Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Louisiana Municipal Convention


On July 31st I had the honor of being the keynote speaker at the Louisiana Municipal Convention prayer breakfast at the Ragin' Cajun Dome in Lafayette, Louisiana. Over 500 were in attendance, including a roomful of mayors and elected leaders serving throughout the state. I spoke on the topic “Is There Hope for America?” A huge number indicated they want to know more about our Leader Faith Forums!


The following are a few comments that came from leaders:
  • Opened the door of my heart for Jesus to enter.
  • I could actually feel God in the room...
  • Too often I do not feel there is any hope, but indeed, through Jesus we can always have hope.
  • Made me think through things I have been struggling with for a while.
  • Your message encouraged me to press on and stay encouraged.
  • I've been praying for God's light to be shined upon our elected leaders.
  • Inspiring for me to hear the Word of the Lord in a political venue which is much needed.
  • I want to be involved in a Leader Faith Forum.
  • Adding you and your ministry to my prayer list and ask you to add me and my town to yours.
  • Our town needs this.
  • Please call me.
  • Don't give up on me.
Please pray for the following:
1.   Pray for a revitalization in Louisiana and America. With Jesus there is always HOPE!!!!
2.   The mayor being prayed over in this picture is the Mayor of Lafayette, Louisiana where the tragic Movie Theater Shooting had just occurred the week before. The theater, which was right around the corner from the Cajun Dome, was still closed while we were there. Much prayer is needed for the people.
3.   I have over 100 Mayors and leaders to follow up with who want to know more about getting into a Leader Faith Forum. Two months prior to this event I was praying and asking the Lord how these forums might spread to interested leaders across the four corners of the state of Louisiana. It was within days I got the call to speak to the 305 Mayors of the state. There was my OPEN DOOR. Even I couldn’t miss this one. Thank you for praying!!
4.   Pray for many upcoming speaking opportunities in the community . . .  retreat, Leader Faith Forums, Leadership St. Tammany, Christian Legal Society, etc.

5.   Pray for wisdom in exploring preaching opportunities in churches. I find many people are disenchanted and even discouraged with the condition of our nation and communities. Encouragement and vision is needed about where our hope rests and understanding the Kingdom is not dependent upon the cooperation of Caesar.

6.   I helped move my mom back to Maryland to live near my brother. It will be a new adjustment but it is great having mom closer to her kids.

Betting the Farm on God,

Michael

Friday, July 17, 2015

Louisiana Mayors Convention

Louisiana Mayors Convention
With Mayor of Pineville, LA
I am asking for prayer for the opportunity to be the keynote speaker at the Louisiana Mayors Convention Prayer Breakfast in Lafayette, Louisiana on July 31st. I will have the opportunity to speak to 305 Louisiana Mayors and will be sharing the ministry of the Capitol Commission and the good news of the Gospel. I will invite the Mayors to let us help them start Leader Faith Forums in their Parish like we have on the Northshore and Southshore of New Orleans. They are expecting 500-800 leaders in attendance. Reaching leaders helps reach communities. Please pray as we attempt great things for God and expect great things from God. May Jesus be lifted up and God glorified. Imagine Parish Presidents, Judges, Mayors, Legislators, Political Chiefs of Staff, Councilmen and women, Police Chiefs, Fire Chiefs, District Attorneys, Coroners, etc. coming together all over Louisiana to seek the face of God and to ask Him to heal our land.

Preaching, Retreats, Workshops
Last Sunday July 5th, I had the honor of preaching at First Baptist Covington on the topic of “Is There Hope for America?” Many are discouraged about the direction of our land and need to be encouraged that with Jesus there is always hope. God did not make a mistake planting us sovereignly in this our generation and this hour so that we can participate in His Great Commission. These are great days to be alive and share the hope that is within us. The challenges are great but God is greater.

Later in the year I will teach at Forcey Bible Church Men’s Retreat,
will lead a couple of workshops at the National Convention of the Christian Legal Society in New Orleans, and will speak at the Staff Gathering of the Capitol Commission at the Capitol in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Prayer before Lt. Governor Debate

I hope to do more preaching in churches, church groups and community groups and share our work with the political community as well as the hope we have for these challenging times. If your church or group would be interested…let me know. These things seem to work best by word of mouth to discover open doors.


Betting the Farm on God,

Thursday, June 11, 2015

MY THOUGHTS ON THE 2015 LEGISLATIVE SESSION AND MORE

“For a wide door for effective service has opened to me and there are many adversaries
(I Corinthians 16:9). Despite the challenges of encroaching secularism, national partisanship and waning faith, I am finding doors wide open with leaders. Why? I’m convinced that people are praying, God is showing favor, and many leaders are realizing our root problems cannot be solved by human ingenuity or government. The following are some highlights of the month:

The Legislative Session
It is a deep honor to walk the halls of the Capitol weekly during Session and take a seat in the House Chamber to pray for and interact with leaders in the Capitol Community. The House of Representatives Bible Study and the two Lobbyist/Administration Studies have gone well. One-on-one time with leaders is fruitful. I serve wanting nothing in return and regardless of politics. I simply want all leaders to know Jesus and take a next step in their faith. If you reach leaders, you can reach communities and even nations.


