Motives and Truth
Its funny how we are so quick to judge or even completely dismiss in Christian circles depending on what we believe the source of something is. Let me share a few examples...
Lets use the phrase "Jesus Loves You Unconditionally". If a close and trusted friend posted that on Facebook in your news feed, you would take it at face value as a reminder from your friend about this wonderful and timeless truth. But let's say that Joseph Prince posted that same phrase, "Jesus Loves You Unconditionally". Many in the body today would assign an impure motive to the post because they believe Joseph Prince is a "hyper grace" teacher.
Lets take another example, lets say Mike Murdock posted the same "Jesus Loves You Unconditionally" post. Many would assume Mike must be setting people up to ask them to give his ministry money. Or what if Robb Bell posted the same "Jesus Loves You Unconditionally"? many would dismiss it as a cover for Robb's emergent theology of their being no real Hell and such. What if you knew of a person in willful, unrepentant sin; say they robbed a bank and killed a few folks in the process but had no remorse at all for their actions and they suddenly posted the same "Jesus Loves You Unconditionally" to the world, what would you think about that? What motives would you assign to the respective posters?
My point in bringing this stuff forward is that we all tend to see things thru our own set of preconceived glasses. Almost everyone I have ever met says they love it when people are just straightforward and honest with them, yet so very few can even start to process that kind of talk because they will try to assign motives to the person talking based on the opinion of the person bringing the words forward.
Another example: when a 400 pound woman looks at a 120 pound woman and tries to tell the 120 pound woman that she is eating too much. Someone who honestly relishes truth above all else would honestly look at what the 120 pound woman was eating to see if there were any merits to what the 400 pound woman had said but as we all know, most people would be appalled at the nerve of the 400 pound woman to dare address an overeating issue in someone else. They would not weigh what she said on the merits, they would be too lost in seeing the hypocrisy of the 400 pound woman's comments.
Christian maturity is a funny thing sometimes. One thing you will eventually need to learn is that Grace makes our perception of life completely unfair. God often hides His deep, timeless and incredible truths in the most flawed and imperfect vessels.
Consider Mary, the mother of Jesus. Everyone around her saw her as a complete moral failure, the modern equivalent of what we would call a slut, unable to control her hormones. In reality she carried the very divine seed of God Himself within her and was indeed virgin pure the entire time.
Consider Paul who went from town to town dipping his sword of death into body after body of Christ followers slaughtering masses. The incredible revelation that he ended up with was so great beyond all of his contemporaries that God allowed a thorn in his flesh to help offset the pride that otherwise would have been too much for him.
Of course there is Matthew, the tax collector who the small group of new disciples all had disdain for as he sat collecting monies for Rome. They made the easy and common mistake of judging Matthew on the basis of what their human eyes saw but the prophetic heart of Jesus saw into the heart of a man who truly loved God despite His current public and very unpopular vocation.
Don't get me wrong, there are certainly false teachers out there and there are certainly times to mark others that are involved in blatant sinful deeds and such... but most of those verses only come out these days to hide what are really personal offences or things we do not understand about others. For example, when a minister gets up and suggests that people pray for God to show them a given amount to "sow into their ministry", many in the body completely shut down and assign that minister to a perpetrator of the "prosperity gospel" instead of honestly praying about how much they should give in that moment.
Todays summery: We are in a season right now where God is shifting old mindsets so we can see that just about everything we need is already in place around us. As believers bombard Heaven with prayers of things they want to see changed in their lives, God is trying to peel back the layers of personal opinion to reveal the very things many are praying for are indeed already in place around them. Get past your personal hang ups and opinions about sources of information and instead look at the content of what is being shared... after all, "Jesus Loves You Unconditionally".
The Kingdom of God VS the Church.
This is the first of many blogs I plan on writing about this topic.
