Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Who are you to judge?

Paraptoma: A side-slip (lapse or deviation), (unintentional) error or (willful) transgression; ---fall, fault, offense, sin, trespass. 

     That is how just one Greek word for SIN is defined in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible.  Paraptoma possesses a rather involved and highly scrutinized definition within the immediate Christian community amongst an extensive list of many other Greek words which are similarly used to define of one Christianities hugely debated subjects of much controversy.  This three-letter word and its definition has evoked a sense of discontentment and endless controversy across the religious board with various denominations in the Christian whole in, not only, the Christian community but also in opposing circles around the world.  While there are other creative and just as important definitions that have managed to permeate the halls of Christiandom, this one simple word and its closed-for-debate definition will be the topic of this post for the next...well, however long is takes to establish my point.
     Although part (well, most actually) of me says "No, don't do this you know better", referring to actually compromising my long-standing view of not involving politics with religion, my conscience says "speak your mind".  It is important to point out that I have had this topic pressing on my spirit for some time now and so I err on the side of caution as I unwind years of an issue that, to say the least, has been quite influential in my recent life of being a full-fledged Christian.  While I have maintained courtesy to both the Christian community and opposing side up until now with most of my posted content, I warn the reader with absolute integrity, read with caution and thick skin!  I will establish for the sake of apologetics (I am not an apologist, yet at least) that I am a God-fearing Christian who believes to this day in the infallibility of the Bible, as written and compiled in its originality and by the original and universally accepted authors.  I also currently do not hold any affiliation with any specific denomination (another topic to be covered in upcoming post) or doctrine and I avoid dogmatic inspired views [this is outside expected interaction with others in the Christian community of course].  I am happy and content to simply love my God and I am firm in my belief that He is active in my life and reveals His presence with miracles and the working of the Holy Spirit.  I am undergoing a major life development in my personal theology and while going to school full-time to conquer my Bachelor of Science in Christian Ministry through Mid-American Christian University, I have already begun learning so much more, which I am confident is contributing to the development of this personal theology. 
     So, to get right to the point, that is my style-extremely and sometimes overly blunt [what can I say, I don't want to waste any more of my life], I am discussing my take (not to be confused with your take) on the current state of affairs in the Church in regards to hypocrisy!  I need to first lay the ground work for my opinions.  1) I do believe in unity as God desires this in His children [biblical and personal choice] 2) I do appreciate constructive criticism if the intent is for the exhortation not degradation of another Christian [biblical and personal choice] 3) I do firmly believe in strength in numbers especially when spreading the Gospel  4) I do believe in corporate worship if the worship is beneficial to all members of the body as a whole [biblical and personal choice]  5) I do desire love, kindness, integrity, faith, and mercy from other Christians and I constantly and uncompromisingly offer the same in everything I stand for as a Christian (although I fall short at times but always get back up) [personal choice] and  6) I absolutely consider the Bible the ultimate authority in my personal life as a Christian individual [personal choice].  Now, with all of this being said, I will responsibly assume that the reader is also a human being and believes in the ability and obvious propensity for all human beings, non-believer and believer alike, to not only make mistakes but also fail in our perpetual quest to reach that utopia state of spiritual perfection.  So, again I urge you, "reader beware!" and take what I am about to say with a grain of salt
     While I am being reader specific to fellow believers, I personally believe that if we are unable to cooperatively function as a body of believers and cannot avoid criticism of other Christians or fail to arbitrate or find common ground amongst our own Christian circles and community, we have also failed the single most important mission of all...reaching out to other people to spread the Gospel.  Please understand I hold a personal belief in spreading the Gospel proactively but also very non-confrontational and absolutely non-abrasive manner.  You cannot force the Gospel on anyone as this was not the intent in the first place.  Too quickly we forget that it was choice that we possess collectively as the human race, which distinctly sets us apart from all other creation and choice that played a part in our salvation [it should be understood I personally acknowledge only the grace of God through Jesus Christ makes salvation possible].  And far too often we believers think that we have reached a certain "level" that is superior to all others or as we often refer to, "the sinners" and this only turns non-believers off even more to God.  You see, we are walking, talking, breathing representations of what it should be like to be a Christian so our whole being is surrounded by scrutiny.  We live in, not just a glass house, but a world surrounded by glass.  True, God does not need selling [Jesus said He will draw the world to Him] but if those looking at Christiandom through their curious eyes observe a false image or an obvious breech of integrity in our character revealed through our behavior or by our words, then we have failed being Christ-like.  In itself this is just another sin or lapse by the individual human but to a world with an interest in trying the Christian lifestyle, this has a much larger negative effect.  The damage to our own persona is can be remedied with repentance and a humble heart but the detriment to our identity as a Christian, even more as a mentor to others interested in giving our "lifestyle" a try is sometimes permanently and irreversibly scarred.  This makes me stop right here and thank God for His saving grace which supersedes all human standards and consequences.  God is not a man that He is in any way regulated or conformed to our simple and quite worthless [when compared to Him] standards or mere rules.  On the flip-side, our identity or individuality with other people is measured according to these standards and so, in a way, we need to be conscious of our "performance" as examples to the world.
     To lapse or deviate from being a Christian could mean to compromise your entire belief system [wow, pretty shocking when said like this huh?] or to simply turn aside or "veer" from the straight and narrow for a split second while still maintaining your standing as a Christian.  So you slipped up with a very slight or very noticeable margin of error.  But you compromised your conscience whether for a split-second or spacial day.  So does this automatically condemn you to eternal death (I use you for emotional emphasis) or just corroborate your oh so humanness?  Are we forever branded a failure within the Christian community or just a weak believer?  Or, do we simply nod, admit foul, then move on like nothing happened at all with complete discretion on the part of the offender?  I already know how I feel about this issue [that is after all the reason for this post] but I want to know what the general consensus is.  How do you view sin?  What do you consider mistake, dangerous move, and absolutely death deserving?  Now, I refuse to answer my own question here [I say here because I am a habitual self-conversant] so I will move on to my main point.
     I have observed a nasty trend within the Christian community as a whole [I don't want to limit this fault to the Church because it is not just the Church].  Too often, we [I am using we because I have only recently begun to distance myself from the role of offender] are so eager to point out each other in situations where the blame game begins and fault finding seems all to comfortable.  But why?  I mean, as a human being [we are only human] we are prone to follow predisposures to certain unpleasantness but as Christians, we are morally obligated to follow Christ-like procedures and divinely orchestrated rules.  Christiandom demands 24/7 behavior of this caliber.  Our behavior is non-debatable and should remain a constant, perpetually movement forward without slowing down.  Christianity is not some religious "faucet" you can turn on when you desire to save face or "look good" then shut off when you need to undergo a small "indiscretion" or infraction of your untimely choice.  And, because of the glass house theory mentioned above, looking in a mirror should become relative to our lifestyle.  It should be a norm ingrained into our existence as a Christian.     
     I have not only been the contest of preying judgement consultants within the Church but I have also observed others who, either observant of their folly or unaware of their apparent state as a victim [the latter often being the case], have fallen victim to similar slandering and condemnation by the Church body.  Just as common and often as damaging are attacks from select "clicks" within the main body of the Church.  Whether from the entire community, the Church, or just a single offender, being the victim of an attack by another in any context or setting is emotionally, spiritually, and socially damaging.  Some are able to take these attacks in stride with nothing more than simple offense while others [too often the case] receive scars that last a long time, sometimes never recovering from the effects.  With justification these victims become, at the least, wary of the "system" and begin to rethink their status in Christiandom.  Can you blame them?  Are we not supposed to be mentoring and discipling each other?  Are we not held to a higher standard of tolerance and love?  Do we not lead by example and play the role of a servant-leader versus leader-servant?  The answers are quite simple, YES, YES, YES, YES!  All Christians are held to standards that are intended with every dimension of exceeding all other standards especially the worlds' standards.  When a non-believer cannot differentiate between another non-believer or believer [the questionable person is understood to be a Christian] by observing their attitude and behavior, we must then assume that this is a misrepresentation of Christiandom as a whole.  But when a Christian is spreading rumor(s) about a fellow Christian whether true or false, the slander or not slander debate does not apply.  This is a legal maneuver not a moral issue.  To deprave another brother or sister of their confidence and take anything apart from a constructive approach to every relationship with other Christians is far short of justified in any Christian arena.  It is simply unChristian!  To make a snap judgement about another brother or sister based on another's individual opinion or personal definition is a far cry from spiritually sound.
      The Holy Spirit was pretty clear when He had the inspired men write about slandering, backbiting, spreading false witness, judgement, condemning, and taking on God-ly duties that are otherwise off limits to anyone except God himself.  Jesus was extremely clear when He repetitively taught about leaving the judging up to God and condemn not lest we be condemned and those who judge will they themselves be judged.  Though the exact words and incident for cause differ the purpose and context remains constant.  We, as Christ-like children of God, are to avoid this behavior and there is nothing, absolutely no justification that makes any offending behavior in this neighborhood even remotely OK.  If you are one of those legalistic, controlling [control carries a demonic tone in meaning] types then using God's message [intended to save and show us how to live] for your own personal crusade is nothing new.  However, and take this little piece literally, using the Word of the Most High God as a foundation for your own preconceived ideologies that differ even slightly from the intended purpose carries its own special penalties to be executed by God at His discretion.  I plead with others who may have done this [as I am guilty of doing] to rethink your effect not only on the victim of your smear campaign [whether intended to harm or simply playing ignorant] but also on Christiandom as a collective whole.  It will always fail.  God gave us His Word as a standard by which we maintain our identity as Christians and realize our own indiscretions and shortcomings as believers, not to leverage others to accomplish our own human desires and evil schemes.  God allowed us another chance at salvation through His Son, the precious Lamb, the Jesus Christ our Lord.  We call ourselves Christian because we love those who don't love us, we don't follow who or what others follow, and we always benchmark our success here on earth off of the future glory there in the New Kingdom.  We love because God first loved us, not wait and see if someone deserves our love based off of their actions.  We cannot just assign another person "probation" according to our own personal standards because they will fail every time and that attitude is judgement in itself.  That is precisely why we have a universal standard [compliments of Heaven] who never deviates or lapses or is in error (Jesus Christ).  It is important to remember that "ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God".
     So next time you hear a negative word about someone else or are told something about someone else, don't adopt the majority opinion about that person, don't pass that information along, and do not attempt to converse with another thinking your care to properly investigate the matter justifies your involvement because it doesn't.  Thou shalt not bear false witness against your neighbor-Ten Commandments.  One important and priceless lifetime lesson I learned as a Police Investigator was that you NEVER know the entire truth until you know everything and until you have had a chance to investigate everything involved [and you will never get that luxury in a Christian setting] you will never get the whole story.  So, take it from me who has ruined some relationships of my own, don't travel the same path because it leads to heartbreaks and soul aches.  Too many people would still be friends and still be together if others would have just minded their own affairs.  From a biblical standpoint and personal creed, live and let live and even more, let God be God and you just be you.  Stop building expectations for everyone else and only be concerned about you.  Love covers a multitude of sins and much more than that.  Leave the rumors where they belong and the judgement to the JUDGE.  If you want to know the true definition of SIN, look in a mirror...It humbled me! Amen.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Point of no return!

