Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Summer is a great time! It is a time to be with friends and family, try to relax a little bit and enjoy some sunshine. For the Furnace, the summer also represents a season of tweaking. We want this to be the best program possible, so every year we look into what needs to be added, subtracted or stay the same. Some summers bring about big change. For instance, last year we added the Furnace Prayer Room. Other summers bring about small tweaks here and there, but nothing major. This summer falls somewhere in the middle. We are certainly not overhauling the program, but we are making some minor changes that have pretty big impact.

That being said, I wanted to make sure that you all know what those changes are as we prepare to start the Fall Semester.

Prayer:

Prayer is the heart of what we do. It is the engine that keeps everything going. We will continue to have daily corporate prayer meetings where we gather together to encounter the Lord and contend for a Him to move in our generation. Here is a schedule for this year’s prayer meetings:

Monday 7-9pm │Tuesday 8-10am │Wednesday 9-11pm │Thursday 7-9pm│
Friday 10pm-12am │Saturday 7-9pm │Sunday 8-10pm Gathering

We have moved prayer meetings back in order to allow time after work or school to make it on time. Also, we have added a Morning Prayer meeting to accommodate schedules that are night heavy.
The goal is to go 24 hour in the prayer room this fall! This is a big goal and not without hurdles, but the time seems right. Let’s be in prayer to see this come to pass.

2 Year Curriculum/Reading schedule:
Since the Furnace began we have placed a premium on learning and growing in the Lord. One of the exciting changes that we are making for this year is the implementation of a Bible study curriculum for your two years in the Furnace. The plan is that over the course of two years in the Furnace each member will read through and discuss the entire New Testament. Rather than discussing outside books during our accountability times, we will discuss the Bible and implement that into our discussions.

However, since we still love and value good books that challenge us and aid in our walk with the Lord each Furnace member will be provided outside reading. We will be providing opportunity for these books to be discussed as well. These books will be given based on the semester. Our tentative book schedule looks like:

1st semester: Pursuit of God & New Testament Bible commentary
2nd semester: Only a Prayer Meeting & Red Moon Rising
3rd semester: Guys/Girls book & a Study Bible
4th semester: Cost of Discipleship & Entirety


Campus Groups:
All Furnace members will be placed on the leadership team of a DSM Campus Group. These groups support our vision to reach lost high school students by providing a home for them to meet fellow students from their high school and see leaders and peers who are seeking Jesus with their whole heart. In addition to reaching the lost, these Sunday night groups will act as a discipleship mechanism for believers to empower students to live out the Desperation Vow in their individual lives and call others to it. Our goal is to equip and empower these high school students to join or start a prayer meeting on their high school campus.

Gathering:
One final reminder is that the Furnace Gathering is going to be on Sunday nights from 8-10pm. This is to allow for Campus Group ministry, but not require more nights out a week. This is a mandatory meeting for all Furnace members.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Early Morning Prayer

“One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” Psalm 27:4

As my alarm wakes me up early in the morning my mind is focused far more on how tired I am then on entering into a time of prayer and worship. However, as I make it to the prayer meeting and begin to worship the Lord, my heart becomes refreshed and my thoughts begin to fade from my own tiredness. I begin to focus in on the goodness of the Lord, his attributes, and love over my life. As I “gaze upon the beauty of the Lord” my heart is warmed and energized, and I leave feeling far better then I would have if I had spent those two hours sleeping.

But I don’t want my worship to stop there. Worship is not just singing; it is not just dancing; it is not just that warm tingly feeling that I sometimes get. Worship is passionate devotion and adoration. It is love and dedication given to the Lord. It is my desire to live a lifestyle of worship. I believe that the Lord is most worshipped when I live my life in a way that glorifies him. When I choose to have joy in hard situations. When I have good attitude rather then getting upset or worried. I believe that we can worship the Lord all day long. Surely, singing praise to him and dancing before him are a large part of adoring him and falling more in love with the Lord, but I long to show that love all day long in every action that I make.

