5 Fold Ministry

There is a lot of talk in some circles of being in the governmental 5 Fold Ministry – Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers.

I am not going to say that this is a bad ambition, but I think that there is a better one – being in a spiritual five fold ministry. That is to say, a life and ministry consumed by Christ – our eyes, ears, mind, heart, and tongue all in agreement and all seeing, hearing, thinking, loving, and speaking the same thing, “Christ.”

Spiritual eyes on Christ – his person, his word, and his ministry. Spiritual ears tuned to the voice of the Spirit of Christ, listening for his rhema (spoken) word. Our thoughts and our minds meditating and reflecting on the things of Christ. Our hearts loving the kingdom of Christ and its citizens. And our tongues committed to speaking the words of Christ.

When Christ becomes our everything, then everything becomes new.  

Each person we meet is a whole new world of possibilities. Every place we go is holy ground. Every day is a new adventure in living and loving. Every moment counts, and time is precious. Souls are wealth, and money is just a tool.

When trials come, we are prepared to walk through them hand in hand with the one who overcame sin and death.

Five fold has come to mean “completeness” in some circles.

The truth is that, “We are complete in the one who is the head of all spiritual authority.” We don’t need a spiritual title or position. We are already “seated with Christ in heaven.” Let us walk with him here and now, just like we will walk with him on streets of gold for all eternity!

~ Brad Heilhecker

Peace Blessed Peace 

“Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” 

 “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God.”  

Peace, blessed peace. It is what we long for, what we hope for, and it is what we have with God in Christ“being justified by faith, we have peace with God.”

Peace is more than the absence of conflict. It is more than an armed truce. It is true reconciliation, atonement. God has no more argument with us. We have done what he wanted us to do. We have confessed and agreed with him about the truth – that we are sinners in need of a savior and that Christ is that savior. That is all that he wants, and, if we will continue in that truth, he will work wonders on our behalf. If we but hold on to the truth, he will perfect us in Christ; he will make us just like his Son. We will have the same intimate relationship with the Father that Christ enjoys. We will hear his voice and know his heart.
The heart of God: “peace on earth to those on whom his favor rests.” The only reason God ever goes to war is to prevent the violent from disturbing the peace of his children.

 Our heritage: a Father that loves us so much that he is willing to shake heaven and earth to ensure that his children live in safety and security. Also, it is our inheritance. “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” 
 God loves those that have forsaken violence to walk in obedient trust, suffering when necessary for the sake of Christ and his Gospel. The end result will be a world without conflict, peace loving believers living in harmony with the Father and all of his creation.

What is it going to be like living in a stress free utopia in which there will be perfect order and harmony? 

We can have a foretaste now as we give our lives to Christ and commit to loving our neighbor as ourselves. At some point, the vision will become the dream, and all those who hate peace will be removed from the scene, so that only the lovers will be left standing. “God will be with us and walk among us. He will be our God, and we will be his people.”

~ Brad Heilhecker 

The Great Exchange 


When we put our faith in Christ sufficient substitutionary atonement for our sins, God declares us righteous in his eyes. Believing that, identifying with that, and appropriating that into our psyche is the first step of walking with Christ. It leads to all of the other graces of God – holiness, love, courage, hope, and abundant life – all of which require a similar process of identifying with what God says about us and then letting him align our behavior with our new identity. Identification always precedes imitation. We are to imitate Christ, and accepting and identifying ourselves with the faith, hope, and love that he gives us allows us to live as he did, even as we learn that when we imitate Christ, it is actually Christ himself living through us.

We want wisdom – we find out that Christ is our wisdom. We want to be righteous – we find out that Christ is our righteousness. We want to be holy – we find out that Christ is our holiness. We want to live an abundant, satisfying life – we find out that Christ is our life. Then we find that courage we may lack; we find that kindness which is in such short supply; we find satisfying relationships with The Father and our fellow man; in short, we find everything that we need or could possibly want in our identification with Christ. We share his name. We experience his suffering. He calls us his friends and brothers. We will see him face to face and forever share in his glory and his kingdom.

We may end up very frustrated in life if we try to live a good and moral life in our own strength. For instance, God’s word does say that we should be holy, but it adds “for I am holy” – a plea for us to identify with him. Paul wrote that we should not be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. Holiness for holiness’s sake will fail; holiness for Christ’s sake will succeed. Happiness for its own sake will likewise fail; only a Christ centered life alone will yield enduring happiness.

Ultimately, our covenant with God is not so much that he wants to rehabilitate our life as much as it is that he wants to exchange lives with us – we give him our life and he gives us his. 
We give him our pain, and he gives us his comfort; we give him our confusion and he gives us his clarity; we give him our unrest and he gives us his peace; we give him our emptiness, and he gives us his fullness; we give him our ignorance, and he gives us his knowledge; we give him our heart, and he gives us his heart. We give him our mind and he gives us his thoughts.

