God Showed Me Jamie Gates Through Pedro Enriquez

If you’re like me you want to know that you’re being directed by God when you actually ask God for direction. I’ve asked God to make it more clear. Readers of my blog know that I’ve seen God moving in my life more powerfully this year.

Check out my April posts if you want to see recent origins of what’s happening now. (Of course, you can trace this season of my life back to John Guenther, a lover of God from Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, recommending that I read The Cure by Bill Thrall, Bruce McNicol & John Lynch.)

Today I’ve had something very interesting happen to me. While some family and friends are out sharing Jesus with people in the streets, stores and malls, I’ve been home resting and letting the Lord minister to me. I took some time to lay down when I got away from the internet. I intended to actually sleep, but after a time of rest I felt God nudging me to get up.

Sometimes God is showing you something truly unexpected. I’m figuring out how to listen to him. We’re told in John 10:27-28 about Jesus’ sheep hearing his voice and receiving eternal life from him. I’m learning how to effectively hear his voice (though not in an audible way).

Again, if you’re a reader of my blog you know that one reason I started it is that God gave me a brand that I’m bringing to the world. I’m thinking about who I want to print my prototype shirt and I was asking God about it. I’ve wondered who he might want me to use if I actually care to ask him. He was getting my attention and I was asking him if it was really true that my sense was correct.

My sense was that God might be telling me that I shouldn’t use the place I visited the other day. The Lord knows I don’t know all about them, just that they’ve been around for decades. I wondered if I should try someone else in the same area or a guy I used to tutor with that I haven’t thought about recently.

Then the Lord put a face in my head. Pedro Enriquez is a man I know from my time tutoring at Reality Changers (RC) and we’re connected on Facebook. He used to be in charge of the Solana Beach section of RC. I know Pedro to be a faithful man of God, but I wasn’t sure about a connection to t-shirt printing.

Soon after arriving at his Facebook page I realized that God had something different than t-shirts in mind for me today. Holy Spirit has been reaching me powerfully through tears recently and this was no exception. I saw Pedro’s post of Jamie Gates speaking at TedX PLNU (Point Loma Nazarene University) and I felt that this video was what God wanted me to see even before I pressed play. I realize that some people might be skeptical of this situation, but as I believe I’ve heard Patricia King say:

“Your knower knows.”

In this process God also gave me a great post for Saturday, October 29, 2016. He gave me other stuff today, but that’s for another time. I strongly urge you to watch NOW and allow God to bless you by showing you something good and unexpected.

God loves you!

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All About That Grace

When you are stepping out in faith it’s very important to remember grace.

Dictionary.com has seven definitions and I believe they are in the order of how often society uses them. That means #1 is the most popular usage – sort of like a Google ranking.

What I’m talking about today is God’s grace.

Definitions 3-4-5 are the meanings I’m interested in, especially 5.


Grace
noun
1.
elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action:
We watched her skate with effortless grace across the ice.
Synonyms: attractiveness, charm, gracefulness, comeliness, ease, lissomeness, fluidity.
Antonyms: stiffness, ugliness, awkwardness, clumsiness; klutziness.
2.
a pleasing or attractive quality or endowment:
He lacked the manly graces.
3.
favor or goodwill.
Synonyms: kindness, kindliness, love, benignity; condescension.
4.
a manifestation of favor, especially by a superior:
It was only through the dean’s grace that I wasn’t expelled from school.
Synonyms: forgiveness, charity, mercifulness.
Antonyms: animosity, enmity, disfavor.
5.
mercy; clemency; pardon:
He was saved by an act of grace from the governor.
Synonyms: lenity, leniency, reprieve.
Antonyms: harshness.
6.
favor shown in granting a delay or temporary immunity.
7.
an allowance of time after a debt or bill has become payable granted to the debtor before suit can be brought against him or her or a penalty applied:
The life insurance premium is due today, but we have 31 days’ grace before the policy lapses.
Compare grace period.

When I’ve heard it defined by a preacher, grace is usually defined as “unmerited favor”, which means we didn’t earn it.

Here’s a verse that I hope helps:

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:14

Because it’s so easy to make mistakes as human beings I am infinitely grateful for grace. That brings me back to the opening sentence and stepping out in faith.

Some people believe or someone has told them to believe that you have to be so incredibly careful not to make mistakes (or sin) that they simply refuse to leave their worship or prayer “comfort zone”.

What if I’m not supposed to pray for myself? Should I really have an expectation that someone would be healed by prayer in this day and age? Am I being too bold when I pray and command someone be healed in the name of Jesus? Is it really ok to lift my hands in worship? Is it ok to just lay on my bed and talk to God or do I have to be on my knees? How can I be really truly honest with God if I’m not always sure I’m honest with myself? We don’t have the office of prophet in our denomination so are we listening to crazy people?