The Kingdom of God VS the Church. The very title of the blog elicits emotions and preconceived ideas in most readers. Let me start by saying a few things that may surprise some of you. First, I am in no way against The Kingdom of God. In fact, I consider my primary allegiance and commitment to Jesus who is God and to His ultimate Kingdom, commonly called The Kingdom of God. At the same time I also love those in the earth that Jesus calls His body, the called out ones otherwise known as The Church.
To understand this topic properly we must first look to Jesus as the ultimate example. When Jesus walked the Earth in human form He was not trying to create or build a Church. In fact, He actually passed off that responsibility to Peter and the other Apostles. Jesus came here with two main goals; one to fulfill His calling and destiny by enacting His own brand new covenant with His own death and two, to recapture the keys to death, hell and the grave through His resurrection from the dead. For these two things to happen, there first had to be an establishment of a spiritual atmosphere. A situation wherein the climate and timing of Heaven was converging with the climate and timing of the Earth. That convergence is called the manifestation of The Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of Heaven and The Kingdom of God are two very different things.
The Kingdom of Heaven is a term that refers to the literal place of Heaven. The Kingdom of God is a term that refers to the governmental structure by which heaven operates and functions. The Kingdom of God is in fact the government of God.
When John the Baptist comes on the scene, he says repent for the Kingdom of HEAVEN is at hand... but later when John gets captured, Jesus comes forward and says repent for the Kingdom of GOD is at hand. (Matthew 3 and Mark 1 respectively). John message of repentance is based upon a instilling a fear into the hearer by saying "Hey, the plan of Heaven for the ages is about to unfold here before us all..so it's about to get real up in here... but when Jesus arrives, His message of repentance is based not on what is to come, but what now is right here and right now as He says "Hey, The King, the Governor of heaven is HERE and I'm Him! John pointed to what was coming, Jesus pointed to what now is! John instilled Fear as every Old Covenant prophet always did. Jesus on the other hand installed Grace and a deliverance from Fear. That's why John's gospel says the law come from Moses but Grace and truth came thru Jesus.
In this understanding we see a very natural and very Godly progression. Moses brings the law which reveals man's failures and separated state from a Holy God. John and the prophets before Him bring the fear of God back into the people of the Earth, all leading up to Jesus who fulfills that covenant based on man's failures and installs His own brand new covenant based upon He Himself paying the price for everyone who will believe upon Him.
The progression continues as Jesus hands off to Peter and the other early leaders the job of advancing His Kingdom into every corner of the earth. They are to do this in a very certain and specific way that includes creating gatherings of believers meeting in people's homes in what we would think of today as a very communal living type of situation. There would be overseers installed that would share power and authority equally. Hundreds of years later man would add to the original texts of holy scripture and use words like Pastor, Bishop and Elder.. but make no mistake, in the original Greek, all of those words are the exact same root Greek word which simply means overseer. God knew back then there was great wisdom and protection in not elevating a single figurehead because under this brand new covenant of His, He lone wanted to be the only figure head.
The modern church today has strayed in many ways from it's original calling of manifesting God's Kingdom. Worse yet, in many cases it has settled back into a John the Baptist type of ministry of declaring to the world to repent because Jesus is coming soon. The real message of the Kingdom of God is that Jesus has already come the first time and now it's up to you to come face to face with that and either accept Jesus for yourself or reject Him. That is the gospel of the Kingdom that shall be preached before the end shall come.
Let me add, I am very excited at the idea of Jesus second coming. I long for that day to be sure... but my message is not one to say get your life together because jesus may come back and find you doing something wrong. My message is that Jesus has already come and His deep love for you brings you to a place of choice and decision about your life.
If the church you attend carries that message of the Kingdom of God, I'd say you are in a good place. Plug in deeper and enjoy your time there. Let God move thru you as you collectively enjoy the Kingdom of God. On the other hand, if your church is one that traffics in fear of God coming back to find you not holy enough, I'd begin to pray about moving on to a place that has a bit more revelation about the fact that Jesus already has come and his goal is to reveal his Kindness to people's hearts as that is what will lead them to repent... not the threat of being found out.
