A VISION IS BIRTHED, A QUEST CONTINUES, A MISSION IS SERVED.
Monthly Archives: March 2015
THE ENCOUNTER III > What started as fictional in the Encounter 1 & 2, has now become reality in The Encounter 3. One man’s path to an encounter with God cloaking him in God’s “covering”, and hearing the call… “Gotham needs me.” You can run but you can’t hide. You either answer the call, or settle for less. This is one man’s story who decided to not “settle”.
The financial and sickness storm was finally over. Don was healthy and also working, although it was only part-time, 22 hours a week, if they were frugal they could make it work. The job promised to go full-time in just a couple of months. Two giants had fallen and now the challenges became more spiritual than physical. This was the day he had been praying for.
Because of his connection to “Oasis of Hope Church”, Don was invited to a Southern Baptist Prayer Meeting of “Church Planters”. It was a morning prayer meeting and since he worked evenings he was free to go. His day started with early morning prayer at a Pentecostal Church called” Charity”, on south Tibbs. It just happened the prayer meetings hit on the same day. Charity did this 6:00 a.m. prayer meeting every Tuesday, and he had been a regular. The Baptist meeting was at 9:00 a.m.. “Perfect!” he thought.
And so he did. He attended both. What a day of praying it was. But while he was at the Baptist Prayer meeting, he met two men in process of growing downtown inner city churches! He even got teamed up to pray with one of them. This man’s name was Kerry, Pastor Kerry of the “Circle City Canvas Church”, having services in the Arts Bank building right on Massachusetts Avenue, or Mass. Ave. as everyone likes to call it. The other Pastor was Pastor Yale, holding services on I.U.P.U.I. campus, reaching young people, college people, for Christ. Both these services were evening time, and Don immediately made plans to attend.
With the new job in place there began to be the challenge of working around that schedule. His job now interfered with his “Oasis of Hope” involvement at the Hawthorn Apartment complex, but he was still able to attend prayer meetings and weekend services, which meant he could connect with both “Circle Center Canvas Church” and “Living Faith Church” with Pastor Yale. After going to each once, he decided to focus on “Circle City Canvas Church” first, and see what might develop.
The “Gotham Call” still meant being out of the Church box and into the streets. God had given him a vision of being involved in not only the downtown area, but also neighborhoods. It was the same vision. What he saw for downtown involved being out of the Church box and in the neighborhoods. In the meantime, the Pastor at “Charity Church”, Pastor Paul Slagle, was preaching on “Our Priesthood”, and a real move of God was stirring the people. A lot was going on! And he was carefully watching it all, and involved with it all. The early morning prayer meetings was causing a fresh move of the Spirit, but only time would tell if the stirring would lead to great things, or fade?
And then, on top of all this, came the chance to meet Ying Kia, of T4T, and hear him personally speak and teach on “Training for Trainers”, a discipleship outreach causing quite a stir of its’ own. God was supernaturally ordering his steps and answering his prayers. This was the last piece of the puzzle he needed for “1000 Houses of H.O.P.E.”. He just happened to be off work and able to attend, and so he did. More to come.
“To journey without being changed is to be a nomad. To change without journeying is to be a chameleon. To journey and be transformed is to be a pilgrim.” – Mark Nepo (Taken from book: Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters by Dick Staub.)
“The same followed Paul and us, and cried saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us THE WAY of salvation.” Acts 16:17
Luke Skywalker did not know it, but as he went about his drab and dreary day upon the desert planet, his whole life was about to change. He was about to take not only a physical journey, but also a spiritual one, on his way to becoming something more, a transformation. He was so restless within, anxious for a great adventure. He was outgrowing his current environment, but was he ready for an encounter with Obi-Wan? Ready or not, it came. Have you outgrown your current environment?
Many are called but few are chosen. In the parable of the sower, he was casting his seeds everywhere. Those seeds were scattered into ditches, on the road, in some fields, some on good ground and some on bad. Many different things happened to those seeds. Some died on the hard ground. Some died for lack of water. Others took root quickly, but became distracted by cares of the world, weeds choked them out, and they did not make the journey. But some…fell on good ground…made a journey…were changed in the journey… and produced.
It’s so easy to be distracted. Many times we settle for way less than were capable of because we don’t want to discipline ourself to the heroic journey. Yes, there is training and discipline involved to have Jesus Every Day Intense and Judge Every Day Inspired. J.E.D.I. Theology is for those who are looking for something more, a transformation, an heroic journey that changes you, and you’re willing to pay the price to become that person, come what may.
