Posts Tagged With: God

“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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“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

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GUARDIANS OF THE FIRE! KEEPERS OF THE FLAME!

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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

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IS THERE AN AWAKENING OF LIGHT VERSES DARKNESS? IF NOT, LETS START ONE, AND IF SO, THEN LETS JOIN IT!

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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 Thirteen

THE ENCOUNTER III > The real life saga of one man leaving the safe confines of his Church building to make a difference in the streets. Like Batman saying, “Gotham needs me.”. In this day we live, there will be many hearing this call of the spiritual Caped Crusader, to leave the safety of the four walls of our building and venture out into exploits, but do not go without an understanding of what it means to be “Caped”, God’s COVERING. Only God knows what your experience will be like, but this is an account of mine. Hope you enjoy.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

The back injury which had pulled Don out of truck driving, leading to surgery and many months of healing, had also led to unexpected things. He did not know that on January 1st, 2014, he was beginning a one year spiritual journey, a one year sabbatical with God. And now that one year was nearing and end, it was time to find a job. But once again, there were unexpected things coming. Events that would seem to have no logical explanation, and yet leading somewhere.

The night of ministry with Chris, “Oasis of Hope” Southern Baptist Church, was behind him. He now understood what was meant by a “Point of Pain”. Not that he did not mentally understand before, but now he had lived it. It had affected him. A part of him needed to be involved in the pain of this city. The big production of what went on in the safety of a Church building now left a bad taste in his mouth. He knew he would likely not preach another message from a pulpit until he was also successful in the streets. He felt he had no right to teach others when he himself had such a great lacking.

It was ironic that the last message his Pastor had let him preach had not gone over well. It was a message about true Priesthood and sacrifice. In this message he had stepped on a sacred cow. He did it respectfully, pulled his punches, dared not attack God’s anointed, but he had dared to say it. He had pointed out the unbiblical message of a Joel Osteen concerning money and having your best life now. As Priest we were called to sacrifice, not live like kings. Jesus laid that aside for later, and we are not at that “later” yet. The Jews also wanted “King” Jesus, but rejected the Priestly servant Jesus. Don had dared to say it, and he felt the ruffled feathers. He knew it was his last message, and it was time to go seeking. God was calling him to something different, but where would he find it?

The Southern Baptist were reaching out to him with a different way of doing things. A very basic and simple way with an emphasis on the streets, reach and teach, go to them, and disciple. But Don had been praying with some men in a large Pentecostal Church, and he loved their fellowship too. He would try there first.

However, a storm was about to hit again, one that would seem very confusing, one that would challenge the Prosperity teaching again, evidently there was more he needed to see. It was time to find a job. The right job. So he sent out four applications to some downtown Starbucks! This was just before Christmas. It seemed logical. If God was calling him to downtown inner city, then why not work there, and find a job in which to make “contacts”. So he took the first step that direction and then got sick!

Yup, that is what happened. With everything just ready to come rushing in, a new Church, a ministry calling, time to get a job, money beginning to run out, hospital bills beginning to mount, after almost 12 months of God providing in a miraculous way, Don began to job hunt, but was suddenly hit with a virus that would not go away! His lungs were so full of congestion and coughing, that he certainly could not do a descent interview! Christmas of 2014 came and went. Then his wife got it too! Now she was missing work and only half performing when she did go! All emergency money quickly dried up and the bank account dropped into the red! 2015 came and they were both still sick! What’s going on Lord? Do we not have a work to do? I don’t know Lord.

In desperation, Don started dropping strong hints to his Church friends who were well-off financially. For the first time in his life he was in real need, confused as to the reason why, and feeling led of God to “test” the Prosperity teaching that some are gifted in making money so they can help those in need. He didn’t doubt that some were called and gifted of God to make money, but it’s the giving part of which there seemed to be a real problem. A blindness…a deafness…a preoccupation with doing their own thing…and they do not see all the needs right under their own nose. This story will continue.

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“RIPPLE THEOLOGY”

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Ever feel like you’re just a stone dropped in water?

Ever feel like all you are is a Ker-plunk?

“Ker-plunk!”

Hope you enjoy the following article.

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“MORE THAN I KNOW”

“MORE THAN I KNOW”

Lord help me know the value of a soul…even my own.

These things we take for granted.

The sun rises. / Just another day?

Is there really any such thing?

A stone drops in water. Is that all I am?

Just the plunk of a stone?

Is that all I am?

Ker-plunk?

But no…there are ripples.

About those ripples. Do I care?

We all cause them.

Every action…every deed….every word.

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 very important.

Jesus said, LIVE FOR THE RIPPLES.

Ripples speak louder than words.

God will judge.

How to fix so many little waves?

Only God.

Do not take for granted.

Jesus said, “I am the way.”

The only way.

This day is important…

I am important…

MORE THAN I KNOW.

by: D.A.

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I believe in the Ripple Effect. The ripple effect of discipleship. “Go ye therefore and teach all nations…”. The personal story of “Gotham” will continue soon. I am more than a month behind on it now. Much is happening. This poem was written as I worked my new job. (I do not end up at STARBUCKS. Details will come in the story.)

The fact that so much is happening is part of the reason my story is farther behind. If you go to the first chapter of “Gotham” and read of its humble beginnings, one might surmise there was little hope for one such as I. But now I find myself in a new job, going to a new church, and having made many new contacts outside that church. God is doing a thing and it is blooming and blossoming one day at a time. Not on my timetable, for surely I would have rushed into things more quickly if I could have.

The first “House of H.O.P.E.” is about to launch! More can be learned about that by going to 1000housesofhope.wordpress.com

Since I’m so far behind, I will try to squeeze a little more into the next chapter of “Gotham”. But may the reader understand that those things happening now, would not have happened without being faithful to God’s leading in chapters 1,2,3,4, and so on. Every chapter has been important, even when it may have felt like I was getting nowhere and did not understand what was going on. Should you decide to become a Caped Crusader for God, you can find inspiration and understanding in every chapter. It’s hard to get people to actually read and study, these days. But for those who do, God has his rewards. Let it be a Holy Spirit Ripple Effect.

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