Monday, March 29, 2010

My Fairytale Story

The whole of my life is poised in such a way that if God were not real, my life would be a great mystery. My husband and I have been on a course since before we even married of doing what we see God doing and saying what we hear God saying.

Our lives are fully invested in His reality. If He was not, and there was no such reality, our lives would be very strange indeed. For we have dreams that come true. We have direction from Him that are coming to pass with greater fruition and favor than we could even imagine.

We planted a church some time ago with one motto: hear God and do what He is doing. Over the course of two years or more we have had multiple dreams that have already begun to come to fruition (some more fully than others), we have seen incredible miracles of healing, we have had people join us without any effort on our part. People we had in mind to invite would call out of the blue after years of not seeing the people at the very time that was precisely right.

We turned down an incredible opportunity afforded to us when we were just beginning because we felt God wanted to build this His way. His favor has been evident. Notwithstanding, there have been struggles and lots of hard work, but every time we have something major happen, it happened with no effort of our own.

The prophetic words spoken about our ministry are numerous and even though they come from a variety of people and a variety of ways they are all harmonious to the purpose God has given to this ministry.

A pastor from a foreign country even contacted us after people in his small home church had a vision of our church and wanted to connect with what we are doing here in the States. Our website, was the first that presented itself when they were trying to locate the church they dreamed about even though the website we had at the time was 100 pages down in a google search if you typed in all the right words. Today, over a year later, the small home church is now a network of over 60 churches covering three African countries. My husband visited the pastor and his church last summer and spoke to a group of pastors for several days that had assembled from the 60 churches. These people experienced over 30 miracles during a Sunday morning meeting praying for each other as they were taught.

Even in the traveling arrangements my husband had extreme favor. He was set to travel alone into a foreign land he has never been to when just weeks before he met man who was traveling that very week. The man had already chartered a plane that would land less than an hour away from my husband’s destination. Before meeting him, he would have had a day’s journey by truck to the church. Now his time with the pastors was increased and the traveling made much easier. Moreover, the contact provided my husband with a mobile phone where he could contact me daily whereas before it was likely I would not hear from him except possibly by e-mail for several days.

I haven’t even scratched the surface of all the amazing things that have happened in a way that shows God’s hand in our lives. I know people could just say it’s all coincidence, but the excessive level of coincidences I have seen in the last couple years would be miraculous just the same. As I said, if God isn’t real and we are not hearing Him, I live a very strange life indeed. It would be something of a fairytale, albeit a true one, if I wrote a book telling the story detail by detail of the last few years of my life. All I can say is it is exciting to follow God.

Click here to view video from my husband's Africa Trip

Monday, March 22, 2010

Thoughts On House Vote Regarding The Health Care Bill

[I rarely address political matters on this blog, but today I feel the need to voice my thoughts on the current event of the passage of the Health Care Bill by the House of Representatives]

It is astounding that the House could disregard the desire of a large portion of the American people who they are obligated to represent by passing the Health Care Bill. Thirty-Eight States are poised to contest this legislation which is proof of an America that does not want this bill.

It is further unconscionable that President Obama can make a statement that this bill is what all Americans have been praying for. Either he is completely out of touch with the American people, or he does not consider those who oppose this legislation Americans.

Regardless of anyone’s position on the health care bill, we ought to agree that our representatives ought not to be able to succeed in circumventing the desire of the people they represent. Just think, if this can happen, then other legislation could bypass the checks and balances and be passed upon the desire of the legislators irrespective of the desire of the citizens.

I honestly have little knowledge of what those 2000 pages of this bill contain. It is too laborious a legislation to warrant passage into law. I do know it is a bill antithetical to freedom. I do know that to take taxes from the “rich” to pay for the bill is legalized stealing. I do know no one has a right to good and services. These things costs money and cost labor and people need to be responsible for themselves and not dependable upon any institution, especially a government.

