Saturday, May 25, 2013

Pentecost Today

This first was published in Come to the Table, a Facebook Group, May 24, 2013

Pentecost Today
Scripture Reading:  Acts 1:1-15, 2:1-21

When I think about Pentecost I think about what happened at the end.  What an explosive way to start a church!  As I'm sure you remember, Holy Spirit came down on everyone in the room like a huge wind and flames of fire appeared on people's heads.  People were baptized with Holy Spirit and started speaking in different languages as Holy Spirit led.  It was an amazing time.

What I tend to forget is all the stuff that happened while they were waiting.  Can you imagine 500 people waiting in a crowded room or building for God to show up?  Just the logistics boggle my mind!  I'm sure some people got turned off by the renovations that were always 'half-way done' and left.  I'm sure there were people who got tired of waiting and felt that they should be doing this or they could be doing that... and walked away.

I am also certain that in those cramped quarters people got upset with the leadership. After all,  look who the leaders were!  None other than, Peter, James and John-- the greatest deserters of all!  God surely couldn't use them after all they had done.

In those hot, stinky conditions who could pray for any length of time anyhow?  And look at brother so and so.  He's always hogging the speaker's place and trying to impress everyone.  Don't they know who he is?

Is it any wonder that the 500 people who saw Jesus after his resurrection whittled down to 120 within those 40 days?

I can see the same thing happening today.  I have talked to people from different churches across Ottawa and the valley and everybody knows that something is about to break, but we don't know what.   People are leaving churches, disengaging from churches or plain, not going to church.

Some are getting tired of leadership.  Others are getting tired of renovations.  There's a great uneasiness or dissatisfaction in the body-- almost like itchy feet.   We know something is up but we can't put our on thumbs on it.

So, I want to encourage you that you are not alone if any of this stuff has crossed your mind.  We are on the edge of a great, great move of God.

Holy Spirit woke me up last Sunday with these words, "I'm going to do something no one has dreamed of." (ref. 1Cor. 2:9)  I believe Him.  I've never, in all my 30+ years as a Christian, seen the body of Christ so uneasy.

The key I believe is to not lose our focus.  As we keep the big picture (the Kingdom advancing) the big thing in our lives God will sort out all the other stuff; renovations, leadership, volunteers, families, our lives and our dreams.

Did you know that Holy Spirit doesn't get upset with renovations?  He doesn't even get upset with leadership!  He's not remotely upset with your family members either.  I can see that I need to spend more time with Holy Spirit so that those things don't bother me either.

Let's Pray Out Loud:
"Thank You Lord for joy in our journey and for all your comfort and encouragement! Help us Lord to remember all the great things you are doing at our church.  Help us also to give grace to those around us when they disappoint us.  Help us to expect our rewards from you and not people.  And thank You Lord for using imperfect people, including us. Amen!"

Bless you!
Big hugs,
Brenda Gale Thompson

Ps.  If you like this article please share it!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Run a Strife Check

I wrote this for the Facebook Group, "Come To The Table" May 17, 2013
"Run a Strife Check"
Scripture: 1 Pet 3:3-6

I remember the time I was praying and praying and getting no answers. I was getting really frustrated, asking, "God don't you care? Can't you see what's going on here?"

I sat down after my kids were in bed and said, "That's it! I'm not leaving this chair till you tell me what's going on and how I can change this situation."

I had no clue where to go so I opened my Bible and it fell open at the page where this verse jumped out at me, " Where there is envy and strife there is every evil work." (James. 3:16)

Hello! God had my attention now. I was so frustrated and upset with my husband I could spit. Not good I know, but he didn't want to talk to me so any hope of discussing the issue was postponed for the moment.

I asked Holy Spirit what the big deal was and he told me to go to 1 Pet. 3.... As I started reading, it resonated in my spirit. It reads, "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight." (1 Pet 3:3-4)

That's a laugh. My Spirit was anything but gentle. I was born for war and I loved winning. A quiet spirit? Hmmm that needed some thought. How to have a quiet spirit....peaceful, content, relaxed where the connotations I got as I meditated on this verse.

