Son, the things I will teach you will ex

Son, the things I will teach you will excite you, grow you, help you, be food to you. Son from there you will be able to feed many.
Stay full son. Stay full of what I teach you. Now begin to write and let me speak. Just hear the flow and write.
I’ve developed the system, it works well. I didn’t design prayer to have it not work. I created it. It works.
Pursue me Son. Press deeper into knowing me. Press deeper into enjoying me, learning more fully who I am and how close I desire to be to you.
Son, there are many aspects of my character and personality that are still unrevealed to you. Yet I invite you to come and get to know me. Come.
“Matthew 21:22
If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”””

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Son, receive my best. I am an abundant G

Son, receive my best. I am an abundant God and I have abundance for you. I can grant what you request.
Make way for me by making requests of what you’d like me to do. I delight in answering your prayers.
Faith words come from faith, no other source.
Listen to what faith is saying and say that. No manipulation. No appeals for mercy. No shows. Just speak what faith is saying.
Son, my plan is unfolding. Walk it out as I give it to you. There are great things coming. Know this. Know me. I am your very great reward.
Let me draw you deeper into Sonship.Position yourself as my son.Occupy that position.Expect provision, blessing, direction, wisdom.

Today is 10/17 Reminds Me of Romans 10:17

Today is 10/17/2015, October 17th, but the number reminds me of one of my favorite verses in the Bible.

Romans 10:17
it says, “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”
Faith comes into your heart as someone shares the gospel with you.
Faith comes into your heart as you hear something God promises, you have the opportunity to mix faith with it.

Now we know that each of us has been given the measure of faith, as a gift from God.
Romans 12:3 shares that with us. The faith we have to believe in Jesus comes to us as a gift from God in the first place. As believers we have all received the measure of faith.

Eph 2:8,9 says “Its by grace through faith that you have been saved and not from yourselves it is a gift of God and not by works so no one can boast.” So, the grace and the faith are gifts from God. Let’s make sure we receive those gifts. If you have received the gifts, open the package and enjoy every bit of them to the full.

Back to Romans 10:17
Faith comes when we hear the Word of God spoken to us. It is clear in the context of Romans chapter 10 that people need to hear the Gospel to be saved, but what about people who just read about it and get saved? If no one audibly spoke the Gospel to them are they saved? or did hearing happen another way? Obviously people who read about the Gospel and get saved are truly saved, there’s no need to argue about that. If there were any reason to argue that, then people who are deaf could never be saved.

I believe ‘hearing’ happens another way. When I heard the Gospel, when I heard that I would never have to pay the eternal penalty for my sins because Jesus Christ took my penalty for me and that if I receive him now then he and I will never be apart. The implication of that is since he’s already done time in hell that I deserved and since there is no need nor reason for him to ever return to hell and I’m one with him now and he and I will be together for eternity then I’m not going to hell – now that’s good news. When I heard that good news I didn’t just hear it mentally. I heard it deep inside me. Something deep down woke up with that news. My spirit became brand new on the inside of me right then. I received the good news. I believed the gospel. Hearing was way deeper then just mentally saying “that’s a good idea, sign me up”. It was way deeper than that.

Faith comes by hearing: I heard God. I could feel Him pulling me. Deep down on the inside I was being 100% completely convinced of this ‘good news’. The hearing I believe they’re talking about in Romans 10:17 is a very deep hearing, way beyond the capacity or function of the human ear. Faith came when my heart heard God.

I believe the process is the same for anything we need to believe. I believe the rest of the scriptures must be heard and believed at that same level. Your heart must be awakened to truth and you can hear God’s heart on the inside of you convincing you, very deeply, of the truths that you are reading in the Word of God.

Let me pray for you:
Heavenly Father, I ask you to minister to my friend who is reading these words right now. Help them to get beyond just ‘head knowledge’ and get to where they know you and your promises very deeply and very intimately. Lord, I ask that they be completely internally changed by this forever. In Jesus’ Name!

God bless you my friend.