     Have you received Jesus into your life and are moving forward in your walk of faith along with the Father? Is your life different now that you are changed and in love with the Father? Are you completely content with your new life in Christ Jesus without any remnant past life showing up since your change?

     I received the Lord into my life with joy and zeal. Having been through a hell of my own, I was oh so happy to start over and begin my walk with my God in a new light...After losing everything give my two children, submission to a Christian lifestyle was not sounding too bad or extreme. When you lose everything, you have everything to gain. You see friends, we tend to judge the quality of our lives on the material in our lives...What a deception this truly is to believe. Not long after my complete spiritual, emotional, and physical life change, I began to notice pieces of my past start to reveal themselves in the strangest situations. Very unexpectedly and surprisingly, I began to see issues resurface...Now, understand I am a new person in Christ. I gave up ALL my carnal ways and traded most every negative thought I possessed previously and selfish tendency for the love of God. It was a different experience and completely new to me coming from a very self-centered and self-loathing past. Self-indulgence in many different and equally evil sins was a regular occurrence in my personal life and even though I was a good father and husband, I was the worst child of God. You see, when we are unaware of the standard of God and what He requires out of us as His children, when we don't know what we need to be compared to from what we are, we think we are not that bad. The enemy most definitely has us blinded to the truth...He is very effective at clouding the truth of our state of existence. Best at deception, he goes to great lengths to convince us our current personal state of affairs is fine and we do not need anything or anyone interfering with our lives. How wrong this lie is...how dangerous and detrimental to our future life if we have one at all!

     When my pieces of my past began to resurface in my new life, the doubt started to surface also. When we give in to even just a little doubt or fear, the enemy uses this as his wedge to put more and more into different areas of our life. Doubt leads to more doubt and eventually you have uncontrolled paranoia in your life. Now I know why Peter tells us to FLEE FROM THE DEVIL...Because we cannot slowly walk away from him...he will just follow us...we must never ask him politely to leave us alone. You cannot deceive a deceiver! FLEE FROM HIM. Run away. You never need to be afraid of him. Just use wisdom when dealing with him and his trickery. Distance is the best solution to prevention. We must understand that our past has nothing good for our growth. It is meant be put away and forgotten. It is purposed to remain our past and never have a place in our present or future.
    
     One blessing God has graced me with as a result of my obedience to Him is to take away my former over-powering desire to indulge in blatant sin. While surrendering all of my past to God as a condition of my new life and forgiveness by Him, there have been occasional situations where minor parts of my past seem to try and revisit my new life. Having choice at our discretion, we are ultimately responsible for decisions of right or wrong. This discretion does not go away when we surrender to God. It is what separates us from the rest of creation. It is what proves God's nature of love rather than showing Him to be a sick puppeteer who wants us to be human robots who walk around mindlessly doing His bidding. Worship of Him should be our desire, not forced against our will. With the choice being our decision, we must choose wisely. We must understand that our past is just that, our past. It is already done. Nothing we do now will change it. We must keep our past as our past. When pieces of our past begin to appear in our renewed lives in Christ, we must realize that is just the enemy attempting to put that wedge into our new lives to break us apart from God. Do not reopen a closed chapter of your life. Would you readdict yourself to cocaine after years of being clean? Would you reinfect yourself with a disease after complete healing? It is no different in your new life with Christ!

     Treat your relationship with the Almighty God with the utmost respect. Approach it with care. Be cautous in everything you do as the enemy goes to great lengths to get you back into sin away from God. Do not ever take your new found freedom for granted. Take nothing for granted. Walk lightly and pray hard. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Flee from the devil and he will flee from you. Do not put yourself into any compromising situations and never throw caution to the wind, it will blow away. Never allow a situation to escalate into dangerous ground, thereby threatening your new life in Christ. Turn every negative into a positive, every wrong into a right. Choose life, not death!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Your own faith!

     We are all endowed with a natural ability to choose our own life. We were all created with the same effect-choice. This choice has shown throughout history to be a blessing and a curse, a curse which we lodge against our own person. When used for benefit, choice is powerful. However, when used in contempt and under selfish pretenses, it is death to the user. One major point is to understand that without absolute and unhindered discretion from God, we will always make the wrong choice...We cannot possibly know what the right choice by using our own wisdom!

      This so relevantly applies to our faith. Your faith is just that, your faith... It is your journey to reach perfection in Christ Jesus. It is your own story containing your own unique experiences of trial and error. Your pains and your victories. Untouched by any outside contamination because it is your faith...no one elses...only yours. Too often other caring Christians might not understand this need to undergo this journey on your own and with good intentions in mind, they encroach on your life by not giving you the benefit of the doubt or even by assuming your spiritual maturity through unrelated actions or words. Though this is meant by them in the highest order of respect it is not right or respectful. My own faith is being developed from experiences only I have been through and frankly, only I wish to ever have to go through. Without these experiences, I cannot say what condition I would be in today regarding my spiritual maturity. More specifically, without formulating my own techniques and methods of conflict resolution and problem-solving, I cannot say with any certainty if I would have the faith I do.

     Faith is unique and must be contained to your own personal journey and any attached affects. The only other person involved in the development of your faith should be GOD. Faith is learning to trust God to be God and using every situation you encounter or experience as just that...an experience that makes you stronger and wiser. But ultimately faith should only serve to build your dependence on God more and more as time goes on and you are victoreous. All victory comes from Jesus and all success through faith in His ability to make us who He wants us to be. So do not let anyone else attempt to live your life for you or take anything away from you. We are all children of God equal to eachother, inferior only to our God. Jesus is the only one with seniority above all. Your faith will be a testamony of your own personal life journey...make it a good one. Use it to serve the Kingdom of God.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Believe and be healed!!!

My motto used to be, “I have to see it to believe it!” Since my coming to the truth in Christ Jesus, I have changed that motto to say, “You have to believe it to see it!” There is no room for any subjectivity on that motto when you are a Christian. Faith is just that. That is just faith.


I am a survivor of oppression, affliction, and spiritual suicide otherwise known as depression, injury, and self-inflicted curse. For years, I have battled all of these demons with absolute success but for the Grace of God. I refer to these terms with prejudice. I cannot be more serious when I state that these are direct acts of satanic forces! I will not downplay the danger of these demonic forces because of the resulting damage caused when other Christians downplayed them to me for years. This only caused more oppression in my life and did absolutely nothing for improving my health or faith.

However, during the former years of being constantly afflicted and oppressed, I experienced real pain. The state of this health was not psychological; it was very real and very physical. I was administered several mandatory psychological tests which are designed to determine if one’s pain is real or imagined. Mine was determined by several doctors to be very real. I was clinically diagnosed with PTSD, Chronic Depression, Chronic Anxiety, Sleep Apnea, and Severe Sleep Deprivation. I also underwent twelve major medical surgeries, many various alternative medicines, a couple separate series of trigger-point injections, and a plathoera of prescribed Class III & Class II medications. I was in a doctor or specialists office over two times a month and in and out of the hospital a couple times a year. I underwent over two years of Intensive Psycho-Therapy due to the intensity of the psychological problems I was experiencing. However, the diagnosis of God is nothing like the diagnosis of man! My all time favorite verse must be Jeremiah 29:11-14 “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,” declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.”

I will listen, I will be found by you, I will restore you, I will gather you, I will bring you back…These are all promises. We know this to be the truth because, rest-assured; if it comes from God, it is TRUTH! All these promises with only one requirement…We must love Him with all of our hearts. That is it folks. This is also the key to unlocking the treasure-chest of how to receive full healing from all disease and sickness known to the human race.

