Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Big Cloud CD Release!

I don't normally like to use this space to promote my work, but on rare occasions I will do so. (It's been two years since I promoted a CD that I produced.) After all, this Blog is dedicated to Dreams, Passion, and Creativity, so...

I am announcing the release of the newly recorded worship CD "I Delight In You", featuring my wife Elaine. This recording is a collection of 10 original worship songs, written and produced by myself. These songs are already being sung in churches, and this is the first time they are captured on disk.

"I Delight In You" is a group of richly textured songs that express the heart of the believer towards the Father. The lyrics are profound, the worship is intimate, and the vocals are passionate. The songs touch the heart of the believer, while at the same time touch the heart of God.

Here's a lyric sample from the song "Loved": I can feel the embrace of Your presence, and I'm hearing You whisper, "I'm free". I see You on the throne and You're holding a child, and that child is me!

You can click here to hear samples of the songs at my website, Big Cloud Music. Also, you can click here to hear samples of my instrumental worship CD "I'm At Rest".

If you are interested in ordering a copy, you can do so at the listening pages (click links above). The CD will also be available at Immanuel's Church, beginning this Sunday.

Thank you for indulging me!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

God's Promise, And A Happy Birthday

Today is my last day of ministry in India. I participated in the morning worship service at the Ecclesia Ministries Church here in Kazipet, then enjoyed a typically tasty and spicy meal with Pastor Daniel and his family.

Pastor Daniel graciously allowed me to preach to his congregation for the second Sunday in a row, and I didn't take that privilege lightly. I had prepared a message for today, but as I was praying earlier this morning, the Lord gave me a fresh word to share. I was meditating on Luke 1:35 (as I often do), and a new revelation and understanding came to me about God's promises to us, and how they are fulfilled. Today Pastor Daniel's brother Joy-David translated for me, giving Jasher a break.

I also got to publicly pray a blessing over a member of the church who as a scientist, has invented a revolutionary compressed-air driven car. As he explained to me, it was obvious that this was a brilliant man, with a brilliant invention. He has already secured international patents for the invention, and humbly offers all of the glory to the Lord.

After the message we had a surprise birthday for Pastor Daniel as he celebrates his 50th birthday today! There were verbal blessings, flower wreaths, shawls and of course cake. Pastor Daniel is a man of God who is worthy of honor for his deep commitment to the Lord, to his family, to his congregation and to the people of India.

I was again honored and blessed as can only be done Indian-style (wreaths, shawls), and for the first time I sensed a bit of sadness in the building. This has been my sixth trip to India, and my fifth visit to Kazipet and Ecclesia. I feel like this is my other home church. I have had the privilege of speaking to this congregation on numerous occasions over the last two-and-a-half years, and have teamed-up with Pastor Daniel, Jasher (my faithful translator), the worship team (led by my good friend Freddy), the deacons and altar workers often enough to where there we flow well together. It is sad to say goodbye.

But, Pastor Daniel and I are already planning our next trip together where we will be traveling to Jammu-Kashmir next spring with a team to conduct medical camps and hold crusades. We'll see what happens next!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Last Kadapa Meeting, Then Back On The Train

Friday evening came with great expectation as the last meeting of the Kadapa crusade neared. As we arrived at the open air meeting place, the motorcycles were many, the worship was loud, and the people were crowded into the chairs and on mats on the ground.

An estimated 2,000+ gathered to hear the Word of God as Pastor Daniel and I delivered it. I spoke first, telling what Jesus did to reach us. I stated that He began as God, and showed how He emptying Himself to become a man, a servant and ultimately obedient to the point of death for our sins. Pastor Daniel followed with a word about the Holy Spirit and His role in the life of a person.

Without being able to stay for the conclusion of the night, we needed to immediately leave for the station to catch our train for the return journey "home". We arrived in Hyderabad at 7:30 on Saturday morning and ever-faithful Elijah was there to take us the rest of the way to Kazipet by car (a three hour trip).

The trip-within-a-trip to Kadapa was a great and I believe fruitful time for the Kingdom!

Tomorrow I will be speaking at two different churches in Kazipet. Then I leave for the airport in Hyderabad on Monday.

Friday, October 16, 2009

More Great News From Kadapa!

(You can receive this Blog via email by entering your address on the right.)

Last evening at the crusade, the crowed swelled from Wednesday evening's number as more people have heard about the crusade and are attending. Again Pastor Daniel and I shared the preaching, with ever-faithful Jasher acting as my translator.

It was exciting to be able to stand before the Indian people and proclaim the love of Jesus to them, and even more exciting to see so many respond to the invitation to follow Christ. Many more came for prayer for specific needs in their lives.

Some asked for physical healing, others for family relationships, and many children, teenagers and college students asked for strength in their studies. The Indian Christians are people of faith, and they ask the Lord and trust Him to meet their needs.

