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A Child's Perspective

Posted on December 23, 2014 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

I love being with children at Christmas. Their unabashed joy and excitement is contagious! We were blessed to be with the grandchildren a few days ago as they opened presents. The air was filled with shrieks of laughter and flying Christmas ribbons and paper, while Dad skillfully maneuvered through the room collecting the strewn remnants with one hand and helping the three-year-old remove superhero figures from packaging so secure it requires a masters degree in engineering to disassemble. Watching the grandchildren drew me back to my own childhood Christmas memories. I especially remember the holiday festivities associated with the Christian day school I attended which reminds me of a cute Christmas story:

 

A Christian day school class of first and second graders was given an assignment to draw a picture of the Christmas Story. As the children finished, each would come forward and describe his or her drawing to the class. The pictures contained all the wonderful elements of the Nativity including: Mary, Joseph, the manger, shepherds, angels, the star, and most importantly - Baby Jesus. All the children had shared except for Bobby who continued to work on his drawing. Finally he set his pencil on his desk and looked up at the teacher who said, "Bobby, you are the only one left; would you please come up here and show us your picture?" Bobby slowly shuffled to the front and held up his drawing. Some of the students began to softly giggle since Bobby had clearly drawn a picture of an airplane. His teacher thinking that perhaps he had misunderstood the assignment said, "Bobby, I see you've drawn a picture of an airplane; would you explain how this relates to the Christmas Story?" After a long pause Bobby said, "It's a picture of the flight to Egypt." His teacher breathed a sigh of relief. "That's very good," she said, "Would you tell us about the people in the picture?" Bobby pointed to the three people in the passenger section of the airplane, "That's Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus." By this time the teacher is clearly impressed. "I understand," she said, "but who is the person in the very front?" "Can't you tell?" answered Bobby - "It's Pontius the Pilate, of course!"

 

This Christmas, our prayer at WindSong Ministries is that each you may experience childlike wonder and delight as you receive the greatest Gift of all - His Christmas Presence!

 

Scott and Shannon Windrum

FRIDAY MUSINGS

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 10:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Friday morning, Scott and I were sitting in a church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, anticipating another great session of the conference we were attending. We had been looking forward to being here for months and it was turning out to be all we had hoped: uplifting worship, inspiring teachings and a whole room full of people (mostly pastors) who were eager to "push the outside of the envelope" and transition the Church into the next move of God's Spirit upon the earth. We arrived early to secure good seats and visit with new friends we had met the night before. Since I had the iPad I decided to check Facebook and noticed a post from a favorite ministry that their new weekly TV program was up and available for viewing. I told Scott, "Hiles' new show is on in an hour; maybe we should run back to the hotel and watch it." Scott laughed at my remark because the reality was that Dr. Lynn Hiles was sitting in the pew two rows ahead of us at that very moment. Although I had made this remark "tongue in cheek" I began realize that this is how some Christians view their relationship with Jesus Christ. Many would rather experience Him from a distance than have a continuing face to face encounter through His Holy Spirit. As New Covenant believers we are granted access to the Father through the cross and resurrection of His Son (Eph. 2:18). This is much more of a present reality than the hope of going to Heaven someday. Jesus didn't primarily die to get us to a place, He died to get us to a Person! Heaven invaded earth through one man - the Son of God, the Son of Man. Once we experience this present reality, where we transition to after we physically die naturally follows. So my question to you is - how much of Heaven (His presence) are you willing to personally experience this side of the physical grave? My Life Verse is: "For my determined purpose is that I may know Him, that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person ..... continually transformed" (Philippians 3:10 - AMP). There are several meanings in the word "know" but the one that stands out to me the most is that this word often points to the realm of personal experience. It is bigger than head knowledge. It is beyond concepts alone - it is knowing through encounter! Living conscious of His Presence is one of the most essential components of this abundant life. He becomes much more tangible to one who looks to Him with reliance and expectation. As we lavish our affection on Him we discover new dimensions of God's Presence in our lives. Even so, He is the initiator - we love Him, because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). And the amazing thing is there are no limits to the Presence Journey. It's not a one time experience but continual - "progressively" becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him which brings me full circle back to our experience with Dr. Hiles - watching him on TV was great but spending time with him in person is even better! My challenge to you, as well as myself, is that we take the limits off and pursue the experiential knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May we live a life where Jesus enlarges our capacity to know and carry His Presence, ignite our hearts with passion, and transition us into new realms of Heaven as we are continually transformed into His image.

