First Assembly DeLand and the Place of Prayer

“The effective prayer of a righteous person has great power.” (James 5:16)

I’ve been in awe these past weeks regarding what God has been doing in the midst of our church. For those of you that are unaware what I am talking about, the presence of God has been very strong and there has been a great stirring among many to pray. Prayer times accompanied by strong movings of the Spirit have spontaneously broken out at different times, services and in different groups.

I felt stirred to give a word of encouragement and summary to what I believe the Lord is doing right now corporately. The calling of our church is to pray, reach and teach nations (which also includes our city and nation). This calling is from God and has been confirmed over and over many times. The Lord knows that we will not be spiritually (or financially, physically, etc) prepared to handle the responsibility of reaching and teaching nations unless we are rooted deep in prayer, where everything we do (to serve or minister) flows out of time in prayer between us and God. I would say that our calling has not and will not come to fulfillment until we are literally a church of prayer.

I believe THAT is what this movement of God is about. This time is a season of grace from Him to stir us to enter into the place of prayer. Prayer that is not a duty, but delight. He spoke to me the other week and said:

“This time is not about splashing in the river but to stir you to pray.”

During the last week there have been multiple prophecies and encouragements given that the Lord is saying “ask me cause I long to give it to you.” One prophecy literally felt like the Lord was saying “I’ve made much power available to you in the place of prayer…start using it!” Recently, one of our deacon’s son-in-law became deathly ill. He was on a ventilator and a medical induced coma and no one knew if he was going to live. The next church service, we stopped everything and cried out corporately for God to break in with healing. THAT NIGHT HE WAS HEALED! It was the Lord who healed him but the Lord was (and is) looking to partner with us in prayer, to cry out for Him to move in these situations.

The Lord has called our church to great things, things that will require deep long persistent prayer. He knows we are not going to corporately get to that place overnight, but He is a good Teacher. I believe we are in a season where God is answering prayers quickly and powerfully to stir and boost our faith. He desires our first reaction to be prayer. When we are presented with an issue, situation or a need, He desires that our natural response would be to ask Him to move, break in and provide what is needed. We have prayed quick prayers during our services recently for people to get jobs and be healed only to hear the next day how God sent the answer quickly! Oh how God longs to answer us!

I encourage you that if you have a need, let the Lord move you to pray for it. We were praying Monday night and felt that the Lord wanted us (corporately) to ask for lost loved ones cause He wanted to save floods of them. I encourage you to pray for wayward family members, that the Lord would reach out and save them. For parents of rebellious children, begin/continue to ask God to bring them back to Him.

He hears us everytime we pray and He longs to answer us! He desires to do signs and wonders among us to boost our faith. I encourage you to enter into this place of prayer the Lord has set before us and let’s see Him do powerful things all for His glory!!!!

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The Return To Blogging

Wow. It’s been a long time since I’ve written for a blog. My life has been crazy for the last year and although it still is, I feel compelled to write and start blogging regularly.

There have been a few significant changes to my life. Back in April, I started courting a beautiful young lady named Ranae (see picture below) and a few months later I proposed to her. This has dramatically changed my life, not just emotionally, physically and socially, but spiritually as well. God has been using the relationship and all it entails to teach me kingdom principals. I am sure some (if not many) of these principals will overflow into some of the posts I will be writing.

Secondly, last December I bought myself an iPhone for Christmas. It has helped my life become more mobile, and in truth will allow me to continue blogging. One reason I stopped blogging was because I couldn’t afford the time to lock myself away privately with a computer. Neither could I afford to open myself to the temptations that come with doing that. Thanks to my iPhone though (which is locked down to avoid temptations) I can blog using wordpress’s iPhone app (also a reason my blog is back on wordpress.com).

I’m excited to continue this journey into questioning and the pursuit of truth to understand Jesus better and I hope you will journey along and share your insights too.

