Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Flew Home in a Plane

I arrived back in Tulsa from my three nation trip with Pastor Bob on Saturday (5/17) morning. It was a very successful trip. If you have ever traveled overseas or traveled through more than 4 time zones then you will have probably experienced something known as JET LAG. Our bodies are a wonderful thing.

Psalms 139:14 ESV I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Jet lag can do some wild things to you. Your internal clock is off so you wake up at 1:00 AM and can't go back to sleep. Then again at 3:00 in the afternoon you will fall asleep, sometimes right in the middle of a conversation. One time after returning from a trip to Asia, I woke up at 2:00 AM and went looking to see why the air conditioner wasn't working. I was sure that it was broken. In the morning I DEMANDED that my wife call the air conditioner guy out to fix the unit (even though she insisted she was freezing). Of course he found nothing - it was working perfectly. He was a friend and knew that I had just returned from Asia so he didn't charge us for the service call. Boy, to this day I still think the air conditioner was broken.

It's good be home but it is better to follow the word of God. God had spoken to me and told me to go with Pastor the next time he asks me. Pastor has asked me in the past but due to my schedule I was not able to go. This time was different. I knew that when Pastor asked I should change my schedule if need be to go with him. I didn't know where he was going or even when I just knew I was supposed to say yes.

So when Pastor asked me to travel to visit Rick Renner I said yes IMMEDIATELY. Without hesitation. If was a week or so later when I found out all the places we were going to - Kiev, Moscow and Jerusalem. Three nations talking to many different people and finally being able to see the Holy Land of Israel. It was funny that on this trip I was reading and studying the book of Jonah. He to was told to go on a journey but he refused. And when he did finally obey he did it with a wrong attitude.

God has things He desires for us to do. There are times we are asked by God to do things we either don't want to do or don't want to find time in our busy schedule to do. It's not always easy to follow His instructions. I have found that you can always find reason to do something and you can always find reason not to do something. In the end God wants us to follow His instruction. God wants obedience.

1 Samuel 15:22 NASB Samuel said, "Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.

He has our best in mind. God always leads you to success not failure.

Jeremiah 29:11 NLT For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Three Nations in Ten Days

Here is grouping of pictures from Pastor Bob's trip to Kiev, Moscow and Jerusalem. For more information read the three blog entries before this one. God bless.

Pastor Bob and Rick Renner answer questions in Kiev.

Pastor Bob ministering in Good News Church, Kiev.

Good News Church, Moscow.

Conference in Jerusalem

Jerusalem Conference

The conference in Jeruslem was amazing. Around 50 pastors and leaders came to hear Rick Renner and Pastor Bob teach about being a pastor and working in a church.

This picture shows the group during the Praise and Worship time. One person on guitar, the local pastor on drums and one lady as a worship leader did a great job. You could see their hearts were on worshiping God and you could feel that God anointed their efforts.

Rick started the conference and then turned it over to Pastor Bob. Pastor taught on the Spirit and the Truth. He did a great job his first hour. However, the second hour Pastor taught on what would be missing in the church if a pastor didn't teach the Word. For those of us used to Pastor Bob we know that you get ready to take notes in warp speed. I am not sure the pastors at this conference were ready but he gave them both barrels of his teaching and it was AWESOME.

At the end Rick and Pastor answered questions. "How do you keep tradition out of your church?" "How can you know you can trust you leaders?" "How do you balance the move of the Spirit in a church service with the teaching of the Word?" These are question that you can hear from pastors in most any country. I guess people are basically the same all around the world.

The conference was a huge success.

Thanks to Rick Renner and his staff who made us feel welcome in Israel.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Word Around the World

Good Morning Tulsa. Pastor Bob and crew have traveled to Moscow where he will speak today in Rick Renner's church, Good News. The following are two video's of Pastor ministering in Kiev. Enjoy!

Sunday at Good News Chuch

Good News Church in Moscow is an experience I would love to see everyone at Grace Church have. The worship is great. Even though I could not speak Russian, I could feel God's sweet presence.

The people in this church are so friendly and warm. You can easily see and feel the love of God. As I stood and watched the worship leaders, choir and band, I was moved by the sheer joy I saw on their faces as they led us into the presence of God through song, dancing and at times prayer.

Rick Renner told me that he loves this church. You can see his love for the people that God has called him to pastor and you can see their love for him. When God calls someone to another country He prepares their heart to do the work. Rick looks so comfortable and at home in Moscow. It was fun being with him and in his church.

Again, it was a very successful church service.
Pastor Bob hit another home run with his sermon. The congregation loved it and him so much that as he ended they broke out in synchronized applause which, I understand, is a huge compliment and demostration of honor in Russia.

Moscow has changed since my last visit, some 15 years ago. It has become the most expensive city in the world to live in. Eighteen million people living in Moscow makes the traffic unbelievebale. But praise be to God, the gospel is spreading and with quality ministers and teachers like Rick Renner, the Word of God is being taught.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Traveling with Pastor

On Wednesday I headed out with Pastor Bob for a three country ministry trip. We are to visit the cities of Kiev (Ukraine), Moscow, and finally Jerusalem. In each city Pastor Bob and Rick Renner will conduct a pastor's conference.

The pictures show our first stop, Kiev. A beautiful city. The only thing better than the city is the people. They are warm and friendly. Rick has a church here called Good News church. There was, I would guess, 200 to 250 poeple at this conference. Rick and Pastor taught on church government. Teaching that we in Tulsa know but it was revelation to the pastors and leadership here in the Ukraine. Pastor did an outstanding job teaching and answering questions at the end of the seminar. His book, "One Flesh" is a BIG hit here. As I sat next to him after lunch one person after another came up asking him to sign their copy of his book.

As you can see from the picture the church itself is very nice. Rick does everything top notch.

I know very little Russian. It is fun trying to communicate to someone when you don't speak the language. Only thing I can say in Russian is 'thank you.' But everyone is very nice and understanding.

Rick Renner is an incredible teacher and is always excellent. He and his wife have made me feel more than welcome in Kiev. It is easy to see that the people here love Rick and that he loves the people. A heart of a pastor.
I look forward to our trip to Moscow and the services that I will attend in Good News Church in Moscow.

The bible says, " . .Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone." Mark 16:15. Since 1988 I have done just that. For 20 years now I have traveled to many different countries. Over 45 trips helping people fulfill this commission. People are always asking me what country do I like the best. The answer is easy - USA. I know I am doing what God has called me to do. I also know that God has provided us with an opprotunity to go anywhere in the world in 24 hours and preach the Good News. He is not asking many of us to stay in these countries. He is asking us to take advantage of this opportunity to go. I for one do not want to miss this move of God. Technology has been revealed to mankind by God giving us the means to go. The question is, what will be your response.