God’s Timing This Year

Today I was reflecting on how I came to meet a man from another part of the world a couple weeks ago (I believe) because I was listening to the Lord. I understand that some may be skeptical, but I believe we get better with practice and I’ve been practicing. During these last 14 months I’ve been practicing quite a lot. And, it’s more than simply belief when you see the results in your life.

Because I met this man I decided to start a project to send 500,000 bibles across the world to a place that doesn’t have easy access to power and therefore, not much internet usage. That means shipping actual bibles instead of virtual ones.

In order for me to meet this man I had to be where he was in San Marcos before he went back home. He was at The Fire & Glory Outpouring on a Thursday night and a man named David asked me at the end of the meeting if I would give the visitor (who I’ll call Peter) a ride back to the Motel 6 in Escondido. I said that I would do that as soon as I said goodbye to someone.

Because saying goodbye took so long, Peter found another ride home. I caught up with him and the man giving him a ride in the parking lot of Summit Church and he asked if I could pick him up where he was staying the next morning. I agreed and that made all the difference in my weekend.

After the morning Fresh Awakening session at The Fire & Glory Outpouring I invited Peter to come to my house for the afternoon before the evening session with Jamie Galloway as guest speaker. I didn’t realize that my wife wouldn’t be able to spend time with us after she got off work that day. Others in the house were busy as well which meant that 95% of the conversation that Friday was just between Peter and me.

We got along quite well and I found myself offering to give him a ride for the entire weekend, which meant at least 10 more rides including to Solana Beach Presbyterian Church (our home church) at 8:30 Sunday morning. During the weekend I found that he hadn’t secured a ride to the airport so I picked him up before 7 on Monday and took him to Lindbergh field.

Wait! There’s more! We didn’t just ride together, but we worshiped together over and over. I highly recommend this strategy for growing closer to someone. By Monday morning we weren’t just friends, but brothers. He even invited me to preach over Skype sometime which is a real growth opportunity.

You may be wondering why I mentioned God’s timing in the title of this post.

Months ago as I was seeking to hear from the Lord I felt that he was telling me that it’s OK to go to Comic-Con in 2017, but not the World Series of Poker. As I mentioned earlier, because I listened to God I was able to meet and get to know Peter BECAUSE I was in San Marcos, California.

This afternoon I decided to take a closer look at the May calendar to see about God’s timing. You may not even know about the World Series of Poker(WSOP), but I have been there before and months ago I had been sincerely thinking about going after missing this “festival of poker tournaments” in recent years.

If I had decided to go to the WSOP I would likely have only given Peter a ride on Friday morning and then driven to Las Vegas, Nevada after dropping him off back at the Motel 6. It’s very possible that I would have never met Peter because I could have gone up even earlier to spend time with a friend who lives there and be plenty rested before I entered one of the poker tournaments.

It should be obvious to everyone that if I was in Las Vegas, Nevada during late May I wouldn’t have been able to get to know Peter who was in San Marcos, California for just over four days.

Great stuff can happen when we worship God “in Spirit and in Truth”. We might just be able to hear stuff from Him that He really, really wants us to know.

David Herzog is coming this week. Will you be there?

You never know who you’re going to meet. Except Jesus.

He’ll meet you there with His perfect timing!

Spend More Time With God

Today I intentionally spent hours in the presence of God. I know God is immanent (everywhere), but I mean paying attention and listening for God as well as reading the bible and praying [again, praying includes listening].

After having a good conversation with a friend from Tennessee who’s more experienced in gifts like the prophetic I drove to Solana Beach to get a haircut at my favorite place, the Cove Barber Shop.

On the way I felt the Lord nudge me with “Do You Love Me?” and I can even sense that it was the version from the movie, “Dirty Dancing” by The Contours. I discovered The Blues Brothers version first and both are below.

Here’s something to consider:

Is Holy Spirit singing this to the church? Keep in mind that if God is singing the lyrics they would be sung with perfectly pure intentions, unlike how humans often sing them.

Press On, Brothers & Sisters, Press On!

