Monday, April 27, 2009
As you know some of us are on our way to CO to http://www.ransomedheart.com/ they have warned us that we will come under attack because the enemy does not want us to attend and I am asking for all of brothers to please pray for us and our families for the next couple of days.
We leave on Wednesday and now with the Swine flu it is just another thing to worry about, or in my case my wife to worry about. I know that God has us in his hands but I ask that you pray a hedge of protection over our families.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Yesterday I called a friend of mine who has indirectly had a major impact in my life (he sent me the book the Shack) and that is a whole nother post. What he shared with me was quite upsetting, but is something that has become a regular occurrence in society today. A friend of his, a Christian brother yesterday took his life; he leaves behind a wife and three daughters….. His business was failing and he was too proud to ask for help, and he felt that his only option was suicide.
I was raised catholic and Suicide was a direct ticket to hell so it has never been an option for me even with all my ups and downs in my business career, and I will tell you I have all the tee shirts to prove it. God has allowed me to go to the bottom pits because he gave me free will. He was always with me even thought I may not have realized it, but when I reached out to him he helped me back.
My message is that he is always with us and “the voice of truth” is always with you, and all you have to do is ask for help. Right now we are all being faced with challenges, financial being one of the biggest because that leads to marital and so on. We are called to help one another, especially at this time when we are in need of help ourselves.
My friend was saddened because he did not know that his friend was in the place he was and was too proud to ask for help, are any of us there, do we know anyone who might be there. Maybe it is time to make that call.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
This is a great way to get the needed boost to make it through the end of the week. If you can make it you will not regret it.
I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.
She said, 'Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?'
I laughed and enthusiastically responded; 'Of course you may!' and she gave me a giant squeeze.
'Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?' I asked.
She jokingly replied, 'I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids...'
'No seriously,' I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.
'I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!' she told me. After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends.
Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this 'time machine'as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.
Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.
At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, 'I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me!
I'll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.' As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, '
We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day.
You've got to have a dream. When you loseyour dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it!
There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability.
The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change.. Have no regrets. The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets.' She concluded her speech by courageously singing 'The Rose.'
She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives At the year's end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago.
One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep. Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be all you can possibly be.
REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL. We make a Living by what we get. We make a Life by what we give. God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.
Monday, April 20, 2009
So, if anyone is still interested in buying the book, I would suggest ordering from Living Word yourself, or otherwise acquiring in online.
I apologize for the inconvenience.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Here is an excerpt from his website http://www.refugeranchministries.net/:
Freed, Filled, and On Fire! - An Introduction to our Ministry
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)
DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH THE FOLLOWING?:
Depression/ Loneliness/ Anxiety
ADD or ADHD
Confusion/ Distraction/ Disorientation
Fear (Fear of Man, Failure, Death, etc.)
Guilt/ Shame/ Condemnation
Rejection/ Hurts/ Wounds
Anger/ Bitterness/ Unforgiveness
Hopelessness/ Despair/ Defeatism
Doubt/ Unbelief/ Distrust/ Worry
Physical Sickness and/or Disease
Addictions: Work/ Food/ Gambling/ Alcohol/ Tobacco/ Drugs
Sex; Adultery; Fornication; Pornography; Sexual Abuse; Rape; Perversion;Lesbianism;Homosexuality; etc.
Wrath/ Rage/ Violent Temper
Sleep Deprivation/ Restlessness
Suicidal Thoughts and Inclinations
Hatred/ Resentment/ Murderous Thoughts
Jealousy/ Envy/ Strife/ Contention
Refuge Ranch Ministries specializes in showing people, just like you, how to be delivered from these and other areas of torment which the Bible refers to as "strongholds".
Be assured, that just as there is a God in Heaven who loves you and has a plan and purpose for your life, there is also an enemy of your soul, whose primary mission and goal is to destroy you—Body and Soul.
Satan works through these aforementioned areas to keep us in bondage (a spiritual prison), to keep us from being everything God created us to be, to keep us from being everything God created to give us to do, and to keep us from receiving everything God created to give us: Peace, Joy, Happiness, Fulfillment, Satisfaction, Purpose, Direction, Meaning in Life, Self-Worth, Value, Financial Stability, Healthy Relationships, Healthy Minds and Bodies, an Eternal Home with Him in Heaven.
The Lord has shown us four areas or "gateways" through which we give the enemy permission to enter into our lives to perform his work of destruction:
- Unforgiveness or Bitterness towards those who have deeply hurt us, wounded us, offended us, deceived us, or stolen from us.
