Kicking Insecurity to the Curb and Starting a Podcast!

I pride myself in being self-confident and self-aware most of the time. I love to dream with God and talk about the thing s I want to accomplish in life. However, I was recently challenged and corrected by a good friend.

“Be mindful of your influence. I think sometimes we impact people and we don’t even realize it, because we don’t think highly of ourselves. But people look up to you. You have wisdom and spiritual understanding that is beyond your years. Most times, you are the most influential person in the room.”

This hit me like a ton of bricks right in my heart. Am I stewarding my influence and am I my best friend? Do I believe in myself? Normally I would say yes but this correction really challenged me and spoke to the goals that I have set that are left untouched because I am my biggest barrier.

So here we go! I will be starting a podcast in a few months!

This is something I have been wanting to do and something others have been wanting me to do for a few years now. Part of actually achieving this is raising some funds for a good microphone and a new laptop. I currently have a Mac Powerbook G4. If you’ve never heard of that, it’s because it’s pretty dated. Officially, they were discontinued in 2006. This makes it rather difficult to use recent software and forget about using a browser. In fact, Safari crashed so much, I just don’t even go online. I mainly use it to write on Word and listen to iTunes.

Part of kicking insecurity to the curb for me is to ask for your help and for your participation in this project. I think fundraising is less about asking for money, though that is essentially what’s happening, and more about inviting people to believe in you. We have started a Go Fund Me Campaign that I would love for you all to visit and consider investing in whether that be financially or by resharing it on social media and mostly by prayer!

Together we can bring the message of Crazy Grace and of the love of Jesus to so many people through iTunes and many other platforms! Links are below!

Thank you in advance!

False Grace and the Sin of Appearance Without Substance

Today as I was driving home from work, God started to speak to me about releasing several prophetic words to the church in America. I felt a very sober atmosphere in the car as He spoke to me. It’s an atmosphere that I haven’t felt in quite a while. I knew that whatever was about to be heard by my ears would be rather intense and that this was not only a word for the body of Christ but for me as well. It seems, throughout scripture, that the prophetic words God releases to men and women of God have a profound impact on the listener and prophetic person and not just the recipient of the word.

God tells the prophet to eat the scroll, not only to speak it and deliver it but also to ingest and receive nutrition first. That’s the danger of releasing words before their season and delivering words too quickly. Many times we want to feel the thrill of prophetic ministry and in our youthfulness and inexperience we exchange responsibility for thrill. This is why accountability and mentoring is so important in prophetic ministry. We need those who have ministered in this manner for years before to come alongside us and guide us in the things of the Spirit.

God began to say to me, “The church thinks it knows about grace but it does not. The church also thinks it knows about righteousness but it does not. The grace that they think they know is really controlled complacency. The righteousness they think they walk in is the sin of appearance without the reality of holiness. Yet so many are engaged in arguments and debates with these two sides yet they are guilty of the sin of both. Those that are opposed to too much grace being given are guilty of the sin of appearance; they look like they are following all the rules, doing the right things but do not possess holiness and are not actually set apart. Those that are opposed to legalism, works and the performance of righteousness are guilty of controlled complacency; they offer a false grace to those imprisoned and held in slavery to sin and never free people from sin but perform planned ignorance of compromise. They suppose that if they are patient with the sin of these people in their lives, sin will disappear and righteousness will take shape with little or no effort on their part. This is not grace. It may be their version but it isn’t worthy of the same word I use.

In both of these groups, they are guilty of the sin of the priest, Eli and his sons. Eli’s sons were wicked and would sleep with prostitutes and the entrance of the tabernacle of meeting and defile the offering causing people to despise giving the offering because they would take the best parts of the meat for themselves.”

I was struck with such of an awareness of the presence of the God and also the mercy with which we live in. I immediately realized that many parts of my life should be removed from the place of complacency. I asked the Holy Spirit to come and empower me even more to be transformed and to be increasingly set apart for the purposes of advancing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I came home and began to read about the life of the prophet, Samuel, one of the many men in the bible that I relate to. Samuel heard the audible voice of the Lord very early in his life and ministered before the Lord as a child. When I was 22, I made a decision to follow Christ and surrender my life to Him. That very night, I heard the audible voice of God call me by name and this continued on Feb 22 of the next two years. Just like Samuel, I heard the audible voice of the Lord call me three times and the last time, God revealed to me my calling and what my life was meant for. God truly met me in the child likeness of my early years just like the prophet Samuel. I had no idea what I was doing and in many cases I still don’t. I learned that it was ok if I didn’t and the Father simply wanted me close to Him; ministering before Him like Samuel.

