When God Does Business!

This is an old message I preached at one of our leadership breakfasts. I believe it’s message is rather timely for America. One by one, we need to choose to do right, for God’s sake alone, and this country and yours… will change…. Illegal vs Immoral – Wrong vs Right! “Hey, I didn’t do anything illegal” […]

god-business

This is a message I preached at one of our leadership breakfasts. I believe it’s message is rather timely for America. One by one, we need to choose to do right, for God’s sake alone, and this country and yours… will change….

Illegal vs Immoral – Wrong vs Right!

Hey, I didn’t do anything illegal” is a statement I have heard out of the mouths of certain business leaders.

Remember, we have been adopted into a royal family, we have now become children of the most High God through Jesus, kings and priests unto Him!

royalty

We are no longer merely governed by the laws of the land in which we live, but also by the courts of heaven, where truth, mercy and holiness reside.

In many cases, I would have to agree, these people operated in the confines of the laws of the land. Yet, what about the laws of God? In trying to survive in today’s ‘jungle warfare’, that we are forced to compete in as business leaders, did we find ourselves lying, cheating, stealing, or violating sacred trusts, in order to make a buck?

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams

moral

I think about Ananias and Sapphira, (Acts 5) who were struck dead for lying to the Holy Spirit, in the presence of a man of God, anointed by God to raise up His church.

Yet, let’s break this down into a modern day contract negotiation. It would be fair in contractconstruction, to take bids or estimates from vendors, suppliers, and contractors on a project, compile the bids, add an acceptable profit and overhead, and submit the completed bid to the client.

Contracts are then issued and performed. When the work was performed, the vendors or suppliers would then invoice according to their initial approved estimates, and we would pay them, based upon the percentage of work completed. If there were additions or subtractions to the contract, these are documented, and suppliers are paid accordingly.

This, however competitive it might become, is honest business.

Yet, here are a couple of scenarios that are not only common in the business world, but in many cases have become, ‘the law of the jungle’.

jungle

Let’s just say for instance, that I want to make more on the electrical portion of the job, so I tell my electrician the amount of the other two bids, telling him to match the lowest bid, or he does not get the job. This is unfair, in that it is now a corrupt bidding process, for I have immediately disqualified the other two bidders by secretly disclosing their numbers to my buddy.

Or, I have been awarded the contract, and I have so much money allocated for each trade or portion of the work, and I then ‘shop’ the bid by lying to contractors, saying: ‘I only have $5000.00 into this project for electrical, can you do it for this, and we will make it up on the next one.”

When perhaps, acceptable profit and overhead is 20-25%, and I actually have $10,000.00 allocated for the work. The honest way to do this, is to simply ask contractors, “How much are you willing to do this job for?” and let them bid it fairly.

In a free market economy, competition will keep the bids on track.

This scenario, is exactly what Ananais and Sapphira did.

Now, let’s say, that the job goes well, and I am invoiced by my suppliers, but I tell them, that ‘we ran into some additional expenses on this job, and we are all having to settle on 90cents on the dollar.’ In other words, I get paid the full amount of the contract, but pay my suppliers 90cents on the dollar, and pocket the remainder. This is lying, cheating, and stealing.

Let’s look at Ananaias and Sapphira for a second:

Acts 5: ¶ But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,

2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.

6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.

7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.

8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.

9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.

10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.

11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

servant

I have a picture come to mind, for all you theologians out there, of one of the Levitical high priests, perhaps an Old Testament prophet, who saw the new covenant God was about to make with all humanity through Jesus. How the law, with all its holy ordinances and principals would be fully satisfied in Jesus, and how all the punishment a sin sick humanity deserved, would be poured out upon this One, the Lamb of God, and how God our Father, would receive His sacrificial death as an atonement for our sins, and that after He had raised Jesus from the dead, how God could now pour out love, and mercy and blessing upon anyone who believed. Perhaps this man had spent his entire life consecrating Himself to God’s laws and service in the temple, well aware of God’s holiness. Perhaps He cried out the throne, knowing in the future that a people totally undeserving were now going to enter into the covenant he had given his life to uphold, and from the depths of his heart he cried: ‘God, forsake not Your Holiness!

And God heard, and performed a precedent setting example in the courts of heaven – sin would still be judged, and unfortunately for Ananias and Saphira that day, their lies, cost them their lives.

These two did what is common business in the United States today. They sold a piece of land, and then had a private meeting, to discuss what they were going to do with the money. They decided that because of the big revival going on at the church, that they ought to make an offering at the temple because it was the politically correct thing to do:

Ac 4:34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,

Others, touched by the Spirit of God were doing it, so they decided to join the noble, God fearing community, and give into the gospel.

