We Encourage When We Share

Most mornings I wake up with a song in my head. I truly enjoy music and during the last six months or so I’ve been listening to a lot more worship music. (I think I even mentioned this in an earlier blog post.)

Here’s how I think it works for me and I believe that means it can work for you as well.

Because I’ve been sincerely seeking to know God better through semi-regular worship and creating a study with two like-minded friends from church, I’ve been led/gone down a different (or deeper) path.

When I was 24 and my mom died of lung cancer I didn’t try hard enough to find help through people of faith. I remember reaching a point where people were telling me that maybe I needed to go to a professional (or semi-professional student counselor at SDSU, in my case) counselor to discuss my grief.

It is not my intention to sound harsh, but maybe what I should have done is found other believers who were willing to meet with me and pray with me (and counsel me) AND if I couldn’t find those believers at MY CHURCH, I should have looked at other churches for believers who would help.

That doesn’t necessarily mean leaving that church, but if that’s what I had to do then that’s what I should have done. As believers we have to take responsibility for our faith. (Check out Galatians 6:5-15 at BibleStudyTools.com which covers a great deal in this area.)

Today my wife and I attend Solana Pres in Solana Beach, California. I started attending a little over two decades ago. We also attend The Fire & Glory Outpouring Revival which is currently hosted at Summit Church in San Marcos, California. This doesn’t mean we are switching churches.

Tonight at 7:00 I expect that we will worship revival-style and tomorrow morning at 8:30 we will worship passionate-Presbyterian (or as close as Presbyterians get to passionate worship?) style.

When I started this blog I hoped to share my journey with Jesus honestly and assumed that a good number of readers would support me when I launch my brand.

What I’m finding is that by worshiping more frequently and continuing to meet regularly with good christian friends I can trust I’m more open to what God is calling me to do.

Evangelism is one of those things. I tell strangers that God loves them and I’m more open to conversations with them about what they want to talk about. Surprisingly, lots of people are open to someone who is sharing enthusiastically about their faith and many of those people are open to me praying for them. Sometimes that means right there on the spot.

If people support my brand when I launch, that’s wonderful. But, there is more to this blog than supporting me in what I do. Who’s supporting you?

Here’s Crowder with that song in my head when I woke up this morning.

God bless you!

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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

Good Things Are Happening

On the 4th of July I saw my cousin Debi at her brother Kevin’s house in Vista where some of our family went to see the fireworks display from blocks away. She asked me if I am still blogging.

Yes! The drought or writer’s block or whatever is now over!

Last night I went to the Fire & Glory Outpouring for the third time. This is pretty special and I urge you to attend at least three times before it moves on.

This revival started in January when they began with the intention to do four nights of revival. Last night was night #150 – give or take. ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY nights so far! If you’ve never been to a revival, this is a wonderful place to start. One of the main speakers, Jerame Nelson, is careful to let people know that this is about God’s Love and commmunion (my word – NOT meaning the sacrament here) with the Holy Spirit.

These worship sessions are also NOT designed to get you to switch churches. Your church is your church. If you have no church, I’d be willing to venture that the Heart of God Church in Rancho Bernardo welcomes you. As a disclaimer I’ll let you know that I’m a member of Solana Beach Presbyterian Church in Solana Beach, California. (We’ll welcome you as well.)

My wife has been getting a lot out of participating in these worship/revival sessions and she’s been there in the neighborhood of 15 or 20 times. (She even speaks in tongues now, but I’ll share about that another time!) I visited for the third time last night and it is really something to have your idea of worship stretched and to leave your comfort zone of what you’re currently doing.

Last night was about 3 1/2 hours which started with worshipful singing & praise for about an hour and 20 minutes and then Jerame preached for what I’m pretty sure was about the same length of time. Then we had some more praise and singing with many of us coming up front and standing.

Why do I urge you to attend at least three times?

Since I was in the Pasadena healing conference a few months ago I’ve been coming to understand more about “practicing” connecting (again, my word) with the Holy Spirit. I love that we can give ourselves the grace to practice even though we might sometimes be incorrect in our understanding of what’s going on in a particular situation. As I see it, that’s freedom. God intends for us to have that freedom as we learn.

My first two times in Rancho Bernardo I was getting used to how these sessions go. Last night I was more familiar and more ready. Maybe you will be ready on day one. With decades in the Presbyterian Church I was not used to these long sessions, but I was and am open to these new (to me) experiences of worshiping God.

I’ve been meeting with a couple men from my church to study and pray for about 20 months and one of the questions I’ve asked is this:

If we are utterly convinced that God would never send us (or anyone) on a trip or mission to Poland (or Vancouver or Las Vegas or Pasadena or Cameroon or Pakistan or Brazil or Ghana, etc…), then how can God ever move us to do that or go there? If it’s part of our basic belief system that God would never call us to leave California, then HOW does he get through to us when he wants us to move to Vancouver, British Columbia?

I believe most of us can see a problem with an assumption that God would NEVER have us do a certain task as described above.

What if you believe that God would never have YOU speak in tongues? I am open to it, yet I haven’t done it. My wife was definitely open to it and now she does. But this post isn’t about speaking in tongues.

What if you believe something like this?

“What extra good could possibly come from a worship service that takes three or four hours or more?”
“What’s the point in having a service that long?”
“What’s wrong with my 75 minute service?”
“It’s just not necessary to have the service go that long!”
“I couldn’t possibly be in worship that long.”

Well, if you believe that you should never attend a service that takes this long, is it possible that you’re missing out?

If you know that it’s about God’s love and interacting (my word) with the Holy Spirit and no one is trying to get you to switch churches, why not stretch your comfort zone and come participate?

Last night (my third time) I felt God help me worship him and he gave me more joy and laughter in the process.

What if I had just stayed home and watched TV?

Check out Jerame’s Youtube Channel. I expect them to have last night’s session up soon, but July 9th is up already and you can see my wife, Marianne, walk up to the front at the 2:46 (two hours and forty-six minutes) mark. You can watch that below:

You can also watch these sessions live over the internet as they happen if you can’t attend or are convinced that you shouldn’t attend or if you live far away.

God Bless You!

Stepping Out In Faith

Welcome!

Last week I had what I believe are life-changing experiences at a healing conference at Mott Auditorium in Pasadena and a revival at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. One really excellent thing is that I shared Jesus with a man named Alfonso. After spending nearly three hours with him we went our separate ways. During that time he accepted Jesus into his heart after we talked about Revelation 3:20:

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” RSV

I am really enthusiastic and encouraged that God used me in that way. I’ll share more about my adventures in future posts.

I’ve awakened to new ideas for my life moving forward. I hope for your support and the support of people you know as I move forward with my family.

One idea I have is to use crowdfunding to build a business. Maybe you or a friend has thought about doing this. Hopefully by following my journey you can learn how to gain the support of others when you take a leap of faith.

I thought about starting a brand called Planet Granite in the ’90s, but I let circumstances get in the way.

NOW is different. Having lived more life, I feel a lot more prepared for NOW.

If you’re like me, you like clothing and gear with messages. I find that some messages can be really uplifting, encouraging, amusing or thought-provoking.

I’m creating anticipation by not sharing the name of my new brand right now, but I believe you’ll like it enough to support me through buying clothing or sharing links when you see it.

If you would like to help me in building a groundswell of support, please share this blog (and the future websites) with friends who are ok with receiving that from you.

That’s all I have to say for today!

Be filled with wonder!

Charlie