Friday, February 19, 2016

Technical difficulties

My sincere apologies.  Blogger and I are in a battle right now... I just lost over 2 hours of typing for my Friday morning post and I'm a bit frustrated.  I even saved as I went! Grrrr...... Anyway, it will be far easier and quicker to post when I get home tomorrow evening.  This iPad is very challenging to work with.  Rest assured we are being blessed beyond measure here at Winterfire 2016!!

Winterfire 2016 - Thursday evening

So... here we are again at Winterfire ministry conference!  So excited that God has allowed us to be here once again!  Although I am not particularly a fan of the music this year, the messages from the first two of nine preachers did NOT disappoint... The voice of God was very clear this evening.  

Bro. Jon Petoskey - Transformed

The theme of this conference is "Transformed".  Bro. Petoskey kicked off the service addressing the process of transformation.  Being transformed By God means being vulnerable.  It means you have to be willing to change.  It means upsetting your comfort zone.  Transformation is a painful process.  When you are in this process, others will not understand it.  They will wound you with their hurtful, even hateful words, and if you let it, it can poison your attitude and cause you to reconsider the process.  
     Some people resist being transformed by God, and would rather allow their ministry to die than endure the pain of transformation.  They are unwilling to be vulnerable, and they cave in to the haters.  
      What makes the process successful is when you can say "God, I don't like this pain, I don't like this path, but I trust You!"  His grace is sufficient because His strength is made perfect in weakness.  
     In a moment, God transforms darkness to light, rivers to dry land.  You will NEVER be spiritual enough, your programs will NEVER be effective enough, to do the work of God in this last hour.  You will need to rely on the transforming power of God to do the work.

Bro. David K. Bernard - So,  Build the Wall

Nehemiah 4:6
     The devil fights against revival, but God has a plan and a purpose, and if we will connect with God's plan and purpose, we WILL have revival!
     The people of Israel were trying to do God's work but the devil (Sanballet and Tobias) showed up to hinder them, to try to put a stop to God's plan and purpose.  They were naysayers, telling Nehemiah "You can't do this."  They were angry that the work of God was being accomplished, and breathing threats, and mocking them and God.  But the people of Gid did NOT stop their work!    You don't win the battle by compromising or giving in to the threats and mockery of the enemy.  You win the battle by continuing the work!
      The world is hungry for something real.  And while we are busy stage- managing our production so as not to offend anyone, they are actually WANTING the power of God that we possess!  They want the demonstration of power of the Spirit of God to touch and change their life.
     One of the devil's tactics is to bring an argumentative spirit to interrupt the work of God.  But our response should not be to entertain that spirit with a response, but to say "I'm not here to argue or debate, I'm here to do the work God called me to do,". That work includes prayer meetings, bible studies, church services, soul winning, interceding, etc.  I don't have time to write a treatise about the culture of the Northeast...I don't have time to be discouraged...I'm too busy win I g souls and building a church!  I'm building the wall!
     The only power the devil has is bluff.  However, he is already defeated.  If you can call his bluff, he has no power against you.  You just go to God in prayer.  He knows the strategy needed to call the devil's bluff.
     It's not always glamorous. It's daily work.  Work and pray.  Work and pray.  Work and pray.  Unity is the key to revival.  We need to rally around churches that are struggling.  The devil will wish he had left us alone, because now we're stirred up!  Now we're praying like we've never prayed before!  
     If you have a mind to work, God will fight for you and back you up.  so... Build the wall.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Unceasing anguish for those you love

This piece from one of Francis Chan's messages is EXACTLY how I feel!  This is exactly how I felt when each of my three grandparents passed into eternity.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Winterfire 2015 - Friday Morning

The Ziters are having a wonderful time at Winterfire!  Good fellowship, good worship, and fantastic preaching!  I will confess however, that this morning, I have been challenged.  Challenged by the messages, challenged by God.  

