Encouragement

(k)no(w) where to sit

I never knew where to sit. Every lunch period of every day of every year at school. I was liked by others, I think, or maybe more so tolerated. I’ll never know fully I suppose. All I remember is peering into the large cafeteria in the middle of the entrance with its heavy doors and push bars wondering and posing the internal question…”where do I sit?”

I was never hated in school, that I know of, but it doesn’t seem like I was much liked either. No enemy but no real friends. Maybe others felt ambivalence towards me. The one friend I did know in school never had the same lunch period as me but I knew his other friends wouldn’t have me at their table. So I either sat at the “nerd” table or the table my other friend from Lebanon sat at. Moe was his name. He was the only one who knew me there. I mean it was fine sitting there eating my paper bag lunch next to those who paid using a paper ticket while across the divide there was those eating the delectable round personal pizzas and sub-par cheesesteaks with french fries dipped in the ever so orange-colored ketchup & mayo combo.

It was awkward now knowing where to sit. Not sure if I “felt” rejected though now I know I was. You see, outright rejection is bad but there’s a certain sting when rejected not outrightly but knowing no one cared about you. Cared enough to offer the vacant stool or bench space next to them. I mean it’s school. Ignorant, self-absorption laced with a snub. Should I have expected better? Meh.

But it carried into every day life. Even before public school, when I was homeschooled, there was a girl who I played soccer with in the local community league. We also went to the same soccer camp during the summer…we even carpooled together. Then it was 8th grade and I was put in public school and she went to the same school and guess what…I was met with ambivalence. Not outright rejection but the subtle nagging rejection that creeps up to you when you were looking the other way. I’m pretty sure I remember that hurting.

Even today in adulthood where you’d think things would be different. But it’s not. Now I must confess I’m very introverted so I usually don’t go out of my way either to offer others friendship or simply the emptiness besides me. Maybe the emptiness beside me was from the emptiness inside me? I recall oftentimes where maybe a church gathering occurred or there were open seating for a group discussion or a potluck meal and I would usually sit at an empty circle. Secretly waiting inside me to see if anyone wanted to sit with me and sometime people did but usually they stuck with who they knew and sat with them. I remember the one time I did similar and the pastor of the church saw how no one sat at my table and mentioned it to me. He wasn’t too happy about how it went down.

But one day at a men’s retreat something happened…and is still happening. During a quiet time I saw myself in my mind’s eye in the entry way of my high school cafeteria carrying the baggage which was my question, “Who can I sit with?” With those heavy doors propped open and a full cafeteria I saw a wave. The kind of wave you make when you are picking someone out of the crowd to let them know where you are. The kind of wave that beckons. The kind of wave that shouts, “Hey I’m over here!” meaning I want you here too. That’s the kind of wave I saw. So I saw it and walked over, passing the ambivalence. Passing the lack of turned head. Passed the lack of friendship. Passed the rejection. Passed the lack of everything everyone in school wanted. And into a place prepared for me. An empty space. An empty space not vacant for anyone but reserved for a someone. A place at the head of the table. A place of honor. A place where everyone who is there knows you. And who waved me over? None other than Jesus. And what He told me, broke me.

He said, “You’ll always have a place at my table.”

 

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Copyright by Jordan Gresczyk 5/7/2018

this is where i’m at…but i digress

Greetings,

It’s been awhile. Five months. Joyful times and trying times. Aimless yet hopeful. Aiming yet unsure of a target.

I know I’m not alone. I don’t know which was worse. When I was in my early 20’s I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was solely present-minded but not in a good way. No prospects, aspirations, or dreams. Now in my mid 30’s I feel like I know what I want to do yet it’s either too lofty or grasping for the wind. I moved to a big city (Philadelphia) thinking I would find something of substance but, as of yet, nothing. Don’t get me wrong I’m enjoying many aspects of Philadelphia like the food, activities, sights, street fairs, brews, etc. But I haven’t really found my place. I didn’t find my place where I previously lived either but that was due to other factors like family drama and passive aggressive family member going behind my back to break my then girlfriend now wife apart. I needed out of there. Now we are thinking of moving elsewhere in a few years. I’d like to live in a city where I don’t have to fear school aged children while walking across them on the street since they like to randomly attack people but I digress.

I also have an issue with shame, lack of self-confidence, latent anger, jealousy, etc. I can’t even count how many times I’ve threatened to delete my blog since apparently no one cares when I share them on Social Media. I did delete my blog’s FB page due to lack of any traffic. I desperately want to fit in and be not only accepted but approved and honored and celebrated, which some may say is unhealthy. But I don’t think it’s necessarily unhealthy. We are all individuals seeking to make our own stamp on the world but within a community of mutual respect and honor. I have yet found said community. The current fellowship I go to was amounting to a great church with people who looked after others and attempted community but found out, though I probably am judging with incomplete knowledge, there is community but the usual clique type community. Popular, hipster, millennial types. Church is less about being a community but more about serving the community. Church is life to some but that just isn’t my flavor. I love openness and togetherness. Diversity in community where every single person has a voice and something to offer, not as a commodity, but as an integral stone is the church God Himself is building that is outside four walls or a fog machine. I’m just being honest and may offend some but I feel it needs to be said. I mean why would believers need to schedule time to just chill only if nothing is happening at Church? Can we just hang out without it being scheduled in the Church’s bulletin or FB event? But I digress.

Back to shame and such. I know that everyone won’t honor everyone and everyone isn’t the QB/Pastor who gets all the attention and gifts and support. There are a lot of us on the line who protect, serve, and support those who say they care but hard to see it in action. On the flip side even public honor of another can be done as an honor to one’s self. I recently wanted a clip of a church who ordered pizza and made the delivery person come on stage and give a $100 tip. I mean, hey, I’d take a $100 tip but it seems—though I can’t judge their heart—that when you have to do it on stage with a radio voice and give it $10 a time to emphasize how great it is just seams…inauthentic.

It’s not wonder that Arthur Burk has teaching about Life After Church because so many people are leaving the institutional church for real community. Where everyone has a voice and not just the QB who wins the MVP. What if all the corner churches and mega churches stopped having Sunday morning services where we hear one sermon rehashed from last year and heard what the whole body has to say. What if what Joe has to say will set Paul free but will never hear because the “Man Of God” is the only one anointed? What if rest were actually practiced in fellowship? What is noise did not equal worship? What if sunday’s sermon did not equal intimacy with God? What if we, as a body of believers, actually starting growing up and fending for ourselves? What if we left the milk behind and ventured towards the carving block for a good slice of prime rib? But I digress.

Back to shame and such again. I want to be a celebrated individual within non commoditized community. What if honor is based and not placed. What if we honored people based upon God’s innate nature within them and not a false honor placed on someone due to their gifts or what we can get from them? We each have intrinsic value which reflects the nature of God. I sick of this more of God less of me bullshit. That was specifically regarding John the Baptist’s ministry. It must be more of God and more of me because I am an heir of God and co-heir with Christ. We are laden with guilt in the form of false humility. We have a glory people! Jesus has given us the glory to God gave to him and until we see ourselves and other that way the shame that I struggle with will continue to be a struggle. We…I…continue to resurrect the dead old man and live the law that we can’t fulfill. But I digress.

So what do I want for myself and family? Above all else to be where God wants us. To find our place as living stones in the river of God on this earth. I feel called to prayer ministry and teaching and writing(all of which will probably never pay the bills). I also would absolutely love to create a retreat for those who are living the above. Where they can come where there are no schedule or calendars. No pressure or stress to server or entertain others. A place of community where solitude and engagement with others are equally celebrated and supported. For the leader or the layperson, the pastor or the usher. The person who sits in the back pew or red cushioned chair with the plastic caps on the end of the chair backs. Where the communion table is not a preserved “grape” juice and paper wafer but a table of conversations and real food. A place where there are no positions, offices, denominations, or titles. A place where a suit and tie doesn’t make you more spiritual and a shirt and cargo shorts doesn’t make you “less religious”. Pretense and pretentious free. Where numbers don’t matter and intimacy isn’t on a scale to be judged by others. But I digress.

It’s hard to be in a holding pattern. Not knowing where you are or where to go can be quite frustrating. I can only do what I know to do until I know to do differently. I’ll work my IT job for as long as I need to. It’s not my passion but I’m doing it. I wish I could be one of those who never have to work a day of their life’s meaning their vocation is their passion and they are good at it. I want to also have a nice sized family and be able to provide for my wife all she needs and wants. I above all else want us to be and to do it together as a team. But so far I feel a failure at most of it right now. I’m overweight, not making monetarily what I need to have a family, don’t have a suitable house for a family, live in a city where it’s hard to raise a family, and hard to find encouragement to get to where I need to be. Like most men it’s hard to need somebody else. But that’s what I need. I wish I could find someone who can be a mentor in my life. Someone has the time and mutual bond to do so. I just really need encouragement. But I digress.

Thanks to those who’ve read till here. This post has really been a mixture of emotions, thoughts, ramblings, and heartaches. Deep down I am hopeful and optimistic. At the same time I’m fearful how others will react to this post but here goes nothing…but I digress.

 

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Copyright March by: Jordan Gresczyk

Guest Blogger: Robert Shipley

Welcome to my first ever Guest Blogger. He is my best friend and a great writer. We’ve written one book together and he has written others one of which is in the publishing process. Below you’ll see a blurb about said book. Enjoy the post and, if you feel led, donate to his GoFundMe as I know it’s good soil.

 

In this world we struggle trying to keep up with many financial obligations. It seems like we work endless hours and overtime to barely make a dent into the bills that our due.
Is this all that life is? Are we born, live and die only to work? Or is life so much more?

It has always been thought that the husband and wife were the main providers for their families. Is this true, or could it be the couples are in error? You may ask, “Well, if not us, then who?”

In my book, Who is your Provider?? I touch on this topic and many more. In it, I speak of God being the source of everything we need. This is a challenge to not only many in the church, but in this world because man being the source has always been. However, a transition needs to be made to where man looks to God for everything he needs.
Ever since my faith walk started in 2008, I had been put in the place to where God has been my source. He more or less tied my hands to where I couldn’t do anything but rely on Him. Through this time, amazingly He provided for all of my needs. All the contents in the book is everything I had learned through this time of trusting on God.
I had finished writing it in 2010 and now it is the 7th year. I had been waiting in faith for the Publisher God had told me about. Recently I sent my manuscript to a literary agent from Christian Faith Publishing. After the review board read it, I was informed that they loved it.
As of now, I’m walking in faith for the amount close to $5000 to get it through the publishing process. Once the amount is paid, six months down the road the book will be on the stands for people to read.
I have set up a Gofundme page so people can not only see the progress of the book, but if God leads them to give towards it. On the page, I have placed a promotional video about the book and an unedited excerpt from one of the chapters in it.
I hope you will like it and I look forward to your reading it once it comes out.
If you would like to see the Gofundme page, here is the link to it:

https://www.gofundme.com/whoisyourprovider

https://backtotherootsministries.wordpress.com/

What to Do when you don’t know what to Do

This may sound strange coming from a man but…I love reality shows. Well not all reality shows but certain ones hold some value. Not those silly Survivor, Jersey Shore, and other weird ones. My two favorites are The Voice and So You Think You Can Dance. I tear up when I experience seeing someone who is somewhat hidden now blossoming into their gift. I absolutely love honor, dignity, and being noticed. This article could go very religious in that I could talk about vanity, God’s glory versus man’s, and the other arguments against, well whatever religious people hate about random things but I’m want to come from a different vantage point.