Yet, they decided to try and make themselves look good at church, while padding their pockets with a nice little profit.

Funny thing about sin, it costs more than you were willing to pay, and generally takes you further than you were willing to go.

Notice, in Acts 5:2 how: they did not have to give the entire purchase price of the land in the offering.

They could have simply declared how much they were going to give, and placed that amount in the offering, and gone away from the meeting, blessed of God, and favored of man.

Yet, like many business people I have met, they told one story, but lived another.

It cost them their lives.

fear-of-the-lord

Pr 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

How many lies do we have to tell, before we become liars? Just one.

How much do we have to steal, before we become a thief? Just once.

How often can we accept a bribe or shop bids, before we become a cheat? Just once.

Whatever happened to sin?

I wrote an article on this title, that became controversial: https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2015/04/24/whatever-happened-to-sin/

Seems discussion of sin in the church, is not longer politically correct, yet the gospel is this:

1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

If the apostle Paul could call himself the chief of all sinners, how much more I, and you, before a holy God.

The gospel, or good news, is that Jesus Christ died upon the cross, to pay for our sins. He will forgive, but only if we humbly, honestly ask Him, with the intent of going our way and sinning no more.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

I love this verse that I describe this way: If you sin, immediately tell Jesus, and ask for His forgiveness. When you do, He will hear, and He will forgive you, and give you strength and grace to not do it again, and wisdom to know what to do next. He, in His amazing love, will cleanse you from the your filth, and will even make the impossible possible, in mending the unmendable, fixing the unfixable, cleaning up the mess we made.
grace-teaches

This is repentance. This is the cross. This is grace. This is the love of God.

Perhaps you are in this place today:

You have been a mover and shaker, trying to get things done in this brutal world we call the business world. Yet, your words have become lies, and truth is no longer the bedrock upon which your life is built.

1Co 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

Amplified Bible (AMP)

13 For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not [a]adjusted and [b]adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to [c]a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.

way-out

Now, this verse is written to those who are enduring temptation or trial.

The people I am speaking today, have already blown it, and have sinned, yet unlike Annanias and Sapphira, you are still alive.

God is love. He is merciful, and though there may be brutal consequences to your sin, you are alive, and He will walk with you as you bear them, and more importantly, He is not done with you, for there is a fate far worse than death.

There is a very real, eternal place, called hell, and Jesus and I are working very hard to see that you don’t have to go there.

Re 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

In a book, entitled ‘A divine revelation of Hell’, a lady claims to have been taken by Jesus into hell, and shown around. Everyone knows Him there, for He sent them there:

Re 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

His heart, is always to seek and save the lost, but if His offer of forgiveness and restoration is rejected, He only has two other options: 1. You can die, your life cut short because of your sin, but your soul saved that you might make heaven, instead of hell. 2. You may eternally reject His blood, and refuse to change your ways, and in that case, you will go to hell.

liars go to hell

In one account in hell, the woman witnessed a man in a prison cell, tormented in flames, screaming in pain. He saw Jesus, and cried: “Jesus, give me one more chance. You know I will do better this time!” Jesus looked at him, with eyes of steel, and said: “You are still a liar, even here!”

There is a day of judgment, where we will appear before Jesus, alone. No excuses, every word and action of our life on complete display. No one to blame, but ourselves. What we do this day, can prepare us for that day.

Run for your life!

Leave people, places and things that corrupt you. Choose truth, holiness, and honesty before God, at all costs, no matter how much money is involved, or what people might think.

How much is eternal life worth?

eternal life

No one can keep your individual appointment with God on that day, but you, yourself.

Make a decision, to watch your words and actions, today. All we have is today. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is only a dream. Work for your God given dream, but live, in truth, today. His name is ‘I AM’, and Now, faith is. He is an ever-present help in time of need, and we all need Him.

Before we pray, I give you the following story:

Who was United States Senator Edmund G. Ross of Kansas? I suppose you could call him a “Mr. Nobody.” No law bears his name. Not a single list of Senate “greats” mentions his service. Yet when Ross entered the Senate in 1866, he was considered the man to watch. He seemed destined to surpass his colleagues, but he tossed it all away by one courageous act of conscience.

Let’s set the stage.

Conflict was dividing our government in the wake of the Civil War. President Andrew Johnson was determined to follow Lincoln’s policy of reconciliation toward the defeated South. Congress, however, wanted to rule the downtrodden Confederate states with an iron hand.

