Would You Join Me In Prayer?

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Dear Readers,

We began the year with a word that this would be a year of breakthrough. We have certainly seen that in our church with the Holy Spirit moving in power, perhaps more than in the almost 8 year history of our Church. Our College group has had a mini move of the Spirit and the last couple of Sundays we have heard numerous testimonies of the power of the Holy Spirit touching people.

This is a very significant week in the life of our Church as we take almost 400 people from San Diego to work with our growing & thriving church in Tijuana. I ask that you would join me in praying for 3 things for our trip:

  1. Protection over all the participants;
  2. Power for people to be saved, healed and set free;
  3. Grace to bring the harvest into our Church in Mexico.

I also ask that you pray for Floyd McClung, one of our out-of-town mentors. Floyd has had significant ministry with our Church this year and has really spoken into the life of who we are. He is currently in a battle for his life as he fights an infection that has caused 2 heart attacks, a collapsed lung and other life-threatening complications. Would you pray:

  1. That God would spare his life and bring supernatural healing, and that he would have years left of life and fruitful kingdom contribution;
  2. For his family as they have been enduring a hard time for the last several weeks?

Lastly, would you begin praying for Easter? We are asking to bring many people to salvation, but even more so that they would be knit into our spiritual family and become fully devoted followers of Jesus.

Thank you so much for being such a whole-hearted people for the kingdom. Let us always believe that prayer shapes history!

For his Kingdom and His glory,

Robert Herber

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The Blessed Life

The Fathers Blessing

I believe that God has called us to pursue His blessing aggressively but perhaps it might look a little different than you expect.

In Luke 15:11-31, Jesus shares a parable about two different people who did not believe the father wanted to pour out blessing upon them. They had two very different responses. In this parable Jesus talks about a man who has two sons. The younger son comes to the father and asks for his share of the estate and so the father gives it to him.

The parable continues and the son squanders all of the wealth his father has given him on what The Bible calls “wild living”. Why? This son wanted adventure, pleasure, and excitement. Let me make a bold assertion here…excitement, adventure, and pleasure are not in themselves bad things.

A person who has appropriate excitement, adventure and pleasure in his life is blessed. The desires for these things are desires that God has placed in our heart. The problem is the young man went off to seek them in his own way, and the way he chose was selfish and warped. Pursing blessing outside the father’s plan, outside His house, and outside of His will is dangerous, and although He will let us “choose” to do this, it will inevitably destroy us!

Scripture says when the son came to his senses he said, “How many of my fathers servants have food to spare?” The point is, the fathers servants have all they need.

Like the younger son, the older son also failed to believe the father wanted to bless him. He had a slave mentality. He believed he was obligated to work for the father without actually receiving anything in return. He makes the statement, “you never even gave me a goat to celebrate with my friends”. The father replies, “son, you are always with me and everything I have is yours”.

The older son also made two mistakes. First, he failed to understand that the father wanted to bless him. Second, he failed to ask for blessing. I believe as children of God we should ask ourselves if there is a place in our lives where we are not receiving the fathers blessing because we have stepped into the role of one of these sons.

Today is a great day to have a fresh understanding of God’s heart and to start receiving all that He has for us.

To hear a full message on The Blessed Life check out the All Peoples Church app or click the link below.

http://allpeopleschurch.org/sunday-worship-at-all-peoples-church/podcasts-messages/

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The Story of the Birth of All Peoples Church-part 1


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I am continually asked the question of how God led us to San Diego to plant this unique church called All Peoples.  Here is part one of the several part story.  

By 2005 we were well underway planting US churches out of Antioch Community Church. God had spoken to my heart that He wanted to do again what He had done through the last generation through Campus Crusade, through the local church in this generation. Specifically, the rally cry had been “Reach the campus, to reach the world”. We had responded by raising up groups of leaders to plant churches by major universities in urban hubs.

