Monday, November 28, 2011

"2012 - Carrying Promise into the New Year" by Garris Elkins

Recently, in a public worship service the Lord revealed an image to me for the coming year. I saw the Church represented as a single person, walking forward and carrying a large bucket in each hand. As we, the Church, approached the line that marked the passing of 2011 and the entrance into 2012, the Lord spoke and said, “Pour out the contents of 2011 and refill your buckets with promise for the coming year.”

Turning the buckets upside down, we proceeded to pour out the contents of the passing year upon the ground. When empty, we began refilling the buckets with words of hope and promise for the coming season.

Then the Lord said, “These are the kind of promises that my servant Paul wrote about to the Church in Ephesus – these are promises beyond your ability to imagine. These are promises birthed from My imagination. My imagination for you has no boundary or restriction.”

We continued to walk forward with buckets now filled with promises for 2012 and beyond. The contents in our buckets started sloshing around and even spilling on the ground. We then crossed the line marking the entrance in to the New Year. As we walked into this new dimension of time, the Lord spoke again and said, “Now pour out these promises upon the soil of your family, your church and your city. I have planted supernatural seeds in the ground for this New Year that are not visible to natural sight. My seeds are thirsty for the water of My Word. 2012 will be a year of germination for things you thought were long dead. My seeds of promise are waiting and groaning for the word of faith you now carry. Pour out your buckets upon the New Year.”

As we began to pour out words of promise upon the bare ground, seeds not seen in the natural began to burst through the earth and reveal themselves. The water level in these buckets remained full even though the contents of the buckets were being poured out. It was like the feeding of the 5,000. A small child’s lunch became a feast through supernatural multiplication. The more the buckets were poured out the more they were refilled.

It is time to empty our buckets of fear and doubt from our past. What we carry without faith and hope are stagnant buckets that do not reflect God’s heart for us. New promises are being revealed. God is also asking many of us to review the promises He has made to us in past seasons. Some of these promises are so distant and buried in so much pain that they will be hard to retrieve or even reimagine. Go after these promises. Find them and fill your buckets with His words of hope once again. God will also begin to pour into your bucket those things of His heart, those Ephesians 3:20 promises, that are beyond your ability to ask or think. These promises, once watered, will sprout and fill your field with works beyond your imagination in the coming year.

2012 will be a year of supernatural surprise. You will say, “I don’t remember this promise. I don’t remember planting that crop.” God is about to show us the depth of His love in ways not yet realized in our imagination.

Today, empty your buckets of all fear, doubt and sorrow from past years. Don’t wait for New Year’s Eve to do this. Enter a time of worship today and allow the Spirit to speak through you and proclaim His Word and heart of promise into your bucket. Walk confidently into 2012 – pouring out your filled buckets into your field of promise.

Monday, November 21, 2011

"The Fire Department Came Tonight" by Garris Elkins

I enjoy Thanksgiving. As a young man growing up in Campbell, California, Thanksgiving Day meant two things - the annual Thanksgiving Day football game between my high school, Campbell, and our rivals, Los Gatos High and our family Thanksgiving dinner. What made the game really enjoyable was the thought that after the game mom's great turkey dinner was waiting for us. Besides wonderful dinners with family, I also love the thankfulness people explore during this time of year. Thanksgiving is a great set-up for the Christmas season.

Thanksgiving Day is still four days off. It is Monday morning and my computer clock is reading 3:01 a.m. About 1:15 a.m. this morning I was awakened from a deep sleep by a strange and unusual noise in the house. The ex-cop in me went into action. I was up and on the search. When I opened the bathroom door in our bedroom, thick smoke billowed out. I hit the lights and saw smoke coming from our electric water heater. I yelled to Jan to call 911 and get the Fire Department rolling.

When the Fire Department arrived and made sure all was well, we found out that our old water heater had been leaking for some time and this leakage had caused a short in the electrical unit and started the fire. Evidence of the burn marks from this small fire traveled up the outer shell of our water heater. What is interesting is that earlier this week we had actually called our plumber to replace this very water heater because it was no longer putting out enough heat to take a really nice hot bath.

When the Fire Department made sure the fire would not re-ignite, they departed. Our bedroom still has that lingering electrical fire smell that will take a few days to leave. We are alive. There is no structural damage and the house is still here.

After the fire personnel left Jan and I stopped and thanked the Lord. We were glad - glad we were not away at work. Glad we were not on vacation when this happened. Glad for the small, isolated nature of the fire. Just plain glad.

Then our "gladness" became thankfulness. We were thankful to be alive and still have a home. This year our thanksgiving preceded our Thanksgiving Day festivities.