Congress decided to strike first. Shortly after Senator Ross was seated, the Senate introduced impeachment proceedings against the hated President. The radicals calculated that they needed thirty-six votes, and smiled as they concluded that the thirty-sixth was none other than Ross’. The new senator listened to the vigilante talk. But to the surprise of many, he declared that the president “deserved as fair a trial as any accused man has ever had on earth.” The word immediately went out that his vote was “shaky.” Ross received an avalanche of anti-Johnson telegrams from every section of the country. Radical senators badgered him to “come to his senses.”

The fateful day of the vote arrived. The courtroom galleries were packed. Tickets for admission were at an enormous premium.

As a deathlike stillness fell over the Senate chamber, the vote began. By the time they reached Ross, twenty-four “guilties” had been announced. Eleven more were certain. Only Ross’ vote was needed to impeach the President. Unable to conceal his emotion, the Chief Justice asked in a trembling voice, “Mr. Senator Ross, how vote you? Is the respondent Andrew Johnson guilty as charged?” Ross later explained, at that moment, “I looked into my open grave. Friendships, position, fortune, and everything that makes life desirable to an ambitions man were about to be swept away by the breath of my mouth, perhaps forever.” Then, the answer came — unhesitating, unmistakable: “Not guilty!” With that, the trial was over. And the response was as predicted.

A high public official from Kansas wired Ross to say: “Kansas repudiates you as she does all perjurers and skunks.” The “open grave” vision had become a reality. Ross’ political career was in ruins. Extreme ostracism, and even physical attack awaited his family upon their return home.

One gloomy day Ross turned to his faithful wife and said, “Millions cursing me today will bless me tomorrow…though not but God can know the struggle it has cost me.” It was a prophetic declaration. Twenty years later Congress and the Supreme Court verified the wisdom of his position, by changing the laws related to impeachment.

Ross was appointed Territorial Governor of New Mexico. Then, just prior to his death, he was awarded a special pension by Congress. The press and country took this opportunity to honor his courage which, they finally concluded, had saved our country from crisis and division.

Jon Johnston, Courage – You Can Stand Strong in the Face of Fear, 1990, SP Publications, pp. 56-58.

You can make daily courageous decisions to tell the truth, no matter what others are doing.

Lets pray

Let’s pray:

‘Father, I come before you today, asking for mercy. Where I have lied, cheated, and stolen, please forgive me. Father, change me, restore me to integrity, honesty, truth, holiness, and true righteousness before You today. Please eliminate from my life people, places and things that would cause me to sin against You today, and bring into my life, people of honor, truth, faith, that I can be accountable to. You see the horrible consequences my sin has wrought, and only You can fix the messes I have made. I give all of these to You, and ask You for wisdom to know what to do, in each of them. Thank you for sparing my life, and giving me a second chance. Please let me do right in this..in Your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen.’

put-jesus-1st

https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/08/06/the-purpose-of-this-blog/

Get Your Ducks in a Row!

Get Your Ducks in Row! Hab 2: 2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait […]

Get Your Ducks in Row!
ducks-impossible

Hab 2: 2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.

3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

Some time ago, I attended a ministers conference that was teaching us the importance of solidifying the vision and mandate that God had placed upon each of our lives, hosted by Brad Stine, and Blake Fite of Sanctuary Church. He gave the illustration of being stuck in traffic on Sheridan here in Tulsa, on the 4 lane section, with all 4 lanes stopped in both directions. He looked at the long line of traffic stopped in both directions, and saw the lights of a police cruiser up ahead, stopping traffic.

Thousands of tons of metal at a complete stop, with a policeman directing traffic?

As he peered off into the distance, to see what kind of accident or calamity had stopped traffic, he was amazed to see the policeman escorting a mother duck across traffic, with her ducklings in tow. She seemed oblivious to all the commotion her crossing was causing, but simply with great quacks, and purpose, she focused on keeping her ducklings moving in single file, to get them out of danger, and across the busy street.

ducks1
Brad went on to say, that our particular vision, mandates, and goals needed be as focused as that mother ducks: all we have to do, to be successful in life and ministry, is to stay focused on our particular assignment from God, for our individual lives, keeping our ducks in a row. He will stop the world if needed to make way for our gift and calling…Yep, all we need to do, is keep our ducks in a row.

ducks
This is a cute story, but relevant. We can walk with Jesus, in a spirit-led, powerful life.

Let’s Pray:

Father, God, please reveal to me today, Your specific assignment for my life, and what I need to be doing today in order to accomplish it. Remove from me, the distractions, and things that I have added to the simplicity of what you have called me to do. I trust you to protect, provide, stop traffic, and send the laborers I need today, to get done, exactly what You have called me to do, in Your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen

ducks2

 

A Place Called There! – Get There!