I believe what the Lord is communicating to the church in this season is a warning to not be guilty of the sin of Eli. Eli’s role as priest of the tabernacle was a profound responsibility. He was in charge of making sure the Tabernacle was run and kept holy and that the priests were ministering to people and administering the worship of God appropriately. Instead the sons of Eli were engaging in intense sin because of their position. They were having sex out of covenant with various women at the very entrance to Holy ground. The tabernacle of meeting at that time was a very holy location for the people of God. It is where many would come to bring various offerings to the Lord. Eli’s sons were defiling the offering by removing the choice cuts of meat from it. This essentially removed all substance from the offering, as the point of making an offering was to offer your best to God. If the best parts of the meat were being removed, God was receiving the leftovers.

This was very serious sin and it was up to Eli to confront his sons and hold them accountable. Eli only confronted them after he heard bad reports from several people including another man of God, presumably a prophet or anointed servant of the Lord. Even when they were confronted and did not give heed to the words of their father, nothing was done. Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel and warned Eli of danger and destruction because of his sons’ sins and Eli’s response was the OT version of “it is what it is”; and so, it was.

How does this translate to the modern warning the Lord is giving many leaders and priests in the body of Christ today? Very simply put, false grace is rampant in the church. This fake grace is not grace at all and isn’t even worthy of the description of the word, grace. God’s grace is an immeasurable force in our lives and relationship with God and so defining it as a currency or number is absurd. Grace doesn’t look the same for every person or every situation in life. When we hear the word grace, what most people immediately visualize is the action of mercy; to deal mercifully with someone. For example, it was the mercy of God to forgive our debt of sin; it was the grace of God to give us resurrection life.

Grace does not in any way ignore sin. It is actually violently opposed to the bondage and slavery of sin in the Christian’s life. A “grace” that empowers ongoing sin in the believer’s life is the plan of the enemy to use revelation against us by adding a slight perversion. To some grace is mercy and forgiveness and a complete pardon of the wages of iniquity. To another grace is forgiveness but also justice; a justice that requires the individual to respond obediently and pursue health. Grace is like water; it fits and adapts to each of us as if we are containers. If you experience freedom of sin, then you can be sure you are being met with grace.

The other side of this issue that the Lord is addressing is false righteousness and specifically the sin of appearance. Many people, in reaction to a false grace ideology, go to the other extreme and deny grace the place of its redemptive power. Instead they insist on the appearance of holiness but lack its substance. It’s like someone who mimics tough talking fighters and thugs but has no fighting skills, guns, ammunition or any real experience being a tough guy. They may look the part but if you had x-ray glasses you would see the lack of any real substance. Much like the sons of Eli, they have the priestly position but their character is extremely lacking and though they wear the robes and the garments of someone who loves and ministers to God, they DO NOT know the Lord.

Obedience is vital, but it must be sincere otherwise we are not obeying the Lord but trying to buy a position of power. We are attempting to bribe God. Maybe if we don’t watch these movies or don’t listen to this music, God will give us a higher position before men. See, this attitude doesn’t desire the love of God or intimacy with God but rather prominence before the eyes of men. It is as ritualistic and evil as the building and worship of wooden idols. We are looking only for the benefits of being associated with God and not for truly knowing Him.

Ok, now its time for good news! God is sending out Samuels, modern-day prophets who will know the voice of the Lord and declare hope to sinning priesthood. It was said of Samuel that not one word that he spoke fell to the ground empty. Imagine if we had a company of prophetic voices whose words never left unfulfilled but carried weight and substantial power! Imagine the power of these prayers!

Yes, God is releasing a new wave of prophetic ministers who can hear from God; speak with authority and whose identity is grounded in sitting before the Lord. We need more ministers who live from the secret place and understand that it’s not a season but the purpose of life! They minister to the Lord and before Him, not to men and before men.