               ~Brad Heilhecker 

We Are All Lighthouses


My dad was an artist. He was self-taught and started late in life after being diagnosed with health issues and told he had 6 months at most to live.  

Well, he went on to live another 14 more years before he passed in 2008.  

My dad had started out painting buildings and historic homes and sites from my home town of Rockport, TX. It is a small fishing village town with a big artist community. It is North of Corpus Christi and South of Victoria, TX.  

If you still don’t know- from Houston, TX you travel south for about 4 hours and there you will run into it off Hwy 35 S.

Most people are aware or have heard of it now. It has really grown in popularity in the last ten years.  

My dad specialized in watercolor and coastal images like fish, boats, nature, fishing lures, light houses, birds etc.  

One of his prints that he did was “The Lighthouses Of Texas” in 2005. 

Last weekend I gave away some of the prints at The Power Encounter event that Restored Ministries was sponsoring for Ashford Community Church in Houston, TX. 

I told the crowd:

We are all Texas Lighthouses. We are all carrying and shining the light of Christ to guide and help others be able to find Him.

So I want to encourage you.

Whatever state, whatever country you reside in- even if there are not any historic or known lighthouses where you are-

You are a lighthouse shining the light of Christ to guide and help others find Him. 

Take a moment and add a comment and let us know where your lighthouse is located. 

~XXOO Shine Bright! Shine On! 

 Michelle Bollom 

Be Lifted Up 

  
Every Sunday morning before each service our worship, media and lighting teams meet to pray over the morning service. This past Sunday morning Pastor Amy was interceding for the people who would attend and praying over everyone who would be serving and ministering. She began to pray that God be lifted up in us and through us. As I prayed in agreement with her, I heard the Holy Spirit say very clearly, “You have to bow down, before I can be lifted up.”

I was immediately reminded of a song that we used to sing when I was a little girl. The song was based around the scripture John 12:32, where Jesus says “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”

In this scripture, Jesus is specifically referencing his coming death on the cross. “Lift up” and “exalt” literally means to take something that is low and raise it higher. However, “lifting up” or “exalting” is also often used to describe praise and thanksgiving. How is this possible? If the name of Jesus is above every name (Philippians 2:9-10), how can we lift the name of Jesus higher? God is called “El Elyon” or “Most High” throughout the Bible and is repeatedly referenced as being above all things. If this is the case, how can He be exalted to a higher place when he is already supreme over all things?

For something to be lifted higher, it is first positioned lower. There is a measurable increase in distance between the starting point and the end point. Praise and thanksgiving when applied to people, raises them in the esteem of others. It can bring power, position and fame. It can lift a person to a higher level. Praise and thanksgiving for people has value as a tool to manipulate the position of the person being praised.

Praise and thanksgiving to God is different. It does not add to God’s worth. He is already worthy of all praise and priceless beyond measure. It does not increase His power; He is all-powerful. Instead, His position is fixed. He is seated above all things. The measurable increase in distance that occurs is between our position as and His position. (John 3:30) Praise and thanksgiving to God is not a tool to manipulate His position, it’s a result of us changing our own position. We humble ourselves, recognizing and acknowledging our place far below Him. We decrease our own importance and power in favor of His. His position is not exalted in relation to all things as a whole, but His position on a personal level, in relation to our own life, is raised up.  

In order for God to be lifted up in us and through us, we must first surrender to Him. Our will. Our actions. Our thoughts. Our hearts. Everything about us, every area of our lives, must be surrendered to Him in order for Him to be seated in His rightful place in relation to us. 

 Jesus described it as “denying yourself, taking up your cross daily and follow Him.” (Luke 9:23) If we are saved – believing Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died and rose again, the Messiah who is seated at the right hand of the Father and our soon coming King – it is mandatory for us to surrender completely to Christ and through Him to our Father, God. Holding back even a fraction of ourselves or our lives from Him is not acceptable.  

Let’s look back at John 12:32. “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” 

There are 3 key points that are significant.



There is a choice.
Jesus used the word “if.” “If” is a word of possibilities. It implies that there are options other than the one stated. I will be lifted up from the earth or I will not be lifted up from the earth. Yes, Jesus was speaking of His death and resurrection but He was also speaking about the possibilities when we apply the Word to our lives on a personal level. It comes down to our choices. We either choose to continually yield to God, repenting when we make mistakes, and daily surrendering to Him or we choose not to. This is an ongoing process. The choice for Jesus to be lifted up is one that we are continually making. (1 Corinthians 15:31) For Him to be lifted up, we have to sacrifice ourselves to Him. Holding back from Him prevents Him from being lifted up in us. God left the choice in our hands. Only by choosing to bow down, choosing to yield to Him and acknowledging where we stand in relation to Him, is His position in our lives increased.

