God Wants to Heal EVERY Part of Your Life

Summary: While God is certainly interested in healing us emotionally, spiritually and physically, He is also interested in healing other areas of our lives, like the vehicle we drive!

I have been going to a church that pursues the healing touch of God in a powerful way. People have seen limbs grown, cancer disappear and many other miraculous touches of God!

It got me thinking at some point, since God is interested in every part of our lives, would He be interested in “healing” a vehicle?

Psalm 139:17-18 says, “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.”

That is a lot of sand! Surely one of those grains of sand are the vehicles we drive!

So for the past two years or so, I speak life to the vehicle I drive. Since doing so, I have not had a major car repair to be done. In fact, I have watched the gas light go from on to off and the watch the gas needle go up while driving! Praise God!

In Jesus name, roll on 1994 Dodge Caravan, Roll on!

I have prayed over my parents vehicle and have seen the check engine light go off.

Jesus is so madly in love with us that he even cares about the things we have,

Prayer: Thank you Father for everything you have given us. I am so grateful. Holy Spirit, help us speak life to the possessions you have entrusted with us! Help us to share our testimonies to be an encouragement to one another.

Application and Comments: How do you speak life into to your everyday life? I would love to hear about it in the comments below!

Making Progress, Not Perfectionism

Summary: It can be tempting to wait until everything is perfect before beginning something new. However, this often is not the case in life. So instead of reaching for perfectionism, reach for progress.

Last month, I felt God challenging me to upgrade the blogging experience I have been doing. Truthfully, I did not have an idea of where to begin. There was a short season where I kept waiting until everything “lined up”, before I would move forward.

I am glad that was a short season because I could have been waiting a long time!

Fortunately, I ran across something called the 30 Day Blog Challenge that has helped to make me recognize the importance of progress and not perfectionism.

Philippians 3:12-14 puts it this way:

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

I thought I had to have the “perfect” graphics, posts, following, etc to move forward with this venture. By me just taking a step forward each day, I feel momentum building day by day.

How relieving!

When I lie down at the end of the night, if I hear the thought progress come in it has been an great day!

Challenge: Is there something in your life that you are waiting for the stars to align before you make a step? Let me encourage you to take the first step today and trust the Holy Spirit will guide you to where He is leading. I am sure it is exciting!

Prayer: Father, I thank you that you don’t want perfectionism, but are so pleased when we take steps of faith. And Holy Spirit, I pray that you instruct us and teach us in the way we shall go and to counsel us with your loving eye upon us. In Jesus name. Amen.

Comments: What is something God is calling you to take a step in today. I would love to hear about it in the comments below..

P.S. I purposely left two periods on that last sentence to break perfectionism 😉

Taking the Next Step With God

Summary: While our lifelong walk with God can seem overwhelming at times, here is a reminder of how God only asks us to take the next step.

Recently, I have been feeling the pastoral side of the five fold ministry being stirred up by the Holy Spirit inside me. I was so excited!

Before I got carried away, I felt the Holy Spirit say “Walk with me. One step at a time.”

So I asked Him, “What is the next step that I can take to be closer to where you are leading?”

Quickly, a pastor friend from a former church I went to surfaced to my mind. So I felt the next step was to reach out to him and set up a meeting.

After meeting with him this morning, we came to the conclusion that either the Vineyard Leadership Institute or School of Kingdom Ministry would be the next step for me to take.

It was so helpful to have God lead me to a great friend that offered the perfect next step to take!

Application: What is one step that you can be closer to where God is leading you?

Prayer: Father, I pray for a Spirit of Revelation and Encouragement for every reader that is reading this blog and that you Holy Spirit continue to instruct us and teach us in the way that we shall go and counsel us with your loving eye upon us (Psalm 32:8). I ask this in Jesus name. Amen.

Comments: I would love to hear what is one step closer to where God is leading you. Please share below!

Taking the Next Step With God

Summary: While our lifelong walk with God can seem overwhelming at times, here is a reminder of how God only asks us to take the next step.

Recently, I have been feeling the pastoral side of the five fold ministry being stirred up by the Holy Spirit inside me. I was so excited!

Before I got carried away, I felt the Holy Spirit say “Walk with me. One step at a time.”

So I asked Him, “What is the next step that I can take to be closer to where you are leading?”

Quickly, a pastor friend from a former church I went to surfaced to my mind. So I felt the next step was to reach out to him and set up a meeting.

After meeting with him this morning, we came to the conclusion that either the Vineyard Leadership Institute or School of Kingdom Ministry would be the next step for me to take.

It was so helpful to have God lead me to a great friend that offered the perfect next step to take!

Application: What is one step that you can be closer to where God is leading you?

Prayer: Father, I pray for a Spirit of Revelation and Encouragement for every reader that is reading this blog and that you Holy Spirit continue to instruct us and teach us in the way that we shall go and counsel us with your loving eye upon us (Psalm 32:8). I ask this in Jesus name. Amen.

Comments: I would love to hear what is one step closer to where God is leading you. Please share below!

