!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> rachman-unprecedented: July 2006


So what is this going to be? A little bit of everything I think. Maybe that's it. What I'm thinking. What I'm believing. I hope what I'm knowing. And why would anyone care what I think I know? There's no reason in the world that you should. But then why are you here? Cuz you have to be somewhere I suppose. I've never been here before. I may not be back. I might get too busy to care; time is short. That's fine. Nobody can deal with it all at once. There is a lot to deal with.

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Location: The Great Plains, United States

I try not to take myself too seriously, but I know I have far too much. So I'm trying to learn how to laugh again, as I had forgotted for a while there. Also I'm relearning to enjoy life; you know, like when we were kids. The biggest challenge ahead is learning how to love God with all my heart, and soul, and mind, and strength. This one is not really that hard when you know the truth. But along with it comes learning to love others as I love myself, and that one is, as they say, "a horse of a whole different color." I think I need to learn to love myself a little more, but the problem may be that I know all these facts about me. Sometimes the facts are simply wrong or they are just stuck in the past. I'm trying to get my facts to line up with the truth. As someone once asked a great man, "what is truth?" If he had only known.

rachman's weblog

Monday, July 31, 2006

Can You Turn Over a New Leaf? Of Course, You Can!

In my early twenties, I realized that I must be a homosexual. Late in life to finally realize I know, but this was a few years ago. At that time we didn't automatically think, "Jane's a bore; let's check out Tommy." This was a pretty conservative part of the world to boot. (Okay, the women didn't wear burqas, buy neither did the men publicly.) I was raised in a mainline Protestant church and remained in one for some years after my newly acquired carnal knowledge. I was in college and like most college students there are all sorts of discoveries to be made as one starts to live life on one's own terms.

Before I "came out" I was a moody and unhappy teen. Nothing unusual there really, but since I didn't know who I was, what chance did I have? I did date, but it was lack-luster at best; because of the church training I really did believe that I shouldn't be doing too much "fooling around." At least I told myself that was why I had so much restraint and self-control. It did take a while, but after adjusting to the idea that I liked Tommy better than Jane, life became much easier. Easier if you call living a double life easier. When I was at home during the college years, I would head off to church and stop by the local tearoom. Yes, I was a "park queen." I would stop by on my way to anywhere just to see who might be around. After dates, I would dump, er uhm, drop off my girlfriend and drop by the park. Just to see who might be ready for action. (Yeah, I'm lucky to be alive today.) I began to embrace the lifestyle and I loved it. (My first Christmas in my first apartment, I remember sending out beautifully painted "unicorn" greeting cards. Don't ask.)

Now when I "came out" (don't get the wrong idea: there were neither debutante balls nor any engraved announcements sent out in those days; coming out for me simply meant that I now knew who I wanted to have sex with and it was now just a matter of "going out" to find someone who wanted the same thing, the same way, and of course without getting beat up,)as I said when I "came out" there were no emotional confrontations with parents, (although there were three or four with police, undercover cops, and whoever wanted to roll the local queers. And come to think of it, there were a few "pycho" cases that I still have no idea what they really wanted, but I got outa' there before I found out anything more about them. [If you get a gut feeling, LISTEN TO IT!])
I never told my parents (remember I was talking about parents--stay with me) I never told my parents anything and they are both gone now, so I never will. I used to wonder if they knew anyway. (Come on, what do ya' think, I sent out unicorn Christmas cards!) Today they would have to know, but things were different then. For one thing we didn't suspect everyone who remained single of being gay. After all the local priest was single and he was ok. (Sorry, that was a cheap shot.) For another thing I really wasn't a "flamer," or at least I wasn't very demonstrative so I didn't stand out too much. Anyway I know that Dad finally decided that I would never give him grandkids. It kinda' irritated me when I heard my aunt tell me this, as I still thought that I might have kids some day. I don't know whom I thought it would be with or how long I was going to wait to get started, but I figured I'd come up with something.