Like I said above, seeing someone be recognized for their gift and honor moves my spirit and soul to a deep place within me. However, if you’re like me, than you’ve tried many things to find “what you’re good at” and have  yet to hit the mark. I played Soccer as a kid (who hasn’t) and then tried baseball one summer then went on to play football for a losing team on a local community league. I then played JV football at high school (nobody gets cut there) then got cut in 11th grade for Varsity football because I was more of a soft-spoken, laid back type of gent. I didn’t care much about school nor about the future. My siblings were excellent hockey players who went on to play pro roller hockey but not me. I liked pot and video games. Then when I was 20 I (re)dedicated my life to Jesus. Got free from pot yet still entangled with self-worth issues.

You see I had trouble individuating when I was younger. I wasn’t really great at one thing. Sure I was semi good at soccer, in baseball I couldn’t hit the ball for the life of me, and in football I wasn’t as aggressive as I should have been. I actually tried out for hockey once but made the B team and then dropped out. I wasn’t good at any particular subject in school though I enjoyed Home EC and the Sciences in general. I absolutely hated reading and writing was a close second. I couldn’t sing, dance, or play an instrument (I tried learning guitar many years back as an adult but threw my “Idiots Guide to Playing Guitar” book away after it demanded I learn to read music) so that was a bust. I even wrote and recorded rap songs (which can still be found online) when I had a lot of free time on my hands. I wasn’t good at it, though I thought the lyrics were on point and held several meanings often. I did not have an education so I went into the family business of carpentry. I was fairly good at that. I do have a strong attention to detail, when I want to, so that helped in that field. Left that field went to other labor work of delivering mattresses and then working at a major toy company’s distribution center. After working 10 hour shifts on concrete floors and working 10 hour shifts during a 12 day stretch twice during Christmas season I had enough of that riff raff. I then took classes at a local community college to help study for three different computer certifications. That was over 4 years ago and I only have 2 out of 3 certifications…in a field where I don’t find fulfillment or gratification. Then I started studying and reading about inner healing & deliverance concepts and I’m hooked. It fascinates me to no end. That and psychology as well. Abnormal psychology to be exact. My new venture is writing. For a person who abhorred reading and writing to become an avid reader and writer is interesting to say the least. The verdict (mine, God’s, and those who read it) is still out on writing. I  also find immense fulfillment is doing prayer ministry in the limited time I do it. If would do it full-time if it were to be economically viable one day. I still have my doubts, which is something I’m pondering in my spirit and my soul, if this is what God has for me or not. Looking back I wish I went to college for Christian counseling but some things weren’t meant to be I suppose. Even at 33 years old I’m still individuating.  Still investigating to find my niche. Still trying to “Do” while finding out what I’m suppose to “Do.”

What I wrote above is probably not foreign to many of you. The only difference is that you may be 20, 40, or 50 and above and still not know. Mid-life crisis anyone? Most of us in waiting have to do what we  have to do to survive and pay bills and most hobbies are to kill time. We are swamped with responsibilities and somewhat forced into fields that don’t fulfill. To those who love what they do and get fulfillment and get paid we all envy you or at least I do. Now here’s the rub…what do you do when you don’t know what to do.

We must reconcile our past and present with God’s truth over us. And to borrow Graham Cooke’s quote, “We must bring the future into today.” The foundation for any “Doing” comes from “Being.” Character is the foundation where fulfillment can be built. When you live in and with fulfillment, the problem of problems diminishes. Problems become a stepping stone instead of a stumbling block. Fulfillment bends the will of the problem in your favor wherein problems become but a servant to a master. Fulfillment comes when God’s design, imprinted in your spirit, meets the works that were prepared for it. So here are a few places needing to be addressed.

  • Time
  • Land
  • Agreements
  • Surroundings

I’ll attempt to explain these as short and concise as possible. Remember there is no shame or condemnation just reconciliation and alignment.

Time

How many of you have been asked the question, “If you were living in a different time when would it be and why?” It’s a great ice breaker in small groups. But how many actually wish they lived in a different time? When we reject the point in time we are in now we reject God’s very own placement of us. We can see God’s time set for all of us in Acts 17:26 which says, “And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands and territories.” You see here that God determines the time in which we will live. If we have rejected our time then we must repent and ask God to forgive us. Some have trauma related to time (good teaching here) and some have even cursed their conception and birth like Job (Job 3:3). Still others have actually had their time switch and manipulated through occult activity and SRA. If that is the case God can and will reorient us back to His original timeline for us. When we come to a place where we accept when we are then we can look at the where we are.

Land

Land is an interesting one. There is not much teaching on land in the body of Christ. But if you were to do a word search the word “land” is used in the KJV you’ll find it used 1,717 times in 1,489 verses. Most, I’m sure, are simply talking about land in general but if you look deeper and read all that within the Scripture you’ll see that land plays a big role. As we see in the Acts verse above God appoints land and territories. God appointed land to Adam & Eve, Moses, and Abraham. The only way these people could live out their destiny is to be on the right land. There are deeper dynamics to land (good teaching here) but I’ll queue you in on one. 2 Chron. 7:14 says, “and My people, who are called by My Name, humble themselves, and pray and seek (crave, require as a necessity) My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear them from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land.” We’ve all heard this verse but how many have glossed over the ending? I know I have for years but it shows that God wants to heal land. And, like a lot of things, the New Age has stolen and perverted due to the Church leaving a vacuum of not address the whole counsel of God.

When it comes to us and land there are generally two current realities. One is that we are on the land God wants us on or we are not on the land God wants us on. If the former is true and you agree with the Lord than awesome. All is well on the land aspect. If the former, then there are a few reasons. One is that we reject where God wants us just like the time aspect above. Two is that we are not on the land but are moving towards it like Moses and Abraham. Three is that we are dynamic in our land relationship. We go in and out with bondage or we go in and out with freedom. If in bondage, than we are being pulled away by the enemy, ourselves, or trauma but are fighting to stay in. If in freedom, than we accept our land but also know that God has things for us in temporary land placement. To reconcile the where we must again repent for rejecting the land where we are and to ask the Lord if we are on the right land now and if not where to go. God may not say exactly but He may move you to a different city or state like He did to me. We should also ask God about the current land to cleanse it and mine it for God’s treasures (gardeners will understand).

Agreements

We all make agreements as we go through life. Some we vocalize while other we internalize. Both can be labeled “Inner Vows“. Another good article on this is “What is the Soundtrack to Your Story“. When we make agreements on our current life situations, we enforce and solidify the mentality and emotional reactions which then cloud and distort future life situations. That means the past life situations in which you made unhealthy agreements with yourself, others, or the enemy are now clouding and distorting your current reality. We make or have made bitter root judgments which then create a bitter root expectancy.  These judgement we have made then hold us and keep us from advancing. It may very well be one major aspects of not know what to do. We again must repent for our inner vows, bitter root judgments & expectancies and ask God to release us from our words and vows so we can move forwards. All of these steps are things you can do before you know what to do.

Surrounding

We are, for the most part, products of our surroundings. We are an amalgamation of our past. We had good parents, bad parents, or no parents. We had good, bad, or no siblings. Our home was either structured, chaos, or somewhere in between. The list goes on and on. Our environment is a huge factor on who we are and whose we are. As you read above in the “Agreements” section you may notice that some of those agreements we’ve made come from the surroundings we were in. Now the past is the past and can be healed, redeemed, and we can learn from the pain we experienced. What I want to talk about is current surroundings. We need freedom. Freedom to do. Freedom to be. Freedom to try. Freedom to fail and freedom to succeed. If you are not in a place, especially Church, where you can’t grow, try new things, expand than you may need to ask the Father if there is a better place for you. If you were never able to individuate as a child or young adult or even a middle-aged adult then it’ll be difficult to live a life of fulfillment. We must surround ourselves with encourages, life-givers, and positive people. It may be hard where you are now but God can provide at least one person but if not, His Presence can surround you and show you Himself and yourself.

Conclusion

Above I described at least four things to do before you know what to do. The list could go on and on but I wanted to give you a few things that maybe you haven’t looked at before. We need to accept the time we are in and the current land that we are on. Then break previous debilitating agreements and adjust our surrounding as much as possible. You’re probably thinking that you don’t have gifts but I can assure you, God has places design and birthright into your spirit and soul. It’s the process of finding what it is that proves to be most difficult. There is probably no platform, TV show, or other experience where you will get honored or esteemed. But if there was a show highlighting people’s ability to speak peace over troubled souls then you’d been voted in. If there was a show looking for the best mom then you’d be at the top. If there was a contest for “Best Dad” then you would out shine them all. If there was a show where a person who loves to serve without any recognition then you would be showcased. If there was a show where raving about the best person who goes over and beyond while behind the scenes then you would be the star.

I struggle everyday to know “What I’m Good At” and still question the things that I think maybe I have a shot at it. I’m still individuating. Maybe I’m a good writer or maybe I suck. Maybe I’ll be a prayer minister (current dream) or maybe I’ll do more harm than good. I still feel the “problem of problems” and am seeking fulfillment where obstacles bend to my design instead of me bending to them. I’m still attempting to walk out of spirit looking for the works that God designed for it. If I look for outward fruit I may be disappointed but I must know that every tree bears fruit at different seasons. When or where is my season? I don’t know. When and where is your season? I don’t know. But what I do know is that we can prepare beforehand and rid ourselves of baggage and develop character and the fruit of the Spirit which provides a foundation for the gift. Graham Cooke said it best, “People destroy with their character what they’ve built with their gift”.

Spirit I call you to attention and I give you freedom to try and to fail.

I give you freedom to try and to succeed.

I give you freedom to receive your sonship and legitimacy from God your Father.

I give you freedom to be a bride who can rest in the Bridegroom.

I speak peace in the process.

I speak healing from the past and restoration in the present.

I bless you with walking with God instead of walking for God.

I bless with you being before doing.

I bless you with being you and no one else.

I bless you with looking in the mirror and liking what you see.

I bless you with looking in the mirror and loving what you see.

I bless you in the name of Jesus, who loves you with an everlasting love.

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When God Kisses Wounds

It was like every other day since I was infected. Always crying “Unclean! Unclean!” took a toll…on the soul as well as the throat. I don’t know how I contracted it but I did and I pay for it daily. The only comfort comes from those similar. Society has shunned us as a whole and the leaders of the day have a scowl that rivals any rabid animal. “Get away from here,” they foam. “Don’t infect us you unclean vile thing,” they spew. Don’t they know we are still people? Don’t they know we souls still feel regardless if our body doesn’t? Don’t they know we were created in the same image of the God they supposedly worship?