“Have I ever realized that I can bring to God things which are of value to him. . . not divine, colossal things which could be recorded as marvelous, but ordinary simple human things which will give evidence to God that I am abandoned to him? Have I ever produced in the heart of the Lord Jesus what Mary of Bethany produced?”
Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Friday, April 30, 2010

Praying the Bible


When I was fifteen my youth group started a prayer meeting every Wednesday night focused on reading the Bible and praying it back to the Lord. At first, this was a hard concept for most of us to grab hold of and to understand. It was different. I guess we were never taught how to pray, we just watched, observed, and then formed our own style. Now we were now being taught a new way to pray and it was stretching us. Praying the Bible back to the Lord made sense, but it was difficult at times. Reading a verse every time you wanted to pray and then forming your prayer around that verse almost felt restricting. However, the more we continued to pray in this manner, the easier it was. Rather then feeling like it was restricting our prayers, we began to find more freedom in our prayers. It was no longer about us coming up with the right words to pray, rather it was about praying to the Lord that which he had already declared and that which he already had promised to do. It was through this time of praying the scriptures that I really began to love prayer and through praying that I really began to love the Bible.

Praying the Bible made me truly begin to enjoy prayer. It was an avenue for me to enter the prayer meetings and not have to worry about being bored or not having anything to pray. I had plenty of resource and all I had to do was enter in. But it was not just the fact that I began to feel comfortable in prayer that made it enjoyable. I began to pray with more authority. My prayers no longer felt like a kid asking God for what I thought was good, but rather I was bringing before the Lord his own words, his own promises, his own declarations. I was able to find my strength in prayer not because I had the best words to say, but rather because I had the best recourse to know what to pray. I no longer had to worry about hearing the heart of God, I could just read his Word and know what he wanted. It is not that I no longer waited on the Lord or waited on the leading of the Spirit, it just made all of that easier. Hearing the Lord was easier, praying was easier, and it was fun. Prayer was not a time of sitting quietly and trying not to fall asleep, prayer was active, I was involved, and I began to see the fruit.

Since every time I prayed I was using the Bible as my resource, I would sit and try and find verses to read during prayer, even when I was not praying. I could pass the time in class, at home, and, yes, sometimes in church by reading my Bible. I would try and find verses that I had not heard people pray before. I remember searching through books like Deuteronomy, Leviticus, and Judges just because I was not familiar with them. To this day, some of the verses that I found during that time are my absolute favorite. I remember one time when I was traveling and I had to wake up at 4:00AM (the ungodly hour) in order to make the flight, so my friends and I decided to stay up through the night. Needless to say, they did not make it. I remember after everyone had gone to bed grabbing my Bible and just reading. I remember kneeling on the floor of the bathroom in Guatemala and just being moved by what I was reading. I had an orange highlighter and after that night you might think that that was the only highlighter I ever used to mark in my Bible. The scriptures had become alive to me. I would sit and read and pray and then take what I had read and prayed and do again in the prayer meetings. That is when my Bible became my favorite possession. That is when my quiet times became alive and had meaning. My relationship with the Lord grew during that time like I do not think it ever had before. Everything started to come together. Praying caused me to enjoy reading, reading caused me to enjoy praying, both gave me knew insight and made me desire to go deeper in my relationship with the Lord.

It is odd to look back at those prayer meetings and see how much they shaped where I am at today. I had no idea at the time that my relationship with the Lord would forever be different, that my idea of prayer would be different, or that my life would be different simply by praying. But all of that has happened. I am not trying to say I have found the key to going deeper in relationship with the Lord. The Lord works in different peoples lives in different ways, but I know that for the time and place I was at this is how the Lord captured my heart.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Revival Isn't History!

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Hebrews 13:7-8 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

History inspires me. I love hearing stories of men and women of faith that lived the way that I would like to live; those that advanced the Kingdom of God with all they had in their day. I am always inspired by their stories and challenged by their lives. I recently had the opportunity to travel with a team of our leaders to some of the places where great revivals in history have taken place. We got to be in the buildings where prayers where offered up, where salvations and healings took place, and where nations where changed. We walked the streets where church reformation started. We prayed in the Herrnhut, Germany where the Moravian refugees started a prayer chain that went around the clock . . . for 100 years! That prayer movement quickly became a missions movement as missionaries were sent out all over the world. We went to places in London, England where great men of God preached to tens of thousands of people in parks and churches. We worshiped in a small church where the Welsh Revival that saw hundreds of thousands come to the Lord started. That revival ended up spreading all over the world!

We went with the purpose to see what God has done in the past and contend for Him to move again in our day. Our whole team was encouraged by the fact that all of these people, the ones that history holds in such high esteem, where just regular dudes. There was not a lot that was unique or special about each of them, their circumstances, or their Christianity. There were, however, some similarities that they all shared. They all held to the scripture, were men and women of prayer, served the poor, and lived in holiness. Simply put, they were Christians. What was extraordinary about them was not them, but God.

So be encouraged, God never changes. What He has done in the past, He can do again. God answers prayer today the same as He did in times of great revival. God will heal, save, and move today just like He has before.