After about eight years of living a discreetly gay lifestyle (is that possible? Or is it just like a "jumbo shrimp?"), some friends from work took me to visit their "charismatic" church. (They promised to feed me afterwards; I was still a young bachelor after all.) It was a bit strange to me, but I could see or sense a power there that I hadn't experienced at my mainline church. Since I had grown up in church, I secretly felt that the life I was living was not what God wanted for me. But how could I deny the person that I was. The person that I had become was just as unhappy as the kid I once was. I had found love. (For you doubters, two men can love each other. Profoundly. Any relationship between two people is a fragile thing. It is going to have a hard time making it without a foundation in God's love. Our's was no different.) He was even a fellow Christian. We both felt that we were disciples of the one true God through His Son Jesus. On looking back I was probably the one at fault as I now believe that I was only a religious man and not a Christian. So my love was more selfish than I would like to remember. My friend on the other hand, I think was the real thing. However as he continued in the lifestyle he was drawn to he began to change his opinion of what a Christian was. He began to feel that he could be of both worlds. (I'm sorry if I have to disappoint, but we both believed in the beginning, that a follower of Jesus Christ could not continue in a gay lifestyle.) Where he is today, physically or spiritually, I have no idea. I still believe that one has to "come out" from the gay life to follow Christ.

I Corinthians 6:9-11(NLT)~Don't you know that those who do wrong will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin...male prostitutes, homosexuals...none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God. There was a time when some of you were just like that, but...You have been made right with God because of what the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God have done for you.

I wanted my life to be different from the way it was and not just aberrant. So that night at the charismatic church, I talked to the pastor, made Jesus my Lord (even if it meant giving up everything from the past), and asked Jesus to baptize me in the Holy Spirit. My "likes" and "dislikes" did not change instantly, but Jesus is now my master and not the desires that drove me for eight years. God began to set me free from that day on. Yes, free from homosexuality. The changes in my emotions and in my thinking have been gradual, but God has been recreating me over the last eight or so years. (Actually longer than that since I first wrote this testimony for my new church.) You see, I don't believe that I was born a homosexual. Okay, the inclination for that lifestyle might have been there, but it was the enemy who led me and I followed him into the trap. Jesus came to set me free and He has brought me out. What Jesus saves, He can deliver.

1 John 3:8 (NLT) But when people keep on sinning, it shows they belong to the Devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy these works of the Devil.


Friday, July 28, 2006

What is Faith?

What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see...so, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. ~ Hebrews 11:1,6 (NLT)

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Entrance of Our Destiny

Everyday we stand at the entrance to our destiny, but it is up to us to enter in.

Do something! Be willing to do what no one else "will," and get the results that no one else "has."

~from T.J.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Excuses, part 2

Those who make excuses will never reach their destiny. What is destiny? God's plan for each individual. God sees the ending from the beginning. It is not written in stone. It's up to each person to find his destiny and go after it.

James 1:21-24 (NLT) says, ...humbly accept the message God has planted in your hearts, for it is strong enough to save your souls. And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don't obey, you are only fooling yourself. For if you just listen and don't obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.

Live a life of daily expectancy. We should expect God to be working in our lives. Now some of us don't obey, or do the word given us, because of a fear that it will cost us something; but if we don't do the word given to us, it could cost us everything.

Faith is acting on what we believe. God moves when we move. He is waiting on us to move. The ball is in our court, (as He has already made the first serve by sending Jesus into the world.) Even in the old covenant God expected us to move first. Maybe it's because we are in charge on this planet.

2 Kings 7 (NLT) tells us this story about a siege on the city of Samaria, in Israel, which is cut off from supplies, leaving the inhabitants to either surrender or starve ...now there were four men with leprosy sitting at the entrance of the city gates. "Why should we sit here waiting to die?" they asked each other. "We will starve if we stay here, and we will starve if we go back into the city. So we might as well go out and surrender to the Aramean army. If they let us live, so much the better. But if they kill us, we would have died anyway."
So that evening they went out to the camp of the Arameans, but no one was there! For the Lord had caused the whole army of Aram to hear the clatter of speeding chariots and the galloping of horses and the sounds of a great army approaching. "The king of Israel has hired the Hittites and Egyptians to attack us!" they cried out. So they panicked and fled into the night, abandoning their tents, horses, donkeys, and everything else, and they fled for their lives.
When the lepers arrived at the edge of the camp, they went into one tent after another, eating, drinking wine, and carrying out silver and gold and clothing and hiding it. Finally, they said to each other, "This is not right. This is wonderful news, and we aren't sharing it with anyone! If we wait until morning, some terrible calamity will certainly fall upon us. Come on, let's go back and tell the people at the palace."
So they went back to the city and told the gatekeepers what had happened...then the gatekeepers shouted the news to the people in the palace...then the people of Samaria rushed out and plundered the Aramean camp...so everything happened exactly as the man of God had predicted..."By this time tomorrow in the markets of Samaria, five quarts of fine flour will cost half an ounce of silver[almost nothing], and ten quarts of barley grain will cost half an ounce of silver[almost nothing]." ~2 Kings 7 (NLT)

The world changed over night for this entire city, just as the man of God predicted (God had a plan from the beginning), but only after the lepers took a step and did something. Everyday we are at the entrance of our destiny, but we have to get up and do something.

