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Monday, July 16, 2012

Living In the Green Light:

I hope this speaks to you as it did to me!

Posted on Elijah List by Garris Elkins 

Several years ago, Jan and I had the privilege of having lunch with David and Deborah Crone who pastor The Mission, a church in Vacaville, California. When I get together with leaders like the Crones, I often ask what guides them in their ministry. When I asked David this question, without hesitation he said, "We live in the green light of God."
David's words deeply impacted my spirit. An adjustment of my life paradigm occurred as David's words hung over the lunch table. Deborah added to David's comment by saying that God is faithful to give us the red lights when we need to stop if we will simply live in His green light.
As Jan and I drove home after lunch, David's words began to rearrange certain areas of my life and ministry. I knew I had received an impartation of truth.
"What Are You Waiting For?"
Some of our lives resemble beautiful and powerful automobiles that are running at idle while waiting at an intersection, even though the light is green. It has been "green and go" since the Day of Pentecost, yet some of us still wait, continuing to idle and going nowhere. I sense that God is asking His Church, "What are you waiting for?" The reality is that the Heavens are open, and the Spirit has been given to us. We are seated in Heaven at the right hand of the Father on purpose. The green light of God is present in His people. It is time to invite the Holy Spirit to reveal why some of us are stopped instead of moving forward. It is also time to renew our minds and live as people positioned by God to do more than just wait at intersections and idle our engines of faith.
Many of us have forgotten that we really are children of the Most High God. We have allowed lies to remain embedded and unchallenged in our lives. We have created a performance-based relationship with the Grace-Giver. We live in fear of failure, and so we avoid stepping out in faith, thinking that failure means rejection. Some of us are afraid to move forward in boldness because we still believe that God can only love us if our performance is without fault.
This fear has immobilized the prayer of faith in some; it blinds us to the green light and keeps us from pressing down on the accelerator pedal and moving forward. We displace this lie by remembering that we are loved, not as the result of our performance, but out of the very nature of God. He can only love. He is love. He is unchangeable in His love.
Fear of failure and rejection can redirect the focus of our prayer back onto self, and when this happens we become the ones responsible for the results of what we have prayed. We take on the burden of outcomes.
"What if I pray and the person is not healed?" "What if I turn to the table behind me, say the word God asked me to give, and they reject it?" If we feel that we are responsible for the results of our faith, we will inevitably live in the prison of performance, because the perceived power source is with us and not with God. This prison holds our life and faith captive to personal doubt instead of the open road of freedom that comes from living in the green light of God.
Are You a Friend?
In John 15 Jesus said that He would no longer relate to His disciples as servants. He would now relate to them as friends. The shift here was not simply about using a new word to describe their relationship but rather how being a friend would radically change the way the disciples would relate to Jesus in the future.
Remember: servants live with a list of things to do. Servants execute lists of performance, and when they are done performing, they go back to the servants' quarters. A friend is different. A friend lives in anticipation of what their friend desires. They have a relationship that is powered by intimacy and union. They see an open road and the green light of relationship and freedom.
All of God's promises are "yes" in Jesus.
As surely as God is true, I am not that sort of person. My yes means yes because Jesus Christ, the Son of God, never wavers between yes and no. He is the one whom Timothy, Silas, and I preached to you, and he is the divine Yes – God's affirmation. For all of God's promises have been fulfilled in him. That is why we say "Amen" when we give glory to God through Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:18-20
This kind of friendship with God that Paul described, and its resulting prayer, looks reckless to people who have yet to realize His friendship. Friendship with God looks reckless because you end up blasting past people who are still parked at the intersection with their foot on the brakes. Friends of God travel right through intersections because they are fulfilling the anticipated desires of the Master: living in the green light of God.
In the area of Oregon where I live, the police and fire vehicles are equipped with transmitting units that send signals ahead of them to change traffic lights from red to green so that the responding public safety personnel can reach the emergency site unimpeded. The vehicles carry with them the ability to change the function of the traffic light. You and I carry the presence of Jesus Christ. That presence changes everything.
Followers of Jesus Christ live in the green light of God's promises. All of God's promises are "yes." "Promise" is a word that can be translated "to announce upon." Jesus told the disciples in Luke 24:49, "And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as My Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from Heaven." When Jesus said these words, He was assuring His disciples that in the near future God would "announce upon them" the Spirit.
The prophet Joel announced the promise of the future outpouring of the Spirit in the latter days. On the Day of Pentecost, timeless eternity announced the reality of Joel's prophecy down upon earth.
Right now, God is announcing His promises upon the earth through His Church. This really is a new day. The fires of revival are sparking and igniting upon the earth on every continent. The promise of God has been announced to us, His friends, and we are the chosen voices of Heaven to speak truth into our world by believing that all the promises are "yes" in Christ and by speaking that "yes" into a fearful and hesitant world.
We live in the green light of God.
Garris Elkins, Senior Leader
Living Waters Church - Medford, Oregon
Garris Elkins' ministry, Prophetic Horizons, is a ministry of teaching, writing and prophecy committed to raising up a prophetic generation to speak to the cultures of our world with the empowered voice of Heaven. Garris and his wife, Jan, are the Senior Leaders of Living Waters Church in Medford, Oregon, and have two grown children, Anna and David.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Window Screens to keep out pesky bugs