Who am I? No, Seriously…

The longer I examine my devotion and the way my Christian life unfolds, the more I identify myself with the stories of the prophets. Do I believe that I am called as a “Prophet” by God? Well, that’s an enormous can of worms to open. In one sense, I identify with their struggles, their failures and their joys. In another, my dreams are pioneer dreams; very apostolic. I want to pioneer new things, great things, things no one has ever seen or dreamed of before. However, I love people and specifically being in relationship with great leaders and people who are changing the world. My motivation for being in relationship with these people is not selfish but selfless. I wish I could take credit for this but I believe it is simply how I’m wired. In reality, it is probably a very selfish way to live because my heart is full when I pour into great people and not full when I don’t. I guess even my selflessness is, in a sense, selfishness. Is there such a thing as selfish selflessness?

I believe we are given people’s hearts by God Himself. We are given stewardship of the most precious treasure in this world; the hearts of His kids. I find nothing better than wasting myself on God and His kids. It is so fulfilling and fun! Sometimes it sucks, it really does. Not doing this would suck way more.

“It’s Love. Love comes with hurt.” – Maggie: The Walking Dead

So the question of what office I’m wired to fill in the body of Christ is a complex one. Am I a prophetic pastor, a pastoral prophet, an apostolic prophet or a prophetic apostle? See what I mean? What I have come to learn is that I’m me. I’m unique and in many ways I fit many roles. I’m like a spiritual jack of all trades. I can wear a lot of hats if its needed but what is home for my heart? That’s pretty simple; home for me looks like intimacy with Jesus, writing about what He is teaching me and empowering people in my life and those who I come across. So that looks like more of a prophet. It’s what I have been called more than anything by the people I love.

This is an open conversation I have with God and myself and has been continuing for years. Who am I? This question is a resounding bell in the inner parts of humanity. Moses asked it, who happens to be one of my favorites, and God answered him by promising to always be with him. God’s answer to our identity issues is telling you who He is and promising to be with you, no matter what. That’s why I love that dude.

I don’t have a conclusion here, just more questions. So talk. Who are you? Who is God to you? What does home look like in your heart?

Be a Child and Stop Wiggling

Sometimes the best thing you do to help your spiritual development is to believe in yourself. Being happy and at peace with your own heart is one of the most understated keys in communing with God. I have had the pleasure of meeting and doing life with some of the best human beings in the world. Yet, so many of them, are plagued by the absence of self-peace. No matter the blessings or the accomplishments they experience in life through God an others, they have a hard time being at peace with who they are. This often translates to increased religious tasks and duties, of which there is no actual command or urge from the Lord. It is something inside of them that says, “can’t you do better, do more, be better, and stay away from more?”

In all the striving and stretching out their hands to become better and do more of the things which do not actually please God any more than He is already pleased, they completely miss one of the great treasures of life with God; contentment. Truly, the greatest joy found in the secret place with God must be a contentment to be with Him, lacking nothing because with Him we have everything.

Many of my friends have children and when I come and visit them, they always hand me their children like some sort of chocolate treat that I just HAVE to enjoy. I don’t know what it is about parents that makes them want to show you how much they adore their children by throwing their helpless bodies in the arms of an inexperienced friend. I often feel like I’m being tossed 10 golden eggs covered with butter and oil. These children do not know me so they wiggle, writhe and try to get out of my hands like Frodo running from the ring wraiths. At this point, I gladly return their children to them.

This perfectly illustrates striving and intimacy with God. When you don’t really know someone and you are told to have unwavering faith and trust in them, you will wiggle and writhe to get out of that situation. But if you have intimacy with this person, you actually don’t feel right unless you’re within their arms. You trust them wholly and completely, yearning for the embrace of complete abandon.

Striving is the wiggle, the writhe, the helpless and hopeless escape attempt of our hearts when they come into contact with a God who is completely at home in the impossibilities of human life. He does impossible all day, that’s His jam. Be a child. Trust Him in that place and stop wiggling! It’ll be ok; it has always been ok for everyone ever in history who has trusted Him.

New Wombs of Hope

I have been stuck on a verse for the past few days.