Louisiana Mayors Convention Prayer Breakfast

I have been asked to be the Keynote speaker at the Prayer Breakfast for the 305 Louisiana Mayors and guests at their three-day convention in Lafayette on July 31 at 8am. Our Leader Faith Forums for Parish elected leaders on the Northshore and the Southshore have gone extremely well. Potentially this monthly type of gathering could serve elected leaders in communities around the state. I have been asking God how we could get the word out statewide. Answer … this invitation to speak to the 305 mayors of the state. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray for open doors with leaders statewide.

Training Opportunity
In May I had the opportunity to preach at and provide mid-week training for an entire church that recognized a need to prepare their people in sharing the good news of the gospel. I was so impressed with the eagerness of these people to be equipped and sharpened. Churches are often quick to ask for teaching on finding the will of God, finances, romance, or family but very few churches want training on sharing the Gospel with role-playing included. It was a delight, and I know fruit will come. I love providing this training. If your church, para-church, retreat or group would be interested in this equipping, please let me know. Pass the word for me.


My Prayer for the Capitol Community
While John Paton was a university student in Scotland, God called him to missionary work in the New Hebrides. After graduation he and his bride sailed to the southwest Pacific and began work with the savage cannibals on the island of Tanna. His wife and infant son died a few months later, and Paton slept on their graves for several nights to prevent the cannibals from digging up the bodies and eating them. After almost four years of faithful service, he left without seeing a single convert. Many years later his son by another marriage resumed the work in Tanna and eventually saw the entire island of people come to Christ. When the elder Paton revisited the island, the chief of the former cannibals asked the missionary who the great army was that surrounded his hut every night when he first arrived. God’s angels had protected him. Because of his faithful work and that of his son, when he left New Hebrides for the last time, it is reported that he said with tearful eyes, “I don’t know of one native on these islands who has not made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ.”  This is my prayer for today!!!!

Betting the Farm on God,

Michael

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Crimson Thread


The Crimson Thread

Check out my message entitled the Crimson Thread on the TV program Beyond History.....

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Monday, May 11, 2015

The Beggar and the 2015 Legislative Session



The 2015 work at the Capitol is in full swing. The aim is to work behind the scenes and be an encourager to the Capitol Community. The halls of power can be lonely (especially when your job is to cut $1.6 billion in order to balance the budget). Most people who desire to be close to power want something in return. We offer friendship with no strings attached and connect those who respond to small clusters and one-on-one groups. These people often blossom from the hope offered in Jesus and friendships.

Belong – Believe
Ministries today usually practice a Believe before you Belong approach. But look at the gospels … the disciples followed Jesus around for a long time before He popped the question, “Who do you say I am?” There were months of fish-fries, long treks, Q&A’s, teachings, compassion work and encounters of all kinds. With all these hours with Jesus … in a context of Belonging many Believed.

Come and See
One day while on the banks of the Jordan River Jesus said to two men, “Come and See” (John 1). After praying all night, Jesus called a bunch of guys to be “With Him” (Mark 3). There was no one agenda, timetable or curriculum. Jesus just hung out at wells, living rooms and gathering places and invited people to join him. Many met Him along the way, and it changed everything.

It’s Simple. It’s Biblical.
Our Legislative Bible Study and two Lobbyist/Administration/Staff Bible Studies have launched. I’m learning from the ways of Jesus. In my work at the Capitol there are no church potlucks, Christmas musicals or kumbayahs around a campfire. The focus is on Serving, Friendship and sharing the Journey with leaders. As people feel like they Belong … there is a good chance they will get to know Jesus along the way.

Follow Me
Jesus would say to people, “Follow me.” Today, many are bored in their faith because they think Jesus should follow them. People are leading rather than following. This is an Inverted Gospel. It is absolutely unfulfilling. The call is to say to Jesus, “Whenever, Whatever, Wherever.” When you follow Jesus this way it is always an adventure and life changing.

The Adventure
Last week I had some interesting time with some kingdom leaders from around the world. They work with people in areas such as the red-light district in Copenhagen, gangs in Los Angeles, poor in South Africa, Hezbollah in the Middle East, Chicago ER, U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Ethiopian Government, and the Palestinian Christian Mayor of Bethlehem, Israel. It was striking to see how the Kingdom is impacting people worldwide. During a two hour lunch break one day I didn’t have anyone to eat lunch with so I headed out to find a restaurant. At an urban street corner I passed a man with a sign begging for money. As I continued a block and a half I was sensing in my spirit that God wanted me to eat lunch with this man. Finally I turned around and asked him to lunch. He told me he had to stay on the corner all day to make the money he needed. I politely asked him if he stayed 8 hours how much did he hope to make. He said, “$10.” I said, “If I cover your $10 will you join me for lunch?’ It was a deal. I got an education about what life was like on the streets! Eye-opening. He said he couldn’t make each day if it weren’t for Jesus. He admitted though that he didn’t have assurance of his salvation and his eternal destiny. I shared the gospel and he went away with hope and $10! Pray for my new friend, Stephen, and the elected leaders of Louisiana as well. You can never tell where the adventure will be with Jesus. Sometimes it is in the Capitol and sometimes it is out on the street.


Betting the Farm on God,

Michael
Highlights from April

Astronaut Charlie Duke
Northshore Mayor's
Prayer Breakfast Speaker

LA House of Representatives

Pray for the 3 Bible studies
 that take place weekly
 in Baton Rouge

Leadership St. Tammany

Ravi Zacharias, Governor's Prayer
 Breakfast Speaker

Governor’s Prayer Breakfast