Ralph Howe Ministries
Nominal or Phenomenal

Nominal or Phenomenal

August 9, 2021

LOOKING AT THE FUTURE:

 

God is looking for a group of people who want to be phenomenal for Him

 

➢ People who want to redefine normal

➢ People who want to go from nominal to phenomenal 

  • People who are not happy with “almost Christianity”
  • People who want to live with passion 
  • People who want to change the world one life at a time

 

“Almost Christian” is not going to work

 

You know – almost is never good enough:

Soccer

Lottery

Marriage

 

You go to your doctor’s office because of a serious medical issue in your life

The certificate on the wall states: “Almost passed his medical exams”

Not good enough

We need to move from “almost” to “altogether”

 

We would say – “get it together” / “get it altogether”

Pass the exams and then call yourself a doctor

 

Christianity today needs to get it altogether and then call itself a force to be reckoned with…

 

The Church needs to, once again, become phenomenal as it first was as recorded in the book of Acts…

Extraordinary

Supernatural

Unusual

Powerful

Out of the ordinary

Fanatical

World-changers

Radical

Revolutionary

 

A phenomenal Church filled with phenomenal disciples would be:

➢ Hearing God’s voice daily

➢ Following Jesus with passion and purpose

➢ Walking by faith and not by sight

➢ Able to “speak to the mountains”

➢ Moving in power

➢ Walking in miracles, signs and wonders

➢ Speaking the truth in love

➢ Witnessing to non-believers

➢ Winning the lost

➢ Making disciples

➢ Preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom

➢ Walking in authority

➢ Healing the sick

➢ Casting out demons

➢ Raising the dead

➢ Rescuing the lost

➢ Loving the unlovable

➢ Moving prophetically

➢ Speaking truth into situations and circumstances – individuals and nations

➢ Going into all the world

➢ Filled with and flowing in the Spirit

➢ Knowing the mind of Christ

➢ Overcoming fear and walking in boldness

➢ Working the Word

➢ Taking up their cross daily

➢ Living sacrificially

➢ Challenging convention and what others consider normal

➢ Uninhibited

➢ No longer people-pleasers

➢ No longer fearing man – what others think

➢ Not politically correct

➢ No longer insecure

➢ No longer denying the truth / living a lie

➢ Not silent in the face of opposition

➢ Not fearing failure – willing to try

➢ Working as ambassadors of Christ

➢ Ministers of reconciliation in the world

➢ Part of the priesthood of all believers

➢ A royal priesthood honouring God

➢ A holy nation within the nations

➢ Phenomenal Christians

➢ Fanatics

➢ Believers loving one another and embracing the world

Sometimes I Feel So Insignificant

Sometimes I Feel So Insignificant

August 9, 2021
How do you grow on the inside and become ready for the challenge when it arises?
 
The challenges as they arise in the Kingdom, in relationships, in life…
 
1> Stop listening to “mini-me”
 
Mini-me is the weaker version of yourself who coaches you into smallness
 
Mini-me wants you to play it safe and remain small 
 
When I was growing up there was a tough group of guys the next block over who were constantly picking on my older brother - words and physically
 
My brother saw himself as weak and unable to take them on…
 
One day my father began to speak to my brother:
 
Calling out the stronger Keith
Calling out the tougher Keith
Calling out the bigger inner Keith
Calling out the fighter that was in there
 
He also taught my brother how to fight as my dad had been a semi-pro boxer for a number of years before he was married
 
Keith stopped listening to his “mini-me” and the next thing I heard was that he had taken on three of them in a fist fight and won
 
My point is not that you should pick a fight 
 
My point is that you need to stop listening to mini-me who limits and who helps you to continue to feel insignificant
 
 
 
2> Leave your comfort zone 
 
Comfort zones are the place where dreams go to die
 
To leave your comfort zone you must not allow your past to abort today’s possibilities
 
To leave your comfort zone you need to:
 
Think bigger
Pray bigger prayers
Remove pettiness
Grow your faith by stepping out in faith
Trust God more
Make consistent inner changes as you step forward into your future
Take risks
Realize that “everything is working together for your good…”
“Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!”
 
 
3> Start living big - live life wide open
 
Live life wide open stepping out with courage and boldness in the various areas of your life
 
Live life wide open by no longer being so sensitive to what others think and say
 
Live life wide open by not allowing the small stuff to loom so large and occupy so much of your time and energy 
 
Live life wide open is to risk what you know and have for what just might be possible and powerful
 
Living life wide open is what keeps the doors of opportunity open, allowing God to work in your life and thru you to do significant things
 
The opposite to living life wide open is allowing your internal smallness  (your mini-me) to limit what you do and make your life insignificant 
Sometimes I Forget To Keep Calm

Sometimes I Forget To Keep Calm

August 8, 2021

Jesus did not promise us that everything would go smoothly in life. In fact, He prophesied that we would face trials and troubles as we lived as believers in a world that does not believe. However, He asks us to put our trust in four things that He promised would provide courage and renewed strength for our troubled hearts. These four things will allow us to live with inner peace that passes all human reason and understanding even when there are storms on the horizon of our lives. 