Luke 24:45 – “Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures,”

I guess some context should be the first order of business. Jesus has been crucified and has risen from the dead. The disciples are freaking out and their faith is in disarray. It’s been a few days since the death of Jesus. Then some women went to His tomb and his body was missing. Basically things are getting wild and even though the female disciples are filled with hope, most likely an angelic encounter has something to do with that, the men are undone with doubt and panic.

On the road to Emmaus, two of these disciples, on a 7 mile walk from Jerusalem, began to discuss their day and all that had occurred. Jesus shows up and starts to talk with them but they don’t recognize Him.

 In v.32 it says, “And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures”

Then these astonished men with burning hearts go to the other disciples and describe what happened and poof, Jesus appears again (I think He likes doing this). Everyone seems pretty freaked out and disturbed and they think Jesus is not Jesus but the spirit, or ghost, of Jesus. So Jesus takes some time to explain the difference between encountering a ghost or spirit and what form He is, the resurrected Christ.

That brings us to v.45…

Upon further study, I stumbled upon the meaning of the word, “opened” in this particular verse.

Strong’s 1272 – dianoigo (dee-an-oy-go) from 1223 and 455; to open thoroughly, lit. (as a first-born) or fig. (to expound) – open.

The literal usage in the Greek means to open thoroughly as a first-born child opens the womb. The figurative usage meaning to expound upon. Jesus clearly expounds upon the scriptures in a figurative sense but I believe the literal usage is actually very evident in these encounters.

I began to think about all the times I have read and studied the scriptures and have opened, expounded, certain passages or verses. Then I began to think about the times I have merely glanced at a few words on the bible page or computer screen and eternity envelops me. Time stands still and I feel revelation seeping in as a first-born baby, breaking open a once barren womb. Life begins to flow and birthing begins. This is what I feel like Jesus does. He can explain all the things of this world and other dimensions to us but at times, what He does is unlock the walled garden, the hidden realms of our heart to receive revelation.

In the past few days, I have not only read scripture but my understanding has been opened. There is something being birthed in the remnant of God in these days. Hope has often been carried but lost as a miscarriage in the toils of life. Luke 24:45 speaks of a faithful promise. God will open us and unlock us!

Some of us, in order to birth revelation need new wombs. I discovered this as I read a story about a woman in Sweden who couldn’t have a child. Doctors there actually took the womb of her friend who was in her 60’s and transplanted it in the first woman. Even though her friend had already gone through menopause, the transplanted womb brought forth life! What’s incredible is that when the womb was opened through c-section, the child screamed immediately! It was a great sign to the doctors! I’ll attach the link of the video interview of the doctors below.

I prophesy and exhort us to ask God for new wombs of hope and for the unlocking and opening only Jesus can do! Through the unlocking of our understanding, new revelation will be birthed and it wont be a gentle proclamation but a first-born screaming and heralding a new message! It won’t need our help. The new thing is being birthed and we won’t make it happen, we better just hold on and give birth!

http://emp.bbc.co.uk/emp/embed/smpEmbed.html?playlist=http%3A%2F%2Fplaylists.bbc.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fhealth-29488685A%2Fplaylist.sxml&title=The%20baby%20will%20%22give%20hope%22%20to%20those%20wanting%20children%2C%20say%20the%20transplant%20team&product=news&lang=en-gb

Testimonies Make Room for More

“Now Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, “Arise, and depart with your household, and sojourn wherever you can, for the Lord has called for a famine, and it will come upon the land for seven years.” So the woman arose and did according to the word of the man of God. She went with her household and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years. And at the end of the seven years, when the woman returned from the land of the Philistines, she went to appeal to the king for her house and her land. Now the king was talking with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, “Tell me all the great things that Elisha has done.” And while he was telling the king how Elisha had restored the dead to life, behold, the woman whose son he had restored to life appealed to the king for her house and her land. And Gehazi said, “My lord, O king, here is the woman, and here is her son whom Elisha restored to life.” And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed an official for her, saying, “Restore all that was hers, together with all the produce of the fields from the day that she left the land until now” – 2 Kings 8:1-6

The story and relationship between the prophet Elisha and the Shunammite woman is one filled with miracles and testimonies of the goodness of God. The Shunammite woman was most likely a person who was wealthy and showed, through her past interactions with Elisha, that she had a value for compassion, generosity and contentment no matter the circumstances she found herself in. What I find incredible in this story is that the testimony of her son being raised from the dead by Elisha actually resulted in her blessing and not Elisha’s. Usually we would think the person who performed the feat would be rewarded but in this case the testimony brought forth a reward for the mother. As the King, firsthand, saw the confirmation of the miracle and the embodiment of death being defeated, he was moved with compassion and granted the Shunammite an incredible blessing, 7 years of produce from her fields.

