Anvil

Posted August 16th, 2017 by admin

Let’s see if I can remember this, it was a couple weeks ago.

Spirit-led men’s group in Jail is a whole lot different from showing up to “do a class”. I usually ask “who brought the goods” and give the guys a chance to share was God has spoken to them throughout the week. With very little volunteered, we had to pull out all the stops. We actually got quiet and asked God to speak to us–and for once, I got the Word!

God gave me a picture of an anvil.

First, there was a sense that I was the anvil.  Then I asked God, what’s going on here.  Then I saw the poor heated-up piece of iron that was getting beaten, purified and hammered into shape (through adversity) and quickly dismissed the idea that that might be me.  Then the picture zoomed out into the hammer, and God was the blacksmith asking the question:  “Are you willing to be any one of these?”

Sometimes, of course, you are the object being shaped and perfected, and it hurts.  But sometimes we are called to be the hammer– to deliver the blows that shape others.  Not always in a harsh and forceful way of course, because even delivering a timely truth can have the effect of a shaping force in someone’s life.

Sometimes, we are to passively be the platform where the shaping takes place.   I got the sense that the anvil’s function in my vision was that of an intercessory  saint who can keep his mouth shut, and be in the environment, but will provide the quiet support for the process.  Not needing to have “an important” part, but absolutely essential to the process.

Are you willing to be an anvil?

He Stinketh

Posted July 10th, 2017 by admin

I was reading out of the book of John today, as I am struggling to find the personable Jesus.  Not just the guy who spake in riddles and made people mad by telling them things they could not accept.  Today I found a man who gave every invitation, every demonstration for folks to see and know (not just hear) that He is of God, sent by Him, walks with Him, and is in “Him and He is in Him (that’s not a typo).

Jesus and his disciples had just left the region where Mary and Martha and Lazarus lived, and had nearly gotten killed.  The reaction by the pharisees was always divided, as some believed, and most continued to defend their religion and their lifestyle.  So when Jesus “gets word” that Lazarus was sick and intends to let him die, his reply was “…for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby”.  Is this not a picture of how we must die to be born again?

Jesus obviously had the big picture going on.  For the sake of those he was teaching, he patiently walked out the drama, and yet was fully engaged, to the point that he “groaned” and “wept” before raising Lazarus from the dead.  What does “groaned” mean?  I thought that it meant that he was speaking in tongues, as in Romans 8:26:

26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Having looked into this passage in Romans, I come to the conclusion that it is the same (though not the same Greek word).

Here’s what Strongs says about how Jesus “groaned” when he was about to raise the dead:

to charge with earnest admonition, sternly to charge, threatened to enjoin

ἐμβριμάομαι embrimáomai, em-brim-ah’-om-ahee; from G1722 and βριμάομαι brimáomai (to snort with anger); to have indignation on, i.e. (transitively) to blame, (intransitively) to sigh with chagrin, (specially) to sternly enjoin:—straitly charge, groan, murmur against.

Jesus was indeed working up a good mad at the devil while speaking in tongues!  He was walking into battle, and it took effort, much like when he sweated blood in the garden before the crucifixion.  It’s interesting to me that having faith to know the outcome does not take the fight out of the process.

I always laugh when I read Thomas’ reply, “Let us also go, that we may die with him”  (I do notice that in my KJV, “him” is not capitalized, because Thomas does not yet now with whom he is traveling).  All those signs over three years of walking with Jesus and it still takes the death, resurrection, and putting his fingers in Jesus’ wounds before he declares, “Lord!”.

What will it take for us to truly understand and believe the one who walks with us, and lives in us?

We Are Soldiers

Posted May 29th, 2017 by admin

This was written by one of the inmates at the local jail:

 

WE ARE SOLDIERS

We are Soldiers in the Army of God.

The Lord Jesus Christ is our commanding officer.

The Bible is our code of conduct.

Faith, prayer and The Word of God are our weapons of war.

We are faithful, reliable, capable and dependable.

We have been taught by the Holy Spirit, trained by experience,

tried by adversity and tested by fire.

We are volunteers, enlisted for eternity.

We are not babies,  We don’t need to be pampered, pitied,

primed up, pumped up, picked up or pepped up.

No one has to write us, visit us, entice us, lure us,

or cater to us to remind us of these things.

We are Soldiers, not wimps.

We are in place saluting our King, obeying His orders,

praising His name and building His kingdom!

Our feelings can’t be discouraged enough to turn us away.  

We can’t lose enough to cause us to quit.

Wen Jesus called us into this army we had nothing.  

But with god to guide us we have everything.  

Our God supplies our needs.  

Devils can’t defeat us, people can;t dismay us,

weather can’t weary us, money can’t buy us,

death can’t destroy us and hell can’t burn us.