Praising God in the Midst of the Storm

When people hear of a positive medical report, a frequent phrase a Christian will say is something like, “Praise God!”

Someone gets a promotion? “Praise God!”

Restoration of a marriage? “Praise God!”

But what about when your world is “seemingly” crashing in around you? That “Praise God!” business can have the tendency to get thrown out the window.

When someone gets cancer, I normally do not hear “Praise God!”

When someone loses their job, I normally do not hear “Praise God!”

When someone is sitting in emotional pain, I normally do not hear “Praise God!”

We have been going through the Book of Psalms at church for the past month or so. A lot of David’s cries to God are not when everything is going great.

Psalm 102:1-2 says, Hear my prayer, O Lordlet my cry come to you! Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress! Incline your ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call!

When I read these verses, I hear a deep cry from David’s heart for answers. It almost even sounds demanding to me. But even in the midst of pain and suffering, David remembers that praise moves God regardless of circumstances.

Here was an example of that cry to God I experienced in the past week,

I have been working for the first time in several months for about the past month and was scheduled to receive my first paycheck.

I was so excited!  Then payday came around and I got word that the company messed up my paycheck and may be another two weeks before I get paid. So that would be 5 plus weeks without getting a check!

Can you imagine my initial anger? I was furious! I let God have it! And in the midst of it God comforted me.

And I felt the Holy Spirit say, “Let’s find the golden nugget of wisdom in this situation.”

Quickly, I responded “Well I am tired of living paycheck to paycheck! No more of this!”

It was that red hot anger and cry to God that I needed to experience to say “Enough of this way of living!” And I offered God a sacrifice of praise in the midst of the situation.

And the next day I went into work holding no resentment against the company and actually blessing the company.

There is something about worshipping God in the midst of the storm that I cannot fully describe. I can cast all my worries on Him and focus on Him while it seems like everything is falling apart. (1 Peter 5:7)

And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7) is priceless to me and grows each time I offer that sacrifice of praise regardless of circumstances.

Challenge: Next time something goes wrong, I challenge you to praise God anyways. Shift your focus to Him. Your circumstance may not change, but your perspective will.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, I pray that you teach every reader to offer that sacrifice of praise regardless of circumstances. Remind them that your goodness is not dependent on when only “good” things happen. That your goodness is when we our on the mountain with You or in the valley. I praise you God! And I ask this all in Jesus name. Amen.

 

 

 

The Marathon Race with God

Any person whoever has ever ran a marathon race (26.2 miles), knows it is not wise to start off training 20 miles.  Why? Because you will probably burn out quickly and not have consistency with your training. You start training off slowly and build endurance (Colossians 1:11)

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,

Our walk with God is no different.

Speaking from personal experience, I have tried many different spiritual disciplines, but without consistency! It leads to a life that is not rooted.

Recently, God has led me to reading 3 chapters of the Word a day and praying 3 times a day in tongues about 3 minutes each.

And it’s been wonderful! It’s like eating three meals a day (And maybe a late afternoon snack as well!). There is a natural hunger for more! (Psalms 119:103)

“How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

Nom! Nom! Nom!

I continue to see the benefits. I am hearing the voice of God better. I am also discerning what is not the voice of God. It is helping me continue in making wise decisions. Often there are decisions in life where there is not a right or wrong choice, but there is a “best” choice.

It is also helping me let go of encumbrances that lead to sin (Hebrews 12:1).

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

For example, I felt like I could was not able to exercise self-control on the smart phone, so I felt God say to switch to a flip phone for now. Do I believe this is permanent? No, but it is helping me realize that even a smart phone can get in the way with our race with God and relationships with others.

I look forward to partnering with the Holy Spirit in adding back the spiritual disciplines I have already practiced in a balanced way.

Prayer: Father, I pray for discipline in all of our lives. And Holy Spirit, I pray you teach us how to use discpline in our everyday lives. Help us to recognize this is a long race we are in and that we are in it for the long haul. No matter the cost. I ask all this in Jesus name. Amen.

The River of God

Yesterday a friend and I went kayaking on the Little Miami River. It was the first time I had been kayaking and it was such an amazing experience, especially with the high water!

There are so many ways to see the character and nature of God on something like a kayaking trip. Here are 4 takeaways from the trip.

Soon after we began the trip there was a branch of the river that split off and then came back to the main part.

So once I got caught in the current the kayak and I got swept right into some brush and I fell into the river.

Now my sandals fell off as well and I saw one floating down the river. About two hundred yards later, both sandals were caught by a log! Even though I slipped, God still had my back (or feet in this case!)

First lesson: (Psalm 37:24)

“Though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.”

How amazing is it that both sandals ended up right in the same place?!

As the trip continued, my friend and I noticed a large tree whose roots were exposed by the river, but the root system was so deep and wide:

Second Lesson (Jeremiah 17:8)

“For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit.”

God wants us to be so rooted in our identity in Christ that when a challenge comes we can co-labor with Him for solutions and not be moved by circumstances.

I mentioned the river was high so the kayaking was pretty effortless outside of guiding the kayak. The current carried us down the river.