Then one day a man, an altogether different Man, walked by. He was different is the best possibly way. As I cried “Unclean!  Unclean!” He seemed unfazed. Ignorant maybe. Who knows? It doesn’t matter because at this point I’m desperate, yearning for relief. The burden of being shunned is excruciating. Damaging. But, He doesn’t seem to care. As I see Him approach, I see Him seeing me. Not just seeing me but seeing me in all that I am spirit, soul, and body. I started to feel different before He was even in talking distance. Even as I yelled, I saw Him shush me. Not because I shouldn’t yell but because I didn’t need to. He’s heard me since before the Beginning. Then all of sudden we were so close a whisper sufficed. This whisper touched me in the deepest dungeon of my imprisoned spirit all the while my soul, being trapped as it was, started changing. My humanity is returned. My dignity restored. I felt…honored. Yet my body still laid deformed. Until He reached and touched me. Human touch is amazing. Engaging. Vulnerable. In my case, His touch was invading yet compassionate. It broke all notions of what…who I thought I was. Yet this touch was even more. My body did heal as well but it was so much more than that. It was like God Himself touched my whole being. The Trinity touched the trinity. He made things right. And He’ll do it for you. If you feel the need to cry, “Unclean! Unclean!” around people, especially religious ones, know that He came and His Blood speaks over you, “Clean! Clean!”

When God Kisses Wounds.

Sticks and stones may break your bones but words can destroy the soul. The above story is, what I believe,  what the leper must have or could have felt like and his reactions in the moment. Back in Jesus’ time a leper was an unclean person who had to cry, “Unclean! Unclean!” when others passed by so that they wouldn’t be defiled or harmed by them. Imagine the lifestyle they lived. Imagine the society they lived under where you are a nobody or even worse. A person never touches a leper…but Jesus did. But why? Jesus could have spoken the word but He didn’t. He reached and He touched. He broke the social barrier and brought dignity, honor, and cleansing which in turn also brought healing.

Have you ever wondered why a child will get a scratch, scrape, or cut and wants it kissed? And once kissed, felt better afterwards? I thought it was just a cute thing. I mean, my wife and I do it to each other to be cute and intimate with each other. But there must be something with it.

It is not for the healthy but the sick that Jesus came for. Many times in my life Jesus came and touched me and kissed me in my weakness, in my sin. He will never break a bruised reed. Our Father wants to restore dignity, honor, love, and acceptance into each and every one of us. He wants to restore humanity to its rightful place, which He did in Christ, to us all. He’ll listen to your shouting. He’ll listen to your talking. He’ll listen to your whispering. He’ll reach and He’ll touch. He is willing. Your time is coming.

When I was in a sin, rinse, repeat cycle several years back, I asked the Father, “You must get tired of me?” Immediately His reply was, “I neither slumber nor sleep!” You see, our Father doesn’t rest till we are fully restored. Jesus even said it. “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” Father, Son, and Holy Spirit want and will restore you and kiss you in your weakest, darkest moments. Where you feel trapped by sin, emotional distress, physical handicaps, broken down and disturbed God is walked along the road to go from yelling, to talking, to whispering, to reaching, and then to touching. He is restoring your humanity, dignity, honor, and trinity.

Be blessed! Be restored! You are a human! God loves you!

 

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Get back up!

Yes you fell…we all have and most will again. But it’s not your end. A righteous person may fall 7 times but will rise again. Yes even in the midst of your fall you are still righteous. As the Apostle Paul said, “Such were some of you…but you were washed.” You may have fallen today or an hour ago but with each rising comes a washing. Yes you messed up. Admit it. Come to grips with your actions. Then move forward. If you ever think that God gets tired of you just remember Psalm 121:4, “He who keeps you will neither slumber nor sleep.” He isn’t tired of you and He will never get tired of you coming to Him. I release the truth upon you that you have the ability to go boldly before the Throne of Grace to receive the mercy that you need. Go! Boldly! Never cease going! He is available! He is watching and waiting with His eyes on the horizon! Don’t you see Him! Run! Run faster! Because He will overtake you with His grace. I see Him removing the stained clothes you wear. I see Him washing your feet. I see Him, in you, beckoning for bear hug. I see new clothes! Clean clothes! I see Him calling you to His table of abundance. “Kill the fatted calf! Bring the best wine! My child is here and My love is forever upon them!” You know what? I see Him offering His seat at the table for you. Take it! Is is Him that calls you precious. It is Him that says, “You are worthy of my love.” I understand this is contrary to all religions and religious activity. But it’s true. You are no longer defined by your past or even your present. You are defined by the Great Definer. It is His Word that stands across the ages and sands of time. What He says counts! Not the enemy, not your soul, and not the accusers. Go and so no more! This is declaration and not a warning. Know who you are, know who He is, and know you and Him combined. Get back up! Stop trying to get a grip on Him…rest in His grip on you. You may feel lost but He is never lost and has found you. He is leading you back to still and restful waters. Soak it up! Rest! Let His love take you to where you never thought was possible! Let His perfect love cast away all fear. Let. Let the love do it….and not yourself. Let. Allow His Love to do it apart from you ability to grasp it’s all consumingness. Yes you fell and have fallen. It’s time to get back up. Will you allow His grace, mercy, and love overtake you today? It’s available right now…and will be available for all eternity.

 

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It’s not your fault

This clip is from Good Will Hunting. Just a word of caution. This clip shows a real issue and real emotions. If you’ve been abused this may bring up emotions or flashbacks. My aim is for healing, redemption, and to let you know that it’s not your fault. Please pardon the language:

 

It isn’t! You didn’t do it. You didn’t bring it on yourself. You had nothing to do with it. You weren’t being punished for who you are because who you are is a beautiful person God personally designed, thought about, and put together. You were not a mistake. What happened was caused by someone else and their sin, frailty, and wounding. They did it, not you. You are free from being responsibly for someone else’s actions. God can, and will, and is freeing you from the past. Remember that it is not your fault. You are free to be everything God created you to be. Do me and God a favor today. Take time off. Be you and be comfortable with you. Be who you are. It’s not about performance but about freedom. Truth was meant to set you free not keep you in bondage. I may not fully understand each one of your hurts, wounding, betrayals, abuse, or defilement but God understands. Jesus said, “Come to Me all of you who are burdened and heavy-laden and I will give you rest.” Receive His rest today. Let it go from mind to heart and from spirit to soul. Let His love wash over you like a hot shower. Cascading over everything you thought you weren’t. Let the ocean of His love and the waves of His grace come and speak to you. Let Him speak to you the thoughts He has that outnumber the sands of the sea. Open up your heart once again to Him who will never, NEVER hurt, wound, or betray you. He longs to hear your voice. He longs to hold your hand. He longs to be with you right in the middle of everything.

I apologize for any emotions or past experiences it may have brought back. Please don’t stuff or neglect emotions because they point to something and it can bring a chance for healing to come. Many of you need to watch it and receive the words and affirmation you’ve so longed to hear and believe. Some may not need to hear this but you may know someone who does. Pass it along. Share it, post it, like it, re-blog it not for me but for someone else.

The Sound of One Breathing

The sound of One breathing

I heard this is where the term ruwach came from. I like it. It’s awesome. It speaks of Life. It speaks of One present. It speak of movement and action.

John 3:8 says,

The Spirit breathes where He will, and you hear His voice, but you do not know from where He comes and where He goes; thus is everyone who is born from The Spirit.

I was engaging with that meaning “the sound of One Breathing” while at church several weeks ago. To tap into the reality that the God of wonderful power and awe reside in this temple. The resurrection power of God lives in me. The one that came with fire and clouds. The one that breathes things into existence. What if I truly walked in the realm of One Breathing? What if my breath synchronized with His Breath? What if I was in tune with His rhythm? To be in one accord? What would that feel like? What would that look like? What could be done? Amazing things I tell you….amazing things!

 

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A Blockage to Hearing God

How does this image hit your soul? How does it hit your spirit? I know how it hits me. “Wait till your father gets home!”

There are many articles, blogs, books, videos, and messages with a myriad of lists with possible blockages to hearing God. I will speak on behalf of experience and expound somewhat on one thing in my life that blocked it or more correctly held me back from wanting to listen.

First the back story.

Like I’m sure many of us who haven’t walked with God all our life things were messy. We sinned and for a time loved it. I did. But then God came in His goodness…and the enemy with his badness. For me there was a daily struggle between condemnation, conviction, and correcting or whatever terms you like to use. I held a lot of shame in my spirit not the soul. Shame resides in the spirit of a person. Also being an introspective introvert didn’t make it any easier. I was constantly aware of my failures, character defects, etc. In my mind I had this constant sountrack playing that I kept offending and hurting and was a disappointment to my heavenly Father. Here was the agreement and inner vow: I have failed God so many times by sinning I dare not seek Him or else He will tell me to do something that I know I won’t do thus sinning and not being obedient again. How dare I seek His face and ask Him to speak when I know I won’t do it. See what shame does? See what demonically inspired introspection fueled by religion does? It cripples you. It crippled me. One of my only prayer for years was either “Bless this food to my body” or “God please forgive me and cleanse me.” What was weird is that I could hear for others just great. I could prophesy and have words of knowledge and they would be spot on in most cases. For me it was easy to do that when I wasn’t responsible for the outcome. A person could deliver mail all day without a worry until they receive their own mail. When I saw my mail all I saw was bills and junk mail. So what blocked me was I didn’t want to disobey God once again. Best way not to disobey is not hear Him speak because I always thought He would be directive. I never knew He just wanted to chill. Hang out. Enjoy ME for ME. I didn’t know God could and would enjoy the current version. I’m thinking of the digital age we live in where it’s all about the latest greatest version. New comes along and the old gets discarded. Thrown away. Worthless.

And then I found out a secret…God will not set you up for failure. That a test is not designed for your failure or to show you what you are not. But a test is a joyful exploration of my Father’s goodness wrapped up in my seeming frailty and taking life on together. God may set your unrenewed self up to fail or rather realize apart from Him you can do nothing. Know this: God wants you to come to Him warts, spots, and all because He’s already washed them away. Seeking His face is about knowing Him intimately not to get a to-do list. Jesus’ first and second commandment are to love Him and others as ourselves. Love doesn’t produce a project to be completed or a problem to be solved. Love produces an environment where the good, bad, and ugly can reside side by side until the Holy Spirit and man’s spirit come into agreement and start to bring redemptive death to those things in order for resurrection power to come forth.

The religious spirit will do all it can from keeping you from God just like the Pharisees did. In the Old Covenant condemnation was the ministry (see 2 Cor. 3:9) New Testament’s ministry is righteousness. Old Covenant death came by getting close. New Testament life comes by getting close.

If you’ve ever felt like how I felt then today is a new day. God won’t set you up for failure. Even if He does ask you to do something and you don’t do it then there is great grace abounding to you. That is what relationships are about. Walking together through the thick and thin. Blood is thicker than your inabilities.

 

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Follow Me. – Jesus

Matthew 4:19 says

Come, follow Me…

Do you ever feel stagnant in life? How about in your walk with the Lord? I do….right now.

It’s funny how we lose what we have gain sometimes. You look to the horizon and see the light…then we realize we are facing west and the light is going away. And we wait for another dark night of the soul as they say. Why? Why do we lose what we gain? Sometime I think it is because we stop following. We set up shop and stay put. It’s interesting that Jesus said, “Follow Me.” How many actually follow? There is a dynamic aspect to our walk with God. There’s another term we use often yet never think about. Our walk with God.

