I always have a challenge with these service recaps. There is so much I could write about that it becomes difficult. I don’t have time to write everything but I don’t want to leave stuff out. So lately I have not written anything.

Spirit filled church Boca Raton

Me trying to stand when I got on stage. The Presence was so strong I thought I might fall.

We have been in an amazing season as a church. The presence and power of God has been so tangible that I have wanted to be very careful to protect it. I never want to slide into hype and I never want to whip up a crowd but I also don’t want to ignore what God is doing. Back be a tricky balance.

In the last couple years I have made a conscious effort to not try to make things happen on my own. The real deception is thinking that you can.

If man makes something than man has to keep it going and I know what that pressure feels like. I never want to live under that again. It doesn’t bear as much fruit nor bring as much joy as if you just let God be in charge to begin with.

So again this week in worship the presence of God began to roll into the room. Don’t get me wrong, he was there the entire morning. Everyone who serves at Revival Life Church comes to the morning meeting at 10 o’clock. During that meeting we talk about how important each person’s role is in accomplishing what God wants to do that day. Then we pray for each other.

We don’t just do courtesy prayers. We pray until we all have an awareness of God’s presence.

During worship the power became so intense that the room began to explode spontaneously. This wasn’t the worship leader yelling for people to jump up and down or anything like that. This wasn’t the product of any song encouraging people to do anything in particular. This was God invading the atmosphere.

At one moment a guy on the worship team and a guy laid out on the ground both received a miraculous healing in their leg. The guy on stage began to dance wildly and the guy on the ground got up and began to run laps around the room. He walked in with a cane and in the middle of worship began to run laps around the room.

Wow!

This is an amazing season we are in. I would like it to last as long as possible as I don’t plan to change the subject in my life.

In the past I have written a little about my message prep in general and using mind mapping specifically (here and here). I don’t use it all the time or even normally but when I do use it, it is priceless. Sometimes I use it exclusively to craft my final message and other times it is useful to show me what is not working. In both cases it is a time saver.

Here is a case in point from earlier this year:

Back earlier in the year I taught a message series entitled Transitioning Well. I was in the fourth week of the series and wanted to talk about Joseph coming into the promised land.

Brainstorming!

Though I knew my message was in Joshua 2Open Link in New Window, I did not know exactly what it was. I read Joshua 2Open Link in New Window and Numbers 12Open Link in New Window multiple times trying to figure exactly what the key facts were. I opened a mind map entitled Joshua 2Open Link in New Window to connect all the highlights I found.

I tried to group it into main themes and sub themes. Here is my first mind map (click for larger view).

1

At this point the only goal is to get all the info out of my brain and onto one page. The great thing about mind maps is that you can rearrange them over and over to find how they relate to one another simply by dragging them.

Organizing Thoughts!

I had a collection of thoughts from the two chapters but that is not a message. I now needed to try to sluice through all these facts and try to organize them into a coherent story.

I wound up developing three points based on Joshua 2Open Link in New Window with several sub points, a handful of floating points and a fairly lengthy intro based on numbers 12 and Joshua 1Open Link in New Window.

2

Yikes! Things are going in the wrong direction.

Time to Get Focused!

I then worked hard to solidify the points and organize all the information in a coherent talk. There were four points, two major floating points with several sub points and a few unattached points.  Some of the points had sub points two and three layers deep.

3

This was clearly way to much information and there was no way I could deliver it in any timely manner. A larger problem was that I still did not have any peace that this was the message I was supposed to give. This lack of conviction was the reason there was a lack of clarity in the message.  The more I tried to organize the info the less clear it was.

Time to Regroup!

This happens to me all the time. I find myself at the end of a trail that does not lead to a message. It just has lots of information. I never force a message out of this. I can throw it all away at any time without any regret of lost time. I look at all the work that I have done as research. I open a fresh word document, or in this case a new mind map and start over from scratch.

I refocus my prep by answering the question, “What is the main point of this scripture I am teaching?” I start with that then work backwards from there.

In this case, the main point was not a history lesson, it was that God wanted to give victory on the grounds of an old defeat. That is what He did for the children of Israel and it is what He wanted to do for the people of Revival Life Church.

I opened a fresh mind map entitled Joshua 2b and started over. I don’t remember where it came from but God lead me to Isaiah 35:3-4Open Link in New Window which perfectly encapsulated what He was speaking to our house.

