Encounter = Life

•January 9, 2018 • Leave a Comment

An encounter with God = LIFE.

Look at scripture, every time someone encountered our King they were changed. I love how Moses whined about not being able to speak. So God appointed Aaron to speak for him but Moses always was empowered to speak. An encounter with God changes things.

Saul sought out Christians in the church to persecute them. On the road to Damascus Saul encounters God and…well….look at the ministry that’s he had…..Paul. An encounter with God changes things.

Peter was a hot headed loud-mouth. He acted on his emotion. Yet look at what Christ says in Matthew 16:18 “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock i will build my church…”. An encounter with God changes things.

Story after story in scripture we see a man or a woman who is wrecked because an encounter with God. An encounter with our King. A valley of dry bones can come to life at just a word. (Ezekiel 37:7, 8). That’s what an encounter with God will do. Sometimes we need to step back and allow God to just…..be God. Psalms 46:10 says to BE STILL AND KNOW. Be still there is translated as LET GO. So…what are you holding on to that is not allowing you to encounter God? What wall are you allowing to grow between you and your God? All you need to do is close your eyes, take a breathe, and receive Him. Welcome the Holy Spirit to mess you up….TRULY mess you UP and see what happens. What if we strived daily to encounter God? What if we woke up asking God to WRECK you today? We focused on not only encountering God but sharing that encounter with those around us. Other encountering God through the life that you live. WOW!!!!

When we encounter God we are then empowered to step up and speak LIFE. We can speak life into the dry bones. We can speak healing over people. We can speak revelation and wonder into situations. We can speak….LIFE. Allow yourself to encounter God right now.

Here’s what I want you to do. Maybe you are reading this on your phone, iPad or computer. Maybe sitting in bed or at a table. Maybe on the couch while watching TV. Here’s what i want you to do. When you are done reading this…..STOP. Put down your pone or iPad. Step away from your computer. Turn the TV OFF. And just sit there. Asks he Holy Spirit to come. Welcome Him in. Vocalize your desire to encounter your God to God and wait. You can encounter God right now. All you need to do is BE STILL (let go). Press in.

Press in.

Press in.

Press in.

Press……in.

God won’t disappoint you. But, don’t just do it for a minute and quit. I challenge you to press in until you encounter God. Be stubborn for His presence.

I am praying this prayer over you right now as you are about to press in to encounter God:

Holy Spirit come. Right now I ask that you would move on him/her as I speak. That he/she would feel your presence begin to move in them. I pray that Your glory would begin to fall in a very heavy way right now. God, I speak life over him/her. That any dry bones would come to life. Any fear would fall away. Any wall would fall in the name of Jesus and they would encounter you right NOW. I believe God. MORE. MORE. MORE of Your Spirit. More of Your glory in their home. God i thank you for what is to come. I thank You in advance for moving in their life. You are a good God and long to encounter you on a daily basis.

Amen

Again, press in. God is there. He is always there. All you need to do is LET GO and let Him reign.

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Seeking Holiness

•October 13, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.  Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.  Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.  Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.  Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy.  – Augustine 1.  God’s breathe

God’s breathe fascinates me.  He breathes…BOOM…there is life.  A valley of dead bones receives the breathe of God and BOOM…life.  I ask God to breathe in me on a regular basis.  It’s like your teeth.  There is plaque that builds and builds and starts to decay your teeth.  You may not feel it or even notice it but it is there.  But, sure enough, as it continues to grow your teeth decay more and more.  Guys, our thoughts are the same way.  If we are letting certain thoughts in that will decay our hearts and minds then at some point we become the walking dead.  Lustful thoughts are thoughts that act like plaque to your teeth.  At first they seem harmless.  They are easily justified.  But, the more and more we allow this “plaque” to grow inside it begins to take over.  We allow our thoughts to numb us to things of the Spirit.  Even affect how we are with our husbands or wives.  You can ask my wife.   I am very careful what movies we watch and what music i listen to.  I want to fight this plaque and keep my heart and mind on things above.  Romans 8:5 “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”  Allowing your thoughts to go where they don’t need to go is feeding your flesh first and foremost and will eventually bring death.  Setting our hearts and minds on things above (Colossians 3:1,2) will keep your “teeth” clean and white.  Ok, cheesy analogy but you get my point.  God’s breathe is something we should seek.  It brings life.  It allows us to live in the Spirit.  Fellowship with God is face to face, ebbing and flowing, breathing Him in and breathing Him out.  So, FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD.  And ask Him to breathe into you DAILY.