I could see that I had some work ahead of me. I continued reading and then I got slammed by Holy Spirit as I read, "For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear." (1 Pet 3:5&6)

Whoa, whoa, whoa! I couldn't believe God was telling me to defer or give in to my husband when he's wrong! I thought, "How stupid is that? I mean what's the point of having a brain if you're not allowed to use it!?"

Holy Spirit put up with my tirade for a bit and when I had quieted down he said it's a trust issue. You don't trust me enough to let me work on him for you. You're manipulating and controlling things to meet your own desires.

Nailed! Holy Spirit got me again. All I could say was, "You're right."

I had to start trusting Holy Spirit to work in my husband's life and not interfere. I wasn't allowed to control or manipulate situations to get what I wanted, no matter how much my flesh screamed. When I went to the Lord and complained, He responded, "Didn't you mean it when you said you wanted to be a living sacrifice for me? Didn't you mean it when you said that you would pay any price to carry my glory?"

He was right, I just wasn't expecting that my cross would be so hidden and inglorious.

So, while I was waiting for the Lord to work on my husband he was working on me. I learned how to go to him for strength for the day, for help when I didn't get the sleep I thought I needed, for comfort when I didn't get the support I thought I needed, for protection when we came under attack, for provision when the money ran out ahead of the bills, for good teaching when I was alone.

I can look back and thank God for all the hard times cause it's made me so much stronger in God. I know with certainty that there's a promise for every situation I'll ever face and that my God is backing me to the hilt. And Praise God I even found some scriptures to help me to become a gentler woman! Hallelujah!

So now when my prayers aren't getting answered I immediately ask the Lord where have I missed it or dishonored my leaders (husband, pastors, etc.) I've finally learned how to keep my heart with all diligence! Yahoo! God's good!

I hope my story helps you avoid some of the pitfalls I went through!

Bless you today!
Big hugs,
Brenda Gale Thompson

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Constant Fellowship

I wrote this for the Facebook group "Come to the Table" May 15, 2013

Constant Fellowship

For this is what the high and exalted One says-- he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. (Is. 57:15)

I love this verse because of what it means for us. God is promising to live with us, to be in constant fellowship with us as we are real and humble before him, in all situations we face in life. He's promising to revive the humble and repentant ones. I think we can all qualify for His kind of Revival!

As I am in this fellowship with Him, I love how Holy Spirit is always encouraging, always hopeful, always full of laughter and how he helps me to see the funny side of things. He's always telling me, "It's not as bad as you think!" You see, I'm naturally a serious person, and before I got to know the Lord I was Way too uptight!" Holy Spirit is so good at helping me see the humor in life. Thank God for all his comforts!

Personal journaling:
How has the Lord revived you when you were low?
Have you seen His encouragement when you didn't think you would ever make it?
Has he whispered your name lately?

Let's pray out loud... "Lord we come to you and ask for your encouragement today. Tell us things we don't know yet and show us the way to go. Make our lives count for Your Kingdom, in Jesus' name we ask. Amen!"

Further Reading:  
Scripture: Psalm 51:17, Isa. 66:2, Micah 6:8 and
Rom. 15:5-6, "May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Bless you!
Big hugs,
Brenda Gale Thompson

Monday, May 13, 2013


I am noticing a trend these days.    Many dear people who have gone on holidays  have come back under attack instead of refreshed.  This should not be so!

I wouldn't have put it together if it hadn't been happening so consistently.   People getting hurt, accidents,  disappointments coming back, weariness about the work load, frustration that things aren't changing fast enough...  it's been a real onslaught!

So.... better late than never let's claim God's promises for our friends and families.

Thank you Lord that our friends and families get refreshed when they go on holidays.  Let them come back pumped up with the good things You want to do at church.  Lord, help us all to remember the good things that are happening at our churches and not the things that irritate us. Ignite passion in our hearts for all you want to do.  Help us to keep our hearts clean and to extend mercy, grace and forgiveness to others.   Help us to communicate effectively and give us wisdom about what to do and how much to do.  Thank you Lord that because we love your word, nothing can cause us to stumble or take offense.  Thank You Lord for healing every person that has been hurt in any way.   Help us Lord to not become weary in our outreach because we know this is Your work and your kingdom. Amen!