Bold Belief

Here’s another quick post for your edification. What do you feel is an important message in this passage?

***
Mark 2:2-5 The Message (MSG)

A Paraplegic
2 1-5 After a few days, Jesus returned to Capernaum, and word got around that he was back home. A crowd gathered, jamming the entrance so no one could get in or out. He was teaching the Word. They brought a paraplegic to him, carried by four men. When they weren’t able to get in because of the crowd, they removed part of the roof and lowered the paraplegic on his stretcher. Impressed by their bold belief, Jesus said to the paraplegic, “Son, I forgive your sins.”
***

God bless you!

Habakkuk For Me & You

Last night I was at The Fire & Glory Outpouring for the 65th time (tonight will be my 20th time watching from home).

Have I mentioned that I’ve been practicing hearing from Holy Spirit? Last night we had some time devoted to listening for God’s voice.

It’s important to give yourself grace in this process. It takes practice like anything else. I’m not sure about everything, but I’m pretty sure God wanted me to take a look at Habakkuk. So that’s what I did this morning and I feel that God knew exactly what I needed last night/this morning.

Hopefully this will be helpful for you as well. I’ll share a little every day.

Today is the introduction from The Message.

God bless you!

Introduction HABAKKUK

Living by faith is a bewildering venture. We rarely know what’s coming next, and not many things turn out the way we anticipate. It is natural to assume that since I am God’s chosen and beloved, I will get favorable treatment from the God who favors me so extravagantly. It is not unreasonable to expect that from the time that I become his follower, I will be exempt from dead ends, muddy detours, and cruel treatment from the travelers I meet daily who are walking the other direction.

That God-followers don’t get preferential treatment in life always comes as a surprise. But it’s also a surprise to find that there are a few men and women within the Bible who show up alongside us at such moments. The prophet Habakkuk is one of them, and a most welcome companion he is.

Most prophets, most of the time, speak God’s Word to us. They are preachers calling us to listen to God’s words of judgment and salvation, confrontation and comfort. They face us with God as he is, not as we imagine him to be. Most prophets are in-your-face assertive, not given to tact, not diplomatic, as they insist that we pay attention to God.

But Habakkuk speaks our word to God. He gives voice to our bewilderment, articulates our puzzled attempts to make sense of things, faces God with our disappointment with God. He insists that God pay attention to us, and he insists with a prophet’s characteristic no-nonsense bluntness. The circumstance that aroused Habakkuk took place in the seventh century B.C. The prophet realized that God was going to use the godless military machine of Babylon to bring God’s judgment on God’s own people—using a godless nation to punish a godly nation!

It didn’t make sense, and Habakkuk was quick and bold to say so. He dared to voice his feelings that God didn’t know his own God business. Not a day has passed since then that one of us hasn’t picked up and repeated Habakkuk’s bafflement: “God, you don’t seem to make sense!” But this prophet companion who stands at our side does something even more important: He waits and he listens. It is in his waiting and listening—which then turns into his praying—that he found himself inhabiting the large world of God’s sovereignty.

Only there did he eventually realize that the believing-in-God life, the steady trusting-in-God life, is the full life, the only real life. Habakkuk started out exactly where we start out with our puzzled complaints and God-accusations, but he didn’t stay there. He ended up in a world, along with us, where every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

. The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language (p. 1272). NavPress. Kindle Edition.

You Are The Salt Of The Earth

Today my wife was having leftovers for lunch and I couldn’t tell exactly what was on her plate.

“What is it?” I asked.

“Steak!” she said.

“I can’t tell because it looks like it has a coating on it. What’s the coating?”

“Salt!”

We both laughed. My wife has always enjoyed salt much more than me. I told her that I need to look up verses about salt and she said, “You are the salt of the earth.”

So here we are.

What does it mean? Good question.

You can check out BibleHub.com for an explanation from commentaries.

You can search Google to find out.

I’ve even included Matthew 5:13-16 from The Message and the New International Version (NIV).

