Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Post: The Trusting Tree vs. The Trying Tree

You are probably asking, what in the world is a trusting tree and what is a trying tree? Earlier this year during a church service at New Life in Bismarck,  pastor Mike Rose from Juneau Christian Center, explained that the Trusting Tree is the Cross on which Jesus died and the Trying Tree is the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

If you are leaning on the Trying Tree, you  are constantly trying to do better, you push yourself harder. You may try to do everything in your own strength. You try to get God to accept you and to love you more by doing things you think are pleasing go Him.

There’s a song by Tenth Avenue North called By Your Side and some of the lyrics demonstrate this perfectly:

Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace…

Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching
As if I’m not enough

The Trying Tree is based on the tree of knowledge of good and evil which can be found in the Bible in Genesis 2:8-9:

The Lord planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

When you lean on the trying tree, you are living by the Law that was established with the Old Covenant.

If you are leaning on the Trusting Tree, you know that you don’t have to do anything to earn God’s love and acceptance. No matter where you are in your life, He loves you with an unchanging, unfailing love. 

Even if you aren’t serving the Lord, He still loves you! You can trust that God loves you just where you are and that He will freely forgive you of your sins.

Some lyrics that represent this truth are included in the Jesus Culture song, One Thing Remains:

In death, in life, I’m confident and
covered by the power of Your great love
My debt is paid, there’s nothing that can
separate my heart from Your great love…

The Trusting Tree is based on the death of Jesus on the cross and the resurrection which represents the New Covenant:

For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight. Colossians 1:19-22

When you lean on the trusting tree, you are accepting God’s grace through the New Covenant. When thinking about the the Trying Tree vs. the Trusting Tree, remember the Law says DO and grace says DONE.

So which tree are you leaning on? Are you still striving to receive His love. Or are you living in perfect peace because you know that no matter what you do or don’t do, he will love you no matter what?



Sunday, October 13, 2013

Learn Biblical Truths of Healing at Upcoming Classes in Bismarck

Have you ever wondered if it is always God’s will to heal?

Have you ever been healed but then seemed to have lost your healing?

Do you question if someone could have the gift of healing?

By attending classes taught at the Healing Rooms of the Northern Plains, you can find the answers to these questions and so much more about Christ-centered prayer for physical, emotional and spiritual healing.

Classes at the Healing Rooms are taught in order to introduce how the International Association of Healing Rooms (IAHR) was founded and to help those who attend understand the scriptural truths about healing.

From early on, it was the vision to see Healing Rooms in every city and every nation, linked together in unity around the world. Their core Bible verse is: Mark 16:18b …. “They shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.”

During classes at the Healing Rooms of the Northern Plains in Bismarck the following topics are discussed:

Provision for Healing: First and foremost, there needs to be a foundational understanding regarding God's will for healing. This includes knowing what God’s Word says about healing, what Jesus paid for on the cross, the faith to begin to bring the things of the Kingdom into this realm, what we believe, our position, our expectation, and more.

Faith for Healing: Healing is the process to establish divine health. In order for healing to take place, one needs to take a firm stand for healing and know that faith comes by the Word of God.

How to Keep Your Healing: Sometimes, a healing that can be received can seem to be taken away. When this happens, it is important to know how to stand firm in faith and to know what to do when the enemy attacks.

Roadblocks to Healing: Sometimes people do not receive healing because there are things that may be blocking the healing. Some of these roadblocks include: unforgiveness, lack of knowledge, personal and family sin, following after signs and wonders, expecting God to heal on our terms, looking to man rather than God, not discerning the Lord’s body in Communion, having a problem bridling our tongue and being so problem-centered instead of God-centered.

Wrong Mind Sets Sometimes people have the wrong mindsets towards God and healing. Some wonder, “Is healing for all?” Or some might think that “God made me sick for His glory.” Some may even believe that God allowed them to be sick in order to teach them something or worse yet, do not believe for healing because of someone who believed God was going to heal them and they died instead. People often say things like, “God will heal me if it’s His will.” These are all examples of having the wrong mindset when it comes to God and healing.

The Anointing: The anointing is God’s power that comes on the believer to empower them to carry out the commission that God has given them. It’s not the prayer that brings the results – it’s the power that goes through the prayer.

The Authority of the Believer and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit: Authority is delegated power. Jesus delegated that power when He was raised into Heaven, seated at the right hand of the Father, and gave us the Holy Spirit to delegate that power to us. Submission to God brings the transformation of the power to the Body of Christ. We all need the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and must be able to use the free gift of the Holy Spirit.