Did you know the Greek definition of the word pharmacy? Its Pharmakos which, according to the Wikipedia, means a kind of human scapegoat (a slave, a cripple, or a criminal) who was chosen and expelled from the community at times of disaster or crisis. This term was later changed to “pharmakeus” which refers to; a drug, spell-giving potion, druggist, poisoner, by extension a magician or a sorcerer. God says in Exodus 22:18 “you shall not allow a sorceress to live.” Deuteronomy 28 lists in detail every curse, disease, and punishment that will befall us as a direct result of disobedience to God and sin. It then details every blessing that will come to us because of obedience to God. These are all very descriptive and explain in detail our instructions for health, not calamity. God’s Word is so simple to understand if you spend enough time learning to understand it. Once you begin to get the truth of the messages in the material, the Holy Spirit will take over and explain the rest of it to you. God provides a way for everything to work out if you just give Him the respect of your attention. However, you must do that.

I discovered through those years of much tribulation by afflictions that healing is absolutely relative to your faith level or maturity. I also noticed that as I began to grow more interested in pursuing God’s Word reading and meditation, prayer daily and at times, hourly, I began to heal very quickly. Keep in mind for the sake of this message that after my fifth surgery to remove the broken titanium screws in my lower back, I was told that I would be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. The pain I was experiencing could not medically be corrected because when my spine slipped off itself, it severed nerves and could not be medically separated from those nerves. My spine did not fuse correctly due to worn edges, which did not allow new growth to occur causing a fusion between the old bone and new growth. To look at the CT scans is disturbing to say the least as the spine is completely broken and out of alignment. I also have a TEN’s Unit implanted under my skin in my right groin area, bilateral hearing loss with hearing aids, and wonderful tinnitus or ringing of the ears. After years of medical doctors & specialists alike, every medication on the market (small exaggeration), and many medical procedures ranging from surgeries to bone grafts, I was fit for the glue factory or so I thought. I do not think that someone can go much lower than I felt. My life was turned around on a dime and I was looking ahead to no more career & a crashing life dream, a pending divorce, and no way of making money. Hopeless does not cover how I felt.

“If I am for you who can be against you?” Gee God, you are still there, still caring, still patient, still loving me…I was so worn out from relentless attacks on my body by the enemy and multiple surgeries that I honestly did not think to even stop and seek God out. I was blinded by all of the impairments, shackled by affliction, and riddled with hopelessness. I did not know where my life had gone in couple short years from a promising career in law enforcement to stay-at-home father who could not even play with my two young children. I had almost six years of U.S. Army Military Police experience and a shorter tenure as a civilian police officer. I had completed the hiring process for an extremely lengthy administrative process of the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs. Waiting on phone calls for an academy date from both agencies, something caused me to finally go into a hospital and seek relief from the constant unbearable pain. I had dealt with this pain all those years in the military, so this is why I say, “Something caused me.” Having become good at masking my pain through my own developed techniques, at the time, I could not understand why I went in to see the doctor. I could barely get out of bed in the morning and after intensive pressure from my former wife, I just caved to human weakness and went in. No doubt in my mind that this was once again apart of the careful and orderly plan of God.

I began to receive healing in my body only after I received healing and repair on my spiritual state. Healing literally began to travel at breakneck speed. Then I reduced my medications from nine to two. No detox, no weaning. Completely dropped. Using my own plan. I discovered that most underlying secondary disease or medical issues are directly related to or result from other disease. I currently work-out at the local gym (using low weight and paced for little to no injury), have no anxiety or depression, and very little pain! What a miracle. I went from hopeless to happy. Extremely deflated to extremely elated. My life was over…or so I thought. Now I look forward to the next day, instead of dreading it. I am an optimist not a pessimist. Glass half-full kind of person. All this because of one truth-GOD! Healing is very real, yeah, but it does not happen if you do not have GOD. You cannot receive healing in any form without first receiving Jesus Christ as your savior, God as your Father, and the Holy Spirit as your advocate. Period! It is not that God is a good-ole-boy club. No, rather He needs us to be on board with Him and we need to be able to understand His love language to us. Without a relationship with Him, this is not possible. Would you stay married to someone you did not live with? There are some absolutes to adopt for this type of breakthrough healing. Here are some guidelines, which must be followed:

1) First, do not ever buy into the biggest lie of the enemy-that disease is normal and you must learn to live with it and adjust to it, not attempt to eradicate it and defeat it. In truth, God brings life, the enemy brings disease, calamity, and death. Wow! Still, I bought the lie because the doctor who pitched the idea to me had me convinced and, had I not given my life back to God, I would have gone to my grave believing it. Doctors can be so deceiving and convincing. It is not that they purposely try to lie to you; they are just following their training and knowledge. However, God uses the knowledge of this world to confuse and confound the wise. Hmmm!

2) Secondly, Jesus Christ cancelled all disease and affliction known to humanity on the cross. He bore our sickness and by His stripes, we are healed. Therefore, to buy the enemies lies, we are crucifying Jesus Christ all over again thereby negating His sacrificial death altogether or denying His death. Do not do this…It is called blasphemy and to downplay this is sure death!

3) Third, never ever connect or claim any disease or affliction you may be providing a host body to now as your own problem. This is so important to understand. By claiming a problem, we are really cursing ourselves and any children we might have. All the enemy needs to control our lives and wreak havoc is to get his ugly foot in the door of our lives. Did you know that he is powerless to cause any harm otherwise. Generational curses are the number one cause of “hereditary disease.” It is that simple. Deny it, cancel it, then be patient and let God continue forward with His awesome healing plan He has for you, but do not claim it! Claim healing.

4) Lastly, in your prayer, begin by giving God due praise and thanksgiving. Worship Him for everything you have, what He has already done for you, and what He is doing (you see that, doing=faith) for you. Then identify your concerns and ask Him to provide you the strength to resist the enemy and reinforce your authority already provided by Christ’s death on the cross. Finally, end your prayer by stating with respect and authority that by His stripe’s we are healed and you will trust God to continue forward with complete healing and restoration. Do not revisit or re-travel that same prayer. Progress forward with your prayers and if the problem continues (it very well may because God might have your restoration worked in as part of His plan), continue to get proper healing from the elders in your church and pray for strength to fight the enemy.



Nevertheless, brother and sister do not ask or request God to heal you. He can, He will, and He already has. That is as admitting that you do not believe God can do what He has already said He has done, can do, and will do. That is like saying you do not believe in God at all. To doubt God’s abilities or capabilities is to doubt God Himself! I asked God if He could heal me for a long time to no avail. I never received an answer to those prayers. He says in His Word that He will not answer empty, self-condemning, pity prayers. Bashful Christians do not see victory. They cannot experience the power an intimate relationship with the Creator includes. In addition, they become easy prey to the enemy. Remember, we must be in-sync with God to understand what He requires and expects from us. We are created in His very image; therefore, we must start living as He does. He spoke everything into existence. Speak your healing into existence. You have that authority. Jesus provided us this luxury through His love sacrifice. Do not insult the Lord of Lords by asking Him to crucify His Son on the cross a second time! It hurt the Father enough to turn His back on Jesus the first time. Use what He died to accomplish. Use your FAITH. Make your faith a reality. Activate your belief system. Faith without action is useless. It is that easy.

If you do not see healing instantly as some do, look for improvement soon after. If you do not notice any then, the real problem must be on your end and directly related to your spiritual health. Troubleshoot your life starting with your ancestors and their medical histories. Eliminate any disease or afflictions within your previous family tree. Bind up any former problems or they will quickly become your own, or worse, your children’s curse. We are all equipped with every weapon we need to fight the enemy in the war of healing and recovery. Yes! God is not gender-specific. He is not bound by race or culture in His miraculous workings and He is no respecter of persons. God never allows things that we cannot handle happen to us. Moreover, He always provides us a way out of problems we do encounter. He is not a puppeteer. He finds no pleasure in our pain. He only desires restoration and relationships. There is no “trick” to healing. It is rather simple. FAITH! Faith that what the Word says is truth, that God loves you, and what He says He will do, He will do! God created you; don’t you think He can fix any problems with your structure or internal workings? Can’t you believe that if He sent His only Son to die for us that He has a plan for healing us also? Is it so hard to believe that all we must do is BELIEVE? Not believing is buying the enemies lies. FEAR is the opposite of FAITH. Doubt is second-in-command only to fear!

I pray that you receive a deeper relationship with God from this experience. I pray that you experience victory and power that Christ died for us to experience. I pray that after all this, you finally experience true healing, miraculous healing. I pray that it blows your mind. I pray that you become so spiritually shaken from this experience that you too will have the same success testimony, which you can actively use to affect victory with others in the Kingdom of God. Can you imagine what can be accomplished through you with God’s love? Think about your testimony of healing being used to bring others to the same relationship with the Creator that we experience…What a thought, make it an action. Seek God, He will answer. Love Him because He first loved us. Amen.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dare to trust GOD!

When you were born, you became an official child of GOD. However, what about when you were still developing? What about when you were being conceived? What about who you are now? Who cared for you then and who cares for you now?




The same GOD who cares for you then cares for you now. This same GOD created you with just a Word. A divine thought. You were created in His image. In the image of the Most High GOD! What a thought. What an even better existence.



Q. So what about when I am distressed?



A. GOD never has nor ever will forsake us or leave us. He will forgive our sins as far as the east from the west, He will forget our transgressions. If we take the offering of eternal life in the New Kingdom and abundant life here on earth, GOD will live up to His end of this offering. It is perpetual, always in play. He continues to protect us and His offer never becomes obsolete.