2.   God moves

Allow God to move in and through you.  Remember, we ARE the move of God.  God moves in many ways but one of those ways is THROUGH US.  As we keep our hearts and minds focused on KINGDOM BUSINESS we fight through the thoughts that bring destruction.  Sometimes, bordum is a terrible tool for the enemy.  If you struggle with your thoughts.  One way to fight is to just stay active.  Find ways to work for the Kingdom.  Find ways to help people.  Stay busy in HIM.  Allow Him to move through you.

3.  God chases us

There is a book called Godchasers.  I enjoyed this book.  One of the analogies he used in the book was a game of chase with his daughter.  He said she would chase him.  She could never really catch him.  He is stronger.  Faster.  Smarter.  But, as she cries out “DADDY!”  she catches his heart and he falls to his knees and picks her up.  God is the same with us.  We cannot actually catch God.  But, we can catch His heart.  As we chase Him and run after Him we will catch the heart of God.  He WILL fall to His knees and hold us close.  CHASE HIM.

4.  God gives us strength

God’s Holy spirit will empower you the more you invite Him in.  One simple prayer i am praying more and more is this….”Holy Spirit come”.  “MORE”  “MORE”  “MORE”  As i pray this i allow my heart and mind to open more and more.  Someone can walk into my house and be there.  In that sense they are THERE.  But, they might not be welcome into my house.  I can reject them.  But, if i stand at the door, open it wide and allow them in, that is a whole other story.  God is here.  HE IS ALWAYS WITH US.  But, there are a lot of times we are not welcoming Him in.  But, what if you opened that door wide each and every day, (Romans 12:1)  and completely let Him in.  The strength we would gain from this daily surrender would be NUTS.  start your day with this prayer and tell me it doesn’t work.  “Holy Spirit come…….”  “I submit my heart, body, mind and soul as a living sacrifice to you today”  And allow the strength of the Holy Spirit fill you up.  No darkness or enemy can beat that

5.  Guard me

God protects us.  As we seek Him He protects us.  Continue to speak and pray blessings over your home and family.  Ask and speak protection over your home, family and your mind and heart.  There is nothing the enemy can do to us when we are leaning fully on God.  NOTHING.  God has no blind spot.  God has no weakness.  And when we TRUST Him fully and DEPEND on Him the enemy has no ground to stand on.  

I wanted to talk about these things because I love this quote.  My challenge to you today is to read through this again and pray some of these things daily.  God breathe.  God move.  God chase.  God strengthen and GUARD.  But, in that continue to PRESS IN to Him.  Guys, our thoughts will dictate our actions in the long hall.  They can destroy us.  Give them to God and allow them to bring God glory and lead you into a life FILLED WITH HIS SPIRIT!

Press in. Pour out.

•September 3, 2017 • Leave a Comment

My group is talking about righteousness and what that means for us as men.  We are writing in a journal and I just wanted to share something I wrote in mine this past week.

To me the simplest definition for Righteousness is living as Christ did. I don’t think we will really ever “ARRIVE” at righteousness in and of itself. I believe we find righteousness in the pursuit of HIM. We find “Christ-likeness” in our pursuit of Him. It’s not a coin we find and put in our pocket to add to the collection. It’s us stepping into who God created us to be more and more as we live life as Christ did. As we step more and more into who we were created to be.

I believe there are two sides to our nature. “US” as we were created to be and then “US” within our human limitations (after the fall). The more we step into who God created us to be the less sinful we are. The more “in the Spirit” we live. To me, this is righteousness. Living as we were created to be: like Christ. Don’t forget, we were created through the love of Christ and in God’s image. We pursue that and find righteousness in the process.

