What’s Going On

Today I met with a buddy I’ve known for years to tell him I’ve made a big decision that I’ll talk about in a later post. I highly recommend V’s Coffee Shop at the Bernardo Winery in Rancho Bernardo.

Right now my wife, Marianne, and our friend, Javier, are trying to get Youtube up on our TV and it looks like they’ve succeeded! We’re studying prophecy with some friends tonight and now we’ll have real “music television” for some worship time.

Earlier I was starting to memorize Psalm 8.

Before that I met with a coffee shop buddy who’s an atheist at the Blue Mug in Escondido and I shared a little about what I’ve been learning. He’s a very nice guy. He even helped deliver and move a couch into our house (when I wasn’t even home to help!) that another coffee buddy and his mom gave us before that buddy moved to Virginia Beach.

Very early this morning when I woke up from an interesting dream I sensed the song of the day in just a few notes. I “pressed in” and soon I had a little more and then a little bit more than that. That start to my day reminded me of 1 Kings 18:44 when Elijah saw the tiny cloud and he told Ahab to get off the mountain before the rains came.

Here’s “Run Devil Run” by Crowder:

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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!

What About These Changes?

As long as I can remember I have believed in encouragement. It may sound simplistic because who truly believes we shouldn’t encourage people? And yet, I have heard people sometimes say half-jokingly “Don’t encourage him.” That might be said by a wife about her husband’s jokes and general sense of humor that she doesn’t find very funny. My wife says I don’t have ANY experience with that. Riiight.

When I took a class on understanding your spiritual gifts at Solana Beach Pres a few years ago I was gladdened to see that encouragement was one of my gifts. I believe I have enjoyed encouraging people basically all my life. That’s why I added the line “Encouraging You Since 1963” to the header on this blog. I was born February 28, 1963 at Tri-City Hospital in Oceanside, California.

Encinitas, California is where I grew to be a teenager and that’s the place I consider my hometown. I’m still trying to figure out how to get one of those oval-like world maps with Encinitas at the very center. (That’s how big a deal Encinitas feels to me.) I love the Pacific Ocean and being close to the water and that’s why I chose the ocean graphic for Your Support Matters.

Conversation with the right friend about matters of faith is also something I find encouraging. I had one of those conversations with Mike Winter at Mr. Taco across from Cal State San Marcos the other day. I shared about some of the experiences I’ve been sharing on this blog and he gave me an account of a summer camp years ago that changed his thinking a little about how we see God.

This is not the first time I’ve been moved by a Mike Winter story from his life. If he had a comic book it might be titled “Michael Winter’s Real Life Adventures In Faith”. I didn’t plan to write this (unless you consider thinking 5 minutes ahead to be planning), I just really felt encouraged by our conversation. It reminded me why we share about what’s going on in our life with our friends. Maybe God will come up and hopefully we’ll be mutually encouraged through what we recount. Mike doesn’t know I’m writing this and I’m not sure what he’ll think. My guess is that mostly he’ll be humble and surprised about it.

A few things in my life I’ve discovered because of the internet and Mike is one of them. I guess it’s probably three or four years ago that I found a site that let me know he liked to network. I’m glad our relationship is growing beyond simply networking, though he’s excellent at it.

Real estate is also something he excels at. Almost always I learn more whenever we talk for any length of time. If real estate were music, I believe real estate experts would say that Mike Winter has “chops”, which only come with experience. Experience saves a lot of headaches and it can save time and money in the long run. I encourage you to experience Mike’s “chops” firsthand.

Here is Michael Winter’s profile on Zillow.

Here’s something else that I’ve never done before on this blog – a dedication.

When I was thinking about what you told me, tears welled up in my eyes and this song came to mind.

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