Q. What about my future? What about future problems?



A. GOD says that His love for us is everlasting. Everlasting goes on and on and on. It never stops or even slows down. In addition to everlasting love is everlasting grace and everlasting mercy. He extends His grace through the blood atonement of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. His sacrifice on the cross gave us freedom! Not freedom as we imagine in America. No, freedom that reaches so much deeper than that. Our own "freedoms" that we believe are so important are actually so miniscule in reality. The freedom Christ made possible through His death applies to our salvation first, suffering and pain second, and freedom from Satan's control third. As one decision of man separated us from GOD, so the death of the Son of Man separated us from the grip of death forever.



Q. Why do we still die or why do we still have pain?



A. Affliction is relevant to our faith. Satan lost all power and authority over man forever in a single moment of time at the very moment Christ gave up His spirit on that tree. However, like any war, the war goes on until the Commander in Chief comes back for the final battle. Satan continues to attempt to win souls while Heaven wages war against his dark forces. Until that final day, we may still fall. Nevertheless, after Christ's death, we were given another way. He bought our salvation through His death. Through His suffering, we obtained grace. Through GOD's mercy, we were given another solution to our dilemma. Do you see the point? Do you get it? We must do something to get something. We must do if we want to get! There is that decision process again.



Our salvation was purchased by our Savior, Jesus Christ, GOD with us. We are held to the trust system. We live as Christians and above reproach. We get to have an abundant life here on earth then go to everlasting life in utopia known as the New Kingdom. All we must do to receive this awesome grace is TRUST GOD! Give Him our dedication and attention. Take everything to God in prayer and worship. Let Him work His plan in our lives and be patient. Ultimately, the result is in His control and out of ours. Ultimately, we have no bearing on the result. We can help along the way by how well we obey and heed His advice, but we in no way affect the result.



Q. So, where does this leave us?



A. Trust GOD to be GOD! Let Him do what He does so well--Guiding us. GOD does not need our advice, assistance, or interpretations. He has a set standard, which He was so gracious to share with us, the Ten Commandments. He is a GOD of order. We must not ever seek to learn His ways or reasons. He has a plan and loves us and this love is all we need to know. GOD has established that He will never leave us nor forsake us--He is a GOD of His Word! Doubt is fear and fear is the opposite of faith. Fear comes from the enemy, not GOD. If something causes doubt or fear, chances are we are doing something out of His grace or protection. We must learn from our ancestors the lessons from bad choices and stupid mistakes. Abraham had his faith, we have the Word. Moses had his faith; we got the Ten Commandments written in stone. David had his faith and one small stone, we have big weapons and strong body armor. Paul had his faith, we have his writings--instructions for how to be a Christian, how to be married, how to be a Church, how to be everything in Christ Jesus. The disciples had their faith; we have their stories to use as learning lessons.



We become Christians then seem to forget who we are. We attend Church and affirm the pastor’s message with an occasional Amen then go home and forget to apply that message to our lives. We go through the motions of praying when we need something but forget to thank GOD when we get something. We claim victory over problems then run from them when faced head-on. We listen to Christian music with positive lyrics but sound like a depressive maniac when our stress level is raised. We admit our feeble human strength yet puff up our chests when confronted by our pride. We agree with GOD’s Word yet cannot quote one verse out of it. Why do we become complacent in our journey of faith? Why do we fall back into our old ways so easily? Why?



We have so many more resources now then they had in those Bible days. We have the Scriptures with actual examples for a buffer in our walk with GOD. A guide for everyday life as a Christian. An example of every situation and every culture to match every problem we may encounter today. The Scriptures have not changed, the times have. GOD is still the same loving merciful GOD. We have become more sophisticated, more advanced, more distant from our faith. Let us get back to the basics of Christianity, the fundamentals of faith in Christ Jesus. We need to seek GOD out as He is, not as we think He should be. He has so much abundance in store for everyone's life; we must begin to obey Him to see this abundance. He offers eternal life, we bring shame and contempt. He offered His only Son; we brought all of our pain, suffering, and affliction. We cannot and should not attempt to recrucify our Savior. What is done is done. Let us accept this and move forward to the life that awaits us as new creations in Christ. Let us be the head and not the tail. Let us dare to trust GOD. Selah!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Grandfather...

    My grandfather was always an influence in my life. He brought happiness to my siblings and me when we were children growing up in Douglas Arizona. At that time, a rather small border town, now a very large player in the drug war in the United States. A population exceeding 100,000 people, mostly all of them Hispanic. A culture all its own but very much a part of me. Being a minority in a foreign land among foreign people will always have a role in my life. My grandfather, Corky, was a spirited person, one led to small talk and meaningful words. He demanded a respect but was very understanding. I will never forget my grandfather because of the impact he had on my life.




     We homeschooled and both he and my grandmother taught at our school. English, Math, and computer familiarization. Although computer was not in our official curriculum, he always managed to get a lesson in on his days of teaching. I will never forget visiting with him and my grandmother. Their house was warm and welcoming. It had this attractive draw to it. It is hard to put into words but it held this comfort feeling about it. I would always find an excuse to go over and visit with them during the afternoons after school was out for the day. Growing up in a very tight-control style of home, it was a break to go to his house and he had a real television which my mother still does not know we watched. Having been forbid from doing or being a part of anything with a worldly slant to it, we grew up living off self-created fun and pure adrenaline. It was fun to sit around and tell my grandparents everything that my siblings and I were having difficulties with at the time. Living in a cult-style environment, it was an almost like finding a refuge to visit their home during my childhood and myself and my older sister would always confide in my grandparents as they were always there for us. One of many trailers circled around the cult leader’s trailer, their trailer was on the fringe of the compound and the opposite side of our own doublewide mobile home. It was perfect. Security in a very unsecure world.



     I will always remember the feeling of freeness I always got when I visited their home. My grandfather always on his computer and my grandmother always in their small kitchen. She was a saint of saints. God took extra time to create her. She was the most patient and loving person I have ever met. A strong woman of God. An Esther of our time. My grandfather was a hero in my eyes and the eyes of my siblings. He always stuck up for us to the cult elders who he was always butting heads with. Although done with a grace only my grandfather can reveal, he would always stand up to their constant bullying and mistreatment of us children, which was a regular event. He did not budge an inch and this affected my life in a very positive way. I look back now and wonder in complete amazement at the level of tact that my grandfather used when dealing with my own parents and the other elders in the compound.



     He instilled in me a feeling of endurance and hope. I spent more than enough time irritating my grandfather as I tended to be overbearing but he showed loving-kindness even in the most stressful of situations. He is a man of God among men of God. He is my own hero. I look up to him. I have this awe binding respect for him. Some people are in your life, others outside your life, and only a few ever making it into your heart. My grandfather will always be an influence to me and has played a major role in my salvation. God used that man to reach so many other lives but used him to change mine. I thank the Lord that I have a relationship with my grandfather and love him very much.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

the Love!

God is love. We love Him because He first loved us. Draw near to God and He will draw near to us. For He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son...These are all very encouraging, very inspiring, very touching.

Why does He seem so far away then? Why do we still have problems? Why? I can say for sure but I, myself, have come from a long way ago but still have a long way to go. It took some extreme life adjustments to begin to see the real God, the God I read so much about in the Bible. It took me 30 years to find God. I am not bragging. I am simply grateful that it did not take any longer. Grateful to God for allowing me to make so many mistakes and yet, still provide recovery for me. Grateful to God for forgiveness, for wiping away all my sins as if they never happened. No more record of wrongdoings! No more mark on my record, no more stain on my clothes, just clean, white clothes. And a crown awaiting me. For me? Yes! For me...This is what I have waiting for me. I am not looking forward to the crown, rather the King. I long for the day I will see my King, my Lord, Holy, Holy, Holy...is the Lord God Almighty...Who was, is, and is to come!

I found that God is always working on us, always improving us, always looking out for us...Why then is it so difficult to see this improvement. It is very simple actually. He tells us in Deuteronomy 28 everything we ever need to know about succeeding. He lays it all out for us in the last of the first five books in His Word to us, the Bible! He explains in detail even though there is no need for explanation. The Bible is the single greatest book in creation. It needs no other power to hold it up. It stands alone, supports its own existence. It is God-inspired, Spirit lead. It is accurate, ultimate, and perpetual. It is consistent not compromised. It will always be within context of time. It is completely factual, poetic, and mysterious. It takes simple people with normal problems in a lost time and turns every story, every situation into a miracle, a life-changing account of one man's story to another’s recovery.

It has been tested and found to be unremarkable. It has survived wars, empires, relentless attacks, and constant scrutiny. All the while remaining unchanged and unscathed. It bears the title of truth, records of God's omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. It attests to God's power and resounds of His love. One event reveals His authority, His absolute integrity with prejudice while another His gentleness that of a lamb. He is constantly caring, always loving, and more often merciful. His love pushes through the pages jumping off into your very soul. It intrigues, confirms, though never denies. It is all-powerful, awe binding, even visionary, transcending the very depths of despair called humanity.

God gave us love, and then He gave us a chance. When we failed Him again and again, He instated His law. When we let Him down yet again, He decided to come down a little closer, even to our level. He chose to live as we do, to show us that He loves us enough to become us and then, die for us. He accomplished this as a lowly carpenter. In the guise of a blue-collar second-class citizen. He became us to save us. He lived in every aspect as us but without sin. He showed us, that though He had the power of the universe and heavens in His hand, He chose something as simple as a lowly working person to give us just one more chance to right our many wrongs. Then He took the burden of all our sins on His own shoulders. He felt pain though He need not. He was mocked though He had created the mockers. His humanity resulted in the worst death imaginable, His divinity became our grace. He became us to save us.

