Feed My People

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.”

Receiving God’s Best

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, and wisdom.

Faith Comes By Hearing

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.

Today Was THAT Day

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!

It’s All About The Business Plan

HEY! YOU WANNA START SOMETHIN’?

You get an idea. You see the world could be different if they all used your idea. If your idea was out there. If people were using it. If your organization was up and running. If it was full of employees producing your product or serving people. You see people coming by the masses. As you imagine, your visions get more and more detailed. You begin to play out scenarios in your mind and you see how you would handle them. Its getting exciting.  People are going to love this and I’ll be rich or I’ll be influential or I’ll be significant! Aahh! This flood of thoughts during this creative process is so exhilarating! But then…

Frustration sets in…

  • You see where you are…
  • You see how things are…
  • You see the distance from where you are to how they could be…
  • You see how far you’ve got to go…

But, my friend, let me tell you: I believe that what you’ve received or conceived is a gift. It could be a gift to the whole world. Let me encourage you. The world doesn’t have enough thinkers like you. There are not enough people who will lead others in making significant and lasting change.

New ideas create new products create new industries create new jobs create new strength in the economy brings reduced poverty strengthens families…well I think you get the idea. Your idea could really change things. Do you have the strength to bring it about? Remember, you can’t do it alone. You’ll need help. Find some people who could encourage you. Someone who is willing to take part in that creative process and believe in and work for the vision that you see.

Next it’s time to go back and capture the thoughts you had in that creative process.

  • How did you see this happening? Write it down!
  • What would you do in this scenario? Write it down!
  • What would you do in that scenario? Write it down!
  • What if the economy did this? Write it down!
  • What if you succeeded tremendously? Write it down!
  • What if you failed miserably? Write it down!
  • Capture all these scenarios. Write them down!

Now get a spreadsheet and start laying out the numbers.

  • How big will this be?
  • How many employees will you need?
  • How much will you have to pay them?
  • How many employees will you have to hire to manage all the employees you hired?
  • Will you do profit sharing?
  • What will you personally do with all your newly acquired wealth?

As you ponder, study and work through all these things it makes it easier for others to see what you are trying to create. Then they can begin to invest in it. They may invest time. They may invest money. But the clearer your vision…the clearer you are when you write this down…the more you think through and explain all the various scenarios then you are leading, and others will follow. They’ll see that this vision that you have is one that is worth working for.

Be encouraged my friend. The success of your vision is all about the business plan. And its a lot of work. But just like a mother giving birth to a child, what she’s been growing on the inside has got to come out. Write it all down, my friend. Get it all out. Then ask for help. Ask people to read your plan and see what they think. Let their comments help you refine what you’re seeing.

Let them sharpen you but don’t let them stop you.

Vengeance And The Jaded Heart

I’ve been concerned lately about the battle heating up between mostly young African American men and police officers. I’ve seen several videos posted online of police brutality. Videos of young African American men walking around and somehow getting into an altercation with the police and within moments the young man is dead. It hurts me to see it. What were those police officers thinking? Why such brute force when it seemed from footage leading up to the altercation the man seemed out of touch or “lost” in some way? This is so grievous.

On the other hand, my son is a police officer and I’ve seen him post pictures of young police officers who took a bullet and never got to go home again to their families. Police officers who daily and voluntarily walk into the line of fire to help the community and maintain peace. This also is grievous.

I hear the rhetoric from each side, swear words and foul language that they use to relieve the pressure on the inside of them caused by these grievous situations. These words they use to label each other are vengeance.

There’s a storehouse in each of us. A storehouse of unforgiveness and offense. When that storehouse get’s full, Watch Out! It’s got to come out. It’s full of frustration, anger, bitterness, hatred, resentment, etc.

We’ve got to judge what’s right and wrong as best we can. It’s a built in human mechanism. When we see injustice we have to categorize that event in our memories as injustice.

But when we move to vengeance we’re in trouble. All the weight of justice does not rest on your shoulders. If you are a young African American man on the street who’s seen injustice from the police officers, you have a responsibility to work toward justice but you cannot carry the weight of vengeance.

If you are a police officer who has lost a comrade to the actions of an African American man on the streets, you may have the weight of justice vested in you as you wear that badge but you don’t have to carry the weight of vengeance.

Both sides please keep your hearts clean. Please, work for justice but take up no vengeance. I see that when that storehouse of offense fills up it could be the weight that tips the delicate balance on the trigger finger on either side. That my friend would just bring more injustice.

A jaded heart is just an offended heart that becomes increasingly inaccurate in its judgments with each additional offense.

For me the best remedy is in the old adage, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay. says the Lord.”

We can work for justice, but let’s leave the vengeance in His hands.

Jealous Perspectives

SO, YOU’VE HEARD THE SAYING, “THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE.” SO, HERE’S MY QUESTION: IS THAT TRUE OR FALSE? IS THE GRASS ALWAYS GREENER OVER THERE? MY ANSWER MIGHT SURPRISE YOU, BUT HOPEFULLY IT WILL GIVE US ALL SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT.

THE ANSWER IS: TRUE! THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE.