The Ultimate Father

A little child who needs his Daddy. Where are you Pops? Where’s my Papu? Hey Pa!? Daddy? This longing for a father, for the presence, compassion and wisdom of a father. For strong arms that leave no question of safety nor resolve. For the voice that makes it clear the boundaries of life. For the one who provides and surprises with a treat. Who brings a gift that thrills. Who sits and holds, he gently tells a story or excites with a tale of yesteryear. The one who brings the humor and makes it safe to laugh. The one who challenges to reach beyond. The one who stands on the side and speaks a word of wisdom to make the path easier. Or is like a library ready to be tapped for knowledge, insight or just a listening and understanding ear. That’s a Daddy. Are you one? Do you have one?
This void in the earth. This chasm. These hearts that break, are crushed or slowly eroded. Where’s the Daddy? Come forth Fathers. Hear the call Fathers. We know you might not have had one, but you still need to be one. Where’s the design? Where’s the model? He stands waiting with His arms wide open. His heart is already toward you, you don’t need to worry about that. He’s not waiting to spank you but to hug and accept you. Be enveloped now in who He is. Be transformed by this proximity to love in its truest form. Jesus loves you this I know. He is the exact representation of the Father. The Father gap in the world will be filled by men who follow Jesus. Are you ready to follow? Come on.

Today Was THAT Day Teresa Barlow, 87, Graduated

Well you never expect it to come. You know it will but you don’t know when. Will it feel different? When the day dawns on THAT day – will you know it? How do you prepare yourself? How do you make yourself ready for THAT day?

It’s 10:08PM right now. My Mom died this morning at 11AM. So it hasn’t been a full 12 hours yet. But today was THAT day.

I just turned 53 a few weeks ago. We came to have dinner with my Mom the day after Mother’s Day. Just two weeks ago. What a great time. Well, if you knew her, you’d know what I mean. With her you were always welcome, accepted and respected. She could talk to anybody and ask you the best questions. She was easy to talk to. Loving and accepting. She didn’t need to do all the talking, she loved to listen, that’s what made her a great conversationalist. So out to dinner at her favorite place. She had the stuffed pepper. I hate stuffed peppers. But she enjoyed hers. Nancy & I sat on either side of her at the booth.

We loved Teresa.

Later when we took her home she told us straight: “I’m ready to go!” We knew what she meant and we had heard some similar conversations before but she looked in good health. She was up walking around seemed to be doing fine. But when we said our goodbyes I had that feeling; that feeling you want to reject as insignificant or not valid; I had that feeling that this was it, this was my last time to see her. God was warning me. I didn’t want to acknowledge it. I wanted that impression to be wrong.

But we got the text last week: she broke her hip. Surgery planned, should be no problem. Surgery successful but got to keep her asleep an extra day, had a blood clot. Got to thin the blood a bit, easier to do when she’s sleeping. Today, text: turn for the worse, infection they can’t control, kidneys shut down, only ventilator keeping her going. 11am email: She’s gone.

My first response: you may think crazy, but I was elated! She’s walking the streets of Gold. She gets a hug from Jesus! God answered her prayer. We found out later she had prayed right before surgery, “Lord, take me now.” God had answered her prayer.

She was faithful. She showed up, got to work and kept on going.

I remember one time my older brother, Michael had run away from home. He got to the end of the street, she confronted him: “You’re not getting out of this! We’re going through this together.”

She showed up, got to work and kept on going.

That’s why at 87 she has over 80 descendants, some impacting the world very powerfully.

She didn’t quit.

She finished her race.

I’m having quite a proud moment for her right now. I love my Mom. I’m very proud of her.

Well done Teresa! Well done.

Your loving Son, Joseph 10th of 14.

Put A “Joy” Sticker On It!

Why do little kids like to play with stickers? When my girls were younger, if the grocery clerk would give them stickers it wasn’t long before there were stickers everywhere. Maybe they are trying to improve their world? What is on the sticker appeals to them. They can change things by labeling them. Works for them. We’re supposed to ‘become like little children’. Maybe there’s some wisdom here?

In the Bible, James 1:2 ESV says:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds

When you look in your refrigerator for something to eat you begin to see each item and you begin to categorize it, you’re taking inventory. Maybe you want something sweet and you see the eggs there, in your mind you may say ‘breakfast’ – ‘not sweet!’ – ‘not now!’ Then you find the key-lime pie! (I have some in my fridge right now.) In your mind, if you were to put some word stickers on that pie you might consider these: ‘happy’, ‘yes’, ‘delicious’, ‘tempting’, ‘diet!’, ‘vacation from diet’. There are many ways you might label that pie. Some might say, “I don’t have time to label anything! Where’s the fork?”