A new teaching in the “Sometimes…” series speaking to the realities that we face every day as believers in today’s world. 

These teachings are posted on Podbean under Ralph Howe Ministries and as a full written text at Ralph Howe Ministries.com

Sometimes I have Stinking Thinking
Sometimes I Feel Completely Inadequate
Sometimes Im Disappointed with God

Sometimes Im Disappointed with God

July 15, 2021
Sometimes I’m Disappointed With God
 
You read the Bible and see so many amazing stories of God moving, guiding, directing, intervening, touching lives…
 
You read about God intervening in regular life and revealing Himself in powerful ways…
 
People being saved
Prisoners being set free
Those being persecuted being warned by the Spirit of imminent danger
People being openly directed by the Holy Spirit
The sick being healed
Demon-possessed people being set free
The dead being raised to life
Churches being planted
Cities being changed and challenged by the Gospel
Jesus appearing to people and directing them
Miracles, signs, and wonders
Visions and dreams
God directly strengthening and encouraging believers
People dying for their faith - strong witnesses to faith in Christ
 
So, I asked myself …
 
Why is all of this not happening in my daily life?
Is there something I need to change or do differently?
Is it just a matter of not having enough faith?
Is it because I live in North America?
Is there sin in my life that prevents the moving of the Holy Spirit?
Do I need to change the way I am praying?
Are my priorities all wrong and thus preventing the move of the Spirit?
Do I have a wrong worldview?
Is there compromise in my life?
Do I simply not trust God enough?
Maybe I don’t really understand the Kingdom
Maybe deep down inside I don’t want my lifestyle to change?
Am I simply too comfortable and safe and secure and not wanting to be disturbed?
Maybe I am complicating the faith and making it something it is not?
Are I just being disobedient?
Am I so busy that I am missing the voice of God and direction of the Holy Spirit?
Sometimes I Live Without Hope

Sometimes I Live Without Hope

July 8, 2021
Definition of hope:
 
Desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment
To desire with expectation of obtainment
To expect with confidence
 
As believers our hope is suppose to be anchored in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the promise of Scripture
 
So we stir into our hope the understanding that Jesus is alive and that His words are true and will come to pass
 
The foundation of our hope - living hope - is that Jesus is alive and  has opened the door into eternity in heaven for us and has prepared a place for us with Him
 
Without hope:
 
Prisoners of war languish and die
Students get discouraged and drop out of school
Athletic teams fall into a slump and continue to lose
Fledgling writers, longing to be published, run out of determination
Addicts return to their habits
Marriage partners decide to divorce
Inventors, artists, entertainers, entrepreneurs, even preachers, lose their creativity
Sometimes I Don’t Enjoy Praying

Sometimes I Don’t Enjoy Praying

July 8, 2021
Sometimes, I don’t even enjoy praying - private prayer
 
It seems that at times my personal, private prayer times are:
 
Half-hearted
Inconsistent
Routine (although the prayer book is no longer in use)
Lackluster
Burdensome (something I have to do)
Simply a discipline
 
I have met many other wonderful Christians and even numerous Christian leaders who can identify with my somewhat lifeless prayer times or seasons
 
Prayer seems to me to be the “weak link” in almost every Christian’s life
 
And in most churches it is also a “weak link” and corporate prayer in North America is almost non-existent
 
Why don’t people like to pray?
 
Why is prayer apparently such a guilt-producing stumbling block in the life of many believers?
 
1> Many people don’t know how to pray
 
Prayer seems intimidating, foreign, confusing

 

2> Another reason people don’t pray is that they are not sure God will answer
 
 
3> “Attention Deficit Disorder” prayers (ADD)
 
4> Boredom
 
5> God Doesn’t Care
 
Another reason people don’t pray is that they don’t think that God really cares about them and their insignificant life issues
 
 
Sometimes I Loose My Spiritual Center
Sometimes It’s Hard to Be Civil

Sometimes It’s Hard to Be Civil

July 8, 2021

Many Christians fall into one of two categories - two different extremes

 

1> There are some who don’t engage with nonbelievers at all about spiritual matters because they feel afraid, intimidated, or ill-equipped

 

2> there are others who do engage with nonbelievers, but it can be in a manner that is obnoxious or argumentative; critical and judgmental

 

The solution or remedy to both of these extremes is found in 1 Peter 3:15

 

 

“… but in your hearts honour Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defence to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (ESV)

 

 

“Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you're living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy.” (MSG)

 

Our effectiveness for the Gospel begins with a reverence for Jesus as Lord in our hearts

 

And we are called to always be ready to give an answer to those who ask us the reason why we have hope

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