Saturday, December 15, 2007

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS - WORSHIP

Christmas is a time of joy and giving. Christians all over the world commemorate this occasion because "God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son Jesus Christ ..."

In our celebration, we proclaim the Good News with carols on the streets and we expressed the loved of God to the world with our gifts to the needy and the orphans. In the midst of all these activities, do you know that the spirit of Christmas is also WORSHIP? All those who came to meet Jesus at the manger WORSHIPPED ...

The Wisemen
"Where is the one who has been born king of Jews? we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him." (Matthew 2:2)
"On coming to the house, they saw the Child with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh " (Matthew 2:11 - note: worship before gifts)

The Angels
"Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appreared with angel praising God saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men ..." (Luke 2:13)

The Shepherds
"The shepherds returned, glorifying God for all the things they had heard and seen ..." (Luke 2:20)

Simeon The Godly Man
"... Simeon, who was a righteous and devout ...took Him in his arms and praised God ..." (Luke 2:25-33)

The Prophetess Anna
" ... she gave thanks to God ..." (Luke 2:36-38)

As we celebrate this year's Christmas, let us reserve the best gift for our Lord -
WORSHIP


Blessed Christmas!

TPWC<

Monday, December 03, 2007

WORSHIP

Worship is "lovemaking" with God. The most common New Testament word for worship - proskuneo - literally means to "step towards to kiss." We can bow and prostrate our selves before God from a distance, but we must be close, intimate, trusting, and vulnerable if we are to step forward into God's loving embrace and receive His kiss of life, His Holy Spirit. Worship, properly speaking, is our response of love to the God Who has reached out in love to us. "It is quite impossible to worship God without loving Him. " writes A.W.Tozer, " and the inward operations of the Holy Spirit will enable us ... to offer Him such a poured-out fullness of love."

In worship we come face-to-face with the living God, beholding Him as He really is, letting our hearts assume their rightful place in response to Him. God desires to reveal Himself to us. When we come before Him believing the "He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6), we can expect that He will impress upon our thoughts, feelings, and understanding, by His Spirit, true knowledge of Himself. In this "seeing" or "beholding" of Him. all our self-righteousness, all our pretense, even all our "goodness" is seen for what it really is. We know that He is God, and we are not. Our only response, when we behold Him face-to-face, is to worship Him - giving ourselves over to Him in trust and in surrender to His love.

Worship is our deepest act of surrender. It is meant to be intimate, personal, and all-consuming. In worship, when Spirit touches spirit, God's life is imparted to us, His imprint is left upon us us, and we carry ever more clearly the Spirit-imparted pattern of adopted sons and daughters. Glorifying and praising God, giving Him His worth, is the very best thing for us as human beings. We are made to worship the Almighty God; meant to be transformed through worship into His likeness.

Do you want to be more like Jesus, Who is "the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being?" (Hebrews 1:3). Then "fix your thoughts, on Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest Whom we confess" (Hebrews 3:1). We become like that upon which we focus. We begin to be transformed into the likeness of that which gains our attention. "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2). As we worship God in the freedom the SPirit gives, we reflect the Lord's glory and are being "transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, Who is the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).

An extract from - Discipline of the Holy Spirit by Dr. Tan Siang-Yang & Douglas H. Gregg

Blessings - TPWC

Saturday, November 17, 2007

THE HEART OF WORSHIP

A few years back in our church, we realised some of the things we thought were helping us in our worship were actually hindering us. They were throwing us off the scent of what it really means to worship.

We had always set aside lots of time in our meetings for worshipping God through music. But it began to dawn on us that we'd lost something. The fire that used to characterise our worship had somehow grown cold. In some ways, everything looked great. We had some wonderful musicians, and good quality sound system. There were lots of new songs coming through, too. But somehow we'd started to rely on these things a little too much, and they'd become distractions. Where once people would enter in no matter what, we'd now wait to see what the band were like first, how good the sound was, or whether we were "into" the songs chosen.

Mike, the pastor, decided on a pretty drastic course of action: we'd strip everything away for a season, just to see where our hearts were. So the very next Sunday when we turned up at church, there was no sound system to be seen, and no band to lead us. The new approach was simple - we weren't going to lean so hard on those outward things any more. Mike would say, "When you come through the doors of the church on Sunday, what are you bringing as your offering to God? What are you going to sacifice today?"

If I'm honest, at first I was pretty offended by the whole thing. The worship was my job! But as God softened my heart, I started to see His wisdom all over these actions. At first the meetings were a bit awkward: there were long periods of silence, and there wasn't too much singing going on. But we soon began to learn how to bring heart offerings to God without any of the external trappings we'd grown used to. Stripping everything away, we slowly started to rediscover the heart of worship.

After a while, the worship band and the soundsystem re-appeared, but now it was different. The songs of our hearts had caught up with the songs of our lips

Out of this season, I reflected on where we had come to as a church, and wrote this song:

When the music fades,
All is stripped away,
And I simply come;
Longing just to bring something that's of worth
That will bless your heart.
I'll bring You more than a song,
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear;
You're looking into my heart
In the chorus I tried to sum up where we were at with worship:

I'm coming back to the heart of worship,
And it's all about ou,
All aout You, Jesus
I'm sorry, Lord for the thing I've made it,
When it's all about You,
All about You, Jesus

(written by Matt Redman)

WORSHIP IS IN THE HEART
AND NOT IN THE ART

An extract from : The Unquenchable Worshipper by Matt Redman
Blessing - TPWC

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Replace The Spirit of Grumbling With The Spirit of Thanksgiving