What if I find out that God wants me to visit San Diego and later I find out I’m wrong? Is Lectio Divina really ok? Is there something wrong with me that it kind of freaks me out to listen truly for God’s voice? What if my blog is not a perfect reflection of Christ’s love? What if less than a hundred people make comments? How will I know I’m reaching people and not wasting my time?

While I do believe it’s important for Christians to understand if the person we are learning how to pray (or other spiritual practices) from is truly following Jesus, surely we can rely on God’s grace if we don’t do something exactly the way Grandma thought we should. We can also check with more than one strong man or woman of faith if we choose!

Even if you have questions, I urge you to trust God. (Some things are hopefully more obvious. I taught my son not to mess around with stuff like Ouija boards because so many people don’t realize that there are spiritual realms. Some things are not a joke and certainly I have never heard of a Christian teaching that God wants us to use Ouija boards. Stay away from them. Do be encouraged, though, by reading verses like 1 John 4:4-6.)

We can also ask Holy Spirit to guide us. Even if it’s new to us, as Christians, we really have access to Holy Spirit. If you’ve sincerely asked God to forgive your sins and asked Jesus into your heart, he has come in. He always says “Yes!” to your heart invitation.

We need to pray for God to lead us into action. When we pray we need to leave time for God to answer. If or when we don’t hear anything, we still need to be taking action in our lives.

When my wife told me she thought it would be a good idea to attend Power & Love in Pasadena in April, I asked two men from my home church with whom I study and pray regularly if they would look at the website and tell me their opinion. They both gave me a thumbs up along with my wife so I felt I didn’t really have a good reason to stay home.

I stepped out in faith in April and all of a sudden I found myself in a style of worship and praise that is more intense than what I find in my home church. I feel encouraged to “press in” to this charismatic style of worship and I continue to attend my home church and love with God’s love there in Solana Beach.

It’s also important to keep in mind that lots of people, churches and denominations have restrictions that God doesn’t require.

Many of you will be surprised to find out that I know someone who was raised in a church where they believed it was ok to sing to God, but they weren’t allowed to use instruments!

If we had a contest to see how many restrictions churches place on Christians that God doesn’t require, I’ll bet we could come up with at least a hundred. I remember a lady I met who only wanted to tell me how her church was right to worship God on Saturday.

(Keep in mind, I didn’t even ask her about this. SHE brought it up.) She didn’t talk to me about the love of Jesus or intimacy with God or salvation, etc…but she wanted to make sure I knew that people at her church gathered to worship God on Saturday because it was the correct day!

I urge you to expand your comfort zone in worshiping God. Remember, those who raise their hands for Jesus or those who worship Jesus less loudly than you are not the same as people who would enthusiastically teach you about Ouija and other occult practices. Why not visit each other’s Christian churches? Worship the Living God together at both your churches. If the One, True God is there does it matter if we’re singing Crowder’s Come As You Are a little (or a lot) faster?

Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—
how good God is.
Blessed are you who run to him.

Psalm 34:8

It’s All About That Grace.

God loves you!

Only 30 Times To Be Solid!

Last night was the 30th time I attended The Fire & Glory Outpouring. I’ve also watched and/or worshiped over Youtube 6 or 7 times. Some of you might have seen me live-tweeting The Outpouring when I’m in my living room. In addition, I’ve recently streamed the service live a couple times on Periscope.

If this seems like a lot of effort to put in, maybe your perspective needs an upgrade.

My friend and mentor in Temecula, California is a man named Fran Cannon. Fran is in his 70s and he told me about an upgrade in his perspective on running that happened for him decades ago. He was working (I believe as an engineer at the time) and he noticed a coworker or two leave during lunch and then take a shower before going back to work. Fran discovered that these coworkers were running about five miles at lunchtime.

Upgrade! Soon he was running at lunch as well and he realized that running five miles was doable. Sometimes all we need to do is see that someone else is capable of doing something to realize that we ourselves can do it! Roger Bannister ran the first recorded sub-four minute mile in history on May 6, 1954.

Fran Cannon tells me that soon after that several people were running the mile in under four minutes! Those runners who saw what Roger Bannister achieved then realized that it could be possible that they could duplicate his feat. I should also mention that prior to Bannister crossing that imagined barrier, many people thought it was impossible to run a mile in under four minutes.

While I’m not saying that participating in 30 – 3 1/2 hour or so Holy Spirit-filled worship services is as big a feat as being the first in history to run a four minute mile, I am saying that you can duplicate my feat. You can come to San Diego or you can participate over Youtube! Your choice!

My experience tells me that worshiping God in spirit and in truth more often will have a tremendous impact on your life just like it has had on mine. You can see where the more intense worship part of my journey started by reading my first post on this blog, Stepping Out In Faith.

I would have been very skeptical if you told me in January that from late Spring through early Fall I would join in 30 or more Glory-filled worship services about three times as long as my home church’s typical service. Yet I have done it. You see it can be done.