My particular journey of planting All Peoples Church began this way. Jimmy had come to me asking me to pray about committing to overseeing the US church-planting side of the Antioch movement for the next ten years. I gave an immediate “yes”, but said I would also pray and ask for confirmation. One day, I was in my bedroom on my knees, asking God if this was my assignment for the next decade. God began to speak very clearly to my heart. First He said, “I have called you to church planting”. I immediately thought this was my confirmation to remain in Waco and take the assignment that Jimmy had offered. But then his next directive surprised me, “In San Diego, California.” To be honest I didn’t know where in California San Diego was. I didn’t know if it was in the North, Central or Southern part of the state. I actually had to get off my knees and walk over to the globe in my room to find San Diego’s location. When I saw that it was a port city, and on the border with Mexico, I was really excited because my heart was always to plant churches in ethnically diverse cities, and the proximity to Mexico was particularly inspiring as we had begun to see a good number of Latino’s coming to Christ. God spoke one more thing to me as I returned to my knees. “Go in two years”.

I told my wife, but other than that, I hid the word in my heart. This would be a dramatic course change and I desperately needed confirmation. We were in the midst of a very fruitful ministry while leading hundreds and hundreds of college students at Antioch Community church. We had an amazing community of like hearted coworkers and we were serving alongside them. Besides that, the majority of my wife’s and my family had moved to Waco, TX to do ministry alongside of us. Also we had just seen an incredible miracle where God had given us a beautiful house that we owned outright! To go to San Diego would be leaving all of these amazing blessings and going to a city where we didn’t know one person.

God graciously began to confirm his call to us time and time again. He did it in very intriguing ways. It seemed like everywhere I went, perfect strangers would start talking to me about San Diego totally unsolicited by me. Also little signs began to show up everywhere. I would be flying on a plane to a random city in the US and someone would sit down next to me with a San Diego shirt on. One day as I was walking to the gym in Waco, Texas pondering this calling there was one car parked directly in front of the entrance. As I looked at this car wondering why it was parked in a red zone, I noticed it had one bumper sticker, and the bumper sticker said “San Diego”. The craziest confirmation came when I was making a pastoral visit to our team in Portland. I still had not told people about this potential call. After a meeting one of the women on the team pulled me aside. She asked, “Robert, are you about to plant a church?”. I was totally caught off guard, so all I could get to come out of my mouth was, “Why would you ask that?” . Then she said something that took my breath away. “When I look at you” she said “I see the word San Diego”. I was blown away. God had spoken this to her completely out of the blue. I immediately excused myself from her presence to contact my wife to tell her that there was absolutely no denying our call to San Diego.

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Don’t let the fall season cause you to fall

 

Whether you like it or not, the fall season is upon us.  Through the years, I have seen people have three different reactions to this faster paced, activity-full season.

The first is those that are completely overwhelmed. As school is beginning, sports are starting and generally the city starts bustling with activity. Many feel over their heads just trying to respond to all of the demands.  As the fall winds of activity blow, they just try to hold on for dear life as they get blown from one event to another.

The second group are those who are actually frustrated and put off by the demands of this more fast-paced season.  They resent the changing of seasons and wish that all of life could be like the more slow paced, less-focused summer lifestyle.   (Although I can sympathize with this perspective, it was God himself that created the seasons! [ie. Ecclesiastes 3:1]).

Then there is the third group that faces reality and looks the fall straight in the eyes and runs toward it with purposeful determination.  You probably don’t have to guess which response I believe to be the God honoring one!

My dad was a college defensive football player.  When he was preparing me for football,  he consistently told me something over and over again: “It always hurts less to tackle someone if you are running with all your might toward them”.  What I have seen in life is that the converse is also true: if you are just waiting for the ball carrier to come to you, you will most likely get steamrolled.  If you get hit standing still, you will be on your backside, gasping for air, just hoping you can get back up again.

I have learned that I can apply Dad’s football principle to coming into a fast paced season.  I don’t want to get steam rolled by the next season.  If I run toward the season, I won’t get knocked down by all the demands, expectations, and activities that will certainly come my way.

