Categories
Faith Key Article Prayer

Father whispered to me….

Al Mack wrote, on Facebook:

Point One: God has proven himself to be a skilled planner. If you look at the remarkable number (hundreds!) of advance plans (sometimes called prophecies) that he prepared in advance of his Messiah’s appearance on earth, details as far back as Genesis 3, you realize that God has some mad skills at planning ahead.

Point Two: God is good. That’s not negotiable. God is always (always!) in favor of his kids, always working for our good.

Point Three: In Exodus, God is pretty badass. His plagues confront the Egyptian “gods” and show them to be powerless. Then he leads a couple of million people out of slavery right on the schedule he had announced several centuries earlier.

And here’s where my ears seriously perk up.

God, the omniscient, omnipotent super-planner leads his people into the desert, famous for having neither food nor water. And what a surprise, the people have no water, no food.

So they complained. Like people do.

They wanted food (Exodus 16). So he fed them meat (quail: good eating!) in the evening, and bread (manna) the next morning (v12).

Then they complained about not having water (Exodus 17), and in the midst of their whining, they asked for water (v2). And God gave them water. He used a pretty epic miracle (v6) to do it, too.

And in these ways he provided for his children for forty years in the desert. (Hint: read Exodus again. What epic stories!)

We’ve all heard sermons about their complaining, and how that irritated God and really frustrated their leader, Moses. Reasonable lessons to draw from these stories.

I was talking to God the other day as we were going through Exodus. “You’re so good at planning. Why did you lead them into the desert without food or water?”

And suddenly, my mind was taken back to The Magician’s Nephew, CS Lewis’s book about the beginning of Narnia. Polly and Digory were on a mission for Aslan, the Christ figure, and they were hungry:

“Well, I do think someone might have arranged about our meals,” said Digory.“

I’m sure Aslan would have, if you’d asked him,” said Fledge.

“Wouldn’t he know without being asked?” said Polly.

“I’ve no doubt he would,” said the Horse. “But I’ve a sort of idea he likes to be asked.”

And Father whispered to me, “I wanted them to ask me, so I could answer them.”

I realized that God was training them how to come to him to meet their needs: his goal is relationship, a relationship of trust.

Someone smart once said, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” God works on our behalf to teach us that faith, how to relate to him in faith.

He’s good that way.

Categories
Conversation with God Discipleship, Getting Help Holy Spirit Key Article Ministry

When Standing on God’s Word Appears Not to Work for You

Frustration in prayer or when standing on God’s Word is painful!

Holy Spirit gives you a revelation of how to apply God’s Word in your life. You act on this and God blesses you wonderfully!

Later, you do it again in a similar situation, and maybe this works for you this time.

Again and again, you depend on different Scriptures – and maybe this works well for you.

Sooner or later something else might happen. It will appear to you that standing on God’s Word is no longer working for you. (That’s not the actual issue, but it may seem to be.)

You will faithfully stand on God’s Word again – maybe in a different circumstance, maybe you are depending on a different Word in Scripture. And it appears to not work for you.

So you double down. And you double down some more. You try harder and harder and it isn’t working for you and you do not understand why this is happening. You are sure it can’t be what it looks like. And you are right – it isn’t what it looks like — only different from what you expect.

Here’s how to get this fixed. Like so many things, it’s easy when you know how. Hard when you are missing a key to what to do and how to go about it.

Here’s what happened and how things inexplicably went wrong – and here’s what to do about it:

Originally Holy Spirit delivered to you an insight, technically a revelation to you – that in response to a certain issue you were to apply and put to work a particular Word from God.

This worked wonderfully well for you.

When the situation changed or you try to do the same thing with a different Word or message from scripture – it may seem like it doesn’t work for you anymore, a puzzle easy to deny and hard to accept. Because you are so certain that being faithful was the key! Standing strong on God’s word was key! And you were right. But you may have missed something important.

The first time when it worked so well you received revelation through Holy Spirit.

After that you chose what scripture to apply to what situation and it seemed not to work. So you tried harder and harder. You continued to double down, and it still isn’t working.

You need God’s revelation! In choosing what Word or message from Scripture to apply and to give you insight to about how to apply that message.

When you try to figure it out by yourself, it may not always work.

Go back to what helped you from the beginning. God’s revelation to you!