     The first speaker was Bro. David Hudson.  He was preaching on the CAUSE of the church of the living God.  He is a great lover of Israel, and travels there often.  Just recently went a couple weeks ago with a group of 30 pastors.  They were with the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) in a valley where they were fighting the Hezbollah.  The Hezbollah fighters were up in the hills, watching every move of the IDF.  These IDF soldiers were all around 19 or 20 years old.  They were putting their very lives on the line for the CAUSE of protecting Israel.  
     People of faith face the same kind of paralyzing fear today (ISIS, etc).  But there is no God like our God!  We cannot remain silent about the truth!  The truth is what sets people free!  EVERYBODY needs to know!  But the fact is, everybody does NOT know!  There is a CAUSE!  God's people need to take a stand for truth in the face of the face of ridicule and mockery..... in the face of persecution....

     And then we had a powerful altar call at 11:00 am!  People committing themselves all over again to the cause of bringing the gospel of hope to a hurting, messed up world.

    Then speaker #2 took the pulpit.  Brother Carlton Coon built on the previous messages (God building the church for the cause of reaching the lost) and told us that God is not just going to make the church appear for you while you sit idly by.  You are going to have to have to work along with God in the building process and put on your war boots!  Prayer is the ONLY way that God will build the church you shepherd.  You have to fight against strongholds and forces of evil that do not want you doing this!  Prayer brings the hand of God into the picture!  Good music doesn't do it!  A fancy, well put together sermon doesn't do it!  If people leave your service saying "what a great song service" or "what a powerful message"... then you have totally missed it!  If people come in to your church sick, and leave sick, or if they come in oppressed and leave oppressed, then you have totally missed it!  We need a move of God!

     And then speaker #3 took the pulpit, and continued to build where Bro. Coon left off.  Bro. Elias Limones from the Bay area of California  finished off the morning session with the message "Let the Fire Fall".  We depend so much on our technology, our talent, our fancy buildings.... but when was the last time the power and fire of God fell from heaven upon your congregation?  Only prayer will bring this fresh fall of fire from God.  Microwave prayer (I want God to do it and do it now... 60 seconds of prayer)  will not cut it!  We need to STAY in prayer and cry out, pour ourselves out and beg God for the fire to fall on our city!

   Phew, I'm exhausted just typing this, as I am reliving the power of the messages in my mind as I type.  Tonight we hear from Bro. Sam Emory....I can't wait to see what the Lord speaks through him!

Winterfire 2015 - Thursday evening

It is SO GOOD to be here in this apostolic atmosphere of praise and worship to Jesus!!!  Everyone is just genuinely thrilled to have this opportunity to bind together and draw strength from one another and receive refreshing and direction from the Lord.    It has been interesting to watch God unfold HIS plan for this conference.  People who were supposed to be here to speak couldn't make it, people who were only to promote things ended up preaching, and the order of things got all mixed up, yet we are seeing that it is really not mixed up at all.  God knew which messages needed to be preached and in what order.  His divine rearrangement has meant that one message has built upon another in an incredibly powerful way!  
     First, a couple of pictures....

There are a LOT of apostolic pentecostals here!!!!

     The first speaker was Thursday night. Brother Michael Ensey was not supposed to preach.  But preach he did!  He brought a message about GOD building the church, not us.  Matt. 16:18, Jesus said I WILL build my church, and the gates of hell WILL NOT prevail against it.  In Ps. 127:1, it says "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it."  It is HIS church.  He built it, and he bought it.  In fact, He is STILL building it! He is the designer and architect, and supplier of the right materials. This takes a lot of pressure off us.  WE aren't building it.  It doesn't matter who says you can't have a church in Essex, the Lord is building the house, and He will finish what He has started.  
     God does not build like we do.  He uses very unconventional methods.  He wants it to be real clear and evident who the builder/designer is.  He builds with just the right materials that will last over time.  The foundation is the most important part.  If we don't get the foundation right, nothing else matters.  the rest of the building will crack and crumble.  The foundation of the church is TRUTH!  Faithfulness to the Word of God!
  • 2 Tim. 3:16 - All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
  • Deuteronomy 6;4 - Hear o Israel the Lord our God, the Lord is ONE.
  • John 3:5 - Unless a man is born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.
  • Acts 2:1-4 - And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven like a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like fire, and it sat upon each of them, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them the ability.
  • Leviticus 20:7 - Be holy for I the Lord your God am holy.
  • 2 Corinthians 6:17 - Come out from among them and be ye separate.
  • Ps. 150 - Praise ye the Lord!  Praise God in His sanctuary, praise Him in the firmament of His power!  Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!......Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.  Praise ye the Lord!
  • John 4:35 - Lift your eyes and look on the fields, for they are white already to harvest.
One God, the new birth experience, holiness, and evangelism.  This is our foundation.  We are a house built upon the Rock!
     After the foundation, you have the structure itself.  Eph. 2:21-22 shows us God's building method.  All the people He brings into the church are like stones "fitly framed together".  One broken life fitly framed together with another broken life paints a powerful picture of God's mercy and grace.  God builds in a way we would not.  When David was running from Saul and hiding in caves, a group of men went with him. No, not mighty men of war, but 1 Samuel 22:2 says they were people in distress, in debt, and discontented.  What a motley crew!    But if you keep reading, the story shows how these same people became transformed into mighty men of God!  We may have a very different idea about what the "perfect church" looks like.  But God disqualifies no one!  If ANY MAN thirst, let him come and receive this living water that Jesus offers!  Depressed, addicted, abused, neglected, rejected, lonely, broken.....let God fitly frame you into His glorious church!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Precamper Units