Greetings worshippers!
Trust that the subject about "Thanksgiving" has been challenging you to establish this very important habit as part of your lifestyle as a worshipper. I feel led to repeat this post about Grumbling versus Thanksgiving ....
Have you ever stepped outside your door on a beautiful clear sunny day, taken a deep breath of fresh air, and thanked God for His wonderful creation? But what if the next morning is grey and rainy? Does it automatically make you feel a little depressed as you look out of the window? Maybe you don't say it loud, but how do you feel? Are you in the habit of thanking God only for what you want? Or are you in the habit of grumbling just a little when things does not go the way you like?
So what is wrong with a little complaining? What difference does it make? It does make all the difference in the world. Everything depends on how we respond to the little things in life. A marriage counselor will tell you that a marriage usually breaks up over little things. A small misunderstanding can start a war. Little things mean a lot, because this is the level where we live, down at the nitty-gritty of our atttude at breakfast table, or in the long checkout line at the supermarket.
GRUMBLING IS THE VERY OPPOSITE OF THANKSGIVING
A complaint is the opposite of trust; a murmur against your wife when she burns your toast is the opposite of a loving acceptance. The dictionary defines a complaint as an accusation. By complaining and grumbling you are actually accusing God of mismanaging the details of your life. The attitute of thanksgiving and praise releases the power of God into our lives, but the attitude of murmuring and complaining blocks that power.
For forty years the Israelites wandered in the wilderness and every time something went wrong, they complained bitterly and wanted to go back to the land of Eygpt. Why did it take them forty years to cover less than two hundred miles? Even with women and children and cattles, they could have covered the distance in a few weeks. They were delayed because they murmured and refuse to trust that God would keep His promise to take care of their every need. In 1 Corinthians 10:10-11, the apostle Paul was speaking about the behaviour of the Israelite in their wanderings from Eygpt to the Promised Land ... "And do not grumble, some of them did and were killed by the destroying angel. These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us ..."
(Extract from Power In Praise by Merlin R. Carothers)
To be a WORSHIPPER, we need to begin DISCIPLINING our lives daily with the spirit of thanksgiving. This is easier said than done because most of us would agree that we are habitual grumblers. We grumble when we miss the bus to work and when we have to work late. We complain when the car would not start or when we hit a red light or are caught in a traffic jam. Even at meal time, we unconsciously complain about the food and the poor service provided by the restaurant. The list is endless ... but let us take heed that unless we overcome this deadly habit of grumbling, complaining and murmuring, it will rob us of the blessings and joy of the Lord. "IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS FOR THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD" (1 Thessalonian 5:18). The simple application of this biblical truth covers EVERY situations and circumstances in our lives.The benefits of a thankful heart are many ... by giving thanks:
1) We are in His divine will and itself will lead us out of the wilderness experience and into a victorious walk with the Lord
2) We have immediate access to enter into His gates (His presence) and in His presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 100:4, 16:11)
3) The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
No wonder the apostle Paul in Philippians 4:4 commanded us to "Rejoice in the Lord always!" and in Colossians 3:17 that "Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks ..."

GRUMBLING VS THANKSGIVING
Unbelief - Faith / Trust
Defeat - Victory
Distress - Joy
In The Wilderness - In His Will
Spiritual Degradation - Spiritual Transformation

Make a point today to "DISCIPLINE" your life to give thanks and count it all joy even in diverse circumstances (James 1:2) ... for ALL THINGS work together for good (Romans 8:28)

TPWC @ copyright

Sunday, October 07, 2007

THE IMPORTANCE OF MINISTERING TO GOD

In my previous post, I explained that thanksgiving should naturally leading to rejoicing when we follow James' instruction to "count it all joy." As we count up all that God has done, we shouldn't stop at merely thanking God. In every one of the acts of God is a revelation of His nature. And we see God's nature - His extravagance, joy, love, faithfulness, goodness, and power - the only sensible response is to PRAISE HIM. Praise and rejoicing are two sides of the same coin, as we see in Psalm 9:2 : "I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High." It's hard to praise effectively without rejoicing, without bringing our body, soul, and spirit into an expression of celebration. We can't rejoice without having a reason, and that reason is God's nature, revealed in His relationship with us, that we declare in our praises. When God says to "rejoice always," the implication is that we are to establish PRAISE AS A LIFESTYLE.

The praise that flows from thanksgiving is described in Hebrews 13:15 as a "sacrifice." This verse gives us a guideline for what kind of activities genuinely qualify as praise. First of all, PRAISE SHOULD CAUSE US SOMETHING. Only then is it a proper response to the God who has given us costly gift of His own Son. When I forced myself to rejoice in those nights alone in the sanctuary, I was offering God my time, my focus, and my comfort. I was stepping beyond what was convenient and beyond all the pressures of my circumstances. That is what made the act of praise a costly expression. Secondly, a sacrifice of praise should always require FAITH because it's impossible to please Him apart from faith. Hebrews 11:4 explains that it was "By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain ...."

It certainly requires faith to rejoice when that's the last thing you feel like doing or seems to make sense in the face of your present circumstances. It doesn't take much faith to hang your head and sing "Thou Art Worthy" when you're really just thinking, "I am worthless!" Truely rejoicing in Him requires that you stand on the truth that you are already accepted by Him where you are. Rejoicing requires you to acknowledge that His goodness and faithfulness are more real than your present difficulty. It especially requires you to agree that your life is not really about you!

Only the rejoicing that requires you to agree with God's perspective on your situation is the sacrifice of praise that pleases Him and has the power to transform you. It is the expression of faith. Sometimes that rejoicing is what David describes in Psalm 2:11 : "rejoice with trembling." In other words, you don't have to feel full of faith to rejoice - you just have to do it.

