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