So, this post is going to be about the units that my husband and I have done over the years at our family church camp. We work with the 4-8 year olds, known as PreCampers. What a riot they are! We love the opportunity to teach them about the God who loves them and have lots of fun doing it!

Salvation Station

This unit is about repentence, water baptism in Jesus' name, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. You need ALL THREE to receive your "ticket" into heaven. One of our centers? A Thomas the train table with LOTS of trains! Skits galore in this one!

Everyone received their ticket.  Can't see it... they say "Admit One".

Singing the Sunday School Rock by Carman.

Promised them a Holy Ghost party if anyone got the Holy Ghost... THREE!!!

Salvation Station

The conductor and engineer!

Treasure Cove

This unit is about the treasure of Jesus. We did lots of treasure hunt stuff and talked about "searching" for Jesus. Fun stuff!

Wish this picture was close up!

The mural colored by all precampers over 4 days.  Plus all their projects/crafts, on display.

Construction Zone

What a blast this unit was! Our theme, of course, was Kids Under Construction. The best part of this unit the year we did it was that the college where we hold family camp was undergoing a MAJOR construction building project and we could go out and watch with our little hard hats on. The construction workers thought it was cute. We had a building center that included legos, lincoln logs, cardboard bricks, tools, construction vehicles, etc.
Yeah, he thinks he's the foreman on the job!  LOL!

Singing "He's still working on me"

After a morning of hard work, time for a snack break!

The girls showing off their building talent!

Building center

Hero Headquarters

I am very very disappointed in myself for not getting any pictures of this year's unit! :-( We had so much fun! We talked about many "HEROES" in the bible, and every one of them was a CHILD! Kids can be heroes for Jesus! The bible says so! PS... my amazing mom made all the super hero capes the kids are wearing. She rocks!


Kids can join forces with God and be super heroes for Jesus!

Tumbleweed Ranch

As far as themes go, this one was one of the most fun we've had so far! We gathered around the campfire to share our bible stories, and even "roasted" real marshmallows on our "fake" fire. And yes, I paid $25 to buy a real life TUMBLEWEED online from somewhere in Kansas!!! The theme of these lessons was not being tossed to and fro with the wind (like a tumbleweed) in what you believe, but obeying God and letting your roots grow deep in His Word!

Precamper cowhands!
Bible stories around the campfire.
riding the "horses" they made out of pool noodles!
Go Deep with God (aka Operation Overboard)

This unit came complete with fish that glowed in the dark via blacklight and communicating with a submarine that was doing some deep sea exploration and a fish that was learning a lot about the deep things of God!


Friday, February 08, 2013

Winterfire 2013

Hello from Connecticut!  We are stranded here in the middle of a huge blizzard, but let me tell you, it is worth it!  We came down for our annual Winterfire Ministry conference.  The conference runs Thursday night through Saturday morning, with about 8 or 9 speakers over 4 services. With the impending blizzard, speaking schedules were rearranged, and all speakers were fit in Thursday night and Friday was a Word of God marathon!  I know I am no longer a faithful blogger, but this is a good place for me to summarize what God spoke to us in less than 24 hours. 