Can we not return the love in just a minute fraction of the way in which He showed us? Are you willing to allow your worst enemy to falsely arrest you, publically humiliate you, scourge you, beat you, torture you, all the while mocking you to your face in front of the world? If that is not enough, don't just allow everything to just happen; actually love those who are doing it! Yes! You read that right...LOVE those who torture you. Then, when you have been given the worst hand of your life, let them nail your hands and feet to a wooden cross. Let them place a crown of thorns on your head--In your head. Pray for them but do not answer their mocking. Do not speak your mind; let them have a little piece of how you view them! Just hang there and remain calm. Hide it as well as you can even though you are in excruciating pain. Remember, don't say anything other than "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!" Nevertheless, you must mean what you say in your prayer. You must actually love these people. The ones who are slowly killing you. The ones who want to see you suffer and continue to mock you to your face. Every drop of your human blood, one more laugh from the mob. You have all of Heaven's legions and legions, the vastest, greatest, strongest Army in all creation, all at your whim. But, you cannot use them. All you must do for them to save you is call. But, you will not because this is love. This is what you are doing for a people who don't even believe in you in the first place. What is going to change that now, you do not know, but that is not your concern. Because you are going to save humanity from itself by your sacrifice of love.

Can you do this now? Could you feel the pain, the sick empty feeling of being forsaken by your Father? Are you up to the task? Remember the time when you were absolutely at your worst, loneliest time in your life and the one last friend that would listen, who would listen and love you...then imagine that one last resort turning their back on you. Your absolute last confidant, gone. That’s it! That’s the feeling! Could you at least remember what Jesus did next time your cut off in the store? Next time the local school bully picks on your child calling him names using racial slurs or degrading terms, can you bless that bully, can you pray for that driver right there in your car? Could you manage a simple friendly wave with all five fingers? Can you? Oh, would you? Jesus would, Jesus did! Selah.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My faith!

Faith is a subject of much debate and much deboggle. Faith is scrutinized by the critics and stumbled over by so many others. It is and has always been highly elusive in the pursuit of definition which has been described best in Hebrews 11:1 "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Simply put, to have FAITH is to believe in something or someone better.



As simple as this may sound, it is much more particular in nature. Faith has been attributed as the cause of much strife since the beginning of mankind and his constant dealings with the "higher power" otherwise known as God. Either, we don’t have it, can't master it, or spend entirely too much effort trying to prove its place and purpose in our lives. The theory of Faith and how it applies to our walk with God has been attacked relentlessly by the critics. They hold the view that everything must be reasoned and one can only hold what is in his hand. Anything else is simply imagined and cannot, therefore, be real. Many renowned people have attempted to debunk FAITH as we as Christians have labeled it. But, with all the attacks which have been constant and consistent, Faith still stands strong within the Christian community and needs no interpretation or explanation. It is self-existent and holds its own. FAITH does not need proof, it is self-evident. Most who possess it also possess strong character and will-power as additional life attributes. The value we assign various life trials depends on our ability to believe in a better future with God. It most always follows strong moral standards coupled with an ethical approach to our life.



I have observed in my short time as a believer that the greatest factor in learning to grow in Faith is to relinquish "control" to a belief system or Christianity. The opposite is true that we seem to feel that if we choose to have Faith, we are giving over control of our sanity to something hoped for but not seen. That is what scares [fear-the opposite of faith] us into hesitation the most. Losing control of our "realism" and putting our trust in something which is not readily available to our five natural senses. Man has a tendency to reason everything. We are constantly analyzing everything we do or observe. We want to rationalize everything we do with reason. I battled this negative habit for years. I had to see something to believe it. I refused to trust in something that I couldn't see or feel. I used to say, "If I can't prove it or see it for myself, than I can't believe in it." How wrong I was!~I just didn't want to give up control of my emotions to anyone else let alone God.



Only after exhausting all other possible avenues of handling my life's biggest and smallest problems did I begin to come to the understanding that life just wasn't working the way I thought it would. I began to notice that despite my effort or the effort of other influential people in my life, no one could help improve my life. Nothing was working for me and it was only proving to me how helpless we really are without God. I "ran" or controlled my life for over twenty years without any progress or noticeable change or improvements. I reached a point where I knew in my heart that, as unpopular as it may be and "uncool" it might seem, I needed some kind of outside help with my life's problems because I was getting nowhere real fast. I actually reached a point where I didn't care about what others thought; I just wanted change and so desperately needed it.



This is where God comes into the picture. He was willing to forgive me for all of my countless sins against Him and other people. Just like that! I was a new person with a new life and new agenda...To please Him and do what He intended for me to do, not what I wanted to do. You see, I had spent over six years of actual law enforcement work, three years of investigations in the private realm as a Private Investigator, and two years as a special  investigator for the government. I have the experience and knowledge of an intermediate police officer and was assigned to many different and interesting positions while law enforcement. My certifications and schools fill a normal resume and I had "tried" everything there was to do in that career field. I was headed forward to a continued career in law enforcement with the government and I was going to fulfill my dream of becoming federal law enforcement and nothing was going to stop me! I almost reached my goal. Then something changed...My whole life as I knew it changed. All of the sudden, my service in the military combined with my short tenure as a police officer resulted in several medical issues which started to become a real problem and the surgeries began to increase. I began to see doctors weekly and my life went from becoming a federal police officer to becoming a medical test dummy and doctor’s nightmare. I lost total control of my physical state and eventually, my emotional state as well. It was because of my physical impairments that I lost everything I had worked so hard to achieve. I was told by a Nuerosurgeon point-blank that my almost nine good years of investigations experience were over. Down the drain basically overnight. My marriage was quick to follow and it was at this point that reality hit me right smack in the face. I was not in control anymore and despite my ability to ignore certain problems; I could not ignore what was happening to me. I had reached my "rock-bottom!"



I sought out God. I had done this before but without such sincerity. I truly needed change and change is what I got. Turns out, God was just waiting for me all along. He has a life lined up for each one of us. The flipside is that we get so consumed with our own vices that we miss His purpose. We are so intent on proof and reason and whatever else we can drum up that we pass His purpose right by without even slowing down to notice it. We busy ourselves with ourselves. Everything we do centers around me, me, me! But, we fail to understand that God has so much more in line for us to enjoy. We can go our whole lives and miss blessing after blessing because we blind ourselves with selfishness and self-centered ideologies. Our reality is just our imagination going wild. Our reason just our excuse for not wanting to give control to God.



Again, I do not need to "defend" or explain my FAITH. It holds its own in that area. However, I will say that having faith in God to do what He says He will do if we are doing what we are instructed to do will come to pass. We will notice the fruits of our labors if we believe in God and trust Him. This is faith. All you have to do is trust God instead of yourself. He won't lie or deceive. He won't let you down. He is faithful and just and He will do what He says He will do in His Word and by His Spirit. I have FAITH because I have seen it work. I have FAITH because I can attest to its existence. I have FAITH because I have God. Selah.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Do not worry and pray about everything!

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done." (NLT)




"For I will never leave you nor forsake you." (NKJV)



These are soothing passages of scripture to read. They invoke a general feeling of wellbeing. Just to hear them spoken brings comfort. But is it really that easy? Can we truly NOT worry about anything? Isn't it natural to worry sometimes?



All questions needing answers. All valid points to ponder. How could Paul, a person who had been shipwrecked, beaten, bitten [deadly snake], stoned, imprisoned, denied, mocked, and much more be so positive in his outlook on life's biggest temptation? The temptation to worry is so readily available to the average person that it is almost accepted as a norm in our society and culture. If we are not stressing about something, we find something to stress about. It seems if we are stressing about something, we are in our comfort zone. And the typical solution to stress is more stress. We constantly go against the grain because we are accustomed to feeling "blue." There are more songs written about being blue than anything else. We complain to our doctor "Why am I so stressed out all the time?" Then we walk out the office and begin stressing ourselves out all over again. Stress is the number one killer in America today. This statistic probably parallels in other nations as well. Our solution to stress is talking to a $200 an hour shrink which only secures their paycheck and is the equivalent of buying an ear for an hour, or going to the Chiropractor who is equally costly with not much more of an effect. The other solution is to start taking "anti-depression", "anti-anxiety', or "anti-stress" medications which only complicates the root issue by causing other health problems. Now we are stressed, hooked on meds, and worse off more now than ever! The last resort to "fixing" stress on our own is suicide. A very sad reality which has become rampant in our society today.



So what is to say about stress then? Have you ever seen those commercials on television about the anti-depression medications? A person looking like dog in the rain with a monotone narration in the background talking about how you feel hopeless all the time. The commercial itself is enough to make one take one's life. I thought it was supposed to pitch ANTI-depression medication, not DEPRESSION medication! What a sad state of mind to always be surrounded by so much stress and be battling it ourselves.



Do you know that hopelessness is Satan's number one vice in his battle for your soul? He would like nothing better than for you to feel hopeless and alone without any chance of improving your condition. It is his number one goal to bring you so low that you take others down with you or take your own life. Just your negative ora alone could cause so many others damage. Think of the domino effect. That is the kind of result that feeling worried all the time causes. He makes us think that there is no way out or the opposite, which is even more tragic. If he can separate us from God using worry as his angle, then he thinks he has won that battle against the Almighty. This, as we well know, is false. It is a big lie! But isn't that how he operates?



Mission...Your soul!



Plan...Make you feel hopeless!



Weapons...Feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, depression, fear, SUICIDE!



Mode of Attack...Bombard your soul with hopelessness, attack you body with sickness, and take your life!



Success Rate...Good!



That is how Satan operates. How he manipulates your own mind against you. How he thinks he will win. Oh, how he is so wrong!