Our human nature fights our Spiritual nature.  Our sin wants to keep us from living in the Spirit.  But, as we fight that and pursue the heart of Christ we kick that “sinful nature” in the FACE.  Not saying we won’t sin or mess up.  Just saying we begin to see things from a Spiritual mindset.  We have to ask ourselves; “if I was created in HIS image and through the love of Christ…what does that mean for me NOW?”  What does it mean to have my heart and mind set on things above?  (Corinthians 3:2)  I have said this before but as we live for God our hearts and minds begin to beat in rhythm with His.  We begin to look a little more like Christ.  We begin to love a little bit more like Christ.  THAT is what being a Christian is.  That is how we live towards righteousness.  But, as Pastor Nick said this past Sunday it has to be more than just BEING a Christian.  It has to do with discipleship.  Christ was always pouring into people.  He wasn’t just satisfied with “being a Christian”.  So, PRESS IN.  That is my challenge to you today. Press in and pour out.
Press in to Him and strive to live as Christ lived.
Pour out into the lives and worlds around you the love Christ.  Disciple everyone you can into a right relationship with our Lord and Savior.
THAT is what is it is all about.  Pressing in.  Pouring out.  Pressing in.  Pouring out.  Pressing in…..you get the point.  So…..do that.  Take a look in the mirror.  You might see the sin.  YOu might see, “anger”, “lust”, “addiction”, “failure”….but, allow yourself to see yourself as God created you.  Ephesians 2:10….You are His handiwork.  And the more you OWN that the more like Christ you will begin to look like.  The more like Him You will LIVE.

Selah 18

•June 22, 2017 • Leave a Comment

This is not a love song, rather a time bomb like a civil war in north and south VietnamYet not giving in to the mob that is this world a dark kingdom lead by a liar the ultimate con

This brain is scattered trying to make sense but fail like the mad hatter looking within for all of this to matter, but this is it I will not shatter looking up to YHWH the great creator who paid the forfeit like spin the platter

Yet here we go, sit up straight buckle up and feel the flow of a heart that beats for a God that runs the show. So I pull in close of this I surely know that my God loves me and through me desires to glow

Not me, not my control fighting to surrender both body and soul to the One who overcame the grave and Sheol. An ever interconnected loop hole by which this heart was freed from the toll that Christ paid making me whole

Yet the battle is real as it tries to numb all that I feel and to fight the focus on Heaven that is my true meal. Like ping pong this brain like what’s the deal, can’t seem to see straight as I begin to kneel to find some comfort in the One who has the wheel

So here I am feeling headstrong to the rhythm of this world to which I don’t belong, a renegade that looks to a King who had my heart all along. They look at me and tell me I’M wrong as depravity overtakes their hearts headlong as they can’t find a melody to their song

Christ takes the lead as I harmonize as we write this song together and vocalize a love that cannot lose or be paralyzed. So we turn up the volume to maximize who hears this song so they can realize the King of kings sees them as his greatest prize

Endless revelation is what I pray for that each time we look up we admire the King more and see His beauty to our very core. So don’t lock up or even shut the door that our God knocks on like the hammer of Thor so open up and let Him in more and more

Let’s never forget His loving kindness or His heart that bled to right the wrong of our blindness with open eyes we look to our Highness. In a state of forgiven brokenness as our hearts are clean and forever blessed by a grace that isn’t earned but freely accessed

To God be the glory and all the praise as we lift up our hearts and our voices we raise let’s sing aloud Hallelujah forever and always. With angels and saints we feel the craze exalting our God and forever amazed by His love and beauty for the rest of our days

Selah 17

•June 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Thank You Christ for who You also for all You’ve done
That even in my sin You died for me and my sin was overcome
For through this act I now stand in the strength that only You provide
I will sing Your praise each day my Love as I shout out my battle cry

Thank You Christ for nail scared feet though You always walked in peace
You walked in Truth and in Your Father’s Love, you’re the ultimate showpiece
I submit my feet to do Your work and walk in this peace You give
Not wavering from Your Kingdom come for this path is where I live

Thank You Christ for nail pierced hands that brought healing and power and life
For guiding the lost and forgiving the sin and freeing those submerged in strife
I lift my hands in surrender to You as I vow to do Your will
These surrendered hands will work for You and in others Your Spirit to overfill

Thank You Christ for submitting Your heart and taking the spear to the side
Knowing the pain but still submitting to Love for a world that believed in the lie
I surrender my heart; I give it all to You not an ounce to be shared with another
For You are my King, my greatest romance; I crave this dance with You and none other

