Posts Tagged With: Faith

“For what it’s worth”

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I’m taking time to write these words as an attempt to somewhat fill an obligation. God has so moved in my “Gotham Quest”, and he has so answered prayers and opened doors, that my time spent on this blogsite simply no longer compares. Alas, so few comments, so little affect really being done compared to the “Gotham Vision” God gave me. This blogsite has simply become an interruption to what I need to be doing, but I do need to tie up a few loose ends so as not to leave everyone completely hanging. So for those 2-3 people who are really reading this blog, I will try to answer questions. I’ll try to answer what I can think of now, and then if you have other questions, I” try to respond.

1.) First of all, as I went downtown that night to work out on the steps of our War Monument, (91 steps), I really did encounter a young man just out of college, and he was pacing back and forth looking at his hand and then back to the sky. It was nighttime, but the monument also has lights. It was an eerie set-up in the night with city lights, tall buildings about us, and stars in the sky if you could see them. I had planned to elaborate on the whole experience had I wrote the details of this story, but even now I have a neighbor waiting on me to take a chainsaw and help cut limbs from his damaged trees. (We had a bad storm.) God has used the storms, dogs, and various things to open ministry in my own neighborhood. OOPs, now I’ mixing two questions.

Anyway, God opened a door for me to speak to the young man pacing, and it turned out he was practicing a speech. He wanted to become a motivational speaker and he had his first event, a class of graduating high schoolers, he was speaking to the next day. We talked for a good twenty minutes about God, vision, Bible, and motivation. I prayed with him before I left, and yes, it was also a very good workout. But ever since I embraced the “Gotham Vision” and watered it in prayer and action, God has been opening doors. I’ve had at least 3 encounters on that War Memorial.

2.) The vision has become one of “Neighborhoods”, my own, and others. God showed me a different way to do “Home Groups”, small groups, life groups, or whatever you want to call them. First of all, you need to find that special person in a neighborhood who is willing to be “Priestlike” to those around him. In other words, “Do What Jesus Would Do”. Once you find one of these rare individuals, you impart vision and begin a small Bible study/prayer group in their home, but here is the difference…YOU DO NOT INVITE ANYONE FROM YOUR CHURCH TO YOUR GROUP, UNLESS THEY LIVE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD!

The key is that you only reach out to those in your neighborhood, they become your main ministry, and you look to find others willing to do the same thing. This is why I’m about to take my chainsaw and spend my Saturday morning getting to know my neighbor who I barely know. Before this day is over, we will be “connected”, and then he will let me speak to him about Jesus, eternity, Bible, faith, God, church, little by little it will come. There must be relationship, and the phrase, “Hi, I’m your neighbor”, still works in America.

3.) I’m also back to working on writing a book. My first book, “The Last Christmas of Jonah Joe”, continues to touch people’s lives and is now in a few church libraries, but God has me writing another story called “God’s Bounty Hunters”. I’m loving it, but it requires time, and I could be writing those words right now, rather than these that I can only access that 2-3 people might read. It just doesn’t compare. Last week, in another neighborhood where I have found a willing Bounty Hunter Priest, I had the privilege of sharing the Gospel message with a young man whose house caved in from the storm and now has temporarily moved into the house of our Priest. His girl friend has moved in too. So, because I am in this neighborhood, not in the church box, but in this neighborhood, I now have three I am sharing God’s word with, and we have only been there one month. It started with “the One”.

4.) The vision is to: “Go forth…in weakness.” Paul said, when I am weak, then am I strong. It is a paradox. That is why we don’t understand it and fail to do it. God makes it work because it is his way and not ours. He sent the seventy “forth” in “weakness”, as lambs amidst wolves. I don’t have time to completely get into this because I am busy living it. I am not just a crusader for Christ, but I am a “Caped” crusader, because as I recognize my weakness, but still obey and go forth in faith, God Covers me. That “Covering” is an anointing that all the great witnesses of God has known. It is the power to be a witness. It is becoming the Priest we are called to be, going forth to save our city, one person, and one neighborhood at a time. The Ripple Effect. I have written about this. There is much written on this site if there are those who are curious.