How to Operate: This last lesson includes accountability, how to equip, activate and release men and women in the church and how to stay in unity. This work cannot be set into tradition, religion, process, or form. It is set into power. It must be a work that does not offend the Holy Spirit.

During the classes there is also instruction on how to get the word out, how the team members work together, the way team members come onto the team and the mentoring process they go through, some dos and don’ts for anyone while praying, and practical examples of how team members pray in the prayer rooms. Each class participant receives an application and pastor’s form for those who want to apply to be a part of the Healing Rooms.
Class always ends each day with individual prayer for each participant. This is a special time of blessing and impartation for those who attend the classes. 

The next Healing Rooms classes take place at the Healing Rooms of the Northern Plains  in Bismarck on October 25-26

Order Cal Pierce's Book, Preparing the Way: Reopening of the John G. Lake Healing Rooms in Spokane, Washington

"The reopening of the Healing rooms of Spokane, WA, has helped to pave the way for what should become the greatest healing revival of all history. This book is a must-read" Bill Johnson

Friday, October 11, 2013

In Memory of Bishop Leroy Mckenzie

ONE YEAR AGO, one of the greatest men I ever had the pleasure of knowing passed away. I found out on Facebook and almost had to leave work because I was so distraught. This was a man who was a spiritual father to many, a true leader in the community, a mentor to young men and a prayer warrior who genuinely loved God, the church and his flock.

Last year, shortly after finding out about his death, I wrote the following tribute:

In the year 2000 shortly after rededicating my life to Christ, I took the opportunity to move to Raleigh, North Carolina with my sister. Upon moving to the area, my first goal was to find a good church.
I felt like I was just a baby in my Christian faith and wanted to find a place where I could grow and be spiritually fed. After attending a few churches in Raleigh, I was led to a church in Durham, North Carolina. And it was here at Faith Assembly Christian Center that I met the amazing Bishop Leroy McKenzie.

Although it didn’t really make sense to me why God had led me to an all-black church, Bishop McKenzie welcomed me with open arms. It was his continual words of encouragement and his prayers that made this white girl from western North Dakota feel like she belonged.

Going to this church was an amazing experience for me. I did things I never dreamed of doing. I joined their dance ministry, took part in their drama productions, traveled by bus to attend church in Atlanta, Georgia and I went out to the streets of Durham witnessing for the Lord. Some of these parts of Durham were near the projects and I naively wondered how some of the people living there could afford such fancy cars.

Bishop McKenzie was a very dynamic preacher who loved the Word of God. He was a visionary whose first priority was to win souls for the Kingdom. By the time he passed away on October 11, 2012 he had planted 14 non-denominational churches, , authored six books and was a chaplain at a correctional facility for boys. In his ministry he emphasized the Four E’s which included Education, Empowerment, Evangelism and Entrepreneurship.

I looked so forward to going to church each Sunday which often included a leadership meeting at 8:00 a.m., Bible study at 9:00 a.m. and then finally the church service at 10:00 a.m. It was a regular occurrence for this service to last up to three hours because the Bishop would keep calling people up to the alter for prayer. Oftentimes, the Holy Spirit would tell him who needed prayer and why. It was not uncommon to see people slain in the spirit or delivered from demons during his services.

But first and foremost during these services, he drilled the Word of God into our hearts and minds – constantly reminding us that we were the head and not the tail, above and not beneath. That we were over-comers and more than conquerors. That all we needed was the faith of a mustard seed. That if God was for us who could be against us? That we were forgiven and that God loved us – and so did he.

I remember well something he prayed over me during one of the last church services I attended before moving home to start my own business. He prayed that the Lord would never give me more than I could bear. At the time,  I wondered why he was giving me this word. Shortly after moving home, I got married and 13 months later our baby was born 2 1/2 months early. She had brain damage and ended up with cerebral palsy. Those first years of our marriage were filled with stress and worry for our daughter’s health, our business and our finances. There were days I really wondered if it was more than I could handle. But once again, in my life, God remained faithful.

I regret I never had the opportunity to go back to see him after moving home to North Dakota. I am thankful though that because of Facebook, I was able to re-connect with my sisters and brothers at FACC, including Bishop McKenzie. I will never forget him, this amazing man of God who I was so blessed to have known.  Thank you Bishop McKenzie – for everything.

In memory of Bishop Leroy McKenzie, here is a song I know he loved: More Than I Can Bear by Kirk Franklin