For years I have struggled with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and more. All the medications, treatment, counseling. Although some of it helped to its credit, not one of those solutions brought me out of it. It just taught me how to deal with it. How to accept it. How to integrate it effectively into my life and live with it. It masked the real problem while solving nothing. But it was still there. Some days were bad, others better, and very few actually good. The more I thought about it the more it became my crutch. The more I attempted to fix it the more it became a problem. It became consuming. Like a fire burning everything in its way. It was destructive. It bled over into my family life affecting my loved ones. I didn't like it but I couldn't stop it. I reached my rock bottom almost daily. Why? Why? Why?



Then something happened. I was having my second set of three more surgeries on my back making my back surgery total five. I have had other medical surgeries, twelve total in my short 29 years of life. I have been in and out of doctor’s offices and hospitals since my childhood, so this was nothing new. But, it was unique because it just so happened that during these last three surgery series, my wife informed me she wanted a divorce. This devastated me as I was a family man since 19 years old when I married her to one house, two cars, a dog, two children, and a lot of debt later. All of it hit me at once. And it hit me hard. I had nowhere else to turn, no more tears to cry. So, I did something that changed my life forever more and I will never be the same for it. I cried out to God. I ask Him to have pity on me and find it in His heart to forgive me my sins so I could start over. I didn't really know the what, why, where, when, and how’s of Christianity but I was determined to do something about my situation. The alternative hadn't improved my life enough to justify not trying God.



Since that hour, my life changed for the better. I began to receive miracle after miracle. Blessing after blessing. The more I got of Him the more I wanted. My problems didn't change, my outlook on life did. God changed my whole view of life as I had known it. I gave Him a complaining broken spirit. He gave me a new happy mindset. I gave Him a rattled body. He gave me a method for handling it. Do you see the relationship? You give, He gives. Why do you think He talks so much on giving in His Word? Why so many passages on surrendering? Because, we can only begin to notice real change when we completely surrender to Him. Let me be clear! He WILL change your life and work in ways which will leave you scratching your head and thanking Him at the same time. He does work in mysterious ways, but that is His style. We don't need to know the details. Just buckle yourself in and hang on because I can guarantee you will have the rollercoaster ride of your life. But, it is the best life you will ever have. It will be the best life because it will be what He wants for you, not what you want for you.



So, I conclude, it is easy to not worry about anything and it is good to pray about everything. Prayer is simply communication with God. And, brothers and sisters, nothing pleases Him more than communicating with His children. Prayer moves mountains and heals broken spirits. But, God fixes everything. Selah!

Butterfly.

Take the butterfly. It begins as an egg. Then it slowly grows to a larva. It is bare in description, actually pretty ugly. Very distasteful, it must shed its skin several times to accommodate further growth. It has one more stage of growth before coming to full maturity. Each extra level of growth it becomes something much different than before as it changes colors and shape. As is goes into the pupa stage, you notice it has all but stopped any physical movement as it sets in its outer protective layer while continuing to grow. It is not at all attractive at this point in its maturity stage but it continues to grow none-the-less. But it is all the time developing. Stage after stage. As time progresses it begins to shed its cocoon image and something beautiful happens at this point. All of the sudden and without warning it transforms into a beautiful vibrant colorful creature which fly’s on the wind with weightlessness in its wings. Just the simple glance at this beautiful and intricate creature can soften a hard heart. You wonder as you watch it go about its business, “How did it go from an ugly worm to a beautiful creature?” You begin to faze into a positive mindset yourself, still transfixed on its glowing beauty. You begin to feel yourself floating on the breeze, soaring above the earth.




This is what we replicate as believers in Christ Jesus. We begin as ugly [sinful] beings. Brought into this world with a stigma not our own. We begin to slowly develop becoming better and improved as time goes on. We reach a point in our development where our ugly [sinful] attribute becomes apparent in our lives. We realize that the reality is we are just a shell of what we want to be. Then, Christ comes along and in some way, maybe through someone we know or don't know, He makes His presence noticed. It could be through an experience or something that happens totally unexpected to us. But He is there. We know it and we acknowledge His presence because it gives us this feeling of fullness. We can't pin this feeling down but, we like it because it completes us. It gives us happiness and reason. A real purpose to live.



We begin to want more of Him. We don't know why, we just know. We begin to notice more of Him in more of us. The more we pursue Him, the more He reveals Himself to us. The pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place. One after one. Little by little. But it is enough. It is enough because we are going through a process. One which is progressively better and better. All of the sudden, we understand Him. We finally realize our absolute desire for His presence and we want it more than ever. We feel this natural dependence on His presence because it brings us peace. It is true passion. It satisfies our very soul. It fulfills every need we have ever had. Things which once were important to us we can't even remember and we approach every day anew. Our whole outlook on life has completely changed and we don't care anymore about anything but getting more of Him.



You have just become a fully matured butterfly. You are beautiful in every way. You are given everything you will ever need through and from Him. He is Jesus Christ. Our Servant, Savior, Sustainer, and Soul mate all in one. There is nothing that you cannot do through Christ. Use Him. Lean on His strength. He is strong in our weakness. Go to Him with every problem, question, comment, request, and idea you ever have. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He is always on call. So, beautiful butterfly, give Him back what He has given you.....LOVE. He loves you more than you can ever possibly know and this will never change. We look back on our lives and wonder “How could Jesus accept my ugliness and transform it into beauty?” As we navigate through our lives, we begin to realize that we are who we are because of Christ Jesus. For in Christ Jesus we are a new creation and old things are passed away with all things having become new. Selah!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It is................

I cannot be silent! I am incapable of non-disclosure! I am constantly on guard for the next opportunity to let others know! To know about the feeling.....The life.....The thrill.....The power.....The amazing euphoria never before experienced by all of my five senses. I have not been the same since I received it and I cannot remember a time when I felt so good. I am recharged daily, always receiving, always learning. It is incomparable and unchangeable. Once you have it, you won't want anything else. It’s like a good cancer, always eating away at your innermost soul. But it is good, real good. It heals, repairs, but does not relent. It is always positive, never depressed, almost impossible to believe but so very real. It cannot be taken away from you and you won't want to give it up but, you will want to pass it on. It cannot be denied and will never die. Its construction is stronger than titanium. It will not be beat and cannot lose. It is absolutely foolproof, fireproof, and watertight. It is better than good. It is free but of the highest quality. It is beautiful on its own, needing no outside influence. Man cannot master it nor replicate it alone. It is, it is, it is…………….

















The Love of God!

Was that me or Satan!

Often times we make mistakes or do something we regret only to place the blame for that action or misplaced word on someone else. We find that it is much easier to deny something we should really be taking responsibility for than to actually face our mistake and admit foul. We have become a finger-pointing society, one which will always have an explanation or excuse for our wrongs instead of the truth. Why are we so easy to find a scapegoat when we are the source? Why do we always shirk responsibility for our actions?




The alternative to self-admission of blame is to transfer that blame to Satan for the evil action or thought. We claim the devil put us up to it or entered us influencing or "telling" us to do it. "It wasn't me"…"I wasn't in my right mind"..."Man, Satan sure can be deceiving!" Do we really think it is Satan doing the deceiving or, is our own mind deceiving us? Satan only planted the seed in the Garden of Eden for man to sin. Man made the decision to actualize that seed and sin bring it to fruition. God created both angels and man and both with the ability to choose. Too often man uses that choice against God's laws or moral standards because we “choose” to rebel. We have rebelled since the beginning of time. When we think we are better off on our own or can do things better using our own feeble strength, we will reach a dead-end. Lucifer thought he would “exalt himself above God” and this was where he was very wrong. He was once cherished by God, but because of his pride, he fell out of grace. It was at this point that he was dispelled from Heaven and made to roam earth, thus Lucifer became Satan. Ultimately, we give Satan more credit than he deserves when we use him as our excuse. This is due to the plain and simple fact that he is always waiting around the corner to try and separate us from God. He wants to cause dissent between us and the Father. This is his greatest vice in his campaign or “crusade” to win a war which has been waged since the beginning. This factor is a constant and will not change until Jesus comes back. However, there is good news! Our God is the creator of all including the serpent and He has already won the war through His Son, Jesus Christ. This victory automatically becomes part of our legacy through grace and grace alone and only after we admit our sin, accept Jesus into our lives, and begin to live in the grace of God. So, Satan has lost the war but, make no mistake, he continues to fight battles.



This doesn’t take away the danger that Satan poses to us, rather it gives us an understanding of his position in our lives. He no longer holds power or control by right. He was cast out of Heaven but still has access to the Throne of God. Understand, this access is in a cowardly, powerless way. He, like all creatures, is accountable to God and is in subjection under God. God’s sovereignty supersedes all. There is nothing that will ever be above or greater than God. Do not underestimate the enemy either. The devil only has as much control as we allow him to have over us. He created fear, not God. He can only influence us as long as we are living out of the grace of God and in sin. His authority only applies to our spiritual state of mind. His demons [angels who followed him and fell with him] are his arm and legs. Fear is his greatest weapon. His control is only relative to our status as believers in Christ Jesus. Therefore, if we are living in God’s grace, we are protected by that grace. If we are strong in our FAITH, we have nothing to fear. Fear is imagined, not real. God tells us we have nothing to fear when we are doing what He commands and living according to HIS will.