While the nature of praise and thanksgiving is different, they should always go together, because they sequential steps toward strenthening ourselves in His manifest presence. Psalm 100:4 says we "enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise." This verse is a road map into the presence of God. Thus, our goal should be to sustain thanks and praise until our whole being is alive to His presence.But we also have to remember in that moment that the focus doesn't change from ministering to God to our getting what we need.

Thanksgiving and praise are tools to strengthen ourselves not because they help us get something from the Lord, but because they reconnect us to our primary purpose - TO MINISTER TO HIM IN WORSHIP. They bring us into His presence; and TRUE WORSHIP is something that only happens in that place of communion with His presence. In worship, the sacrifice is no longer physical expression or verbal declarations. We are the sacrifice. Fire always falls on a sacrifice. And when we are the sacrifice, we cannot help but be changed.

An extract from - Strengthen Yourself In The Lord by Bill Johnson

Blessings
TPWC

Friday, September 07, 2007

DISARMING HELL THROUGH THANKSGIVING

Thanksgiving agrees with Heaven by acknowledging the truth that our lives are a gift from God, and that He is sovereign over all. God is extravagantly generous, and the life He has given us to experience on this planet is NOT a life of survival BUT of abundance and blessing. BUT unless we properly recognize what we've been given, we won't be able to experience it's benefit.

Imagine Christmas morning. You've spent the last few months shopping and picking out unique gifts for each of your family members that show your intimate knowledge of their interests and desires. You have spared no expense to get gifts of the highest quality that will be both enjoyable and beneficial to each person. BUT when your family comes to the Christmas tree, one person completely ignores the presents. Another person opens your gift, but starts using it for something other than what it was made for. Still another just holds the gift, and refuses to unwrap it. And to make the matters worse, none of them even acknowledge that their gifts are from you.

Sadly, this is how many Christians respond to God's gifts, particularly the gifts of the Spirit. So many people fail to receive what the Lord has offered them because they don't understand what the gifts are or how to use them. They say ridiculous things like, "Well, tongues is the least of the gifts, so I don't need to pursue it." If my children said this about one of the presents I had put under the tree for them, I'd be very upset. I'd say, "This is yours! I don't care how small you think it is. I bought it with you in mind, and I don't give cheap gifts. If you'll just open it, I'll show you what it is and how to use it." Such a rejection of gifts is absolute arrogance.

Thankfulness carries an attitude of humility. Thanksgiving is the ONLY proper way to receive what God has given us because it honours our relationship with Him by expressing trust in His goodness, even if we don't understand what we've received. God gives us "every good and perfect gift" for TWO primary reasons. He gives to make us prosper so we can succeed in life, and He gives to demostrate His love as an invitation to relationship. When we practice thanksgiving as a LIFESTYLE, we recognize that the gifts we have received from the Lord came with these purposes. Thanksgiving sets us on course to know God in relationship and discover the reasons for which He made us.

THE GREAT PRICE OF LITTLE THANKS
When God tells us to give Him thanks, He's not insinuating that He gives in order to get something from us. He doesn't manipulate us with His gifts. He wants us to thank Him because thankfulness acknowledges the truth about our lives. And when we agree with the truth, then truth sets us free to see and manifest the greatness that He has put in us as the ones He has made in His image.When we withhold thanks from God, we actually cut ourselves off from who we are. This is what Paul explains in Romans 1:18-21.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who supress the truth in unrighteousness ... so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God they did not glorify Him as God,nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Futiles means purposeless. When we fail to sustain the response of thanksgiving for EVERYTHING in our lives, our thinking is cut off from our purpose in God. When we lose sight of our purpose, we will inevitably make choices that are outside of God's intentions for our lives, and this can only be destructive because it works against His design for us. A dark heart is a heart that is unable to perceive spiritual reality. It is unmoved by the desires and affections of the Lord, and therefore cannot respond to His invitation to relationship, which is the source of life.