- Soul Ties: any unhealthy relationship that is outside the prescribed will or plan of God (adultery, fornication, or any sexual activity outside of marriage; and unhealthy business deals or covenants)
- The Occult: any activity or association with Ouija boards; tarot cards; crystal balls; palm reading; horoscopes; seances; yoga; TM; new age; demonic music, movies or books; spells; incantations; sorcery; telepathy; witchcraft; dungeons and dragons; etc. and any association with friends who are involved with these things.
- Generational Curses (or the "sins of the fathers"): alcoholism, adultery, mental and physical sickness and disease; curses of the Masons and Indians, etc.
Refuge Ranch Ministries is focused on creating a safe place for our Saviour, Jesus Christ, with the power of the Holy Spirit, guided by the love of our Father in Heaven to minister to those in need. The ministry can and does involve all blessings that flow from the Cross of Christ: salvation, cleansing (including repentance and deliverance), in-filling (baptism, anointing and healing) by the Holy Spirit, and then learning the critical spiritual disciplines to walk in daily victory through Christ.
Jesus came to this Earth to "Set the captive free, and heal the broken hearted."
He is your deliverer - Not Us! When we are Humble, Honest, and Hungry (desperate), and we cry out to Him, He will begin the process of our Deliverance by His Love, Mercy, and Grace; His Power, Authority and Truth. The choice is simple: You can be free today, or you can remain a slave to sin and to satan.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
We can do what is right or we can do what we normally do. The up-side is, we can grow and change our patterns to obedience. Before I held Christ's hand, I told a counselor that, "hey, at least you Christians have maps..." I made reference to the bible and the ways of the Lord before I accepted He and His Son. At the time I didn't even know what I was talking about but, God made sure I would learn about what I had said three years earlier. The fact is we have a life-time of learning, I believe the learning will be infinite as God's knowledge is that vast.
There will be numerous times we stumble so don't lose faith. Again and again it will happen. Our hearts are not pure, they need constant care and handling...
Jonah, even after his events with the whale and being spared, later became angry with the Lord's compassion. So angry and feeling un-worthy that he wanted to die.
"But the Lord replied, Have you any right to be angry?"
"Jonah went out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in the shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. Then the Lord God provided a vine and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the vine. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the vine so that it withered. When the sun rose God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah's head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, "It would be better for me to die than live."
But God said to Jonah, "Do you have the right to be angry about the vine?" "I do, he said. " I am angry enough to die."
But the Lord said,"You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend to it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more than one hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?"
Here God is faced with a large city of people who don't know their left from right hands, think about that, there are some lost individuals in that hood! And a bunch of cattle with "mad-cow disease!"
Jonah is bent out of shape over a shade-leaf...
I don't know about you but, I seem to miss the "Big-picture" quite often!
What if we really did count our blessings?
Wrap yourself in His love,
Thursday, April 2, 2009
The Bible says that if you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, then you will be saved.
Salvation is the most glorious gift our Lord has given us, but, and please forgive me for saying this, it really is the minimum performance standard for a Christian. Every Christian who has said the sinner’s prayer is saved, but that doesn’t mean we are living life to the full, as Christ wanted us to.
I used to tell my wife that I would be happy with “standing room only” in Heaven- as long as the door closed behind me, I would be ecstatic.
But as I have grown in my faith, in my walk with the Lord, as I have come to know Him intimately, and see the truths of His Word, I have come to long for His very best. I want no less than what He wants for me any more. As Paul said in Corinthians, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize”.
I want the prize. Whatever that means, whatever it is, I want it. I want it because God wants me to want it. He has told us to live our lives in such a way as to achieve it. He has placed His very best out there for us and then told us to “run” so we can get it.
Faith is only the beginning.
When we become believers, we enter into the beginning of new relationship, one that is new and exciting, one that we have high hopes for. And just as in a new relationship, we have a lot to learn about the person. We may know things about them, but we don’t really know them, we don’t really know what they are capable of.
This is the difference between believing and knowing. When I believe, I make an assumption based upon what I have seen and heard. It may be correct, or it may be false. It may be based upon fact, but it is just as often based upon emotion, habit, or upbringing.
The Twelve Disciples spent over three years with the Lord Jesus Christ. When He called them, they were first motivated by a belief that He was the Messiah. Over the course of their time together, they came to know Him, they came to know Him personally as Teacher, Mentor and Friend. It took spending time with Him for them to get to know Him.
It took Jesus pouring Himself into them for them to get to know Him. While Jesus was alive, He even gave the disciples authority to cast out demons, heal the sick and the diseased. At least one disciple even believed they could call fire down from Heaven to destroy their enemies.
But I will submit to you that although they knew Jesus, and believed in Him, they did not yet know Him; not in the fullness of knowing Him as God, Lord and Savior that they would come to know Him.
