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Archive for the ‘spiritual’ Category

In The World

Recently I went to a Mexican Restaurant with a bar here in El Paso. I like to go there every few weeks to play in a free poker tournament. It’s something I enjoy doing and I am intentionally working my way into a community of people we would call “unchurched”. The thing is, I just see them as people who have normal concerns, pain and a longing for happiness in their life.

They are no different than me accept most of them have no relationship with their Creator. One particular person stands out from the crowd. She is an amazingly warm and friendly woman I’ll call Virginia. Virginia is 63 years old.  Looking at Virginia you would not think of your typical grandmotherly type. She is completely covered in tattoos, she is not afraid to hug every man in the bar and will talk about absolutely anything with just about anyone. She has befriended me over the past couple months and introduced me to several regulars.

The last time I went to play I got to sit next to Virginia and I started asking about her tattoos. She told me about the next one she wants to get and showed me a necklace that it would be copied from. She asked if I knew what it said or meant. I had no clue.

As she began to explain the symbol for slaves she asked if I knew anything about Dominatrix. Me, a little in shock, said no. She procedes to tell me about her current “Slave” relationship with a retired high ranking military man. She grew up inside the Hells Angels motorcycle gang. She said her mom was a slave to her father and so this lifestyle is really all she has known. She is basically the property of this man and has to submit to pretty much whatever he tells her to do. It is quite fascinating and frightening all at the same time.

Virginia asked if I was freaked about what she was telling me. Inside, I was a little freaked out but I told her I wasn’t. It became crystal clear to me in that moment that I am speaking to someone who has lived in dark captivity her whole life and she doesn’t even know it. Satan has so deceived her since she was a little child that she now believes this is a totally acceptable lifestyle. I silently prayed for her to be released from satan’s bondage and to know what God’s freedom feels like. The conversation died for a while and I just pondered the things she had revealed to me. I felt honored to be given this opportunity to know so much about her and to know that I am able to show her what a relationship with my Savior looks like.

Eventually I asked her what it was like to be inside the Hells Angels. She said all the “myths” that I have heard are not myths at all. It is not a friendly organization. She went on to tell me some more things that were hard to fathom. She also told me that she has had experiences with ghosts or spirits. Early in our conversation I sensed that she was in severe spiritual bondage and the more she shared the more her spiritual captivity became apparent.

In my past I would have written Virginia off as a weirdo and moved on. Now, her situation really bothers me. I truly want to help her find freedom in Christ. The thing I know is I have to show her the power of God. She has to have some desire to be set free. These things will only happen if I show her unconditional love and acceptance.

How do I do that?

Honestly, I don’t have a clear answer yet. At this point all I can do is spend time where she hangs and continually pray for the Holy Spirit to guide our conversations and give me insight. Please join me in praying for the Virginia and the many other hurting people in El Paso.

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So I feel very convicted from my time with God this morning. He is asking me to share what I am learning with the people around me that are ready to learn…Some of you are probably way more knowledgeable than me in these topics, others may have no interest at all. This is for the people who are interested but maybe not sure where to start.

Let me give you a little background on why I speak with confidence on these topics. From 1999 to 2007 I worked in the residential mortgage business in Portland, OR and dabbled in real estate investing. From 2007-2010 I was a licensed financial advisor and went through a lot of product training. Over the past two years I have invested a lot of time in reading and studying economics and the issues that are effecting all of our personal finances. Most importantly I have done a lot of praying and seeking God’s wisdom in these areas.

Jenni and I  have systematically reduced our monthly expenses from a high of around $7500 per month a few years ago down to around $3500 today. We believe in living a simple life with an emphasis on investing in people and ministry. We believe that we have been adopted into the Kingdom of Heaven. Being children of the Kingdom we are blessed with unlimited resources when we follow His instructions for living and claim His promises in faith. (this is a whole other post or 10).

Today I want to focus on a few points that can be found in the parable of the talents Matthew 25:14-30 NKJV. Come on a short journey with me.

  • Those who have spent time seeking wisdom will be given more to manage. there is real truth to this, we are instructed to seek wisdom and understanding in regards to growing and protecting our resources. We need to be excellent stewards and treat what God has given us with the utmost care.
  • We should not hoard what God has entrusted to us. Money needs to flow to grow.
  • The treasures of the Kingdom are entrusted to His servants. Look closely at verse 14 where it specifically talks about who was given the talents to manage.
  • He trusts us to do our research and to make decisions with the wisdom He is imparting to us. Seek Him, do your research, seek wise council, be decisive and pay attention. (After the talents were distributed He went on a journey verse 15). We may not hear a clear yes or no on every financial decision that we face.
  • We should not paralyzed by be fear and indecision. (This is a tough one for me because I am not decisive naturally and from childhood I learned to live in fear). Look at verse 25 because I think this speaks to most of us. Once we have done our due diligence we need to take action.