A place called there! Mt 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Lu 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word […]

A place called there!

place-there

Mt 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Lu 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

In 1997, I left all I knew to be comfortable with, my home, my family, my country, to go to Rhema Bible Training Center here in Tulsa, OK. During that first week, I heard pastor Kenneth Hagin preach a message, that still speaks to me all these years later. The title of his message, was ‘A Place Called There!

We read of the life of the prophet Elijah:

1 Kings 17:4 And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.

there-place1

1 Kings 17:9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.

Elijah, like every true minister of God, had to discover that his provision, his very life depended upon his specific obedience to God. When God calls you or I, it is to a place called there, and there is always a people on the other side of our obedience.

Elijah prophesied the famine by the Spirit of God, yet that very famine he prophesied would have killed him too (if wicked king Ahab didn’t get him first), had he not specifically obeyed the voice of the Lord, to get to the place of his provision. God had provided for Elijah, in both cases, in the place He sent him, a place called ‘There’.

there

You need to understand that God has provided for you too, but He gives you a command, and your provision a command, and you need to be in the right place at the right time, and when you are, your provision will manifest. It may not be literal ravens bringing you breakfast and supper, but He will send provision, and it usually blows my mind when it shows up.

provision

Like the time I led a missions trip to Arizona, to the Navajo reservation with 17 people. When we had loaded the two trailers we were bringing, and began to pull out, I realized I only had $80 left for gas, food, lodging everything, for the next 10 days. I went home, hit my knees and said ‘Lord, what do I do?’

He said to ‘Take $30 and put it in the offering slot at Victory Christian Center, and put the other $50 into your gas tank’
whatever he says

And so we pulled out of Tulsa, with 3 vehicles and two trailers full of donations for a project we were going to build.

As we started out of town, my cell phone rang, and Dr. Matt Mclure called me and asked: ‘Hey, are you still doing that trip to the Navajo nation?’

“Yes, I answered, we are just pulling out of Tulsa now.”

“Got any room? I just got in from the Sioux reservation and checked my work schedule at the hospital. Seems I am not scheduled this rotation, mind if I come with you?”

“Where are you? Right now?”

“Just off hwy 75 at 121st st in Jenks”

“We are on hwy 75 right now!”

“Can you swing by and pick me up?”

“Sure! My wife is riding with uncle Harry, so you can ride shotgun with me”

So, we picked him up, and when he got in the Jeep, he looked at the gas guage and said: ‘Looks like you have a full tank, you got this one, I’ll get the next one!”

And so it went, the whole trip! I did not have to ask anyone for money, God supernaturally provided, exactly what we needed, exactly when I needed it, because we were in our place called there.

At one point on I-40 we stopped at Dairy Queen (because I needed gas) and had no money. The other two vehicles had gotten ahead of us 30 mins, because I had 3 children, and they had wanted to stretch their legs, so we stopped in Albequerque and hiked up the Petroglyphs.

So there I was, with three tired children that wanted ice cream, and only 1/4 tank of gas, feeling hot, tired, and desperate inside.

This couple approached me, and asked if I would mind if they bought the children ice cream (Yes, God cares about ice cream for children).
homeless

As we visited over an ice cream cone, turns out this couple was named Mike and Julie Pearson, and they were WALKING across America, to raise awareness and support for a homelessness in the US. They were raising support for a ranch, they were trying to build. As we walked out the door, Mike handed me $20, which I immediately put in the gas tank. This got us to Sky City, where God miraculously gave us $60 to fill the tank again.

To this day, I stand in awe of how God provided for this trip, yet He still does it for our family, daily!

Abraham was commanded to sacrifice his son Isaac, where? On mount Moriah, yet at the same time God spoke to Abraham, He also spoke to a ram, to start wandering toward the mountain, and even allowed it to be caught in the bush, taking the fight out of it for Abraham.

Where?

In a place called there!

Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Your provision is not in heaven, but in the earth. Men have it. God knows which men, have your money, food, vehicles, houses, computers, and everything you need to obey Him. His will, is His bill.

Yet, you must give, and obey specifically, what He commands you to do. When you are on the journey of life, in obedience to Him, along the path, He will send men and unlock their hearts to give to you. Our job is to pray, and obey, always, continually putting pressure on promises, never on people. He is well able to wake folks up in the night, and ruin their sleep to get our needs met.

We are required, to give, to hear His voice, to obey, and this will be a life time journey of relationship with Jesus, through the Holy Spirit.

You have been praying, crying out to God for provision, and He has answered, always.

Where?

In your place called ‘There!’.

Sometimes, you gotta move, to move God.

