. Keep doing what your doing

Neither one is easy. But if you follow Him, He will be there with you to ends of the world. He delights in setting free the captive, comforting those who morn, healing those who are hurt, and loving the unlovable – and you get to hand with Him for a long time!

Ok – maybe not a “real” ‘turn or burn’ message as I didn’t thump my Bible or jump up and down yelling. But I did give a clear gospel presentation and told the folks they had a choice. It fit – even though it wasn’t in my notes – it fix perfectly. Go God!! Laughing

Tarshish or Caesarea?

  1. Peter and Cornelius: revisited

1. Acts 10

1. Cornelius receives a vision from God and sends some servants to find Peter at Joppa

2. At the same time, God gives Petter a vision

3. When Cornelius’ servants showed up, Peter had a choice

1. Reject God’s word and go back home to Jerusalem

2. Accept God’s word and go to Caesarea

4. We know that Peter went to Caesarea and God moved

2. Acts 11

1. Peter had to explain his actions to the believers in Jerusalem

2. He told them that the Holy Spirit came and there was nothing he could do

  1. World Missions

1. These two passages are recognized as the beginning of Christianities movement from a mostly Jewish sect to a faith full of all types and kinds of people

1. ie. the Gentiles

2. Another familiar “missions” passage is Matthew 28:18-20

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

3. For lot of folks, these are the only two ‘world missions’ passages in the Bible

1. or at least main ones…

  1. Jonah

1. Let me tell you a story about another man of God who went to Joppa

2. We don’t know a lot about Jonah except that he lived around 800 BC

3. What we do know is told in the book of Jonah

1. it’s a small book between Obadiah and Micah

2. Only 4 chapters long

4. Let me give you a quick overview of the book

1. Jonah hears God

2. Runs to Joppa and catches a ship to Tarshish

1. Tarshish was the furthest know city in the Mediterranean Sea at that time

3. Along the way, a storm comes up

1. They are almost drowned

2. The sailors throw Jonah overboard

4. God sends a big fish to shallow him

5. Jonah repents

6. The fish spits him up on the beach

7. Jonah goes to Nineveh

1. A several day journey inland

2. He had plenty of time to think about what he was doing…

8. Jonah tells the people of Nineveh to repent

9. They do and God forgives them

5. Ok – now that we have an overview, lets look a little closer

  1. Why going to Nineveh was dumb:

1. Nineveh was the most feared country at the time (the city walls were covered with human skin)

1. You will be killed!

2. There where no temples or synagogues in Nineveh

1. In fact, there were no Jews in the city

3. According to the Mosaic convent, you had to

1. be Jewish or a convert thereof

2. be circumcised

3. bring a sacrifice to The Temple

1. There was only one, and it was in Jerusalem

  1. According to all the rules and thoughts of the time, no one in Nineveh could be saved

1. Jonah even thought God would destroy the city

2. Jonah 4

  1. Why going to Caesarea was dumb?

1. Cornelius was a gentile

2. According to the Mosaic convent, you had to

1. be Jewish or a convert thereof

2. be circumcised

3. bring a sacrifice to The Temple

1. There was only one, and it was in Jerusalem

  1. Sound familiar?

1. God likes to break our pre-connived notions about what Him can or cannot do

2. He forgave the people of Nineveh because they turned to Him and repented

1. It was a heart change

2. Just like Abraham

3. Both Jonah and Peter went to Joppa

1. the difference is that one of them ran west towards Tarshish

2. The other obeyed God and went North towards Caesarea

3. Both heard words from God that sounded dumb and stupid

1. The question is not if we will hear similar words

2. The questions is what we will do when we hear them?

  1. Modern Missions

1. Why going to Paraguay is dumb?

1. Cost too much

1. $10K to send four people for 3 weeks?

2. You could support a local pastor for years on that amount!!!

2. Can’t do anything in three weeks

3. language barrier

4. Your sucking the Paraguaian church dry!

1. They have to spend all their time on you instead of ministry

5. No long term change

2. Why we should go?

1. God said too

1. This is not a ‘cop-out’

2. Both Jonah and Peter knew they heard from God – they had no doubts..

2. Jonah

1. He changed a nation in three days!

2. The change lasted for years

3. Brother Andrew

1. He smuggled Bibles behind the Iron Curtain

2. Said: the biggest gift I gave the people was not the Bibles I carried, but the simply fact that I, a brother in Christ, carried enough to come and visit them.