How do you get a revelation from God? Easy! Ask!

Then pause. Stop. Listen. Look. Feel. Be aware of thoughts that appear in your mind. What you experience next may be literally God’s answer to your question.

And it will probably look and differ from what you expect. Why? Because you didn’t know the answer. It’s like something that’s lost: it’s not where you have been looking. And God knows more than you or I do.

And because God loves to give us wonderful surprises.

AND, God cares more about your relationship than most or possibly even all answers. God is not a Santa Claus, and not an answering machine, either.

Categories
Getting Help Key Article Learning Prayer Spiritual Warfare Worship

It is Your Response that Matters

Your response protects you from Satan’s attacks. (jon-tyson-mr9qc7VLnek-unsplash)

You can be a First Responder!

Our Lord cares about how you respond. While what happens to you is not always within your power to control, your response is always within your power. Why does Father care so much about your response?

It’s an opportunity for faith, which pleases God.

I hope I can learn this well and deeply, it will change my life and I believe it can change yours. And this lesson is being brought to me these days in multiple ways, and I would be foolish not to learn.

Worship is our key response. Which opens doors to so much else.

I got sick: this is a call to worship my Healer.

I had financial pressures: this is a call to worship my Provider.

I have a family member who is under tremendous pressures: this is a call to worship my Creator.

(My special thanks to Amanda Rankin who teaches such things as this and who provides timely, needed and loving reminders. May everyone be blessed to have a good friend like she is.)

See the pattern? Problems are literally a call to worship the One who provides help and everything that we need.

You could simply ask for help. Worship as a first response is better; not only is such worship an implied request, it has side effects on you: greater faith. Puts our Lord highest, instead of making idols in your heart out of what you desire.

Putting righteousness and the Kingdom first, all of these other things are added to you.

And…asking for help after you have worshipped connects you better to the One who Helps. Puts the King first instead of your need. Allows and assists you to receive help better from your Helper.

Worship God — what a wonderful first response!

Categories
Conversation with God Holy Spirit Journal Key Article Pain Prayer Targets

Words of Knowledge?

Still, Wide Water with Trees on the Sides

A Word of Knowledge?
18-Aug-2020, an entry for my Prayer Journal.

What do you think? I’m new to this, just putting things together. Can an answer to prayer be a Word of Knowledge? Lead to a Divine Appointment?

I think I may have had several related ones in a single day:

First, I heard a concern here in a WhatsApp group about home robbery. Not sure what to do with that and suspecting it was more likely for long-term members, I just made a mental note of it and moved on to other things. A special note, because a brother in Christ and a good friend had his brother in Panama recently attacked in his own house by several men, one with a knife. He’s in a coma in the hospital, still. So the warning of a robber in a house struck me stronger than usual, was more noticeable than usual.

Not long afterwards I saw that a rainstorm was coming. Even verified this with a neighbor who is Panamanian and who I expect can read the weather here better than I. (This rainy season has had fewer rainy days than has been usual, but when they come the rain pours hard for many hours.) So I took dogs outside for a last chance to do their outside business.

Rain came, it got cold and temperature dropped. AND I had a fear – not typical for me, of my house being robbed. So I locked outer gates, during the day – which I have never done. I even asked for intercession with two original sets of people. My concern was strong.

The rain was over in ten minutes, which was surprising. I was expecting it to rain hard for hours, as has been more common this rainy season here in Panama….

Even with house locked down and asking for intercession in two places, I still felt some fear. Usually, for me, fear is a warning of an impending attack or danger – so I pay attention and get ready. Nothing happened. It puzzled me.

That night I had a serious big muscle leg cramp that went on for thirty minutes no matter what I did. It hurt, and it went on for an unusual length of time. While I have a history of leg cramps, I have fewer lately and those that I’ve had were small muscle and did not persist — they were not serious or very painful. So this leg cramp was different.

During this time I asked to be more full of Holy Spirit. My Guide and Comforter helps with just about any situation.

Next day I was not doing well. Leg hurt, and I was not doing well at all. Unusual for me, but I noticed and tried to not do things that required me to be resourceful and at my best. I still ended up having two conversations, one by email and one by WhatsApp where I was not at my best. Maybe 60-70% of what is normal for me. So today I did what I could to set things right and to apologize.