Let’s Pray:

“Father, we believe you love us, and we believe your Word, knowing full well that we do not live by brad alone, but by every Word that proceeds from your mouth. Speak to us Lord Jesus, to get us to the place you have commanded Your blessing and provision, show us where, our place is there, Amen!’

 heaven

Leadership Trust –

A lack of self awareness is one of the biggest challenges leaders face as they step into increasingly higher management roles. “As a leader, you need to be on your best behavior all of the time,” says coaching expert Madeleine Blanchard. “What’s unfortunate is that just when a leader needs increased self awareness, the quality […]

via How to Assess, Apologize, and Act Like a Leader — Blanchard LeaderChat

The High Road! -The Road less travelled…

The High Road Let the mind of the Master be the master of your mind. Source Unknown. Pr 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. The mind of Christ, reveals, and thinks, the higher thoughts of God. These often go radically different directions than all of […]

The High Road

high road

Let the mind of the Master be the master of your mind.

Source Unknown.

Pr 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

The mind of Christ, reveals, and thinks, the higher thoughts of God.

These often go radically different directions than all of our earthly learning, experience, and reasoning’s.

Gotta choose the high road, no matter what it looks like in the natural… Pr 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

This is the verse I have chosen to have inscribed upon my wedding band….

trust ring

Trust and  faith, creates pathways in the Holy Ghost, creative pathways into deeper places, spaces, mysteries unfolded, to our situations, hearts, and answers to each and every generation.

Let’s read one of my favorite verses (for I find myself often thirsty for what only the living God of heaven can give!)

Is 55:1 ¶ Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

4 Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.

5 Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.

6 ¶ Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

high thoughts

So we see the higher thoughts of our God, found only in the mind of Christ, revealed through prayer, both in understanding, through seeking Him in His Word, and in mysteries prayed out in other tongues, in the Holy Spirit, words cried out before the throne of God that no known human language can express, as my First Nations brothers teach us in the wisdom of the elders, spoken only in sacred seeking in healing circles and the utterances of the Great Spirit, the language of God, given us to worship our Great Spirit, in spirit and truth, through Yeshua Homishea, his mysteries breathed into us, in sacred communion and intimacy. The language of God…Tongues to the white man….

tongues1

10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:

11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

word-void

And so redemptive power is released through His voice uttered through His sons, daughters, servants, with signs, wonders, miracles, and great destruction to the constructs of worldly men, devils, and carnal desires, as mercy triumphs over judgement, and holiness is exhibited once again through the blood of Jesus, and He, and He alone is glorified in it.
high-road-regretsRead this little devotion by a man named John Oxenham:

Take the High Road:

Deuteronomy 32:13
He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock;

To every man there openeth
A way, and ways, and a way.
And some men climb the high way,
And some men grope below,
And in between on the misty flats
The rest drift to and fro.
And to every man there openeth
A high way and a low;
And every man decideth
Which way his soul shall go.

John Oxenham

pray

Let’s Pray:
‘Father, lead me on the highway of holiness today, may I ever take the high road, walking with you, glorifying Jesus, no compromise. Amen

https://chrisaomministries.com/2017/01/20/the-purpose-of-this-blog-2/

high-road

Legendary Exploits! And the Earth Shook!

Legend – a story about mythical or supernatural beings or events. 1. legendary – so celebrated as to having taken on the nature of a legend; “the legendary exploits of the arctic trailblazers” 2. legendary – celebrated in fable or legend; “the fabled Paul Bunyan and his blue ox”; “legendary exploits of Jesse James” I […]

extreme faith

Legend – a story about mythical or supernatural beings or events.

1. legendary – so celebrated as to having taken on the nature of a legend; “the legendary exploits of the arctic trailblazers”

2. legendary – celebrated in fable or legend; “the fabled Paul Bunyan and his blue ox”; “legendary exploits of Jesse James”

I Really believe we can live legendary lives for Jesus in this generation!

Da 11:32 but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.

What kind of Holy Ghost exploits are you plotting today?

sun stand still

“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
ground-shook

I love this battle account of Saul’s son Jonathan:

1 Samuel 14

 One day Jonathan son of Saul said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side.” But he did not tell his father.

Saul was staying on the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate treein Migron. With him were about six hundred men, among whom was Ahijah, who was wearing an ephod. He was a son of Ichabod’s brother Ahitub son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the Lord’s priest in Shiloh. No one was aware that Jonathan had left.

On each side of the pass that Jonathan intended to cross to reach the Philistine outpost was a cliff; one was called Bozez and the other Seneh. One cliff stood to the north toward Mikmash, the other to the south toward Geba.

Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.”

“Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.”