It was a special evening for me because the young man who drove us earlier in the day to the former Chief Minister's grave site (see yesterday's post), a Muslim man, attended the meeting and responded during the altar call. He came to me and asked me to pray for him because his wife had just left him the day before. I did, and when I was finished, I asked him about my message and if he wanted to commit his life to Jesus. He said yes, and so I led him to faith in Christ! He began the day with a different fare for his car, and ended the day as a different person!

This morning Pastor Daniel and I spoke to a group of believers who gather each Friday for Bible study. It was great to encourage them in the things of the Lord.

This evening is the last night of the crusade in Kadapa, and our team leaves immediately for the train station for the overnight trip back to Kazipet (my "home" in India).

Here are some pics...

 I demonstrate what faith is using a chair. (Any EE people recognize this?)

 This woman had asthma for most of her life. I prayed for her, and now she breathes freely!

Pastor Daniel teaches at the Friday morning Bible Study.

If you like this post, you can re-post, put it on your Facebook status, or forward it to your friends. Follow me on Twitter @bigcloudmusic if you find me interesting. Subscribe to this Blog if you'd like.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Kadapa Crusade, Day One

Our first meeting of the Kadapa Crusade was great! Hundreds upon hundreds of people came to the open air meeting area. The worship was powerful, with traditional Indian drums mixed with electronic keyboards providing the base for the singers to launch from.

Pastor Daniel and I shared the preaching responsibilities, then afterwords, he invited the people to receive Christ. I counted just over 60 people coming to pray and receive Jesus! These people are now "former" Hindus and Muslims!

After the first altar call, we invited people to come forward for personal prayer (more pics and comments below).

This morning the team rented an SUV and driver, and traveled 65 km to the grave site of the former Andreah Pradesh Chief Minister who recently died in a helicopter accident. (We had 11 people in a Nissan Exterra sized vehicle!)

The former Chief Minister was a Christian, and was very beloved by the 80,000,000 people of the state. Hundreds of thousands attended his funeral, and many more have made the pilgrimage to his grave site. Pastor Daniel and his two sons who accompanied us on this Crusade placed a wreath on the grave. (Think going to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.)

Tonight we will do it all again, and are trusting the Lord for an even greater harvest! Here are some more pics...

This boy was brought up to the platform paralized...not any more!

This young man was HIV positive. As I prayed for him, I felt the Love of God cover him and remind him that he was special in the eyes of God.

What a privelege it is for me to share in what God is doing in India!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The India Train Rolls On!

After three trains and 12 hours, we finally arrived in Kadapa, where we will be conducting a three-day crusade. The team of Pastor Daniel, his son Jasher (my translator), our altar workers, support team, and myself arrived just before 1:00 am, having spent all of Tuesday traveling.

I am by no means a seasoned traveler on the Indian Railway system, but having taken my first train journey last year, and it lasting for just under 48 hours, this one was comparatively easy! (By the way, the Indian Railway system is the largest employer in the world!)

I found an internet cafe' and for only 34 cents and hour, I am able to post to my Blog, but more importantly I can read and write to my wife via email.

Tonight (Wednesday) we begin the crusade. The city is still in mourning after the recent death of Andreah Pradesh's Chief Minister, a native of Kadapa. We are expecting great things from the Lord!

 The team prepares to board.

The crowded train platform in Hyderabad - it's like a street fair!

Pulling out of the station.

Pastor Daniel and I chat as we prepare to leave on the second leg of our journey.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Great Second Sunday Meeting!

They came by bus, by car, by taxi, by motorcycle and on foot. Approximately 200 people packed inside a rented "hall" for the Second Sunday Crusade meeting in Hyderabad. As the worship team sang, even more people arrived, having heard the music.

Teaming up with Pastor Daniel as my interpreter and official "altar call giver", we spoke the Word of God and challenged the half-Christian, half-Hindu crowd to give themselves fully to Jesus, who could meet all their needs, heal all their hurts and forgive all their sins.

Almost all the people present responded to the altar call, and many received Christ for the first time. As testimonies were shared on the microphone, people spoke of finding Jesus, and of healing.

This woman came to the meeting barely able to hear (I believe she was sitting directly in front of the speakers so she could make out what was being said), but after we prayed for her she testified that now she could hear clearly! Others spoke of pains being relieved. And person after person declared that they committed their lives to Jesus!

Even the Hindu manager of the "hall" heard the message from his office, and came asking for prayer, as he is seeking Christ.

It was truly a fruitful meeting, and well worth the three-hour-each-way journey for our team to participate.

This morning I again had the priveledge of teaching at the Bible School, and challenging the students in their calling and commitment.

Tomorrow we board the train for Kadapa, where we will conduct a three-day crusade in the hometown of the recently deceased Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. We are believing for a great time of ministry in this still-grieving city. I will try to update this Blog as often as I can, but may be "offline" for a few days. Pray for the team!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Worship And A Haircut

This morning I had the privilege of  speaking at the Sunday morning worship service at Pastor Daniel's church, with him interpreting (or he may have preached his own message - who knows?). I spoke on Jesus, and how He went into the wilderness full of the Holy Spirit, but left the wilderness in the power of the Holy Spirit after He was tempted by Satan.