Christian Health and Fitness
For the first 38 years of my life I gave very little thought to my own health or fitness in general. I was just plugging along with my life doing pretty much whatever I chose to do but all of that changed when in 2008 I had what doctors believe to be a Stroke leaving my then 500 pound body completely paralyzed on my right side. Read my weight loss story if you are unfamiliar with that part of my testimony. Since then I have been on a very different life journey, one where I welcome learning and understanding in both the areas of health and fitness.
Health is simply the absence of disease while fitness is the level of efficiency your body operates within. So to be healthy, you just basically just need to not have any sickness or disease. Your level of fitness on the other hand fluctuates throughout your entire life. Of course, we now know that the level of fitness you have is a pretty solid indicator of future problems. This is why you want to keep an eye on things that could develop into risk factors for disease such as blood pressure, body fat percentage, LDL, HDL and total cholesterol levels, etc. While any of these out of whack by themselves is not cause for major panic, ideally you want them all under control and in normal ranges as that greatly diminishes your chances of future disease and other problems.
I have met and talked with many doctors and nurses including some very accomplished neurologists, cardiologists and medical professionals. Without exception they all tell similar stories of how most people do not want to receive wisdom so they can change their lives for the better. Instead they want to swallow a pill and go back to doing the exact same behaviour(s) that got them in trouble in the first place. I believe this is a reflection of spiritual deception in North America right now where the collective church doesn't really want to receive wisdom from God so they can change their lives for the better but instead they want a "Grace pill" to forgive their sins while refusing God's wisdom to ultimately correct their behaviour(s).
To be clear, I'm a huge Grace guy. For years my nickname in ministry circles was POG, short for Prophet Of Grace. I'm the guy who pushes back against legalism in any form so I am in no way bringing a legalistic message here... but I am saying that for those 38 years of my life, I had a blind spot... an area that I could not see for myself where Satan exploited my own ignorance and used it against me to the point that it almost cost me my very life.
Many reading this are in similar situations right now. Here are some sobering statistics... over half of you reading this will die prematurely due to heart disease. Roughly half of you reading have high blood pressure and about half of those don't even know it. 25% of adults in the USA are on some sort of prescription medication for a cholesterol problem. Almost 75% of the population in the USA is anywhere from slightly overweight to morbidly obese. Almost 10% of the USA population has full on type 2 Diabetes with tens of thousand more having metabolic syndrome, the Diabetes precursor.
Despite these alarming numbers, most Christian's shove their heads back in the sand (and their forks back in their mouths) and keep right on doing what they always have been doing believing Satan's lie that it just won't happen to them. This is why I often say that born again, blood bought, spirit filled Christians will enjoy heaven for eternity, they just usually get there several decades earlier than they were originally scheduled to due to their own refusal to take personal dominion and learn about the very body that God gave them to be a good steward of.
Lori and I market the world's leading health and wellness product lines for a privately held manufacturer here in the United States. We share with people one person at a time, one family at a time how to detoxify your home, how to get supplements that actually absorb into your body and how to take natural supplements that will often replace the harmful prescription meds that carry terrible side effects with them. We also help people with shakes that normalize blood glucose (blood sugar) levels and the same breakthrough products that have fueled my personal weight loss successes of roughly 240 pounds lost now! There are hundreds of products, all superior in quality and most are amazingly less expensive per use than what you would normally buy at WalMart.
We love helping others make these same discoveries we have made but often people will just want to chit chat and not be respectful of our time so to protect both your and our time, we only give details by pre-set appointment either in person or on the phone so email me to set up a good time to talk with you.
The next time you are praying to God asking for help with your health or fitness, I pray he reminds you of this very blog and reveals to you that He is reaching out to you through me to try and help answer that very prayer. Remember, Satan doesn't care what lie you believe, so long as you don't make any changes. Satan's secondary lie if you do decide to make some healthy changes is to try and get you to settle for second best so the results can be delayed. We only deal in published peer reviewed, scientifically proven products that have been proven to be ultra effective above all others.