There is a result.
The scripture says that if we make this choice and lift Him up, there is a result from that choice. The result is that all men will be drawn to Him. All men being drawn unto Him is contingent upon Him being lifted up.  
John 14:6 says that Jesus is the only way to come to God. In John 6:44 Jesus says that “no one can come to Me unless the Father draws them.” When God is lifted up in us, He draws the hearts of those who witness it. The only way for all men to be drawn to God is for Him to be lifted up. He must be lifted up – on an individual level, but it important for it to be in each and every one of us. It is imperative. 
Yielding yourself to God is important for your own life and relationship with God , but there is more at stake than us simply making a choice for ourselves. There is more riding on your sacrifice to God than just yourself. Your surrender to God can determine the hearts of those around you being drawn to Him. Your surrender to God has the potential to be a catalyst for the salvation of others.
The consequence when we hold back from God is that He is not lifted up in us. The people around us will not be drawn by His light and life through us. Fortunately, we aren’t usually a person’s sole source of seeing the light of Christ. The grace in being a many membered body of believers is that there are those that will continue to draw others to God, even when we may fall short. However, by not choosing to die to self, we are impeding the work of the Spirit of God.  

Our choice either allows or denies the Spirit of God an opportunity to work in someone else. It is much easier to see light in a dark room when there are multiple sources. A dozen candles shine a lot brighter than just one. If there is just one candle, much more is left in darkness and the light is harder to see. The more candles there are, the easier it is to see the light. It’s the same with our lives as followers of Jesus. His light is more plainly seen when it is shining brightly from more than one location. It’s harder to deny Him when evidence of Him is all around you, drawing you to the Father. We have a responsibility, not only to ourselves, but to people we care about and even people we may not even know, to choose the path of Jesus every single day.

Are you believing for God to save someone you know and love? Be faithful to the Lord. Surrender yourself completely. Repent when you fall short. Your life is an example and sermon. Your spirit is a witness of God’s goodness to people around you. Your obedience to God is an opportunity for salvation through Jesus.

There is a reward.
Jesus said that all men would be drawn unto Him. This means more than just compelling the hearts of men to turn to Him. The definition of “drawn” is to move or guide something in a specified direction. When Jesus is lifted up, He will draw all men – this includes you – unto Him. When you humble yourself before God, the Word says that He will elevate you. (James 4:10)  
In this scripture, Jesus was also telling us that when we humble ourselves to Him, He will draw us to Him. He will take us from our position of humility and elevate us to His position as Son. Our reward for our obedience is not only seeing others turning to Christ, but experiencing the fullness of a relationship with God as His child. Our daily sacrifice and humble attitude of servitude results in a correlating response from Christ, to lift us to His level. Jesus taught us that in order to walk in the full benefits and blessing of what He brings, we make a daily choice to come fully under His Lordship. Only under His Lordship do we experience His righteousness, His life, His authority, and His nature is manifested in us.

When Jesus is lifted up, He in turn lifts us up. There is no higher position than His, seated at the right hand of the Father and He raises us to share in it with Him. The righteousness and honor and worthiness belong to Him alone, but He allows us to share in His glory. When we die to ourselves, our rights, feelings, desires and preferences are dead to us, and His plans and purposes take precedence. He begins to live His life through us and transforms us into what we have been called to be. The children of God.

I encourage you to lift up the name of Jesus. Make Him known in every area of your life. Choose wisely and follow the path that He has set for you. The Bible is full of promises He has given to those who follow Him. Promises not only for you, but for those you love and those who haven’t yet accepted Him as their Savior. Lift Him up so that others might come to know Him and accept Him as Lord. Lift Him up and watch how He will raise you up. His blessings and benefits are more than you can contain and He is able to do more than you can ask or imagine. He will prove Himself to you and you will experience the awesome power and majesty of the Most High God. 

It all starts when you choose to bow down.
                   ~Dana Smith 
We tried to find the song mentioned above but only found the slide with words set to music so today for Song Sunday you get to sing along to the slides and music here 

Travelled So Far 

  
Great encouragement today from The Bottom Of A Bottle Blog.   Enjoy! XXOO Michelle Bollom

Travelled So Far (Proverbs 30:5) Days become harder Our thoughts become clouded The stresses of life Lay a heavy burden Upon our fragile souls Our feet so tired We’ve travelled so far Now it feels we can’t go on Yet there is a place Our tired feet can call home The Father’s arms Our refuge […]

https://thebottomofabottle.wordpress.com/2016/01/04/travelled-so-far-proverbs-305/

The Wick And The Wax Warning 

  
Fanning the flames

They are fans

Not flames

Flames are friends

That love you

While fans

Keep you

Warm in your

Own self love

Friends will

Speak into your life

Fans will keep

The blades moving

Round and round

Till you’re so giddy and dizzy with

That chilly

Self importance

That you

Can’t see

What the flame

Warned you

Would come

Better hop

Off that pedestal 

Of pretense

Insecurity thrives

On mans approval

While confidence

In Christ

Needs no vote

Or conniving

The wick

And the wax

Both needing a light

To burn

To be

Necessary.

   ❤️ Krystal Lynne