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Citylights Global October 2019 Update

Time, life and ministry continue to move at a hectic pace. With the exception of Sept 29th, we have been out ministering every weekend since August began. Grand Rapids, St Cloud, Bovey, Duluth, St Joseph, Ball Club, Ramsey and Clear Lake – all in MN and within a few minutes to about 3 hours from home. Being close to home has given us a good run at getting some practical projects done around the house as well as some much needed administrative work for CityLights and Omega Team.

But I’m itching to get back on the road. This week (Oct 16) we leave for Georgia to minister for a weekend. Then on to Destin Florida to attend a conference – it’s been a long time since I attended a conference at which I was not speaking. Then back to minister for the weekend in Georgia before heading home for ONE day. Long enough to do laundry and head to the airport for a 2 week trip to India. Your prayers for safety, impact and provision are appreciated.

Late November I will be ministering locally in a couple of churches, hosting our annual Omega Team gathering for 5 fold ministers . Then it’s back to the airport for ministry in Singapore and a couple pastors conferences in the Philippines.


2020
While we have not made any firm commitments at this point, we have solid contacts and requests to travel and minister in: Kenya, Uganda, Cameroon, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, India, Belgium, France… We are also checking further into solid opportunities in Spain, Cambodia, Myanmar…plus a few more.  We are looking to combine some of these invitations by region and maximize our time and costs.

Because we have been so busy during the Summer and Fall, I have decided (with some sadness) to postpone the release of my daily devotional book till early next year. Meanwhile, you can read a sample entitled The Generous Soul here.

Financial Testimony
God has been good to see that out needs are met month to month. In September we needed a miracle to meet our needs by a certain date. While, seemingly impossible in the natural, a miracle gift came in at the last minute and we met ALL our commitments for September with $1.36 left in the account!

October was another “squeaker” and while it can be a nerve racking way to live sometimes, it is also a testimony of God’s goodness and His power to provide for our every need.

We are still in need of covering our ground costs for the trip to India in 2 weeks. If you would like to partner with us, please go to our website and make a one time or recurring donation here. Don’t forget to designate where you would like the funds to go – General, Missions, Shanti Nivas. You may also send a check to:

Citylights Global
PO Box 654
Big Lake, MN 55309

Thank you again for your continued prayers and support of this ministry. Follow us on social media:Facebook andInstagram

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The Generous Soul

Proverbs 11:25 a generous soul will be made rich

Prosperity is not the opposite of poverty. It is the result of victory OVER poverty. The poverty-stricken soul feels that what it has is never enough so it holds on, desperate to gain even more. Generosity says, I am blessed to bless others. It affects every area of life not just the bank balance.

Jesus was in the temple watching people put their gifts into the temple treasury. Many gave their sacks of gold and silver but it was the little widow who gave two mites – all she had – that caught his attention. He called his disciples over and made a big deal about it. We never find out her name or anything else about her but 2000 years later, we are still talking about what she did that day.

God does not measure generosity by the size of the donation but by the attitude of the giver. As far as He is concerned it is not the amount you give away, it is the heart with which it is given.

There are two types of giving in the word of God. You can give to sow a seed expecting a harvest in return or you can give to meet a need – a need that is manifest before you or that is dictated by God’s word. Either way God looks at the generosity of the heart not just the legality of the action.

Generosity comes from within. It is a condition of the soul. Poverty is a sickness of the soul. Let us be in health and prosper even as our soul prospers. A healthy soul is a generous soul.

Prayer Points
1. Help me to know the difference between being content with what I have and being challenged to extend my faith.
2. Show me where Your heart is moved by a need and let my heart be moved like Yours.
3. Help me to open my heart and respond generously and compassionately to the needs around me.

Additional Scriptures
Old Testament: Isaiah 32:8

New Testament: 2 Corinthians 9:6-8

Wisdom: Proverbs 3:9, 10

Example: 2 Corinthians 8:1-5

Personal Challenge
Take a good look at the following aspects of your life: time, talents, gifts, finances, personal example and relationships. What can you do to better manage what you have and how can you be more generous in these areas.