Having covered the brief origin of fear, history of mankind and his relationship to the devil, and our position in God’s kingdom, we can safely come to the understanding that there are two different but equally dangerous extremes working against us, ourselves and the devil. But, going back to God’s sovereignty and ultimate authority over all creation, we know He is in control of everything and there is nothing that He cannot do. If Satan only has the control that we willfully give him, then it is safe to assume that he is powerless to control us if we are living as we ought, as true Christians. We can sum our problems up into one point. We are responsible for things that happen in our lives and we have the “choice” to live in FAITH or allow the devil to bog us down in fear. In Deuteronomy, Moses tells the children of Israel to choose life or death, blessing or curse. This is our decision and our choice. The direction of our lives are up to us but made possible through Christ Jesus. Selah!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Faith and Application!

F-Forsaking

A-All

I-I

T-Trust

H-Him

Hebrews 11:6 It is impossible to please God without FAITH! (NLT)

Religion is man’s own creation in an attempt to validate their search for the truth. Religion is NOT God! Belief in God is the beginning of FAITH! Walking with God is the proof of that FAITH! Salvation is the finality [full circle] of that FAITH!

Q. So, should we continue to live in fear that we do not see this FAITH?

A. If we are in fear, we are not walking in FAITH!

Q. How do we know what FAITH is?

A. Stop reasoning everything, start actualizing your doubts! FAITH is the opposite of fear!

Q. How will I know that FAITH is working?

A. FAITH is made real in works!

Always remember and never forget that God has already provided us a life filled with abundance of everything we will ever need irrigardless of whether we decide to receive that life or not! Think of the baby rattlesnake……They are most potent after birth because that is when they possess all of their life supply [abundance] of poison [ability to acquire food and defend themselves]. Now, let’s substitute our own lives for this reptile…….As newborn babies, we have a life supply of abundance of provisions [blessings] given to ALL of us by our loving Father waiting in our love accounts to be withdrawn. We didn’t earn these automatic provisions [blessings] of abundance but, as children of God, we are entitled to His plan for our lives which includes unlimited blessings. Even though we didn’t earn these automatic provisions [blessings], if we choose to receive [through FAITH] these provisions [blessings], He will grant us [through His grace and our FAITH] these blessings. Yes, more than we could humanly imagine. Do you see this paradigm? We have, already set aside for us, a good life filled with blessings and surprises…………….Will we reach out and accept this life? Will we believe through FAITH?

Evaluate your life and ensure that you are pursuing [pleasing] God through FAITH! Where there is FAITH there cannot be fear. Selah!

God sometimes allows [not causes] us to endure afflictions so that we may see His grace and wonders work through the recovery process from those afflictions. He is a God of wonder and majesty, glorious in every way and everything so that we may see Him in everything we encounter and everything we experience. Although His nature is built on love and grace, He sees ways which will help us even when we do not. Our God does not think like us. God has other plans than us. Jeremiah 17:5, 7 says, “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and who turn their hearts away from the Lord!”………“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence!” (NLT) But, God does not allow us to experience the same affliction again once we have reached completion [healing] of that affliction. In other words, once we have been healed from that affliction, we will continue to progress [move forward] not regress [move backward] back to that affliction. We also now have a testimony [healing] given us by God’s authority to use in the spreading of the Good News. God desires for us to move forward in life, not backwards. In the natural realm, we live a life that moves forward, not backwards, therefore we age and mature physically. We grow up not down. This same principle applies to our FATH walk. In the spiritual realm, we must always be prepared to step up our FAITH walk, strengthening our FAITH in everything we encounter and experience. We should always be willing to go to the next level of spiritual maturity. Use our past to discern our future. Wisdom comes with experience or past experiences. We must always seek deliverance and healing and not be content with possessing these afflictions or being in a state of stagnation. We are our own worst enemy. Additionally, Satan will pick up where we leave off. Satan desires for us to be content living in a state of stagnation [never progressing or improving] with our affliction. Our own human nature desires selfish ambition or self pity. Although opposite, these attributes of our human nature are very similar to the core of the problem...SELF! Until we realize our own feeble and very incapable human nature called weakness, we will never reach true intimacy with God. We cannot reach this intimacy with God because we are not acting in FAITH and are instead acting on our own limited abilities. Without FAITH, we will not see the end of the road or have hope. Hopelessness leads to depression, low self-esteem, feelings of little or no worth or value to society or self, and in many sad but very real situations, taking of one’s own life. All of these are effective and dangerous weapons which Satan uses in his conquest to separate us from the Father. A dangerous precedence was set in the Garden of Eden by Adam and Eve. They caved to their own understanding and thought process and made a choice to step out of the protection of God. They followed the first one to fall, Satan, and believed in a lie instead of walking in FAITH. Instantly they had their very first experience of FEAR. This occurred because they became separated from God. Sin or disobedience to God was the cause, Satan the tempter, to be like God the temptation. With this separation came pain or affliction. Our lives are a daily journey around traps, pits, and bumps in the road. We can navigate with the help of God. We will fall without it. Whenever we step out on our own, we have just left FAITH behind and stepped outside of the protection of God. We will not see the grace of God because it is impossible to please God without FAITH! Amen.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Believe and defeat the devil!

We are in a war. This war is different than other wars. It is spiritual, not physical. But it is also more dangerous and the end result is our very souls. It has been waged since before mankind was formed and created by God. It has been active since that time and will continue to remain active until Jesus Christ comes back to make His enemies His footstool. Isaiah 14 talks of Lucifer's (now Satan) fall from Heaven, from his seat of status as Chief of the Angels of Heaven. Although he had everything, he wanted yet more. He thought of himself higher than the Most High God. He wanted to be higher than God and so he was cast down from his position in Heaven to the lowest on earth. Since that time, he has been trying to rally mankind to follow him in his campaign against God. He uses flattery and lies to manipulate man into believing he is something more than the Devil. After all, one-third of Heaven's angels followed him and were also cast out of Heaven down to earth. So he is always trying to strengthen his ranks. Mankind is the mission, our souls the target.




Satan constantly uses vices to keep us in bondage to him. He uses addiction, affliction, and temptation. He puts all of these evil born attributes against us or in us if we are weak and unready for his attacks. Sickness is not natural to man. It was introduced after man's fall in the Garden of Eden. Sickness is our enemy. It has since been conquered through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. He bore our sicknesses and pain. By His stripes we are healed! We do not have to stay in a state of sickness or pain. We do not have to continue to bear these burdens. It is not supposed to be. It is a result of unbelief in God and His divine ability to take care of us. It is a tactic of the enemy but, if we believe, than we can overcome it just as it was overcome by Jesus! We must call on our God and use the Holy power in the name of Jesus Christ to activate our faith in His abilities and capabilities. It absolutely works if we believe.



The issue is that Satan gets us to believe that we are powerless to defend ourselves from this sickness. That we are only human and cannot perform supernatural powers of healing. That healing was something only Jesus Christ and His disciples did in a fairy tale story in the Bible long ago. That we are supposed to remain in this state of pain or sickness. Or that the Bible is just words and cannot be actualized or applied to real problems or issues. This is where FAITH is necessary. We must have the faith to believe that we have the ability to heal ourselves and beat the odds regardless of others opinions or professional help. We must break free these chains of this bondage which Satan keeps us in. We must always be on guard, constantly weary of Satan and his ever-present evil powers. We must build up our spiritual health to form a wall of divine protection against the devil. Do you notice how these are all action words?



We must acknowledge that there is a problem, identify the problem, isolate that problem, then begin to fight the problem with prayer, fasting, Bible reading, meditating on the Word, and assistance from fellow Christians. Never verbally connect the problem to yourself. Do not agree with the problem or accept the problem as natural or a common thing. By accepting sickness or pain, we are allowing Satan to keep us in bondage. We need to begin to bind the devil in everything and everywhere with everyone. We need to bind up the devil by using the name of Jesus Christ and acting out on our faith in His healing power. We are ourselves able to heal through what Jesus has already given us. It is by His precedence that we can heal sickness, bind up the devil, and cancel any lingering evil the devil has tried to keep over us. We must become battle-minded and versed in the Scriptures to enable us to begin to walk in truth and activate the spiritual power Jesus Christ gave to us through the Father.



Satan uses defeat, we have the Truth! Satan uses a losing mentality; we have the mindset of Jesus who is the Truth! Satan can only win if we allow him. We are conquerors in Christ Jesus through God. It is because of His sacrifice that we have salvation. It is through His grace that we have life. But, we need to stop settling for second best and begin striving for first place in our spiritual walk of faith. Jesus temporarily left, the Holy Spirit remained, and God has always been there. Stop letting the devil, who has already lost, win! Do we know that even though we must still fight daily battles that the war has already been won? That the devil can only go as far as we decide to let him go? It is true and very real! We are conquerors through what Jesus Christ has already done for us. We are above the devil and more powerful than any evil thing. But, we must tap into that faith which enables this power. We must start thinking in that mindset which puts the devil to flight. We must take captive all our thoughts and control our way of thinking so as not to allow any room for another visit from Satan. He is powerless to us if we believe in Jesus Christ and exercise our faith in God's omnipotence. We will win!!! Amen.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Vision!

I had a vision recently. I envisioned something similar to what you might know as "cell groups" otherwise known as a smaller faction within a church body which meets weekly in addition to attending regular church services. This vision was to create another faction or group known as a "Pin-Point Prayer Team."

Now, what I am referring to are teams which are carefully organized with a team leader, (a spiritually mature and educated Christian brother or sister who is very passionate about the Kingdom business and has years of experience in ministry or walking with God) the team body, (volunteers of fellow believers who are available during the week to assist in the prayer missions) and a person responsible for transportation to and from targeted areas which have been previously marked as areas of need. Money for these trips would be a unified contribution by all the team members.