God was not telling me to teach Joshua 2Open Link in New Window. Joshua 2Open Link in New Window was a case study of how to win new battles on old battlegrounds. This was part of a word He spoke to us the previous Spring.

Based on this I pivoted and began a message entitled, “Winning new battles on old battlegrounds.”

Since I had done so much research I quickly banged out my points as seen here.

final

Those aren’t even the points I wound up using but the mind map did its job. It helped me to catalog and organize my thoughts. After all that process I knew the message and wound up with these points:

  1. Listen to God
  2. Surround yourself with faith
    Get people around you who will believe your vision
  3. Not everyone’s opinion has the same value
  4. Focus on the Victory

You can download the entire outline here. You will see it looks vastly different than my original mind map.

After the message I re-titled it, “Two Good Men” based on the actions of Joshua and Caleb. You can listen to it here and watch the video here.

I hope this helps you use these tools to craft your writing. Remember, even if you throw out all your work it is not lost.

Let me know if you have any questions.

So yesterday we had a great service. I don’t quantify that by the super hype centered amazing church metric of today. I measure that by asking the Father how He saw our service.

godsplan1-2blk96gThe thing about being a Christ follower is that you don’t get to chart your own course. You have to let God chart it. That means you have to check with Him to see if you are still on the right route.

Now, it’s easy to look at the world and chart your progress against their benchmarks but that feedback doesn’t tell you anything except how you are doing compared to the world’s system.

As a Christian, you checked out of the grind of the world’s system. Unless you don’t.

Trying to do what God told you to do while looking successful to folks who have no idea regarding God’s value system is a recipe for frustration.

No, it’s way better to both get the game plan from God and check with Him to see how you are doing.

We can disagree about some things and still be friends, right? Perhaps there is not greater area for this than in politics.

I take great satisfaction in the fact that people come up to me in my church and tell me how great Bernie Sanders is as often as people tell me Donald Trump is great. I love this because we leave politics at the door. We are not a political party. We are the church of Jesus Christ.

2015-politics-word-cloudThe truth is that God fearing people who hear Holy Spirit can have very different views about the needed political direction of this country. Please embrace that truth. Many people think voting decisions should be based on their one core issue. I understand that. I don’t understand how people can’t grasp that the one core issue may be different for other believers.

What also confuses me is how people can’t see their own political leanings can cause vastly incongruent conclusions from their stated faith in God. Let me explain.

I see lots of folks supporting Azusa Now, a large prayer meeting in Los Angeles this weekend. The event takes its name from the Azusa Street Revival. That revival was born out of the holiness movement which railed against drinking and gambling. People wanted the Holy Ghost so they could live holy lives among other things. A direct result of this outpouring was the widespread temperance movement and the passage of the 18th amendment banning alcohol sales in the United States.

The funny thing is, I see many of the same people supporting a casino magnate for president of the United States. Do we want Azusa now or not?

Side Note:  I am NOT talking about any of the people organizing this event. Though I don’t know these people personally, I know Lou Engle has publically sworn to abstain from alcohol and I have no reason do doubt his vow. The man barely eats, I doubt he is being comped free drinks at the blackjack table. Please hear this is not about people leading events.

This is also not about whether you drink or not. This is about your words having meaning. If you think American needs Azusa now than you don’t publically advocate leaders who advocate the opposite.

In the same regard on the other side of the political spectrum I know believers who are grieved by the disenfranchisement of so many on the lower rungs of our society. They have championed a leader who promises that the government will make all that better with free stuff.

I noticed this past week as I was studying the parable of the talents that when Jesus found someone who only had one talent and was not working to better their situation, He took the little they had and gave it to a rich person who was willing to work.

Ouch! That’s painful. But that’s what Jesus did and He said that will happen again and again if you don’t use your talents. So we are Christ followers right? But some Christ followers think God wants to undo this principle. He is not confused.

It seems that instead of picking a candidate and putting the God stamp on them that we should prayerfully decide which candidate is best for the job and own that decision.

I got a new bike last week. That is not really blog worthy but I got such amazing service when I got it that I wanted to give a shout out . . . and share some pics.

I bought my Fuji last Summer. I put 1,439.3 miles on it and needed a new one. It was a great bike and there was nothing actually wrong with it, I just needed something a little lighter / faster / stiffer.

I searched and searched and searched (this is probably the second best part of the getting new stuff). I did a handful of test rides and landed on three bikes, the Trek Emonda, Specialized Tarmac, and the Cannondale SuperSix. As it turns out, each model I liked was within a few hundred dollars of each other. That meant that price would not dictate my decision, or so I thought.