That is why I live by the “Three P’s of Preparation” for a new season.  I encourage you to study them and apply them to your life before the fall is underway.

Personal Retreat                                                                                                                          The best type of management is self management.  You need to know what God is calling you to in the next season of life.  There are so many things we need to work on and improve in it can be overwhelming.  That is why it is important to know specifically what God is calling us to work on in the next few months.  We can then focus on those things and then know that we have honored the Lord in that season.

I always take a day (or at least a half day) off and get alone with God.  My purpose is to seek Him and inquire of what He is calling me to in each of my roles that I play in life.

Here is how I do it:

  • I go to a quiet place (usually for me it is sitting under a big tree in the woods)
  • I turn off my cell phone
  • I spend some time first worshipping God and connecting with His heart
  • Then I write down each role I fulfill
  • I ask God to speak to me about what He is wanting me to work on in that role and any practical activities He is calling me to do

I call this a personal compass.  Below is an example of what someone’s personal compass could look like:

Child of God
Read through Nehemiah
Pray for 30 minutes a day
Listen to God and journal every morning.

Husband
Listen more
Ask more questions to understand my wife’s heart
Set consistent date night

Father
Be diligent to practice reading with the kids
My second child needs more physical affection
My third child needs more consistency in discipline.

Work
Work on quicker response to email
More disciplined in frequent communication
Reach out to Sam my coworker who is hurting

Discipler
Focus on Tim and Tom in this season

Physical fitness
Run 5 times a week
Less desserts
Get 7-8 hours of sleep

Parental Leadership
It is critical to know that God has anointed us as parents to lead our children.  We need to seek the Lord on behalf of our children to know what activities our children should be involved in.  Our children are like snowflakes; there are no two snowflakes that are the same in the world.  We need to custom craft their development plan so that they can be all that they are called to be.  If we don’t do this, we will either have them over-involved (as in our society where opportunities are endless) or underdeveloped (as many spend the majority of the day consuming inordinate amounts of media).

I think and pray through each child and ponder the major areas of their lives: spiritual, relational, intellectual, physical and musical (every family might not have that last one).  Then I try to have practical plans for helping them develop in these areas.

The older the children are, the more you want them to partner with you in this creating this plan.  However as long as your children are in your home, I believe we should never abdicate our responsibility in shepherding them toward their God-given potentials.

Planning Meeting
In order to have a God honoring week, we need to have a good plan for how we will spend our days.  In today’s world where we live with engagements that have clear beginning and ending times, it’s imperative to keep a personal calendar to keep our activities before us.

For singles, a planning meeting could be a half-hour alone with your calendar on Sunday night or Monday morning looking at your calendar to make sure you are prepared for all of the activities for the week.

For married couples, I find spending thirty minutes to an hour on Sunday nights dramatically decreases the stress in our house.  When Stef and I can talk through the week’s activities, we better diffuse the responsibilities of our household and can therefore avoid letting each other down at the last moment because we both thought each other was “taking care of it”.  We have also found that nothing can burn us emotionally like having an obligation that we remember last minute.  By looking at the meetings for the week, we can better pace ourselves, and we can know when to run and when to rest.

As a part of a focused spiritual community, All Peoples Church, I love the fall because it is always a time of taking ground.  The fall is a time where we reach out to new people and a time where we launch new initiatives to care for the poor and hurting.  Additionally, it is always a time for our family to jump back into school and sports and learn new skills.  I pray this fall we will all be prepared as we implement these disciplines so that we can reach new heights in the great calling God has for each of us.

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Being a People of Extravagant Honor

This past Sunday at All Peoples Church, Kendall Laughlin preached on being a people of extravagant honor.  He spoke from 1 Peter 2:17 “Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.”

The act of honoring someone is an almost extinct practice in our contemporary American society.  It seems even in the church world we are taught more to be skeptical and wary of others (lest they deceive you!) as a higher value than honoring and revering one another.