This passage teaches us that the testimony of God in our lives actually positions us for greater testimonies and great favor with the people of the world.  The miracles and goodness of God are very multifaceted. Sometimes we lack the understanding of why God does the things He does. Sometimes there are great miracles that occur and sometimes many years pass by awaiting the answer to our prayers. Only God knows why this is but in many instances God has a miracle waiting to unfold whose impact is so immense that if we had our way, we would be the only ones affected. This passage is a great example of one boy’s life miraculously saved and because it is, a King restores a woman’s lost house and field, Gehazi is greatly encouraged and possibly spared from a false report and favor increases over the lives of Elisha and his servants.

What has God done for you?

How has this testimony made room for more in your life?

Sin vs. Grace

Robert Vujasinovic:

Great stuff on grace!!

Originally posted on Pure Gold:

As a Christian, this has been the hardest concept for me to grasp. I still can’t talk about it in-depth for too long without my brain turning to mush, but (SPOILER!) grace wins every time. I’ve written down every tidbit of knowledge I’ve gathered on this for the last two or three years. This is my attempt to bring it all together to one cohesive thought.

The book of Romans is probably my favorite in the New Testament, mainly because Paul says it like it is and says it with ferocity. He also talks a lot about sin and grace so it’s a great resource for this topic.

What shall we say [to all this]? Are we to remain in sin in order that God’s grace (favor and mercy) may multiply and overflow? Certainly not! How can we who died to sin live in it any longer? Are you ignorant…

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Why I’m Not Praying For Jesus To Come Back

So I know this may be kind of odd, but I’m actually not praying for Jesus to come back. Sometimes I even pray that He wouldn’t come back anytime soon. I have great reasons for this. Here are just a few.

  • I’m happy
  • Life is awesome
  • I have a lot of unfulfilled prophetic words
  • I have dreams and aspirations and lots of goals
  • God specifically told me to do a bunch of stuff so I should go ahead and do those things

Honestly, my eyes roll to the back of my head so hard I almost hemorrhage whenever anyone responds to world suffering or tragedy with, “Jesus, come back!! Quickly!!” I don’t think people understand that we are the rescue plan. Jesus came, upheld His end of the deal and now we have been given the ministry of reconciliation not the ministry of peace out. You should really stay here. It’s a wonder place and life is really wonderful actually.

I know things can happen that suck and the President is hard to love and crazy people have guns and go shoot up schools but you are the answer! God gave you His authority and access to all the treasures and fullness of the Godhead! Why are you trying to leave? Why does someone with full access to the Kingdom of Heaven, filled with the fullness of the Godhead need to be rescued from sinners or demonic powers?

It really doesn’t make sense. So maybe instead of telling God to hurry up, which sounds like you’re saying your frustration with your lack of competency in the Kingdom is more important than His plan, you should become who you are called to be and heal the sick, raise the dead and deliver the oppressed.

Have you even read Isaiah 61?!

Jesus said we would do greater things than Him. He’s not a liar so maybe we’re all just lazy. Either way can we just trust God’s timing and stop saying that dumb thing we say? Thanks.

What Happens In Me, When I Sin…

Today I was thinking about what goes on in the mind of a person as they accept and make the choice to enter into sin. This is not a weird thing for me to think about. I often have intense moments of contemplation and revelation throughout the day. I think of random aspects of my spirituality and/or the depths and various facets of God and just dive in like it’s an endless ocean. However, in this case, all I can offer is what happens to me, in stages. Maybe this will help someone. It will be pretty frank and transparent so beware…

1. Grooming - First, there is almost always a very subtle grooming that happens. In this example I will be using sexual immorality and/or pornography since I’m a guy and I have struggled in this area in my life, especially as a Christian. The grooming is usually a series of visuals or sounds that I equate or that remind me of sex. This isn’t bad at all and the sin hasn’t actually occurred yet. This is similar to the passage in Genesis where Cain is tempted to kill his brother and God warns him that “sin is crouching at your door but you can master it.” It’s incredible how much God sees and believes in us. There is a strength in us we never see.