The power is in the Priesthood. What do I mean by that? The price we pay is to learn how to live as the priest we are called to be, involving such disciplines as quality prayer, redline faith, willing sacrifice motivated in love, fasting, study, speaking to mountains, arresting the devil, standing in the gap between man and God and offering a hand up. It is a physical and spiritual journey. It is a hero’s journey. It requires courage, a sense of mission, the vision of the need, and a passion for the purpose. It requires your true commitment to rise above the “settled for” life, to live like a man or woman on a mission, because you are.
There is A WAY that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the WAYS of death. We are God’s people of THE WAY. We need to be that people in this earth. There is a way for us to live that is powerful and full of peace and passion, if we will rise to it. Jesus is that way, as we pray, Holy Spirit master me. Will the ripples of our life make a meaningful difference in our neighborhood, our city, our earth? This is J.E.D.I. Christianity. “JESUS EVERY DAY INTENSE!”
IS THERE AN AWAKENING OF LIGHT VERSES DARKNESS? IF NOT, LETS START ONE, AND IF SO, THEN LETS JOIN IT!
JESUS EVERY DAY INTENSE >>>>>>> JUDGE EVERY DAY INSPIRED! JEDI! THE FORCE IS STRONG WITH THIS ONE!
What are these J.E.D.I. articles about? BEING MORE THAN JUST A GOOD PERSON, BUT FULFILLING YOUR PRIESTHOOD IN CHRIST.
Do you have that desire? Then we need to get back to : THE WAY.
“And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, and desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of THIS WAY,…” Acts 9:1-2
It seems my Internet is still up for one more day, so thought I might as well take advantage. As promised, I would like to add to our “J.E.D.I. Theology” series.
IS THE DESIRE ALIVE AND WELL IN YOU? To be more. To grow in your Priesthood. To desire mastery. To desire for the Holy Spirit to master you. Then we need to master “PRAYER”. It is possibly our greatest source of power. The J.E.D.I. Christian knows that the way up, is actually downward, humility, servant, Person of Prayer.
Here is something I believe only a J.E.D.I. Christian can appreciate. I have been working on memorizing Psalms 112. I have been working at it for some time. I’m slow on memorizing. Consequently, I have repeated these scriptures countless times in my effort. The other day I was SHOCKED to see a new light on some scripture and it became a very powerful prayer to pray! Let me give you the pieces, and then I will explain.
Psalms 112:1a > “Praise ye the Lord. …”
Vrs 8b > “… until he see his desire upon his enemies.”
Vrs. 10 > “The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.”
Okay, in these verses you have a very powerful prayer! As I was quoting one day, the Lord asked me, “What is your desire for your enemies?”
“I would like to see them saved, Lord.”
“Then pray the last verse with that in mind.”
“With what in mind, Lord? That they melt and perish?”
“No, but that there heart melts, and their “desire” for evil perishes. Pray for the Holy Spirit to turn up the heat! Let their wicked desires become a bad taste in their mouth and their hearts melt away from being a cold stone.”
Wow, I thought. What David probably meant in the O.T. is not the same as what we are in the N.T.. And when I looked at that scripture through N.T. eyes, I saw a powerful prayer of salvation and revival in the earth!
My time is short today, but if you desire to have “JESUS EVERY DAY INTENSE” & “JUDGE EVERY DAY INSPIRED”, then get a handle on Psalms 112 and begin to rise up in “THE WAY” of Christ and change our neighborhoods and cities. “Praise ye the Lord!”
IF WE CONTINUE WITH THE POEM…
About those ripples.
Do I care?
We all cause them.
Every action…every word…every deed.
Even if I don’t care,
I still cause ripples…bad ones.
I am a stone dropped in water.
But I’m not “just” a stone.
I am ripples, and the ripples are important.
Jesus taught us to Live for the Ripples.
Ripples speak louder than words.
No life is silent. Every heartbeat is a ripple. Every breath. Even when our heart takes its last beat…our heart stopping will send out ripples. What have we chosen the Ripple Effect of our life to be? Self-gratification? Or a seeking of God and his will. Do our ripples only affect this world, or do they reach to heaven?
Jesus said that no man lights a candle and puts it under a bushel basket. How is it that so many Christians seem to be stuck under a basket? Their light only lights their little world? I also considered, what fool would use a basket to cover a flame? It seems apparent to me that God is telling us, Satan is so weak that all we have to do is begin to flame up in Christ and we can burn that basket away!
So why you still under that basket? I’m only asking what God will ask you one day.
This may be my last blog for a few days. God has been showing me how to do more, with less. After the back surgery, my income is roughly one-third what it use to be. Consequently, this may be the last day of Internet in my home. I will be going to our downtown Library to work my site. I will be rubbing elbows with many other people God has called me to reach out to, as I do. I am actually looking forward to this.