James said, in the Bible, to count it all joy when you run into all kinds of trials. Now if someone hands me $100 bill I can see in my mind, taking inventory and putting a ‘joy’ sticker on that. Or if someone served me that key-lime pie on a plate with a fork, I can put a ‘joy’ sticker on that! But, what if someone steps on your toe? OOOWWW!!! Some people yell as loud as they can, making it clear and plain to everyone around them that they are hurt and they want everyone to know it!

Proverbs 12:16 NIV says, Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult.

If something angers you or annoys you and you instantly lash out with a strong negative response it most often doesn’t do anyone any good, including yourself. Many times the complaint is a bigger problem than what they are complaining about. In turn complainers can become too much for people to handle.

Years ago I was talking to a mechanic (he obviously wasn’t a very good one) who couldn’t get a light to go off in a car so he broke the light with a screwdriver. He saw the light not going off as his problem, so he fixed his problem. When people complain a lot, they are like a red warning light telling you that something is wrong. The logical thing is to try to fix the problem that is causing the warning light to go off. But people aren’t always logical…some people just want to get rid of the warning light.

If you complain too much about things, you may end up lonely, because people just want to get away from you. We don’t want you to be lonely. God doesn’t want you to be lonely. Loneliness is the first thing in creation that God disapproved of. “It’s not good for man to be alone.”

When you see trials coming your way, any kind of trial, imagine putting a joy sticker on it. Label that thing “JOY!” In your mind call it “Joy”. Now you could, instead, call it “Mighty Problem That Has The Potential To Destroy Me” or “The Thing That Could Ruin My Life.” But if you name it that, then it has the power to become that. In your mind categorize it as a simple problem that you and God can overcome. Remember, it’s not a big deal! Call it Joy. When it comes to problems, remember this phrase: “It came to pass.” It didn’t come to stay.

If you call your problems “Joy” you are giving them way less power to overtake you.

So, today my advice is simple, see a problem? Put a joy sticker on it.

Have a great day!

God’s Sustaining Power

God has an amazing ability to keep us. When we endure so many trials and wonder how things are going to turn out, its amazing that His power is still there keeping us. He is so loving and faithful! Its not so much that He loves us, which He does, but He also wants to love others through us. For Him to do that we need to survive and stay in place. In the Bible Paul calls us living stones; we are alive but we are put in place like a stone that’s used to build a wall. People being in the right position is a powerful thing.

This year Nancy & I will be pastoring for 10 years. We are still in position. We have had some wonderful times as pastors, but we have also had some very difficult times. Somehow God has been able to sustain us. He’s kept us alive. We haven’t missed a meal. We haven’t done everything right and there’s some things that we’d change if we could do it again, but God’s faithfulness is what deserves the real acknowledgement here. Its God’s sustaining power. We would have been knocked out of this a long time ago, but God kept us here. He placed us here. He wants to love through us. His faithfulness to us is not just about His love for us. We’re confident of that. But His faithfulness and His sustaining power is also because God has a plan and a desire; He wants His representatives loving on His behalf. He wants those who will represent Him accurately in place.

There is such a huge wave of needy people and God’s heart’s desire is to envelope all of them with HIs love, His wisdom, His healing…all of His goodness. So He must have people in place who will allow HIs love to come through. There are so many that are so hungry and needy for His love. He must have us in place.

He is the mortar that holds the living stones in place. When God gives you an assignment He wants you to stay there. The Devil will provide many opportunities for you to give up that assignment. But God will also provide HIs sustaining power. So many things pass before your eyes; so many problems that make staying in place look impossible. But staying in place is exactly what God wants us to do. His faithfulness is here to see you through, to help you and to keep you in place. If we focus on the problems then their chance of overcoming you increases. If you focus on God then His promise of surviving and thriving are yours.

Now when trials and storms come, remember that they don’t last. We don’t live in a constant storm. There are times of peace, hopefully sustained periods of peace. If you’re living in a constant storm, you may consider whether you are in God’s will or not, or you may consider that you might be missing a piece of wisdom for the way you are doing things. If you turn down a one way street going the wrong direction you will face continuous opposition until you turn around. God has a place of peace for you; a place of productivity, of meaningful service, of significance and plenty.

Let God position you. Be faithful to Him. Let HIs faithfulness sustain you.