5.) Batman said, “Gotham needs me.” Jesus says the same about your neighborhood and city, but we must be “Caped” if God is to use us. PRAYER is key to our priesthood. My house shall be known as a house of prayer, Jesus said. Then we go forth not in our strength, but in our weakness. We do not resist God, but we are weak towards him. We are weak towards our God so we can be strong in our God. I embraced this Batman metaphor, this Gotham vision, and now my life is full of adventure and passion as I see the enemy being exposed and pushed back around me. It is a heroic lifestyle for those who understand the true heart of God. This vision has been a tremendous spiritual blessing in my life.

6.) I may try to report in here once in a while when I get the chance, but for me, the action is out in the streets. People are dying out there. Jesus came to be with the sick. He leaves the 99 to go to the one. If you’re one of the 99 and you don’t feel God like you use to? He’s probably waiting for you to leave the 99, of which you are one, and help him reach another ONE. In a sense, his strong presence has left you to find the ONE, because you are now part of the 99, but he invites you to join him in that great adventure to save your city.

I’m not even going to check this article for mistakes, it is what it is. I’m anxious to get out there. For the 2-3 faithful readers I have had, thank-you so much for your encouragement. If you have a blogsite reaching and affecting people, keep doing it, but for me, I seem to be more effective “out there”. I am still writing, but it looks like “book form” has become my goal. I love the things God has done with “Jonah Joe”. I give them out as God leads me and the feedback has been awesome. Be blessed everyone, and love your neighbor as yourself. I’ll drop a line from time to time if God leads me to do so.

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“Is God’s Word True?”

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God said never let the fire go out! Let us be “Keepers of the Flame”.

What does it mean to be a “Caped” crusader for God?

That “Covering”, that Cape is so important!

As faithful Priest, let us never leave home without it!

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OUR STORY CONTINUES BELOW.

 

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“Living with Fire and Feeding the Flame” #3

KEEPERS OF THE FLAME.

Leviticus 6:12a & 13 > “And the fire on the altar shall be kept burning; it shall not be put out.” / “A fire shall always be burning on the altar; it shall never go out.”

Luke 12:49-50 > “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished.”  Signed: Jesus Christ.

THE LOVE OF ANYTHING WORTHY WILL TAKE US INTO THE FIRE AND MUST BE PURSUED WITH FIRE. 

(Partial quote from “Teaching with Fire”).

The cost of discipleship. What is your vision from God costing you? You have no vision? Then you likely have no fire either. What is your function in the body of Christ? What is your mission, your task, your heart-felt assignment from God? Does it burn within you like a flame? If not, then all you’re doing is punching the spiritual time clock, and anybody can do that. You should leave that boring assignment and pursue what burns within!

Jesus said, I must be about my Father’s business! It burned within him. He cleared the temple and then his disciples remembered that it was written, Zeal for Your house has eaten me up. (Consumed me!)

Are you on fire? Do you feel his flame within? Is the oil flowing, or do you need a trip to God’s cave? Why are we so occupied with living like kings when we should be living like priest? Ahh, now we’re getting there. The king is not concerned about the fire as the priest is. So many kings and so few priest in the body of Christ. So many sparrows flapping flapping flapping, and so few eagles. So few of God’s children ready to surrender and let go of the things that glitter glitter glitter. But the call is going forth and all that glitters is not gold. Kings will cast their crowns at his feet for the chance to serve. Yes, “his feet”, Mary hath chosen that good thing that cannot be taken from her.

Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things…many things…many things. But “ONE THING” is needed. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at Jesus feet and heard his word. But Martha was distracted…many things…many things…many things.