Bro. Petosky-  Bro. Petosky opened the conference with some incredibly powerful and encouraging remarks.  He said that 2013 would be a year of moving from survive mindset to a thrive mindset in our churches.  He said that the church has long been compared to a hospital and announced that it is time to reopen the maternity ward and stop just being a long term care facility. The place went nuts, because most of us can relate to that concept.  It is time for a mind makeover!

Bro. David Bernard - The first speaker Thursday night was our bishop David Bernard.  He also said that it was time to get out of maintainance mode and into forward momentum mode.  He preached from Joshua 1:6 where the Lord told Joshua to be strong and courageous as he moved forward into the promised land.  In fact, God said it 3 times, and Moses had said the same thing to him back in Deut. 31:6.  It is good to allow your elders to speak into your life!  Anyway, Bro. Bernard's point was that our elders moved forward in their generation, and now we stand on their shoulders, on their accomplishments, and move forward from where they left off.  But the clincher was this..... Joshua, Moses is dead.  (pause, respect) NOW GO.  Yesterday's miracle is over.  Yesterday's ways of ministering are over.  The past is behind.  Time to move on and reach our own generation!  And His promise to Joshua still stands for us today... every place that the soles of your feet touch, I WILL GIVE TO YOU.  I'll give you the land, I'll give you power over your enemies, and you will have my presence with you.  Be strong ... why?  Because this is not a cake walk.  There will be obstacles.  The enemy of your soul does NOT want you doing a work for God, and he will throw lots of obstacles in your path.  BE STRONG!  Be courageous... why?  There will be opposition.  Do not be surprised by the fiery trials that come your way.  Joshua 1:7... do not turn away from my commandments.  Hold fast to this precious truth! Joshua 1:8  People follow leaders as the leaders follow God.  The people responded to Joshua by asking him to be strong and courageous.  They want a leader to LEAD.  Leadership needs to catch the vision before the people can catch it.

Bro. Jerry Jones - Our general secretary Jerry Jones preached from Ezekiel 40:16 about narrow windows.  Narrow windows restrict our view.  Sickness, disappointment, discouragment, etc are temporary difficulties that restrict our view, but when narrow windows become the way we view all of life every day, it takes away what God wants us to see.  Narrow windows confine our vision.  We need to break out the walls and expand our vision.  Also, we have narrow windows for defensive purposes.  We trade what we can see for security in our comfort zone.  We need to break out of the walls that keep us safe!Stop crouching in fear behind your narrow window.  We were made to conquer enemy territory - made for victory!  Behind narrow windows, we don't have to answer questions... it's business as usual.  You don't have to love much or be moved with compassion for the hurting.  We have to break out of our self centeredness. 

One final word about Thursday evening service... you had to be there to hear Bro. Raymond Woodward's amazing Dr. Seuss declaration regarding this storm called Nemo.  It was hilarious! 

Okay.... Friday morning worship was POWERFUL!  They kicked service off with Jesus Culture's "There is Power in the name of Jesus", then they sang a bridge to a song that I had not heard before by Hillsong.  The words were:   Every high thing must come down, every stronghold shall be broken, you wear the victor's crown, you overcome, you overcome..... this set the atmosphere for the first speaker....

Bro. Raymond Woodward - This man of God never ceases to blow me out of the spiritual water.  His knowledge of the Word and the Jewish people is incredible.  He preached from my very favorite verse, 2 Chronicles 7:14.  In fact, that part of the message was so good, I didn't even take notes!  Basically the point was that God is listening... waiting for his people to be praying.  And when we finally do, then we will see things happen!!  But the part I took notes on was about God imprinting his name.  Wow, wow, wow.  The 21st letter of the Hebrew alphabet is the shin (pronounced sheen).