As a final note, this is not an MLM company. No one is a "distributor" and we do not sell anything directly. Lori and I only share the information with you and if you decide to try these amazing products for yourself, we just help you do exactly what we did, set up your own private shopping account so you can buy whatever you want directly from the manufacturer. I'll await your email and be sure to include your phone number and the best time(s) to call you as we do not email information.
Kingdom Health and Blessings!
Happy Mother's Day
Roughly 45 years ago a young woman with her entire life before her suddenly found herself pregnant. She had the option to sneak out and quietly abort the baby but learning it was a son she decided to have the boy knowing that she would never see him again after he was born. She selflessly carried him for 9 months and tearfully gave him away in a day she will never forget as long as she lives.
This woman (who today would most likely be in her mid 60s) over four decades ago made an extraordinarily difficult choice to carry and not abort her baby. That same woman gave birth to me in January of 1970 and even though I have never again heard her beautiful voice or looked into her eyes since that day, I have been humbled by her beautiful seed of selflessness to have her own life completely interrupted, to carry me to term and deliver me knowing she would only be left with that memory and any accomplishment I gained or difference i would have made in the earth would never be credited back to her or my birth father in any way.
The sting of Rejection is always a lie as no one knows another person's heart or what someone else was or is going thru. Abandonment seems so cold on the surface but as I now look into the eyes of my own boys, I see love in her actions from 45 years ago. I now understand the deep and driving parental love that would push any parent to make any sacrifice including stepping away forever if the situation truly required it. It also reveals better the incredible heart of the loving Father in Heaven who gave His only son so that any of us could be saved today.
In my youth I saw her actions as selfish and hateful. The decades that have passed have revealed that I was seeing thru the lens of my own pain and hurt. As the Holy Spirit has nursed me into deeper healing I better understand the deep intensity of it all was for my own personal destiny for I would not be where, what or who I am today without her unselfish acts, of which I had absolutely no control.
My parents who raised me did an incredible job of loving me as their own and indeed the very best they knew to do. They laid within me incredible moral and biblical foundation that in many ways is the bedrock that God has used to build me into the man I am today, To them I of course show honor, love and respect all the days of their lives that remain... but for those wonderful women who have made similar sacrifices, I don't have to tell you that you will never forget. Not a single day goes by without the curious thought and eternal hope that your son or daughter is doing well and happy.
On behalf of every abandon son and daughter of my generation, mom, I absolutely love and forgive you.
To the other abandon sons and daughters who stand with me, one attribute of God is called "The Spirit Of Adoption" and your heart can indeed be restored and completely healed. You absolutely can learn to forgive what cannot be undone!
To my birth mother, wherever she may be today, please know in my heart I will always remember your life giving choice to do the right thing and while countless leaders, mentors and others have had a hand in my ongoing development, it all started with your selfless act of bravely letting me go. I love you, and Happy Mother's Day!
What Do you See?
Occasionally I run into people who don't believe what i say because they have believed what they believe for so long they assume I am wrong with no desire to investigate further. These are those I cannot help at all. For a potential litany of reasons they are simply unteachable in a given area.
Some foundation first: When you pray for God to do something in your life, while He alone is the ultimate source, He's gonna use a human (or several humans) to bring that miracle to you. I am a miracle deliverer but I can only give what others will receive.
Example: The lame guy at the gate says to Peter, "Hey, can you spare some cash?" and Peter says "I left my wallet at home so I can't give you what I don't have... however, what I do have with me all the time is the power of Jesus within me so in Jesus name, rise and walk!" Isn't it very revealing that the Apostle deals with the root issue of why the man was impoverished instead of treating a symptom and leaving him unchanged?
Few things are more common than a Christian praying for a miracle, God bringing a person into their life to deliver that miracle and the person God sent not being discerned as such so the miracle goes undelivered. Like the beggar, most don't even really understand what they really need in the first place, they get so focused on their specific immediate need that they don't see what God sees and thus they don't ask for the right stuff.