***
Salt and Light
“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.

“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:13-16 The Message (MSG)
***
Salt and Light
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:13-16 New International Version (NIV)
***

Jesus also uses light as a metaphor here.

I’m not an expert. I’m not ordained. I’m a follower of Jesus.

It seems to me that Jesus wants his disciples (including you and me) to continue to have an impact because of their faith and their character (and likely their power and glory – that is – the power of God and the glory of God in them through the Holy Spirit).

What do YOU think?

I know I’m not covering it all here. If you have Holy Spirit in you, you can ask. AND, you can check with others who do.

I’ll leave you with some sweet music from a man who was the salt of the earth and the light of the world until he went home to God, Andrae Crouch. Last night I felt God nudge me to get up and write down a dream a little before two in the morning and when I searched on Youtube, there was Andrae Crouch and this song.

You are the salt of the earth. (And the light of the world!)

God bless you!

Citizens Of Heaven

What a wonderful New Year’s Day (and New Year’s Eve) we had! I’ll share about that another time, except to say that my wife and I attended The Fire & Glory Outpouring both nights and two regular worship services Sunday morning. If we include Saturday morning and afternoon I went to five worship services and my honey went to six in two days!

Last January I would have thought you were crazy (Though I PROBABLY wouldn’t have said it out LOUD!) if you told me I would participate in real congregational worship this often. Yet here I am. I encourage you to worship God more often in Spirit and in Truth. I believe I’m experiencing real effects in my life and in my intimacy with Jesus. This has everything to do with God and I deserve no credit except possibly for CHOOSING to seek intimacy with Holy Spirit.

Quite a long time ago I heard a verse that promises if you truly seek God you will find him. Because of my experience in personal development I remember realizing that what many people are seeking is fulfillment and that’s not necessarily the same as seeking God. In fact, I probably starting thinking about personal development in this way because of a wonderful and highly intelligent woman who was our senior pastor for a while at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, Roberta Hestenes. I asked people from time to time and don’t remember ever getting what I considered the right verse in response. (To be fair, I don’t think I ever asked Roberta Hestenes or our current senior pastor, Mike McClenahan.) I believe I found it with the help of Google and Bible Gateway.

Personally I have found The Message very helpful in understanding through modern language. Even if you normally read from a certain translation I highly recommend that you also read The Message for clarity. I’ve experience the Psalms and Epistles really coming alive for me recently when I’ve read The Message translation, which I believe is technically a paraphrase.

I’ve included two translations of the relevant verses. Also remember what I mentioned in the New Year’s Day post – Try New Things In This New Year!

Take hold of this promise!

***
But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.
Deuteronomy 4:29 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

But even there, if you seek God, your God, you’ll be able to find him if you’re serious, looking for him with your whole heart and soul. When troubles come and all these awful things happen to you, in future days you will come back to God, your God, and listen obediently to what he says. God, your God, is above all a compassionate God. In the end he will not abandon you, he won’t bring you to ruin, he won’t forget the covenant with your ancestors which he swore to them.
Deuteronomy 4:29-31 The Message (MSG)
***

My birthday is coming up on February 28th and if you could give me a present I guess I would first choose for you to actually attend The Fire & Glory Outpouring in San Marcos, California which I think is going through 2017. (Of course, Jerame & Miranda Nelson listen to Holy Spirit for direction so who can know the mind of God in advance?)

A very close second place gift would be for you to get The Message and read it often to help you receive God’s message in language that’s pretty easy to understand. I have The Message on my Kindle and computer, but I think today or tomorrow I’m going order or go and get a hard copy so I can read it when my internet connection is funky. Hopefully you are already watching The Fire & Glory Outpouring on Youtube. Don’t forget to watch old “episodes” (as I like to call them) in addition to watching LIVE on Youtube while worship is going on.

Today I’m leaving you with verses I read this morning during what many call quiet time. I have a friend who has said quite often that he’s a citizen of heaven and I believe that’s important to keep in mind. It’s helpful to remember where our authority comes from in relation to our identity as believers.

***
But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.
Philippians 3:20-21 The Message (MSG)
***

God loves you!

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!