We have a vision to see God move in this generation. I am praying for a unified global revival where we see 1,000,000,000 souls saved in our day and in our time. It is not that there is a formula, it is not about some kind of divine arm twisting, but if we will be men and women that love God, are faithful to pray, pursue holiness, and serve others then it is likely that we will see God move in very real ways all around us.

Contend!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Revival Tour

Here is a post from Tyrel Koenes, DLA Director, about our Revival Prayer Tour:

I am here in Berlin, Germany with the second year Core leaders as we go to past places of revival and contend for God to do the same thing in our day and in our time. We went to Wittenberg, Germany where Martin Luther lived, studied, and posted his 95 theses on the door of the church changing church and our availability to the Scriptures forever. Luther had a passion for God and the thing that caused the turmoil within himself that would not allow him to be silent was the love of TRUTH. The Lord spoke to my heart during my time in Wittenberg and showed me that other priests before Luther had been given the revelation that we are saved by grace, a free gift of God- not by purchasing indulgences (which is what was being taught by the church at that time). The Lord showed me that the reason they didn’t change history forever is because although they had knowledge of the truth, they were unwilling to fight for it. They were unwilling to suffer for TRUTH. You see, Luther faced extreme persecution, trials, and unrest because he went against not just the world and it’s systems but against the church and its perverted systems of that time. Am I encouraging people to rebel against the church? Absolutely not. I am simply saying that we MUST be a people that love the truth and that will even die in order that others know the truth. The truth is what sets people free, not religion.

We went to Herrnhut, Germany and saw Ludwig Von Zinzendorf’s church, house, and his grave. We have learned a lot about the Moravian movement and how Zinzendorf created a community of people committed to living whole-heartedly after God all of their days. We heard stories of worship leaders having weekly meetings with their band and asking each person hard questions like, has money had a hold on you this last week, how have you dealt with the opposite sex, what sin have you committed, and so on. Herrnhut was the first place to continually send forth missionaries ever, thus launching the modern mission’s movement as we know it today. We heard the great sacrifice it took to go on missions in those days. People would leave their parents and settle in a place and they would live in a community of friends and family and build close bonds all their lives. So the simple fact of saying goodbye to people was extremely foreign to most people in that day. Let alone, the fact that traveling long distances was very dangerous and very difficult in those times. Many times people would die on their way to the country they were to evangelize to. Other times they would die of some unknown disease within a few weeks of arriving, never getting a chance to witness to any of the people there. Did this change the mandate the Moravians had from God to send people to places where others had never heard the Gospel? No way. They were determined to live holy, to pray always, and to give up their lives for Jesus Christ.

What God has shown me on this trip thus far is this:
He desires to do what He has done in the past, but even greater things than these. He showed me that yes Luther, the Moravians, and others were instruments He used to bring about great and much needed change but they were mere men that lived to please God. Jesus is raising up reformers today, just like Luther, just like Zinzendorf. The goal isn’t to try and “reform” something, especially if God is not leading you this way. The goal is to live passionately for God, pray always, love people, stand up for the truth, and be willing to give up all you own, all you know, all you can gain in this world, and even your own life for the gospel of Christ. There is a reforming spirit that moves amongst the people of God and yes, the young people as well. In fact, Zinzendorf as a teenager made a commitment with a friend to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth. The success of true reformers isn’t that they succeed in “going against the flow.” Their success is that they lived their whole life in bold pursuit of the King of kings and the Lord of lords, obeying God and His Word in everything.

What makes these things so impacting for me is that in the Furnace and DLA in Colorado Springs, God IS doing what once was done. It’s exciting for me to know that the Moravians didn’t even have a central meeting place for all their prayer meetings. People would commit to one hour a week to pray. For example, every Wednesday at 3pm someone would commit to that hour, for the rest of their lives. That person wouldn’t necessarily come to the church but they would sit down by the bushes of the field they were working in and pray for that hour and they were held accountable to pray when they said they would. There was a community of people that lived this way and thus ended up praying 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for over 100 years. The encouraging thing is that that same thing is happening today. It’s going on all over the world but we are living in a fellowship of burning hearts right here in Colorado Springs. We have prayer meetings every day. We have accountability to live holy, where we ask each other the hard questions. We send out people to love people and proclaim the kingdom. And our goal is this: to live passionately for God, ALL of our lives.

