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!

What About Close Calls?

During my lifetime I have had several close calls.

When I was in first or second grade I almost drowned at a backyard end-of-the-year school party for my class at St. John’s in Encinitas, California. A few years later my oldest brother, Mike, yelled at me to get out of the road in Leucadia near the corner of Hygeia and (what is now) Leucadia Blvd. and a car passed by very close as I stepped out of the way.

A couple years later I fell off my bike at age 12 as I transitioned from the road to the sidewalk on my way to St. John’s school when it was on Melrose. I landed on my face and could have easily broken my neck. Instead, I changed my two front teeth forever and now I have permanent caps over what can only be described as “nubs”. Less than two years later I fell off a skateboard on a very steep hill and landed on my face (again) and people were amazed (again) that I didn’t break my neck.

These are just some of the incidents that stand out in my memory. Perhaps you’ve had similar close calls in your life.

Why do some people survive and others, like a high school classmate who drowned in a flash flood in Valley Center, not survive? I can’t answer that question easily. I’m sure you can find books on the subject. One book that has a lot of great insight for believers is Dallas Willard’s Divine Conspiracy. Some people find him too intellectual, so if that’s the case, I recommend books by John Ortberg. He sometimes half-jokingly refers to himself as “Dallas Willard for Dummies”.

Today Ari Fleischer, who was press secretary under President George W. Bush, was in a restroom instead of at baggage claim while the gunman was shooting. He said, “Thank God I had to make a pit stop.”

This sort of phenomenon is happening every day for someone, not just in my past or your past.

I guess I believe that God still has more work for Ari Fleischer and me to do.

One of the things we can do is pray. I prayed soon after reading about the incident for the victims and their families and I prayed for the shooter’s heart to change.

I am coming to believe that God calls us to do more than pray sometimes and I’m also believing that sometimes God reveals to us what that is.

IF we are listening to God. Please keep listening to Jesus.

God bless you and keep you!

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!