We had a great crowd (700+), the response was tremendous, and I had great freedom to speak with passion and authority (it was all the Lord!).

Before I preached, I was asked to dedicate a new CD that the Ecclesia Ministries is releasing today. It was a privilege for me as a musician to pray a blessing on the CD, knowing all the work that goes into a project creation, and also personally knowing the musicians, singers and songwriter. Interestingly, my Big Cloud Music will be releasing a CD right after I return from India, but I got to pray the blessing on Pastor Daniel's CD before ours comes out.

Another great thing about this morning was that I dedicated two year child to the Lord. In the Indian tradition, the hair is not cut until the dedication, so I got to be both blesser and barber for the child!

This afternoon (in about an hour, after we eat lunch) the team is off to Hyderabad for an evening crusade meeting where we will again share the Gospel and pray for needs. Today began strong, and I know it will end even stronger!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday Power Meeting

Today we had a "Second Saturday Revival Meeting" here at the Ecclesia Ministries compound in Kazipet. A crowd of about 600 gathered, worshiped passionately, and listened intently as I had the privileged of sharng a message with them.

I spoke from the book of II Kings, and how Naaman by faith, trusted the Lord to cure him of his leprosy. The atmosphere was charged as I shared with passion the message that God had given me for that day. Even with an interpreter, the people sensed my excitement and heartbeat, and were not only generous in their reception of my words, but they even laughed at my jokes!

Periodically I noticed stirrings among the people as they patiently sat on the floor while I spoke. I found out later why: many came up during the altar call and testified that they felt pain leave and fevers break (the Lord was healing them) as I was speaking, specifically when I declared that Naaman was healed (which I mentioned several times throughout my message). We didn't even have to pray for the sick!

But when Pastor Daniel and I did pray for the sick, God again did some amazing things. The gentleman pictured with me had been paralyzed on his right side because of a stroke, but as he was prayed for, the Lord healed him and he was able to move his arm and walk upright. The Lord is good!

Tomorrow (Sunday) we have the regular morning worship service here, then after a quick lunch and a Blog update, we're of to Hyderabad (a three hour trip) for a revival  meeting on Sunday night.

Thank you Lord, for showing off and letting me be a part of it!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Eager Students, Future Leaders

This morning I spent two hours addressing the students at the Immanuel's School of the Bible - India. They have just returned from their semester break and are beginning their second semester of classes.

I focused on Leadership, and the qualities that make a great leader, reminding them that rather than striving to be a great preacher, teacher, singer, minister, etc., to strive to be a great leader who preaches, teaches, sings or ministers. Leadership is about influencing others to be what God has called them to be.

I will get to address the students again on Monday morning, before we prepare to travel to for a three day crusade in Kadapah, a nine hour train ride away.

This afternoon is free, and I will be exploring the city with Jasher, my faithful translator and guide. Tomorrow we begin our Second Saturday/Second Sunday mini-crusade here in Kazipet and in Hyderabad.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

3:00 AM Arrival

I don't think I am getting older. It was only six months ago that I took this trip to India, but it seems that it took a lot longer this time. Maybe the 3:00 am arrivals in India (after traveling for almost 24 hours), and the three-hour car ride to Kazipet over not-to-perfect roads adds years to one's life. At any rate, I am here!

Thank you to Freddy, Pastor Daniel's nephew and main worship leader, for coming in the middle of the night to gather me and my luggage and drive me to Kazipet, then to turn around and go back to college for a 9:00 am class.

I am spending Thursday resting and catching-up with Pastor Daniel (and eating some excellent 'home-cooked' Indian food), then I start ministry on Friday. I will be speaking to the Immanuel's School of the Bible - India students as they begin their second semester. I count it a privelege.

On Saturday and Sunday I will be preaching at the Second Saturday Crusade meetings back in Hyderabad (where my plane arrived). Busy, ministry-packed days and evenings...but I love it!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Off To India!

I'm sitting in the Emirates Airlines lounge at JFK in New York waiting to board my flight to Hyderabad, India. After an almost full day at the office I began my journey, first to BWI airport, then on to JFK.

So far it hasn't been uneventful. As my wife was taking me to BWI, an unusual noise started coming from her car and we lost most of the power. We quickly turned around and went back home to transfer my luggage into my car and then got back on the road to the airport. On the way I called a wrecker and alerted our automobile service center, Vipre automotive, that they would be receiving a delivery.

Well, we made it on time to catch my shuttle to New York, and here I sit. My heart and mind have begun to get around this mission trip to India. (It has been a busy three weeks leading up to this past weekend, so much of my focus has been on our ministry at Immanuel's.) I am trusting the Lord for many opportunities to share His grace and love, and for a great harvest for the Kingdom while in India. (See the previous post below to get an idea of what is in store for me.)

Please check this Blog regularly, as I will be posting as often as I can with updates of the trip.

COVID Wreaks Havoc In India

  The situation in India is bleak, but the Kingdom of God is expanding... I know you have seen news reports of the huge increase of COVID ca...