But I just want you to know if I’m slow in answering any comments, I probably just have not made it to the Library yet. 1000 Houses of H.O.P.E. is in process of being birthed. Those details will continue to come out in the story of “Gotham”. I hope I will make a connection downtown for a House of H.O.P.E.. Currently, my own neighborhood is priority one, but as I spend more time downtown, I am a light, a flame, just waiting to catch fire. Pray for supernaturally empowered godly ripples.
Unto the upright, light ariseth in the darkness.
Let a standard be raised against the evil of our day.
Will we enter the darkness to seek and save that which is lost?
The story continues…Chapter 15…“God has Heard”.
“God has Heard”
Redline faith. Man may not have been listening, but God was.
Man may be blind to needs right under his nose, but God is watching. Christmas came and went, and Don and his wife were still sick. His wife still driving a freezing cold van, and hospital bills in the red. The four Starbuck applications were still out there, but so far no response. He was actually glad because he couldn’t imagine trying to learn a “people job” like that while coughing your head off the whole time. Then 2015 rolled in and yes the virus continued too, as well as the freezing cold and broke down vehicles.
There were actually two vehicles needing fixed, his wife’s van and a 1997 Honda Civic. He had tried to repair the leaky gas tank so many times! His last attempt had been a cheap tank from a salvage yard, that had been drained by way of cutting a gash in bottom of tank. He had worked hard to fix it, but failed, and so the car still sat. The promises of the tank repair kit had proven false, and by faith he and his wife pressed on, believing God would hear. That God had a plan. (And he did.)
January 12, 2015 arrived and Don was in his third cycle of the virus. It was ridiculous, and his wife was just as bad. Nothing but hope and faith were left for them. Finally, a humidifier was purchased with the precious money they had, and Don began to get better, although it did not seem to help his wife. On the day of January 19, he finally felt strong enough to job hunt.
He decided to try a Half-Price Bookstore first, because of his love for books, but they were not hiring and he left disappointed. Okay, time for the Starbucks. He had visited Starbucks many times and loved coffee. He expected to enjoy learning more about the different coffees, but as he walked into the store it was hopping busy, and as he watched the young people moving fast behind the counter, his heart was frozen with fear! He stood their a moment to press away the fear, like he had done many times in his life, but he found himself walking up to the counter, ordering a drink and walking back out the door, silent as a lamb! He flat out chickened out! The fear would not go away! And now depression was heavy upon him! How could he chicken out like this?
By eleven o’clock he found himself back home and trying to figure out what to do next? He felt defeated, and that he was letting his wife down, and possibly even the Lord. Accusations from the devil were coming hot and fast as he questioned everything about this present moment.
As he prayed and asked God for direction, sunlight caught his eye, and he was drawn to it.
It was the middle of January, but it was like a summer day outside. It was beautiful. He walked over to the window and stared out. There was the Honda still up on ramps ready to be worked on again. Don hated mechanical work and was not very good at it, but as he stared at that car and the warm sunny day, “You want me to work on that car “again” Lord? REALLY? What use is it? How many times have I tried?” But slowly, out the door he went.
The tank was removed for the third time, thrown in the back of the truck and driven to his dad’s, where the mesh material and the compound was applied again, but this time the tank was inverted so gravity worked in his favor, and heat lamps were applied for a twenty-four hour period. His dad got involved and Indiana had a one week heat wave in the middle of January. His dad paid for the heater blower motor and during this week Don fixed his wife’s van and got the Honda running! With the Honda running came a new opportunity. A company called “Guardsmark” was hiring a patrol officer to cruise around a parking lot in their own vehicle and guard the property. The place of business was in a bad part of town, a Point of Pain!
Don had no retail experience, but he did have four years military experience, and had worked as a correctional officer in a men’s prison at one time. Now he also had the perfect vehicle! On his second time of going out he landed his perfect job. It would be part-time until April, but he began his first day on January 26. Money was still extremely tight, and his hints continued to be ignored, but after paying the Obama Insurance penalty, their tax returns still proved to be enough to get back into the black financially! The struggle continued till February 12th when the returns arrived. Finally, the storm was over. He had income again. His health had returned even though his wife was still struggling with it. Vehicles were fixed, even though a month later the tank would leak and be removed “again”, taken to a radiator shop and soldered. (Finally fixed.) LOL.
With the financial crises satisfied at least for a while, and having a job finally in place, he could at last dive into the assignment God had given, something called “1000 Houses of H.O.P.E”. All the praying and seeking had come to a head, spiritual forces were in place, Batman was ready to enter the darkness of the night and confront the evil of his day. (This story continues.)