Be willing to do what no one else "will," and get the results that no one else "has." Until we act, the "impossible" always seems impossible.

God says, "Obey the message." We as individuals are to say, "I can do that!"

Then the LORD said to Elijah, "Go to the east and hide by Kerith Brook at a place east of where it enters the Jordan River. Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food."
...but after a while the brook dried up, for there was no rainfall anywhere in the land.
...then the LORD said to Elijah, "Go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. There is a widow there who will feed you. I have given her my instructions."
...so she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her son continued to eat from her supply of flour and oil for many days. For no matter how much they used, there was always enough left in the containers, just as the LORD had promised through Elijah. ~from 1 Kings 17 (NLT)

God never starts something unless he has already finished it. He has the answer, which was ready before the foundation of the world, for the ones who act on His Word.

For those of us in the new covenant..."as we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness! And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature." ~2 Peter 1:3-4 (NLT)

If we obey the commands then we will experience the promises. Do something with all that we are learning. Grow a great life.

notes on a strategy by T.J.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Take a New Thought

Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.---Philippians 4:8 (NLT). If things aren't working out like you thought, then take a new thought.

Monday, July 17, 2006

What did Ghandi Think?

"I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

~Mohandas Ghandi

I think this may be part of the problem. What problem? You know, why most folks don't think they want to be Christians. The Christians may be giving Christ a bad rap. Some people get introduced to Christ, but they never really hang around long enough to get to know him. Thus they never really get to be anything like him.

If you're a Christian spend a little time with Christ and find out what he is really all about. (Back off. I'm preaching to myself. This is my summer project: attempting to find the real Jesus in the stories he left us.) Read (as I am) the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and the book of Acts over a few times to be reminded what Jesus really did say to his followers. To see what the little band of believers did to become more like him. This is what people thought of the early church:

...everyone had high regard for them[the followers of Christ]. And more and more people believed and were brought to the Lord--crowds of both men and women.~Acts 5:13-14 (NLT)

Wow! If we were more like they were, (more like Jesus Christ is,) Ghandi might have become a follower of Christ in more than just admiration.

If you're not a Christian then let me say this, please forgive me for judging you. I look at people and think I know them when I don't. Forgive me for when I was deceitful toward you. Did I lie to you or about you? Forgive me. I get scared and say things that I shouldn't, when I am just trying to protect myself or whoever it is that I think I am. Were you hungry and I didn't get you anything to eat? I'm sorry. I get so busy trying to pay the bills that I ran up, that I forget there are hungry people in the world. Did I abuse you? Did I ignore the fact that you were being abused? Forgive me. Did I look the other way when you were hurting? Please forgive me. No, I have no right to be forgiven. I was wrong. I was wrong toward you and I was wrong toward my God. A lot of people get a bad idea about who Jesus Christ is and what his followers are like and will not listen to his message because of people like me. I'm sorry. I haven't done a very good job of representing Christ.

If you ever want to know the simple message of Jesus Christ, when you are ready, let me know. I will not get it tangled up with my politics or with my preconceptions about others.


Sunday, July 16, 2006


It seems that God doesn't like excuses...

Story of the Great Feast...a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, "What a privilege it would be to have a share in the Kingdom of God!"
Jesus replied with this illustration: "A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. When all was ready, he sent his servant around to notify the guests that it was time for them to come. But they all began making excuses. One said he had just bought a field and wanted to inspect it, so he asked to be excused. Another said he had just bought five pair of oxen and wanted to try them out. Another had just been married, so he said he couldn't come.
"The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was angry and said, `Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the city and invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.' After the servant had done this, he reported, `There is still room for more.' So his master said, `Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full. For none of those I invited first will get even the smallest taste of what I had prepared for them.' "---Luke 14:15-24 (NLT)

Now if we get an call from a distant friend to come for snacks tonight, but we have just married the man or woman of our dreams, and we just now get the chance to spend time with this special someone, we feel that we have a pretty good excuse for not showing up. On the other hand if someone sends us an invitation for a big catered party a few weeks from now, and we say, "yes, we'll be there," newlyweds or not, when the time comes, the invitation giver expects us to put in an appearance. By the causal manners of this world, it seems a little silly to hold anyone to this, but this story has an eternal value to it. All feasting aside, it may be that God just does not like excuses.