Jonathan said, “Come on, then; we will cross over toward them and let them see us. If they say to us, ‘Wait there until we come to you,’ we will stay where we are and not go up to them. 10 But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ we will climb up, because that will be our sign that the Lord has given them into our hands.”

11 So both of them showed themselves to the Philistine outpost. “Look!” said the Philistines. “The Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in.” 12 The men of the outpost shouted to Jonathan and his armor-bearer, “Come up to us and we’ll teach you a lesson.”

So Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Climb up after me; the Lord has given them into the hand of Israel.”

13 Jonathan climbed up, using his hands and feet, with his armor-bearer right behind him. The Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer followed and killed behind him. 14 In that first attack Jonathan and his armor-bearer killed some twenty men in an area of about half an acre.

Israel Routs the Philistines

15 Then panic struck the whole army—those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding parties—and the ground shook. It was a panic sent by God.

When God acts in the earth, through men, there can be signs of His glory! When Jesus rose from the dead, the heavens themselves bore witness, and the earth shook:

earth-shook

God is doing great and mighty things today in history. May we recognize His works, as men move in the eternal battle for righteousness today!

Let’s Pray:

“Father, give me Holy Spirit inspired initiatives, and guts, moxy, courage, and faith to carry them out today! In Your Name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen!’

Kingdom Against Kingdom! Take YOUR Place!

Kingdom against Kingdom Matthew 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places Mark 13: 8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are […]

Kingdom against Kingdom

kingdom-warfare

Matthew 24:7

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come

 

Mark 13: 8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.

9 But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.

10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations.

11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

Luke 21:10 Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:
end-times
Matt 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 are the end time accounts that Jesus gave us in the gospels. Though I have read some material in these areas, I am not a scholar in eschatology, yet I have learned that the gospel must first be preached to the ends of the earth, in order that the end come. I find myself  drawn to the description given in v8-10, nations rise against nations, and kingdom against kingdom.

I see here where we are given illumination from the Word of God on the working of the kingdom of God, and the attacks or entrenchments of the kingdom of darkness, and by faith and in the authority we have been given, we actively destroy, dismantle, and scatter the kingdom of darkness by the Word of God, that v 10 occur: ‘And the gospel must first be published among all nations.

Demons, influencing the minds of sinful people, attempt to do what devils do: kill, steal and destroy.

Yet, the gospel is the answer, the cross of Jesus the answer for sin!

People, created in the image of God, are created for honor, holiness, love, and eternity! Only Jesus and the gospel can do this for people, there is no other way.

So what happens? People in nations, move under the power of devils, trying to establish ‘one world order’ as satan as god of this worldly system, seeks to rule the affairs of men.

He cannot do it though, for we, the church victorious are still here in the earth, exercising God’s authority against him, through prayer, praise and proclamation of the decrees of God.gates-of-hell

My life and whole being is wrapped up in this, the furthering of God’s kingdom, the salvation and discipleship of the nations, according to the Word of God.

great-commission3

Doing this involves persecution, and we are to walk through this in joy, because we have faith in God’s Word:
holier

Mt 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Mt 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

rejoice-refuge

The devil is the same devil, a liar and father of all lies. He hates us, and wants us dead, but cannot do it, because God is our life! So, he resorts to insinuation, character assassination; a whispering, threatening, and deceitful slimyness, with no form or substance. The ABC’s of satan, Accusation, Blame and Criticism.

We are to rejoice and laugh and walk in victory against him, lifting up the shield of favor against him.

This is kingdom against kingdom, the kingdom of God, ever marching victoriously against darkness, with Jesus as head of the church!

Mt 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Jesus is Lord and our commander in chief, aggressively building His church in us and through us.

1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1Jo 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

Will we have trouble in this life? Yes! Will be overcome it?

Yes!
more-thanRomans 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Let’s Pray:

‘Father, show me my place in the gospel today, my assignment in your kingdom, as you aggressively move us forward in love, faith, and victory. Where I am being attacked of the enemy, reveal your strategy of deliverance and victory, as I walk in joy unspeakable and full of your glory today! In your name I pray, Lord Jesus, Amen.’

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Wisdom

Wisdom In the Biblical sense, wisdom is the “ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on knowledge and understanding” (Lockyer p. 1103). Jas 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given […]

Wisdom

Wisdom

In the Biblical sense, wisdom is the “ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on knowledge and understanding” (Lockyer p. 1103).

Clearly, we all need this, and God promises to give it to us if we ask:

Jas 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Jer_33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
call

There is natural knowledge, that comes from study, and the exercise of our mental faculties, then there is revealed wisdom, which is where God supernaturally illuminates to our understanding either a solution to a problem, or a course of action that would not be readily apparent in our own understanding or strength.