Will you leave your kingdom building long enough for a trip to God’s cave, to sit at his feet? The secret things, the secret things. The duties of a priest and that of a king are so very very different. Even the lifestyle is so very very different. So many warriors in God’s body, fighting to slay financial dragons, but so few priest praying to slay lustful dragons. The 6th archetype, the Mystic, the Priest.

The king seeks a castle and a throne, but the priest desires a cave, a place to seek his Master for the fire that burns! Five archetypes to be stuck upon, the Orphan, the Innocent, the Wanderer, the Warrior, the Altruist; but it is the Priest that brings it all into balance, holds the spiritual center, and should be our burning desire. But no, we would be king.

T’is a legend, a fable, indeed, but it holds such a powerful truth, the legend of Camelot! And how did such a city come to grace the imaginations of so many people? A simple mystic known as Merlin. Where would we be without our spiritual seekers? Still swallowed up in the dark ages, that is where, and so was Merlin, so much so that he retreated to a cave where he battled with great depression. So are the spiritual, sensitive to the spiritual conditions of our time, encroaching evil, have you felt it? Is there a burden on your heart for the millions of people lost without Christ everyday? Is there a burden driving you to a cave to fast and pray? Do you feel it? If not…then you are distracted like Martha, but Merlin ran to a cave as he was heavy with the burdens upon him. Depressed about the darkness of his time and knowing what should be!

In the cave a crystal flashed and a vision came! From there, a simple mystic set about to create a place called Camelot! That vision gave rise to many an inspiring Knight in shining armor! But none of it would have happened without the one who had no desire to be a king, and only to seek the secret things the secret things of a world not seen. For we look not at that which is seen, but at that which is not seen. Right?

I hope someone will tell me if anything I have just written makes sense. It speaks to me, but does it speak to you?

The Warrior is not the priest, and much fanfare will come to the one seen slaying dragons, but the secret things…the secret things…the humble world of the priest, given to a supernatural surrender, without whom there would be nothing worthy of a king to reign over, only more and more dark ages. Will you get a vision and be a priest to your neighborhood? Learn of the secret things, practice them, and establish God’s Kingdom where you live?

I recently sat in on the monthly meeting of a government housing apartment complex. In six months time I have watched the Spirit of God transform the atmosphere of that meeting because of a young minister who has sown the seeds of sacrifice in that place. A Priest can bring about transformation that no warrior can. Let us lay aside our kingship and warrior status, no more Superman, let us heed the call of priesthood! The 6th archetype is most powerful of all, the power to transform, the power of connecting man to God!

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Living with Fire / Feeding the Flame #2

“And Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.” (Ex. 19:18)

GUARDIANS OF THE FLAME.

“The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.” (Lev. 6:13)

Redeemed from fire by fire! Yes, T.S. Eliot said it well. Consumed by either fire or fire. Consumed by grace or sin. Am I on fire for God? I have been charged by God to never let the fire go out! Guardians of the Flame!

How do I live with fire? How do I feed the flame so it never goes out? What is this heroes journey? To slay a dragon, to save a city, to live in such a flame.!To light yourself on fire and live there. Where does such a life come from? It is not five of the six archetypes inside each of us. It is not the Orphan, the Innocent, the Wanderer, the Altruist, or the Warrior, but it is the Magician, the Mystic, the Priest.

You must step across the line of mere mortal and flesh, and into Spirit and Priesthood. Blessed art thou Simon, for flesh and blood hath not revealed this to you! Only God can create a bush that is on fire but not consumed. Try to do this in your own power and you will fail. It will be a strange fire, not of God, and you will be consumed, not eternally sustained. “Priesthood is a supernatural lifestyle of surrender”. (Try to explain that one.) It is mystic. It is the highest level of existence in unity with God. And every one of us is called to it. Being a Christian is more than just being a good person, it is a Priesthood.

Priesthood is a supernatural lifestyle of surrender.