Honor is one of the tributaries that the river of life from the Kingdom of God flows.  Few things lift our spirits and create such an atmosphere of God’s presence as when honor is being graciously dispensed.

The other Sunday I was standing at the back of the church auditorium at the entrance to the foyer to greet the service attenders, and I was introduced to a middle aged couple.  After exchanging pleasantries and finding that they were truly interested in learning more about our church, I invited them to lunch later on that week.  They responded with a unique question.  They asked if I could come over to their house because their family was large – and added that all of them wanted to meet me.  I already felt so honored and gladly accepted their invitation.

My whole family showed up on a weekend night at the Hernandez home in Bonita. From the moment we arrived, we were treated like royalty.  We were all shown where to sit, our children were treated very kindly and we were asked all kinds of questions.   It was one of those times where you could tell someone sincerely wanted to get to know you.  What we didn’t know is that all the grown up children and their spouses would be with us as well.  It made us feel very important that they would have this gathering just to spend time with us.  They watched our plates like hawks and were every bit as attentive as waiters at a fine restaurant, filling our glasses and plates every time they were nearing empty.  At the end of the evening, they verbally encouraged our family and they were very affirming of the church.

As I left that night, I realized there were several thoughts circulating through my mind.  The first was that I really liked this family.  The second was that I was leaving with my relational cup full that night.  Thirdly, I was convicted to aspire to be more honoring as this family had been toward us.  Lastly, I desired to serve this family in any way I could to return the kindness I had been shown.  Truly I had experienced how honor creates a kingdom flow that simultaneously fills us up while inspiring us to pour out as well.

We finished the sermon Sunday by writing thank you notes to people who deserved honor this week.  I want to challenge you to take it a step further now mid-week.  I want to encourage you to honor someone that is not yet “in the kingdom”.  Ask Jesus to show you a way to honor someone that does not yet have a relationship with Him yet.

Perhaps you can shoot an email or drop a line that goes something like this.

Dear______, I thought of you this week.  At my church we talked about people that have a place of honor in our lives.  You came to mind and I wanted to make sure and tell you.  Thank you for the way you___________.”

I want to encourage us to sow seeds of honor this week and ask Jesus to water them for true kingdom growth!

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Applying This Sunday’s Message On Parenting

On Sunday, Jimmy Seibert gave a message on intentional parenting (You can listen to the message HERE) at All Peoples Church.  In the middle of his message, he brought up Caleb (his nineteen year old son) who shared his perspective from being a child in the Seibert home.  As Caleb shared from his heart, I was struck by the fruit of Jimmy practicing what he preaches.

I imagine that for many who listened to Caleb share this Sunday, there was the potential to write him off, relegating him to some super-human category.  Many probably thought, “This kid is not normal.  Are you serious?  He is actually thankful that his parents highly monitored his media intake and were very deliberate about what friends Caleb could and couldn’t play with? And how many nineteen year olds can stand in front of a huge crowd and communicate that clearly and confidently anyway?  Certainly this is one of those one and a million kids who are miraculously bequeathed to super-star pastors and saintly missionaries .”Although, I would say that Caleb is an incredible young man, my insider’s perspective showed me that he is not a freak of nature that evolved on a planet akin to superman’s birthplace.

I first met Caleb when he was 3 years old.  I was dating Stefanie, who was a young training school student living in the Seibert home.  Since Stefanie was incorporated into all the activities of the Seibert household, when I came around I was drafted into the family as well. My first memory of Caleb was babysitting him when he was three years old, and when I wasn’t expecting it, he came and punched me in the gut.  I spent the rest of the evening trying to come up with activities that would tire this kid out to avoid any further beating.   I also remember numerous times when Jimmy would correct him at the dinner table telling him to wait his turn to speak and to close his mouth while chewing.

My point is this, Caleb was a very ordinary kid.  But what Caleb had was a father and mother who did extraordinary practices in parenting.