I urge you to ask God to help you worship him so intensely that you achieve greater intimacy with Holy Spirit than you have previously imagined possible. If you believe there is a barrier in the way of you doing this, that barrier is NOT REAL. Simply ask God for help.

Remember:

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Phil. 4:13

Also Remember:

God loves you!

Remember Your Encouraging Words

This goes for words spoken to you as well as words you speak.

Right now I’m being encouraged by my previous post, DO In The Moment!, which I wrote just this morning.

I believe God is nudging me to share right away before I forget. Less than 20 minutes ago I got back from shopping.

There was a time that I used to shop as fast as I could with not much time for conversation except for the shortest of hellos. I even taught myself to “handicap” the lines to see which one might be a little faster. I took into account the checker, the shopper AND their groceries. Sometimes I could tell if someone was going to relieve them and I came to know that a shift change took up some time.

While I’m not saying I don’t pay attention to the lines at all, today I was open to speaking to people in line and I met a nice young couple named Tony and Paradise. I felt that God was nudging me to talk with them a bit. I even felt him nudge me to give them my card.

That’s really new to me. Of course my card is new and I got a good deal at Vistaprint, but what’s really new is believing that God would have me give my card to someone. I guess in the past I would have thought it was too self-promoting, but I am sincere. I don’t always feel a nudge to give my card, but this time I did.

Sometime in the last couple weeks I felt that particular nudge for the very first time.

As I left the house I noticed a young man who I thought may or may not have been about to come up our walkway to our front door. I’m usually open to at least say hello and I let him know that while I am fine with the girl scouts or little league coming to my door, I’m not really receptive to sales people unless they are from the area.

He was polite and I told him that I thought his home services company might be able to find customers online. I’ve shared before that sometimes I feel a nudge from God to talk with a particular person. This time I felt God was reminding me “Your Support Matters” more than once.

As I was getting into my car I felt God didn’t let up. I guess I thought it must be my mind because why would God be telling me to tell him about my blog? I still ask God fairly often, “Is this you or just me?” I believe that I’ve shared that I’m new at this kind of communication with God.

During this process I realized that I had my Your Support Matters cards in my left pocket. Finally, I decided to not get into my car and I called out to him as he was walking away. I shared that I had posted recently about stuff that might help as a salesman or in business. Then I added, “I also share about my faith.”

This young man then opened up about how he and his grandma had both been addicts and now they loved the Lord and went to services on Shabbat and Sunday. I didn’t concern myself with possible differences in our styles of faith. I listened and told him about The Fire & Glory Outpouring and when he told me they lived in Chula Vista I let him know that anyone can watch it on Youtube, either past “episodes” or LIVE Wed-Sun at 7 pm (Pacific).

As far as past “episodes” go, I also told him to check out Night 192 and I urge you to do the same.

He seemed grateful to have run into me and I was certainly glad that I had paid attention to God, even if it took more than one nudge.

Because I posted this morning and I came back to check my blog this afternoon I was reminded to share what I believe will bring encouragement to some or many. Moments come and go.

DO in this moment.

Watch from 1:53:50 for about 35 minutes or so. You’ll see a little of Jerame Nelson’s style as he introduces his wife, Miranda. She has her own style as well, but what I really want you to see is the powerful move of Holy Spirit on September 4, 2016. Do it now before you forget. I did and wrote this post. If you desire, you can also watch from the very beginning and worship God with music.

God Bless You!

DO In The Moment!

Sunday night my wife and I and her sister and two nephews were at the Fresh Awakening, which happens at the Fire & Glory Outpouring once a month or so. Thursday morning I had met a missionary whose name I won’t mention because his mission field is dangerous.

Sometimes I have missed moments in life, but not this time. Based on our conversation about Holy Spirit stuff I assumed he would be willing to pray over me. (But you never know the answer until you ask, right?) I decided to ask because I was pretty sure he was leaving the next day and I had no idea if or when I would ever see him again.

About 20 minutes before the official start time of Sunday night’s Fresh Awakening service I asked him and soon we were off in a corner and he prayed the most powerful and possibly longest prayer anyone has ever prayed over me. I sensed Holy Spirit speaking to me through him. It was truly amazing and my family watched as he laid hands on me, sometimes getting fairly physical. I don’t remember everything that was said, but I will never forget him praying over me.

If you have a chance to have a missionary pray over you, I highly recommend it!

Don’t miss those moments!

But if you do, don’t live in regret.

I urge you to take this to heart:

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:1 NAS

God loves you!

Now for some music…

Your Heart Can Sing This Song To Holy Spirit

This morning Holy Spirit showed me a song I like in a new way. I laughed as I was getting dressed and my wife said, “What?”

So I told her that Holy Spirit had shown me this song when I was praying this morning. I shared that I was concerned at first because I had it mixed up with another song, but then I realized that the song that concerned me was “You’re Sixteen” and God was showing me “Only You”.

Listen and have your heart sing Ringo Starr’s version of “Only You” to God.