Posts Tagged ‘Marriage’

It’s been a while since I last posted but that’s life sometimes, however I am getting the urge to get back to writing and sharing some things that God’s been speaking to  me about and that He’s sharing with me in this crazy life.  God and life are great teachers and I wanted to share some things that I’ve learned and re-learned (or been reminded of) over the past few months.  It’s a lot and I will share over a couple posts (but not all – some are just for me and/or Christy to know, right?):

  • I have been so unbelievably blessed with a godly wife, godly parents, a sober brother,  a great home, reliable cars, rewarding career, Holy-Spirited filled church with anointed leaders, and am a fool to ever complain about the life that I have….or “don’t have.”  It’s by the Mercy and Grace of my Savior that I have what I have in life and I have a great responsibility to be a good steward of the things God has given to me and to use anything good in my life to glorify God and to reach the lost, hurting and broken of this world.
  • Having a godly wife is more valuable than gold and silver and is a true treasure.  I think God knew something when He inspired that Proverb!  I look around and see so many lonely people that would give up God Himself just to have the godly wife and marriage I have.  I’m blessed and it’s nothing I’ve earned but a precious gift given to us by God.  To those that are lonely and seeking that godly wife or husband, don’t settle or sell out to the emotions and infatuation of the flesh and allow the Angel of Light to take you away from that relationship that God has destined for you to have.
  • Sometimes no matter how much we love someone and try to protect them in this life, we can do nothing but watch as the hurt, pain and tears come.  Sometimes a prayer and shoulder to cry on is all we have to offer but never underestimate this – it can change the spiritual atmosphere and move God to pour out the fullness of  His Kingdom onto the situation.
  • The Jezebel spirit is strong and has led many a men down a path of destruction and away from the calling that God has placed over their lives.  Being witness too this fact is tough to watch.
  • God is exactly who He says that He is and not who I think He is.
  • I knew God was big but my little mind grossly underestimated truly how BIG our God is.
  • We’ve grown so much spiritually over the past four years, especially the past year but we’ve realized that we still pretty much know nothing and am just a toddler in the ways of  God.  But it’s an adventure and the journey is fun.
  • Intimacy with and open, geniune worship of Jesus leads to a renewed and deeper relationship with Him.  Through the relationship is found the mercy, grace, love and hope of Jesus Christ and when true growth begins.  Knowing Jesus and having a relationship with Him are entirely different things.  I can know His Word, adhere to the Law to the best of my human ability, go about doing good in His name but not have a relationship with Him. 
  • The more I seek God, the more the things of this world seem so trival and petty and my dreams seem like childish longings born from my mind and flesh.
  • My dreams are often in direct opposition to what God has planned for my life.
  • The Love of Jesus has power and there is no power without the Crazy Love that comes only from Jesus.  This Crazy Love is dangerous, foolish to this world and doesn’t make sense but destroys bondages and sets the spiritual captives free.
  • Great faith can be a powerful catalyst for great miracles and supernatural encounters with the Risen Lord but the lack of faith can often be the needle that stitches closed the open veil into the heavenlies.
  • Breast cancer is no match for the Healing Fire and Power of our Almighty God.  Just ask the woman in Brazil that was instantantly healed after a team laid hands on her and prayed in the name of Jesus for the cancer to be destroyed. 
  • Healing is a mystery but as real today as when Jesus walked this earth.
  • Seeing the miraculous healing power of the Holy Spirit doesn’t automatically mean stronger, deeper faith by the persons witnessing the miracle, sign or wonder.  It’s crazy but I’ve seen Christians who witnessed first-hand a healing miracle – one’s faith soared and the other’s faith was confused with doubt and unbelief.  Faith isn’t in the seeing, it’s in the believing.  If I doubted before, I’ll probably still find a way to doubt afterwards.
  • God still sovereignly heals but wants to partner with his disciples (that’s US!) to heal through the powerful prayers and laying-on-of-hands of his children.
  • The false doctrine of Cessationism has stripped a lot of the church of the power and authority of the Holy Spirit to work in people’s lives as Christ intended.  The Gifts of the Spirit are as real today as they were in the days of Paul and Peter.  It was the Acts of the HOLY SPIRIT, not the Apostles.
  • It’s so easy to be disobedient and tell God all the “right things” such as, “I trust you completely”, “I Surrender it all to you”, “I’ll do anything you ask of me, Lord”, “I’ll waste my life for you, Jesus” but so hard to actually live it. 
  • Many people are being changed by religion but not transformed by the redeeming Blood of Jesus Christ.
  • We’re more concerned with our religious programs and agendas than Divine encounters with the manifest presence of God.
  • The verse in the Keith Urban song, Thank You, is so true – “Now people say they’ll stand beside you, they swear they’ll never leave but when the rain started falling, you know it only fell on me.”  But I know that my beautiful, godly wife and parents (both) will always be there and my Savior, Jesus Christ will NEVER leave us, especially when in the midst of a storm.
  • The child that we said we never wanted turned out to be our greatest joy and deepest sorrow, all in the same day.
  • Kinda blows my mind to know that Christy and I have a child that God is holding in his sweet embrace right now until He calls us home one day.
  • Christy and I will still continue to love, worship, seek, chase and praise God, No Matter What as long as His Grace is sufficient….and it is!
  • Satan doesn’t play fair and wants nothing more than to take us out and keep us from living an anointed, supernatural life that rescues lost souls from the gates of hell.
  • There are a lot of Christians living miserable, joyless, hopeless, powerless, addicted, depressed and oppressed lives.   Jesus died to bring freedom to the captives but that freedom has proven elusive in His church. 
  • Many people think this satan, demonic stuff is fairy tale lore.  Maybe that’s the reason for the above.
  • A small, hungry, God-chasing vagabond of “little Christs” armed with the supernatural anointing of God and the Crazy Love of Jesus can rock a region to its very core, breaking generations of demonic influence. 
  • Don’t ever put your trust in people alone.  They will let you down at times.  We know this so why does it surprise us and hurt us when it happens.  True friends are very, very rare and when you find them, pour into their lives.  Be there for them, even when it’s hard.  And remember, if they are not pouring back into your life, then they’re not true friends no matter what they say.  They may be a christian brother or sister or someone that you enjoy being with at times but true friendship is a two-way street.