Here are three secrets I learned in the Seibert house:

Be Strategic – Jimmy and Laura were focused on developing their children.  They locked in on some non-negotiables and every day worked towards instilling those in their children.  They put these practicals into their calendar and daily schedule.
For my family, I have used the model of a wheel that I learned at my university.  With Jesus in the center, there are four quadrants around the hub.  The premise was that life should be a healthy balance of growth in each of these areas: Spiritual, Physical, Academic and Social.
                     

I realize that children don’t know how to set goals and live disciplined lifestyles.  We need to set realistic goals for our kids in each of these areas of life and then help them accomplish them.A simple spiritual goal would be having a daily 5 minute face time. Also, I suggest a chore chart.  Stefanie and I use a traditional chore chart but instead of just having household chores on it we put meaningful activities from each quadrant for them to put a star by each day.  These activities include facetime, room cleaning, practicing their instrument, daily reading and daily practicing their sport.  I also encourage you to spend time waiting on God for each child asking God for the specific gifts and talents he is wanting to uniquely develop in them.

Be Consistent – I have watched the Seiberts do the same things over and over as parents.
They always had family devotions.
They always had a family game night.
They always took time to explain to their kids why they did what they did.
They always disciplined their children for disobedience.
They always prayed for their children the promises that God had given them.
They always plan; no great accomplishment just happens by chance.

Be Well Planned
 – I have often watched Jimmy and Laura have a family admin meeting once a week.  Now I am more of a spontaneous kind of guy, but I have seen that if Stefanie and I can talk about the week, we are able to actually put our values into the calendar and live out what God has called us to. I encourage couples to have a 30 minute meeting on Sunday nights to talk through the week.

I also encourage couples to pray over each quarter and talk through how to incorporate the main values of the family into the calendar (ie. church activities, family trips, Sabbath rest, sports, fun celebrations, etc.).   I also encourage parents to keep a calendar and every morning to look at it and take a moment to pray through each event of the day.

Today, as I spend time with Caleb, I am inspired to be a diligent parent myself.  Behind every great success story, is a story of hard work, determination and faithfulness. Parenting is one of the greatest challenges but also one of the most precious privileges we are afforded in our lives.  Let us cry out to God for strength and grace and let us give our all to this high and lofty calling!
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Powerful Peru

 

 

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Every night at our family devotional time before the trip we would go around the table and each of our children would ask God to do something specific in Peru.  Hallie prayed the same thing every time, that we would see God work miracles.  God was faithful to answer Hallie’s prayer.

After our first street outreach I preached the gospel and many responded for salvation.  Then we explained that God healed people and people began coming forward with all kinds of pains and illnesses.  The children joined us in laying hands on the sick and praying for healing. In the midst of their prayers was one of those unique times where God began to move in power.

 Pain started to leave peoples bodies and sight began to be restored.  Once God began healing people the news traveled fast.  Soon we had lines of people waiting to be prayed for. 

The most dramatic was a woman who had searing pain in her arms and legs and as we prayed the pain left.  Then Stef asked her if she had a tumor and the lady explained that she did in fact have a tumor in her back. After Stef, I and the kids prayed for her she began to tell our translator that she felt things shifting in her body and asked for the address of the church we were working with.  Two days later she showed up at the church which was on the other side of town and shared her testimony. 

 
She stood up and testified in the church that when we prayed for her she had felt her tumor moving around and the intense pain leave her arms and legs. That evening when she was home she felt some extreme pain in the same area and felt movement in her body once again.  As she continued with the story, she explained that she felt something dislodge, and as a result, her body passed a large black mass.
Needless to say, the church was in awe as she proclaimed again and again, “I am clean!”  She had brought her brother who was also in pain.  As the kids prayed for him his pain left him, and with a smile, he was hugging and kissing all our kids!
 
What a joy for our kids to experience the power of our miracle working God at such a young age!
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