Of course, health care needs an overhaul in this nation. But let the people hold the drug companies and medical doctors and institutions accountable by removing health insurance all together. Let us drive down prices by having a competitive laissez-faire market. Let us not need to pour money into health insurance companies when we are healthy and not need the service just because we might need to pay thousands for medical care in the event of an emergency. If we are going to use health insurance, let’s just have emergency health care coverage to lower the premiums and the necessity of expecting health insurance companies to cover our basic health needs. This will drive down prices.

Most of all let us not endorse a plan that would take from others to pay for our needs. A need does not obligate another to fulfill it. Someone needing to eat does not mean he ought to steal food from another who has a surplus. If the person has a real need, people who are in relationship with this person, ought to rise up and give aid out of love, not obligation. Citizens should be serving in their community and helping those who can work get to a place of freedom by helping them become a responsible adult not dependent upon others for their basic needs. Communities should be ensuring those who are unable to work, such as the elderly, or handicapped, are appropriately taken care of for this is the right thing to do.

No one is helped by supporting people into adulthood that ought to have learned to be responsible for their own needs and the needs of their family. America affords every opportunity to people to succeed freely. Sacrificing the freedom of the entire American people to help the few who cannot afford insurance is a gross misappropriation of the government’s mandate.

Nancy Pelosi erroneously stated that the Founding Fathers are honored by passage of this bill. I cringed at her words, for she has little if no knowledge of the Founding Fathers and their high regard for liberty at all costs. Benjamin Franklin said that those who would forsake liberty for a temporary security ought to have neither liberty nor security. The Founders risked all for this nation, and it was a sad day to see their sacrifice trampled upon by representatives who failed to represent.

I applaud the 212 representatives who stood fast to their convictions and to the will of the people in voting No to this bill. I do understand that there are Americans who do want this bill, but I do not accept that it is anywhere near enough people to warrant passage of this bill. If there is still such a large debate on the issue, the vote on the bill ought to have waited until there was more consensus and more time to work out something more bi-partisan.

Yesterday, was indeed, historic, but not in the positive manner in which it is being hailed. Americans lost yesterday in a major way. Time will prove this true if this legislation is not stopped. The states ought to rally together to resist any federal imposition of this unconstitutional legislation.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Nature of Belief

There are a few different terms used in the New Testament to referrer to a follower of Jesus. One term was “Christian”, which literally means “little Christ” this was used derogatorily, but caught on as a positive label. “Followers of the Way” was another label used, this time by the followers themselves.

The term “believer” was used also at times, and is commonly used today interchangeably with the term “Christian.”

However, I am finding that the using the language of “belief” and “believer” has created a misconception regarding our relationship to God.

Consequently, I looked up the word in the Greek to further research the original meaning behind the term. The Greek word translated as “belief”, “believe”, or “believers” repeatedly throughout the Gospels and Acts is “
pisteuo” which is defined in detail below.


A. Verbs.

1. pisteuo (
pisteu/w, NT:4100), "to believe," also "to be persuaded of," and hence, "to place confidence in, to trust," signifies, in this sense of the word, reliance upon, not mere credence. It is most frequent in the writings of the apostle John, especially the Gospel. He does not use the noun (see below). For the Lord's first use of the verb, see 1:50. Of the writers of the Gospels, Matthew uses the verb ten times, Mark ten, Luke nine, John ninety-nine. In Acts 5:14 the present participle of the verb is translated "believers. See COMMIT, INTRUST, TRUST.
(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

John 1:50-51
Jesus answered and said to him, "Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these."

Therefore, the word is not just intellectual assent, but confidence, trust, reliance upon, not mere credence. The same Greek word is also translated as commit, intrust, and trust. Therefore, a believer is not one who accepts certain truth claims as fact in his head, but is one who trusts, commits, has confidence in, relies upon, Christ. It is not a passive word, but an active word.

God isn’t looking for people to believe He is real and that His word is true. He is looking for people who rely on Him because He is reliable. For people who have confidence in Him, because He is worth their commitment. For people who trust in Him, because He is worthy to be trusted. Moreover, all of these things are good for the person.