There’s another interesting thing Jesus said is in John 5:17

My Father is working until this hour, and I am also working.

We need to be active in our life with God. Proactive. Interactive. Not passive or inert. It kinda goes back to the whole Inheritance or Entitlement thing. Are we active participators in with Jesus or are we just along for the ride. If I’ve lost sight of the horizon maybe I should keep following the sun(son). Maybe I’ve seen the signposts and forgot about them and am looking for other ones. Maybe if I don’t hear “Left” or “Right” then I should keep going straight. On a side note, personal prophecy is God’s desire for you but it will only be fulfilled if our desire connects with it. Co-laboring with and in His promises.

So all of this ^^^^ above is what I was originally writing then I was like, “What am I even writing about?” I mean, I know what I was getting at but was I even picking up what I was putting down? Am I going to pose or be real? Am I going to do what I think others need to do? To be honest I’ve been really….discouraged. Kind of lost sight of the bigger picture as well as the smaller picture I would like to see myself in. It’s weird because several weeks back I was full of anticipation and joy. I saw a horizon I could reach.

I was really looking forward to this Waterboyz Wild at Heart Boot Camp this past weekend but during the weekend I just felt….indifferent. Not to say God didn’t speak to me, because He did. Also I don’t want to diminished how blessed I was to see many other men’s lives were changed. There were many great things that happened like 15 men being baptized in the Chesapeake Bay. Four father and son’s hearts were radically turned towards each other. These were amazing things and I shed many tears of joy for these awesome God moments.

What did He speak? I felt He told me, “Well done, son.” I wept. I also realized how many times I’ve spoken negatively over myself in regards to me being overweight or stupid or being an idiot. I took that “Yellow Passport” and wrote all the names I’ve spoken over myself and others have spoken over me. I threw that thing away. I was no longer my identity or destiny. It’s been a week and I still feel….well shitty. Forgive my language but it’s how I feel. Nothing has really changed externally. All my circumstance are the same as they were previous weeks ago. Maybe I picked up on some critters? Maybe I’ve been sensing someone else’s stuff? It does happen.

I guess dreaming long is key where I am at now. People say you need to press through. What does that even mean practically? “Press in” they say. What am I pressing and how do I press? And what may be on the other side? I’m not trying to be negative or have a pity party but process out loud so to speak.

You know it can be very easy to reach out for the imitation. There’s a quote by Bruce Marshall (not Chesterton) which is

…the young man who rings the bell at the brothel is unconsciously looking for God.

Now this is incredibly true in all aspects. I’m currently ringing that bell at food. I also ring it at adventurous activity. Of course the brothel is never, ever a good idea and that bell should never be rung. But is food bad? Or marital sex? Or adventure? Or anything clearly within God’s character? It’s all about focus. What am I focusing on? What is my intention? Where is my validation coming from? What or who am I giving power to be the report card on my life?

I often look how behind I am in life. I’m 31 and have a crappy car…super thankful for that car though. I’m in a career field that I’m good at but not passionate about. I want to be in ministry and being able to support a family with that but that seems extremely far-reaching. I feel lost and confused…if that is where I am validated. If my currency and current(cy) is determined by my following something temporal then I’m set up for disaster or heartache. I need to learn to enjoy where I am. Moment by every precious moment. I can enjoy my beautiful God-breathed marriage. I can enjoy actually having a job and being able to pay bills. I can enjoy my times when I can do adventures. I can look and see God’s total provision for my Nicaragua trip. I can choose to acknowledge but refuse invalidation from dealing with anxiety/panic stuff. I can live with having Asthma and allergies and bad teeth. I can see external facts but live in internal truths. I can agree with the process of an outworking salvation, a grasping for a future growth into a present reality, and I can live, with God, moment by moment because I am a much-loved child of God.

I have what it takes. I am noticed. My heart matters. My Father adores me.

You have what it takes. You are noticed. Your heart matters. Your Father adores you.

P.S. I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t don’t feel dumb for this blog. It’s title has nothing really to do with the ending. I figured I will keep the title and the featured image.

The disciples belonged before they believed. – Bill Johnson

 

I wish someone had intervened…

People need freedom. They need to connect with who they are. Our spirits are designed to interact with our selves and to do that exploration is necessary. What makes you come alive? What makes you move? What speaks to your inmost being? Do it and thrive!

Living Differently

little princessAbove:  Conventional school made this creative-creature very, very miserable.

Every time I read this story, I get a bit emotional…

Gillian was only eight years old, but her future was already at risk.  Her schoolwork was a disaster, at least as far as her teachers were concerned.  She turned in assignments late, her handwriting was terrible, and she tested poorly.  Not only that, she was a disruption to the entire class, one minute fidgeting noisily, the next staring out of the window, forcing the teacher to stop the class to pull Gillian’s attention back, and the next doing something to disturb the other children around her.  Gillian wasn’t particularly concerned about any of this – she was used to being corrected by authority figures and didn’t really see herself as a difficult child – but the school was very concerned.  This came to a head when the school wrote to…

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Blessing Your Spirit – The Fragrance of God

2 Corinthians 2:14-17 says

In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse. This is a terrific responsibility. Is anyone competent to take it on? No—but at least we don’t take God’s Word, water it down, and then take it to the streets to sell it cheap. We stand in Christ’s presence when we speak; God looks us in the face. We get what we say straight from God and say it as honestly as we can.

Greek for sweet scent or fragrance is osmē which means a smell or odor diffused and euōdia which means a sweet smell, fragrance. So we are a sweet-smelling fragrance God diffuses among this world and goes up to God and rising to His satisfaction.

We, as believers, are a walking fragrance designed to diffuse His Presence to those around us. We are a sweet-smelling perfume, poured out, diffused to those around to awaken the spiritual senses of people.

Spirit of _____ I call you to attention in the name of Jesus Christ. Rise up and take dominion over the soul and body. Receive what the Scripture has to say over you today, “Everywhere you go, people breath in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, you give off a sweet scent rising to God.” I call forth that sweet-smelling perfume that you carry. Come forth and diffuse to those around to experience the Father in all that He is. Bring life to those things that need life and bring death to those things that need to die. Your worship, being poured out upon the feet of Jesus, is a vehicle in which the Holy Spirit travels to others. Know what is right in the soul and body and bring all into alignment.

______ you are blessed and highly favored of the Lord. Your life rising up to God and enters his nose and He loves it. He cherishes your particular fragrance. You offer a sweet odor that is particular to you and I bless that in you. I bless you with keeping that fragrance going. Like a lamp constantly being filled, I bless you as an alabaster box being filled and broken, filled and broken. Fragrance comes from oil in biblical times. I bless the anointing in your life that brings fragrance. I bless the anointing, the fragrance you have received from the Holy One.

Spirit of _____ you are a sweet smelling fragrance and I bless you in that. You are life-giving. You are salt. You are light. I bless you in the name of Jesus the Christ, the Messiah.

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Mystery…

How many of us can live in mystery? I have a hard time with it sometimes. I want to know things. I have an inquiring mind. Maybe that is why I am first a listener and then, if needed, a speaker. In our age of Science we want to know things. We don’t like mystery. Nothing wrong with Science because I believe Science is God’s magnifying glass on our world. Most Science classes in High School were my favorite. I also believe God gives mystery so that we can find out what is hidden or not known yet. Adventure and pioneering. I believe there are mysteries and books that have been shut up for our time. Interesting term to be shut up because the Greek word for mystery is mystērion which derives from muo which means to shut the mouth.

Deuteronomy 29:29 says

God, our God, will take care of the hidden things but the revealed things are our business. It’s up to us and our children to attend to all the terms in this Revelation. (MSG)

I like this version because it says God will take care of the things we don’t know about. But what we do know about belongs to us and is our business. When it says “business” I don’t think it means “mind your own business” but “we mean business.” This is why I don’t always like revelation hunters because they hunt and seek the next best revelation without doing business with the current. We, I, haven’t attended to what is already revealed. I haven’t walked through my current step to reach the riser of the next. We can overextend ourselves in the spirit and life but taking on too much. Knowledge with the label, “Revelation” can puff up.

So I am learning to live in the mystery. Graham Cooke talks about living in the question. Walking with God in mystery knowing He has got it covered. Covered in both aspects: covered as in hidden for time being and covered as in it is under His care.

But why are things covered, hidden, and mysterious? That which has already been revealed has been twisted, stolen, misused, slandered, and altogether refused in different sects, cults, and denominations. I say this in love but maybe God is not casting His pearls before swine. Not saying people are swine but when mystery is not attended to, the enemy(swine) can steal it. Maybe mystery is looking for a landing pad where it’s can be known and still covered? Maybe mysteries will be given when they can be attended to or cared for? Maybe mystery is looking for a house to live in that is secure? Not easily broken in to? I’ll get off my soapbox in regards to this aspect of mystery. I didn’t plan on writing about this particular side of it but I felt led to add that. So back to living in mystery.

If we could figure out God and how He does things then He wouldn’t be God but just another figment of our rationalism. Mystery involves the freedom of trust when the future is in the hands of Someone greater than your ability to comprehend the present. Rationalism leads to a cold bed without covers, while living in mystery offers warmth. It offers freedom of expression. It meddles with theology and offers the comfort of new things above the sun. God wasn’t meant to be in a box. The ark was used due to lack of relationship. The same as our boxes. How many have their own personal arks where He is locked in? How many of us go back to basics time and time again because we can’t live in not knowing something (see Heb. 6:1-3). Basics are good but are elementary. But if you don’t have them down then stay there until the foundation is laid and set.

Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.  –  C. S. Lewis

God is building a mystery within us to be revealed at His timing (see Rom. 8:19). It is our job to attend to what we already know. Like what C. S. Lewis said, we thought He was building a cottage but the mystery shows that He is building much more. The much more will be revealed when we are trusted with and can attend to it.

When we can’t understand, we trust. We ask, seek, and knock and it will be revealed but in His timing. Live in the mystery. Live with the mystery. Live in seeking the answer. Live in not having the answer. Live in not needing the answer. Live in Him where all mystery hides and belongs. If you have had a mystery revealed then attend to it because it now belongs to you. Tend to it like a garden. Keep it and cherish it. If you have received a pearl then keep it safe. If you see a pearl then maybe you need to sell all to buy it. .

Live in mystery. Live with mystery. Live with answers. Live without answers. Live without needing an answer. Live knowing that God holds it all and you are firm in His grasp along with it.

 

 

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Lavished!

Greek for lavished is perisseuō which means to exceed a fixed number of measure, to be left over and above a certain number or measure and to furnish one richly so that he has abundance.

Lavished, according to the Oxford Dictionary, means to cover something thickly or liberally with. It is derived from a late Middle English term meaning profusion and old French lavasse meaning deluge of rain and Latin meaning to wash.

1 John 3:1a says

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

Ephesians 1:7-9 says

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him

So to be lavished with love and grace is to washed by a profuse deluge of rain…and might I add in a sweltering and humid day. In a world that lacks grace and love this is an amazing picture of our Father. He comes with abundance, overflowing goodness, grace, and love.