THE PURIFYING NATURE OF THANKSGIVING
Since thanksgiving keeps us sane and alive by connecting us to the source of our life and purpose, it makes sense that Paul instructs us to give thanks "in everything."
Thanksgiving Keeps Us Sane And Alive
But there is a specific dimension of thanksgiving that s particularly powerful in times of difficulty and adversity. We find this principle in Paul's first letter to Timothy.
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons...commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the words of God and prayer (1 Timothy 4:1-5)
When Paul says that thanksgiving sanctifies unclean food, he is saying that it sets it apart for God and His purposes. Thanksgiving actually changes the very nature of the food into something holy. This truth extends beyond unclean food. It extends to EVERY SITUATION in your life in which you find other powers at work besides the power of God. It is vital to remember that NOT EVERYTHING happens in life is His will. He didn't cause the crisis a nation or individual may be facing. He actually can't give things that are not good because He doesn't have them. God only give good good gifts, because He is good, and has only good gifts to give. So giving thanks IN EVERYTHING does not mean saying that the adversity came from God. But giving thanks in the midst of an adverse situation, a difficulty intended to undermine your faith and destroy you, enables you to take hold of that situation and set it apart to God and His purposes. When you give thanks, the weapon the enemy meant to use to dislodge you from your divine purpose is put into your hands and becomes the very thing that brings you more fully into that purpose. Jesus declared that He sends us out with the same assigment the Father gave to Him - to destroy the works of the devil (see 1 John 3:8). Thanksgiving accomplishes the divine of the Kingdom, where the enemy is destroyed by the very thing he intended to use for our destruction. Just knowing that we can participate in destroying the enemy's purposes should alone move us to give thanks!
RELEASING JUSTICE
One of the clearest examples of divine justice in Scripture is found in the Book of Esther: the story of Haman, who was hung on the very gallows he built to destroy Mordecai. Later, this justice was made even more complete when Modecai assumed Haman's position in the king's court. The wonderful thing about this story is that Mordecai didn't have to bring justice himself. He simply kept his focus on his duty to the heathen king and to his people. This is the nature of warfare in the Kingdom. We don't battle by focusing on the devil. We keep our focus on the King and His Kingdom, and the devil cannot help but be unseated by God's ever-increasing government released through our lives, which illustrates another reason why thanksgiving is powerful in times of adversity. Psalm 100:4 says that we"enter His gates with thankgiving." Thanksgiving brings us into the manifest presence of God and connects us with what He is doing and saying in the midst of our circumstances. Thanksgiving helps to establish our focus on Him so that our awareness SHIFTS from earthly reality to heavenly reality - which we must do in order to release the strength of Heaven into our circumstances.
KEEPING MY AWARENESS OF GOD
When I stay close to the presence of God through thanksgiving, I not only become aware of His absolute ability to invade the impossible, I sense His radical love and delight in me! As I give thanks for the good gifts He's put in my life, I present convincing evidence that He is my Father, He is for me, and His opinion pretty much cancels out all the others. The wonderful thing is that we simply begin to give thanks, even when it seems difficult to remember one answered prayer, it isn't too long before our focus on the good in our lives creates an opening for the Lord's joy. And It 's the joy of the Lord that is our strength. I believe that James was talking about giving thanks when he said to COUNT IT ALL JOY in trial, because giving thanks usually includes taking an inventory of God's gifts in your life. Do the math! If you want to discover the ability of thanksfulness to bring you strength in difficulty, you need to keep COUNTING these things UNTIL you come to the conclusion - IT's TIME TO REJOICE! It becomes really hard to stay depressed about your circumstances when you're filled with the awareness of the love and goodness of God that surrounds and infuse your life.
There is a level of life we can reach where we practice THANKSGIVING AS A LIFESTYLE - a place where we remember our answered prayers. When difficulty comes along, we have a huge inventory of blessings instantly accessible to bring us into His presence as well as the joy and delight He has over us. That is far greater than any accusation, crisis, or conflict that could come our way. When we learn to live in THIS REALM, NOTHING can deflect us from our purpose. We even make the enemy help us get it done. From Heaven's perspective, it is reasonable to give thanks "IN EVERYTHING"!
An extract from the book - Strengthen Yourself In The Lord by Bill Johnson
Blessing
TPWC

Sunday, August 19, 2007

THANKSGIVING

Thanksgiving lays the foundation for praise and worship.

1) The Source Of Thanksgiving Is Grace

Thanks is our reaction when we realize that all we have, receive, and are is a gift of God's grace. Thanksgiving is rejoicing at what God gave when we were undeserving. True gratitiude registers surprise that God could be so good to us when we deserve nothing. (See Acts 27:35; 28:15; Romans 6:17; 1 Corinthians 1:4; Colossians 1:12 & Revelation 11:17)

2) The Condition Of Thanksgiving Is Agreement

Thanksgiving means that you agree with God. Thus, the Bible encourages you to give thanks in ALL circumstances (see 1 Thessalonians 5:18) and to pray about things that concern you most by making your petitions with thanksgiving (see Philippians 4:6)

3) The Response Of Thanksgiving Is Worship

Thanksgiving responds to God's specific acts. Praise and thanks are thus natural partners in worship (see Psalms 100:4; Hebrews 13:15). Your prayers and your actions worship your Creator. When you thank God, you enter His presence, worship Him, and present an offering to Him.

4) The Occasion For Thanksgiving is Everything

Nothing should escape your thanksgiving. God is active in every area of your life and can show you His direction even in the darkest hour. Thanking God frees Him to work in your life through those circumstances.

5) The Reward Of Thanksgiving

Is God's blessings, peace, joy, growth, worship, and life in Christ. If you have trouble giving thanks under any circumstances, ask the Spirit to fill you (see Ephesians 5:18-20)

An extract from MasterLife - The Disciple's Victory by Avery T. Willis, Jr.
Blessings - TPWC

Friday, July 13, 2007

QUIT COMPLAINING !

Continuing from my last post about getting back to the basic of a worshipper. Here is an interesting article in The Straits Times, Singapore that caught my attention:

The article said -

Church Ps Will Bowen tries not to complain. He wants everyone else to stop carping, too - all six billion of us on the planet.

Last July, the 47-year old American challenged worshippers at Christ Church Unity in Kansas City to quit complaining as a way to bring more prosperity into their lives.

"Complaining draws all of its essence from negativity," he says.

"You're sending out this vibrational energy into the universe that you're a victim, and the universe responds with more negativity."

In a new spin on positive thinking, he handed out about 250 purple bracelets to members of his congregation after the sermon, challenging them to use the bracelets to remind themselves to stop complaining for 21 days. That is how long it takes to break habits, he said.

If they failed, they were to switch the bracelet to the other wrist and start over.

But even Mr. Bowen - a so-called "positive minister guy" - found it a tough challenge. It took him nearly three months to succeed.

The champaign has since been taken up by US schools, prisons and homeless shelters and has even attracted worldwide attention, said Mr. Bowen.

Volunteers have also received orders from more than four million bracelets since Mr. Bowen's March appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Check it out at Ps Will Bowen's church (Christ Church Unity in Kansas City) website at http://ccunitykc.org and http://acomplaintfreeworld.org

What a wonderful way to quit this negative habit? I have personally requested for the the Complaint Free Bracelet but have yet to receive them. To date they have already sent more than 5.9 millions bracelets!

The very opposite of THANKSGIVING IS COMPLAINING ... please read my previous post about Replacing Spirit Of Grumbling With The Spirit OF Thanksgiving in 9 June 2006.