Please meditate on this parable and pray for wisdom to be revealed to you. It is extremely important to draw out what God has to say to you personally. My only objective is to get you to start thinking and asking questions so you can act wisely and decisively.

Interested in some fabulous resources? Contact me by email, Facebook or twitter and I will be happy to share them.

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“Identity”

This is a topic I have been struggling with for a long time.  I have grown up with a “pauper” mentality.  This is something I did not understand until the past month or so.  There were glimpses of revelation into this for me over the past five years or so but real understanding and clarity didn’t enter my mind until very recently.

My 4th quarter 2010 reading list includes: “When Heaven Invades Earth” Bill Johnson, “The Supernatural Power of the Transformed Mind” Bill Johnson, “The Tangible Kingdom” Hugh Halter & Matt Smay, “The Supernatural Ways of Royalty” Kris Vallotton & Bill Johnson

I have to tell you, my mind is being renewed daily. I am realizing how much I have focused on what people think of me and how insignificantly I view myself.

When I committed my life to Christ, I received a new identity “Prince”.  This revelation alone is allowing me to take captive my thoughts. Especially the ones that say I am merely a sinner or cause me to question who I am. How dare I think that I could have an impact for God with my measly little life?  These thoughts must be obliterated!

As I write this, I don’t have a clue how my bills will get paid because I have no income.  I am behind on rent to my current landlord.  I am getting ready to move in a couple weeks to a new city 1800 miles away to follow God’s call to ministry.  If I spend even a minute thinking about what I can provide or accomplish on my own, I immediately feel defeated and depressed. Fear is ever present if I allow it to enter my mind.

My only hope in these last couple weeks has been to pray for God to fill me up with courage and strength.  To spend hours daily engaged in study of God’s Word and these books written by men who have an incredible understanding of “identity in Christ”.

I guess the whole point I want to make today is this; don’t listen to what any voice says about you if it is counter to what Jesus has made abundantly clear about you.

  • You are a Child of the King.
  • This makes you a brother or sister of the risen Christ.
  • You are worthy of every good thing in our Father’s Kindgom and it is available to you today.
  • Stop waiting for Heaven and start living as a Prince today

I would love to hear feedback from you. Do you know your identity?

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Continued sort of…

Today I am cheating and using what Jenni has already shared about our trip

I will give my thoughts in more detail another day.

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Continued from yesterday

Monday morning mid September.  Awake and motivated to do something… But what?

This is a question that constantly bombards me because I am a driven person.  I don’t like to sit around collecting unemployment wondering how my bills will get paid.  I feel very distracted even playing with my kids or spending time with Jenni because I feel like I should be doing something to provide.  But this still small voice says, “wait on me and keep the divine appointments I have set up for you”.  Your needs will be met because I have promised you this.  (Insert Faith Here)

I decided my goal for the day was to begin an infinite banking whole life insurance policy with Tom who had helped my parents get started.  I would fund it initially with a small IRA I had from when I used to make some decent money.  Number 2 was to attend an FCCI meeting in Lake Oswego where I had met some really great people a few weeks earlier.  My friend Chris from work that set up the prayer meeting had introduced me to the group and I wanted to start attending regularly.

This group is awesome, the leader owns a company called Light Speed Aviation.  They make communication equipment for pilots.  Anyway, he hosts the meetings in his building’s conference room and let’s them use the room as much as they want.  When I showed up the table was pretty crowded so I sat by my friend down at the end.  When the meeting concluded, the guy next to me introduced himself.  He asks what I do and I tell him I am looking for work and that I had worked with Chris in sales.  He was quick to tell me that he was looking for some good sales people and wanted to know if I was interested in interviewing.  Of course I was interested, he runs an online marketing company and that is something I enjoy.

Long story short, I go and meet with him at his office later that day.  He gives me the low down on what they do as a company and what the job would entail.  The downside was commission only, basic telemarketing and it takes about six months to get up to a descent income.  The income does become residual but the start-up part would be very challenging financially.  It was clear they are great people and a solid, ethical business so I decided to just go do a half day trial on Thursday.

Phone sales is not my favorite thing to do by any stretch.  I did discover that I am pretty good at it but I don’t feel it aligns with my passion enough for me top excel at it.  It really would just become a “job” way too quickly.  The more I prayed and considered this option the more I felt compelled to be patient and not commit myself too quickly.