This letter represents two words, shaddai and shalom.  This letter represents the name of God.  The Word of God says that God placed his name in Jerusalem.  I wish I had the picture Bro. Woodward had.  It was so good.  This one is the closest I can find on google images.... the name of God imprinted on the land of Israel in Jerusalem.  This is Mount Hermon, the Mount of Olives, the kidron valley, and whatever the other names of the valleys were....

Incredible.  He also preached and backed up with MUCH scripture that the sacrifice Abraham was making of Isaac happened in the same spot as the sacrifice of the perfect Lamb of God 2,000 years later.  that was AWESOME teaching!  This is the God who is waiting for his people to humble themselves and pray!  This is the God we worship!  We are marked by his name in baptism! We are also marked by his name in our hearts!
Do you see it??  The shin?  We are marked by God IN OUR VERY HEART!  And one final quote from Bro. Woodward that I wrote down was "When God seems the most absent, he is the most present."
Bro. Sam Emory - God's Counter-measure
Bro. Emory preached about spiritual battle.  He said that he is tired of playing it safe.  Time to stop being quiet pentecostals... it's time for a street fight!  We WRESTLE against principalities and powers of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places.  In wrestling, for every move, there is a counter-move.  For every hold the enemy puts you in, there is a way of escape!  GET UP OFF THE MAT!  Weeping may endure for a night, but JOY comes in the morning.  JOY is the counter-measure for weeping, weakness, fainting...the joy of the Lord is our STRENGTH.  We suffer from battle fatigue, weak, weary, faint, dysfunctional... If we could just get our JOY back.....You can't just sit there and expect your joy to come.  You have to go get it.  Joy is an expression of your gratitude to God  for all he has done for you.  So EXPRESS it!  Esp. if you don't feel like it!  Every leap, every clap, every shout, helps to restore your joy!
Bro. Mike Mitchell - Bro. Mitchell was up next after an exuberant time of rejoicing and restoring joy at the altar.  He preached about the invisible enemy.  He said that unclean spirits were sitting among us sitting comfortably on our pews.  It is time to expose them and declare war.  The unclean spirit comes camoflaged and invisible.  But we must tell the devil that we are not intimidated by him and that everything that is not of God is coming OUT.  Every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God is coming DOWN.  You cannot fake the move of God.  If it is real/genuine, it should be powerful and we should see results.  You can't keep putting a bandaid on unclean spirits.  Only prayer and fasting and the WORD will cast out these spirits.  Can't sing them out, play around with them or pretend they are not there.  You have to cast. them. out.  This type of work only comes to a church through prayer and fasting.  If my people which are called by my name will sing a little more professional.... no.  It's not in the choir.   It's in humbling ourselves and praying and fasting.
Bro. Mark Morgan - And our final speaker of Winterfire 2013 was Bro. Mark Morgan.  He preached on Kingdom Increase.  He began with the 3 temptations of Christ.
1.  Lust of the flesh - turn these stones into bread.
2.  Lust of the eye - shows Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and offers them to him
3.  Pride of life - tempts him to jump from the pinnacle of the temple. (trying to get Jesus to use the power of God for personal gain).
Romans 12:1 deals with lust of flesh, Romans 12:2 deals with the lust of the eye, Romans 12:3 deals with the pride of life.
There was so much in this message that was visual that it is hard to capture it all in words for this post.  The chess board was one of the most powerful!  Talked about the importance of lateral moves.  Another visual was the box representing the measure of faith God gives.  There are no words to describe that one...  but finally as he approached the end of the message, I wrote down a few tidbits.
1.  go to the altar, crucify your flesh, and get your own word from God.
2.  You need to find God's purpose and will for your life. 
3.  If you want the fire of God to fall, you have to put something on the altar... a sacrifice.  Worship.  Love.
When Bro. Morgan finished, Kent Elliott got up and told us that the conference was over.  It was around 1:00 in the afternoon.  It had been snowing since 9:00.  The governor had declared a state of emergency and the interstates would be closed very soon.  He prayed a prayer of safety over us, and out we all went, headed to our hotels... sad that the conference was cut short by the blizzard, but very very full spiritually.... satisfied in the Holy Ghost.  At our hotel room this evening, we sat around and talked about all that God had spoken to each of us personally... it was very encouraging.  Can't wait to come home with the THRIVE mindset!!!