During worship on Sunday the word lavished exploded in my spirit. We are lavished with His love. We are lavished with His grace. It’s hard to put into words what God speaks to me but I try. I find that in Scripture as well, with the common “like” and “as” being used. Classic simile type metaphors. I would liken this lavishness to when I used to have an 88′ Honda Accord and no A/C in the summer. Maryland summers can get pretty sweltering somethings and boy did I love to get out of that car into a nice air-conditioned building. God lavishing me is like that times infinity. I walk through a world of dryness. Nothing satiates. Nothing. A world full of mirages that beg me to go further only to deceive me further.

Also what I heard during worship, as I was thanking God for lavishing His grace and love was, “Mephibosheth come out! Mephibosheth come out of hiding! Mephibosheth receive mercy! Mephibosheth come out and know God has a table prepared that you can and will sit at for eternity. Mephibosheth, I love you and desire to show you all the mercy, grace, and love that you need and even more. Mephibosheth come out of your shame!”

I spoke about Mephibosheth prior to this. It is such a story of honor on how a King seeks out who he can show mercy to as oppose to who he can kill to secure his throne.

We are His children. We are His Bride and sons. We are partakers of all that He is and all that He is not. One spirit with Him. That is why Jesus said, “When you pray say, Our Father.”

 

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An Audience of One

audience-of-one

How many of us do live for an Audience of One? I believe Graham Cooke said it best and I am paraphrasing

We live for an Audience of One where the praises at our right hand and criticism at our left meaning nothing.

Where I find myself not living for an Audience of One is on social media like Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, etc. I see others on Facebook posting similar things like myself and I don’t get any responses. I have family I rarely see and I see them commenting and liking what my other family members post but I get nothing. No love. No recognition. And because of this I sit in a speculatory mindset rehearsing ghost thoughts that appear, disappear, and then reappear. I make my Facebook and WordPress posts report cards on my life and where I look for worth and value. Genesis calls it looking to the ground and the work of my hands for worth. I mean people strive daily for the sake of others and to try to impress someone who has no bearing on their life. We judge our existence based upon someone else’s Photoshopped life. We live to an audience of thousands.

As I got on the computer this morning to finish this blog I got this quote of confirmation in my email

The fear of man strangles us, because we can never please everybody; but the fear of the Lord frees us, because it challenges us to live and serve for an audience of One.  –  Paul Chappell

John Eldredge has a great perspective on this and he says this(paraphrased by me)

If you give someone the power to validate you, you also give them the power to invalidate you. Other people are not the report card on your life.

Jesus only lived and lives to an Audience of One. John 5:19 says

Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.

Jesus received and receives validation, confirmation, and identity from One Person and that is our Father. We, likewise, should do and be the same. It doesn’t matter how many Follow you on Twitter, Instagram, or WordPress. It doesn’t matter how many comments, likes, and shares you get on Facebook or how few likes, comments, and shares. Praises and criticism counts for nothing. Philippians 3:8,9a declares

More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him…

We may be surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses but we live in the favor of One Witness. Forget your posts, blogs, likes, shares, comments, praises, criticisms, and labels of others. Consider them dung or worthless apart from receiving the affection and affirmation of your Father in Heaven. His report card on you is the finished word of Christ! When He sees you He sees Jesus, when He sees Jesus He sees you. Simple. We live for an Audience of One. Not just an Audience but a co-worker, co-laborer, co-everything. He is with us, in this together. Lets begin to live like it.

 

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A Light On My Path

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Psalm 119:105 says

Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.

I can walk in my apartment with all the lights off and use little indicators of light(microwave, stove, clock) to navigate to where I need to go. Anyone else like that? I can walk amongst the darkness even by the smallest light and from it I know, without seeing, where the couch, walls, table, and chairs are. Even by one small light I can “see” and “know” where everything else is. Take that away and I would fumble around and probably stub at least two toes…ouch.

Sometimes when we walk in darkness we seem lost, scared, or even indifferent to our surroundings. We turn towards darkness and stand frozen, unable to move. There is always a light we can use and turn to in order to see our path. Even at night there is the glory of the moon in order to see. Knowing the Scriptures provides the light to my path…not just reading them. Knowing what He has prophetically spoken over me gives a God jolt to my heart. There comes a point where faith turns to knowledge by experience. His Light, His revealing Himself comes out of experience. He can only be a light to your path unless you are on your path and He is your Light.

Problems are a prerequisite for a revelation from God. You probably won’t understand and know God as provider unless you need provision. You won’t know Him as Healer unless you need healing. C.S. Lewis said

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.

Revelation can be described as illumination or light shining on something. Ephesians 1:18 is a beautiful picture

 I pray that he will give light to the eyes of your hearts, so that you will understand the hope to which he has called you, what rich glories there are in the inheritance he has promised his people…

Most of our lives are lived on the path of our mind but our spiritual journey is clearly on the path of our heart. Our heart is the path that God shines His Light on in order for desire to be fulfilled. God loves desire because when fulfilled it becomes a tree of life. Without an enlightened heart that is in connection with God we become as C.S. Lewis says

…men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.

We guard our hearts by allowing our Father to shine His light on it to reveal that which has been hidden for so long. Conviction is for the world but counsel is for sons and daughters. The heart is what pumps the life-giving source to our body and it is what pumps the Glory of God. It stores memory. It is the path that we walk with God on. Is is the place where we most need God’s light to shine on. If you have found yourself lost in your heart please pray with me

Father,

I come to You in Jesus’ name. Come and heal. Cause me both to will and to do in order to have all darkness removed from my heart. Forgive me for not only not living with and in my heart for rejecting it and deceitful when You said You gave me a new one. Cleanse my heart from all defilement either I or others have put on it. Shine Your Light and illuminate and flood my heart with Your Light. Let my heart be a place without shadows and without a secret that is held from You. I give you permission to enter every chamber, valve, ventricle, vein, atrium, septum, and aorta. Every room of my heart is open to your Lordship and Love. Father if my heart is broken, fragmented, or ties to things they shouldn’t then please mend, restore, gather together so that it may be whole and wholly Yours. Let Your Word, which You speak over me, be a light to my path and lamp to my feet.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen and Amen

Never Mind The Enemy…Do You Know Who You Are?

Anyone reading this will know what I am talking about. In this digital age, information is a keyword and click away. Knowledge is readily accessible. Not understanding, but knowledge nonetheless. There are more views about the enemy/antichrist/end times stuff then Heinz has pickles. We all the know the who/what/when/where/how about the enemy…yet how many know that about themselves? Seeking darkness will not result in light and vice-versa.

How do know what is and isn’t counterfeit? By knowing the real, the legitimate, and the Original. When you know who you are it doesn’t matter, generally speaking, who someone else is. What I have seen, observed through internet, is that those who are heresy hunters, exposers of darkness, and devil slayers are those that they know far more of the enemy than themselves. Again this is observation and I do not know them personally so what I observe is surface level. I admit that I am judging the book by its cover.

I would think that one must first know God/light/Truth first and then who they are in Him and who He is in them. We must remember that the book of Revelation is first and foremost the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, depending on who you talk to about the Title of the book. Some translation just say “Revelation” and others “The Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.” It is not primarily a book about the devil or the serpent or the dragon, though it consists of all those things.

There is nothing wrong with exposing darkness, false teaching, new age, or demonic doctrines. But if we get so wrapped up in who the beast and anti-Christ and “the One World this” and “the Illuminati that” is then we lose sight of who we are as overcomers, as re-presenters, as ambassadors, as light-bearers, and as Kingdom builders. It can breed fear because we lose sight of the opposite force of that fear. We almost feed off of the stuff. We can spot a fake a mile away yet can’t spot a real that is right under our nose. It is almost like a pride thing. A person says something and their immediate reaction is to expose darkness. We are so focused on who others are that then we can’t even see the person anymore. We have a type of blinders on our eyes where what we focus on becomes our reality and the glasses by which we view things. People are making millions off of fear and darkness these days whether it is about blood moons or harbingers or the isms or the shmita. There is a time and place for these all but when we lose sight of light darkness will overtake. I know some personally who gets very puffed up on the knowledge of the enemy they have. Like they are the farthest away from deception than those around. And I’m like, “Do you know who you are in the Scriptures?” It’s so easy to get in this rut…like the one I’m building by even talking about it. I feel the need to expose this darkness. So I get caught up in it too.

How do we grow? By beholding Him who is seated on the Throne! How do we know who we are? By beholding Him who is seated on the Throne! How do we face darkness? We don’t! We face the light! Exposure will happen when the Light is shining. Darkness leaves by default. Could it be that darkness increases because we keep giving it a place in our lives? This doesn’t mean you run from darkness either. We bring light! Light is even a piece of armor that we must wear.

I believe these days that we need to focus on the Lord and we need to know who we are. If I don’t know who I am, I won’t have a clue on what to do. If I focus on darkness and what I can expose I become speculative and confused and look for logs or specks. My bucket of rocks will keep getting heavier and heavier until I am unable to carry the burden of exposing because, by it, I have defined who I am by who I am not. I have defined light based upon darkness. I have define the real and legitimate by the false and illegitimate. The Original should be the only view, focus, plumb line that we should weigh all other things and not the other way around. Never mind the enemy…do you know who you are?

 

 

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Judgment Upon Your Enemies

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Have you ever wondering why bad things happen in your life? I do. Why are these things in my life crumbling and shaking? Why are things falling apart? A thought recently popped in my head about this. I’m not saying this is true or whatever but I ponder things like this. Again this may be true and this may not be true but only my thoughts. Eat the meat and spit out the bones.

Sometimes if the enemy is wrapped up too much in our life and the wrath of God against the enemy comes sometimes we get burnt. Some OT references would be Lot and several of the prophets. They were righteous people walking in their destiny yet suffered in the midst. When God judge Israel, as a whole, both righteous and unrighteous succumbed to His dealings whether they deserved it or not. Again I want to be careful here and not generalize anything but sometimes are life needs to be shaken so that which remains is only Kingdom. If we are a little too close to our enemy we can very well experience the chastisement of the Lord. It’s not a good feeling but oh how the enemy scatters and leaves us in His lap. I just had the thought of when I was spanked as a child. My dad would put me over his lap and spank me…then console me. Both happened on his lap…how much more our Heavenly Father. Hebrews 12:5-8 says

…and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,

My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;
For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
And He scourges every son whom He receives.”

It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

It’s the grace of God that makes our spirits and lives fireproof though parts of us may crumble and burn. 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 says

each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

Sometimes the mercy of God is getting a little of what you deserve. Consequences for actions are a good motivator if not done in fear. The wrath of God is against all ungodliness and unrighteousness. Notice He is against the “ness” and not the person. If God is for you then He is against everything that is against you. Until we give it all up and let God arise in ourselves the enemy will not be scattered. The Holy Spirit is a Gentleman…except when He isn’t. He will patiently sit there waiting in love until you are ready and He will determine when you are ready to deal with the baggage. The longer you don’t deal – let Him deal with it – the harder the burn or the shaking will be. He is a jealous God and will not accept things between you and Him. Isaiah 42:3 says

A bruised reed He will not break
And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish;
He will faithfully bring forth justice.

We should welcome his correction for a wise men loves it. We should welcome his hand on our life. Psalm 19:9-10 says

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.