IF YOU’RE LOOKING DOWN AT GRASS YOU SEE GRASS WITH DIRT AROUND IT. YOU’RE SEEING FROM A PERSPECTIVE WHERE THE BLADE IS NOT GETTING ITS BEST SHOWING. HOWEVER IF YOU CHANGE THE ANGLE AT WHICH YOU ARE VIEWING THE GRASS, PERHAPS FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE, YOU’LL NOTICE THAT YOU DON’T SEE MUCH DIRT AND YOU SEE THE FULL SIDE OF THE BLADE OF GRASS. THINGS ARE DEFINITELY GREENER FROM THIS ANGLE. NOW IF YOU WALK OVER AND STAND ON THE GREENER GRASS YOU WERE LOOKING AT, THEN LOOK BACK AT WHERE YOU WERE STANDING BEFORE, NOW THAT GRASS LOOKS GREENER. IT’S ALL A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE. YOU MAY BE JEALOUS OF SOMEONE, BUT YOU MIGHT NOT BE IF YOU COULD SEE THE DIRT IN THEIR LIFE THAT THEY PUT UP WITH DAILY. YOU WERE GIVEN THE PERSPECTIVE YOU HAVE SO YOU CAN CHANGE THINGS THAT NEED TO BE CHANGED, NOT SO YOU COULD BE JEALOUS OF SOMEONE YOU THINK IS BETTER OFF THAN YOU.

Living Free From The Fear Of Death

A FEW WEEKS AGO I SPOKE AT CHURCH ABOUT LIVING WITHOUT FEAR OF DEATH. I THOUGHT I WOULD UNFOLD A FEW THOUGHTS FOR YOU HERE THAT MIGHT HELP:

I GAVE MY LIFE TO JESUS CHRIST WHEN I WAS 11 YEARS OLD, I GOT FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT AT AGE 13, BUT BECAUSE OF BAD THEOLOGY AND LACK OF TEACHING THERE WAS A VOID IN MY LIFE. YOU SEE I HAD A GREAT RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD. I PRAYED REGULARLY, GOT INTO THE WORD NOT AS REGULAR, WENT TO CHURCH AS MUCH AS I COULD, I WAS FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT AND HAD WONDERFUL THINGS HAPPENING IN MY LIFE, EVEN HEARING THE VOICE OF GOD ON OCCASION AND ALSO AS I JOURNALED,  BUT I KNEW NOTHING OF ANY ETERNAL ASSURANCE. I DIDN’T KNOW WHERE I WAS GOING WHEN I DIED. WHEN I WAS 19 I BEGAN TO HEAR THE WORD PREACHED ON A REGULAR BASIS. IN MY OLD CHURCH THEY WOULD READ THE SCRIPTURES BUT NO ONE HAD ANY REAL UNDERSTANDING OF THEM. AT THE NEW CHURCH THERE WAS TEACHING COMING FROM THE PULPIT THAT REALLY MADE ME COME ALIVE. I FOUND OUT THAT FOR A CHRISTIAN, A CHILD OF GOD, HEAVEN IS PROMISED. ITS NOT A ‘WAIT AND SEE’ PROPOSITION. I WAS ASTOUNDED, REALLY AMAZED; NOT ONLY DID I GET THIS GREAT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, BUT I GOT TO GO TO HEAVEN TOO.

KNOWING WHERE YOU’RE GOING

ONCE YOU KNOW YOUR ETERNAL DESTINATION, YOU’RE NOT JUST HOPING NOW, BUT THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS TAUGHT IT TO YOU INTERNALLY THEN YOU COME INTO A PLACE WHERE A BASE FEAR, A PRIMORDIAL FEAR CAN BE RELEASED. THE FEAR OF DEATH IS A HAUNTING THING. BUT WHEN YOU KNOW WHAT’S ON THE OTHER SIDE OF DEATH’S DOOR THEN IT DOESN’T LOOK SO DAUNTING.

NOW SELF-PRESERVATION IS A BASE INSTINCT. WE HAVE A NATURAL, BUILT-IN TENDENCY TO DO WHATEVER WE CAN TO STAY ALIVE. THIS IS GOOD AND WONDERFUL. BUT THE FEAR OF DEATH GIVES PLACE TO SOME RATIONAL FEARS AND SOME IRRATIONAL.

WHY SO AFRAID?

MOST PEOPLE ONLY KNOW WHAT THEY CAN SEE WITH THEIR PHYSICAL EYES. HEAVEN IS NOT A REALITY TO THEM SO THEY MUST HANG ON TO THE ONLY REALITY THEY KNOW. DEATH IS A DOOR WAY THAT LEADS TO ETERNITY. OBVIOUSLY ITS A PRETTY BIG QUESTION: DID YOU GET YOUR ETERNAL ACCOMMODATIONS WORKED OUT? IF YOU DIDN’T THERE IS A DEFAULT BUT ITS NOT HEAVEN. IF YOU HAVEN’T CHOSEN JESUS CHRIST AS YOUR SAVIOUR AND GIVEN THE LORDSHIP OF YOUR LIFE OVER TO HIM THEN I RECOMMEND YOU DO. IF YOU HAVEN’T, YOU HAVE GREAT REASON TO FEAR DEATH, BECAUSE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF DEATH’S DOOR IS ETERNAL JUDGMENT. BUT IF YOU’VE GOT THIS ETERNITY QUESTION WORKED OUT THEN DEATH SHOULD BE AVOIDED BUT NOT FEARED.