These are just a few insights and lessons learned/relearned over the past few months that I wanted to share.  More to come.  Would love for you to share what God has spoken into your life recently and what life has taught (or re-taught) you over the past few months.

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Fifteen years ago today, I married my best friend and soul mate.  The woman that God had created just for me.  What a true blessing!   The journey that we’ve been on since that day has been a beautiful ride, and has led us places that we never imagined we would go, especially into the supernatural heavenlies where Christ Himself dwells and the Kingdom of God resides in all its glory.  It’s been an honor and privilege being married to such a beautiful, cute, funny, compassionate, loving, sexy and passionate woman of God that she is, and chasing God with her has been an incredible adventure that I believe is just getting started.  Thank you baby for all the love and commitment you have given me over the past fifteen years.  I cherish the beautiful memories that we have made together but am so excited about where God is going to take our relationship from this day forth, and am so excited about the powerful team that we will become through the Holy Spirit and  in the name of Jesus.  I love you, and I love you, and I love you!!!!

The Pain’s got to go somewhere.

Yea…the pain’s gotta go someplace

So come on down to MY house

Don’t you know that Love’s the only house big enough for all the pain

Powerful song by Martina McBride that has a lot of raw truth to it.  Love is the only house that’s big enough for all the pain in the world but unfortunately there’s not enough of it in this dark world….at least, not the one true Love that can really make a difference in someone’s life. 