Perfect for keeping those African mosquito's out! AND you can make the screens yourself with fiberglass screen, magnetic strip, decorative trim and a measuring tape.  

If your windows have a metal framing:
measure the opening
cut your fiberglass screen (small enough to keep the bugs out and still let the breeze through) glue the magnetic strip around the edge of the screen
cut the ends at an angle (like you're making a big picture frame)
join the corners with glue or some kind of adhesive

On the side facing into the home: glue or velcro a decorative trim, shelving material or fabric

Burned Biscuits

Someone sent this to me today and I just wanted to share...

When I was a kid, my Mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my Mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad.

I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed!  Yet all my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my Mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that ugly burned biscuit. He ate every bite of that thing & never made a face nor uttered a word about it!

When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my Mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I'll never forget what he said: "Honey, I love burned biscuits every now and then."

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, "Your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired. And besides, a little burned biscuit never hurt anyone!"

As I've grown older, I've thought about that many times. Life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people. I'm not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else. But I've found over the years that learning to accept each others faults and choosing to celebrate our differences is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.

And that's my prayer for you today... that you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He's the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a burnt biscuit isn't a deal-breaker!

So, please pass me a biscuit, and yes, the burned one will do just fine.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Missionary to East Africa wrote: Letter 6

Progress is being made, but rather than being inspired by this notion, I find myself feeling a wave of sadness, homesickness and even despair. I can’t understand why this is happening. We’ve accomplished so much but at the moment I don’t feel happy. I can only look ahead and project how much energy and emotional capital it is going to take to live out the rest of this new life…to live dead.

At the beginning, the excitement and the adrenaline provided a much-needed boost to accomplish some of the seemingly impossible tasks necessary to acclimate to such a radically different life. Toward the end of an event, I see the goal in sight and I muster the internal fortitude necessary to finish well.

It’s living in “The Middle” that seems to be the most difficult. In the middle, I have to keep going.  n the middle, I have to endure. In the middle, all that’s shiny and new becomes dull and mundane. In the middle, my true character is revealed. In the middle is where most of life happens.

You’ve been teaching me this lesson most of my life. I absolutely thrive on planning events. I love the themes, the timelines, the details. I can predict the beginning, the end and even the middle. No guessing is required. But life doesn’t always happen like that. Moments in life begin when we don’t anticipate them.  The ending proves nebulous rather than a punctuated moment. So that leaves all the living in between.
Is it something to be endured? To be wished away? Or do I learn to find contentment, joy and rest in the middle?  If I answer “no,” then I’m choosing to force an unrealistic or an uncontrollable timeline on things that I should be giving to you. Do I trust you or not? Do you do good or not? If I trust you and you are good as I believe, then that also includes those times when the beginning is so dim that I can’t remember it and the end is too far on the horizon to catch a glimpse of things to come.

So each day offers an opportunity to rest in the hands of the One who holds all of “middles” of life for you are after all, the Beginning (and the Middle) and the End.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Samaritan Ministries (health care sharing)

A Biblical, non-insurance approach to health care needs


Giving God the glory: Throughout our history God has been working through the members of Samaritan Ministries International as they pray for one another and send notes of encouragement with their monthly shares and special gifts. There are now more than 20,500 households active in this unique ministry. The number of staff at the office has been increased to serve the growing number of members, and the building is again filling up, so a search for another building has begun.

This history of Samaritan pays tribute to a man and his family who persevered in trusting God to establish the ministry, to the staff members who believe in the ministry and serve it, to the leaders who had the faith to join the ministry while it was still in its infancy, and to the thousands of believers who faithfully share and pray each month in dependence on God. But most of all, it is a tribute to the God, Who has provided it all. He is our Creator Who meets all of our needs. It is only through Him that any of this could happen. All the glory and praise go to Him!