We are Soldiers marching heavenly bound, claiming victory as we go.

Here we stand!  Will you stand with us?

By CRAZ

Humor

Posted March 12th, 2017 by admin

I was in the car, making jokes…by myself, laughing after a slightly crude antic-dote (that I wouldn’t repeat in church).

I drove by a sign that said, “God doesn’t want you in church, he wants you in His presence.”

I was thinking, “I want to be in God’s presence all the time”, and “God, You’re here”, and He said “Yeah, I’m here” and in light of the joke that I just cracked, I said “Lord, do you ever… can you ‘lighten up’? Do you ever… can you find humor in sin?” and He said, “No.”

He said “If you had any idea of how dark the darkness is, you’d understand that there’s no excuse for it.  And if you knew how bright the light is, you’d understand that every bit of gray is only keeping you from the incredible goodness of everything godly.”

Although we find humor sometimes in things that are witty or sarcastic, sometimes might include profanity or making fun of something; wickedness is wickedness, and if we think it’s taking away joy to not laugh at wickedness, we don’t have an understanding of how joyful the light is designed to be.

_____________________

That was recorded in a voice memo while driving.  Here are some more thoughts on the subject:

Non-Christians think that being a Christian takes the fun out of life.  It is true that there is a transition process of letting go of our dark habits and learning to switch from “fun” to “joy”, but that’s not to say that we don’t have fun.  It’s FUN to pray for someone and see them freak out just a little bit because they got healed of a pain or condition that they have carried around for years.  It’s fun to hug people who are in tears of joy because they just received the encouragement or the reminder that God loves them and created them to be a son or daughter for His enjoyment… and ours.

It’s fun to have a group of believers worshiping God around a fire pit playing music and hearing from the Lord in a group setting.

Is your Christian life fun?  Are you stuck in gray humor?  As for me, I just became aware of it, so I have some work to do, but if you know who I am, I invite you to join me.  I am often having or seeking Kingdom fun, and would love your company.

 

 

 

Ocean

Posted March 9th, 2017 by admin

Yesterday, during a time of listening, I received a picture of the ocean.  For me it was Wrightsville beach as I often see it from my kayak half a mile out.

I noticed everyone playing in the shallows, and in the Spirit I heard the kingdom is like the ocean–the vast majority of believers only play in the shallows.  I then asked for more understanding.  I saw people fishing from boats and became aware that they are limited to one minuscule area of the ocean, as they put a line down to pull up one fish at a time.  Like so many of us who occasionally “go fishing” with our “quiet time” to pull up a truth from the depths… not unlike this article….

Then I saw fishing boats with nets;  the boats represented the church buildings, the captains pastors, and the fish and “shrimp” the people.  Fish and shrimp are collected and dragged back to the land (the often too-worldly environments of the organized church).  Nough-said.

Then I saw the vastness of the depths, with giant kelp forests, schools of huge and small fish, strange creatures large and small, and I understood that it was the spiritual world, a place largely undiscovered, rarely visited, and hidden (as though through a glass)…  I was quite taken by the beauty, and asked the Lord, “Why is there no ocean in Heaven?”  The reply: “The ocean is simply the physical representation on earth of the spiritual world in Heaven.  In Heaven, everything is accessible, the environment itself is the depths, the heights, the sunny valleys, the calm bays and pools.  The river of life flows for those who want water, and you can’t drown in it!”  When I think of the ocean, I think of fish (food).  God showed me that in Heaven, all the food is accessible, and you don’t have to fish or catch, or go in search of it, it is plentiful and readily available.

As a friend of mine pointed out, the oceans separate the masses.  There is no separation in Heaven.  All is known, all is right, all is accessible.  We will be submerged in the life giving substance that we are made of.

Other characteristics of the ocean or water:

  • It comes in three forms
  • It is the anti-fire
  • It refreshes, cools, invigorates
  • Without it, there is no real life.

I asked the Lord, “What about the tides?”  The reply:  The sun is the physical representation of the Son of God.  The moon is the physical representation of the “god of this age”, it is closer, only has dominion over this planet, and has the greatest “pull” on the planet.  So much so, that which ever side of the Earth is closest to the moon, the ocean bulges toward it.  The spirit world is pulled into it’s greatest concentration where evil abounds.  The ebb and flow of good and evil, while destabilizing, brings life and change and growth, just as the choice of sin, trials and temptations keep life in an unstable state, but are always providing opportunities for growth.

Crisis

Posted August 20th, 2016 by admin

Do you know someone who has experienced several trials, difficulties, sicknesses, etc., and they just can’t seem to “catch a break”?