It’s the Love of Jesus that is the one weapon that can destroy all the hurt, pain, depression, addiction and oppression that has weighed us down for so long and wounded our souls, leaving us broken and defeated.  It’s only the Love given to us from Christ that has a purity and power behind it to cut through all the stigmas and unlovable parts of our being and touch the core of our spirits.  His Love is unconditional and without bias.  It doesn’t look at who we are at that very moment but who we can be, will be,  if we just lay ourselves at His feet and let Him hug on and love on us.  His Love saves, it heals, it breaks spiritual chains and sets the spiritual captives free.  It forgives us and it wipes our past from life’s rear-view mirror.

I can love you but there will come a day when my love just won’t be enough to get you through.  I will eventually disappoint you and hurt you.  Not because I don’t care but because I’m simply a flawed human being.  But when you allow Jesus to love you, then you will never be hurt, never be disappointed and never be left alone.  His love is perfect and His Love is living.  Let Him love you today.  Lay yourself at His feet and tell Him that you need Him to take your pain somewhere …any place, so that you can begin to be healed and made whole again. 

Yea, Jesus is the only house big enough for all the pain in the world and where the life-changing and powerful healing Love of God can be found.  So come on in!

What would happen if the church, the Bridegroom of Jesus Christ, put aside all of our programs, our preaching, our teaching, our planned interruptions and just spent our time together seeking Him, hungry for the Kingdom of God to rain down onto us, engulfing us in His supernatural presence?  What if we took the radical step of just being in the presence of God, wanting Him so much that all we do is worship Him, praise Him, pray to Him, praise Him, worship Him, pray to Him during our time together as His Church?   No preaching, no teaching, no programs.

Would He show up?  Would He crash our spiritual party thrown in His honor?…….

Without a doubt, without question….He would show up!  He would be forced to!  He would not be able to resist a group of believers so hungry for Him that they would be willing to get radical in their pursuit of Him, putting aside the Americian way of “doing church”.   God would show up in all of His Mercy, His Grace, His Power, His Glory and His Love to be with His children who are tired of the brand of Christianity that we have sold to this country and to this world for far too long.

Lives would begin to be transformed.  Spiritual captives would be set free, and the chains of spiritual bondage would be broken.  Lives would be healed and sickness would be overcome.  People would be anointed and filled with the Holy Spirit.  God would be drawn to us and we would be drawn to Him.  A Holy Fire would consume all who dared come into His Presence, and it would spread into our communities, into our country and into our world. 

The land would no longer be just a piece of property with a bunch of buildings built on it that we call a church.  The land would be anointed as His Holy Land.  People would fall in repentance when they stepped foot on it. People would be healed and people would be delivered from spiritual oppressions by just touching the land. 

We often talk about wanting God and wanting His Kingdom to be poured out onto us and this world but do we really want that?  And are we willing to do whatever it takes to force Him, through our humble, hungry seeking of Him, to come into our midst and bring the fullness of His Kingdom to us?

Leaders, are you listening?  Believers, are we listening?  Leaders, are you willing to lay down your comfort, your status, your programs, your way of doing church in order to be brought into the presence of our Lord in an all-encompassing, supernatural way and the Kingdom of God to fall on your church?  Believers, are we willing to crucify our flesh daily and come before Him, stripped of our carnal ways, stripped of our intellectualism and comfortable doctrines, wanting nothing  but to experience the fullness of God’s Kindgom?

So…what’s the answer?  What are we, as the Body of Christ, really willing to do to bring God and His Kingdom to our church, our community, our country and our world?

“The Light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”  John 1:5

The older I get, and the more I grow spiritually, the more I realize that there are no gray areas in the Kingdom of God, or the supernatural realm.  It is either white or black.  The white represents light and everything of God (good).  The black, of course, represents darkness and everything of satan (evil).