Blessings / TPWC


Friday, June 15, 2007

Back To Basic - Give Thanks ! (Psalm 92)

It Is Good To Give Thanks To The Lord, And To Sing Praises To Your Name, O Most High. - Psalm 92:1

Psalm 92 is a "Song for the Sabbath day," a resting place for those who are troubled.

The song begins with a commendation of praise: "It is good to give thanks to the Lord." It does us good to turn from our unsettling and anxious thoughts to declare God's lovingkindness in the morning, and (His) faithfulness every night" (verse 2). God loves us and is always faithful! He makes us glad (verse 4).

Praise not only makes us glad, it makes us wise. we begin to understand something of God's greatness and creative designs in all that He does (verses 5 - 9). We gain a wisdom that is hidden from those who do not know God. The wicked may "flourish" and "spring up like grass" for a moment (verse 7), but ultimately they will wither away.

The righteous, however, are joined to the One who dwells in eternity (verse 8). They "flourish like a palm tree" and "like a cedar in Lebanon" (verse 12), symbols of graceful beauty and unbending strength. For they have been "planted in the house of the Lord" (verse 13). Their roots go down into the soil of God's faithfulness; they draw on His unquenchable love.

So Give Thanks And Praise To The Lord TODAY! - David Roper
A heart in tune with God can't help but sing His praises.

*** P.S. Check out previous post on 9 June 2006 on "Replace The Spirit of Grumbling with the Spirit of Thanksgiving." ***

Blessings
TPWC

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The 4th MAN - Part 2

WHO IS THE 4th MAN?
Let me tell you Who He is in every book of the Bible.
In Genesis He is the Seed of the Woman.
In Exodus He is the Passover Lamb.
In Leviticus He is our High Priest.
In Numbers He is the Pillar of Cloud by day and the Pillar of Fire by night.
In Deuteronomy He is the Prophet like unto Moses.
In Joshua He is the Captain of our Salvation.
In Judges He is our Judge and Lawgiver.
In Ruth He is our Kinsman Redeemer.
In I and II Samuel He is our Trusted Prophet.
In Kings and Chronicles He is our Reigning King.
In Ezra He is our Faithful Scribe.
In Nehemiah He is the Rebuilder of the Broken Down Walls of our human life.
In Esther He is our Mordecai.
In Job He is our Dayspring from on high and our Ever-Living Redemmer.
In Psalms He is the Lord our Shepard.
In Proverbs and Ecclesiastes He is our Wisdom.
In the Song of Solomon He is our Lover and the Bridegroom.
In Isaiah He is the Prince of Peace.
In Jeremiah He is the Righteous Branch.
In Lamentations He is the Weeping Prophet.
In Ezekiel He is the Wonderful Four-Faced Man.
In Daniel He is the Fourth Man in the burning fiery furnace.


Who is the Fourth Man?
In Hosea He is the Faithful Husband, forever married to the backslider.
In Joel He is the Baptizer with the Holy Ghost and Fire.
In Amos He is our Burden-Bearer.
In Obadiah He is the Mighty to Save.
In Jonah He is our Great Foreign Missionary.
In Micah He is the Messenger of Beautiful Feet, of carrying the Gospel.
In Nahum He is the Avenger of God's Elect.
In Habakkuk He is God's Evangelist, crying, "Revive thy work in the midst of the years."
In Zephaniah He is the Savior.
In Haggai He is the Restorer of God's Lost Heritage.
In Zechariah He is the Fountain Opened in the House of David for sin and uncleanness.
And in Malachi He is the Son of Righteousness, rising with healing in His wings.

Who is the Fourth Man?

In Matthew He is the Messiah.
In Mark He is the Wonder-worker.
In Luke He is the Son of Man.
In John He is the Son of God.
In Acts He is the Holy spirit.
In Romans He is our Justifier.
In Corinthians He is the Gifts of the Spirit.
In Galatians He is the Redeemer from the curse of the law.
In Ephesians He is the Christ on Unreachable Riches.
In Philippians He is the God Who Supplies All Our Needs.
In Colossians He is the Godhead Bodily.
In ! and II Thessalonians He is our Soon-Coming King.
In I and II Timothy He is our Mediator between God and Man.
In Titus He is our Faithful Pastor.
In Philemon He is a Friend that Sticketh Closer that a Brother.
In Hebrews He is the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant.
In James He is the Great Physician.
In I an II Peter He is the Chief Shepherd who soon shall appear with a crown of unfading glory.
In I, II, and III John He is Everlasting Love.
In Jude He is the Lord Coming with Ten Thousands of his Saints.
And in revelation He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

Source - Sermon by Oral Roberts (www.orm.cc)
Blessings
TPWC

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The 4th MAN

In my last post I shared about the 4th Man

"There is a fiery atmosphere to be found in the Shekinah Glory of God's presence, it is a blazing inferno in which the 4th Man, Jesus Christ, reveals Himself. In this fire, bondages are burned away (the ropes were burned off the hands of the Hebrew men). In this fire, there are manifestations of the Glory of God. There are healings and miracles; there is power to be delivered from demonic snares; there is a holy anointing that causes unbelievers to fall on their face in conviction to confess their sin".


Graphic by Russ Drinkard

" Weren't there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?" They replied, ' Certainly, O king.' He said, ' Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like the Son of God." Daniel 3:24-25

Bob Sorge in his book Following The River, shared that when we speak of worship being an organic entity that finds it's own energy in the dynamism of the river (River of the Lord or the anointing of the Lord); there is also the dynamism of the "unholy river" found in secular music.