Do we need both? Surely. What I already know, I already know, which is why I discipline myself to continue to read at least two good books every week. This helps me to increase, and stay current in knowledge.

However, what I don’t know, I don’t know.

Yet, wisdom, to me, means, ‘knowledge correctly applied’. This takes a walk with Jesus, where Holy Spirit constantly gives me ‘Aha!’ moments of inspiration, that were not readily apparent through normal study and research.

Job, the wealthiest and most honored man of his day figured this out:

Job 28:

12 But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?

13 Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.

14 The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me.

15 It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.

16 It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.

17 The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.

18 No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies.

19 The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold.

20 Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding?

21 Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air.

22 Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears.

23 God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof.

True wisdom comes from God and God alone!

wisdom-gift

This, is exactly what you need today. Specifically, He has told me to post this, that you might move supernaturally into solutions that you could not have known about, had you not prayed.

Let’s Pray:

“Father, I ask you for wisdom and direction for my life. Show me what I must do, and how, and when I must do it. Give me understanding, illumination, on the myriad issues I face, and make apparent, the things that are essential, critical, and urgent, that I not waste my time, and Yours, on wasted thought or activities, in light of eternity. Father, I ask this, of Lord Jesus, my personal pastor and Shepherd, in His name. Speak to me Holy Spirit I pray, Amen!”

My Personal Philosophy of Christian Teaching Ministry

Christian Teaching Ministry – my personal philosophy
Role of the Learner
learner

Tao Te Ching — ‘When the student is ready the teacher will appear. When the student is truly ready… The teacher will Disappear.’

Normally, I don’t post Buddist quotes, but this speaks to me to me of ministry moments and function:

teacher-appears

Holy Spirit prepares a student in awakening a hunger in their heart for a qualified teacher to bring them truth. When the truly called and anointed ministry gift has done their job well, they quietly walk on with Jesus, led to their next assignment, knowing in their heart that the student has been trained, equipped and empowered so well, that they are no longer needed. Reminds me of construction, when we build something well, we walk away and go build something else, knowing the building no longer needs us to stand strong against the storms of life.

peter-rock
How are we to know when a ‘teachable moment’ occurs in the lives of those we are called to reach? This can occur for people in different ways, and unless Holy Spirit shows us the state of their heart, we quietly model a spirit-led life-style and preach the word in season and out of season, and amazing things happen. Times when we think people are totally uninterested, can be miracles in motion, when hearts open supernaturally, and God shows up in power. I’ve already used your quote: ‘You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink – but you can put salt in his oats.’ Sometimes, our sacrificial live of love walked out in the power of the Spirit, is the salt people need to get in touch with their authentic thirst for living waters, found only in Jesus.

cropped-living-waters.jpg

In this class we were instructed in detail as to how learners learn, and various methods of teaching to help them in the learning process.

 

I like this Learners Model:

learning-domains

We looked at Cognitive – knowing – intellectual or head knowledge

Affective – Feeling – Heart

Behavioral – Doing – Hands

Moral- Owning- Honor

 

Yes, I liked the five ‘R’ levels of learning, and understand Bloom’s taxonomy but it is the ‘Take-aways’ that I actually am taking away from this course. There is one that provokes my prayer life.

 

It states: When disciples begin to own for themselves the biblical, Kingdom values that provide the “why” behind the actions, those values will guide them daily both consciously and unconsciously.

 

We then looked at how when more senses are involved in the learning process, the retention level goes up quickly.

 

Now let’s look at the role of the teacher in the learning process.

 

Role of the Teacher

teacher-know-god

Rather than reiterate course notes, and since this is my personal philosophy explained, let share some thoughts about my philosophy of Christian teaching:

 

1.The teacher must be a person of prayer. John 3:27 (AKJV) 27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.

presence nothing like How well I have learned over the years, that inspiration trumps perspiration. God can breath on a simple teaching, and change hearts and lives wonderfully, if we as ministers ‘smell like smoke’, having laid our lives down on the altar of prayer and emerged from the fresh fire of His presence.  appointed

2. The teacher must know, exemplify and be living the truth they wish to impart. Transparent, authentically pure lives and holy conduct make the teaching more powerful. Character must be greater than charisma. Like when a youth said to me: ‘What’s wrong with cussing, everybody does it.’ Quietly I replied, ‘I don’t’. Clearly the strength of my reply gave him something to think about. work-of-ministry