2016-03-03 16.59.35

The plan was to save my pennies until the Summer. By that time I was hoping to either have the money or have the need for a new bike out of my system.

Last week Chris and I went for a nice morning ride. At the end I wanted to stop by Bicycle Generation to look for a new helmet. While there I checked out the exact model Tarmac I was shopping. Chris and I went for a test ride and it was everything I hoped it would be. I never got a chance to ride the Trek but I really enjoyed the SuperSix when I rode it. This was better.

After I got back Tyler gave me a price that made me nervous. It was a seriously great price. Like one that was not going to last. I don’t make major purchases (that) quickly so I figured if it was supposed to happen the bike would be there when I was ready.

My wife gave me a conditional agreement and as it turns out price forced the timing of my decision.

2016-03-03 16.59.36-2

I went back to the shop and talked to the owner Leo. He reluctantly honored the price Tyler gave me and had Grant set me up.

Grant took his time dialed in the fit.

2016-03-03 16.59.37

After that they took it into the shop and went over the drive train and made sure everything was all in good working

2016-03-03 16.59.36

What? One more pic? ok

2016-02-23 19.08.19

Last words, need a bike? I really recommend Bicycle Generation in Deerfield Beach. Go see Tyler, Leo and Grant, they were super helpful.

February 16, 2016

Randy Clark in West Palm Beach

Randy ClarkI talked about this on Sunday but I am encouraging everyone who is free to catch the Randy Clark meetings in West Palm Beach this week.

There is a registration fee for the whole conference but the evening sessions are free.

You can find more information here: https://globalawakening.com/events/full-event-list/empowered-west-palm-beach-2016

We have canceled Friday night intercession so people can attend without conflict.

Here is the info from the site:

The purpose of this School of Healing and Impartation is to model, impart and empower believers from all levels by equipping them to reproduce the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. It is designed to help people understand what God is doing in our time and encourage them to become God’s vessels who invade earth with heaven’s realities!

In each session, you will learn why people are oppressed, how to effectively cast demons out and how to break off personal strongholds in your own life. Other topics include a focus on deliverance and a discussion about the dangers of new age healing methods, such as reiki. This school will equip you to walk in a higher realm of the supernatural than you ever thought possible! If your desire is to break free from spiritual strongholds, get closer to God and learn how to move and minister in His power, then this school is for you! Also featured is a recap of topics covered in Kingdom Foundations, the level 1 School of Healing and Impartation. Whether you’ve attended another School of Healing and Impartation, or if this is your first, we believe it will give you the tools you need to live life empowered.

These Monday Musings are just that; thoughts and reflections that I make on Monday. Sometimes they are on the Sunday morning service, sometimes they are on ministry in general, and other times it is a collection of thoughts on Monday. Today will fall into that third category.

  • I have been sleeping poorly. On Thursday night I went to bed way too late and on Friday I was exhausted all day. It was hard for me to function. Late in the afternoon I told my wife that I didn’t think I was going to go to intercession. She began encouraging me by saying things like, “you hear God better and intercession.” and “you always get encouraged at prayer.” The problem was that I was neither discouraged nor did I need help hearing God. I had already finished my message, I was just exhausted.

    12733398_10153216015170683_8589571033398347710_nSo Sam and Kelly Anne lead it and I’m sure Jesus was worshiped and the people were blessed. I went to bed early and slept through the night.

  • I woke up early on Saturday because I was signed up to do a bike ride that was a fundraiser for orphan care Ride for Orphans. I have really been looking forward to this ride. They had a 30 mile route and a 60 mile route and I was really looking forward to doing the 60 mile route for the first time.

    Friday night I put out all of my gear, got my breakfast supplies ready, pumped up my tires, and made sure my lights were charged. I woke up early on Saturday, ate breakfast, put on three layers of clothes, and biked down to Spanish River Church where the event was being held.

    Kevin called me early in the morning saying that he had arrived. Originally there were four of us who were going to do this ride so I was happy at least two of us made it. Kevin and I put on each other’s bib number and got ready to go to the start line. That’s when I realized I left my water bottle at home. That was not a good feeling. Fortunately Kevin had an extra one and he let me use it. I wish that was the last problem I would have.

    While Kevin was putting his jacket in his car and heading to the start line I discovered that I had a flat tire. At these events they normally have a maintenance guy there to help folks out but there were five people waiting for him to help them. Honestly, I was slightly frustrated because they were asking him to work on really stupid things. Lord please forgive my judgment.

