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Monday
Dec262016

Pay Attention!

 

My husband and I are in the middle of a big decision right now—a decision that could literally change our lives. Although things would change for the better, this decision also has some serious risks attached to it. We don’t know what to do. We need to hear God’s voice.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like God is talking.

However, I know God speaks to His people. Psalm 25:14 says He “confides in those who fear him” (New International Version). Isaiah said God directs us with His voice (Is. 30:21). Jesus said His sheep know His voice (John 10:4-5). But some days it feels like we’ve been in this place forever.

So, I started listening to Andrew’s How to Hear God’s Voice teaching. He said, “God is speaking to you constantly, but our hearts can become hardened toward God so that we have a hard time hearing Him.” He went on to say, “One of the reasons that we struggle to hear the voice [of God] is because the clutter and the clamor, the noise of this world, drown out the
voice of God.

And then I remembered a time my oldest son showed me exactly what Andrew was talking about.

“That’s not fair!” my son said as he stomped into the kitchen. “You didn’t ask me. You asked Josh and Kayla, but you didn’t ask me.”

On this particular day, I had all the makings needed for two different meals. My husband was gone, and I didn’t have a preference; so I let my kids vote on what they’d like for supper.

“I asked all of you,” I calmly replied, hoping to diffuse the sounds of war. “But you never responded.”

“No, you didn’t! I would have heard you.” This was coming from the same boy who’d once been so caught up in a music video at a friend’s birthday party that he actually missed the pizza and cake they’d served.

Remembering his weakness for electronics, I asked him, “What were you doing just now?”

Of course, I already knew the answer. My son didn’t answer my question because he’d once again become so engrossed with a video game that everything else just disappeared. I had asked, but he didn’t hear me. However, this was a skill we’d been working on—learning to let the important voices break through the noise. Voices like mine and Daddy’s, like his teachers’, like God’s.

“I was playing on Daddy’s tablet,” he said. “But you told me I could.”

Hearing the defensiveness in his voice, I said, “You’re not in trouble, son. But I don’t understand why you’re angry. I asked each of you to vote on what’s for supper. Your brother and sister responded; you didn’t.”

“But I don’t want to eat that tonight,” he said.

“Well, I’m only making one thing for supper,” I answered. “Maybe next time you’ll pay attention to my voice.”

Proverbs 4:20 says we have to “attend” to God’s voice. Andrew says that this word attend means to prick up the ears. He says it’s like a deer that hears a sound and then lifts and turns its ears toward the sound to focus on it. He says, “God is speaking constantly, but we have to tune our hearing. The sad fact is, most of us are tuned to the voice of this world. We spend more time listening to the clamor [and] clutter…than we do God. The voice of God is drowned out [by] the volume of this world.

God doesn’t yell at us. He doesn’t get in our faces. He isn’t rude. If we’re going to hear His voice—if my husband and I are going to hear His voice—we have to learn to break through the noise. We have to pay attention.

I’m ready to tune in to God’s voice. Are you?

Please leave a comment below if this has blessed you!

Monday
Dec192016

Remembering Why He Came

Joy to the world! The Lord has come…

With Christmas quickly approaching and The Heart of Christmas production being a hit, it’s easy for many of us to get into the Christmas spirit. It’s easy to enjoy the holiday where we celebrate Jesus coming to earth as a baby in a manger. And it’s sometimes easy to forget the heart behind why He came. It’s important to remember to celebrate not only His life but also His death.

After the festivities are over and the Christmas lights come down, may we remember the great sacrifice our Lord made thirty-three years after coming to the earth. And here to help us remember are internationally recognized producers Robert and Elizabeth Muren with their production of God with Us. The Murens founded Northern Lights Media and will be bringing their original musical to the Pikes Peak Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on
April 7-8, 2017.

This cinematic stage production depicts the story of believers caught in an epic clash between Jesus’ followers and the Roman Empire. The story is told through the eyes of the aging Apostle Peter, one of the original twelve disciples, who has become a leader in the early Christian church. Locked up in a Roman prison cell with his fellow believers, Peter retells the story of redemption, from Abraham to Jesus, engraving hope and courage into the hearts of his listeners.

“The story of God with Us is about the first believers of Jesus in Rome,” explained Robert Muren, “how they were surrounded by persecution and trouble and how Peter could remind them of God’s faithfulness to his people through history. It is a reminder of keeping the faith in the midst of trials
and hardships.”

