Saturday, July 19, 2008

Great Expectations

One of the real challenges that I considered when starting this blog was making sure I kept it updated - sometimes I've gone to sites that may have had their most recent post from the previous year or two. So, that's not what I had in mind. Actually, the fact that I haven't updated the blog in a little over a month bothers me a bit, so I'm going to try to be real good and play catch up here. I wanted to include my monthly column from the current issue of "River Region's Journey", and to enhance that reading experience, I will insert some audio from a recent interview with Randy Singer, an author and pastor who is mentioned in the column. So, here goes...


The novel’s protagonist labored under a cloud of suspicion – you see, she had contacted law enforcement officials to share with them that she had been having these visions that revealed possibly incriminating evidence in a string of horrific murders. The recipients of this information concluded that since she knew so much, she had to be the perpetrator.

This is my attempt to summarize the basic premise of a new novel by attorney and pastor Randy Singer called, By Reason of Insanity. This novel certainly raises questions about the realm of the supernatural. In fact, when Randy joined me on The Meeting House on Faith Radio recently, he made reference to a legal proceeding documented in the book of Acts, where the Apostle Paul was told that much learning had made him “mad”.

Unfortunately, in today’s culture, the realm of the supernatural is something that is explored, and even glorified, as long as it does not involved Christ or Christians. It is acceptable for horror movies and creepy novels to journey into the paranormal, UFO’s become a cute diversion, and the existence of space aliens a source of curiosity. But, if it deals with miracles, well, there seems to be an element that just tosses it away as “insanity”.

Here are some of Randy Singer's comments now from a recent edition of The Meeting House radio program:


Is God still working outside of our human understanding – today, in our midst? We hear the obligatory references to God’s hand of protection when a disaster might claim fewer lives that we would have expected, but is a fascination with how He is working - beyond our senses – something that Bible-believing Christians should be involved in? The International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention reports that a number of Muslims are coming to Christ through – yes, dreams and visions!! A note here – God’s primary method of communication is His Word, the Bible, and a person’s claim to have heard from God must line up with the principles and edicts of Scripture. If the Holy Spirit is truly leading us, then we certify His leading by ascertaining how it is lining up with God’s Word. But we also recognize that His Spirit is in the earth today, and He is capable and culpable in doing work that is outside the boundaries of what we can readily explain. He is moving in the hearts of believers, and He is communicating to us – and we can be challenged to discern whether are not we are truly hearing and listening.

Randy Singer, in that Meeting House interview, elaborated on being sensitive to the supernatural in a Christian sense:


The Bible depicts a spiritual realm in Ephesians 6, telling us that we are not waging “war” against flesh and blood, but against various legions of supernatural, evil forces. Angels and demons are truly all around us. In fact, the prophet Daniel was told by a powerful angel that an evil entity called, “the prince of Persia” hindered him for 21 days in attempting to bring a message to Him. So, what do we do with this information? I believe that we should be emboldened as believers to walk in a manner that certifies that, as 1st John 4:4 says, greater is He who is in us that He that is in the world.

Some final thoughts from Randy Singer on how to know that we are hearing God's voice or sensing His direction:


Super Potential!

I’ve been thinking about the notion of expectations – we’re promised in Scripture, in Ephesians 3:20, that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we can ask or think. So, we acknowledge the supernatural realm and allow God to increase our level of expectation in Him. We also recognize the God-given abilities that He has placed within us – the gifts and talents that He desires to use for His glory.

And, there’s no better time to see these innate abilities developed than during the teen years. This was driven home by a recent Meeting House interview with Alex and Brett Harris, founders of a movement of teens called The Rebelution, and the authors of the book, Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations. They are taking aim at, as Alex put it, “the modern notion of the teen years as really a vacation from responsibility.” In fact, they refer to something called the “myth of adolescence”.

I believe when our young people are challenged and energized, they can do amazing things and bring honor and glory to their Creator. It’s important that they are reinforced (lovingly, of course) in using those God-given abilities, and that we find ways to engage them in productive activities that take their minds off themselves and a sense of self-indulgence, and place it on God and others.

For more information on Randy Singer and his resources, you can visit his website at The brothers Harris have a website called Great and mighty is the Lord our God!!

The Harris brothers were featured in an earlier post here on the blog. Check out the May post, "Toward Higher Expectations", which has some .mp3 audio to which you can listen.