If you’ve never truly been on fire, and if you’ve never truly surrendered, then you know not of what I speak. Neither do you likely believe it, and certainly not crazy enough to try it, after all, look at all the things you might have to lay down, and then what? What if you could not get them back? What if it really did cost you something, like it cost our Lord? Even that fear of not getting it back betrays you. You are not Mystic, not Priesthood, but you are still in a fearful, selfish, carnal state, and you have not tasted of God’s ultimate peace, or joy.

I find myself writing words stronger than I expected. Can I explain any of this? Hhmm, Jesus walked on water. I think water offers us a lesson. I use to be a terrible swimmer, and because of that I had a fear of drowning. My wife, who is an excellent swimmer, tried teaching me how to float, so if I ever got in such a situation, I could simply lie on my back and float. It sounded good. It made perfect sense, but there was one problem. The more you “relax”, the more you “let go”, the better you float. If you tighten up like a rock, you tend to sink like a rock, and sense I had a fear of drowning, guess what? I found it extremely difficult to float. It was very hard to relax and let go when fear was gripping me. Try it some time. You’re scared to death but you’re going to begin mentally relaxing each muscle, slow your breathing, and command your heart to slow as well. Mentally, it is a very hard thing to do, to slow the racing heart gripped in fear.

Nevertheless, floating was there for me. It was there all the time, I simply did not have the faith to tap into it. I was resisting the water, instead of surrendering to it, like a mighty eagle surrenders to a current of wind. Most of us live as little flapping sparrows, not soaring eagles. But don’t we all long to be the soaring eagle? God longs for that for us, and he offers it.

So what does this have to do with feeding the flame in us? ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING!!!

If we will not surrender to the supernatural habits of a priest in Christ, i.e. a quality prayer life, faith, fasting, obedience, God’s Word, and God’s holiness, then the fire will never be sustained. This supernatural flame that fills the universe with passion will be lost to us.

Do we not believe God’s word? Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these other things will…?

Yes, this is too much for five of the archetypes in us. But not too much for the Mystic, it is where he lives! It is where he burns with passion and thrives! Because he has learned the surrender that feeds the fire! He has gone to the cave and received a God-given vision! Now he is on fire with it, like Merlin who got the vision for Camelot! And then he raised up a King Arthur, who drew the sword from the stone!

No, you would not want to live such an authentic life. That life burns too hot for most of us. We would not dare to be so alive.

A book I once was impressed with, I have puled from the shelf to remind myself of. No, not everything I read is scriptural, but I must admit this book impressed me, about these six archetypes in all of us, and a heroes journey. The book is: “The Hero Within”, by C.S. Pearson. Of course the teaching has passed through my own filters, but I’m mixing some of that into this series. There will likely be more.

Fire purifies. There is a supernatural path bordered with flames, and so alive, not many dare to walk it. Just the Mystics, the Priesthood. The Spirit of God can take us there, if were willing to enter into that supernatural surrender, get a vision from God and burn with it! It’s hard to think about yourself when you’re filled with such passion. As a matter-of-fact, you won’t even miss yourself. Good riddance to the one that was slowing you down. The true Mystic and Priest understands. Just as I eventually learned to float, so can anyone seek God and learn of this way we speak of. The Bible is the authority on this powerful life, and Jesus is its author. (“For we walk by faith, not by sight:”) II Cor. 5:7 Faith…a powerful supernatural force practiced by God’s Priesthood.

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“Living with Fire / Feeding the Flame”

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How do we feed the flame to live a life of inspiration? This begins a new series.

Hope you enjoy, and burn brighter every day.

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You can’t take it with you, or can you?

We’ve all heard the saying, “You can’t take it with you.” In death we leave it all behind. The money, big house, hot car, all those material things we worked so hard for. We spent so much of our life pursueing these things, but what are they worth now? As Ecclesiastes would say, they pass to other hands, and who is to say that all your hard work does not end up in the hands of a fool?

However, there actually are a few things that go with you. Have you thought about it? Maybe not? We spend so much time pursueing the things we can’t take, and we fail to realize the old saying is not completely true! We would do well to seriously consider what will go with us in the grave.