Some folks have a genuinely difficult life–the waves of difficulty just keep on coming in, and they never seem to enter into rest.  Chances are, they have learned to view the world through “crisis lenses”.  I’m not sure what would inspire someone to do this, but I could guess:  Either they believe that they are not worthy of a good and blessed life, and therefore are always focusing on what they feel they deserve, or they have a savior complex, and think that the world needs their help.  In other words, if I am over-nurturing, have a need to rescue someone from their crisis, ignorance, or position, I will never be at peace because the world is full of circumstances and people who NEED my help.  If I need that to validate my existence, then I will always look for something or someone to fix, and see all that needs fixing.

Here are some insights from my own walk and understanding on the subjects of authority, breaking curses, binding and loosing, and the like:

Health:  You want health for your family?  Thank God DAILY for the health of yourself and every family member.  When they are sick, thank God for everything that is NOT wrong with them.

Worry:  Don’t do it.  It is not biblical.  Seriously.  It gives the enemy a very strong foothold.  Consider my post on hearing.  You will quickly understand that what we allow the carnal mind to focus on (the whiteboard), will become what we talk about, and then will become reality, or if we are lucky, will only steal the joy out of every waking moment until it doesn’t.

Wealth:  The Bible is clear about a couple of things:  Proverbs states and implies that a righteous man will have wealth.  There are also many warnings not to pursue wealth.  The greatest statement about priorities is here: “Seek first the Kingdom”  What does it look like to seek Kingdom principles in your relationships with your spouse, your kids, in your job, or in the way you conduct yourself daily?  Would that not produce many types of wealth?

Weather:  If you need good weather for an event, call my mom.  She will pray, you will have sunshine.  This usually works for me as well, but don’t call me.

Other not-so-small details [remember, the devil is in the details]:

Unforgiveness:  If you have it going on in your head or your heart, don’t expect anything to go right…. really.  Roots of unforgiveness need to be dealt with.  Two more thoughts about that: This one from my friend Anthony, and this famous quote that I last heard from my wife:  “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison expecting someone else to get sick.”

Gossip:  Take less time to talk about others, and more time to listen to God about what he wants you to spend all that time doing.  Gossip is evidence of…

Pride:  which comes before a fall, and causes God to oppose you!

AUTHORITY

Posted August 20th, 2016 by admin

This one came out of left field.  I love questions like this:

Q1: When I speak to a family member, I hear the demons speaking to them during our conversation. Is that normal?

A: No. That’s not normal. There’s nothing wrong with you, you have a very active gift of discernment, or you’re certifiably crazy. The friend I know with this question is the former. She is very spiritually sensitive.

Q2: What can I do about it?

A: You can bind spirits and shut them down for as long as you are a part of the conversation. Here is why:

  1. You are a child of God
    1. But if you don’t know it and act like it, the world won’t respond appropriately.
  2. You have authority over evil spirits, through the blood and the name of Jesus Christ.
    1. But if you do not practice it and actively “destroy the works of the devil”, don’t expect immediate results.
  3. You are to “be a light” and to affect the atmosphere- “on earth as it is in Heaven”.
    1. But if you partner with darkness, how dim will your light be?

So let’s say I am in jail, ministering to someone with a spirit of anger, and I myself harbor anger and rage toward someone else? When I walk into jail, I say out loud: “Father, fill me with your Holy Spirit, fill me with your power, strengthen your angels to defend me and carry out your will, put your words in my mouth as I go without any agenda of my own, to do your work.” Then I speak out: “Spirits of anger, rage, malice, confusion, distraction, distortion, murder, gossip, division, false authority, false humility, or any other spirit that opposes the cross of Jesus Christ or his work through me, I BIND YOU, I SHUT YOUR MOUTH, TIE YOUR HANDS, and FORBID YOU TO OPERATE WITHIN 1000 FEET OF ME WHILE I AM IN THIS PLACE.” Then I pray in the Spirit while walking in to give the Spirit of Jesus a chance to creatively speak through my mouth to change the atmosphere, and do kingdom business (of which I know little).

If I carry in my own anger, I seem to have victory in all ministry areas except for the area of anger. This is called a familiar spirit. It’s like having a spy of the enemy in your camp, giving away all your battle secrets before you take action. The mature Christian realizes that through that wonderful gift of choice, if I choose to entertain sinful thoughts or actions, and not have them rightly dealt with and agreements with the underlying spirits broken, then I am giving up my victory in that part of the fight.

This is precisely why the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy sends temptations and trials. That fight in the car on the way to church, that flirtatious work situation on the day you intended to get your wife flowers… the emotional stress just before your husband walks in the door…. The enemy loves to see us disqualified, emasculated, stripped of all confidence and playing on his home turf. So what’s the answer?