    When he got to me he was really helpful finding what caused my flat and explaining several maintenance tips. The only problem was that during the time I was waiting, the groups before mine, my group, and the group after mine including the one that Kevin was in, left while I was still working on my bike. This is not a good thing.

    Once my tire was fixed I hopped on my bike and quickly realized that my group was probably a good mile ahead of me. Since they are traveling in a pack it is easier to peddle so they are going faster than I normally bike. I had to bike even faster than that to catch up to them. In all it took me almost 8 miles to catch the tail end of the group.

    I saw that my 60 mile group was still a mile off in the distance. I knew there was no way I was going to be able to catch them and complete the 60 mile trip so I turned and rode with the 30 mile group. I was really kind of bummed but I got to ride with Kevin so that was cool.

    At the end I won a pair of socks in the drawing and I got some food. It was a great ride and I look forward to doing it again next year.

  • There is a lie against the Church that says we only care for children in the womb and don’t care about them after they are born. Show me an organization that has started more orphanages then the Church and I may start to listen to that argument. Look at the history of Compassion International and what it has done around the world for the glory of God. Enough said.
  • In the past month or so we have begun to make some changes in our Guest Reception, First Impressions, and Next Steps area. I like where it’s going but we’re not quite there yet.
  • I love that our folks will change anything that has to be changed in order make our church more hospitable to both the Holy Spirit and our guests.
  • Sunday morning’s worship was incredible. The band was playing a solid set, and then in the middle of a song God invaded the room and it was so good. Pray for me. I am hoping to write more about this this week but you know how that goes.
  • I had my message all done and had all my scriptures laid out but during worship God breathed on Joshua chapter 5 in my heart and illuminated what it means to roll back the reproach and I was completely undone. I can’t tell you what it’s like to have a Scripture that Holy Spirit prepared you to preach and then have God unfold it for you right before you are going to teach on it.

    This happened to me and it was difficult to collect myself after.

  • For me, it’s really cool when both a husband and wife get to minister together. Both Travis (who did the offering) and Kelly Anne (who co-led worship) got to minister today. I am so excited about what God is going to do through this couple.
  • We got to dedicate a new, cute baby today. So excited about what God is doing in the whole Reynoso family.
  • I finished up the Transitioning Well message series. This was a surprise series for me. I didn’t know I was in it until the third week. I’ve given God permission to do that in my life though. I know it has ministered to a lot of people just like it is ministered to me.
  • Oh, I almost forgot.At the end of servicesomeone got prayerand they wound up carrying their crutches home.She didn’t even wear two shoes to church.God is good.
February 3, 2016

Review Where You Are Going

We are at the beginning of February so it’s time to give a little update to my goals for 2016. If you are like me, you make goals for the new year because there are things that you want to see change in your life. The fact of the matter is those things are the way they are for a reason and simply making a goal does not change them.

lll-6089It is not until we tried to change that we really understand why things are the way they are. So here is a quick update on where I am that with my goals.

Spiritual Goals: One of my main goals for the beginning of 2016 was to read through the entire Bible in 90 days. After a month I am about a week behind in my reading plan. The good news is I have read about 27 days worth. I am a reader. I read lots. My goal was to make more of that reading out of the Bible and I have done that to a certain extent. I read the Bible as a devotion and as a discipline. I also have to read it for my job.

So in the end, I am reading and studying the Bible even more than I was. But my reading plan has been a bit of a challenge. At the rate I’m going now I see that I would finish it in about 100, 110 days. All in all not that bad.

Soul Goals: since we are three-part being, spirit, soul, body, I set goals for all three areas. The goals concerning my soul are the least quantifiable. In short, I wanted to be more intentional with my quiet time. These are the times that I don’t “have to” be doing something. I want to spend less time watching television, reading empty nonsense, and generally wasting time. Specifically, God told me to have scheduled quiet time.

This is been more challenging than I thought. What I realize is that I left off the scheduled part of scheduled quiet time. I have found myself wasting time reading the news way more than I would’ve liked to and have used times of quiet meditation more of an afterthought than something I have purposefully done.

I don’t consider this a failure because it’s only been a month into the year and I see what I’m doing wrong. I can now make the adjustments to my schedule and be more purposeful.