One of the most fascinating advents of the rock-n-roll era has been the uncommon legacy of an American band called "The Grateful Dead." The driving force of the band was guitarist Jerry Garcia, who led the band with his innovative chord sequences and colourful harmonics. The group toured regularly from the late 1960's until Garcia's death in 1995.

The band would go through their customary songs during their concerts but then at some point would shift gears. Turning from their prepared repertoire, they would launch out into an improvisational riff, find a groove that was working musically, and then begin to push the envelope. The drummer would throw in unusual syncopations; the guitars would whine and scream creatively; the keyboard would strain for colour and dissonance. Together they would move out to the edge of almost losing one another musically, but yet would follow each other's improvisational iniatives closely enough so that they stayed together. Occasionally, the band would catch a wave of momentum, an emotional energy would ripple through the auditorium, a power would grip both the band members and the audience, and the concert would take off into another dimension - they have found "it."

When this happened - whatever it was - the concert hall became an explosive altar or spiritual encounter. Everybody in the place knew that a line had been crossed, the transition had been made, and now the night became a pulsating celebration of connectedness to a cosmic consciousness. It became unclear whether the band or the audience was leading, as the concert became a participatory dance that included every attendee. It was spirit, and it was palpably real. The spiritual atmosphere that filled the concerts was so powerfully compelling, in fact, that many fans became spiritual followers, actually making the Grateful Dead their religion. They called themselves Dead Heads.

When the band performs, Mickey Hart (one of the band members) coined a term to describe what was happening. He would say, "It's when the 7th man shows up." Bob asked his friends what he meant by that term. Apparently there were six people in the band at the time he coined the phrase. He was recognizing that there was a power present in the concert that went beyond the members of the band. There was a spiritual presence which gave to the band an impact. The Greatful Dead had found the river - "the unholy river." (for more information check it our at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grateful_Dead - The Grateful Dead’s early music was part of the process of establishing what "psychedelic music" was, but theirs was essentially a "street party" form of it. )

Worshippers, the point that Bob Sorge wants to make is that where there is the counterfeit (let's not forget that Satan, the master counertfeit was also once a worship leader in the heavenlies), it is a testimony to the existence of the genuine. The experiences of a secular band only serve to substantiate that there is a reality that is available to us in God - a river of divine glory that can be touched in corporate worship.

When they touched their river, they described it as "when the seventh man shows up." But when we touch our river, let's call it "When the 4th MAN shows up." (Daniel 3:24-25)

An extract from : Following The River - A Vision For Corporate Worship by Bob Sorge

When the worship leader & band by the grace of the Lord is able to let their music flow in the anointing of the River of God or explode in the Fire of His Glory, we can expect the Fourth Man to show up

Blessings / TPWC



Sunday, March 25, 2007

THE SHEKINAH GLORY OF GOD - PART 4

How Do We Enter The Glory Realm? What are the keys to unlock the doors and windows of heaven so that we can access into His Glorious Presence? These are not passing questions but are realities which worshippers who have experienced His Shekinah Glory would understand what I am talking about.

In the year 2000 my church experienced an "OPEN HEAVEN". We had a mini-revival for about three years where God's Glorious Presence was often tangible in our mid-week prayer meetings, Saturday worship practices and Sunday worship services (refer to Part 1 - posted on 15 January 2007).

A) THE KEY TO HIS GLORY - Corporately

What do I mean when I speak about an "OPEN HEAVEN"? Tommy Tenny author of the best selling book - The God Chaser explained it as a place of Easy Access to God. He shared that the Word of God tells us that there are five distinct and definite things that open the windows of heavens. This isn't formula; it is a lifestyle of worship and dedication to God first in all things. All of the following are various elements of worship.

1) Tithing - is an ancient key to the heavenlies that predates the giving of the law of Abraham (Genesis 14:18-20). The principle of giving God the "firstfruits" of our income or increase is clearly described in the Book of Malachi:
"Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this, " says the Lord of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it (Malachi 3:10 NKJV).


2) Persecution - also opens the heavens, as demostrated in the Book of Acts when Stephen was martyred:
But he, being full of the Holy Spirit gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!" Then they cried out with a loud voice ... and they cast him out of the city and stoned him (Acts 7:55-58a NKJV).

3) Persistence - is an effective tool for "prying open" the gates of Heaven. Elijah prayed seven times and kept sending his servant back to search the skies until, on the seventh time, the servant saw a cloud the size of a man's hand rise from the sea. That tiny cloud from God grew into such a powerful storm that the skies were turned black with rain and wind (1 Kings 18:42-45). Jesus told the disciples that the "door" would be opened to those who persistently ask, seek, and knock on God's door (Matthew 7:7-8).

4) Unity - will open the windows of Heaven; it invites God's presence wherever two or three agree "Concerning anything that they ask." Jesus literally said, "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." (Matthew 18:19-20 NKJV)

5) Worship - is the fifth key to the third heaven. David the psalmist prophesied, "Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in." (Psalm 24:7 NKJV)

An extract from God's Favourite House - "If You Build It, He will Come" - By Tommy Tenney

B) THE KEY TO HIS GLORY - Worship Leaders/Worshippers

6) Hunger & Desperation - This is what Tommy Tenney is talking about - Chasing after God! Just like Moses asking the Lord to show him His face. During our church revival, there was a was a spirit of hunger, desperation and anticipation to meet the Lord each time we gather for worship service. Worship Leader should choose songs that are simple so that the people can just concentrate on worshipping instead of getting distracted to look at the overhead project to follow the words of the song.