Judgment is not the same as condemnation. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus!

We must let His light so shine before us so that we can see ourselves and run into His arms as He is running to us. He has His robe and ring for us and a fatted calf roasting on the pit but we need to recognize the slop of the enemy and get away from it. If you are in sin, get healed, healing, deliverance, etc. I currently am reaping what I sown and it hurts but it is the mercy of God. I’d rather feel the heat of the burner on my hand and get burned a little then not feel pain and lose my hand in the process. Pain can be a wonderful thing. C. S. Lewis put it best

We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.

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God Is With Us

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And His Name shall be called Immanuel. God is with us!

The incarnation is the single most beautiful and inviting thing to have ever happened in all of history. That the God who we kept distant, broke through our preconceived notions and obliterated our false views of Himself. We denied Him access to ourselves yet came inviting us to Himself.

He came wrapped in humanity as a faithful High Priest. In order to present us spotless, blameless and without reproach. He wrapped Himself in what was our fall in order to raise us up together where we first came from. In Him was LIFE and that LIFE was the LIGHT of men. He came running like a Father of long lost sons. Running to embrace everything unembraceable. He came to restore back the DNA of our Father. He included us in His relationship with Father and Holy Spirit. He welcomed us inside the beauty of the Trinity. He made us one with Him just like He is One with the Father.

He prepares a table of delicacies for us. He cooks for us. He serves us. He washes our feet. His anger rises against our enemies. They scatter. He plows our soil for His seed. He waters it. He gives the increase.

He joins Humanity with Divinity for Eternity. Never to be separated again. He came to set the record straight about Who He really is. He came to ransom us out of the enemy’s hand…and accomplished it. He came with God’s blood in order to pour in out on our behalf.

He came and invited us to His perichoresis. He became like us to we could become like Him. He came to never leave our side. He came and submitted Himself to us. God became flesh and walk with us. He traveled our roads and experienced our experiences. He hugged us. He kissed us. God loved us when we hated Him. He allowed our rejection of Him only to find Him on the other end waiting.

God is with us through the thick and thin. Never to leave or forsake. Forever entwined. His Glory, a cocoon of Himself in process of transfiguring us, metamorphosis. He came to that which was birthed out of Him. His own creation spitting at Him and reviling He who made them. Yet He embraced them by submitting to their way of death. He laid His life down by our hands. He exposed the principalities and powers making an open show of them. We cursed, He blessed. We lunged at Him, He didn’t move. We accused, He didn’t defend. God with us. God in us. God for us. God exists. God is here for you to experience in all His fullness. He came to rend a veil. Not only for our access of Him but His access to us.

He came to reconcile. He came to forgive. He came to set the prisoners free. He came to destroy religion. He came to reveal our Father.

 

“That is the best picture of what the incarnation means when we look at in its true context. For that is what happened in Jesus Christ from his birth to his resurrection. The Son of God entered into our broken, Fallen, alienated human existence. He took upon himself our fallen flesh. He stood in Adam’s shoes, in Israel’s shoes, in our shoes, and he steadfastly refused to be Adam, He refused to be Israel. He refused to be what we are.”
― C. Baxter Kruger, The Great Dance: The Christian Vision Revisited

 

 

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Do you feel crippled and in hiding like Mephibosheth?

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2 Samuel 9  (NASB)

Then David said, “Is there yet anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David; and the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” And he said, “I am your servant.” The king said, “Is there not yet anyone of the house of Saul to whom I may show the kindness of God?” And Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan who is crippled in both feet.” So the king said to him, “Where is he?” And Ziba said to the king, “Behold, he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel in Lo-debar.” Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, from Lo-debar. Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and prostrated himself. And David said, “Mephibosheth.” And he said, “Here is your servant!” David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show kindness to you for the sake of your father Jonathan, and will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul; and you shall eat at my table regularly.” Again he prostrated himself and said, “What is your servant, that you should regard a dead dog like me?”

Then the king called Saul’s servant Ziba and said to him, “All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master’s grandson. 10 You and your sons and your servants shall cultivate the land for him, and you shall bring in the produce so that your master’s grandson may have food; nevertheless Mephibosheth your master’s grandson shall eat at my table regularly.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. 11 Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king commands his servant so your servant will do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table as one of the king’s sons. 12 Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Mica. And all who lived in the house of Ziba were servants to Mephibosheth. 13 So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate at the king’s table regularly. Now he was lame in both feet.

Yesterday during worship at church I was reminded by the Lord the story of Mephibosheth. How often I have felt like him. Crippled, helpless, subject to the care and needs of others(I’m not disabled). How he must have feared when Saul died because it was common for new kings to kill all direct descendants of the previous king. He ran, had to have help to run, from the new King David. Feared for his life in his crippled state. Defenseless. Broken.

For too long I was like the old Mephibosheth. Crippled by shame and addiction. Fearing the previous king(the enemy). But the new King came looking. He came looking for me. He sought me. He found me crippled and lame with shame, hurt, addiction, and with a false view of Him.

And He place me at His table! He prepared it for me! He cooked for me! He washed me feet…He washed my lameness away. He wiped and collected my tears. I became the new Mephibosheth. I place to eat at the King’s table forever. The King mephiboshethed me. Mephibosheth in Hebrew means exterminating the idol. He, my King, exterminated my idols. They fell to the King. He destroyed them.

When I was feeling this overwhelming love pursuit. I wanted to get on the mic and share with the congregation but I am microphone shy or more like freaked out (I know I am called to speak). The overwhelming love of the Father. How He searches us out. The Hound of Heaven as He has been described as.

WHO? WHO CAN I SHOW MERCY TO? That is who my God is! He searches for who He can show mercy to. Do you hear Him pleading? If not, then hear Him pleading through me…come out and let Him show you mercy! He wants you! He loves you with an everlasting love. He is not worried about your crippling or wounding or shame or even your anger with Him. He is looking for you and begging be reconciled! He loves you and He sees you….and He is running after to meet you in your mess with a robe and ring….with a huge feast prepared! YUM!!!! Have your fill!!!!

 

Good morning, Holy Spirit!

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Good morning, Holy Spirit!

May I rest in Your new mercies. Thank You that I don’t need to ask You to come for You haven’t left since I first time I asked You to come. Thank You for the ability to forgive today. Thank You for the ability to respond today out of my spirit and not react out of my soul. Thank You for being my Comforter. Thank You for being Another of the same exact kind. Thank You for leading me into all Truth and revealing the Father and Son to me. Continue to cause the scales on my eyes to fall so I may see the salvation You offer to me. Thank You for being the Wind that blows away the dross and the Breath that breathes Life and Vitality into my whole being. Thank You for making my soul to prosper and my spirit to grow and my body to be healed. Thank You for giving me the language of heaven and angels in which no darkness can listen to or comprehend. Thank You that You are God and I do praise and worship You, Holy Spirit. You are Lord and I give You Lordship over me. Come and enthrone all thrones of my soul. Expose those thrones that are occupied by darkness. Thank You for the gift and ability to repent. Smear me with all You are. Thank You for being in me and with me. Thank You for being a Person and for being personal with me. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You for coming with the mother heart of God. Thank You for being a Father to the fatherless and a Mother to the motherless. Thank You that Your gifts and fruit are available to me when needed. Thank You for stepping into me and bringing Life and renewing me and making me born again by Your will.

Amen

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The Depths of Christ’s Love

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Ephesians 3:18-19 (AMP)

18 That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it];

19 [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!

To experience the fullness of God one must experience the all-encompassing Love of God. Love is fullness. I love His love. It breaks shame. It breaks hopelessness. I utterly destroys fear. It fills the heights of Glory to the depths of the grave. It shatters hate. It extends to lengths of life and breadth of our experiences. It is true that he who has been forgiven much loves much… I’m going to get a little transparent here.

I’ve experienced a lot of brokenness brought on by my own actions and the actions of others…and I have wounded others. I hate when I wound others. I hate it. I hate when my issues transfer to others. Sometime I wish my weapons were carnal because I feel like I would have a better chance at winning(I’m a big dude).  I try to beat my body into subjection (1 Corinthians 9:27) but fail. Dirty rags becoming even dirtier. Filthy rags. I can’t wipe a dirty mirror with a dirty rag can I? I feel broken waiting for mending…like a piece of cloth in a basket for God to get around to mending me. My soul hurts when exposed and faced with itself. I love in light yet hurt in darkness (Eze. 8:12). Hurt people hurt people.

I recently just completed my Elijah House 202 Prayer Ministry training. I’m very happy to have been able to go through that training…because I need it. I need inner healing and deliverance. Sometimes daily. I hate looking in the mirror and seeing who I am in Christ yet walking away and forgetting who I am. It’s like walking around Two-Faced(Batman reference) and I don’t have control over the coin flip. I just thought of that coin and what it looks like. It’s two-sided and the good side is clean and the other side…marred, wounded, damaged.

I love God with everything I have. Some says you either give God 100% or 0%. I disagree. God honors whatever percentage we give Him. Despite my pain, hurt, sin, and damage I’ve caused others I hope in God. This scripture has one of the most beautiful pictures that touch the depth of me…it’s Zechariah 3:1-7 and it says

1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?” Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and standing before the angel. He spoke and said to those who were standing before him, saying, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” Again he said to him, “See, I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you with festal robes.” Then I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments, while the angel of the Lord was standing by.

And the angel of the Lord admonished Joshua, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘If you will walk in My ways and if you will perform My service, then you will also govern My house and also have charge of My courts, and I will grant you free access among these who are standing here.

God cloths him with clean clothes. God told those who were there to remove the filth and replace it. I see so much hope and the depth of love in this passage. Often times I see myself as Joshua and asking God to remove the filthy garments. I love what Graham Cooke says, “In the moment of your greatest failure, God kisses you.” To be kissed by God! To be clothed in light and wrapped in a cocoon of love. It’s amazing how tears of despair can alter into tears of love’s depth. Even though a person is being sifted God has interceded for them. God has interceded for me. He corrects me like a son by kissing me like His beloved. Truly the goodness of God leads to repentance. He RUNS to me. Embracing all that I am and all that I am not. John 6:37 says

All whom My Father gives (entrusts) to Me will come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will most certainly not cast out [I will never, no never, reject one of them who comes to Me]. (AMP)

Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit I come to You. I…come…to You and find You already there. I come to my senses while Your gaze saw me senseless. I saw my dirt and you saw Your light. I saw myself and You saw Yourself in me. You ran while I walked. You were slain before I ever fell. I only have the ability to love based on Your love for me. I love You with all that I can give and I plan on giving more and more until I come to the full experience and expression of Your love. Give me clean clothes and a clean mirror so I can see You. I admit full responsibility for my actions. Help me to walk like who I really am. Help me to fully express myself to you so I can be fully known and fully loved.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

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Graham Cooke Notes

Graham Cooke’s Maintaining Your Inner Compass Part 1 notes from:

Unfortunately the whole sermon is not on YouTube. These notes are directly from Graham Cooke’s Part 1 teaching. I took these notes for a meeting I was a part of. It was very enriching to intentionally listen and take notes. I could have written out 6 or more pages but this totaled 2 1/2 pages. Be blessed! As He Is So Are We!