Now, by hindsight, putting all this together…I am wondering if this was a Word of Knowledge warning me of a spiritual, not a physical attack.

Recently I’ve been in learning to recognize Words of Knowledge, something I had not previously noticed. I’m wondering how frequent they have been and how little I’ve noticed.

I now suspect that’s what happened here. And I may learn a lot that is useful. I think I may be in learning how to recognize a Word of Knowledge. (I already know that when I experience something that’s “not mine” I cannot move or change it. Such as a call to intercession. A demonic suggestion. Something like a pain or problem that belongs to someone else – a kind of Word of Knowledge.)

Another Word of Knowledge may have come, too. The tension in my leg from the leg cramp resulted in tension up and down my body on that side and eventually was resulting in a neck-headache. A painful one.

So I asked how to pray for this pain.

I then saw a picture of what may have been a lake. Still water, wide, with trees on either side. I noticed that as I kept my gaze on this inner-picture, my neck-headache was easing up. I gradually felt better. (This was surprising as an answer about how to pray – I expected to be told to relax. Something like that.) Then I got distracted.

Twice, later that day, I saw similar nature pictures on Facebook. Like the one above at the top of this article. When I would look at these, tension lessened, and I felt better. The second time I did this, I stayed with doing this until the pain completely disappeared.

And the second picture I saw on Facebook led to my meeting with someone new, a person who captured the second photograph. Which turned out to be a Divine Appointment – someone with whom God wanted me to meet. We are learning from each other. This was a Divine Appointment or a big coincidence. And I am learning that big coincidences are often Divine Appointments, it’s worth paying attention and finding out.

In one day I had these two experiences with what may have been a Word of Knowledge. I think maybe they were just that.

What do you think? What does your experience tell you? What is your own experience with how you experience a Word of Knowledge?

Categories
Healing Key Article Pain

The Purpose of Pain, Version 2

The Purpose of Pain is for first grabbing attention, then to aid healing.

The Purpose of Pain is simple. It’s to gain our attention to injury or trauma.

First, to help us see if we need first aid.

Second, to then to aid in protecting and aiding in resolving trauma and healing.

Pain grabs our attention. If a physical injury, do we need first aid? To stop bleeding or to take other immediate measures? If emotional injury, do we need to stop everything else right away because the injury is so large and we have no free attention left for doing other things?

Pain also helps us protect trauma and injury for healing. And this is what too many of us have been missing for far too long.

It’s simple; but I didn’t see this for most of my life. It’s somewhat obvious by hindsight, yet easy to miss or even to dismiss as not important. Especially the second part. It’s done well in two parts, one part after the other:

-1. Pay attention to pain that has grabbed your attention with the “front” of your mind. Assess and do what needs doing.

-2. Pay attention to pain with the back of the mind. The body and mind will work behind the scenes to protect what hurts. And then to heal, and to resolve trauma or injury. This does not need as much conscious attention as assessing and seeing if first aid is needed. Some “back of the mind” attention does need to continue, for the best protection and for the best resolving and healing of the causes of pain.

Both body and mind have mechanisms already in place. And it’s my observation that they work better when attention is continued with the “back of the mind”. Attention will be grabbed somewhat, anyway, because of the pain. But it is safe after the assessment to give only “back of the mind” attention.

This works best when we are breathing with our lower belly or abdomen, rather continuously. How to get stuck in trauma or to not complete processing: stop breathing continuously. Hold your breath for periods of time.

Emotional trauma resolves best when we use our attention properly and continue breathing – without holding our breath.

So….

The Purpose of Pain: is to attract and keep our attention first for first aid assessment and then for continued protection of injury and resolution of trauma and healing.

This works well for all kinds of pain, including emotional and physical.

Especially if you are breathing continuously and avoid holding your breath.

Getting this backwards is how we get stuck and stay in pain. (To get this backwards, keep paying attention with the front of your mind to how much you hurt. You won’t be able to do as much because you have little attention left over. You may become prone to holding your breath, which allows emotional trauma to continue.)

I think this is how David played his harp and helped King Saul when he was bothered by an unclean spirit.

A friend of mine, Gregg McIver, told me of examples where he’d play one of his many flutes and help people who were overloaded and angry, or otherwise in some emotional pain. Helped a dentist relax when facing a difficult procedure. Helped his own self with pain of a tooth having been knocked out.