7) Praise until the Spirit of Worship comes. Worship ... until the Glory comes. Then ... stand in the Glory - this secret was shared by Ruth Ward Heflin in her book - Glory, Experiencing the Atmosphere of Heaven. Each time the worship leader is able to lead the people to praise in unity, he creates a platform not only for the Lord's visitation but His inhabitation. As you lead the people in worship, the worship leader should not rush or be concern about the song list; the Lord would often give us certain song to unlock the door into the His glory. The manifestation of His Glory is not forced but it is spontaneous (by His pleasure, grace & favour - you just know it; see some of the expression in the pictures in Part 2 - posted on 5 February 2007). When the Glory of the Lord falls, we just stand in His Glory and let Him lead the service ... a manifestation of the "Fourth Man" - Jesus Christ

8) Expecting the Fourth Man - We are familiar with the story in the Book of Daniel when King Nebuchadnezzar threw the three Hebrew slaves into the fiery furnance, but when he looked into the flame, he saw not only three men walking around, but also the form of a Fourth Man in the fire (Daniel 3:25). And the Fourth looked like the Son of God. There is a fiery atmosphere to be found in His Shekinah Glory, it is a blazing inferno in which the Fourth Man, Jesus Christ, reveals Himself. In this fire, bondages are burned away (the ropes were burned off the hands of the Hebrew men). In this fire, there are manifestations of the Glory of God. There are healings and miracles; there is power to be delivered from demonic snares; there is a holy anointing that causes unbelievers to fall on their face in conviction to confess their sins.

(An extract from the book - Following The River by Bob Sorge)

When the worship leader & band by the grace of the Lord is able to let their music flow in the anointing of the River of God or explode in the Fire of His Glory, we can expect the Fourth Man to show up

I trust that you are able to comprehend my attempt to explain the keys to His Glory. Like I have said in my post in Part 1 - It is the highest goal of worship. Feel free to contact me at thepraiseandworshipconnection@gmail.com if you wish to know more.

Blessings
TPWC


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

THE SHEKINAH GLORY OF GOD - PART 3

What is the Glory Realm? It is the realm of eternity. It is the revelation of the presence of God. It is the manifestation of His presence. He Is Glory. He is everywhere, but Glory is the manifestation of that reality. Earth has the atmosphere of air, whereas the heavenly atmosphere is Glory, His presence. when Glory comes down, it's a bit of Heaven's atmosphere coming down to us, a taste of His manifest presence.

We don't see the air, do we? But all of us would be dead if we are not breathing it. We are not conscious of the air unless we see the wind blowing the leaves on the trees. Yet, the earth is covered by it. In the same way, not one inch of Heaven lacks glory. Now God is giving us a taste of that Glory, Heaven manifested on earth.

"For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." Habakkuk 2:14

An extract from GLORY - Experiencing The Atmosphere of Heaven by Ruth Ward Heflin


My goal is not simply to enlighten you the reality of God's Glory, but to ignite you with a passion to see His Glory. Moses was one such passionate person who chased after the Glory of God. He prayed, "Please show me Your Glory" (Exodus 33:18). The fact that God answered his prayer is proof that God is willing to hear and answer our cries for His Glory. The backdrop to Moses' prayer is strategically important. A number of significant events preceded this prayer which deserve our attention. Few men in the Bible had encounters with God's Glory like Moses did. It all began the day that Moses saw a bush that was burning in the wilderness but wasn't comsumed.

Let's review his encouters with God's Glory and power:

- At the burning bush encounter, he heard God's audible voice ordering him to take his shoes off because he was standing on holy grond. God proceeded to call him verbally to lead His people from Egypt to the promised land

- He threw his rod down, and it became a serpent; then he picked the serpent up by the tail, and it was a rod again.

- He put his hand into his bosom, pulled it out, and it was leprous; he returned his hand into his bosom, and when he withdrew it again, it was healthy.

- He watched ten fearful plagues invaded Egypt: blood, frogs, lice, flies, pestilence, boils, hails, locusts, darkness and death.

- A protective misty cloud clung breathlessly to the ground between Israel and Egypt's army while a fierce gale blew over the adjacent sea, dividng the waters.

- They walked through the sea, on dry ground, with a wall of water on this side and that.

- On the opposite shore they watched as the sea returned upon itself, killing Pharoah's entire army.

- The bitter waters of Marah were made potable by casting a tree into tthe waters.

- Manna from heaven appeared on the ground, and water poured forth from a rock when Moses struck it.

- Then, they came to the mountain where God Himself descended in fire and a thick cloud. Huge plumes of smoke billowed into the sky, there was lightning and thunder, the entire mountain shook ... and they heard the voice of God Himself. Then, He said to Moses, "Come on up!" Moses climbed the mountain at God's command and lived for two sets of forty days in the fire of God's Glory upon the mountain.

- Then Moses asked to be shown God's Glory, and God showed him His back

The above chronology is the general increase of intensity in Moses' encounters with God's Glory. There are varying degrees of intensity of Presence, and there are varying degrees of intensity of Glory. For example, when we praise Him together, the Lord sits enthroned among His people. This dimension of His presence is so palpable that we can often sense His presence with us as we worship Him together. And then we enter that sphere where we move from the Presence Realm to the Glory Realm. When God heals a sick person in the midst of worship, we're talking a Glory manifestation.

What Exactly Is The Glory Realm? when we ask to be shown His Glory, what are we asking for? In Moses' encounters we see two-fold description:

The first aspect of Glory is found in His words "I will make all My goodness pass before you" (Exodus 33:19); where it is perceived by one or more of the five senses. It is an encounter where you literally see, hear, smell, taste, or actually feel spiritual realities. Some people have actually smelled a heavenly aroma during worship services. Others have seen a cloud or angels. Others have heard angels singing or God speaking.