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Preaching From The Well

during these last few weeks, i have striven and determined to live a life with a¬† steady morning devotional life filled with studying God’s Word and prayer. ever since i have started, my life has gone fantastically better and one of the main things i have realized is the authority and weight of my words recently. i can feel power and effectiveness when i speak or talk about the things of God. it’s like arrows of fire and passion being shot out of my mouth.

for a long time, the only time i would seriously get in the Word of God was when i had to preach at youth or something. those times were alright but seriously fell short of what God wanted. my devotion life was like drinking a glass of water once a month or so. now, since the change, it’s like i’m speaking, living, preaching, praying and even worshipping from a well. there’s a depth of revelation and authority that i feel myself reaching into whenever i pray or think and speak of God.

it’s good to know that when life gets hard and dry, that i have a source of refreshing and revelation that will sustain me and now that i’m finally tasting this true “living water” in abundance…i don’t ever want to go back to a life with a “glass”-like devotional life.

My Life 2008: Part 1

it’s been a long time since i have given an update status on my life so i decided to post updates semesterally (meaning 3 times a year). so here is some highlights of my life for the past 5 months:

  • school
    i was accepted into stetson university this past semester. the issue is that, after i was accepted, i had to find $105,000 (3 years of tuition at $34,000 a year). i have always known that my finances are the confirmation to where i am to go. after applying for many scholarships, grants and loans, i could not come up with enough money to come for a year. so after getting counsel from my senior pastor, i decided to continue my aa degree at daytona beach college (i will finish this summer) and then transfer to university of central florida in the fall to pursue a major in marketing. although i already have a degree in digital media design, design is not my main passion. solving problems regarding products, organizations and communication is. so hopefully this degree will do me some good in my future (although i am always up for a “media pastor” position in our church…lol).
  • church marketing team
    i was asked in the beginning of the year to be a part of a brand new marketing team that my church leaders formed. this was a dream come true for me. my pastor talks about influence being better than authority, and that’s what this team is all about. i get to share my thoughts on how to improve our church and it has been very exciting to see the changes that we have made. i am also one of the two graphic designers in the group, so my design services have been used a lot more and it’s nice to help bring our church into this decade. all the changes i have helped make and all the artwork and advertising i’ve designed can be used in my portfolio and resume, so this is a great thing even for the long run in my life. you can see some of the stuff i’ve been working on my flickr page.
  • blogging
    i am coming off a spontaneous blogging vacation. due to finals and other hectic things in my life, i haven’t posted anything in a month or so. while i haven’t been thrilled about that, the break has helped me rest and has refreshed me to keep blogging. i have several drafts right now being worked on for upcoming posts, so keep checking back. ūüôā
    i am also excited that several of my friends have gotten blogs recently. i look forward to reading their thoughts and linking to their sites from here. i’m funny how it all started with this one post (just in case you think that nothing you write makes a difference in other’s lives).
  • thecall florida and onething lakeland
    i had the blessing to go to thecall florida in february where thousands gathered to pray for the nation and state. it was a very powerful time. i was also fortunate to go to the onething lakeland conference sponsored by ihop kansas city. it was life changing. so many things turned and were refocused during that conference. it has been a different spiritual ballgame ever since!
  • twitter
    one of my favorite things about the past 5 months have been my newfound love for using twitter. many people don’t use it or “get it” yet, but it’s one of my daily joys. twitter is basically a site where i can write 140-character posts and it will update my blog, facebook and many other sites and devices. i usually update my twitter account 3-5 times a day (usually from my phone). i am able to give updates on really small and funny things in my life…things that aren’t worthy a blog post here, but things that my friends enjoy hearing and finding out. if you desire, you can follow my rants and “tweets” on my twitter page or you can check my blog where the most recent post is displayed on the right hand side.

well, those are the main things that have been going on in my life. if you ever have any questions or desire to know a little more about me, please drop me a message by clicking the contact button on the top of this blog. i would love to hear from you and i will do my best to respond in a quick manner.

I Heart FHP

i wanted to drop a quick note to say how much i appreciate the florida highway patrol and their officers.

i was stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire the other day, and i could not get this tire off for the life of me. i called fhp and they had an officer there within minutes. it was one of the greatest experiences in my life (since God used that situation to teach me something…more on that here) and i am deeply grateful for the fhp and all they do. this is far from the first time they’ve helped me. they’ve always been there when i’ve need them.

so to everyone who works for the florida highway patrol…thank you for all you do and all your service to the people of florida!

