What About These Changes?

As long as I can remember I have believed in encouragement. It may sound simplistic because who truly believes we shouldn’t encourage people? And yet, I have heard people sometimes say half-jokingly “Don’t encourage him.” That might be said by a wife about her husband’s jokes and general sense of humor that she doesn’t find very funny. My wife says I don’t have ANY experience with that. Riiight.

When I took a class on understanding your spiritual gifts at Solana Beach Pres a few years ago I was gladdened to see that encouragement was one of my gifts. I believe I have enjoyed encouraging people basically all my life. That’s why I added the line “Encouraging You Since 1963” to the header on this blog. I was born February 28, 1963 at Tri-City Hospital in Oceanside, California.

Encinitas, California is where I grew to be a teenager and that’s the place I consider my hometown. I’m still trying to figure out how to get one of those oval-like world maps with Encinitas at the very center. (That’s how big a deal Encinitas feels to me.) I love the Pacific Ocean and being close to the water and that’s why I chose the ocean graphic for Your Support Matters.

Conversation with the right friend about matters of faith is also something I find encouraging. I had one of those conversations with Mike Winter at Mr. Taco across from Cal State San Marcos the other day. I shared about some of the experiences I’ve been sharing on this blog and he gave me an account of a summer camp years ago that changed his thinking a little about how we see God.

This is not the first time I’ve been moved by a Mike Winter story from his life. If he had a comic book it might be titled “Michael Winter’s Real Life Adventures In Faith”. I didn’t plan to write this (unless you consider thinking 5 minutes ahead to be planning), I just really felt encouraged by our conversation. It reminded me why we share about what’s going on in our life with our friends. Maybe God will come up and hopefully we’ll be mutually encouraged through what we recount. Mike doesn’t know I’m writing this and I’m not sure what he’ll think. My guess is that mostly he’ll be humble and surprised about it.

A few things in my life I’ve discovered because of the internet and Mike is one of them. I guess it’s probably three or four years ago that I found a site that let me know he liked to network. I’m glad our relationship is growing beyond simply networking, though he’s excellent at it.

Real estate is also something he excels at. Almost always I learn more whenever we talk for any length of time. If real estate were music, I believe real estate experts would say that Mike Winter has “chops”, which only come with experience. Experience saves a lot of headaches and it can save time and money in the long run. I encourage you to experience Mike’s “chops” firsthand.

Here is Michael Winter’s profile on Zillow.

Here’s something else that I’ve never done before on this blog – a dedication.

When I was thinking about what you told me, tears welled up in my eyes and this song came to mind.

God Bless You!

He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands

What’s going on?

Recently I’ve been made aware of a change taking place that could be monumental for the U.S. and possibly the world. September 30 (or October 1?) is possibly an auspicious day for currencies, especially the dollar, based on decisions at the IMF (International Monetary Fund). If you want to find out more, research special drawing rights or SDR.

Some people think that the value of the dollar will fall drastically and quickly and we will have great inflation in the United States. A very smart man I know in Arizona seems to think this way.

Earlier today I bought a book on Kindle by Harry Dent that argues the opposite. Dent believes we will enter a period of strong deflation soon or that the deflationary period we’re in (which is disguised by all the dollars being printed during “quantitative easing”) will become even more deflationary.

I can’t explain everything I think I know in a short post and when you think about it, even the last two paragraphs are simply my understanding of the different sources (on opposite sides of the monetary/economic thought fence). As I write this I’m not sure who is correct, though I suspect Dent is closer to the truth.

Even the experts that the world looks to for wisdom can be very wrong on something that seems small but turns out to be enormous. My Arizona genius showed me this video of Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, admitting that his view of economic reality was wrong and he was unsure why. I highly recommend watching it. It’s less than 7 minutes long and I guess you could say it’s kind of frightening or, at the very least, stunning to watch the economic “GURU” admit that he was mistaken about derivatives and the size of their consequences a la the Great Recession.

I’m not going to offer investment strategies, but I do know that no matter what happens in the future, we can rely on God. I believe I’m learning to do more of that. How do we do that?