In the mean time our trip to El Paso, TX was quickly approaching.  I tried to spend a lot of time in prayer and seeking what God had for me leading up to the trip.  I purposely did no research on the church or the city we were visiting because I wanted to experience everything with a completely unbiased and open mind.

On Wednesday, I did go and interview with our local Audi dealer.  Audi makes some of my favorite cars and I was kind of excited at the thought of selling them.  After a long discussion with the sales manager and learning what exactly the commitment would look like I quickly realized I couldn’t do it.  My wife, kids and ministry are way too important to me to spend that much time at my place of work.

Waiting on the Lord can be very difficult for someone who just wants to get to work…

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Continued from last week

Laura began to share what she had heard from God about our situation.  “God sees your faithfulness, He is going to bring great clarity to your situation soon.”  She also said she sensed that He would be bringing great blessing into our lives beyond what we could comprehend at the moment.

This was something she had listened to for a couple of weeks but had waited to share until she was sure it was a message from God.  It’s pretty amazing to have friends that are in close communion with “The Holy Spirit”.

By that evening I was emotionally drained and just had to soak in what I had learned and experienced.  As I write this, I realize I have had more frequent peace ever since that day.

That night I picked up the book “When Heaven Invades Earth” by Bill Johnson.  I had thought about reading it for a while but finally decided it was time.  From the first few pages I was hooked.  The timing was perfect for me to dive in and feed my hunger to learn about God’s desire to impart supernatural power into our natural world.

Over the past few weeks I have finished that book and it is incredible from start to finish.  I would strongly recommend you read all of Bill Johnson’s books when you can.  What inspires me the most is how it has changed my perspective.

Old me: Satisfied to be Saved.

New Me:     Expecting God’s Super Natural Power revealed DAILY

Are you living a life expectant of God’s power to be revealed for His Glory?

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Continued from Yesterday

Meeting Laura Lasky was everything that I had imagined.  She is witty, hilarious, loving, caring and filled with “The Spirit”!

She and her husband Stephen have prayed for us non stop this year and on many occasions Jenni and I have gotten emails when we wake up in the morning.  As we read it, we feel the Spirit move because it is exactly what we have wrestled with in our minds and Laura was praying over the very same thing.  The crazy part is we never talked to her about these things until she brought them up.  God totally talks to her every day!

So pleased I came home in time to chat with her before she headed back to the Bay Area.

Friday morning I got a call from a former coworker.  He told me about a group of people that go around praying over businesses and actually speaking prophetic words to the owners.  He invited them to come in and pray over “The Company” before he would give up on all his hard work.  This was his life line.

I was intrigued and had to be there.

So we all show up at the conference room of our building.  There were 4 of us that worked together and the 8-10 people were complete strangers to me.  We sat around and ate some lunch while giving a quick introduction to who everyone was and what they did.  The owner of the company was last and he gave a long explanation of who he was and what the story of the company had been to that point.  Then it was time to start the prayer session.

All of us who worked at “The Company” sat down and the “Prayers” gathered around and laid hands on us.  They began to pray and I could feel the Holy Spirit in the room.  Some would give word pictures of what they were seeing others just prayed.  Eventually the leader of the group came around and grabbed the owners hands and spoke some very prophetic words to him.  He did this for each of my coworkers and I began to feel like God had forgotten about me.

I was longing for an anointing from the Spirit.

After each had received their word, this man came over to me.  He asked me to stand up.  Now I am totally nervous cause I had been balling like a baby during the prayer time.

He says, “Give me a hug”.  He is way taller and thicker than me so he wraps me up with his long arms.  This was one strong man hug!

Awkward!!!!

He says, “Papa wants me to tell you something.  He wants you to know that He sees your faithfulness and He appreciates it.  Be encouraged because he knows that things have not been clear and you have remained faithful.  He is going to bring you clarity very soon and you will be blessed.  He loves you so much and He is proud of you.

I totally lost it!

Here I was jealous because everyone else got a Word of encouragement and I was left out. Turns out, I got exactly what I needed and the best things do come to those who wait on the Lord.

I literally felt God’s arms around me, holding me, encouraging me to keep up the good fight.  I have never felt anything like this my entire life.  It was exhausting, exhilarating, and exciting.

If you have never encountered The Living God, there is no way for you to imagine what you are missing out on.

After this experience, I went home to share the story with Jenni and Laura.  As soon as I had finished telling what I could remember of the experience, Laura began to tell me what God had been speaking to her…

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