Robert went on to explain what makes this production different from other productions of its kind: “The uniqueness in this production compared to others is that it is very focused on Scripture. Peter is the storyteller, and all he has to share with the believers are stories from Scripture to focus the hearts of his followers on God’s truth.”

The God with Us musical features all original songs and includes a large screen that provides backdrop imagery for the scenes. “[This] also gives the production the opportunity to combine film and stage into a multi-dimensional experience,” Robert said, “where the actors on film also appear on stage to enhance the story that is being told.”

Daniel Amstutz, director of the Creative Arts School at Charis Bible College, encourages everyone to come and attend this Easter event. “The God with Us production is absolutely a family event,” Daniel said. “Children are going to love this as much as adults are because there’s something for everybody. The story is of God’s love reaching out to people. It’s all about God’s heart. So, you see the story of God’s love reaching out in the old covenant, all the way up through sending Jesus, and then how Jesus revealed the Father.”

With rehearsals gearing up, the cast and crew are working tirelessly to bring you a production that will honor the One we are celebrating this season. Robert Muren summed it up with this: “It is a powerful message that surely will impact people in a major way. A musical like this has the ability to capture the attention of young and old, and it is an experience for the whole family.”

To purchase your tickets or for more information on pricing and showtimes, visit our website:www.godwithusmusical.com. And comment below if you’ve seen any of our previous productions, such as Heart of Christmas or our previous showing of God with Us.

Monday
Dec122016

Casting God’s Love over Your Children

As we walked into the assembly of over 300 children and I saw the staff dressed up as characters for Book Day, I knew it was the perfect setup for our skit: “Postman Joe,” frantic to deliver his package to Miss Ginger, wouldn’t leave until she opened it, and inside was a special book.

As she opened the book, a Bible, it glowed from within and projected rays of light. The grade school children of Birmingham, England, gasped in surprise. Every eye was fastened on Ginger as she spoke of the love of God and demonstrated that love with a red heart as the object lesson. Another Charis team member followed Ginger’s teaching with an invitation for the kids to accept Christ. Although they prayed silently, we could see the majority of kids mouthing the words after her as she prayed. It was a glorious moment as God’s love was cast like a net over the entire room.

I first met Ginger and her husband, Joe, during our preparation for the England missions trip. Like so many of us who come to Charis Bible College Colorado, Joe and Ginger Pillitteri had moved from another state—in their case, Florida. Joe was a pharmaceutical representative, and Ginger was a teacher for autistic children. Based on her experience with kids, Ginger was asked to lead the children’s ministry for our team in England.

This same couple was then asked to lead the weeklong children’s program at the 2016 Summer Family Bible Conference held in Woodland Park, Colorado. Because their teaching reflects the grace taught by Andrew and other Charis instructors, Ginger and Joe’s results with the kids were phenomenal. Children were healed, saved, and filled with the Holy Ghost as they learned about their identity in Christ.

“Essentially [Ginger taught] all those things that we had to relearn when we first came [to Charis]. Most people come here with religious baggage that weighs them down,” Joe explained.

“I think you reach kids just like you reach adults, by starting with God’s love and the nature of God,” Ginger said. “Who is He? How does He see me? Why does He love me? And what does that look like?”

As she was planning for the event, Ginger said, “God told me to teach on the identity of Christ. What does God see when He sees you? He sees Jesus—God sees perfection on the inside of you.”

Ginger described one boy who hung his head and said, “I’m not righteous.” She explained, “[The kids] don’t think they are righteous; they don’t think they are worth anything. They have condemnation at such a young age.”

For the 2017 Andrew Wommack Ministries Summer Family Bible Conference, Joe and Ginger want parents to know that they aren’t just dropping off their kids for childcare. “The Holy Spirit is naturally supernatural,” Joe said. “We want kids to realize that they have [already] heard Him many times; they just didn’t know it.

“Consider this,” Joe continued, “children always responded to Jesus.” Speaking of the time that John the Baptist leapt in his mother’s womb at Mary’s greeting (Luke 1:41-43), Joe explained, “An unborn baby was the first to recognize Him [Jesus] as another unborn baby.”

Joe wants to stress to parents, “Don’t limit your kids by believing that they are not here to have an encounter with Jesus on their level. If the Holy Spirit can talk with shepherds or wise men, He can speak to children—just as He does [with] adults.”

It is exciting to realize that families coming to the 2017 Summer Family Bible Conference can expect their children to have an encounter with God that will draw them into either a first-time relationship or a deeper one with Him. Make your plans early to come to Woodland Park, Colorado, on July 3-7, 2017. You won’t want to miss God’s perfect setup for you and your
whole family!