Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Deal is Still On!

Jack Hayford is a face I had seen on TV several times. I guess it is the switch of channels that threw me off. I mean it is hard to go from ESPN or True TV to the voice of Jack Hayford...or so I thought. Jack's voice is soft and he speaks in a low-key manner and consequently, I seldom was captured enough to listen for very long. It must be my ADD kicking in.

Having just come from a conference in Nashville where Dr. Hayford was the speaker, I realize and gladly acknowledge the power, wisdom, and anointing of this gentle giant of a man. He spoke with distinction and as a man who has spent many years laboring over the context of scripture. He is brilliant in the Word. More than that, he is tuned into the Holy Spirit and speaks readily of the Holy Spirit baptism and its effects in the believer's life.

At the aforementioned conference, this dear man of God spoke a Word from the Lord to me directly. He spoke of Abraham's attempt to offer Eliezer as the substitute for the plan of God. God had made a covenant with Abraham that through his seed the earth would be blessed. As it turns out, Abraham had some stumbles along the way. He was filled with doubt and had a son by a handmaid. He fell into the entrapment of deceit by telling his wife, Sarai to lie about being his wife. With all of this in his past it would be easy to see why Abraham would think God had every right to abandon him and the plan to make him the father of a great nation. So, Abe offered Eliezer to the Lord (Gen 15 i think).

Right away God would have nothing to do with it. God's calling for Abraham remained unchanged despite all the failures. God would not accept a substitute for His original plan. Jack Hayford related the story of how he and his wife wanted a piece of furniture from a store that matched what they already had in their home. One Sunday he saw an ad in the paper with the exact piece for sale at significant savings during the week. Due to all of the activities of the week, he and his wife were unable to get down to the furniture sale. So on the following Monday, they went to the store early in the morning to see if they would honor the sale. At first they were not going to do it b/c the sale was officially over. But, after checking their record and finding they had been loyal customers through the years, the manager went ahead and sold the furniture to them at the price of yesterday's sale. In other words, for them....the deal was still on!

This is exactly what God was saying to Abraham. "The deal is still on!" The plans that I have for you remain intact. I haven't changed my mind just because you have jumped the gun....have made miserable mistakes, etc. Isn't that good news? I mean God was really speaking this to me and I am so grateful.

If you are like me, you know the bitter taste of having made mistakes. God knows how to humble us and then, thankfully, He doesn't abandon us...but rather lifts us up and places us back on the original track. Hear the voice of the Holy Spirit say to you this day..."The Deal is Still On!" His gifts and callings are without repentance. Sometimes it requires repentance and restoration to get us back in line with the plan of God. But, if you are willing God certainly is.

Be blessed this day and move ahead in Him. Pick up where you left off and watch God exalt you to where He intended you to be.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Whitney Houston's Comeback

This morning I watched as Good Morning America hosted the comeback of an American Pop Icon, Whitney Houston. Whitney is one of the most widely enjoyed singers in history. I watched with great anticipation as I too enjoyed her soulful singing in days gone by.

Like many in the world of entertainment, she fell victim to the pressure, the temptations, that often comes with the stress of pleasing the masses. Coupled with a tumultuous marriage, Whitney succumed to drug abuse. She has subsequently been absent from the stage and but not from the hearts of her followers.

I have to say I felt a variety of feelings while watching this amazing lady as she struggled to get back the game that was once so stellar. Her voice was not the silky brilliance I had remembered. It was ragged at times and she strained to reach some of the notes she used to hit with perfect and profound pitch. She was over-energized as though she was trying to convince the audience she still had it. I felt sorry for her in moments where it appeared that she recognized it was not flowing as she had envisioned it might. While there were many moments that were less than comfortable....I had to honor her.

Throughout the entire mini-concert, I admired Whitney for being willing to be vulnerable. She put her neck on the line in front of the world. She didn't hide the fact that there had been issues, struggles, failures and that the Whitney of old would never return to her youthful form. Yet, she persisted. Despite the ragged moments, there was that spirit of perseverance that came shining through in her personality. She became a new kind of icon. One that speaks of triumph over adversity and that failure is not final if one is willing to get back out on the stage of life!

I wish Whitney the very best in her comeback. She is trying. It's not beautiful at this point, but her effort is gorgeous! Rock on Whitney!