Spend Time With Jesus

This year I’ve had some wonderful experiences in my faith life. You only have to read previous posts to find that out or see where that is implied. The last couple of days have not been awesome for me and I think I figured out why.

This is an online blog. What’s printed here goes out to the world. I don’t promise to tell you every little thing about my life, but I will share that sometimes things are off with me. I want to keep sharing about real life faith. It’s not because my candidate didn’t win in the election
[ That was DAYS ago! 😉 ].

Here it is:

I’ve spent a lot of time online and not enough time with Jesus. I believe it’s that simple. (OK, maybe the extra caffeine today didn’t help!)

Please remember the account of Mary and Martha in the Gospel of Luke today and every day. And, remember it especially tomorrow on Thanksgiving.

God bless you!

Luke 10:38-42 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Martha and Mary
38 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with [a]all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

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How To Hold On

If the title of this post is meaningful to you, I find reading Psalms prayerfully helps quite a bit. I found this translation at BibleGateway.com.

Psalm 32 The Message (MSG)

A David Psalm

32 Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be—
you get a fresh start,
your slate’s wiped clean.
2 Count yourself lucky—
God holds nothing against you
and you’re holding nothing back from him.
3 When I kept it all inside,
my bones turned to powder,
my words became daylong groans.
4 The pressure never let up;
all the juices of my life dried up.
5 Then I let it all out;
I said, “I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to God.”
Suddenly the pressure was gone—
my guilt dissolved,
my sin disappeared.
6 These things add up. Every one of us needs to pray;
when all hell breaks loose and the dam bursts
we’ll be on high ground, untouched.
7 God’s my island hideaway,
keeps danger far from the shore,
throws garlands of hosannas around my neck.
8 Let me give you some good advice;
I’m looking you in the eye
and giving it to you straight:
9 “Don’t be ornery like a horse or mule
that needs bit and bridle
to stay on track.”
10 God-defiers are always in trouble;
God-affirmers find themselves loved
every time they turn around.
11 Celebrate God.
Sing together—everyone!
All you honest hearts, raise the roof!

God loves you!

I’m finding Crowder’s “I AM” helpful right now. Take it to heart.

When You’re Tired, Press On

Right now I’m feeling tiredness slipping into my body. We need to be extra careful when we’re tired while driving (Hello truck drivers, soccer moms and dads, students, taxi, uber and delivery drivers and all the rest!) or doing something else with physical hazards. Earlier today I was poking through ice with a butter knife and made sure my other hand was out of the way. (I have found that it’s also a good time to really pay attention to what’s coming out of my mouth!)

Fortunately, I mostly have to concern myself with spelling and crazy cursor jumps that can erase paragraphs in under a second. (If it’s never happened to you, well, God bless you.) 🙂

Many of you are very aware of the need to “press on” in spite of being tired. Back in the 90s my wife and I were living apart for a time and I worked really late Saturday nights and then got up at 5:45 am to pick up our son and take him to church with me. I knew there was a time coming up in the afternoon or evening that I could have a rest. Even the worst case scenario was probably that I could hit the pillow at 10 on Sunday night.

What I’ve found is that when you can look forward to a time of rest at some point, it’s easier to press on. Many new parents find themselves sleep deprived and it’s like that commercial says: Dads don’t take sick days.

Another big help is encouragement. That old song “Home On The Range” contains the lyrics “Where seldom is heard a discouraging word”. Hopefully, Your Support Matters (this blog) is a source of encouragement for you.

Recently I’ve found a lot of Christian music that’s very encouraging. It might be my attitude (which I believe stems from more frequent, intense worship & greater intimacy with God in recent months) has shifted and that’s given me a healthier perspective about Christian music. It could also be the case that more Christian artists are writing from a place of true intimacy with God. Whatever the reasons, I find myself listening to Holy Spirit-inspired music much more often.

What may also be true is something like the 80/20 rule (or better yet, 90/10?). If you’re listening to 80 or 90 percent Christian music (songs that YOU find inspiring & Spirit-filled), you may find a difference in your attitude versus 80 or 90 percent secular music. I want to be absolutely clear that I am not saying you MUST do this. You could try an experiment and see how it works for you.

If you think back to how I started this post, I was talking about pressing on when you’re tired. Of course, if you have the opportunity to rest when you need it, take it!!

When you’re in a position where you must press on in spite of being tired, you may find it easier if you’ve been living in an encouraging environment. You may not have as much control over your living environment as I have right now. I understand that. But, you may have some control over “taking in” encouraging music, words or videos.

Here are some suggestions:

1) Pray honestly and intimately as a son or daughter of God

2) Read the Bible, especially Psalms

If you look closely you’ll notice that Psalms ARE prayers, so I see it as doubly good or a “double portion”.

3) Read Faith Books (RFB!) like:

A) The Cure

B) Mahesh Chavda’s The Hidden Power Of The Blood Of Jesus

You might win Mahesh’s book here.

C) David Herzog’s Glory Invasion

D) Patricia King’s Help, God! I’m Broke!

You might win Patricia King’s book here

4) Read my faith blog, Your Support Matters (YSM)

5) Listen to what I call faith music.

A) Read previous YSM posts and you’ll find lots of songs.

B) If you have Amazon Echo, ask Alexa to play Crowder or play Christian music

C) There are great radio stations online now like Air1.