Christians who move in unusual discernment and wisdom see what you do not see.
In 2008 when I weighed 500 pounds, the day came when I asked a dietitian for help in understanding food. I knew how to eat, I had eaten much more than my fair share for 38 years up to that point, but I had to come face to face with a cold reality of my own ignorance in the area of what exactly I was eating. I laid in a hospital bed paralyzed on my entire right side for the better part of four days and somewhere in all of that I finally embraced enough humility to admit to myself that I didn't know everything.
It takes humility to admit you don't know something, but that humility opens the door for powerful revelation and change. the day I admitted I was ignorant was the day my weight loss journey began and the day God's miraculous healing power began to be unlocked in my own body.
Now watch this... I asked God for a healing miracle in my body and within minutes a 95 pound woman walks into my hospital room talking to me about helping me with my diet. God used her, not to pray in tongues over me, not to declare healing scriptures, but to begin to reprogram my thinking. See, the Holy Spirit translates for us because we often don't even understand what we need to be praying for, let alone how. So my prayer for a miracle was basically a hail mary to God asking Him to make me like I was a few days before. God's plan was to not just restore me like I was but to recreate me entirely and bring me into mental and physical wholeness, very much more than I could ever ask of think at that time.. but isn't that like God to always be thinking larger than we ourselves tend to?
When people ask me for help in whatever area, their assumptions about what I do and do not know could cost them Gods miraculous intervention in their life. I can't change their future until I can change who and what they believe. If you do not believe me, or at least desire to investigate what I say further, God has to use someone else which usually delays the very miracle you are praying for currently.
I've seen this happen countless times in overweight people especially as they will pray for a miracle to help them lose weight and they will then come to me. Instead of laying hands on them and believing god to supernaturally suck the pounds off of their frame, I start to talk to them about their diet and activity levels. A few folks over the years have had the humility to admit they didn't know and embraced my wisdom as the Lord's and applied it to their lives. These folks have lost a combined amount of weight into the hundreds of pounds now between them all as a result. Sadly, most dismiss what I say and go back to looking for the next magic juice, pink drink, or diet pill instead of embracing God's Wisdom which will always set you up and lead to the miraculous.
In Luke 10 the seventy people previously sent out to minister came back to Jesus blown away that demons were actually obeying them as they used Jesus' name. That is what THEY saw.. but what did Jesus see? In the next verse He says "I saw Satan fall like Lightning from heaven". In this is a powerful revelation dealing with any and all deliverance ministry, but to the point in today's blog, Jesus sees the root of an issue. The seventy in their limited vision just saw that day and what had happened but Jesus had the big picture, the real reason that they had that authority now.
When an overweight person asks for my help, I see the root, the real reason that they are overweight to begin with. So they pray asking God for a miracle and they come to me.. so I give them an unusual instruction to bring them face to face with what they need to deal with before the Lord. It doesnt make sense to them at that time, but it is exactly what they need to deal with to accomplish their weight loss goals.
Example: I will often tell people to stand in front of a full length mirror in a bathing suit and take "before" pictures. Almost everyone argues with me on that saying how they hate mirrors or they don't understand why they should, etc. The reason is because it will start to bring them face to face with any self hatred, self sabotage, rejection or whatever other issues may or may not be active in their life. These will all need to be confronted and defeated if they are to lose weight in a healthy way. The instruction doesn't make sense at first, but that unusual instruction is always the path to the miraculous.
So remember, the next time you approach a Prophet, an Apostle, or any other man or woman of God with wisdom and ask for prayer or help with believing for a miracle, be ready for an unusual instruction. It liekly wont make sense to you right then and there but it will be exactly what you need to do to activate the future God sees fro you that again, is usually much bigger than you are considering right then.
I grew up in church from the time I was three days old. I've also worked in and out of Christian radio for a lot of years so I've heard biblical teaching ad nauseum it seems on just about every topic you could think of including the story of Job. He is famous for his declaration of trust in the Lord even though God was testing or trying him... the problem is, it wasn't God doing the trying.