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Coming Through the Wilderness

Job 42:10 “And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.” NKJV

Testing’s, trials, “wilderness experiences” are common to all people. Job is the most classic example of how someone who faced trials and testing came through. These experiences are not about how good or bad, righteous or unrighteous you are or have been. They are about proving something. God already knows. He wants YOU to know. Through the situation, Job learned and grew in his revelation of the greatness of God. Eventually, he was able to say, “I have heard of You with my ears but now my eyes see You!”

Many times you hear people talk about their wilderness experiences. Maybe we need to understand these times more fully from Gods perspective to appreciate and value them. They are a proving ground!

Moses and the children of Israel spent 40 years in the wilderness. This was not just to wait for the end of an unbelieving generation, it was to give birth to a new generation of believers.

The problem with traditional understanding of wilderness experience is that it is a “nothing” time. But it is more like being pregnant – it is not wasted time – it is forming something with in you. That something has been conceived in the mind of God since before time began and He needs you to carry that to full-term and to bring it to birth at the right time!

Jesus submitted to the wilderness experience and he came out in the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul had a God encounter on the road to Damascus and he heard God speak to him then went out to the desert for 13 years. He came out and wrote over half the New Testament. Deal with weaknesses and failures in the wilderness then come out and live the life for which you were saved.

Prayer Points

  1. Help me to understand God‘s provision in the trials.
  2. Give me endurance through the time of testing.
  3. Give me a renewed mind and revelation of his presence and power to bring me into victory.

Additional Scriptures

Old Testament New Testament Wisdom Example
Job 5:18-20 Hebrews 10:35, 36 Psalm 126:4 Joshua 3:14-17

Personal Challenge

If you are going through – or have been through – a trial or wilderness experience, what are you learning or what did you learn? Are you missing Gods plan because you are looking for something by yourself?

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Generosity in Deeds

Romans 12:10-13. “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.”

Too often Christians feel that generosity and service to the body of Christ is fulfilled by placing our 10% in the offering plate. Indeed, many give more but giving is about more than money. The way we interact with or respond to others shows much more about how generous we really are.

There is ample precedent in Scripture for having a generous demeanor which most often results in generous deeds. Showing your affection for others without the thought of getting some reward; honor to all people regardless of their status in life, age, race or deservedness.

Preferring one another – leading by example is the thought expressed by this Greek word – involves a level of humility and selflessness on our part. This is more than a religious duty. It is meant to show genuine honor toward others – sometimes even if they may not deserve it.

I spend a lot of time in airports. Recently, I was waiting in a particularly slow line to clear security when I noticed a group of six elderly, obviously inexperienced travelers, behind me that were anxious about missing a very tight connection. I decided to let them skip in front of me so they could make their flight. It was worth it to see the look of relief on their faces as they thanked me in broken English and hurried to their gate.

Take time to be kind. In many cases, being kind is better than being right! It is one of the best ways to be generous in our deeds,

Prayer Points
Help me to see others through your eyes.
Today, lead me to someone who I can show generosity in deed
Help me not to think of my own lack but how I can help others instead

Additional Scriptures
Old Testament: Proverbs 11:25

New Testament: Hebrews 13:16

Wisdom: Psalms 37:21

Example: Acts 2:42-47

Personal Challenge
Practice random acts of kindness till it becomes a lifestyle. Let people in line in front of you in the grocery store. Mow your neighbors front yard when you do yours. Even when people are not kind bless them anyway.

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14 Things NOT to Say to Your Pastor

The following article was received through an email list I am on. It was written by Thom S. Rainer who is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources (LifeWay.com)

I have added my (sarcastic) responses (or how I wish I could respond) in italics.

Remember people, this is meant to be lighthearted!

I bet almost every pastor has heard all of these in the course of a ministry.  Enjoy. But do not repeat (at least to your pastor).