Man is made to have this symbiotic relationship with their God. We are made to live, and move, and have our being in Him. That is where we thrive and experience the fullness of the good reality, the Truth that is not an informational fact of knowledge, but a Person that can be known intimately.

It can be truly stated that believing is seeing, because believing is not mere intellectual assent, it is to be fully invested experientially. Moreover, this is why we find when we seek. Seeking isn’t an intellectual exercise, but an act of experience. We seek with our being to connect with God. It does something in us to seek to find God, for we are positioned to find when we are seeking.

This is why I agree with those who say they need an encounter to believe. Or when it is said that a believer who makes a claim of hearing God speaking, or a claim of seeing miracles, ought to be able to demonstrate this reality and not just tell of a past story when it supposedly happened. I have absolutely no contention with this request. Not every Christian would make the claims I am making that God can personally talk to us, and that we can say what He is saying, and that we can do miracles like Jesus did. Many Christians would want to see this evidenced as well.

There are people on the earth today that are moving in extraordinary revelation and extraordinary healing power. This ability is not relegated to a few, but so many Christians do not know who they are. We have identity crisis, and we do not live like we have God living through us because our idea of that is something different than the fullness of what being in Christ really means. We trust in what we see with our physical eyes, instead of living out of our new identity. We really, myself included, are not much different sometimes than those who do not believe in God at all, because we make claims we do not live because our belief is head deep instead of heart deep.

Some would object instantly and think I am making some kind of attack against the authenticity of their faith in Christ. I assure you I am not. I am speaking of myself as much as of any one else in Christ. Jesus often told the disciples they had little faith, and yet they lived right there with Him. They saw the miracles, but their faith continued to rest in their natural reality rather than the supernatural reality.

They shook with fear as the storm raged in the boat while Jesus slept. They woke him, begging Him to do something. He stands and speaks to the storm to still and it obeys Him. Where was their belief? It was in the natural circumstance of a storm. Where was Jesus’ belief? It was resting soundly in the reality of God where there are no storms raging. He didn’t need to stop the storm to rest; He calmed the storm for the disciples. He was already resting confidently secure in a heavenly reality. He made that reality manifest for the disciples to see it once again in their natural circumstances.

Jesus said that we could bring that Kingdom reality (the supernatural heavenly reality) to the earth. The Kingdom is not a matter of word, but rather a demonstration of the power of God. Jesus demonstrated that power by calming the storm. There really isn’t any reason for people to believe at this high level of experiential belief when there is no demonstration of His Kingdom. Believing is seeing, because when you experience it, you will see.

I do not expect sight before experience. I write to help clear out some of the misconceptions out there about God’s Kingdom. I do not expect my words to persuade the sort of belief of which I speak. I hope that they can come to remembrance when the time comes that experience occurs to help aid in the transition that may follow once someone has seen the demonstration of God’s Kingdom.

Thus, I do not aim to pressure anyone to intellectual assent or experiential belief. I am confident that His words are true that any who seek after the truth will find it. From what I observe atheists are looking for truth, real truth, something solid and sure and right. I applaud that resolute determination not to be swayed by anything less.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Hearing God

Many people ask how does one hear God? How does He speak? To whom does He speak?

There are a variety of ways that God speaks to us that is often all expressed as “hearing God.” Almost always when one says he has “heard” God, he does not mean that he has audibly heard God speak. He means that God communicated to him in some fashion and he has received that communication to the point where he can articulate what was communicated by God.

A few of the many ways people commonly “hear” God is as follows.

Dreams: A person has a dream that they perceive to be a communication from God about something. It may be vague or specific. My husband had a very specific dream about starting the church we have started years before it was started.

Visions: This can be a daydream of sorts, or an actual seeing something play out before you as if you were truly watching it happen.

Pictures: This is when you see something in your minds eye. If you were to close your eyes and picture an Elephant—it would be like this sort of communication. Where you are thinking about someone or praying for someone and suddenly a picture of something comes to mind out of nowhere. Maybe you see this person crying and you call them up to see if they are okay and you find them troubled and yet very encouraged by your unexpected call.

