Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The River

In 1963 the Clinton River, which ran through downtown Pontiac, was covered in cement to prevent flooding. Oddly enough, the Clinton River is the very reason the first settlers came to Pontiac. In 1818 a group of men led by Colonel Stephen Mack came together and purchased 1280 acres of land in what is now central Pontiac, (adding 160 acres in 1822 bringing it to 1440). They settled on the north side of the Clinton River, (then called the Huron of St. Clair), opposite the Chippewa Indians who used to camp annually on the south side while travelling from Saginaw to Detroit for trade purposes. The land of Pontiac was full of life. It was called by some a "forest." There were many trees, including fruit trees, as well as an abundance of wildlife. They settled by the river to use the water-power for their mills. They built a saw mill and a flour and grist mill. They also built a distillery early on as they found it was good for trade with the Indians. Life wasn't easy at first, but they stuck with it and it worked.1 

There is recent talk of "daylighting" the Clinton River, meaning they want to uncover it, allowing it to flow above ground through the city once again. I think this is a wonderful idea. Remember the words of Joni Mitchell who sang, "pave paradise and put up a parking lot?" This is literally what was done in Pontiac. The Clinton River is buried under the Phoenix Center and "Lot 9." I'm not saying a river can solve all the cities problems, however consider this--nature shouts with the attributes of God. When we cover it up how do our children explore, not only to see God in the world around them, but to unearth their own gifts within? They learn from teachers and artists which of course is wonderful, but when a generation is far removed from the natural beauty that inspired the teachers and artists from days gone by, something is lost. There is nothing like learning from the Master Artist Himself. What better way to learn math, science, architecture, music or fine arts then by studying from the Creator of these things?

As great as education is, we don't want it to replace experience. We don't want intoxication to replace inspiration, or the work of man to replace the work of God, which leads to idolatry and brings violence into a land. Lord I pray, unearth those things in Pontiac which flow with Your life. Let the earth itself cry out Your beauty for all to see. Let the children see Your works, learn from You and flourish in the gifts You've put within them, bringing honor to You!

Ezekiel 7 & 8, Romans 1:20, The Psalms
1. Pontiac...The Making of a U.S. Automobile Capital 1818 to 1950 by Esmo Woods
Re-prayer: May 23 & May 25, 2011

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Innkeeper's Call

Beginning today, we are going back and reviewing the prayer blogs from when Pray For Waterford Michigan first started on May 23, 2011. I felt that the Lord wanted us to "re-pray" each one of these prayers, adding additional insight from Him as He shows us today.

Initial Prayer included:
  • Waterford being a host to those passing through-hospitality
  • Providing a place of peace, safety, comfort
  • A place of bursting fresh fountains, not stagnant waters
  • Those feeling their position and gifts are not important or not being recognized, possibly leading to feelings of worthlessness or arrogance and attempts at self-promotion
  • Humility being a key
  • Recognizing your value comes from the Lord
I believe the Lord wants to raise up spiritual "innkeepers." These are the ones that will tend to those who have been wounded by the violent and ignored by the religious. The innkeepers have hearts full of compassion and are equipped to bring rest, nourishment and healing.

I feel the Lord wants to establish innkeepers throughout Waterford who are solid anchors of hope. They may seem scattered throughout but in reality are strategically placed. As people pass through, or move in and out of the area, these people have stability and will tend to the wounded until they are healed. 

Everyone is called to be a neighbor, and Jesus Himself is the perfect example of this. Like the good Samaritan, Jesus paid for our healing. However, He calls us all to be neighbors and pay the price of ministering to people, tending to their wounds, carrying them in prayer, and bringing them to those who are specifically equipped for healing if needed, paying whatever the cost until the person is healed. The main characteristic of a neighbor is love and compassion.

Innkeepers might be churches. In fact churches should be "Inn's." However, there might be innkeepers in neighborhoods or places of business. Like the neighbors, innkeepers are full of great love and compassion, and they are equipped for healing. They are the fresh fountains, providing living waters as well as the rest and nourishment needed--an atmosphere and environment that promotes healing and health.

The wounded often feel they are not important or recognized as having any value. They are those who feel their lives are worthless and that they are half dead already. Helping them to see how much the Lord values them, and that He's placed gifts within them, will begin the healing process. Sometimes a wounded person fights, might be defensive and proud, and ends up beat up and wounded. Part of their healing process is for them to see that their gifts are from the Lord and not to be a source of arrogance or self-promotion. Pride and self-promotion are really a persons attempt to see value in themselves when they don't know that the Lord loves them. Rather than getting angry with the proud or self-centered, the neighbors and the innkeepers will be in place to help them heal, once they are in a position to recognize they need help. 

Are you an innkeeper?

Luke 10:25-37

Saturday, May 3, 2014

May 1, 2014-National Day of Prayer: The Sound of Liberty

The Liberty Bell

May 1st was the National Day of Prayer. As I prayed for the United States, I found myself praying that God's full and true purpose for which the USA has been established be revealed. By the revealing of it we will be able to get in on it. Daniel sought the Lord after he read in the prophecies regarding what His plan for Israel was in setting them free after seventy years of exile. (Daniel 9). Just as Daniel had been searching the prophecies, there has been a fresh desire rise in the hearts of the Christians in America to return to the purposes for which this country was established. We've been uncovering a lot regarding God's plans and the place of Christianity in our foundation. 

Once Daniel found God's plan he sought the Lord in prayer, fasting and repentance. He petitioned the Lord for forgiveness, to fulfill the prophecy and return His people to their land. We too, as Christians have been praying and seeking the Lord. After Daniels prayers the angel Gabriel came to bring understanding. He brought great insight into God's timeline. I believe we need to be open for God to show us His full and true purpose for the United States of America. I believe we need to look upwards and receive His enlightenment as to what His purposes are for us. As we see His plans, we will be able to take our part in those plans. Yes we must search the Scriptures and the historical documents, yes we must pray and seek the Lord with humility and ask Him to fulfill His plans, but we must also open our eyes and see the answer when He brings it to us so we can take our place and do our part!

I pray that our foundation be even stronger than it was in the beginning so we will fulfill God's purposes for establishing the United States. Two thoughts that came to my mind as I prayed on May 1st were the Liberty Bell and the Statue of Liberty. God established this country as a free country, however we know that true freedom comes only from the Spirit of the Lord. We might be independent, especially from oppressive religion, however we must never be independent from the Spirit of God which brings true liberty.

The crack in the foundation of America's liberty will be restored when we discover our true and full purpose! 

The original Liberty Bell, (wasn't called the liberty bell originally), was inscribed with Leviticus 25:10:

"Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof. Lev. XXV X"

Leviticus 25:10 You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family. (NASB)

The Liberty Bell has had troubles from the start. It was recast twice. It had cracking problems from the beginning and people didn't like the sound of the bell. Some people who lived in the vicinity of the bell became annoyed with the sound of it. Eventually it suffered a fatal crack on February 26, 1846 on George Washington's birthday. Do we agree with the sound of liberty? Do we try and make it sound pleasing to us instead of accepting it for what it really is? Does the sound of true liberty annoy us? Today, because of its condition, the Liberty Bell is gently tapped on certain occasions and not rung. I pray that as our true and full purpose is revealed and embraced by God's people that the sound of liberty is carried throughout the land by the Spirit of the Lord. Proclaim liberty throughout all the land!

Read more about the Liberty Bell history

2 Corinthians 3:37