1. I wish I had a job like yours, where I would work only one day a week.  I wish I had a job like that too!

2. What do you do with all the free time you have?  Listen to inane comments about how little I work and how much free time I have.

3. Can I have a couple of minutes before you preach? Sure, if you will give me a couple of minutes WHILE I’m preaching!

4. I love you pastor, but _______________________________ (fill in the blank).  I love you, but… too!

5. I like your preaching, pastor, but I really like _______________ (fill in the blank with television or podcast preacher).  I’m sure you could get ______________ to come visit you in the hospital or counsel you when you need it.  After all, we only work one day a week and have so much spare time!

6. Can your wife play piano? My wife can’t even play the radio! Can you learn how to play piano on Pinterest?

7. Your kids shouldn’t behave that way. After all, they are pastor’s kids.  They were simply trying to follow the examples of your kids.

8. Your low salary is good for you. It keeps you humble and dependent on the Lord.  You are so right and my deep, deep, deep humility keeps me from telling you what a great impact the low salary has had on my character development.

9. I bet you don’t spend any time preparing your sermons.  Of course not – that would cut into my free time.  Besides, I am getting so much material just from talking to you!

10. Pastor __________ (predecessor pastor) didn’t do it that way.  And how did that work out for him?

11. You don’t have a real degree. You went to seminary.  Actually, I didnt even go to seminary, I wrote into an ad I saw in the back of a Christian magazine!

12. How much longer do you think you’ll be at our church?  If there are many more like you, about 30 seconds.

13. Did I wake you up pastor? It’s only 1:00 am.  No, I had to get up to answer the phone anyway.

14. Did you hear what they are saying about you?  I’m sure I am about to!

Do you have any statements or questions to add to this list?

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Coming through the Wilderness

Job 42:10 And the Lord restored Jobs losses when he prayed for his friends.

Testing/trials/wilderness experiences are common to all people.  Job is the most classic example of someone who faced trials/testing and came through.  These experiences are NOT about how good or bad, righteous or unrighteous you are or have been. They are about PROVING something.  God already knows – He wants you to know. Through the situation Job learned and grew in his revelation of the greatness of God. Eventually he was able to say, “I have heard of You with my ears but now my eyes see You!”

Many times you hear people talk about their wilderness experiences.  Maybe we need to understand these times more fully from Gods perspective to appreciate the value of them. They are a proving ground!

Moses and the children of Israel spent 40 years in the wilderness. This was not just to wait for the end of an unbelieving generation, it was to give birth to a new generation of believers.

The problem with traditional understanding of wilderness experiences, is that it is a “nothing” time. But it is more like being pregnant – it’s not wasted time – it is FORMING something within you.  That something has been conceived in the mind of God since before time began and He needs you to carry that to full term and bring it to birth at the right time!

Jesus submitted to the wilderness experience and He came out in the power of the Holy Spirit! Paul had a God encounter on the road to Damascus and heard God speak to him then went out to the desert for 13 years. He came out and wrote over half the New Testament. Deal with weaknesses and failures in the wilderness then come out and live the life for which you were saved.

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Functioning in the Supernatural

Acts 2:43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.

Every major revival outpouring has been accompanied by supernatural manifestations. This is actually the spiritual birthright of all born-again believers. “To divorce ourselves from a rich heritage in the supernatural is to live BENEATH our inheritance.”

If we are born again, we received the SAME Holy Spirit that was poured out at Pentecost. This is the SAME Spirit that empowered Jesus to work miracles and even rise from the dead. This is the SAME Holy Spirit who resides in every believer.

Sadly, some have confused the concept of spiritual power with being “spooky”.  We see what others are doing and mimic them in an effort to get something to happen because they got results when they did or said it that way! For example:

  • Screaming at demons to “come out”(are demons deaf?);
  • Elongating the name of JEEEEEESSSSSUUUSSSSSSS (if we spoke to our friends this way I don’t think they would hang around for long);
  • Praying or prophesying in King James English with lots of “yea, my little children” and “thus saith the Lord’s” (I guess if the Old Testament prophets and Jesus and the apostles spoke KJV it must be more spiritual, right?).