Graham starts with Psalm 121: I WILL LIFT up my eyes to the mountain from whence shall my help come. My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip. He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper the lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun will smite you by day not the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all evil. He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going and coming in. From this time forth and forever.

David had a brilliant devotional life because he connected with God no matter where he was not matter what he was going through. He knew how to connect with God devotionally.  :23-24 the steps of mans are established by the Lord. And He delights in his way. When he falls he will not be held headlong because the Lord is the one who holds his hand.

The great thing about journeying with the lord is that He knows how to keep us. Day after day in every kind of situation. He can turn every circumstance and situation around for our good and prosper us. In all the ups and downs in life God is the one remaining constant. Holy Spirit is teaching us to be constant and faithful because according to 1 John 4:17, as He is, so are we in this world. Because God keeps us we can learn to be as constant and consistent as God is.

What God wants from you He first gives to you. Because God delights in us we can delight in Him. Whatever we are facing it’s important to face with a real enjoyment of who God is for us. Our journey may take us to the vineyards of fruitfulness or the desert where there is no growth. But God will be the same to you in both places. Sometime God is a blazing sun but other times a candle in your hand. You get to walk with God and know him in both extremes. In warfare you get to know the God who laughs at His enemies. God can surround who you are and who you are not. We discover who God wants to be for us in every circumstance. Sometime we need stand long enough in His presence to see the Glory that is there because we are being changed from one degree of glory into another.

Graham Cooke talked about wanting a relationship with God more than just ministry. Devotions should be designed for relationship and not ministry. In personal devotions and relational times we stand before God as a much-loved son. Sometimes we come to God and say Father and other times Daddy and other times Help!

We accept the fact that we will have human and demonic opposition and stress involved with walking with God. But we can find out who God is for me when these things happen. Who is God to me right now? That is the joy set before us. We need not be worried about anything. We are not frustrated because that is a construct that is not birthed in the kingdom. Truth is we get to walk in grace and mercy and peace and love and goodness and rest and gentleness and delight and abundance and power and majesty. We get to walk in those things.

We are being changed from one degree of glory to another. We need to consider the possibility of something glorious happening at least this week if not today. We need to take all our responses from heaven and not from earth. The bible says we can be blessed under persecution. You have to rejoice and be exceedingly glad. The basis of this is moving in the opposite spirit as a preservation thing and as warfare. We get to spank the enemy. Out journey is into an experience in the Spirit so profound that we become as Jesus is because as He is so are we in this life and world. We live from the inside to the outside. All of life in the Spirit is internal. We learn to step back into our spirit and live out of that place. We learn to live in the spirit as opposed to the soul.

We are learning to maintain our inner compass. Our direction comes from inside, our inner man. Guidance is relation and not functional. Guidance is a byproduct of relationship. Too many decisions are made by external evidence rather than internal proof. In order to grow into this we have to develop and maintain our inner compass so when we stop spinning we know where God is because He is our True North. There are three questions we should ask ourselves in all new situation or circumstance. Who am I? What am I? and Where am I?

When life explodes and interferes we must ask Who am I in this? I believe all our journeys begin in the heartbeat of God and that’s where you rest right now. I can have an understanding and experience with the nature of God. I can know what he is really, really, really like. I don’t want to be intimidated by the enemy but be fascinated by Jesus. We try to get faith outside of the heartbeat of God. God lives in you and he has no problems believing. Faith comes from your focus. When focusing on God faith is there. God is faithful that means we can be full of faith.

All revelation of God must be specific to His nature and explicit to your identity. When He shows you something about himself his reason for this is because he wants you to become that next. Your identity gets an upgrade. God is not messing around and nothing casual. Everything about Him is utmost intention so we need to pay attention.

We get to wage war with peace and inflict our rest upon the enemy. Rest is a weapon. We are partners in His nature. David was a man after God’s own heart because he was always discovering his own identity in the face of God who was totally for him all the time. We are learning in the context of that on how to practice opening our heart to revelation and saying yes to God’s love.

Who is God for you right now? What specific part of His nature are you meant to fully experience at this time? When you know you learn to direct yourself toward God in that. We don’t define by our circumstance but by the nature of God being released and revealed to us. God loves us to ask questions but don’t allow your lack of answer to disrupt your internal communion with Him. Sometimes he doesn’t give us answer right away. He wants to teach you to live in the question with Him. What’s more important God or the answer? We don’t need an answer what we need you God. God likes the dialogue. Sometimes there are better questions for us to ask Him. Living in the question makes our life happy in the process. There are times where God allows our life to come into a place of uncertainty. Why? God wants to be your certainty. God is jealous and he is not apologizing. He wants to be your all in all. He wants to have that number one place in your life.

Don’t stop believing until you get an experience. When you get it you longer have to believe. Faith is a temporary thing, not permanent. Faith becomes knowledge. Faith is present to give you an experience. You no longer have faith that Jesus is Lord, you know Jesus is Lord.

Knowing opens you up to the reality of the truth. That you may know what is the hope of His calling. That we may know the things freely given to us by God. You begin to declare things from Heaven instead of praying for them. It’s your inheritance. Faith is the introduction to Hope. It leads you to confident assurance.

What do you need to be confidant in regarding who God is for you right now? The particular circumstances in your life should be leading you to an experience into a particular aspect of God’s nature? What was your last real experience of God? Did you become established in that as a behavior, did you learn how to abide in that? What is your current uncertainty? What do you have permission to ask God for?

In your current situation ask the Holy Spirit this: What is it that God wants to be for me now and who am I in a response to that?

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Dream Long

dare-to-dreamI was in a meeting a couple weeks ago and the speaker was a Pastor’s son from India. As usual, he spoke on what the ministry in India is doing and wants to do etc. The usual missionary type sharing from a pulpit. But something really jumped out at me. His father, during a sermon, was speaking on dreaming. He said, “Many can dream big, but few dream long.” Few dream long.

I need to dream long.

Based on previous blogs I spoke on Presence and Promise and how Presence is key to open Promise. Dreaming long is the same thing. I know for me to dream big is emotional suicide but to dream long is sustained expectancy. I can dream the biggest dreams and despite my doubt or unbelief I continue to dream big…but now I know I need to dream long.

Who knows when a big dream will manifest? Where it will? How it will?

Living in the journey with God is so important. Dreaming big but dreaming long. I’m learning to trust Him for the outcome. I’m learning that living in expectancy is better then living with expectations. Expectancy is choosing to live in the moment with faith in a secure future. Expectancy is dreaming long while enjoying the journey.

How many of us stop to smell the roses, if I may use that term we’ve all heard? Dreaming long and living in expectancy forces us to walk with God and not run ahead of Him. Great quote about dreaming from one of the Wright brothers.

I got more thrill out of flying before I had ever been in the air at all – while lying in bed thinking how exciting it would be to fly. – Orville Wright

They dreamed big and learned to dream long. Dreams are but the desires of your heart. “Everything that you will ask in prayer and believe, you will receive.” – Matthew 21:22

I confess that in 1901, I said to my brother Orville that man would not fly for fifty years. . . . Ever since, I have distrusted myself and avoided all predictions. –  Wilbur Wright
It is not really necessary to look too far into the future; we see enough already to be certain it will be magnificent. Only let us hurry and open the roads.Wilbur Wright

Dream big, saints and dream long! Live in the expectancy of today! Believe you will receive! May God grant to us the desires of our hearts!

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When Needs Overcome Wants

restoremysoulI don’t know about you but I tend to get frustrated with life at times. How many of us can relate to our needs overcoming our wants? Needs come and come and must be met and met. Wants seldom show up and when they do we rarely get to fulfill them. Now I know what scripture says about needs and wants. Psalm 23 etc. But how many of our wants or desires come to pass…or come to…pass and not stay. I was thinking about how many things I want to do in life and how I don’t see much possibility of them happening. I know with God all thing are possible but how? I want the Promise so bad. So bad I can taste it…the taste of milk and honey.

I have so many wants: traveling, speaking, counseling, inner healing and deliverance sessions along with Sozo sessions. I desire to set people set free and walking in who they are. Not head knowledge but heart knowing.

Then I listened to a Graham Cooke teaching…

He spoke on living with God in the question. Walking with God in the midst of waiting. I think of the difference between Promise and Presence. God promised Israel a land flowing with milk and honey but His Presence was there in the journey. An arduous journey to boot. Moses had the proper perspective. Even with the Promise near he wouldn’t go with Presence.

My needs need to transfigure into glorious stepping stones. My wants need to be there without the gravitational pull of disappointment. For I do have an appointment but until Presence cuts the veil I remain living with God in the present with His Presence with an expectancy of future Promise.

I think that is where I am getting it wrong. Why I’m frustrated. Why I feel like Promise is the carrot on the end of the stick. Interesting scripture in Psalm 103:7 is says God made know His acts to Israel but His ways to Moses. Moses had a backstage pass to what was going on. Sure Moses clearly didn’t get it all right but God trusted Him. I want and need my own Tent of Meetings. A place where perspective is birthed and clarified. A place where I can see God mouth to mouth. A place where Presence sustains while the Promise waits for my arrival. God has given me a name. That name is Possessor. I plan to possess first Presence and then Promise.

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Father, father me

dads-and-dad-blog-e1339689442571The deepest search in life, it seemed to me, the thing that in one way or another was central to all living was man’s search to find a father, not merely the lost father of his youth, but the image of a strength and wisdom external to his need and superior to his hunger, to which the belief and power of his own life could be united. – Thomas Wolfe

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Fallen Perspective

i-wanna-live-a-life-from-a-new-perspectiveThe results of the fall of Adam was that he would look to the earth and the work of his hands for his worth and value. Notice though that before he fell he was commissioned to take dominion over the earth and tend to the garden. Both had to do with the work of his hands. Nothing has changed…except perspective. Before it was, I am therefore I do, after, I do therefore I am. All of God comes from His name, I Am. I Am does because He Is. That is the image we were created in. That’s why I firmly believe that you won’t know what to do until you know who you are. 1 John 4:17 As He is, so am I.

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As He is, so are we in this world

1 John 4:17Amplified Bible (AMP)

17 In this [union and communion with Him] love is brought to completion and attains perfection with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him], because as He is, so are we in this world.

Great Friday

Good-Friday-Wallpaper-06Good Friday

Today is Good Friday. I would call it Great Friday. It is when the God of the Universe chose to suffer at the hands of men our wrath. He truly was bruised for our iniquities. By His stripes we are healed. He didn’t have a Jewish lynching…it was the world’s lynching. Flesh was ripped from his muscle, bones, and tendons. He was so whipped that he didn’t even look like a man. God, in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself. Can you look into His eyes and see the Passion? Can you see the fire in His eyes? Can you see that He is and has made all things new? Can you read between the lines that were upon His body? Can you see Him looking at you while on the cross? Can you see His lips saying, “I did this for you.” You know what I see?