3. Just showing up

  1. Vineyard Missions

1. Local Church Based Missions (LCBM)

2. Partnerships as a Key Strategy

3. Establishment of Church Planting Movements

4. Development and Release of National Leadership

5. Contextualization of Vineyard Values in Each Culture

  1. The Sweet Vineyard

1. Part of the Paraguay Partnership

2. We are joining with

1. the Vineyard Boise

2. Chilean churches

3. to support and encourage the pastor in Paraguay

God Showed Up!!

We serve an Awesome Lord!! This weekend I had the pleasure to co-teach a prayer / ministry seminary designed to help folks live the Holy Spirit filled life Jesus promised us that we could live.

Co-teaching this class was quite a stretch for me – I mean, I know the information, but to teach it… that’s a different level… But it was good. No one threw any tomatoes, the pastor who was mentoring me on the class didn’t banish me as a heretic, and folks where still talking to me afterwards… By all counts – it was a good class. =)

grin * With that said, it did start a little rocky… The class was to start at 7 pm Friday evening – at 6:45, I received a call from the pastor informing me that he was suck at a middle school track meet (he’s a coach during the “day”) and would not be able to attend that night. Luckily, we had already planned for me to teach the first part of the seminary… however, I must admit that I was a pretty nervous starting everything off by myself… =/

That first evening, I gave my testimony as it pertained to walking in the Kingdom. Then I dived into an overview of the Kingdom of God: What is it? How does it apply to us?  The elements of Jesus’ ministry. The ministry style of Jesus. Being naturally supernatural.

The Set-Up:

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus only commanded us to do seven (7) things. Sounds simple enough…

  • Love God with all our being
  • Love one another
  • Heal the sick
  • Cleanse the lepers
  • Cast out demons
  • Raise the dead
  • Preach the good news

[@more@]At the end of the evening we practiced “doing the stuff” as Wimber used to say. Walking timidly, we asked the Spirit to come – and boy did He! God showed us some hurts and pains that people needed healed…

The next morning, we all gathered again (about 12 of us – including the pastor) for the next part of the class. To keep this post from getting too long, I will simply state that over the course of the next nine hours we covered the following topics:

  • The mind of Christ – an altered worldview
  • The gifts of the Holy Spirit
  • Common errors
  • Interpretive keys
  • Defining the gifts
  • The Gifts in action (Biblically and practically)
  • Emotional Healing
  • Divine Appointments
  • Power Encounters

The best part(s) of the whole weekend was Friday and Saturday evenings when we put into practice what we learned. We invited the Spirit to come and show us what He wanted to do. He gave us some direction – so pastor started praying for an attendee while I described what was happening as the pastor went through the Five Step Prayer Model.

Afterwards, we turned all the attendees lose to pray for one another.

This was the best part – equipping and teaching normal, everyday people that they can go out and do the same things Jesus did. The ministry is not reserved for those ‘spiritual’ people on TV or in big ministries. The work of the Kingdom is for everyone – no matter where you live or how old you are!

Five Step Prayer Model
  1. The Interview
    • The hear form the person being prayed for
    • Listen with love and compassion
  2. The Diagnostic Decision
    • What is God doing?
    • How does He want you to pray?
  3. The Prayer Selection
    • Physical
    • Emotional
    • Spiritual
  4. The Ministry Time
    • Do what the Father is doing at that time
    • Keep one ear tuned to 77.7 K-GOD
  5. The Post-Prayer Directions
    • Not counseling, just general counsel – Scripture reading, come back for more prayer if needed, ect

As I end this post, I want to say that God showed up in amazing ways this weekend. Tears and snot where flowing as the Lord worked on emotions, hearts and spirits. I will not mention specifics as they belong to the people whom God worked with and are not for me to tell, but I will say that there are some restored folks walking around – physical, emotional, and spiritual.

Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? -Jesus

Sweet Bible Study

It's amazing how many rabbit trails you can find in Acts. What? You don't think there are rabbits in the Bible?  *sigh* Maybe so, but boy – we sure can find their trails….