Jesus is the answer. Since we can never be sinless, we need to trust in his righteousness, and not in our own. This is not a cop-out. OF COURSE, we are to be Holy, as He is Holy, and OF COURSE we are to not participate in sinful attitudes and actions. IN FACT, failure of choice (when we willfully choose to sin) seems to be directly related to my “results” in ministry, but that has to do with MY FAITH (in and of myself), rather than in the true power of Jesus to overcome all sickness, disease and evil.  To the extent that we realize the forgiveness of our own sin, we can operate in the authority of the sinless one who overcame the world.

The REALITY of our own imperfection, along with the PERFECTION of Jesus’ own REALITY is what gives hope to every sinner and saint out there, who continue to struggle with this world of flesh. The more we focus on the reality of Jesus, His power in us, and the authority he has given us, the more “successful” we will be in our prayers and ministry to others.

 

BREAK

Posted August 20th, 2016 by admin

In my jail ministry, I have two “rules”.

  1. Read a Proverb a day (that will keep you out of jail)
  2. Break agreements with the enemy*.

In this post, I cover breaking agreements.

When you recognize dysfunction in your life, pray for discernment. Ask yourself, “What spirit is at the root of my action, attitude or situation?”
[this is assuming you have learned how to hear from God]

  1. Say this: (or something like it, as the Spirit leads): “sprit of _[the one you want gone]_  I nail you to the cross.  I rebuke you in the name of Jesus, and I break every agreement that I have made with you, known and unknown.”  Sometimes I ramble on a bit, but that’s all that was necessary.  I say things like, “I know I have authorized you in the past by my thoughts and actions, but I CHOOSE to deauthorize you know, you have no more power over me, so you must leave!”
  2. Pray this: “Father God, I repent of joining or agreeing with the spirit of _____ “  [bring to remembrance the sin that so easily ensnared…].  You may want to add confession and asking for forgiveness.
  3. Pray this: “Father, please remove from me the spirit of ________, send it far away from me, and show me what you want to give me in it’s place”
  4. Do this:  Keep your eyes closed, and listen.  Allow God to show you what your life should look like without that thing there messing with you.

 

*We got this method from Barry and Lori Byrne at a marriage retreat called, “Love after marriage”. Not sure if it was original from them, or on loan from someone else, but it’s Kingdom property by now.

HEAR

Posted August 20th, 2016 by admin

That thing you call your imagination—that’s your “radio receiver” (or wireless adapter for you younger folks) for God to speak to you!

I liken it to a whiteboard: lot’s of space for temporary, erasable words, ideas, pictures, memories and the like.

You have creative power, so you can “draw” what ever you want by using your carnal mind in thought.

But if you can quiet your mind, and let GOD draw on your whiteboard, then you can HEAR IN THE SPIRIT.

To do that:

  1. Say this:  “I bind every evil spirit that seeks to keep me from hearing from the one true God, Jehova, Jesus or the Holy Spirit.  All other spirits not from God are prohibited from speaking to me in my mind, desires, memories, or in any other way.”
  2. Say this: “I bless my spirit-man to take precedence over my fleshly carnal mind.  Mind, shut up.  Holy Spirit, take control so that I can hear from God.”
  3. Pray this: “God, speak to me.  Show me anything that is important to YOU.  Help me to hear your voice, to “see in the spirit”, and to discern your voice from my own or from the enemy.  Speak to me now”
  4. Do this:  Push every thought from your mind.  Let it go blank.  Wait, be OK if nothing happens.  This takes practice.  It’s usually 45 sec to 2 minutes before I ever get anything, because it takes time to get ready to receive.

For more of my journey of learning how to listen, click here or here.

Forgiveness

Posted July 19th, 2016 by admin

This is from an inmate named Anthony:

Forgiveness is one of the great principles of our Christian faith.
Faith will not work in an unforgiving heart.  The ultimate example of forgiving ones enemies comes from Jesus.  Jesus modeled this forgiveness as he hung on the cross when he forgave and prayed for the people who put him there (Luke 23:34).
Forgiveness is a cleansing that brings the power of harmony and agreement with God’s word.  Confess the sin of unforgiveness.
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32 NKJV).
Forgiveness comes first from God, knows no limits, and you can’t choose to forgive some people and not forgive others.
Forgiveness is where you experience true freedom because forgiveness breaks down walls of self-pride, self-centeredness, and selfishness.
Don’t let unforgiveness rob you of your joy.  Loving and forgiving your enemies is absolutely impossible without divine help from the Holy Spirit.  So when you ask for forgiveness, remember–Jesus is in the midst.

Sponsored by Seventy times seven
Amen!!!
(by CRAZ)