2. Acceptance – Here’s where the sin is chosen and is given a home. In most cases, I have made a rational decision in my heart to entertain the idea and lie that sexual behavior outside of marriage and with my spouse is something that I am going to engage in. This is alongside a general “I don’t care” attitude. This “I don’t care” is especially extended to Holy Spirit. In fact, very soon it will grow to become a “Go away.”

3. Behavior/Expression – At this stage of the sin, I will express, physically the sin which has already happened in stage 2. I will find a vehicle for the sin to be expressed through which will simultaneously feed and carry the sin through. In this case it will be pornography. “Go away” is in full force! In fact, this is usually the point where the Holy Spirit is showing up and physically encountering me with His presence asking me to stop or literally getting in my way. One time, He gave me prophetic words for a particular porn star I was watching and then gave me her cell phone number and made me call and prophesy over her. She hung up weeping and I was mad at God for killing my “high.”

4. Repentance – This is the final stage and is very important! I have, by now become dreadfully aware of my sin and how it is affecting God, me, my future children, my girlfriend/spouse and all of those people God puts in my path to minister to; present and future. I repent and God restores me and fills me again with fresh anointing and His presence. Grace is so evident now.

This could be so different for many of you, but for me, this is usually how it goes.

Avoid Overheating

Today I was at a coffee shop across the street from my house because my car was overheating. A car overheating is kind of crazy. Your temperature gauge goes all the way up and then your car starts smoking and you need to pull over immediately and turn the car off or you risk an intense amount of damage to the engine. That’s what I did after calling my brother in-laws and figuring out that’s what I should do.

It makes me think about spiritual things though, such is usually the case with life for me; it always tends to be a prophetic hint about something else. In this case, I am reminded about how many of us live our life with no water in our engines and one day we just overheat and burn out, like a great star dying in slow motion. If we don’t take the time to make sure all our fluids are full and healthy, we can easily find ourselves in a parking lot, forced to wait out our crisis.

Intimacy is the fluid in this case. Having your tank full of times of encounter with God fights against the breakdown of energy and your general heart attitude. When we encounter Jesus and are filled with the Spirit, we are living in the prime condition of our lives. When we go days, weeks or even months without His constant presence filling us, we are bound for disaster and break down.

Loneliness. Love & Marriage.

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I believe that one of the greatest dangers to purity is unchallenged loneliness, that is, loneliness unaddressed and left to make a home in us. The feeling of being alone and solitary in your life is a lie that intrudes and poisons the very foundations of your heart. The heart, convinced it is alone, is capable of great compromise. I’m speaking this out of experience. Whenever I have looked at pornography or justified dwelling on feelings of lust or perversion, it has been in times of great loneliness and lack of hope and control over my life and circumstances. Coincidentally, it is these moments that will create an unbreakable bond of intimacy and strength in your marriages. A good marriage is not a perfect track record but two souls bound together by the fire and mortar of life happening around them, good or bad.

The hard times my wife and I shared in were times of great breakthrough in our marriage. I remember living in Redding, CA in 2008 and being unable to find a job for almost a year. We were living off $180 a week in unemployment from my previous job and my wife’s paychecks from working at Starbucks, which isn’t much. There was a point, where we had no food and I was planning on fasting so she could eat the little food we had. In those times, the temptation to watch porn was intense! Sometimes I chose well and sometimes I did not, but what I learned was what pornography seeks to destroy.

Whether you’re single, married with or without children, sexual sin seeks to bind you in isolation away from the people who love you and to create the illusion of distance from the God who loves you. It is in the bond between hearts surrendered to each other that breakthrough grows in like a plant in a well watered garden. I hope one day, as I have children of my own, they would see two people who love each other so much that no toil or trial or rough season of life would cause them to pull away into the pit of death that is sexual immorality.