Thank You Christ for the whip to the back as You were flogged for blasphemy
A false accusation yet you submitted to those who brought you this agony
I give you my weakness; I give you my strength as the good and bad on my back
I lean on You for the strength to stand tall as You overflow all that I lack

Thank You Christ for humility as they mocked and plucked at Your beard
You never spoke ill or defended Yourself for Your words never interfered
I surrender my mouth and the words that I use to speak life and truth over all
No slander or hate will dance on this tongue as I accept and live out this call

Thank You Christ my King for Your love as they shoved on a crown made of thorns
Your Kingdom’s forever yet they bowed in vein as they yelled and screamed word that scorns
I surrender this mind as my thoughts rise above the darkness that tries to infect
On things above and in Your Spirit will be my mind to interconnect

I pick up my cross and follow You as I die to this flesh each day
I breathe you in and I breathe You out resurrected with you Yahweh
I cannot deny nor can I ignore the love that you bestow
I choose to reflect and through that magnify the King that I long to Know

Daily I bow lifting You above all, no other “god” could ever compare
No wall or chasm can separate this love that You and I share
So now I digress and end this prayer and put these words to action
I pray that this heart lead by Your Spirit will cause a chain reaction

Love how He loves

•May 25, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Why is it we define love with our own confusing language?

We determine what love is and who deserves it.  We look at situations and construct guidelines that dictate how we are to love someone.  John Doe betrayed me, he doesn’t deserve my love.  I can’t love him because of what he did.  Man, I am thankful God doesn’t have that heart with me.  Aren’t you?

Look at Charles Manson.  Here’s a man who has not just murdered but also instructed others to murder on his own behalf.  A man who led others like him to commit these crimes.  These weren’t crimes committed in spontaneous anger or emotion. They were thought out.  Planned and carried out.  Now, chew on that.  How does it make you feel?  Take it a step further.  Do you understand that God loves Charles Manson AS MUCH as God loves YOU?  I am using Charles Manson as an example just because he is a name most people know.  But…

Rapists, child molesters, wife beaters…people who according to my own humanistic definition of DESERVING OF LOVE do not qualify.  They fall short of what I consider as human.  Maybe just a little…or heck…a lot below SCUM even.  But, God loves them just as much as He loves me.  That’s hard for us to understand.  But it’s truth.

Now, the even harder part of this is that God calls us to love them just as He has loved us.  God calls us to face these people we see as LESS THAN and lift them up.  You see, our decisions have consequences.  If I murder someone there will be heavier consequences than if I lie about why I was late to work in the morning.  But, to God…sin is sin is sin.  Yes, in our world there is a weighing scale.  There are laws with different consequences.  But, spiritually sin is sin.  We have to be careful not to let emotion be our enemy.  Where emotion can lead us to worship and draw us close to God as we pursue Him.  If we let it CONTROL us in  a bad way it can bring us to hate and anger towards others.  We have to use wisdom and discernment.  But, we have to love.

John 3:16.  Everyone knows it.  But, I don’t know think most people understand what it is REALLY saying.  For God so loved….what?  THE WORLD.  In Romans 5:8, Jesus died for us while we were still…what?  SINNERS.  We sin daily.  So ask yourself this question.  So, Christ tells us to love as He loved.  What if Christ loves as we love?  What if God returns the same love you show Him?  What if God takes on the humanistic mindset of GETTING EVEN?  Showing us who’s boss.

My point today is this.  We are called to love the world.  We are called to lift up the lost and hurting.  Even those that disgust us.  Yesterday, in our daily reading we read Romans 15.  The first verse says this,

“We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves”  Don’t stand on your pedestal feeling good about how good you think you are.  You are called to take the strength God gave you and use it to help those who are weak.  It’s not about you.  God blesses us and we only think about how it affects us.  But, what if we actually understood that God blesses us to empower us to bless others?  One way you measure your spiritual growth is by how far you will go for others.  Do you think mostly of yourself?  Than I would say you are still a child in your faith.

I want to challenge you with something radical today.  Find someone you that you avoid.  Someone you do not like.  Someone that you just cannot stand being around.  Maybe someone you are bitter towards.  Someone you look down at.  Get on your knees and wash their feet.  (figuratively speaking).  Find them…love them.  Find someone that is alone.  Find someone others avoid.  Love them.  Find someone lost.  Find someone afraid.  Love them.  Ask God to open your eyes.