Keys to Succeeding:

  • Keep Breathing.
  • Keep some of your “back of the mind” attention – on the pain or trauma until it resolves.
  • Keep your “front of the mind” on something else (after the initial “first aid” assessment).
  • You can do some things with front and back of the mind awareness, like listening to a Native American wooden flute, pan flute or David’s harp with a pentatonic scale. I suspect that wide notes or lots of overtones are an excellent help in holding your attention and keeping it spread out between both front and back of your attention.

That said, how did Jesus do these things? Easy. Simple. He showed us and he told us. (Be careful to notice what he shows us and what he tells us – or we miss important lessons.)

  • Jesus healed with gentle compassion. This gets your attention right for healing.
  • Gentleness is related to humility. We hear Father better. We have a better two-way conversation: prayer.
  • Compassion brings our heart into our actions.
  • Doing these things, being these ways, you find that your heart and your attention is set correctly and well for healing injury, sickness, or trauma. In yourself and in others.
  • Do as he said. Proclaim the nearness of the Kingdom of God. Heal the sick and free the bound!
  • Go! Share the Good News and heal the sick and free the bound. Go!

A journal entry from later in the day:

I can talk to God in the Spirit, and even without words, yet actively relating and connecting, and actively putting Him and his Kingdom first. 

     This changes everything.

     Even overload and pain.  The need to process.  (Take time out to process, and talk to God during this.  It’s better!  He is merciful and good.) 

12:20 P.M., 15-Aug-2020

So…be filled with wonder and joy at how wonderful a Lord, God and Savior we have! While you process, talk to God in the Spirit. Relate! Putting Jesus and his Kingdom first. This alone changes everything. And doing this literally transforms your automatic and deep processing, and it takes such processing to a new level that transforms and heals.

So…please practice, practice and practice. Learn this for yourself and make new habits which will serve you and others for the rest of your life.

Categories
Blessings Multiply Key Article

Blessings Love to Multiply

Trust God To Multiply Your Resources, Even When They Don't ...

Blessings love to grow greater in us and in our lives.

Blessings love to spread to others.

In both these ways, blessings love to multiply.

Learn to enjoy watching them do this.

Help them do this even more and better by giving good blessings, yourself: stating and telling the truth about what Jesus has given us. Such as love, great favor, and so on.

Help blessings multiply even more and better by teaching others how to give good blessings.

It’s too easy in life to say a curse to ourselves or others without even realizing what we are doing. So make a deep decision before God to not do this anymore, and to always receive every blessing given you with joy, rejoicing, and open acceptance.

Categories
Key Article Leadership Purpose

A Surprising Purpose of Leadership

A purpose of leadership is not to do all the ministry. It is to equip the saints (that’s all of us) for the work of ministry!

 11And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherdsc and teachers,d 12to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,e to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

https://biblehub.com/esv/ephesians/4.htm

I wonder what our churches and the Christian community would be like if we followed this scriptural teaching?

Serve. Love. Show. Equip: equip for ministry! (reparteegallery.com/foot-washing)

I believe:

  • More effective and powerful ministry will be accomplished. And become normal.
  • More people would be reached for Jesus Christ – and fast.
  • Local churches would become centers of personal and numerical growth.
  • Churches would begin to grow more at New Testament speeds.
  • Joy and love will increase.
  • Jesus may return sooner than otherwise.
Categories
Church Planting Key Article

Church Planting Made Simple and Inexpensive

Compassion, loving ministry is central to growing ecclesias. (THE RAISING OF THE DAUGHTER OF JAIRUS, Painting by Jeremy Winborg.)

Jesus gave us our start to how to plant churches. He made it inexpensive and easy.

He modeled with the twelve and the seventy that the key is focusing on serving people. Paul planted one ecclesia after another, and nurtured them.

Today a majority of people think a church is a physical building. New Testament churches were never, ever about buildings. Always about growing people. There was a pattern to this growth that is generally unknown today.

New Testament churches never built or were burdened with a building. It is a wonder to me that there is so much focus on buildings in modern times. Jesus focused time, attention, and resources on people. Ministering, disciple making, and then onto community growing.