Feelings/Impressions: This is when you think of someone or something and an unexpected feeling or impression about the person or place or event rises up within you. God might be trying to give you insight on whatever it may be. Ask him for more revelation of what He is showing you.

Words/Thoughts: This is when a thought comes into your mind that shouts out “louder” than the other thoughts and seems to demand attention. Sometimes it is more subtle, but is not knowledge you could have had otherwise. You might suddenly know a stranger’s name or where the person works or what their hobby or passion is. It is some kind of knowledge you could not of known other than by a supernatural mean.

Bible: God speaks through the Scriptures. He can bring a verse to mind for yourself or for another. He can illuminate a passage or a verse while you are reading the Bible and it can speak right to your heart. It is like the words come alive and penetrate you with clarity of meaning.

Manifestations: Sometimes people feel something physically in their body when God is speaking to them about something. They might suddenly feel a shoulder pain that was not previously there and ask if anyone has such a pain. If someone does, pray for them, God may be making you aware of it to bring them healing. I have had this sort of thing happen from time to time.

Audible Voice of God: Very rarely does anyone give testimony of having actually heard the audible voice of God. Those who do give testimony of this speak of an incredible experience of great magnitude. Most speak of it as physically unbearable because of the majestic power of His voice. That it just rocks you so completely you are unsure if you want to hear Him again that way. I have never had such an experience.

These are not the only ways God communicates to people, but other than the audible voice, they are common ways people receive from God. Typically, no matter which way the person “heard” God; they will call it “hearing from God.”

We are fallible and we will make mistakes. The Bible says that each person is responsible to take what is thought to be from God and check it out for ourselves to see if it lines up with His truth. It doesn’t matter if it’s a pastor or prophet telling you they heard God say such and such about you – it is your responsibility to take that and ask God about it yourself and not just take someone else’s word about it. When the Spirit of Truth inhabits you, He leads you in all truth personally and we do not need to depend on another person as a mediator for what God is saying.

We can encourage, comfort, and exhort one another by sharing what God is saying, but each person needs to take that before the Lord and see if they should accept it as true.

God is speaking. It takes time to learn how to hear Him and to learn what is Him and what are our own thoughts or what is some other spiritual force at work. Jesus said the sheep know the voice of the Sheppard. As you get to know the Lord more and more the better you will recognize Him speaking. He wants to reveal Himself to us in greater and greater measure the deeper we go into Him the greater we see how infinitely deep one can go. We can have as much of God as we want to, His door is always open.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Condition of Man

God’s greatness is not threatened by our importance. God formed man from the dust of the ground; however it is when He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life that the man thus formed became a living being. The physical body of a man is made from the substance of the earth, but the life did not come from the dust, but from the eternal living God.

Moreover in John 17:22 Jesus talks to the Father and says
“the glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one. . .” Therefore, the glory of Jesus has been given to us.

Consider I Corinthians 15:46-48 “The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.”

Notice this verse does not says “as
was the man from heaven” but “as is the man from heaven so also are those who are born of heaven.”

In the Church there is the view that man is unworthy perpetually even when the fullness of God inhabits man, he continues to see himself as the unworthy scum of the earth. Or another view is often maintained that brings the greatness of God down to the level of a “buddy” completely stripped in all practical purposes of His magnificent greatness so that we can have the intimate relationship with God that the Bible promises.

However, I think it is much more accurate to continue to see God’s greatness as that which surpasses all understanding. Also that this same God lifts us up out of our earthly born nature and sets us in the high places in Christ as Christ fills us with His glory and makes us heirs with Him giving us His righteousness.

Ephesians 2:4-7 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus.”

We who are in Christ are already raised with Him and seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. We are in Jesus and He is in heaven so we are also now born of heaven, not of earth. We were not worthy of our own earthly nature, but we were made worthy by His heavenly nature.

God can have such an intimate relationship with us because He already stepped down into the depths with our sin and rose without it. We now are raised in Him without blemish fully made righteous for it is written “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)”