May 26 2017

Hope from Hopelessness

I’m not entirely sure why, but Jesus seems to love showing up in the midst of the poorest members of society. I am constantly amazed at what Jesus will do when we take the risk of ministering to people in some of the worst possible situations. We had the opportunity this week to minister at a location that provides food, clothing, and other services to those experiencing homelessness. We were excited to take God’s love into a place we hadn’t been before, but you never really know what is going to happen until you are in the midst of the moment. So, we went, with an expectation that God would do something amazing. And he did! We prayed for a few people without seeing any immediate results, but after about 30 minutes, the presence of God filled the room and miracles started to manifest one after the other. One person was healed of multiple injuries. Then, the first person we prayed for when we walked in, came back to tell us that he was also healed. Then another, and another, and another. This continued for the rest of the time we were there as each person we prayed for received something from Jesus. It seems that hope abounds where there is hopelessness. I love seeing God show up wherever we minister but there is something special about these moments. Honestly, I prefer ministering in these environments so much more than on the inside of a church. There I something about an environment of extreme need that attracts the presence and power of God in an amazing way. I was listening to a song this morning by Johnathan David Helser that spoke about being thankful for Jesus showing up and changing lives even though he doesn’t have to show up at all. He doesn’t have to show up, but he always does. And I love watching him work.

We uploaded a few new testimonies from this night to our YouTube channel, check them out here:
YouTube – Wounded No More

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May 12 2017

Faith

Faith is an interesting thing, it’s necessary for us to walk out our lives as believers but, at the same time, it is confusing to understand. Learning to live by faith has been an interesting journey for me because it required a lot of risk to step away from “normal” full time employment so that I could pursue what I felt like God was calling me to do. With a PhD in computer science, I could walk into a high paying job pretty easily and there have been times in the last few years that I entertained the idea of looking for a normal job while I continue to see how things unfolded in the ministry side of things. Just before I left the Air Force, God told me that I didn’t want a normal 40 hour/week job. At the time, my plan was to step into a high paying job, pay off some debts, save up some money, and then transition to full time ministry. Well, God had other plans and we had to take some pretty big steps of faith with an expectation that God would provide anything we needed. Lauren also left her job about a year later which was an even bigger step of faith to give up the only full time salary we had left. But, you know what, God has worked it all out and somehow, several years later, we are still here and still walking by faith every day. I sometimes think about how Abraham gave up everything when God called him to head in a new direction. It was a big step, but in the end, Abraham ultimately made a major impact on the earth and his decision is still impacting the world today. That’s really amazing! When we put our faith in God’s plan for our lives, we can be assured that, at some point, we will have an impact on the earth. A life of faith is an amazing adventure, you get to wake up to a new surprise every day. It’s not always easy to take that first step, especially when you can’t see what is in front of you, but be encouraged, God will take care of everything else if you are willing to trust in him.

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May 5 2017

Church History

“If you don’t know history, you’re are doomed to repeat it.” I remember hearing this quote from George Santayana many years ago and it makes me think about how we all tend make choices based on what we have learned from our past. There’s something really valuable about knowing where you have come from. From a national perspective, we might teach students about the Revolutionary War, the Constitution, and the reasons why our country is uniquely designed. These are important topics for a U.S. Citizen to understand because it forms the foundation of our society. But what I really like to study is church history because I have found that many of the movements and denominations over the centuries have made the same basic mistakes and, as a result, I don’t think they ever achieved everything God had planned for them. Sadly, we see the same mistakes pop up throughout the centuries and the most common ones I have seen are an attempt to control what Holy Spirit is trying to do, having pride in being God’s “chosen vessel”, and not equipping others to carry the movement forward. These are all mistakes that we could easily avoid with one simple shift of our focus away from ourselves and onto what God wants to do. I don’t think anyone intentionally tries to control God or seeks to make pride part of their lifestyle but it’s easy to let our eyes drift onto the mission we have been given and off of the one who gave us the mission; even the slightest drift can have disastrous effects. Just take a look at the life of William Branham, who had a powerful gift of healing and words of knowledge, but let his desire to teach change his focus and ultimately resulted in creating a lot of confusion. There are plenty of other examples that we can study so that we don’t fall into the same traps. I have come to love church history and I keep a lot of books on the shelf that help me to see where we have been and where we are headed. I hope that these signs help me to keep my focus where it needs to be so that I can accomplish everything I was created to do. Don’t be doomed to repeat history, study up on the past and you will be prepared to successfully navigate the challenges ahead.

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