I would like to take the time to stop for a moment and boast in the Lord regarding some of the younger people in my church family. When I say younger, I mean those from their teens to those perhaps in their forties. Some I will mention their name and some will go nameless, but they will know who they are. God will settle these words into the spirit of those who need to know.
Seth Wolfenbarger, son, you need to dent your knees EVERY DAY and thank GOD for your mama and daddy. They have provided you with every imaginable opportunity that anyone could hope for! You have not disappointed them or me! Don’t ever lose sight of how good your mama and daddy are to you! I used to lie awake at night and CRY because I did not own an instrument of the quality that you possess! I know you put much into it and I know that dad had something in the mix. I have watched and I see the hunger in your eyes that I once possessed. I have seen you scratch and claw to learn music and you have advanced rapidly. Keep your music in the church son. Don’t let it stray outside. ALWAYS remember that you play for God’s glory, not yours. One day, we will all sing the songs that God places in your heart!
Nathan Branch and Spencer Garland, gentlemen one day God will bless me to the extent that neither of you will be concerned with a house payment or your next meal. I have seen your faithfulness at an age that impresses me. Let it be known that I am not easily impressed. At your age I was playing the bars and honky tonks across the south. You both work tirelessly and I pray God gives you increase beyond your dreams. One day, when I receive my blessing, you will bring forth from The Gathering Church something that will leave Bethel and Hillsong reeling in their tracks wondering, “What Happened? Where did THAT come from?” Oh, I believe it. I ask that you believe with me.
Grace Parker, I see you here, there, everywhere like a butterfly. You mingle with the young, the middle aged and the elderly. I’ve been watching. So has God. You are very much like your mama. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. But Grace, you will surpass your mama. I’m not sure how as yet, because those are big shoes to fill. I’m not saying Trina Parker has big feet mind you. However, she leaves a big track. But you, Grace, will leave greater tracks and more of them, having a great impact upon our nation.
Josh Kandel. What a lion in sheep’s clothing! When I hear you pray son, I don’t hear the soft spoken Joshua. I hear the roar of a lion. There is strength and honor in you that is unheard of for someone your age. You walk in integrity that most MEN will NEVER know! Oh, but if I had known what you know when I was your age what great things I could have accomplished! But I didn’t know. I know now. But for somethings I should have accomplished, the forty years I have left are not enough time to get it done. Perhaps, that will fall to you, for you to do. I believe in you. You can do anything!
Tre’ McNally. Ahhhh, the quiet one. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard you speak a single word. But as I walked into the sanctuary Wednesday night God whispered, “Watch that young man! He’s the sleeper that no one suspects!” Tre’ you may be quiet and reserved for now, but soon son you will rush to the front of the pack. You will be large and in charge of every situation and circumstance. Your mom and dad are warriors. They may be soft spoken but they know where to draw the line in the sand. So do you! Great is YOUR future for when you speak many will listen. Your legacy is written. Your destiny is secured. All you have to do son, is step into to it and receive it.
Now I’d like to address the Deacons and Elders. It is with great respect, humility, and honor that I am allowed to serve with all of you great men. Forgive me if I seem blunt at times. Fairy tale words are for fairy tale worlds. We do not live in a fairy tale world. I’ll only call two by name:
Elder Nick Parker. Perhaps the kindest soul I’ve ever met. Yet, you stand as a man among men. Yours is not an easy task. I thank GOD for you and for all the hours, no days, of prayer that you have invested on my behalf. It had to be so and I’m sorry if I caused you any dread in the past. I align my heart with yours which I know is aligned with the Father. God could not have chosen a better man for us, the DEACONS of THE GATHERING CHURCH!
Stuart Garrison, Lead Deacon, I stand amazed at your maturity and diligence. Diplomatic and loving, you care most about the men you oversee. Never fear to speak your heart for your heart is a heart for God. Stand tall and stand firm for your duty demands it. Your soft-spoken nature belies that which is in you. But I know that you are fearless. You, sir, have all the respect, love and devotion that I can muster. I am proud to stand at your right hand.
To the Deacons, you know who you are if no one else does. I boast in the Lord on your behalf. You are not mice. You are MEN! Please, allow me to speak as a man to men. What we experienced Sunday December 18, 2018 does not amount to one drop of water dripping over flood gates that will soon open wide releasing a flood. We need to make ready! Examine yourselves and bond tightly to your brothers at arms. Hold each other accountable! Make no mistake about it. What is looming in front of us is something that has NEVER been witnessed before. The clouds are gathering and in my Spirit the Shofar is sounding long and loud. WAR is at hand! I am sick and tired of watching my Deacons, my brothers, massacred and slaughtered to fall by the way side. Enough is enough! When Jesus walks in with the flood that is coming it’s not going to be messy. We’re going to get bloody! It won’t be just the deaf, blind, crippled, and the addicted. It’ll be much more than that! If WE’RE not ready, Lord have mercy and forgive us! Rally together my brothers our God will fight for us and give us what we need even in the hour we need it. But be ready.
I’m going to close this post with a prayer:
Father! Hear ME! All these I have mentioned and all that have gone unnamed lift YOU up above all else! You planted ME, a righteous oak, here in their midst and quietly I have grown as you taught me about the ancient paths which are the good way. You planted me as an oak of righteousness among these men and women. I have weathered great storms yet I remain standing! Each person has their own storms to contend with and their own battles to fight. But LORD! YOU have fought so many battles on MY behalf. I’ve walked away from them ALL bloody and scarred but I LIVE BECAUSE OF YOUR MERCY! I stand in the gap where great storms brew for my church family and for those whom you are bringing to us from afar. You bring those who need healing, release from bondage, who are demon possessed. Make us ready Father! I see YOUR hand moving on this house, over the young and the old. I stand prepared to weather their storms with them as you prepare them! I stand prepared to shine Your light on the ancient paths so that they over-come their storms and their soul will rest. Until then, I will NOT ROLL OVER, I WILL NOT GO QUIETLY INTO THE NIGHT, I WILL LIFT MY VOICE OF PRAISE AND WORSHIP TO YOU, I WILL STAND FIRM IN THIS GAP WITH ALL YOUR ARMOR, AND I WILL SEE, ….I will see, the POWER and MERCY of my GOD manifested in this house over these people…. and the people to come. Father, you have allowed me to see some things that are wonderful and glorious. You have allowed me to see some things that I’d rather not see. I accept your will. Father, help me to help others that they may rest and prepare for the battle tomorrow will bring. In JESUS’ name. Amen!
That’s it for now. I’ll climb down off my soapbox. I’m out of soap.
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