Do you live in a godly community that spurs you to holiness and prayer? This is our entire mandate from heaven, to be a PEOPLE unto God. Here at the Furnace and DLA we are doing just that. Come join us as a fellowship of burning hearts and live your whole life for God as a reformer that lives boldly for the truth.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Revival Prayer Tour

“God does nothing but in answer to prayer.” – John Wesley

Throughout history God has moved when his people pray. It started in Acts 2 and has continued right up to the present. I have heard about powerful moves of God and revivals and deeply desire to see God do it again in this generation.

I am getting ready to head out on a Revival Prayer Tour with leaders from the Furnace and DLA. We are going to spend the next two weeks in Germany and the United Kingdom. The purpose of this trip is to visit some of the most vital revival locations in our history and contend for God to move in our generation. It is not that we desire the same style of revival, but the impact on souls saved, lives changed, and the kingdom advanced. I pray that as we walk and pray in these locations the burden that drove great men and women in history to pray and experience revival will be in each one of us. We will be having prayer meetings, prayer walking and interacting with on the ground missionaries and ministers at each place.

Please partner with us in prayer as we contend for God to move in a real and powerful way in our generation.

Here is a list of our itinerary:
Sunday, March 21st: Depart DIA to Berlin
Monday, March 22nd: Arrive in Berlin
Tuesday, March 23rd: Travel to Wittenberg, Germany (locations of Luther’s posting 95 Theses)
Wednesday, March 24th: Travel to Herrnhut, Germany (locations of Moravian prayer movement)
Thursday, March 25th: Spend the day in Herrnhut, Germany
Friday, March 26th: Travel to Berlin, Germany (working with European Initiatives and Church on the Way)
Saturday, March 27th: Berlin, Germany (working with European Initiatives and Church on the Way)
Sunday, March 28th: Berlin, Germany (attend Church on the Way; connect with families from the church)
Monday, March 29th: Travel to London, England
Tuesday, March 30th: London, England (prayer walk areas involved in the Great Awakening, Aldersgate, Fetters Lane Society, Metropolitan Tabernacle, Kennington Commons)
Wednesday, March 31st: Travel to Oxford, England (Holy Club; home of authors CS Lewis and Tolkien)
Thursday, April 1st: Travel to Loughor, Wales (Home of Evan Roberts; involved in Welsh Revival)
Friday, April 2nd: Travel to Berlin, Germany
Saturday, April 3rd: Return home

Almost ten years ago the stories of the Moravian prayer and missions movement and the Holy Club at Oxford University had a great impact on the formation of the Furnace. It is going to be exciting to go to the places where these stories took place.

The Reformation, the Moravian prayer and missions movement, the Great Awakening, and the Welsh Revival have all had an incredible impact in advancing the Kingdom of God. I’d encourage you to take some time to look up and read the stories of these historical revivals. Let’s pray for a burden to be in each one of us to see these things happen again!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Furnace Prayer Room

In the Spring of 2009, theFurnace began experiencing some of the most incredible prayer meetings since we started in 2001. I have never seen so many healings in our community, so many immediate answers to prayer for Furnace members, so many tangibly experiencing the presence of the Holy Spirit. It was truly an amazing season.
This past semester we have had the opportunity to experience a completely different kind of prayer. In October of 2009 we started theFurnace Prayer Room in the World Prayer Center. In addition to the daily prayer meetings, theFurnace started praying every day from 6-12am. There is now a room in the World Prayer Center littered with prayers. Some written, some sung, some painted, all contending for God to move in this generation.
In this room there is a wall with a list of names of people that have not given their lives to Jesus. We are committed to praying for each name on this wall. As I have started praying for these people my heart has started to break for the lost like never before. It blows my mind how many people our small community knows that are not living for the Lord. Hundreds of names are listed on this wall, but a handful of names have been crossed off! These are people that we have been praying for over these past few months that have given their lives to Jesus. Oh the celebration!
Another wall bears needs of people that we know. One section of this wall asks for prayer for a friend with cancer. Written over top: HEALED! There are others just like that. And there are some that we are still praying for. We have seen God answer prayer and we are contending for him to answer others. We are praying for the lost, for America, for this generation, for the nations and for the hastening of His return. Worship songs are being written, prayers are ascending, and we are being called to become the answer to those prayers.
It is exciting to be a part of this and see God move in real ways. We’d love to invite you to be a part as well. We are going to continue going 6am-12am. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll go 24 hours a day! Sign-ups are available for anyone that would like to carry an hour in the prayer room. Just go to www.thefurnace.net and click “Member Login.” We’d love it if you want to jump in and be a part.
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