So, to sum up…

I suggest you plan ahead by getting rest when you can so it’s easier to PRESS ON.

If you’re not getting enough rest, you can “gird” yourself by having an encouraging, faith-based atmosphere in your life by reading and listening to uplifting & Holy Spirit-inspired music, words and other media and sources. ALMOST FORGOT! AND, worship God intimately and often, alone and together with other believers. Some people call this “living a worship lifestyle”.

Here’s some media to remind you to Press On.

Always remember that God, the Creator of the Universe, loves YOU!

God Will Bless You

Saturday night we had amazing worship as we frequently have at The Fire & Glory Outpouring. I’m not going to share all the details except to say that you should have been there! Many of you have been to concerts and events that you really enjoyed. I certainly have!

One time my friend, Stuart, urged me to go see Fleetwood Mac with him the day after Thanksgiving. I drove quickly to his house in San Clemente and we drove to L.A. and the concert was fantastic! Any other year of my life I would have said that was the concert of the year. Not that year. That year I was doubly-blessed because in September my wife and I went with him and his daughter to enjoy Paul McCartney in Petco Park in San Diego.

After that event I said that seeing Paul McCartney live was not just my greatest concert experience, but the greatest event I had ever attended. That changed in Pasadena in April of this year when I attended Power & Love! I’ll even be bold enough to say that even if you are so conservative in your faith walk that you are concerned about a secular concert, pray and see if God gives you grace to see Paul McCartney and then go! He’s so incredibly talented. God has given him real and lasting gifts and talent and people who see him play live are in for a real treat! In fact, a “treat” is not a big enough word to do justice to the experience.

All that aside, now I know of at least two or three events (not including astonishing family stuff like the birth of our son, also named Stuart) I would put above that incredible Paul McCartney concert. As I mentioned above, one was Power and Love in Pasadena. Another was Saturday night worship at The Fire & Glory Outpouring (Revival!) in San Marcos, California at Summit Church. If you’ve had truly powerful worship experiences then you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, well, keep pressing in with God.

Before Saturday night we experienced Friday night. At the end of the evening I was standing in line to buy a book and a DVD from David Herzog, the guest speaker. (If you get a chance to see David, take it, because he is not only a great evangelistic speaker, he’s truly funny.) I felt the Lord nudging me to buy the books and DVD of the lady in front of me. I asked Holy Spirit if it was Him and not just my mind and if he really wanted me to do this. He told me, “I will bless you.” So, I told the woman, who my wife and I had met weeks before, that God was telling me to buy her stuff. It didn’t cost that much and it’s consistent with what’s been happening lately. God’s been teaching me to be more generous and more obedient. The next night was the wondrous worship I mentioned.

This next part is really inspirational and emotionally moving to me. As everyone was starting to leave the same lady who was in front of me in line the night before stopped us and thanked me for buying her the David Herzog items. She told my wife and I that something changed for her. I believe she said that something “broke open” for her after I did that. Something was better between her and God (and I guess, life) because of my generosity. I could see that she was feeling encouraged. That generosity was because I’ve been listening for God and because I obeyed him. I didn’t know these things were going to happen. I should also mention that soon our son called to tell us he got the better of two jobs he wanted to help him on his path to becoming a doctor.

Last night I practiced giving a “word of knowledge” to a couple people online in a group where they let you practice usually one day during the week. I asked for feedback because I’m new at it and the man I chose said that my word about him and his evangelistic anointing was pretty close to right on. Remember, I don’t think I had heard the phrase “word of knowledge” before April.

There was also a woman online who requested a word so I decided to practice some more. Another woman chimed in to give me feedback before the first woman got back to me.

Here it is with different names:

Me (Charles Hicks-Moore)
Please give feedback as I’m new at this! God loves your heart for the poor and you are a light in your community. God loves your example of perseverance and God wants you to know that he has beautiful events for your life ahead.

Rita Lagos
Charles Hicks-Moore – GOD bless you charles for stepping out in faith! GOD wants you to know “you are an encourager”! All it takes is the “one” mustard seed! keep the faith and GOD bless you brother 🙂 …

Me
Thank you for encouraging me! Encouragers need encouragement, too! I hope this blesses you. https://youtu.be/Plngh8SkkA4

Betty Christian
Charles Hicks,: you are so right. He’s said he’s got some surprises for me. All what you’ve said is correct. Bless you.

Rita Lagos
Charles Hicks-Moore – I was giving a word to someone else when the LORD interrupted me and sent me to message you! And to ‘like’ your word to this sister as a confirmation that; that in fact was the LORDS word for her! Bless you brother 🙂 …

Me
Thank you both, sisters! This is so awesome! Bless the Lord! God bless you both mightily so you will be mighty blessings to others in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ! Lost souls will see God working in you, see signs & wonders and believe in Him. 🙂

Rita Lagos
Charles Hicks-Moore Sometimes just a word or a sentence is enough to sustain someone when the word is given! As you continue you will be fine tuned by the holy spirit, who will dance all around you! Now its time to worship for he is good 🙂 Sing brother; sing ♪ ♫ …

God blesses us. He has definitely blessed me and my family over the past few days!

God really loves you!

God will bless you.

(Sing along with Passion/Crowder as they sing How He Loves!)