This would encompass a structured meeting or brief prior to going out on a "mission" and an arranged date, time, and location of that specific mission. Each team could target specified areas of need or interest and these prayer team(s) would simply go to these areas with the appropriate literature, personal knowledge of the Word, and someone strong in the gift of prophecy and also speaking in tongues.

With the schematics of each mission pre-arranged and orchestrated by a cluster leader (person chosen to be in control of entire operation or all the teams) and the specified areas of interest pending, each team could choose what schedule works best for them with each member coordinating with the team leader, then start going OUT and telling people about the awesome grace of God and wonderful freedom of salvation through Jesus Christ.

We do not have to spend more than one day a week at the very least doing this, but can you imagine what an impact this would have on the community? I mean, literally speaking, this could reach thousands of people a month. Why can't we put something like this together for our own community and surrounding areas in addition to attending regular church services? It is coming up on spring and soon, summer and prime time to be out and enjoying God's gift to us.

We are called to not just live as Christians but we were given a mandate by Jesus Christ himself on getting out and spreading the Word of the Gospel. What better way than to affect our own community? It would cost next to nothing, give us all the exercise we need in a spiritual sense, and begin to take back our communities in a cultural sense.

I am going to begin to put this vision into action. If anyone has any ideas, comments, or questions, please let me know. I am serious about this but I need your help. The Bible says were one or two are gathered together in Jesus' name, there He is. It also says to be fishers of men and that we are the light of the world and we must shine before all men so that they may see our good works and glorify the Father in Heaven by doing so. If we began a revolution, a revival of the Holy Spirit revolution (peaceful of course) it would have an effect which reaches father than we can imagine.

A seed must be planted to grow. Then, it must be watered to thrive. Finally, it will be ready for harvest when all of these have first occurred! This is a way to plant those seeds. We can conduct personal follow-ups with the planted seeds through our own time, church channels, and additional help. Then we will leave the rest up to Jesus. A little effort and sweat goes a long way.

I know this will work because I see the need. I see so many children of God trying to understand, trying to be heard, trying to know more.........But Satan always interfers using vices to accomplish this interference (busy jobs, broken relationships, sickness, etc.). Lets stand up for our God and show the world who we are for!!! We can start in our own back yards.

Lord, I believe in you and I know that others will too. I know that I was so confused for so long and had many misconceptions about you because I just didn't have anyone to come and clear those misconceptions up for me. Jesus, I know you are real as I always have and I have no doubt as to what you did for me even though I did not deserve it by dying for me on the cross. I love you and want to grow more intimate with you and the Father. I am excited for your Kingdom and want to do anything I can to further it! I am on FIRE for you Lord and I can't stop this burning passion I have for you. I want to do what you say in your Word and I will prevail against the Devil and his silly and weak tricks. Lord, continue to guide me as I pursue this vision for you and I give you all the Glory! Give me the strength and resources i will need to accomplish this vision which you have given to me! Use me for your purpose and let me not stray from the course. I love you and worship you and consider myself so blessed to be able to work for you. You are truly the best boss anyone could ever have. Thank you for everything you have already given to me and done for me. AMEN!!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A little reminder of why I believe in God!

I have been a victim of my own flesh my whole life. I have spent most of my adult life at odds with God much to my own disadvantage. I let my carnal nature lead me instead of allowing God to lead me. My own spirit filled with lusts of the world was in complete control. I was addicted to life. An alcoholic, chain-smoking, daily porn viewing, angry, lonely person! I was in control of myself, or so I thought? I was consumed with always wanting and always worrying. The more I thought I was in control, the more things fell apart. The more I tried to reason with my own sanity, the more I came up empty. I had enough but didn't know what to do. I was a mess!




Then something happened. I met God at His level. I bought a Bible and began to read. I read and read and read until my eyes burned. The more I read the more I began to see parallels in my own life to the stories I was reading about. Out of every verse came hope. Out of every chapter came closure. I didn't know where to start or even have a reading plan, I just began to read. The more I read the more I understood. I reached out to God in my weakest moment and found His strength. He extended His grace to me and I accepted it.................I accepted it! When I could take no more, when I hit rock-bottom, when I had been drained of every last ounce of my own feeble strength, I had reached the point of absolute exhaustion. I had never been so lonely, so out of control. I felt as though there was nothing that I could possibly do to save myself from myself. It was at this darkest hour that I made a decision. I used my attribute of choice. I chose to follow God. I chose to just get on my knees and talk to Him. I didn't know how to pray or what to say, I just talked to Him as if He were sitting across the table from me. Every day, I talked with God, every day I felt closer. And every day, He became more real to me.



You see, I had to do something. I had to surrender. I had to completely surrender all of me to Him. I went even further though. I submitted my entire life as I knew it to Him. I was completely surrendered and in absolute submission. I dropped all my addictions. I began seeking people out for forgiveness. People I had come into contact with throughout my life and rubbed the wrong way or offended. I began to start viewing every day and every moment through the eyes of Jesus and the Scriptures. I started going to church. I revamped my life as I knew it and this time I was in it for the long haul.



Some things began to happen. I became a different person. Everyone who knew me noticed the change. My children noticed the change. But, it wasn't "happily ever after." No, rather the opposite. I lost my marriage which was already shaky. My wife filed for divorce and even though I fought it, eventually, I was forced by law to sign off. My three best friends turned their backs on me. Members of my own family turned on me, taking the side of my ex-wife. My mother-in-law turned on me along with other family of my ex-wife’s who I had known and had relationships with. I was confused, depressed, anxious, and saddened. And, I was going into three more surgeries on my back to remove and replace broken hardware in my back from previous surgeries. All while going through all these other issues and problems. While I was in the hospital undergoing surgery number two (three piggy backed) a day after the first surgery, I received information that my soon-to-be ex-wife and mother-in-law were attempting to take custody of my two children out from underneath me. They had banked on my medical problems as the doorway through which to obtain custody of my children. I have had a very close relationship with my two children since their births and this news devastated me. But, I was helpless to do anything at all. All I could do was pray and believe that God was bigger than this. He is!



God did something. He stayed with me through it all! I repaired a relationship with a very close person in my life which was destroyed by my own doing years before. I began to notice little miracles happening all around me despite the confusion and constant disappointments. I was faced with daily battles, attacks from other people around me and Satan, mostly daily. I was constantly on guard, ready for what would happen next. I had to remain on guard due to several potential land-mine situations which almost became nightmares in my life. I was in recovery through all of the divorce proceedings and, even with no attorney or plan, God still showed His grace by protecting me and my two children. Without as much as a dollar to spend in my defense while undergoing the custody battle, I came out as the primary-physical custodian which was more than I imagined would happen. But there was more...................



About this time and with not much else to do in recovery, I had been sorting through my veteran affairs disability paperwork (I am a disabled veteran) and I noticed an error in the records. I should have received an increase in my disability payments, so I sent this error in to the regional Veteran Affairs office. A month later, they corrected the error and I received an increase in my monthly disability payment amount. This was right around the time when I was in dire need of money to afford a new vehicle with air conditioning. I had been driving my Honda Civic since 2001 (bought it new in 2001) and the air conditioning had gone out around 2008. It was 2009 and summer time in Arizona. It was a very HOT situation. I spent a little under a year praying about a new vehicle prior to this after the rededication of my life to God and finally, a year later, I got a this blessing in disguise. It was a rainy weekend and I had the idea (hmmmm?) to go to the local dealership to look at new vehicles. I test drove a new Jeep and two days later, without any real expectations, I drove home in that same Jeep.



After this, I had planned on moving to Texas from Arizona to me near my sister and her family so they could assist me my children so I could attend my medical appointments and to be closer to the children's mother (she lives in San Antonio). But, my ex was fighting me relentlessly with trying to keep me in Arizona because her mother (she lives in Arizona) wanted to control how I raised my two children. I was not completely divorced and the paperwork required a court order or both parents consent to moving out of state. I obviously could not get both consents, so I attempted to go the court order route. Problem was, I didn't have any money. I prayed on it and decided that God was telling me to move forward. I went to court and submitted a hearing request to get permission to move to Texas. Because I had allowed the divorce to go into default (I could not fight because I didn't have an attorney) the judge was not supposed to grant any court appeals or hearings regarding the divorce. However, not only did I get a hearing granted, but the $800+ court fees were deferred. But God stepped it up a notch. Because of the trouble of having to show up in court, my ex's attorney called me and worked it out were, not only did I not have to show up to court, but I received permission to move to Texas from my ex (at the suggestion of her very intelligent attorney).



I have been living in Texas ever since and God has continued to prosper my life just as He says He will if we obey Him and trust Him to do what He says He will do. There are so many more miracles in my life since I have given it over to God, but it would take all day to tell them. Just remember to give God the glory and praise and obey Him. Live His Word and do what He says and He will give us the desires of our hearts. He will do so much more if we will just allow Him to. I know that He is real because He has shown me this. He has given me so much more than I thought I had lost through all of this and He will do the same for all of His children, but we have to step out on our faith. We cannot regress back to our old selves and we cannot get so carried away that we lose our faith. If we do stumble, He allows us to pick ourselves back up and keep moving forward. He is an awesome and gracious God with more capabilities than we can humanly imagine. But, we can at least give it a try and in doing so, we will taste the goodness of His glory and grace. I pray that each and every one of you may also experience God's goodness and awesome power. May He bless you as He has blessed me. And remember, there is nothing that you have done which He is not willing to forgive and forget, but you must be willing to change and seek forgiveness. God already has more blessings in store for you than you can possibly imagine, you just have to give Him a try...................................Amen!