The people who are not followers of Christ do not understand this simple, but true, reality.  They talk about darkness and evil  as if it’s just another philosophical debate that is open-ended and leads to no right or wrong conclusion.  Some even take the stance that “Satan isn’t really the bad dude everyone makes him out to be.  He’s been given a bad rap.”  Of coures, this is utterly false, ignorant and  ridiculous talk. 

That’s concerning the bad, the evil.  Regarding good and light, many of these same people point to God as being the “bad guy”, the one who is mean-spirited and wrath-centered.  All this is understandable coming from the source.  Satan and the world has blinded them to the Light and ways of God.

But when people profess Christ as Savior and still hold to these same false and ignorant beliefs (really just opinions), then that’s when we blur the lines and cross a dangerous threshold.  Suddenly, the gray (which is still really dark or black) comes into the equation and acts as a spiritual black hole, sucking in innocent victims that are forever separated from God because they’ve bought into a well-disguised false religion, false doctrine.  Then they get hyped up and passionately spread the “Good News” they’ve embraced, spreading a false truth that they are convinced is a real, ol’ fashioned revelation from God.  Some new wisdom that God has given to them to teach others about so that all the “confusion” of God’s Word can finally be cleared up. 

Take this Associated Press article (excerpts below) entitled, Evangelical Church Opens Doors Fully to Gays:  Renegade Pastor in Denver Finds New Followers But Makes Enemies Too, as prime Exhibit A:

Then the 55-year-old pastor with spiked gray hair and blue jeans launches into his weekly welcome, a poem-like litany that includes the line “queer or straight here, there’s no hate here.”

The Rev. Mark Tidd initially used the word “gay.” But he changed it to “queer” because it’s the preferred term of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people invited to participate fully at Highlands Church.

Tidd is an outlaw pastor of sorts. His community, less than a year old, is an evangelical Christian church guided both by the Apostle’s Creed and the belief that gay people can embrace their sexual orientation as God-given and seek fulfillment in committed same-sex relationships.

“…..Highlands Church represents a breakout position, where you have a gay-affirming stance that moves beyond the traditional kind of liberal-conservative divide,” said Mark Achtemeier, an associate professor at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, which is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). “I’m finding lots of moderate conservatives just think there’s something wrong with a default position of excluding gays from the life of the church.”

……Tidd said Highlands is not a one-issue church but one committed to social justice. He describes it as “radically inclusive but still rooted in the essentials of the Gospel.” The church discourages promiscuity and encourages healthy lifelong relationships.

Tidd said he supports gay marriage and would perform same-sex blessings if asked. A gay man in a committed relationship sits on the church’s board of trustees.

“Our position is not one of lenience, but a matter of justice,” said Tidd, a married father of five. “It’s not that we don’t acknowledge the reality of sin. It’s not a sin to be gay or act in accordance with your nature.”

Tidd was raised a nominal Catholic in Boulder, Colo. He had a born-again Christian experience and joined the Jesus movement of the 1960s, which blended hippie culture and Christianity. Eventually Tidd was ordained in the Christian Reformed Church and shared its conservative position of homosexuality.

His change of heart began when, as a pastor in Boulder, a distraught couple sought his counsel when their young daughter began identifying as a boy — introducing Tidd to the transgender issue.

He began to question applying the “plain meaning” of ancient Biblical text to here-and-now homosexuality. The Bible, read literally, suggests the earth is flat and could be used to justify slavery, he said.

He accepted the Biblical interpretation of other gay-affirming Christians: that verses condemning homosexual behavior refer to idolatrous pagan worship or violence.

“We reach an understanding of the Bible not just by studying God’s word, but by studying his world,” Tidd said. “If you think he’s the author of both, they both inform each other.”

“…..We have no real reason to champion this thing, other than we think it’s right,” said DiPrince, a 34-year-old Web developer and artist. “I just didn’t feel God would tell a person to deny a big part of who they are and to keep it a secret.”