But Caleb tried to encourage the people as they stood before Moses. "Let's go at once to take the land," he said. "We can certainly conquer it!"
But the other men who had explored the land with him answered, "We can't go up against them! They are stronger than we are!" So they spread discouraging reports about the land among the Israelites: "The land we explored will swallow up any who go to live there. All the people we saw were huge. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. We felt like grasshoppers next to them, and that's what we looked like to them!"

Two of the men who had explored the land, Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, tore their clothing. They said to the community of Israel, "The land we explored is a wonderful land! And if the LORD is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us." But the whole community began to talk about stoning Joshua and Caleb.
...and the LORD said to Moses, "How long will these people reject me? Will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them?"
(Moses asked,) "...Please, Lord, prove that your power is as great as you have claimed it to be. For you said, `The LORD is slow to anger and rich in unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion...' Please pardon the sins of this people because of your magnificent, unfailing love, just as you have forgiven them ever since they left Egypt."
Then the LORD said, "I will pardon them as you have requested. But as surely as I live, and as surely as the earth is filled with the LORD's glory, not one of these people will ever enter that land. They have seen my glorious presence and the miraculous signs I performed both in Egypt and in the wilderness, but again and again they tested me by refusing to listen. They will never even see the land I swore to give their ancestors. None of those who have treated me with contempt will enter it."

---condensed from Numbers 13:30-14:23 (NLT)

God forgives sin, yes, but we may miss out on our destiny when we start giving excuses. In fact those who want to reach their destiny need to eliminate excuses from their lives!

Adam lost his destiny by giving excuses---The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and care for it.---Genesis 2:15 (NLT) Being in the perfect spot was to be Adam's lot in life, until he started giving God excuses...

...the LORD God asked, "Have you eaten the fruit I commanded you not to eat?"
"Yes," Adam admitted, "but it was the woman you gave me who brought me the fruit, and I ate it." (NLT)

Yes, Adam started passing the buck and giving excuses. If Adam had admitted his sin and asked forgiveness, would we still be in the garden? We will never know, but excuses can cost us the will of God for our lives as well as the heart of God. An excuse is just an invalid reason to neglect a duty, and it will eliminate our future. Like Joshua and Caleb from the Numbers story, when we are pursuing our destiny, we get irritated at negative people. But keep pursuing, for Joshua and Caleb were the only ones to reach their destiny.

---notes on a strategy by T.J.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

What's God really like?

God's Word is the expression of His Nature. The essential properties that make up God (what makes God, God) are expressed in His Word. We can know the one true God, if we just take a look at what the Word of God says.

God is light and there is no darkness in him at all.--1 John 1:5 (NLT)

Love comes from God...for God is love.--1 John 4:7-8 (NLT)

He is the only true God, and he is eternal life.--1 John 5:20 (NLT)

My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.--John 10:10 (NLT)

God is light, love, and life (in all its fullness). God has been talked about, lied about, and argued about for thousands of years, but if we could just get these three concepts down, that have been given to us by St. John, we would be light years ahead of the game.

Is there darkness in our ideas about God? A feeling that God has a dark side. (That God is just like us.) God is not made in our sinful image, but before we first sinned, we were made in God's image. Do we think that He likes or at least permits suffering when He decides it's necessary. Then somewhere our thinking is screwed up.

Do we think that God hates certain people? All people? Anyone? Even those "damn (fill in the blank with your own favorite ethnic, religious, political, or sexual orientation group)." If we do then we're listening to the wrong spirit.

Do we feel that life, as one woman once told me, is not a bowl of cherries, but it's a bowl of crap. (Okay, she was a bit depressed and angry at the time.) We have all heard and maybe believed that "life is a bitch." Yes, but God does not want it to be that way. Why doesn't He change it? His nature is to change things, but He will not force Himself on us. He is not like us remember.

The Word of God, if we will look at it, will tell us who this God of the universe really is.

---thoughts on a teaching by Ed Cole

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Want a Change?