Look at the disciples before Jesus’ death. They were able to perform some miracles, clearly, but there were also things that were beyond their ability (Matthew 17:21). They also had a difficult time interpreting Scripture and understanding Jesus’ parables. In Matthew 13:36 it says, “Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, ‘Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.’” And again in Matthew 15:15 “Peter said, ‘Explain the parable to us.’”
Clearly this was not an uncommon practice, as we read in Mark 4:33-34 “He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.”
The disciples believed Jesus’ words and teachings, but they still needed to be explained and interpreted. They didn’t know what He meant, or what He was getting at.
This all changed after His arrest and subsequent death on the cross.
First, His disciples abandoned Him in fear for their own lives. Matthew 26:56b, “Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.”
And after His death, we find them cowering in fear. In John 20:19 we learn “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews,”
Why were they afraid of the Jews except that they feared to suffer the same fate as Jesus? And that fate was something they did not expect, nor understand. They thought Jesus, the Messiah, came to set them free and establish a new Kingdom. The revolution was at hand! And just like that, He was gone.
They went from belief to despair. From hope to doubt. From faith to fear. Even when they first heard of the resurrection, and this after Jesus had explained to them what must happen, they didn’t believe. As we read in Luke 24:9-11, ‘When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.”
Their words seemed to them like nonsense.
Because they had seen Jesus’ dead body with their own eyes.
But on the third day, when Jesus revealed Himself to them, everything changed again, and the world will never be the same.
I will submit to you that what changed for the disciples, what enabled them to go from the dregs of society, from cowering in fear over seemingly crushed dreams, to the catalyst for establishing the Church and fulfilling the Great Commission, is that they went from believing to knowing. On Thursday they believed.
On Friday, they doubted and despaired. On Saturday they feared. On Sunday they KNEW. Their faith took on a whole new dimension.
What could you do if you knew, absolutely knew, you could not fail? Anything, right?
Well, after the Resurrection the Disciples absolutely knew that Jesus was the Son of God, and that ALL His promises were true. Therefore, everything suddenly became possible for them, and death no longer had any power over them.
So, how do we as believers go from believing to knowing? How do we leave being Believers to become Knowers?
Jesus Himself provides the means. As He did for His disciples then, so He has done for us now.
“Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, ‘This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’ – Luke 24:45-49
Jesus sends what His Father has promised, and clothes us with power from on high.
And because of this, these men went on to change the world; not because of what they believed, but because of what they knew.
Almost all of them died for their faith. Martyrs. Tortured and beaten. Brutally murdered and executed. So how do we know that they knew that Jesus rose from the dead, that He is, in fact, the Son of God?
Those mean died to prove it to us. The original disciples that believed in Him, and came to know Him, died; so we can know. Only someone who saw the risen Lord would submit to the deaths these men died without recanting their stories. No one dies for a lie they know to be false.
So, are you a Knower?
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
For any of you that are doing email marketing, last month we started a Monthly eSuccessTIP designed to help people with their online marketing, Please take a look at the April Tip at:
You can subscribe for the montly tip at:
Have a great day,
for Christians in the Last 150 Years
In 1857, America's secular and religious conditions combined to bring about a financial crash. The third great panic in American history swept the speculative wealth away. Thousands of merchants were forced to the wall as banks failed, and railroads went into bankruptcy. Factories were shut down and vast numbers thrown out of employment. New York City alone had 30,000 idle men. These conditions set the stage for God's “change agent” to fulfill his purpose.
The hearts of people were thoroughly weaned from speculation and uncertain gain, while hunger and despair stared them in the face. On 1st July, 1857, a quiet and zealous business man named Jeremiah Lanphier took up an appointment as a City Missionary in downtown New York.
This Wall Street businessman began to invite others to join him in a noonday prayer-meeting, to be held on Wednesdays once a week. At twelve noon, on September 23rd, 1857 the door was opened and the faithful Lanphier took his seat to await the response to his invitation. Five minutes went by. No one appeared. The businessman paced the room in a conflict of fear and faith. Ten minutes elapsed. Still no one came. Fifteen minutes passed. Lanphier was yet alone. Twenty minutes; twenty-five; thirty; and then at 12.30 p.m., a step was heard on the stairs, and the first person appeared, then another, and another, and another, until six people were present and the prayer meeting began. On the following Wednesday, October 7th, there were forty! In the first week of October 1857, it was decided to hold a meeting daily instead of weekly.
Within six months, 10,000 business people were gathering daily for prayer in New York, and within two years, 1 million converts were added to the American churches.
Could this current economic crisis be the greatest opportunity for the church in the last 150 years? Let me encourage you to be ever more sensitive to those people around you. Just yesterday I met with a man who told me about a business leader who had committed suicide because he was experiencing financial problems and simply could not face it. He left a wife and two children behind. I met with another man who was in the midst of his own “Joseph Pit”. I counseled him and sent him along with several resources to help him navigate his situation.