Years ago I did what few do these days, I actually READ the story of Job from the book of Job in great detail and several things stood out to me. For the point of this blog the big take away was that Job was mistaken about the source or root of his dilemmas.
In Job 1:6 Satan comes in uninvited with the normal parade of the sons of God. Chapter one is basically a back and forth between God and Satan where God asks Satan a series of questions. Remember, God never asks a question to gain information as he already knows everything. He always asks questions to get people to perceive differently but of course Satan is stubborn and ignores God's probing thought altering questions insistent in his evil mind that if he can just kill Job, the earth will be easier to take.
In Job 2:3, God gives Satan one last out by asking "Have you considered that no one in the entire earth is like him (Job) ... This is God's "dig" at Satan saying basically "Did it ever cross your mind that you would lose if you went head to head against my main man, Job?" It all is made perfectly clear as to who is causing Job's problems in Job 2:6 which reads And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.”
God did nothing to Job but keep a protective order on his life that prevented his death. All the attacks that followed were at the hand of Satan, the master deceiver and manipulator. Thru the next 30 plus chapters, dozens and dozens of times over and over Job accuses God of being the one bringing his troubles to him. These in fact are all false accusations not unlike what we see in the body of Christ today. It's very common when a person gets sick for one example then to blame God for the sickness. It's what I call "the Job mistake".
Our fallen mind operates in what Max Lucado calls "the lower story" often insisting upon logical reasoning to explain what can only be discerned in the spirit. Job was very close with God and walked in extraordinary integrity, especially for the time in which he lived, but this also shows you that personal integrity and spiritual discernment are two very different things. This is the danger when modern leaders try to suggest that giftings without integrity make the giftings worthless. That is moose ka ka. A gift under a Christmas Tree and a gift laying in the barn yard in a cow pattie are both still a valid gift. That's another topic for another blog but the point is, Job had great personal integrity but poor levels of discernment.
Job's famous statement from Job 13 is though He (God) slay me, I will trust Him. While Job had a great understanding that God was a witness to everything happening in the earth, he did not have the discernment to see Satan behind it all. Thus he made the same mistake many still do today in blaming God for what is Satan's doing. Another common way this seeps into our doctrines is when a tragedy strikes and a teen ager is killed. Well meaning preachers at the funeral say things like "God needed a fresh flower for His heavenly garden so he called Johnny home early.." Again, that is moose ka ka... Johnny was stolen from the earth by a real devil that was successful thru whatever means in shortening his life here on earth prematurely.
Jeremiah 2:26 says a thief is ashamed when found out. Satan loves to work in secret and Satan is masterful at blaming others for his own doing. The root of all shame is Satan blaming you for His doing. Jesus makes an interesting statement that doesn't get much pulpit time when He said IF the thief be found, he (the thief) must repay seven times... Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about going on a demonic which hunt here.. but I am saying when things aren't lining up, when problems arise, when stuff isn't falling into place like it should, while we pray and trust God's master plan, we also need to be looking for the thief. If we can find him, he must repay!
One final point on today's blog. Another terrible doctrine has come from Job's statement in Job 1:21 about God giving and taking away. Even a popular worship song included this misunderstanding a few years ago. This is Job's blind spot... as much personal integrity as Job had, his root issue was being so familiar with God's principles that He missed God's person. He mistakenly felt that god was of two minds about a given thing and was unsure of His divine actions. In short, Job was speaking from his natural mind and that verse is a historical statement about Job, not a revelation about God. Job walked the walk more with more purity than anyone else in his time, but he missed the simplicity of intimacy with God and the discernment that brings. May we not make the same mistake...
Satan is the author of confusion, deception and abuse. He comes to do three primary things.. steal, kill and destroy. When you see theft, death and destruction in a person's life, rest assured that is NOT God working thru them but instead there is a devil loose somewhere pulling some strings. Let's let Satan own his own crap. God is HOLY, god is never confused about giving and taking away as if he made a mistake in giving the original gift.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.