If everyone around you makes a change, it won't affect you much,

but if you change yourself, everything and everyone around you will change.


Saturday, July 08, 2006

Where's your Confidence?

Confidence and insecurity both occupy the same space, but not at the same time. Confidence is more important than talent, and anything else that we can have. "For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth,"---Psalms 71:5. King David tracks his confidence back to God. David's father didn't consider David worthy of being included with his other brothers when they were summoned before the prophet. His father had no confidence in David and gave him no reason to feel confident. David's confidence had to come from God. Our "lousy" childhood doesn't have to rob us of our destiny.

God never leads us by sight, but He leads us by our hearing. "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing the word of God." The word teaches us that the source of our confidence is our God.

We live in a culture that puts confidence in one's performance instead of in the person or in his character. We do the same thing to God. What miracles can God do? Rather we should ask, who is God? Misplaced confidence is worse than having no confidence at all. The people of Israel had confidence in King David, but David put his confidence in God. Not a day went by that David didn't praise God for who He was. We must put our confidence in God and in nothing else. We are free of other people's opinions, feelings, or beliefs when we transfer our confidence to God.

Is our confidence in other people? The most self seeking thing we can do is to try to please people. Do we hide behind people? Do we get moody around certain people or lose confidence when certain other people are not there? Then our confidence is in something or someone other than God. Confident assurance is another name for trust or faith. Faith in God.

Confidence in ourselves will fail us sooner or later. We are not perfect enough or good enough. Our confidence in God will take us anywhere.
Confidence covers a lot of weaknesses. God had to do a confidence overhaul on all his earthly leaders. For example Moses spent 40 years in the desert tending sheep for his father-in-law. God had to teach Moses, "what I do is not who I am." But who we serve, now that is another matter all together. It's time to transfer our confidence to God. What we give to God, He will give back to us having changed its nature and our thinking toward it. (Moses gave a rod to God and He turned it into a snake and gave it back to Moses. Only after Moses took it back did the snake turn back into a rod.) God wants us to come to Him daily and give ourselves to Him, so He can change us and the way we think about Him and ourselves. To have confidence in God, we need to take time for Him daily.

---notes on a strategy by S.L.J.

How to Have a Good Day, Everyday!

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus...and now, let me say one more thing...fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.---Philippians 4:6-8 (NLT)

In the King James Version, one of the things we are to think about is virtue. Virtue can be defined as a "code of conduct." For a believer in the one true God, the code of conduct is to think on these things. Things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and worthy of praise. We can't be thankful (giving praise) and negative at the same time.

The reality is that trouble comes to all of us. How we think about it, makes the difference. "When things don't work out like you thought, take another thought."

People don't have emotional problems, rather their thinking is wrong. Emotions were created to make us feel what we think about. (Think about it--this is pretty cool.) Emotions respond to our thoughts--happy or sad. Emotions just confirm what we have been thinking about. As a prophet said years ago, "thoughts are like the birds. They fly around everywhere, but they can't nest in your hair unless you let them." We should never hear negativity coming from a believer. The code of conduct for a Christian is to let praise come out of our mouths.

"Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live!"--Deut 30:19 (NLT)

There are two paths we can take. We have to choose. This is not a one-time choice. We make this decision everyday. One example: believe in people. "I think the best of people, and they have to prove me wrong." Another example: growth. "I choose to grow. If I don't I will shrink into average and in time into below average."

We have to reprogram our mental computer; we choose to think on these things. We choose to think: "if God is for me then who can be against me." Thinking originates, or creates, our feelings.

We may not know how to be led by the Spirit, but if we get our thinking right, God can bless that and work with us. "...let God transform you into a new person by [you] changing the way you think."--Romans 12:2 (NLT). Some of us have a lot of reprogramming to do, but don't give up. "Think about all he (Jesus) endured when sinful people did such terrible things to him, so that you don't become weary and give up."--Hebrews 12:3 (NLT)

There's a connection between our emotions and how big our life becomes. Our emotions carry us places and our emotions follow our thoughts and our words. (We should say out loud the things we want to happen in our lives.) Our influence will remain. "rachman was here!"

---notes on a strategy by S.L.J.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Is God Limited?