Wisdom, Commitment & Fantasy Football

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like it? if you can’t tell, this is my league’s fantasy football stats. my team are called the “distant closers” (i couldn’t think of anything else at the time…lol). and you can see that i am #1 in my division and (though you can’t see) i am #1 in the whole league. so why am i talking and “bragging” about this?

“I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.¬† (When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just, having been baptized with the baptism of John,¬†but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.)¬† To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.¬† For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, He has a demon. The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!¬† Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.¬†” (luke 7:28-35)

Jesus spoke this after talking about john the baptist and how the kingdom of God has been advancing. it is after talking about that when He says “to what then shall i compare”. He starts talking about that no matter what was happening or how the kingdom was “wrapped”…no one wanted to accept the present. in pride they looked and judged the move of God and therefore also judged the “children” of the move of God. but Jesus was clear that in the end, wisdom will be justified.

now back to fantasy football. i was asked to join the league this season. i kinda like football (especially the dolphins…who are having their worst year ever) and don’t mind watching it, but i was a little apprehensive about building a team and having to check stats and stuff to make sure i win. so instead, i signed up and forgot about it. the computer auto-drafted all my players! i spent all the football nights praying and seeking God. (that’s what He told me to do instead) so the season starts and a couple weeks later i keep hearing my name pop up in groups. come to find out, though i know very little about stats and football, i was leading the team in every which way. they thought it was luck…but after 6 weeks, that feeling has kinda changed. why?…

cause i have made a commitment with God that i will not modify my team whatsoever. i have not changed my lineup. i have not traded players at all. i’ve had several players not playing during a week and i have still won. in return to my commitment to God, i have asked for Him to say something to people through this. i have asked Him to talk to people about focusing their time better.

now there is nothing wrong with fantasy football, but there CAN come a point when it becomes an idol (like my friend patt said tonight). what are some signs of it?

  • when you can memorize all the stats for the nfl, but find it extremely difficult to memorize scripture.

  • when you spend hours developing your team, not no time in the Word or prayer.

  • when you catch every play of the game, but forget if you saw your kids that day.

there are others. the point is that those who truly have a kingdom mind will invest in that which is eternal the most. fantasy football is great, but¬†the passion for it¬†should not burn brighter than the passion for the¬†work of God in our lives. the kingdom has so many facets (like a dance or dirge…different forms of music) that we can latch onto, but sadly people don’t dance or mourn or react whatsoever to what God wants to do. why? cause we are too entangled with other things…other gods. it’s time to start committing more to God and His kingdom.

i mean, how important and challenging is fantasy football if a know-nothing-about-football man can have a perfect record? i pray that in my life (and hopefully in yours), i will be one of the children that justifies wisdom.

what are things that strive to replace God’s place in your life? what do you think of this post? what are some of the “wisdom” things God is trying to teach you right now?

Just A Late Night Update

i just wanted to throw this note out to everyone. it is 12:10am right now and i’ve been working for over 15 hours now straight. i plan on going home soon but i am waiting for my computer to finish a couple tasks…which gave me the time to throw up this quick update.

so the last few days, my israel post has become extremely popular. but more importantly, i am burning with a fire i can’t explain…it’s a fire to defend israel and the promises of God concerning the people and the land. i have been reading other blogs and am shocked to see how many people are so anti-israel (especially christians!), and my heart goes out to israel to try to defend them.

now i am very unskilled in this arena of “debate” (though i don’t take it that way) when it comes to my knowledge of what God says about israel…but this fire in me is making me search out the scriptures to see what they say about israel and the endtimes. so i just wanted to say that in the coming weeks, expect more “israel” focused posts and comments. it’s time for the church to understand “why israel?”

to clear up any future rumors…i have not gone out looking for a fight or debate. i have been stumbling onto good sites with a wrong view of israel, and instead of holding my peace…i have decided to stand up and speak out for the “little guy”….my “younger brother”.

what does everyone think of this? what are your views or issues with israel? please feel free to share your thoughts.