Physical Goals: My physical goals are the most easily quantifiable. I want to keep off the weight that I lost and I want to ride 2300 miles this year. As of right now I have kept off all the weight and right now I am 41 miles ahead of schedule. I got a tell you, keeping yourself in better physical shape really bleeds over into every other area of your life. I recommend doing whatever it takes to get a grip on your health this year. And when I say get a grip on your health, I mean do something to stop being fat and bloated.

Your 2017 self will absolutely thank and fall in love with your 2016 self if you do that.

So how are you doing on your goals?

This weekend was one of those crazy, prophetic, mountaintop, spiritual warfare crying out for breakthrough, weekends.

Friday night I finally got to get back on my bass and play with the worship team for intercession. What a great time that was. I have not played bass guitar in a set in a long, long time. There are times as a musician when the whole band placed together in the Holy Spirit starts to move in the room that is just something amazing.

imageserveIn the middle of it Mikey began to sing a song that we had not practiced. It was one of those older songs that take you right back to the move of God you used to sing that song in. It’s amazing how a song can transport you to another time. That’s when worship can get really special.

Earlier in the week my friend Andres sent me a picture from his school. A tornado touched down in the parking lot and turn cars over and threw debris all around his car but his car was untouched. I was happy for my friend and didn’t think any more of it. I didn’t realize that this was a prophetic picture for me to take heed of.

Saturday I went through a ridiculous time of intense warfare. It was awful. I really can’t put it any other way than that. I would go into more detail but I won’t to protect the innocent, me.

It wasn’t until Sunday morning that I fully realized that what I went through Saturday had a spiritual root to it and that the tornado picture was a prophetic warning. I was mad at the devil and more mad at myself that I did not pick up on this earlier.

I figured that if this revelation ministered to me (the fact that recent crazy conflict may be from the enemy) it would minister to others as well. So when I got on stage, I asked people if they had experienced super highs and super lows this past week to stand because we wanted to pray for them. I have to tell you the Holy Ghost moved!

You are never going through anything alone. We are a connected body and it is rare that we are experiencing things alone.

I got my revenge the best way I knew how and set other people free.

I preached a message that was probably shorter than my average message but that is what I had prepared and so that’s what I delivered. I feel like God knows what he’s doing.

After service I had a meeting with some of our leaders about some massaging we want to do to our Sunday morning service. We’re looking to be more excellent in every area. We are also looking to swallow our own medicine and make sure everything we are doing, we are doing on purpose and to the best of our abilities.

12446021_1557835614542440_1645766446_nAfter that my son and I went down to the Boca Raton regional Airport where they had some World War II aircraft on display. My son is a big history buff and I am a bit of an aviation buff so it was neat to go and check out these World War II artifacts.

At the end we drove around to the FAU campus and parked at the end of the runway and waited for all the aircraft to take off. It was really neat to watch that and I was glad I got to experience that with my son.

So in the end, my weekend started great and did great with some forgettable things in the middle. God is good and he is worth following.

January 26, 2016

Don’t Waste God’s Timing

In my Bible reading plan the last few days I have been going through the story of Saul and David. Lets be clear. I will never be the king of Israel. I will never be a significant author of the largest book in the Bible. I will never interact with Old Testament prophets. And thankfully, I will never kill all the people that David killed.

mountain-983661_960_720But the teachings are still applicable today and some of them jump out at me every time I read them.

One of those is found in 1 Samuel chapter 28. In it, Saul finally has to deal with the fact that the kingdom is no longer his. The prophet looks him dead in the eye and says “the Lord has done accordingly as he spoke through me; for the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, to David. As you did not obey the Lord and did not execute his fierce wrath on Amalek, so the Lord has done this thing to you this day.”

That terrifies me. I have no fear that God is going to strip me of things he has given me. That does not mean that I will keep everything he has given to me. I absolutely believe that we can forfeit a better future through our own stupidity.

You can rest assured that God’s purposes will be served. That does not mean that they will be served through you or I no matter what has been prophesied over us.

Prophecy almost always details potential and when we do not meet the prerequisites,we rarely realize our potential.

The idea of somebody else walking in what I was called to do, or an anointing that I once cried out for, or went and inhabited the land that was promised to me because I did not value it is terrifying to me. I have spent way too much effort and way too much time and dedicated way too many years to the purposes of the Lord to lose it all now.

Saul never regained his position. God is an amazing redeemer but some things are time sensitive. If God wants something done in 2016 and you choose to waste the year searching to have your carnal desires fulfilled, you missed it. There is no redoing 2016. This is the reality that we operate within.

I am hoping to live this year in a way that I forfeit nothing that God has for me. How about you?