I believe a big part of it is spending time with God in actual worship. My wife and I have spent more hours in worship in recent months than we ever have in any similar period of time. Sometimes it’s the two of us. More often it’s a worship service at the Fire & Glory Outpouring or alone with God. For my wife and me, that also includes worship services at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church.

No matter what your political or economic views, spending time truly worshiping God yields benefits. I was worried yesterday after talking to Mr. Arizona Libertarian. My wife came home and prayed over me and I took a nap and definitely felt calmer afterwards.

I know it can be difficult to set aside time, but it must be done. Spend more time with God in prayer and listening. Worship God without any distractions.

It’s not that different than what I told our son, Stuart, about soccer when he was growing up. Practice and you’ll get better at it. If you’ve seen the littlest kids on the field, you’ve seen how they play soccer like a big amoeba running together after the ball. As time passed our little guy who ran all over the field without much strategy beyond following the ball with his whole team became an excellent defender and strategic team player. You get better with practice at soccer or worship or prayer or poker or anything else.

Want more peace in times of turmoil?

Practice really connecting with God and you’ll find it easier to keep in mind the big picture.

God Bless You.

Here’s the only Gospel song to make it to #1 on a U.S. pop singles chart to help you remember the big(gest) picture:

My Wife Keeps Doing This To Me

Today is the third time that this has happened in recent weeks.

I’m involved in something else and I hear her listening to something on her IPad. I keep trying to do what I’m doing, but I find the speaker so engaging and loving that I’m drawn to listen in.

That speaker is Shawn Bolz. I even shared one of his videos with my friend, Fred, the other day. My guess is that if you listen and watch Shawn Bolz, soon you’ll be sharing him with your friends. AND, he’s coming to San Marcos the first weekend in September starting Thursday, September 1.

I’m going to watch the video below right now and I recommend that you do the same. I’m already signed up for the September event, Fresh Awakening, which is in unity with Living At His Feet Ministries. Just click the link in the previous sentence to check out and register for this event!

See You There!

Be Filled With Wonder!

Charlie

Thy Word Is A Lamp Unto My Feet

When I started this blog I mentioned faith songs that help me feel the presence of God. This morning my wife and I were together in worship for the first time in a while at our home church, Solana Beach Presbyterian Church.

This song by Amy Grant (below) came to mind as we studied Psalm 119 (the longest Psalm) in worship. Our congregation read the whole Psalm together, sometimes following along and other times reading in unison.

Then our senior pastor, Mike McClenahan, preached the rest of his sermon. He had urged us to find words that stood out for us as we read and then taught us three main points.

The word, which was the Torah (the way) originally, is:

*profoundly good*

*intentionally heard*

*relationally followed*

You can hear the whole sermon with Mike’s finer points soon by visiting SolanaPres/audio.

Be Filled With Wonder!

Charlie

A New Dance To Watch And Learn

I’m dating myself with this post’s title. If you have ever seen The Archies television show that I watched on Saturday mornings during the 1970s(!), you’ll recognize those seven words as the start of the “new dance” portion of the show. I still remember seeing one called “The Touchdown” that featured Jughead prominently.

Oh, those carefree days before 1980 when terrorists in the U.S. like the SLA and others [Google It – The SLA] were homegrown and mostly stuck to robbing banks. (At least that’s how I perceived it in my preteen years. Wait. You didn’t realize that we had terrorism way back then? It’s not new. The faces are different as well as their beliefs. But I digress and manage to explain while still bleary-eyed…ANyway…)

Recently I’ve been sharing with people I know and people I meet in Vons and Trader Joe’s and other places how I never expected to be attending 3 1/2 hour long worship services, but that’s what I’ve been doing.

This is possibly a “new dance” for you as well. Here’s another “new dance” for you. Ready?

You can watch it live on Youtube!