And be obedient.

Loving the Bride of Christ

•May 18, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Pastor Nick talked this week about loving one another.  Not just the lost and hurting.  But, also your fellow members of this body of Christ.  I haven’t been consistent in writing my blogs but am trying to get back in my routine.This week I want to start with a scripture that was in today’s reading in Romans 12 verse 10.  The ESV titles this sections “Marks of a true Christian”.  So remember that as you read this.

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”

First, brotherly affection.  I am going to make this personal to make my point.  I grew up with three older brothers who absolutely spoiled me rotten.  I mean, we always have given each other a hard time.  But, in the end, my brothers would have done anything to make sure I didn’t have to feel pain.  Unless it was caused by them, hahahahaha.  For example, Nick, Brent and I used to play a game called Crunch Course.  Where I would try to get by Nick and Brent and they would tackle me.  As a kid I had a BLAST!!!  But as a grown up….come on.  I think this had to be anger management for my brothers, hahahaha.  Kidding.  I had a blast.  But, my point is.  Looking back, I know my brothers love me.  I know I had to annoy the mess out of them at times but they never treated me like the “annoying little brother”.  I was allowed to hang out with them and their friends.  They took time to hang out with me.  I have very fond memories of my brothers.  That brotherly love played a role in my life.  It came from a love from parents who loved all of us this same way.  Looking back I know my brothers would undergo pain and agony if it meant making me happy.  This is something I appreciate looking back more now than ever.  This kind of brotherly love is what we are called to for one another.  Not just to give “good thoughts” and “good vibes”.  But, to be willing to step into battle for the well being of your brother or sister.  We are called….sorry, let me rephrase. We are COMMANDED to love each other like this.

Also in Hebrews 13:1 “Let brother love continue”

Second, outdo one another in showing honor.  I love this.  Last week when I had the privilege to speak I talked about honoring one another is a part of our lifestyle of worship to God.  Jen Johnson said this, “it doesn’t matter if you feel honored, what matters is how you honor others”.  We are also commanded to honor one another.  It doesn’t matter if you feel as though you are being honored.  You should live each day honoring your brother and sister.  Jesus Christ was dishonored over and over again.  He never strayed from honored those around Him.  We are called to this same kind of love.

John 13:34, 35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

This is a huge calling by Jesus.  They will know we are His disciples, how?  By how we love one another.  We all know we are called to love the unlovable.  We are called to love the lost.  But, do you actually think about how you love those that are a part of the body of Christ?  I believe very much that our relationship with the Church is very important in our spiritual growth.  I have a hard time agreeing with the notion that you can be a Christian and not go to Church.  Because that mindset is about ME.  If someone isn’t going to church it is for selfish reasons.  Christianity is not about ME.  It’s about KINGDOM.  I know people who are believers that don’t go to Church.  I do struggle with this but I am not saying they aren’t Christians.  Just saying, I struggle with it.  To me it shows someone spiritual maturity.  I know I need the Church.  I know the Church needs me.  It’s a relationship that is much needed.  And according to Christ, the world is watching and sees that love for each other.

Pastor Nick made a point this Sunday talking about helping the needy.  That if we are helping the needy and giving them what they NEED but aren’t loving each other, they won’t want what we have.  Are we really helping them in that situation?  The FOOD or MONEY in helping the needy isn’t the main point.  It’s spreading the love of Christ and the Gospel to the world.  Loving one another is very much a part of this.  Think of it like this.  If I am an orphan and a family decides to help me.  If I get a peak at this family and see how much they hate each other I would probably rather be out on my own than with that family.  But, if that family practices what they preach behind closed doors with each other.  That will entice me to be a part of that family.   Are you following me?  How we can win the lost and hurting when we aren’t loving each other?  I have seen people walk into a Church and never want to return because there was no sense of Unity in Christ.  This is huge!!!

Take a step back.  Are you loving the Bride of Christ?  Remember, the Church is the Bride.  If you aren’t loving His Bride do you think He will approve of this?  If the lost and hurting see we don’t love each other do you really think they are going to want what we have?  Think about it.  Apply it.