I see Love. Not some ooshy gooshy love but the kind of love that makes someone fight to the death for you…even while a person reviles and spit upon them. The kind that loves despite the lack of response. The kind of love that beckons you to be loved. The kind of love that sets you free. The kind of love that one weeps out of pure joy. The kind of love that is patient, kind, gentle, and not holding things against kind of love. The kind of love that when you see it you rise above things. The kind of love where you no longer see yourself apart from it. The kind of love that provides the lens by which live our life. Love. The kind of love that shows you open cell doors and beckons you to just walk out of them. The kind of love that shows you your worth and purpose. The kind of love that literally permeates your whole being and changes you inside and out. Love. The kind of love that heals the deepest wound of your soul. The kind of loves that loves you just as you are. Love. The kind of love that only One can provide and sustain. The kind of love where nothing else matters. Love. The kind of love that, once felt, is never a memory, but a constant companion. Love.

Great Friday

But this Great Friday is but a precursor of glorious Sunday. Death thought it won…but oh how it lost.

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Shame Off You!!

ShameOffYouShame Off You!!

What is shame? How do you know if you carry shame? How do you know if it’s affecting your life? How do you know if shame is your current mirror? How many times have you heard someone say shame on you? How many times have you said it yourself?

 Only the shamed will sow shame.  Shame damages and destroys the image of God in you. Shame is a dirty mirror indeed. It is when you take what someone says about you as a value statement instead of an observation. Someone with shame will take correction as someone judging you but if you take it as an observation you’ll take it as a learning situation and thank that person because you know that if a wise man is rebuked he loves it because he wants to learn and is teachable. If you take things as value statements then anything anyone says to you even remotely negative or even positive remarks, you’ll immediately hide and run and think shame and won’t accept compliments.

 But when healing and truth comes you can take what people say as constructive criticism and with thanks because it gives you an opportunity to grow and learn. Now there are things that you need to simply refuse due to ill intent. Scripture says rebuke a wise man and he will love you for it. (Prov. 9:8)

When was the last time someone was rebuking and returned love and thankfulness in return? But that is what a teachable spirit is: knowing that iron sharpens iron and all things and situations can be used to grow and thrive in. Shame along with the view of that what people say about or to you as value statements only make you want to run and hide.

If we are adults and we were wounded by a parent who would knowingly or unknowingly wound us we can get healed and walk forward and out of shame. Some of you have tried to help your parents out with housework or yard work only to have them pick it apart and say how bad of job you did or maybe you wanted to wash your father’s car as a surprise and your father only could see the spots you missed and were still dirty and decided to rewash the whole car all the while telling you how you missed so many spots.

These things have hurt you and you’ve probably decide you’ll never wash a car or do dishes again. Maybe you decided you never want to be vulnerable and help anyone again because they won’t approve of how well you’re doing. There is healing and restoration for your heart, soul, and spirit. God will heal you and then you no longer need to take things people say about you as value statements and now they will only be observations because you know that your Heavenly Father is the one where you truest identity is present.

God is not ashamed of you! His smile over you is consistent because that is who He is!

The problem is we take our messed up pasts and poor parenting and place that label on the Father. He is not like your parents. He is so much better and he will re-parent you and you’ll learn what it means like to be approved and accepted and truly loved as a son or daughter of God.

Healing

A prayer for healing:

God. I need you as my Father. Help me. I need You to re-raise, re-parent, and re-present parenting to me. I hurt. Shame has been on me for so many years. But I know, deep down, You are good. Forgive me for judging You based on the bad parenting and upbringing I had. Thank you for forgiving me. I give you access to all areas of my life and heart. Bring healing! Thank you for bearing my grief, shame, hurt, and damage. You are good, God, and I believe it now. You are awesome and, God, I now believe I am awesome too! I am awesome because I am created in Your image. Thank you, Father for giving me the healing and ability to call you Father. Thank you that my heart is good and with this good heart I can love you with it when before my heart was hurt and couldn’t love you properly. Thank you for placing me in Christ, where true and ultimate healing is. Thank You for giving me eyes to see, ears to hear, and a good heart to receive and experience You and the Love that You are. I forgive my parents and teachers and coaches and relatives and siblings and anyone else who may of wounded or hurt me in the past. I release them into Your hands. Thank you, Father, for healing and setting me free to be free indeed. Thank you for being in my Shack all along waiting for me to come to You for healing.

A declaration:

Father, in Jesus’ name, I declare the person reading this is free from shame! Free from the pain that it has brought! And free from the past! You’re heart is beautiful, awesome, powerful, clean, and free to love God and others. I declare you now can love yourself! Healing come right now to the wounds of the past and present. Healing! Healing! Healing! No more shame! Shame OFF you! I decree complete healing! Set free by the love of the Father who loves you with and eternal and everlasting love. I call forth your spirit man to rise up and receive the love of the Father and the acceptance and approval of the Father! No more shame! No more shame! The love of the Father, Perfect Love cast out all fear right now! Father comes with your soothing voice and touch and complete the work You began in their life! I say all this in Jesus’ mighty name!

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Don’t Hold Me Back

Enjoy-Wave-After-Wave-Of-Gods-Grace-WPDon’t Hold Me Back

Just the other day I was in a meeting where a person was sharing on “grace.” I use quotations because I don’t think the person really understood what grace was. This meeting was geared towards those who are in recovery for emotional, chemical, and sexual addictions along with other hurts, habits, and hang-ups. I’m sure some of you know what type of meeting I am talking about.

The guest speaker began his sermon talking about grace and I was like, “Awesome, because that’s what those who are struggling with sin need to hear.” So I listened and had an open and hopeful mind. The sermon was good for about 10-15 minutes and then it took a turn downhill. I mean not to judge the person speaking, for who am I to judge another man’s servant, but to check if it’s truth Berean style.

He mentioned how much of a wretch he is and proceeded to tell us how we are wretches as well. He also mentioned how sin is permanent and that we are permanently in sin. He then started talking about the hyper-grace message and how he likes it and, I guess, thought his message was hyper-grace. I beg to differ.

Don’t hold me back!

First off, believers are not wretches! We are children of God, born again with a new spirit, heart, mind, and we are accepted in the Beloved. (Eph. 1:6, 1 Cor. 2:16, Philippians 4:7, Ezek. 11:19, 36:26, 2 Cor. 5:17, Gal. 6:15) We are one spirit with Him. (1Cor. 6:17) I am sure he was referring to Rom. 7 when Paul was describe how wretched he was for not being able to do what he wants but doing the very thing he didn’t want. This scripture, in my opinion and based off what I believe scripture teaches, is not really a Christian’s struggle with sin but the struggle with the law of sin. (Rom. 3:20, Rom 8:2-3, 1 Cor. 15:56, Gal. 2:16, Heb. 10:1)

Sin and the law of sin were forever dealt with on the cross AND resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Col. 2:14, John 19:30, 1 Cor. 15:17, Rom. 11:27, Col. 2:10-12, Heb. 1:3, 1 Pet. 2:24) Now read 1 John 2:1-2 and look for the keyword “if” present in this scripture.

My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. (NKJV emphasis mine)

If we sin…if. Guess what the greek word for “if” is? If! Based on the fact that Jesus walked with God in full humanity and never used His Divinity but did only what He saw the Father doing tells me that, I also can choose not to sin as I abide in Him just as He abides in our Father. (John 5:19, John 15:4-5, Philippians 2:7, Heb. 2:17-18,) To use a quote from Georgian Banov (www.globalcelebration.com), “If you’re not free from sin until you die, then Jesus isn’t your savior; death is.” This is so truth but the church still doesn’t believe it as a whole.

Another scripture he quoted was in 1 John 1:8 which states if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. He forgot to mention verse 9 where it says if we confess He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. This is truth. We are set free from sin! The law of the Spirit of Life has taken over and is operative! If we say we haven’t sinned we are justifying ourselves through the law of condemnation, which has glory by the way. (2 Cor. 3:9) But the ministry of righteousness exceeds it in glory! Hallelujah!!

Don’t hold me back!

I am reading a book by Watchman Nee called, “Not I, But Christ,” and it is astounding teaching. Oh the simplicity that is in Christ. In 2 Corinthians 11:3 is says,

But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. (NASB)

In this book he clearly lines out that the law of sin is a law and is in effect but the law of the Spirit of Life is present and is a greater law that does indeed supersede it.  I’ll leave with some other quotes.

The Lamb was slain before Adam ever fell. – Anonymous (not sure who said this originally)

“Grace means that God does something for me; law means that I do something for God. God has certain holy and righteous demands which he places upon me: that is law. Now if law means that God requires something of me for their fulfillment, then deliverance from law means he no longer requires that from me, but himself provides it.” ~ Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life

What is Romans 7? Romans 7 tells us that the dead man is protesting. The Lord has crucified the old man, yet I protest. – Watchman Nee

As Christ is our substitute in death, so is He our substitute in life. – Watchman Nee

Let me tell you, victories are all won unawares. Why is it that you overcome without being conscious of it? It is because a law is working. The law of the Spirit of Life set you free from the law of sin and death. Jesus established a higher law to disable the lower law. To overcome sin does not require an ounce of strength, for it is the work of the law of the Spirit of Life. – Watchmen Nee (paraphrased)

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Please forgive me

please_forgive_me_by_geekindisguise-d4rv291To Whom It May Concern,

Please forgive me.

Forgive me for holding your sins against you when God doesn’t. (2 Corinthians 5:19)

Forgive me because unlike God I have judged your outside without caring for your inside. (1 Samuel 16:7)

Forgive me for telling you to do as I say and not as I do. (Matthew 23:3)

Forgive me for teaching man is for the Sabbath and not Sabbath for man. (Mark 2:27)

Forgive me for sewing back together the veil that God tore in two. (Mark 15:38, Colossians 2:20-23)

Forgive me for making my denomination the denominator and not the numerator. (1 Corinthians 12:14-27)

Forgive me for controlling you and callings it shepherding my flock. (Matthew 15:9, Colossians 2:22)

Forgive me for exposing your skeletons and not helping bury them. (Galatians 6:1)

Forgive me for gossiping and calling it a prayer requests. (Proverbs 11:13)

Forgive me for esteeming and valuing my opinion and viewpoint above yours. (Philippians 2:3)

Forgive me for making my light shine instead of letting my light shine. (Matthew 5:16)

Forgive me for calling you, our fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord, “sinners saved by grace” instead of saints. (Romans 1:7)

Forgive me for keeping you from taking Communion because you aren’t a member of my church. (Matthew 26:26-28)

Forgive me for elevating the Bible above a relationship with Jesus. (John 5:39)

Forgive me for telling you God doesn’t heal anymore. (1 Peter 2:24, Isaiah 53:5)

Forgive me for never asking for forgiveness. (Ephesians 4:32)

Forgive me for asking for honor but never giving it. (Romans 12:10)

Forgive me for not allowing freedom in worship. (Isaiah 29:13)

Forgive me for separating sacred from the secular. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

Forgive me for not being like Jesus and accurately representing Him on earth. (1 John 4:17, 2 Corinthians 5:20)

Forgive me for using you but never giving you the wages due from your labor. (1 Timothy 5:18, Romans 13:7)

Forgive me for highlighting and honoring the seen members and not the unseen. (1 Corinthians 12:22-25)

Forgive me for my desire for titles. (Matthew 23:7-10)

Forgive me for declaring my opinion like it was the word of the Lord. (Colossians 2:22)

Yours truly (and sometimes untruly),

The Church

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