“I think people are going to reopen their Bible and look at it and not assume anymore,” Briscoe said, adding that he thinks the Highlands position can be held by “mature, faithful, Bible-believing people.”  full article: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34493087/ns/us_news-faith//

And we wonder why the American-brand of Christianity isn’t winning souls, setting the spiritual captives free and transforming lives!  God is Light.  God is Good.  Satan is Darkness.  Satan is Evil.  It’s either Light or Dark, white or black.  In the supernatural realm, there is no gray, no middle ground.  Pastor Tidd is wallowing in the gray (really….the darkness) like a pig wallows in the muck and mire.  And sadly, taking too many people with him to the pig pen. 

In closing, we, as “Little Christs” have to continue to love people as God loves them and to show grace to those that continue living in sin and in direct opposition, defiance of what God clearly states in His Word but we can’t fall into this worldly web that satan has masterfully crafted to ensnare the weak and spiritual fence-walkers so he can devour them.  It’s time for the real Church,  the Body of Christ to rise up and place this type of spiritual slop under the feet of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Then, give them the real Jesus and the real Truth found in the geniune Light of God.

 

Christy and I have known some very dark times financially.  For a long time, we were held captives by the financial demons of this world.  They were always present, hounding us and beating us down. 

One of those financial demons was a local collection agency that represented an integrity-challenged chiropractor I had been visiting.  He had overcharged me out the ying-yang, and when the car insurance of the person that hit me wouldn’t pay, he went after us as if the $800 was $8 million.  The collection agency lived up to the “low-life” stigma that so many collection agencies carry.  I basically told them that I wasn’t paying a dime unless a judge ordered me too. 

Well….we had our day in court, and the judge did just that – ordered us to pay.   The judge was not very happy with the agencies, and would have loved to have socked-it-to-em but couldn’t….because of a stupid technicality.  The blasted technicality reared its ugly head and bit us.   Anyway, I regress….

So, when Christy came home last night and told me that she had won some gift cards at a meeting she attended, I was thrilled.  We thanked God for the blessing, and were grateful for our God’s good favour. 

However, when I looked at one of the gift cards valued at $100, I couldn’t help but laugh, and thank God for the vindication, even though small.  Yep, you guessed it!  The gift card she won was from the same local collection agency that went to war with us all those years ago. 

Ha!  Ha!  Spending this one is gonna be extra sweet!  You just gotta love God’s sense of humor!

So…do you know your enemy?  If not, you better get to know him because he has come to kill, steal and destroy everything good in your life….your marriage, your family, your happiness, your joy, your peace, your hope, your faith and your love.  He wants desperately to steal your soul for eternity,  keep you in spiritual bondage, keep you depressed, oppressed and useless to God. 

So…do you know your enemy? 

My best friend since childhood doesn’t, and his life, his marriage and his family is being destroyed by the enemy.  He’s not a christian and the enemy is keeping his soul dead and condemned, and taking his family with him.  One of my good friends doesn’t, and she’s depressed, full of anxiety, full of guilt, condemnation and fear.  She thinks the enemy is a fairy tale.  She is still a baby in her faith after 20 years.  She’s a Christian but the enemy is the same.  Another person close to me doesn’t know the enemy either.  His life has been full of destructive addictions, torment and torn relationships.  He professes Christ but he is running from God.  He doesn’t realize it.  That’s how blind the enemy has made him.

So…do you know your enemy? 

The American church tells everyone they do.  But most don’t.  They distort the Gospel, they live by religious rituals and legalistic laws, they cling to false doctrines and dominational cliques and quench the Spirit.  They allow homosexuals to run their churches, turn a blind eye to the  thousands and thousands of unborn children killed each year, vote for politicians that are hell-bent on removing all traces of God from our society,  cater to their country club congregations at the expense of the world’s lost and hurting, and bow to our government and status quo to protect their money and worldly kingdoms.  I could go on and on but what I really want to know is….

Do we know who our enemy really is?