The Christian Health Care Newsletter is effective because it is founded on certain Biblical principles:

  • God is the ultimate Source of provision for every need encountered by the Christian. Even when help comes through a person, it ultimately comes from God.
  • A medical need cannot be met with money alone. Prayer and encouragement are also needed.
  • It is the responsibility of those within the Body of Christ to allow them to be used of God to help in meeting the needs of other Christians.
  • The local church is the first line of defense for meeting the needs of Christians. Samaritan Ministries is intended to support and supplement the work of the local body. Serious attention is given to avoid undermining or replacing what should be done locally. We also depend on the leadership of the local church to provide accountability for those in their care.
Accountability is an important scriptural principle and is practiced in many ways at Samaritan Ministries.
  • Members agree to abide by a statement of faith, and ask their pastors for accountability when turning in needs and on annual continuation forms.
  • Members use checklists to make sure shares are sent each month.
  • The board of directors, who oversees the administrative staff and operations of the ministry, is elected by the members. There are always more members who do not receive compensation than Samaritan staff on the board.
  • The ministry is committed to direct sharing, from household to household. Share money is not pooled, managed, or invested. It is sent directly from one member to another.
  • Any increase in the share amount must be approved by a vote of the membership.
  • Samaritan Ministries has an annual independent audit.


What is Health care sharing? Simply put, health care sharing is a Biblical approach to paying for health care, based on passages such as Galatians 6. Verse two says, "Bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ." That law is the royal law of loving one another.

Although it's actually pretty straight forward, health care sharing can be difficult for us to understand because we are so used to thinking in terms of insurance.
Here's how the need sharing process works in a nutshell: Each member commits to sending a set "Share" amount each month. These "Shares" are sent directly through the mail from one household to another, to the members with "Needs". Samaritan Ministries uses a database that randomly matches Shares to Needs, so that the Sharing is coordinated and Shares go to the appropriate members with Needs.


Here's how the Need Process works in a little more detail: Samaritan Ministries publishes a monthly newsletter mailing that reports the total Shares and Needs and includes an individualized Share Notice for each member household. The Share Notice tells each household how to pray for a specific member with a Need and what his address is, so the Share can be sent to him. Typically less than 10 percent of the members have a Need in a given month and are receiving Shares.

When a member has a health care "Need" he receives health care treatment from a provider of his choice, collects the bills, and sends them to Samaritan Ministries. Samaritan Ministries verifies that the Need meets the Guidelines. Then, in the monthly newsletter mailing, Samaritan Ministries directs some members to send their Shares to the member with the Need. The member with the need receives the shares to pay his health care bills.
With more than 18,000 member households participating in the ministry, there is about $4 million available each month to meet health care needs.


Christian Health Care Newsletter

Members of the basic ministry agree to share expenses incurred for medical treatments specified in the Membership Guidelines. The amount of the monthly share is based on household size (see chart below), regardless of your medical history, age, or other factor.
Membership Type
Monthly Share
Single-Parent Family
Two-Parent Family

Christian Health Care Newsletter - Senior Discount:The monthly shares above are reduced $30 per month for each participating member of the household who is age 65 or older.

Biography of Chan Young Choi

Jul 01, 2012 04:00 am
Today's Devotional
1 Timothy 4:12 "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity."
What a blessing it was to have Asians reaching Asians for Christ! Although they had never served as missionaries abroad before, Chan and Esther introduced new methods to reach peoples in Thailand and other Asian countries for Christ. One thing people often forget is that young missionaries are often vibrant and energetic, ready to do anything for their Lord. The same is true for young churches, and the people they send out.
As the Korean church becomes more mature, pray that they don’t lose their fervency for sharing Christ with the nations.
Today's People Group
Many people would have panicked, but not Chan Young Choi. During the Korean War (1950-53), he once had to run with nothing but the clothes on his back from his house when it was being bombed. Later in the war, he could have been killed when the North Korean army captured him. But as he prayed, he realized that his life was not his own. The Lord had given him life for a reason, so it must be fully dedicated to Him. In 1954 after the war had ended, he was commissioned as a missionary in the General Assembly of the Korean Presbyterian Church. He was given a scholarship to attend Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. As he was preparing for a season of study, his mission committee asked Chan and his wife, Esther, to pray about serving as Korea’s first foreign missionaries since the end of the war. The couple prayed all night. By dawn they knew that God did not want them to take the easy route of living in comfortable California. Pasadena would have to wait until he retired in 1992. For now, the young couple chose to serve the Lord in Thailand.|At first it was hard for the Thai people to fathom the idea of an Asian Christian missionary. Many Thai felt that Christianity was the white man’s religion. At that time Korea was struggling to recover from the war, and Thailand had a relatively strong economy.
Pray for today’s Korean missionaries to be dedicated to doing whatever God tells them to do.
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