I have to say, at that point it is more about “superstition” than “supernatural”.

There is a GENUINE realm of the supernatural where real ministry takes place. It’s not a matter of waiting for some new sovereign outpouring or us crying out for heaven to open. Heaven has been opened for 2,000 years. What are we going to do about it?

Let’s take one step deeper into Acts 2 and contend for everything promised—that His glory would be seen, the church would be struck again with the fear (awe) of the Lord.  Psalm 40:3 many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.

Here are a few thoughts to help us function in the supernatural in a more real way:

  1. Keep your eyes and focus on Jesus. Welcome Him and everything He brings to reveal His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
  2. Be naturally spiritual and spiritually natural.  Super-natural: His “super”, our “natural”.
  3. Operate in the gifts of the Spirit to benefit the recipient and to bring Glory to God – not to make a name for yourself! i.e.  Would I do this if no one was here to witness it or record it for YouTube?
  4. Wrap the gift in love…  Otherwise it is simply noisy activity.
  5. Remember, spiritual gifts do not always equal spiritual maturity.  God once used a donkey to speak to His prophet.
  6. Do as the Holy Spirit instructs.  Nothing more, nothing less.
  7. Operate in such a way that people walk away more impressed with Jesus than with you.
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Do Not be Afraid

2 Kings 6:16 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

We all face challenges.  Many end up comparing their challenge or pain with others and end up feeling cheated by God or life and feeling sorry for themselves.  What we see or perceive with our natural senses becomes the entirety of what we understand. Fear, based only on what we know can take hold and cause panic and despair.

Much of the advertising industry – especially in the area of politics – is based on arousing this fear and manipulating peoples responses accordingly.  We have seen entire campaigns based on the premise that if you vote for the other side, they will take your money, your liberty and your security – so you really have no choice but to vote for us.

But there is another dimension that is unseen by the natural eyes – it is supernatural. You are not in the fight alone.  The Lord has sent His armies to fight for you in the unseen realm. This is a big part of what the Apostle Paul was talking about when he said there were things that God has prepared for us that we could not see, perceive or imagine.

Do not let fear manipulate you.  Let the Word cause faith to arise and begin to trust and see what God has set up for you in the supernatural realm.  He did NOT give you a spirit of fear but of power, of love and of a sound mind.

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How to be a superhero!

Mark 16:17

Hollywood loves all things supernatural – from zombies, vampires and ghosts to superhero movies – Superman, Batman, the Hulk, Dare Devil, Spiderman; the Flash…  In all these movies people have been touched by special power to make them “more than human” – some touched by goodness others by darkness.

The Bible also has super heroes!  We don’t call them super heroes; we refer to them as men and women of God.  He took normal ordinary people with natural gifts, talent and ability and super charged them so they did exploits beyond their own ability. This was the work of the Holy Spirit.

Sadly, a large portion of the modern church has tended to ignore the power of the Holy Spirit or down played the importance of His ministry.  But the Bible declares the Holy Spirit is God. The impact He has on people is awesome and makes natural people supernatural – He comes upon/fills ordinary people and makes them extra ordinary.

Acts 2 saw the release of a fresh dimension of the supernatural into the natural realm. What was once the experience of a “few” people as the Holy Spirit came upon them, is now accessible to EVERY believer.

Operating in signs and wonders:

  1. Signifies the release of the power of God into the earthly realm
  2. Results in the release of thanksgiving, praise and worship to God
  3. Celebrates the release of provision from God
  4. Releases supernatural revelation to the natural mind

 

Allow God into your life – decide to surrender to His will and power in and through you today. Humble yourself before the mighty hand of God and invite His Holy Spirit to fill you – to add His “Super” to your natural.

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