God desires for us to abide in Him.  In this case, the river represents God. My friend and I could have hurried through the trip, but then we would have missed out on enjoying the beauty.

Third Lesson (John 15:5)

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

Lastly, there was a section where the wind turned on us and the water began choppy. We actually had to paddle through.  This reminds me of how we our co-laborers in Christ. We cannot just expect God to do everything, while at the same time we can’t do it on our own. We were invited to co-labor with God. What an honor!

Fourth Lesson (1 Corinthians 3:9)

For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

Between the lessons and great conversation with my friend, kayaking was an amazing experience to learn about the goodness of God! Thank you Jesus!

 

Building Bridges

I look forward to building bridges with my relationship with God, myself and others.

Since around April I have been going to a “Overcome Bipolar” small group and a “Supernatural Power of Transformed Mind” workshop each week. And they have been a great one two punch!

It’s been fun to see the mind renewed! (Romans 12:2). It is so fun to replace old thoughts with scriptural truth! It goes something like this:

Old Thought: In chains

New thought: I am redeemed by the blood of the lamb! (Ephesians 1:7)

Old Thought: God is angry

New Thought: God is kind and merciful! (Psalm 103) 

Old Thought: sinner

New Thought: I am a saint! (Romans 1:7)

Old Thought: weak

New Thought: Be Strong in the Lord and in His Might (Ephesians 6:10)

Old Thought: bipolar

New Thought:  But we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16)

I could go on and on, but meditating on His word about what God actuallty says about us continues to be amazing. It is so important for us to know our position in Christ, identity in Christ and all the spiritual blesssings we have in Christ.

Claim your true identity in Christ! It’s yours for the taking!

And let me say the “old self” burnt some bridges with some friendships.

Fear of commitment, not submitting to authority and not being able to trust caused the “old self” to want to run at away when things began to get serious.

I am so grateful and thankful that our God is a God of restoration. I look forward to partnering with God in restoring those relationships.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, thank you so much for being here and Father I pray that people claim  their identity in Christ. Help us to call out the gold that you see in them. When some feels broken, remind them that they are your masterpiece. When someone feels defeated, remind them they are victorious in Christ. When someone doesn’t feel blessed, that they are blessed with all the spiritual blessings in Christ. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.

The God Who Keeps Me in the Valley

Being in the valley doesn’t sound like a very fun place to be and also doesn’t sound very safe. But it is.  This is how God can operate at times.  Sure I would rather be in on the mountain top right now, but God is still refining me day by day, hour by hour and minute by minute.

Psalm 23:4 says, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” It’s a verse that gives me great comfort even though all hell SEEMS to be breaking loose.

As I continue to work through the trauma in my life more and more unpleasant feelings are naturally coming up, I MUST maintain my presence on the Lord. It is very easy for me to drift off to a place where I feel like God is abandoning me.  It is a feeling I am starting to learn to embrace instead of trying to push it away.

Pushing away the negative thoughts only invites them to come back. Often more forcefully. By embracing and experiencing the negative thoughts/emotions, I can finally set them free.

While I am in the valley, I can’t help but thank God for protecting during this process. He has always provided for me even when my limited mindset tries to tell me otherwise.

He has always comforted me. Again, even when my limited mindset tries to tell me otherwise. I’m so grateful for this process. Even though breaking out of this cocoon I am in can be painful, it is turning me into a Godly man.

Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”

I want to share a song with you that has kind of become my anchor song during this valley experience for me. Take a listen:

When All Hope Seems Lost

Today was my first day of my trauma resolution therapy and on the surface it seemed like a miserable day.  Old thought patterns of feeling unworthy, not mattering, seemed to flood my mind.  It made me feel like I was starting back at square one in my recovery. I felt hopeless again today.

But I’ve seen this deceiving trick played by the devil one too many times.  Whenever, I go through a tough day or two now, there is almost always a new level of freedom that awaits on the other side.  God is teaching me to be patient and boy is that a tough lesson I am learning.

I’ve learned this lesson out of Colossians 3:2 that says “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

This means despite FEELING like today was a bad day, I can change my perspective now.  God is in the process of refining my rough edges and that requires a little bit of pain. I am learning not to live off of my feelings, but what God says.

God says in Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”

It doesn’t say to trust only when I feel like it or when I feel good.  This verse makes it crystal clear the pitfalls of falling into my limited mindset.

A good way to combat my negative thinking is start reciting verses from the Book of Psalms.  Psalm 27:1 has become my battle cry.  It states, The Lord is my light and my salvation of whom shall I fear?” This single verse reminds me of seven principles from God. I matter. I am not bad, I have power, I can do good, I am love, I am worthy, I am joy.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, surround us with Your presence when the enemy attacks.  Help us to not become bitter with You as You are the source of our hope and strength.  And help us to recognize the lessons we learn from You are not done out of a place of punishment, but love.  Father, thank you that we are becoming more and more like Your son Jesus Christ everyday.  And then sharing Christ’s light in the fallen world we live in. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.