God's Word is His Bond. What is that supposed to mean? A bond is like a chain or rope that ties us up. So God's words can tie Him up. Most people think God can do anything. But He can't. He cannot do anything that He said He would not do. Once He speaks He is bound by what He has spoken. Anything He says comes into existence. He gave mankind (you and me) the right to make our own decisions. (Then God said, "Let us make people in our image, to be like ourselves. They will be masters over all life..." Genesis 1:26) So that means He will not force us to do anything. We are the masters. We make the decisions in this world. We can be wildly successful or total flops. We can triumph in the face of a holocaust or choose suicide over a personal setback. We can fight for the rights of others or deprive others of their freedoms. This world has become what man, not God, chose for it. God is bound, by His Word, from doing anything about this world for a time, unless we invite Him back in. We have that authority.
---thoughts on a teaching by Ed Cole

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

What kind of experience am I having?

I am not a human being having a spiritual experience;
I am a spiritual being having a human experience!


My future is in my mouth!

My future is in my mouth!--I've been hearing this for some time now, but I guess I have finally begun to really believe it.

If I say something long enough it will finally begin to happen. Sometimes sooner, and sometimes later. When I broke my wrist and was out of work for four months, I'm convinced that it came about because I had been harping on the subject that I needed some time off. I was always going on about needing a sabbatical. Well I got one.

My pastor gave us this thought last Sunday and I have decided that it will be my mantra from now on. "Something good is always happening to me!" He goes on to tell me, er, uhm, tell the congregation that we have to stop "speaking or talking the problem."

Proverbs 18:21 "The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit."

Mark 11:23-24 "I tell you the truth," (yes, Jesus is saying this) "if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."

Talk to the mountain; don't talk about the mountain. Stop telling God how big our problem is. Tell our problem how big our God is. Need an example? You got it. David and Goliath. Before the big fight that all the world has heard about, David does not go to God and pray, "Oh God, I have a problem, that Goliath is so big...and so on." Instead David runs toward Goliath and says to the giant, or in other words he says to the problem that he is facing, "I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel...this day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I will strike you down and cut off your head...and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel." (I Samuel 17) David told his problem how big his God was.

Pastor goes on to say, "Stop cursing the darkness and command the light to come." You don't change a thing by cursing the dark. The old adage goes, "light a candle." In the natural world this is what we do; in the spiritual we "command the light."

Two mistakes followers of the one true God make:
1) We try making it as a "lone ranger"--too easy a target.
2) We plant ourselves or let ourselves be planted in the wrong place (the wrong church body). We need to be in the place where God has called us. The words we hear taught and preached will be the words coming out of our mouths. What comes out of our mouths will be our future.

The old testament saints were forced to live by playing on the defense. They had neither the name nor the blood of Jesus to trust in or be cleansed by. The new testament saints however are to be on the offense. The gates of hell will not prevail against the church. We need to make three adjustments in order to be on the offense: Right thinking, right speaking, and right believing. We need to get aggressive and score!

Romans 10:10 "For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."

Your mouth and your heart work together. They were designed that way. So believe and command the light to come. Pastor challenged me, I mean us, to believe and speak over one thing this week. One thing that we want changed. One thing that will change our lives. One thing that we want to be different five years from now. Eighteen months from now. Next week. So say (and believe) what you want to come.

If you lack wisdom, ask God for it and command light to come. If you feel weak, let the weak say, "I am strong." (Joel 3:10)
If you fear, work on your love walk (love casts out fear), and say, "if God is for us, who can ever be against us? (Rom. 8:31)


Saturday, July 01, 2006

Bend your thinking a little

Today a friend and mentor of mine, who happens to be a minister in Vail, Colorado, made the following statement (or rather I read it on his web log ):

hearing God…
I’ve been thinking about something God told me a few weeks ago.

(Wait…you’re saying God talks to you???)

(Sure…He’s always talking…all we have to do is tune in and listen.)

Here’s what He said:
“Jesus never applied His faith for anyone’s miracle. He applied His faith to the fact that I [the Father] would never deny Him.”

Jesus never had to “believe” for all those people we read about in the Gospels to get healed. What He believed—where He focused His faith—was that His Father would never deny Him His request.

Let that bend your thinking a little.

Pastor J.P.

I had never looked at this in that light before. The book of John tells us that we can ask the Father anything in the Name of Jesus and the Father will answer that request. But I guess I had never applied my faith to that actual statement before. That is to say that the Father will not deny any requset made in the Name of Jesus. It does bend my thinking a good bit. I've got to stop watching so many "Lost" episodes and do more reading and meditating of the Word.