You see last night was our weekly men's Bible study in Sweet. We are currently going through the book of Acts – one chapter at a time (is another way to do it? Topical, I guess… but would that count as "going through"?).  

Speaking of rabbit trails… so last night we tackled Acts chapters 3 thru 5. It was a great Bible study – even if our fearless leader was not around to keep us on track (note to leaders: don't pick your best blood hound to lead while you're gone. It doesn't work!).

Acts – that what we are talking about. *sigh*  What did I learn?  You mean besides how to tag an elk with a crossbow (I did mention we where in Sweet, right?).

Have you ever wondered why the Sanhedrin didn't kill Peter, John or any of the other twelve? I mean, they killed Jesus and Stephen…  The only reason that I can come up with is God (trump card). He must have had His hand on the Apostles to keep them from being killed (this is where you roll your eyes at me).
Seriously, if I was the Sanhedrin I would look up my old buddy Barabbas as ask him to do us a favor…. (ok – I can see the eye rolls getting larger).

Moving on….

How many of you out there would say that the phrase "times of refreshing" in Acts 3:19 refers to the present or the future?  We had quite the discussion about this phrase with different people thinking it referred to:

  1. The Holy Spirit – as promised by Jesus
  2. The breakthrough of the spiritual Kingdom of God in this world (ie. when we come to Christ we can have peace, rest, joy, ect now, at this time in history, even though we live in a fallen world)
  3. The Age-to-Come when God sits on His throne in the New Heaven and Earth, where we will have "joy unspeakable" because
  4. All of the above

17 "Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. 18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer. 19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. 21 He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. 22 For Moses said, 'The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23 Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.'

The end result – wow, look at the time!!!  We should really move on to Acts 4!

Ok – it really didn't happen that way… well, it kinda did…but not with those exact words.  I mean….hmmmm… rabbits anyone?

Actually, we all agreed that "times of refreshing" was referring to the salvation rest we receive when accept Jesus as our Lord. In addition, we also agreed that it has a double meaning referring to the Age to Come as shown in verse 21, "He (Jesus) must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything,".  It's not an either-or statement, but a both-and.

And to think we ended on a good note? What? You want to know what we thought of Acts 5 and Ananias and Sapphira? Hmm…  Let me just say the fear of God is a good thing…. and if we ever get beat up for Gospel, I pray that we leave:

rejoicing because they [we] had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name….never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.

Divine Plumbline 2008

I'm getting beat up this week. Not physically – but emotionally and spiritually, in a good way. Laughing

You see, I'm taking a 4-day seminar called Plumbline which deals "with issues of rejections and rebellion; those hurts and wounds that hold us back from being all that God would have us be."

Basically, God is beating me up. Which is awesome – I want Him to speak to me this week as I look back over my past and deal with any thing that might still be dragging be backwards. Yeah – It's going to hurt (and I aint look forward to that), but I know it's worth it.

Em when through the class a few months ago and really got touched by God. Let's pray that He touches me too. Smile [@more@]

SBS: Super Bowl and Snow

For the first time in two years, we cancelled church last night. Some folks may think we cancelled it because of the Super Bowl…. and they would be partly right. Tongue out

The real reason was the white out conditions in the area due to a snow storm. Add to this the fact that our pastor lives a hour away and would have to drive home after dark in the snow – we decided to call it a day and let everyone know that church was cancelled.  

The cool part was that everyone somehow got notified or just decided not to come due to the weather. How do I know that? 'cause I was sitting out in front of the school for half an hour waiting for someone to come, but no one came – so everyone must have been notified. Thank the Good Lord for small town phone chains. Laughing

Well, now that church was cancelled – we just had to watch the game. Right? =P Actually, we were already planning a Super Bowl party at a friend's house. Before we cancelled church, we were just going to go to the school for the service and then come back – catching both the front and end of the game. As it turned out, we got to see the whole thing.
The best part of the night was that my team won. Yelp – I was pulling for the Giants while Em was supporting "whatever team Josh wasn't supporting". (I think our marriage is good…) Innocent

Speaking of the game – boy, was it a good game!! A four point spread for most of the game – wonderful!

I'm glad my one-football-game-per-year turned out so good. Cool