Doing it his way leads to rapid evangelization and speedy multiplication of new Christians, the discipling and maturing of those new Christians, and then other local churches being planted. This is how the church grew so quickly in New Testament times.

Here is some of how he modeled for us and taught us how to plant local churches. There are other ways that he taught, this is the most basic and needs to be learned and practiced first. Learning the elements of this approach makes the other ways much easier to learn and do. We can explore other pathways Jesus gave us at a later time.

-1. Preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God. This really is good news and changes everything.

-2. Heal the sick. Free the demonized, do exorcisms. Cleanse lepers and raise the dead. You will attract many more to minister to when you do! You will likely have so many people to minister to that it can become challenging. So do what Jesus taught and use his methods rather than traditions humans invented that do not work as well and that cost too much.

-3. Make disciples. A few people will be interested in learning to do more, and to do as Jesus teaches. When you start making disciples your life and ministry will transform, and you will learn and grow much more rapidly, too.

-4. Plant ecclesias. Groups of disciples who worship together in someone’s house. They love and pray for each other. They pray for the surrounding people. They heal the sick, free the bound, and minister to them.

-5. After praying massively for the people they meet in places of business and through networks of people who know each other, share the Good News of the Kingdom of God. Heal the sick. Free the bound. Make disciples of all kinds of people. Gather disciples together to meet and have them love each other, pray for each other, minister to one another. Eat and worship together. Pray for others, minister to others, and continue the cycle of prayer, love, ministry and disciple making. Then gather disciples together and form yet another ecclesia. This is an ecclesia, a proper church.

-6. They begin the cycle again by massively praying for people they contact and who they will minister to. Share the Good News. Heal the sick and free the bound. Make disciples. Plant ecclesias.

-7. Continue through this cycle again and again; and rejoice!

There are other pathways that Jesus taught to plant local churches. We can explore those ways later. This is a grand start and can keep you ministering joyously for a lifetime.

Rejoice! Our Lord is good!

(Where a similar word like “prayer” or “rejoice” has over one link, these links are to different articles.)

Categories
Key Article Ministry

Ministering as Jesus Taught

Share the Good News of the Kingdom of God.

In that context, in that situation and with the atmosphere created, heal the sick and free prisoners (do exorcisms).

So simple, but done by too few people these days.

Yet this is the normal pattern of Ministry that Jesus teaches us to start with.

Compassion is key; Jesus modeled compassion for us frequently. Go review how often he did this in the bible, you can use a search engine like Google to do this, which is effective and free.

You have been given power and authority. Use these in ministry. Speak to sickness and tell it what to do, laying hands on someone when you can – to help them connect your faith with the Anointing. To be whole and healed. Speak to unclean spirits and tell them what to do: leave, and not return.

Those who are willing to learn and act on what they are learning – to do what they are learning about – can become disciples, people who learn and act on and do what they have been learning about.

These disciples can gather together, love one another, pray for each other, eat and worship together. Pray for the surrounding community. Minister to nearby people. Healing the sick, freeing the bound. Gathered disciples who meet together become new centers of ministry and love. Who purposely change the culture around them so that the Kingdom of God expands, more people become Christians. Who in turn love and minister to yet others, continuing the cycle of Jesus loving others and ministering to others through you and the people who learn through you and do the same.

Categories
Key Article Spiritual Warfare

The Best Kind of Spiritual Warfare

Let Jesus “fight” for you with his very nature, through who he is. With his Glory and with his loving Presence.

The key idea that you want to understand and be very clear about is this: every good quality, aspect or characteristic of Jesus that you can discover in Scripture or from inspiration through Holy Spirit, and every experience of Jesus where you understand his very Nature better — is part of his Glory & his Presence.

No evil can stand in or resist any aspect, nature or quality of God. No unclean spirit can exist or remain in God’s Glory — these are just too antithetical. Too different. It is impossible.

So…in the Glory or Presence of God, no devil, no demon; no evil or unclean spirit can remain – they are too opposite. Only God is bigger and more inclusive and wins every time. No evil can be equal to any nature or quality or aspect of Jesus, who is the perfect representation of our Father and who sends Holy Spirit to us.

How is this different from the promises of Psalm 91?

Go. Pray. Be secure and safe in the Presence and Glory of Jesus.