Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Holidays & Congratulations!

Happy 27th Anniversary Mom & Dad

This past holiday season was an especially exciting one in my household as it included a short visit from some extended family! Arriving from the "down under", Dr. George Howell, his wife Sheba and his two incredibly lovely kids (Joshua and Zachariah), were able to join us for New Years and the celebration of my parents 27th Wedding Anniversary. With me being in school and constantly traveling I was never able to throw them a proper 25th, so this was our version of the Silver Anniversary. Celebrating just over a quarter century of matrimonial life together is no small, nor at times easy feat! As a surprise that night we were also able to celebrate the anniversary of Dr. George and Sheba as well!

 Their First Dance (Literally was their First Dance that night!)

Dr. George & Mrs. Sheba Howell cutting their surprise anniversary cake.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Be a priest for those in need!

Hello 2012!

I haven't been writing for quite a while, but I do have a lot to say! Unfortunately life got in the way as it often does, and the PCInq suffered. Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to get back to it! Here are some topics to look forward to in the next few blogs:

1. Holidays and Congratulations - A blog almost completely unrelated to the community at large!
2. ICV Growth and upcoming news

-- also watch out for my newly translated video about blasphemy in Pakistan from the experts views to be uploaded soon!

So let's get started with this blogs topic!

Some people may have seen via my Facebook stream, that in the beginning of this year I posted a lot about Aaron's breastplate and intercessory prayer... I’ve finally gotten the time to explain what I was talking about and here it is!

In November 2011 @ The Call Detroit, I learnt so many unforgettable lessons. I saw North American nations come together in an act of faith, to pray specifically for Detroit – it’s impact on the greater United States – their relationship with Canada – and in turn their broader effect on the world. That's a mouthful no doubt! But I think it’s important to understand how each distinguishing point is connected to the next, and how these larger concepts are in turn connected to the individual. When Jesus was crucified; when He died; when He rose and granted salvation to humanity: we have been blessed with that salvation through relationship. I.e. We MUST have a relationship with Christ in order to receive our salvation – as must everyone else who chooses it.

ABC’s of Christianity, I know.

Now when we pray for our homes – cities – nations – or even the world: we should remember that we are praying for individuals, each and every person. Without individual change – without individuals turning to God and seeking Him, the kind of change that our nations/cities/homes require is not possible.


*SIDE STORY!* It applies to the blog so I thought I'd share this...

When I was younger (quite like the news on TV these days), I would hear on CNN and the like, how the US was "going down" in one way or another (financially, socially, economically, politically) – but my mother, the sound voice of reason in our house would always say that “a nation with so many praying people will never truly fall”. Okayyyyyyy. So it may not be a biblical fact that the US is shatterproof – and like my younger self I am sure many will grimace and mutter things like:

"WHAT praying people?" OR "the US is FAR too immoral to be saved"

-- And I hear you, believe me. But what I know is that after a great many lessons I realized that the problem was not that "Christians” were not there: the problem was that my mind was not allowing me to see them. I attracted the crowds that flowed with my own thoughts. When I finally gave myself up and got to know Jesus, I asked the Lord to show me what He saw; to be led where He would have me. He led me right back to the body, and the body is strong. 

Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides You - Who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.” – Isaiah 64:4

If none but one person in this world would have it, God's love so indescribable, would remain ever steadfast for that one. That is the awesome nature of God’s love – and the sacrifice Jesus gave for us. Why we always say: "He died for ME". Thankfully though, there are many more than just one who believe this. So getting back to that conference; I want to tell you about how I learned to be an intercessor and pray for the individual.

Intercessor:- Mediator, a negotiator who acts as a link between parties.
Intercession:- the action of intervening on behalf of another; -- in our case saying a prayer on behalf of another.

In the wee hours of the morning, a Detroit area pastor took to the stage to lead us in an exercise – one for which it's important to truly understand the value and importance of acting in faith and on the word. (Probably later on I will further expand on this topic but for now I'll attempt to give a succinct reference in three points.)

  1. The first is just to say that Jesus prayed. Not pretend prayers. He never applied the vastly used theory that "God knows my thoughts so why bother”. Jesus took part in literal specific and real conversation with God the Father; showing His own relationship with the Father, as well as the important nature of fellowship regardless of circumstance (in His case that would be that He is the SON OF GOD). Not only did Jesus pray, but He prayed for us, He interceded on our behalf when we could not reach the Father; this is why we pray in Jesus name, because we are led by Him. So before anyone rolls their eyes remember: no one is above the act of prayer.
  2. As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” – James 2:26
  3. Thirdly, if you open up the bible it is FILLED with people doing literal things by faith. Think about Moses reaching out his staff to part the sea.. Did he actually part the sea? No GOD DID the work, but Moses acted in faith. Think about Elijah’s servant who ran seven times to find only a cloud the size of a hand; even for such a small sign they rejoiced. God blessed their faithful actions.