Monday, August 21, 2006

"There Shall Be Children!"

"…For the builders, for the builders, for the builders…. I’m seeing a breaking forth of expansion, now, of the work as under builders under the apostle of this house. And the Word of the Lord is, ‘There will be children. There shall be children! And these children shall help you build and they shall help you establish, they shall help you stabilize and they shall help you groom the harvest that is coming in. For what has been laborious, MY Grace shall remove the labor out of it with these children." - Prophetic word to Chris and Carol Green through Prophetess Melissa Clayton, 1999

We are so happy for the arrival of one of our spiritual daughters, Carlette Mack, who just moved to Harrisburg, PA to assist us in the ministry here. Carlette comes to us as one who has lived in our home, back in her teenage years, and has real "history" with us. We've known her since she was 12 years old.

God opened up a marvelous employment opportunity for her, as she will begin a new job and career in banking. She's already moved into her apartment and spent the weekend driving around getting familiar with her new surroundings.

Before leaving St. Louis, she had an official exit interview with one of the elders and his wife along with the senior pastor's executive administrative assistant. Since she was able to pass the questions and counseling at that stage, Carol and I were assured that she has been thoroughly challenged about moving into ministry with us.

With the help of one of our other spiritual sons (Phillip) and two of our many daughters (Tiffany and Dawn), she packed up her children (two sons) and her life and the three ladies made a 13 hour journey to Harrisburg. Tiffany, Dawn, and our sons helped with moving her into her apartment.

They all joined with us on Friday night as our Little Sprouts from the community arrived just after we had finished ministering to the adults. We began singing the songs they have come to love and danced around. Carlette jumped right in and the kids fell in love with her right away.

After praying for the children and before releasing them to go and play, one of the little girls, whose name is Precious, said to everyone, "I want my mother to come. She's not saved. My grandmother is saved, but my mother is not, so I want her to come. I'm telling her to call off from work so she can come to church next Friday."

Only our intercessors know how much we needed help and it is just the awesome timing of GOD that Carlette, who has a wonderful gift and influence with children, has arrived just after the Lord has begun sending children to Fruitful Life . This has assured me that the LORD will continue to provide help for us in a very special way. He promised that we would build with our children and Carlette's arrival is part of the fulfillment of that prophetic promise.

We're just overwhelmed and deeply touched. We would never have thought that the troubled teenager we took into our home so many years ago, would one day step in and help us in our deepest time of need. Just when we were on the verge of despair, concerning our part in the Urban World Harvest Vision , one of our daughters has stepped out and said, "Here am I Lord; Send me!"

This is marvelous how GOD is moving in our midst! The disappointment and pain of the past year is being wiped away with each week.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Little Sprouts!

The Will and Purpose of God

Often times I reflect back to the prohetic words spoken over Carol and me the night the elders and prophets prayed over us in our commissioning service back in St. Louis on May 30, 2004. I love to recall that because it serves as a powerful way in which the Lord has kept us encouraged as we literally watch HIS word come to pass in our lives and in this ministry.

One of those Words dealt with the kind of people we would minister to. The description spoken through Prophetess Melissa Clayton was that we would minister to those who were
1.) sprouting,
2.) budding,
3.) blossoming and to
4.) those in their fruitful bearing years.

The past few weeks, the little "sprouts" have come forth. Every Friday night, just before we get started, four little children from the neighborhood come strolling into the facility where we meet. Two boys (who happen to be twins) and two girls, make their way from the apartment building situated directly across the street from the church, and come marching in happily to learn songs and let us pray for them before we let them go play on the fooseball, air hockey and pool tables.

It all started one particular week when they wandered in and we just let them play. After a couple of weeks of that, I called them into the sanctuary with us and told them we'd all learn a couple of songs and then they could play. Carol and I taught them a couple of the children favorites from back in St. Louis: If We Build It and The Lord Reigns. They are fun songs that incorporate some dance steps and hand movements. Afterwards, we prayed for them and let them go play.

The next week they came back asking for us to sing the Build It and the "ocean song" (part of the lyrics from The Lord Reigns). We sang the two songs and played a Veggie Tales video. Once again we prayed for them and let them go play.

Last week, they came in as ususal and asked to sing the two songs, but this time they wanted to learn something new. So we taught them one of our all time favorites called "Nod Your Head" Well, they didn't want to STOP singing that one. WE had to stop because WE were tired and out of breath.