I can think of three things that go with you. Maybe you can think of more, but for my purposes these three will do. Most important of all is your SOUL, this is your most valuable possession! However, your SOUL will be affected by the other two. When you realize how few things you can actually take with you, it should cause us to put a very high value on those items.

What value is your SOUL compared to earthly pleasures you may be seeking? The soul is eternal, and may be possessed by you eternally if you choose. What other possessions do you have that you can say that of? But God’s Word says you lost it! Sin has separated us from God and the wages of sin is death! What tragedy it is to lose the most important thing we can eternally possess!

This would be more tragic than losing your home, money, health, anything you may “think” you own, because you do not really own those things. You will let go of everyone of them. You will leave them behind as your SOUL passes through the veil of death to meet its Maker.

“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Matt. 16:26a)

Lose his own soul. His own soul. It’s yours to lose.

(Luke 21:19) “In your patience possess ye your souls.” (Jesus speaking to his disciples.)

So what are the other two things you take with you? Your words and deeds. These will be the things whereby your SOUL is judged. What do our words and deeds reveal about us? Your words and actions will reveal if you ever truely received Christ as your saviour. It will not be your words alone, but your words and deeds. God’s Word says you may judge a tree by its’ fruit.

True salvation, the saving of our soul so we may possess it eternally, will show up in your words and deeds. Not only when you speak those words of repentance unto God, admitting you are a sinner, and how sorry you are, and your desire to follow after him, but in your actions, proving if you meant those words or not.

You are your soul. If you die in a lost condition, then you have lost the most precious thing God gave you. You were born in this lost condition, and you failed to believe, you failed to make a right choice and accept God’s tremendous offer of grace. And for what reason? To pursue a bunch of stuff you can’t take with you? So sad.

This is my first time working my blogsite from the downtown Indianapolis Library. I am shoulder to shoulder with others. My Bible is spread open on the table as I write. Four different people have set next to me during this time. As I get better at this it is my hope that a door will open with someone.

I’m not use to the distractions going on around here, compared to my writing nook at home. I have struggled to write my thoughts today, but the potential is worth it. This is just my first time. We actually just got our Internet service back up at home for one-third the price we were paying, but I intend to come here 2-4 times a month, praying for a door to open, and then another, and another. It will happen.

I come here on Tuesdays because there is a Southern Baptist Home Group meeting in this downtown area at 7:00 pm. So I have this one big day a week. I work till four, hit the Library till 6:30, and the Home Group at 7:00. This is my Gotham. I can’t expect anything to happen if I’m not out here. Things are happening, and I hope to write more on those things soon.

LET THE RIPPLES GO FORTH!

 

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“J.E.D.I. Theology #3”

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!”

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“Ripple Theology #2”

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.

Ker-plunk!

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.

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“Do You have Your Gotham?” > Chapter Fifteen

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

“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.)

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“Do You have your Gotham?” > Chapter Fourteen

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

“REDLINE FAITH”

…… Oh Lord, you know I’ve been here before, but is there not a cause? I will trust you Lord, no matter what, and if no man comes to our rescue, I know you will. Amen.” The prayer ended.

Still very sick, still confused as to the reason why, bank account and bills plunging rapidly into the red, old vehicles barely still functioning, Don pressed on in faith. “Will you wake the Lord?” The question kept coming.

“Sleep on Lord, I wait.” was his answer, but even in his answering, there was the unknowing. The storm continued raging and the boat tossing, but was Jesus sleeping? Did he not see what was going on? Will you wake him in fear, or wait?

The worse part was feeling like he was not caring properly for his wife. It was one thing for him to endure hardness, but having to watch his wife? She was still very sick too, and her 2000 Dodge minivan had no heat. The heater blower motor had gone out and it was dead of winter in Indiana. She had no business in a freezing van as sick as she was, but the only other option was an old truck with bad tires she did not trust. “Why Lord? I know this is a test, but I still don’t understand why. Why now?”