What's Actually True?

Posted on September 20, 2013 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

One Sunday morning, a young minister preached what he thought was his best message ever. Afterwards, as he stood in the foyer shaking hands as people filed out the front door, a dear sister said to him, "That was the best sermon I've ever heard in my life." "Wouldn't be great if it were actually true." Even though that was probably just a slip of the toungue, she only echoed what many actually think about sermons. They are well crafted, thoughtful, and fulfill the need for church members to be 'fed.' However, unless they are received as being the word of God and not the words of men, they are perceived as a kind of spiritual placebo; something that is not a real answer to life's real problems.


We hear in these sermons incredible promises and truths from the scripture, such as "God is love," The Kingdom of God is within you,"You have been made the righteousness of God in Christ, and "You are more than a conqueror through Him who loves you." Even though few would say anything outloud, they share the same sentiments of the aforementioned sister as they leave the church house on the Lord's day to enter the real world on Monday. They're wondering inside, "Wouldn't it be great if it were actually true." Unless we digests truth and accept it as part of our everyday lives, we are only left with the aftermath of religeous entertainment, like going to a good movie and then going back to work. ]


The good news is the kingdom of God is actually true and everything that Jesus paid for is a free gift to be enjoyed by those who have ears to hear and mix what they hear with faith. The word of God works mighty in those who believe. As we deem spiritual things to be more valuable than even material things, we discover that they become our reality and truly are great.

Who Me? by Shannon

Posted on September 17, 2013 at 3:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Jesus has called every believer to live a supernatural life. He has called each one of us to be a healer – to bring the Kingdom to earth so that what is in Heaven would be on earth (Matthew 6:9-10). Jesus has given a mandate to the Church – and that is to represent Him on the earth. We are called to do what Jesus did; to demonstrate the Good News through signs and wonders. In Mathew 10:7-8, Jesus commanded His disciples to preach this message: “The kingdom of heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the leper, and to drive out demons…” The command is still the same for us today as it was for the first disciples. It was never lifted from the Church. Jesus never said, “This is only for you guys and once you’re gone, my followers won’t have to do any of this anymore – I’ll just figure out something else later.” No! Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Each one of us, no matter how ordinary we feel is called to bring the Kingdom to earth in extraordinary ways.

To live this type of life often involves venturing into new realms of risk especially when we are first beginning to move in these areas. It is very normal to feel intimidated and inadequate. But the good news is throughout the Bible we find account after account of God using people who felt inadequate to do His will (remember Gideon? – see Judges 6). God intends all of us to be carriers of His extraordinary Kingdom. It should be a normal experience that when we release the Kingdom of God extraordinary things begin to happen including miracles, healings, prophetic insight, and deliverance of the oppressed.

I heard a story of a woman who complained to God over and over about the terrible condition of the world. The Lord listened patiently to her laundry list of worldly woes. He then asked what she thought should done about all these problems. One by one, the woman listed solution after solution that would make the world a better place to live. After she was finished, the Lord promptly replied, “Those are fantastic ideas. I give you full authority to implement them.” The woman responded in shock, “Who me?”

Sadly, many people shy away from spiritual gifts thinking that they do not have the power to perform supernatural feats. The reality is that they don’t. None of us has the power to heal, save, prophesy, or set people free; nevertheless, God has commanded us to go and do these things – to make the world a better place to live.

In Acts 3 after Peter and John healed the crippled man at the Gate Beautiful the onlookers were obviously amazed at what they had just witnessed. There seemed to be an underlying sentiment among the crowd that Peter and John had some kind of superhero power that made them unique. In Acts 3:12 Peter tells them, “Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?” Then after a short sermon he adds: “By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong…” (Acts 3:16)

To say we have the power to heal someone is inaccurate, but to say that we do not have the power to heal someone is equally inaccurate. We cannot heal anyone, but Christ in us can. We cannot set anyone free, but Christ in us can. We cannot bring anyone into the Kingdom, but Christ in us can. Conversely, it is almost as if God will not heal, deliver, and save without us. Certainly God has the power to heal us on His own. But God, in His sovereignty, has chosen to partner with believers to bring His kingdom rule to earth just as He did when He commissioned Adam in Genesis 1:28 to “fill the earth and subdue it.”