The second aspect of Glory is described in the Lord's next phrase of verse 19, "And I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you." God was saying, "Moses, I am going to proclaim My name before you in such a way that it goes beyond a physical hearing and becomes a true spiritual hearing. It's not just a sensory experience, but it's also an experience whereby the Holy Spirit supernaturally enables us to comprehend spiritual truth in our inner man so that we might know Him better. Wow!

The two-fold definition of Glory is consistent with the apostle John's experience (as well as many others in the Bible). As per his account in Revelation 1, John literally saw the risen Christ with his natural eyes, but the experience didn't stop there. Jesus then proclaimed His name to John: "I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen And I have the keys of Hades and of Death." (Revelation 1:8, 18). John's heart must have nearly exploded with the revelation insight of Christ's words as He spoke these awesome truths straight into John's spirit. John not only saw and heard, he also undesrtood. This Is Glory!

An extract from GLORY - When Heaven Invades Earth by Bob Sorge

I trust that you now have a deeper understanding on the subject of experiencing His GLORY.
In my next post I will attempt to share on how we can touch the GLORY REALM.

Blessings TPWC

Monday, February 05, 2007

THE SHEKINAH GLORY OF GOD - PART 2

In this continuing message on the Shekinah Glory of God, I thought it might be good to share some ideas both in written and pictorial expressions of people who have encountered His glorious presence

1) Ruth Ward Heflin - GLORY Experiencing The Atmosphere Of Heaven

When I was a young girl, I went directly from school to the church on Wednesday afternoons. The faithful of the church were gathered in prayer from one to four. I attended most of those prayer meetings.

During the first two hours they had been making their petitions and interceding before God. During the last hour they would just bask in His presence. Those were the best times. Every petition they could think of had been made. Now the Holy Ghost took over. Sounds of glory, dropped into my spirit from those years, have kept me as I traveled all over the world in ministry.

I have been in thousands of meetings and heard thousands of sermons, but the greatest influence in my life has been those glory sounds that came forth in the latter hours of those prayer meetings where God's people touched the eternal realm.

As air is the atmosphere of the earth, glory is the atmosphere of Heaven. It lifts us up above the earthly, into the very presence of God.

2) Brownsville Revival 1995 -2003

Pictures of people touched by the Glory of God (pictures used with permission from Sister Cathy Wood - official photographer - www.sisterwood.com)
In His Glorious presence!

When The Glory of God Falls!











Brownsville 9-7-01
There was really no way for me to take photos last night! The Glory began to fall and I made a quality decision to worship instead of work! Pastor was going to preach but we never got there. It became a night like when there's no company and we all are in our pajamas just being comfortable with each other. Oh, we had visitors alright, but no guest was brought in to preach. There was freedom to not think about what we needed to do next. It was like the beginning of the revival. Prayer ministry began very early, before 9:00. It was spontaneous and exciting. Lindell (worship pastor) must have been prayed for because he just sat there, unable to play the keyboard for long time. The sounds in the sanctuary came from voices in worship and joy as the Holy Ghost kissed the crowd. No one wanted to leave. There were people sitting on the steps, all over the floor, on the pews, under the pews ..... We are still hungry. We are still desperate for the move of God.

Breathe
This Is The Air I Breathe
Your Holy Presence Living In Me
This Is The Air I Breathe
Your Very Word Spoken To Me

And I Am Desperate For You
And I Am Lost Without You
Marie Barnett @ 1995 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing


TPWC

Monday, January 15, 2007

THE SHEKINAH GLORY OF GOD - The Highest Goal of Worship

In my last post I shared about experiencing the Glory of God in worship? If you love the Presence of God, you will never be satisfied until you see the Glory of God. What is the Glory of God? It is a holy hunger for the manifestation of His tangible Presence (the Bible speaks about The Shekinah Glory of His Presence)

Bob Sorge in his book "GLORY - When Heaven Invades Earth" (a must read) defines the word GLORY as a noun :
(1) Glory - Honour, reputation, dignity, praise
(2) Glory - Endowment of blessing, power and life
(3) Glory - The heavenly dimension where the magnitude of God's personhood irradiates throughout the heavenlies
(4) Glory - The invasion of God's reality into the human sphere

The highest goal of worship deals with point (4) and Bob Sorge defines "GLORY" as used in the Bible to describe the action of God whereby He takes of His Glory which is eternally existent in heaven, pushes through the veil that separates natural and spiritual realities, and reveals within the parameteters of our time and space the spendor of His magnificient beauty and splendor.

There is coming a time when the Glory of the heavenlies is going to invade our natural plane, and mankind is going to be abruptly awakened to the might and power of God's Presence. It is to this revelation of Glory which the following verses point:

- For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,as the waters cover the sea ( Habakkuk 2:14)
- "And I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory," says the Lord of hosts (Haggai 2:7)
- The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken (Isaiah 40:5)

In my personal life I had the encounter of His Shekinah Glory - once in the worship service with brother John Stevenson (as described in my last post on Extravagant Worship) and another earlier time as a young Christian in a prayer meeting when His Glory fell ..... at that time I did not know the meaning of these two experiences but they were such awesome time and encounters when/where you just do not want to leave the place. Time just stood still in His glorious presence!

A few years ago, my church when through a refreshing period of what we called "Revival" and very often we experienced such a glorious presence of God in our worship services. Sometime the worship service would last more than 3 hours and everybody were immersed in His Presence. Often we experienced both heavenly and physical manifestations. Some people have actually smelled heavenly aroma during worship services. Others have seen a cloud or angels. Others have heard angles singing or God speaking. When you have a spiritual experience that is actually perceived at the sensory/physical level, then you are touching the Glory realm.


If you are a worshipper how do you touch this Glory? Or if you are a worship leader how do you lead people into the Glory realm? ..... next post

Blessing - TPWC