Making matters worse was the weight of God’s vision upon him. After a year with God, he knew he had been given a great vision to reach people in neighborhoods, and was ready to run with this! However, sickness and poverty had him at a complete standstill. Even so, every decision made was made with the knowledge of this great mission upon him. He was not free to meet his needs in a worldly way, or he would abort this baby in his womb. If he went back to working sixty hours a week at some job not of God, the vision would die. The vision was at stake. This was the devil’s attack and he had to be faithful come what may! A calling from God can involve great sacrifices at times. Don understood the weight of this very well, even though most others might not. He knew there would be few who would understand. How many times he had been in this position before, and God always came through. Would he wake the Lord?

Funny thing poverty, how it can twist things. It seems people just don’t understand. The early morning prayer meeting he had been so faithful to. The guys liked to eat breakfast out afterwards. Not cheap places either. Waffle House was popular. They wanted him to join them. Don wanted to join them. Important things were talked about over those meals and connections were made. Sometimes he would go because he felt it was so very important to be in that conversation and in that group. Now here is where it gets complicated and you might not understand. I pray you try to understand. I mean no harm here

The group knew he was still without a job, and he had dropped as many “hints” as to his welfare as he dared, but nobody was “getting it”. However, when he would occasionally decide to join them and purchase the cheapest meal he could find on the menu, someone always picked up his ticket so he would not have to pay. For this he was grateful, but bad as this sounds, it was not breakfast out that he “needed”.

Perhaps if he were someone who spent his life looking for “hand-outs”, perhaps he could have enjoyed those free meals, but in actuality… he dreaded them. He could not enjoy the meal while he thought about his sick wife driving a cold van, or how the electric bill was going to get paid, or the hospital bill. As bad as it sounds, his friends thought they were helping him out by being so generous to buy his meal, but in actuality it was no help at all. He didn’t mind living poor. He’d been there before. The food he fixed at home was fine, but there were needs on his mind, and no one saw or heard.

Earlier that summer, God had led him to help a man who was fighting cancer. For weeks he had done a yard sale in his yard for this man. Don was still doing okay at that time, but had no spare income, so he did a yard sale which eventually made a total of $1,600.00 after all the weekends were added up. The money was given each week as it was earned, and it was all simply handed over, cash, no questions asked. He knew what it was like to be on both sides of this fence. But where were the rich guys for him? The guys gifted in making money just so they can help others in need? Maybe they were busy living their best life now?

Funny thing what Jesus said when he was observing the “widow and her two mites”. He said the rich people had all given out of their “abundance”. In other words, there had been no “sacrifice” in their giving. Where were the rich guys? He didn’t know. Perhaps checking out their next new car? Trimming their yard? Paying their $120.00/month cell phone bill? Eating out everyday? Who knew? But they were not there at this time, for these needs. It’s not about 10%, it’s about level of sacrifice. A poor persons 2% can be a greater sacrifice than a rich man’s ten percent, or twenty, or whatever.

Don knew he was an “opportunity” for someone, just like the man with cancer had been an opportunity of blessing for him. He also knew that in due time, if no “Prosperity Person” met his need, God eventually would. And God did. This story continues.

“REDLINE FAITH”

Ever feel redlined?

12 Apostles on a ship. Lost their stomachs every dip.

Lightning flashed and thunder roared!

Will you wake the Lord?

Easy faith in good times, not so easy when bad.

Bills plunging redline! Raging like a sea!

Waves crashing red! Seek to swallow me.

He said to cross the sea.

Should they have let him sleep?

Was that not the test, a faith that lets him rest?

Faith plunging redline.

T’is a strange thing indeed, to be in need, a raging sea…

while the Lord sleeps.

Perhaps he is inviting us, to a place of powerful rest.

Faith in the red.

My yoke is easy, my burden light.

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