In Matthew 10:8, Jesus told His disciples to give away what they had freely received. What had they freely received? [Jesus]….gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and every kind of sickness (Matthew 10:1). Obviously God had the power to rule the earth, but He chose to give the responsibility and authority to us.

 

 

 

Reflections... by Shannon

Posted on August 14, 2013 at 11:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not ng what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:23-25)

If you were to ask me how I feel about mirrors I would answer - it all depends on their purpose. I love the use of mirrors in interior design! They increase light, enlarge the space and bring visual interest. I also like having a small mirror in my purse for last minute touchups or "fix-its". These are two examples of times I appreciate, or when used in interior design, even "enjoy" mirrors.

So let's talk about times I don't like mirrors....

Ok, I'm going to talk to the gals for a minute... Guys you can go get a soda or check Facebook and join us in a bit...

Ladies - if I was to give you the choice of going bathing suit shopping or getting a root canal, which would you consider less painful?

Hmmm - do I get nitrous oxide with the root canal?....

So why do we hate suit shopping so much that we would compare it to a dental procedure that is universally associated with a very unpleasant experience? I think it has a lot to with the mirrors in the dressing rooms. It's like the department store "designers" got together and said - "Let's see... why don't we first made small cubicles with doors that won't lock (or in some cases even close properly), put in overhead fluorescent lighting that highlights every wrinkle, bump, lump and imperfection, and then top it all off with a 3-way mirror that perhaps we can get from a carnival funhouse that has gone out of business"... (Ok - maybe they don't really get them from a carnival but I'm trying to make a point).

It boggles my mind that department stores think this is going to encourage the consumer to by their suits when the opposite is true. Most women I know will do just about anything to avoid the experience. I find it interesting that this "aversion" is not limited to women over 40, even younger women can identify on some level...

So why can we all relate? Perhaps it's because we focus on our flaws and imperfections and how we don't "measure up" to the ideal standard whatever that might be to each individual.

(Ok guys, you can come back now)

I believe this is how many people relate to the "mirror" of God's Word by only focusing on their shortcomings, imperfections and how they don't measure up.

Well, isn't there a place for that you might ask?

Yes - but the reality is that just as the dressing room mirror can only show you your faults, reading the bible under the old covenant (the law of sin and death) likewise can only "condemn" but has no power to "transform". Notice that James instructs us to "looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom". The "Perfect Law that gives freedom" is not a "what" but a "who" - it's the person of Jesus Christ! So in other words - gaze intently into the face of Jesus Christ who has freed us from the law of sin and death. II Corinthians 3:18 says - "We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit." Did you catch that? By looking into "glory of the Lord" we are being transformed into His image from glory to glory. Wow! What other mirror can do that?

There is one more point I want to make. After James mentions "looking into the perfect law that gives freedom" the verse goes on to say - "and continues to DO this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does." So what is James (through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) instructing us to DO? I believe it is to continue to stare intently into the face of Jesus Christ that we may be transformed into His perfect image from the inside out.

What is Truth?

Posted on June 8, 2013 at 6:45 PM Comments comments (0)