This time though, I took a few moments to talk to them about Jesus. They were full of questions and comments, so we just listened for a while. Then I asked them if they had ever asked Jesus to come into their hearts. They talked about praying to GOD for their grandmother, but I said, "Praying to GOD about grandma is really good, but that's not what I asked. I asked, have you ever asked Jesus to come into your heart." They each said no, so we took the time to explain why Jesus came and had to die. They were really full of questions on that point and one little girl remembered to movie, The Passion, and it really helped to explain that the people didn't just kill Jesus, but that Jesus let them do that to Him for US. By the end of that conversation, they let me lead them in a simple prayer to ask Jesus to come into their hearts.

After that, we let them go play!

I write this because it reminds ME that this is why we are here in Harrisburg, PA. Right now we are ministering to 14 people (when you include the four children) who come in EVERY week, hungry and anxious for the worship and the Word!

We are just as passionate and excited about ministering to these 14 as we would be to 140 or 1400. The LORD prepared us for 14 years to move to Harrisburg, go through all that we have been through thus far, and finally come to a place where we could say, we love these 14 people and despite all that has happened, we are not failures. I find it amazing that when we started with Pastor Ray in 1987, it was only seven of us. Now we have this new start with fourteen of us. We have twice as many and we are twice as grateful and thankful. We are in the will of GOD; the purpose of GOD.

It is the Will of GOD for us to pour into these 14 people. We're not focused on, or wishing for something bigger. With so much apathy in the church in America, it is a blessing to minister to people who have a hunger for the things of GOD. We've expereinced some of the other side of negative repsonses in the church and this is a whole lot better. This has nothing to do with numbers. It's not about quantity. It's about the QUALITY of the quantity.

GOD said we would minister to people in various stages of personal and spiritual growth and the past few weeks, HE has allowed us and honored us with the priviledge of leading these little SPROUTS into HIS Kingdom and HIS will for their lives.

To GOD be the GLORY!!!

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Youth and Young Adults of Fruitful Life

We are so pleased to say that we had a very successful first gathering of all the youth and young adults of Fruitful Life in the living room of our home, last night. It was such a great meeting that we've decided to meet each week, at least for this month, until everyone goes back to school.

The ages ranged from 16 to 26 and our discussion centered on the introduction section of the book we published four years ago, titled "WHAT NOW?"

We opened the evening by allowing each person to introduce him or herself and tell us about their personal interest and goals in life. We learned that we have a lot of "kool-aid" lovers. Many priorities involve eating and sleeping. We also discovered that we have quite a few artists who all love to draw pictures and share similar interest in cartoons and animation. Carol and I find that very fascinating that the Lord has put within us a desire to produce comic books, video games, and cartoons and now HE has surrounded us with young people who can actually pull this off.

Even for the business aspect of such a vision, there are some business/ accounting focused youth, along with some music and video editors and producers. Let's just see how GOD brings this all to pass in the years to come.

Anyway, it was a great discussion as we covered such things as the greatest resources that they will ever need. We talked about wisdom being more valuable than rubies and its fruit being better than gold or silver according to Proverbs 8: 11,19.

Somehow that took us into recounting the story of how we had a $35,000 medical bill after the twins were born, reduced to $300. Believe me when I say, that story made the point that we need GOD more than we need money. We need HIS favor more than money.

We answered a very important question that was brought up on how does one recognize when GOD is speaking to them. We took everyone through the practical principles of how to discern and recognize the voice and will of GOD for their lives.

We love it when young people ask that question!

We also answered the question regarding living with seemingly unanswered prayers. I related one of the most precious missionary stories I've ever heard to make the point that we may ask GOD to do things that are not part of HIS will and that we must trust HIS answers, even if they disappointment us. We must trust HIM.

We talked about getting to know the WHY in life and not just the WHAT. People who know WHAT to do will have a job, but people who know WHY will be their bosses. We encouraged all to move beyond just gathering information and knowledge and to begin to embrace a life of WISDOM because it is the know-how ability that you get from GOD. You must know what to do with all the knowledge that you may acquire. GOD WILL TAKE YOU BEYOND INFORMATION TO THE REASONS WHY THINGS WORK THE WAY THEY WORK.

Finally, we just spoke directly to the group that they are a generation that has been united as a global culture. We pointed out that they have the potential for global revival because of the unique opportunity they have as the first global culture in human history.

All in all, it was a wonderful start to a ministry we have desired to launch since our beginning. Thanks to Gary Foster, we even had a multi-ethnic mix because he brought two young people (ages 18 & 20) who go to a church started by Christ Community Church.

You may recall that I spoke at Christ Community two times last year. It is a predominantly white congregation in Camp Hill, PA that has embraced us as their own. We love the pastors and staff there. When I told the visitors about our relationship with the CCC pastors, we had instant connection and they were very open to us from that point on.

So there's my update for this week with the new beginnings we are experiencing in Fruitful Life.