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    Sunday
    Jan012017

    Great & Awful Challenges

    The first day of 2017 is in process with all the great & awful challenges of yesteryear.

    I hope . . . that all human beings, who are positioned in effective living, will take deep breaths before their next steps, asking one’s self these kinds of questions, “In what ways do I need to continue to change & grow to become more self-aware so that my imprint on this world contributes to moving forward?” “What healing do I need to seek to believe in myself (and others), that will increase my skills & talents?” “What choices/actions can I make that are good, kind, intelligent, & will motivate unity, caring, & trust around this world?” “How can I ‘speak life’ into all circumstances & into this person before me that will inspire them to stretch, grow, build, work for our common good?” “How can I model healthy, life-giving behavior for everyone around me as I share my particular skills and talents?” “How do I learn healthy boundaries to become more effective and joyful in my life and in the lives of others?” I am sure there are many more questions we can ask ourselves, & each other.

    Another way to invoke change is to ask, Lord, Help me . . .”

    The Bible tells us believers that we are to, 1. Love . . . that everything is dependent on that first commandment. To my brothers & sisters of faith there is repentance that must be done, to release bitterness, mistrust, anger, hostility, sarcasm, stubbornness, profanity, division. We are to Speak Life, do as our Father does.

    There is a strategy of evil in this nation, & world, that encourages maliciousness in our thoughts & views, in our behavior, & in our treatment of one another. Evil has conned us into expressing sarcastic humor as fun. There is much evidence of this scheme, including with people of faith. My heart breaks when I hear my fellow believers talk about death oriented TV series they follow with more passion than following God.

    During the election process many comments made on Facebook by those I love were shocking in the apparent lack of awareness of the meanness in them. The book of Ephesians speaks well of how we are to be equipped & to the level of deception believers will fall into when they are tossed this way & that. Please pray and read James 3: 1 through 13. There is no condemnation in Christ, but there is correction: Prov 11: My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction. 12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth (KJV).  

    Reading the book of John is my inspiration for this new year. In John 13:35 The Word tells us that by our love people will know we are disciples of Jesus. Hmmm. What does the World know about you, your love, our love? What would happen with Church attendance if God were known through our love?

    Everything I have written about I ask myself. Lord, I pray that my life speaks life & love to every human being you bring me into contact with this day, every day. May you speak truth into my heart & mind, be strong in guiding me in my behavior. Protect the gates of my being to take in all you have & refuse what is not of you. Let Love be my top & bottom line in all I do in your name. I re-commit my life to you that I am empowered in Christ to bridle my whole being for your purposes. I stand on the truth that you are God, You Won, It IS Finished.  

    Monday
    Jan182016

    God's DNA ~ Spark

    I will always remember that March day, 1982, at the beach in Los Angeles, CA, when I had a supernatural encounter that altered my understanding of a God who knows me! The short story: though I had a full time job I was addicted to alcohol; I was married and having an affair; I had multiple personalities. I was in severe emotional pain, crying out for relief. In the previous months playing at the Bonaventure Hotel (I was a musician/singer) I found myself at the Vineyard Church (at Emerson Junior High), among famous musicians, such as T-Bone Burnett, who led the worship band. God captured me with my passion for music.

    I didn’t remember being baptized as a child so when the Vineyard held a baptism I signed up. On that baptism Sunday, behind schedule, I was running across the vast white sandy beach towards the ocean when I heard a voice say, “Stop.” I kept running and suddenly I felt a hand on my chest, stopping me. There was no one there. I stood there panting, looking around, curious and irritated, like, “What?” I heard a voice inside my head say, “Go back and pick that up.” I looked back and there was about 100 yards of white sand going in all directions. I laughed and sarcastically exclaimed, “Yeah, right! Go back and pick that up.” I heard that voice again, quiet, clear, firm, “Go back and pick that up.”  Feeling afraid, I turned back towards the way I came and trudged through the sand. After twenty or so paces the voice said, “Stop, pick that up.” I looked down, saw nothing but sand, felt humiliated, a kind of dread filling my guts. Gently that voice said, “Pick that up.” In resignation I bent over, put my hand in the sand and grasped at nothing. But, I felt something, lifted my hand, opened it and there it was: a white plastic cowboy, white hat on his head, guns raised in surrender. I was shocked, frozen, breathless, time was suspended. As my brain tried to find order in the chaos that was roaring in my head I felt tears rolling down my cheeks. I started laughing. I knew in those long, charged moments that God was real, that He Knew Me. That is was Him who got me to the Vineyard, connected to specific musicians whom I admired, who spoke about God in deeply personal ways. Only God knew that I thought of myself as an outlaw, but as good guy in my heart, that the cowboy with the white hat is how I saw myself. God knew I felt I had to fight to protect myself. And, only God knew I would understand that He was showing me, by the cowboy holding his guns in surrender, that He wanted me to surrender.

    By revelation God transformed my feelings of toxic shame into wonder and amazement. A sense of love came over me so deep and wide it swept away every curse, lie, and vow I had heard, or was spoken against me. I felt held in an embrace I had dreamed of, had glimmers when hugged by my grandmother when I was small. And yet, so much more was rushing through my being when I realized I was kneeling in the sand gazing at the small, white plastic cowboy, guns in surrender.

    Looking up I suddenly realized I was on the wrong beach, miles away from where the baptism was taking place. I put the plastic cowboy deep into my pocket while rushing back to my van. My heart, mind, and spirit were buzzing from the spark that was lighting my soul afire with wonder. When I finally was immersed into the freezing cold Pacific Ocean I came up warm. Impossible!

    God’s DNA was waking up! A strange season began, with unknown dimensions of spiritual life and how that affected my day-to-day living. His Great Adventure continued . . . 

     

    Monday
    Jan182016

    God’s DNA ~ The Series

    Near the end of 2015 God began speaking to me about His DNA, what the Word/Bible says about it and how my perspective, or understanding has been shaped, by Him.

    As I was taking my year-end inventory with the Lord I felt Him impress me it was time to begin writing out what He was showing me. I thank James Goll, God’s Man, for inspiring me to obey Abba when he spoke about God’s DNA at the 2015 RTF Advance in North Carolina. On to this adventure . . .