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Turning Point - Sunday, April 15th, 2007

“From the care of the ewes with suckling lambs He brought him to shepherd Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance. So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them with his skillful hands.”
Psalm 78:70-72

Dallas, Texas is not the big city I thought it was when I decided to come here to attend seminary four years ago. To clarify, it’s one of the bigger cities in the U.S., but it’s nowhere near the size of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles or even Washington, D.C. Unlike the skyline of the Big Apple, with its cloud-stabbing skyscrapers stretching on as far as the eye can see, all of the downtown Dallas skyline can be captured in one snap of a photographer’s camera.

Dallas, like most metropolitan areas, has its “ghettos” and its run-down neighborhoods. It also has its gated communities that house the areas financial elite. A majority of the economic classes live in very separate areas, on “opposite sides of the tracks” as the saying goes. The area of Dallas that I live in is different. It seems confused. Low-rent apartments and lower-income housing lay a stone’s throw away from historical, renovated million-dollar homes. I live and work at an apartment complex off of Swiss Avenue which combines this confusion nicely. The rent is low, with many residents on fixed incomes who have lived there well over 20 years, and the building is historic…but the complex is far from renovated and can not be confused for the high-priced homes down the street. I am the property manager and maintenance man at this apartment complex and my responsibilities can be quite a challenge. I never really know what kind of repairs or other projects each day will bring. My only sense of normality occurs each morning when I enter my maintenance shop. Here, neatly hung on the back wall, is a message of encouragement, to help me keep the attitude of a humble servant. I’ve deliberately positioned an old flexible desk lamp to illuminate the thick, bold, black letters on a large white canvas. Every morning I enter and read the words of Asaph: “He also chose David His servant and took him from the sheepfolds; from the care of the ewes with suckling lambs He brought him to shepherd Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance. So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them with his skillful hands.”

Just as King David first served as a shepherd in the fields, I believe the Lord has placed me in this position as preparation. And as I realized last night after the evening worship service INSIDE THE TENT, God has called me from this “pasture of apartments” to serve and guide others with a much broader purpose. With the staff of a shepherd hand, I feel led to encourage a city-wide time of restoration for the church in Dallas, and believe this is the current path the Lord calls me to follow.

The time is now. As a shepherd of His people, I believe it is time for me to articulate with boldness and courage what the Lord has placed on my heart and soul. As Habakkuk was instructed to write to the Israelites, I too feel compelled to address the church in Dallas. As we venture into these 40-days, I must communicate “in big block letters so that it can be read on the run.” The words must be understood. The thoughts must be applicable. The body of Christ in Dallas needs depth, yet they need practicality. Therefore, please hear my cry to the Lord. We can no longer run from what we know to be true. LET US RETURN TO THE LORD. There is no time to spare. Our city is in a spiritual crisis and we need to be restored. The time is now!

Therefore, gather yourself. Take time to look at who you are in Christ Jesus. Do you truly love Jesus? If you have a desire or longing for Him, come to the TENT, and know that when you enter INSIDE THE TENT, you will know and experience the presence of the living God. For our omniscient God is present in our midst. THE TIME IS NOW! At the same time, gather others. Bring them to the TENT. Allow the Lord to work in their lives. The harvest is ready here in Dallas. Christ confirmed this when He said to His disciples, “Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the field, that they are white for harvest.”

Please Lord Jesus hear my prayer. The church is ready for change. The city is ready for change. Please Lord Jesus, bring Your people to the TENT. Please Lord Jesus, bring the lost to the TENT. Our church needs You. Our city needs You. The time is now. Amen.
- klm
" We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from Heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again."

- G. Campbell Morgan