On the good side 6 un-churched people asked Jesus into their hearts in the last few weeks and many have been healed of all kinds of back problems and arthritis. 
Bless you!
Brenda Gale Thompson

p.s.   Let's claim refreshing because, "He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed!" (ref. Prov. 11:25)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Complaining Trend

Someone I know was having a rough couple of weeks and they were talking to me.    I prayed for them and later that day another person was having a hard time with someone in leadership, so I encouraged them and we prayed for healing and restoration.

The next day I was helping someone out and they had a list of complaints a mile long about church and problems there.   I couldn't help but notice a trend there.

 I asked the Lord what his take was on all these legitimate complaints.  You know what he said? He said, "Your leaders are works in progress just like you are.  Don't expect perfection from them until you are perfect yourself."

Contrary to popular belief,  God is working on them just like he is working on us..... but the area he's working on might not be the area that bugs you the most. 

I too have had my share of trouble with persons in leadership, surprise, surprise.  I wouldn't be human if it weren't so.   The Lord has opened my eyes to see the bigger picture and to see the damage that can be done to a church by disappointment and offense.

The Problem is.... there are only so many churches to go to and if you leave offended at one you're enlisting in God's 'wilderness wandering game'.  No thank you.  Been there before and I want to move on to the next level.

I am not by any means saying that our church has it all together.  On the contrary, I can see some gaping holes and areas that need improvement.

So I am going to share some wise words a couple of my mentors shared with me years ago.

The First is never leave a church with offense in your heart.  Always ask God to heal  you up first and try to leave on good standing, not the superficial, "Thanks,  I'm called out. Good bye."   This will help you grow in Christ. If you can't leave the way you want because of situations outside your control, then pursue healing in the new church you go to.

Second, when a leader starts claiming he/she's something great etc. and it rubs you the wrong way, pause and think about it.  Is the person saying this to excuse a character flaw or are they attempting to, 'call those things that be not as though they were?" Usually if it rubs you the wrong way it's because you have had their flaws cause you personal pain.  It's time to seek the Lord and find the balance in your life.  God, family, work then church is the way most ministry leaders advise people to prioritize your lives.

I remember something a leader said when one of his helpers quit his job and stated he was going to go preach the gospel for a living.  This person said to themselves, "Why this guy can't preach himself out of a garbage can! He'll be out of money in a month!"  Holy Spirit quickly spoke up to this man, "Then help him!"   That quieted this leader.  So many other people were quick to tell the would be preacher that he would never make it and that he better go back to his regular job but this leader would not join in their criticism or judgement. Time marched on and the would be preacher did become successful, praise God!

Are you wondering who the leader was?   Kenneth Copeland! And the would be preacher was Jerry Savelle! What a loss it would be to the body of Christ without Jerry Savelle's Ministry!  He has helped countless people around the globe get a handle on the basics of faith--myself included!

So when I hear a leader claiming great titles I remember that story and I figure I can be on the helping side which is Holy Spirit, or I can be on the devil's side which is criticizing and judging.  No thank you.  I am Not going there.  Yes, the attacks are real and yes sometimes leaders get puffed up.  God's able to correct them without my help... I know that now.

I encourage  you to give all your expectations of what leadership should and should not be over to the Lord daily.  That's what I am learning to do.  As I look at God in praise and worship it gets easier and easier to do this.  Let's pray...

Lord we need your help to love people through the unlovely situations we face daily.  Let your love and peace we shed abroad  in our hearts.  Give us your hope that you are able to change us and the situations around us.  We ask for joy and humor in our daily journey with you. Bind us all together in your love and thank you for unity of spirit in our churches.  Thank You for helping us look past our hurts to the beauty you are creating in the people around us and in us.  Thank You Lord for time with you and for transforming our hearts so we want to spend more time with you every day. Amen!

Bless you!
Big hugs,
Brenda Gale Thompson

James Goll: A Key To Friendship With God: Be Still!

This is such a good article!  I just had to share it.

James Goll: A Key To Friendship With God: Be Still!

Be encouraged!  There will come a time when God will cause a Divine Encounter if you keep seeking him.  Hallelujah!

Bless you!
Big hugs,
Brenda Gale Thompson