That’s what I did last night because I was a lot more tired than I had expected to be. I tuned into The Fire & Glory Outpouring while it was happening last night. I got on a little late at 7:46 and was with them until they turned the audio off hours later when the guest speaker (guest blesser?), Ivan Roman, went from person to person blessing them by prophesying over them.

If you know me you realize that this style of worship is not something I’ve been practicing very long. I only started down this path in April of 2016 (this year!) and I continue to get more and more comfortable with worshiping God in this new-to-me, God-and-me-self-stretching, comfort zone-expanding style.

What’s the best way to watch The Outpouring live online? I’m glad you asked! But, some of you are not going to like this. Really ready?

DON’T multitask while watching.

If you have to get up and use the bathroom or get some water or check on the puppy or whatever, then ok. Turn up the volume, go do it and come right back without getting distracted.

What you really want to do is PARTICIPATE in worship.

I found myself saying “Amen” at least a couple times last night because I wasn’t merely “watching a show”.

My “rules” about watching are simply to help you get the most out of watching (PARTICIPATING) by having a real worship experience when you can’t make it to The Outpouring.

Soon The Fire & Glory Outpouring will be moving to Summit Church across from Cal State San Marcos. You can still catch it through Sunday night at Heart of God Church in Rancho Bernardo. Whether you attend before or after the move it will be Wednesday through Sunday nights at 7:30.

There’s also something you can get more details about at 6 pm on Wednesdays by visiting Living At His Feet Ministries to check the schedule.

The video below is from last week when I attended in Rancho Bernardo. If you watch you will eventually see me lay down on the floor in worship face down. That wasn’t a rule. I simply felt led to do it. Talk about stretching myself in worship! That was definitely a “new dance” for me.

God Bless You!

Be Filled With Wonder!

Charlie

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus 2 (Connection)

“He loves what you love more than you love it.”

My wife was watching a video on Facebook and I asked her to share it so that I could share it. I did and found out that a couple people I know in real life are not connected to me on Facebook. I hope that enough people are eventually reading this blog so that hundreds and thousands [or maybe hundreds OF thousands or millions! I can dream, can’t I? Don’t worry. This is going somewhere.] of people aren’t connected to me on Facebook.

As I write this you can still connect at Facebook.com/BigManWalking. If you are or you become connected to me on Facebook, this video of Shawn Bolz was posted August 15, 2016.

Right now I’m listening to another of Shawn Bolz’s videos with my wife while I write. Shawn tells a beautiful, life impacting story about dining with very wealthy people and how hearts were changed soon after he uttered the quote at the beginning of this post. You can watch this video even if you’re not connected to me on Facebook. Here is Translating God part 4:

One huge problem is finding enough time for all manner of things.

Connection, by which I mean RELATIONSHIP, suffers.

As I learn to set aside more time to learn about God and enhance my intimacy with God I see benefits like learning to distinguish his voice from other voices. I know one religious tradition seems to say that it’s all about what we learn in the scriptures, but I believe there is more than that.

Recently I’ve been reading the bible with new eyes. I’m reading John and throwing out an old assumption. The assumption? Miracles, signs and wonders don’t happen in modern day life or they are incredibly rare. I’m coming to believe that those things happen and the book of John reads differently when you start to believe that God can do greater things through you as you choose greater intimacy with him.

Set aside time or integrate time into your schedule or whatever you have to do to communicate with God.

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus. Look Full In His Wonderful Face.

Be filled with wonder!

Charlie

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Tuesday I was driving back from Pechanga/Temecula and 15 South was socked in. I was feeling particularly good because I had been practicing being connected to the Holy Spirit. I had been able to share with over 20 men a little about what I felt God had done that morning. (Sorry – I’m saving a version of that encounter for my upcoming novel. If you see me face to face I’m open to sharing.)

As I drove home I was singing Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus and the traffic wasn’t really bothering me. I was simply making plans to get off at Gopher Canyon and drive home through Vista. Singing and driving (or crawling!). Driving and singing.

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus is about keeping our focus on the Lord and letting His light outshine what’s going on here on Earth.

I highly recommend doing just that.

Here are two versions I prefer: