Thursday, November 1, 2007

2007 NDP CONFERENCE, COLORADO SPRINGS



I previously mentioned the tremendous privilege and opportunity to come share the message of my book “Two Minute Warning – Handbook of Effective Christianity for the 4th Quarter of Life” (http://www.amazon.com/TWO-MINUTE-WARNING-Bernie-Lutchman/dp/1602665613 )
I was lost for about a month, not knowing what to speak about for 45 minutes that would be of benefit to anyone. I did not buy the lie of Satan I was not good enough, the book was a “nice exercise” but “who do you think you are”…but it weighed on me!! Not just that, but I was asked to do the same workshop twice, which would then be recorded for mass distribution.

Finally on August 21, I came across the verse which changed all of this and my own perspective. I stand on the Sovereignty of God and His Sovereign ability to speak to whomever He wants…at all times…through the Holy Ghost. When He gave me the verse for my topic “LIVING WITH POWER”…. (
http://www.ndptf.org/coordinators/home/Index.cfm?Entity=14&Department=18&Dept_Order=1&This_TopicOrder=4&This_SubtopicOrder=1#5 ); the message was the same as He told Joshua in Joshua 7:10.

Joshua had just lost the Battle of Ai because Israel had sinned against God. He was down on his face bawling “Lord why did you take us out of Egypt…” The LORD said “what are you doing down on your face”?! AMEN!! On August 21, 2007 He basically communicated to me through His Spirit “I have given you so much, why are you acting like that?” Basically, as if I am the biggest loser in history.

Here is the key verse which turned it all around for me! John 1:12 (KJV) says “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on His Name”. (Emphasis mine)

The word which jumped out at me is POWER (Exousia in the Greek). The Lord led me back to the Titles of EACH of my chapter in the book! I was so dumb I could not see it! Each chapter began with “The Power of….” All ten chapters. I don’t know about you, but I thank God, I can leave all the driving and details up to Him. Being a human, I think I am, but subconsciously we still think in our own weakness at the wrong times!

The long weeks of preparation led me from one topic to the next, some of which touched down on three pillars of the book: Leadership, Legacy and Life Lessons. But the Holy Spirit wanted to teach me about Sabbath Rest most of all! Even though I had written about it in the book for a few pages, I contacted the great Bob Warren (
http://www.lifeonthehill.org/) for any insight. I respect his input more than a lot of people about in depth matters like this. He did not disappoint.

Using his verse (Galatians 2:20) as a jump off point, the Spirit led me to one revelation after another. The Lord Jesus did not call the Spirit “Counselor” for nothing. He is more than a Counselor…He is Christ…and He lives in me, the chief of sinners!

Along with Sabbath rest, the Lord led me to teach on the Ministry of Reconciliation. It is a theme coming out of Randy and myself and our sad hearts for the lost….seeing the times are short. This theme is now part of my upcoming Seminar series called “FACE UP!”

The National Day of Prayer Annual Conference and Prayer Retreat was literally out of this world. From the moment H B London kicked off the monthly Chapel at Focus (Dr. James Dobson was in Washington D.C. to receive an award that weekend); I knew this conference would be different.

Chip Ingram, the director of WALK THROUGH THE BIBLE (and radio pastor of Living on the Edge), was the keynote speaker at Chapel. On the flight to Colorado Springs, the Lord had him ditch his totally prepared sermon to one which he preached totally off the cuff. His theme? INTEGRITY! If ministry leaders, prayer warriors and pastors…which most of us are/were who were there, needed to hear a message, it was that one! Without integrity, we had better forget it!

This was just the beginning. On the flight to Colorado, a severe and distracting pain developed out of nowhere in my left shoulder and upper arm. Two days later, at the Concert of Prayer it was unbearable. The Concert was held at the most incredible House of Prayer ever – the World Prayer Center at New Life Church. The WPC has set the standard worldwide, just as the Kansas City International House of Prayer (IHOP) has for all IHOPs across the US, like ours here in Springfield, which Scott Beauchamp started (
http://www.ihopspringfield.org/) .

The entire theme of the NDP Concert of Prayer was Repentance. A fine soldier of Christ – Matthew Stark (
http://www.pureliferevolution.net/) led the intense portion on Repentance, personal repentance. There is nothing like this in our churches. Too many of our people are sailing through their Christian lives, in a state of delusion that all is well and they have nothing for which to repent.

His message is for the serious Christian who wants to live in a right relationship with God! For a 31 year old young man, he is wise beyond his years and deserves to be heard across the country. I am in the process of putting him in touch with Iron Sharpens Iron National Men’s Conferences and Tony Nolan, the pastor to Casting Crowns who ministers to youth, in Winter Jam concerts as well.
Something happened that night. I was already nervous about doing two workshops as the Conference got into full swing. I had NEVER done a single workshop anywhere, and still could not believe the first one was a Focus on the Family! I was so full of fear and trepidation, it bothered me throughout the Concert of prayer to the point I left it briefly. What really added to it was hearing both workshops were full! I put in a call into Randy in Peoria who was shopping in Wal-Mart and walked outside to pray for me! The Lord was in that prayer because the fear was gone…yet the pain remained.

Two awesome prayer warriors, who shall remain nameless (as it was the Healing powers of the Lord working through their obedience) laid hands on me and prayed the pain away!! Needless to say, I have never been closer to the Lord since that night! It was, literally and figuratively, being on the mountain of God! Who would want to come of that?!

Not matter what I do, in the Service of the Lord, I find it more in keeping with His will, if I remain in awe and full of Fear and Trembling! Despite a few stumbles, the workshop went well. All the Hebrew/Greek word study; Baptist-styled alliteration and real-life references made the entire time shoot by.

I was surprised by the fact that while some men bought the book off the book table, most of my book sales went to women by a 5-1 ratio! One lady from Kentucky took a look, totally by accident, of the new FOUR PILLARS OF A Woman’s HEART (which is copyrighted by my publisher) and told her friend…they bought. Another woman from Jacksonville, Florida came by next day and got three….etc etc…

It was totally humbling to be in the midst of the Lord working, my dear friends. The teaching about Sabbath Rest hit home with a lot of people. One woman was also near tears when I taught on the Ministry of Reconciliation. The men and women from all over America who came to the workshops were so nice, encouraging and full of interest; it had to be from God! No one knew who I was BEFORE the workshops were full.

It was the Title, from the Verse He gave me, which brought them in. I rejoiced in the fact that it was NOT about me!! I saw the Power of God and it gave me rest! THAT ALONE is a perfect example of living in Sabbath Rest….a perfect example of Living by the Life of Another….a perfect example of Living an effective Christian life….which can only come about through humility, brokenness, prayer and seeking the total Will of God!! HALLELUJAH!

It was my privilege to meet so many of the frontline prayer intercessors of this great country!!! From Kathie Cassidy, (who manages the entire Western Coast of the United States PLUS Hawaii and Alaska), to Sheila Kimball from my old stomping grounds in Connecticut; the Power of God was everpresent! I was blessed to meet my friend and 2nd time Author Lori Wagner. Her story about her travails in the Metro Detroit region is amazing as to the kind of antichrist opposition we face from the forces of other pagan religions. I recommend her new book "QUILTING PATCHES OF LIFE" at http://www.affirmingfaith.com/ . There are some terrific testimonies you are sure to enjoy there!!

Vicki, my dear wife, was able to participate for the first time this year and caught the vision! One workshop she attended taught on how to hold a Bible Reading Marathon (where a group of readers read the entire Bible in 90 hours leading up to the National Day of Prayer on the first Thursday in May annually). My gal came back On Fire for Christ, ready to accomplish that in the near future! We struck up a huge relationship with the awesome folks at Bible Pathways in Murpheesboro, Tenn. They video – recorded our testimonies to add in the near future to their website –
http://www.internationalbiblereadingassociation.org/

This site allows folks worldwide to see and hear others testify to the power of His Word. They take your testimony and edit it into two or three segments. The other workshops were just so tremendous; it could bring tears to your eyes. The testimony from Kamal Saleem, a former Islamic terrorist/now a Soldier for Christ, would put a lie to the claims by the elite about Islam being a religion of peace!

One of the most beautiful seminars I have ever been to was the Power of a Praying Husband and Wife, led by Gary and Barb Hibma from Iowa. It brought my wife and I so much closer as a couple anointed by God. All of these lessons I learned will be used to the benefit of the body of Christ, not just in the membership of Business Men in Christ, but wherever the Lord uses me. This could be at the Inner City Mission; a Bible conference; a breakout session at Iron Sharpens Iron…anywhere! I am F.A.T….and it is not because of ½ pound Buffalo burgers!!ha!! I am available, Lord…here I am, SEND ME!!

Many in the prayer movement are familiar with the great Dutch Sheets (
http://www.dutchsheets.org/). This year I read his book “Intercessory Prayer” for the first time and it blew me away. I never had so many post-it notes in ANY book before! The book is totally based not just on Scripture, but the ORIGINAL Hebrew/Greek words and the instructions from the Lord on how to live. All books written by humans have things we do not agree with. When a man or woman uses the Original Biblical language though, I pay attention, take the meat and leave the bones.

Dutch spoke about a certain weariness in ministry which we must all guard against. So many Para church and church leaders are getting burned out to the point of it affecting the body and the Work of the Lord. The key? Sabbath Rest! What a way to wrap it up! When we weary of doing good in the Kingdom of God, let us not forget to rest in Him! Those two weeks in October…well, as hectic a pace they carried, were the prelude to the biggest lesson of all – Living in the Power of the Holy Spirit!
Isaiah 40:31 (KJV):
But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
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