When Jesus stood before Pilate, He said, “For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and said to them, “I find no guilt in Him." Pilate had stared into the eyes of truth and found no fault in Him (John 18:33-40). Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). So, He not only spoke the truth, lived the truth, and bore witness to the truth, He is the very embodiment of truth. In our endeavor to know Him better our faith should not be founded on what we understand and perceive, but rather in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. When He told his disciples, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves,” many of them thought this was a difficult statement, so they withdrew and walked with Him no more. Jesus then said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” His response was one of a commitment to Jesus being the Holy One of God, not to his understanding of what Jesus had just said (John 6:41-70). Obviously neither Peter nor the other apostle, had a clue at the time of what He meant but they knew the words were eternal. And because most remained with Him, they later received revelation concerning what had been spoken that day. John the Baptizer had questions and doubts even after he declared Jesus to be the Lamb of God and the Son of God. “Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to Him, 'Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?' Jesus answered and said to them, 'Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me” (Matthew 11:2-6). Jesus was saying that John would be blessed if he would not stumble over the way He was doing things. Our challenge is to not be upset if God does not do things our way, but instead, entrust ourselves to Him regardless of our circumstances or our ignorance. Are there things you know and believe today that you did not exactly understand about Jesus five years ago? If the answer is yes, how did you make the adjustment in your thinking to be open to hear and accept something beyond what you knew? It was by trusting God, not by leaning on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). Is it possible you may know and believe things five years from now things that you do not exactly understand about Jesus today? If the answer is yes, let’s be like the Bereans who were more noble-minded than those of Thessalonica, for they received the word from Paul with great eagerness examining the Scriptures to see if these things were so. They were eager to change - not resist it. In the same way, we will continue to grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (II Peter 3:1) by fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). The important thing is to remember that trusting in Christ leads to more truth about Him and from Him. As it says in Ephesians 4:21, “…We have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus.”

God of the Living!

Posted on June 8, 2013 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Since we have been crucified with Christ, we now have no legitimate right to relate to our old man. He’s dead and buried, so communicating with him is like the forbidden practice of talking with the dead. But here’s the good news. As we commune with God, our faith forces this Adamic zombie back into his watery grave (baptism) and invigorates us to live in the new creature we have now become in Jesus Christ. Let’s reject that old man and embrace the new man, for God is not the God of the dead but the living!

The Bible and The Voice of God

Posted on June 8, 2013 at 5:00 PM Comments comments (0)

The many Biblical accounts of those who heard the voice of God were not solely written that we would only quote them, but that we would also be inspired to hear the voice of God ourselves. The idea that we do not need to hear God directly because now we have the Bible is ludacris. The canonized scriptures which are replete with stories and testimonies of the reality of God communicating with people since the beginning of creation. We are certainly blessed to have the written word of God, but this was never meant to be a substitute for experiencing the Spirit of God speaking to our hearts. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me”- John 10:27. As believers, we can consider it normal and even natural to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd.

More Than Enough

Posted on June 7, 2013 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Jesus said, “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” Here Jesus explained that when we gather as the church it takes only two people to experience prayer and no more than two or three people to experience His presence. Yet, if we call for a prayer meeting and only one other person shows up and we schedule a worship service and only three of us come, there is a tendency to shorten the time, cut our loses, and consider it a failed attempt at being spiritual. Somehow the embarrassment of having so few believers involved in these efforts begins to govern our next attempt, but Jesus knew the way of battling discouragement was to set the bar real low. That was a stroke of genius, because dynamic revivals and spiritual awakenings have historically begun with the smallest of quorums before they grew into culture changing movements. We tend to think more is better; more people, more money, more vacation time, etc., and anything less than more is a curse, but the reality is every big blessing starts with a little seed before it becomes a tree. And when we are called by God to begin a new venture we usually don’t start with a grown tree but a small seed that needs to be planted. Wisdom is knowing that it will probably begin with just the two or three of us in a room, praying to our heavenly Father and enjoying the presence of Jesus. And that is more than enough.

This is Better Than We First Thought

Posted on June 2, 2013 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (0)

God carried out His eternal purpose through Christ Jesus our Lord. Jesus died, rose again, and brought the Kingdom to earth. It’s not a matter of God having to do more, but rather, us appreciating what He has already accomplished. Many prayers are prayed with the idea that unless the Lord does something new we’re either in trouble or bored, but could it be we are asking for things that are already here and already relevant? I think so. Someone may think, I Corinthians 2:9 says “What no eye has seen what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived the things God has prepared for those who love him,” and then assume that this refers to sometime in the future or even in heaven after we die. However, this scripture is followed by verse 10 which says, “these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. That’s amazing, these things are already ours and now available for us to enjoy. The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Isn’t that reality? Yes, it is. And since we are born again, it’s our inheritance to see the Kingdom and enter the Kingdom in all of its fulness. This is better than we first thought.


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