3. Ministry is a four letter word: WORK. There is no substitute for adequate study and preparation in not only the word, but also with teaching aids, props, hand-outs, power-points, practice skits, worship practice, that all come together by the grace of God at the time of ministry like a well oiled machine. People may not fully understand how much work and preparation time went into a well planned and ordered service, but when it is properly executed, they get it, and they grow and are transformed.
servant king4. The teacher must be a servant leader. In the earlier stages of discipleship, as a parent would with a small child, we are large and in charge, until the student can begin to make good decisions for themselves, but in long run, we are working ourselves out of a job, in that though we hope we will always be friends with our protégé’s, we are not in the least threatened if they should go on and do greater exploits in the kingdom than we have ever accomplished. We long to impart such grace and life lessons, that they no longer need us, and are fully equipped to walk with Jesus apart from us.
tl-osborne5. The teacher MUST demonstrate the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives. They must walk in the gifts of Holy Spirit, and demonstrate them, that the student be both taught, and shown how to walk with God.  As Holy Spirit manifests, there should be enough relationship with those we are called to disciple, that we can explain promptings, inner leadings, and the various ways of the Spirit that the student is encouraged to seek to be used in the same ways.

My Personal Philosophy on the use of Curriculum:
Curriculum curriculum-950x306Bottom Line – they work, and get the job done, if these other five attributes of the teacher are in place. There are some incredibly gifted ministry teams in the kingdom of God that have produced some exciting curriculum and as I meditate upon the job description of five-fold ministry gifts, in Eph 4:  11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

 

It seems clear to me, that authentic ministry gifts produce curriculum that help equip the Body for the work of the ministry, perfecting them and developing them in the character of Christ, that the body of Christ be edified. As we prayerfully seek the Lord as to which curriculum to select, we can use the curriculum evaluation work-sheets in our research, to discover which might best meet the needs of the people we are called to serve.

 

The word edify means: to instruct or improve (someone) morally or intellectually. But I like the old English definition of this word:

 

Middle English: from Old French edifier, from Latin aedificare ‘build,’ from aedis ‘dwelling’ + facere‘make’ (compare with edifice). The word originally meant ‘construct a building,’ also ‘strengthen,’ hence to “build up” morally or spiritually

 

Here we see the root word ‘edifice’ to build, from the thought to ‘construct a building’.

 

Jesus is building a kingdom, here in the earth, His church:

Matthew 16:18

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

 

Ministry gifts can produce solid, Biblical curriculum, that further the depth and reach of their ministries.

 

Obviously, the selection and application of these should never become a dead, lifeless legalistic process. Instructors must be free to obey Holy Spirit, and allow Him to change a particular lesson or lesson plan to meet the needs of the people. We are called to reach and teach people, not curriculum.

teach-love

In speaking to various successful ministers who use or who have developed curriculum, they treat curriculum as just another tool in the tool box. They have their place, but are no substitute for the creativity of Holy Spirit in a ministry session or in the preparation for one. Specific items in a lesson can be added or subtracted depending upon the ministry setting, and supplementary videos and additional props and games can be added to tailor the material to the specific needs of the people of God. We have been given tools in this course to effective evaluate and develop effective curriculum that I will use in the future as these leadership decisions as to what curriculum are needed are developed.

methods

Methods:

As a wise minister once said: ‘The message and mission of the church will never change, but in every culture and generations, the methods of presenting God’s truth MUST change”

In the course we discussed and read in the text on various teaching methods that we can employ to get the job done.  The methods we use may depend upon the lesson aims, vs the time we have to minister, The Student ability and the teachers ability, the facilities available, ie size of the room vs size of the group, curriculum, supplies, classroom and equipment. Over the years, I have used everything from a pulpit, to power-point, to puppets, to skits, to games, to costumes, to magic tricks (fire Bible, props from the magic shop) to get the point across, to see people’s lives changed. We develop more proficiency, with more tools, as we grow in our gifts and callings, but there is no set formula as to what methods will work where. I am clued by ministry props and methods, not glued to any one of them.

teacher

Over the recent years, I have watched as God has multiplied the International Bible Schools out of Victory. Though the basic curriculum remains constant, the implementation of the teaching is as varied as the countries and cultures where it is taught. In one country,  a pastor with no Bible school training, simply obtains a television and DVD player, and he and his congregation watch the videos together, and obtain their grounding in the Word. Seems so dry and lifeless to me, yet to them who have no other way to learn, Proverbs 27:7 The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.

I am thinking about more creative ways to make adult sermons more interactive and hands on, to involve more head, hearts and hands in a congregational setting. Not sure how best to do this yet, but I’m sure there is a way, and it will probably be transformational to the way we have always done church. We are called to make disciples, not simply have church on Sunday, so there must be a way…

 

The past couple of years we have done ‘Summer at the movies’ at LifeChurch, and found it exciting and fun. Takes a minute to get used to a pastor on a screen though, and sitting in service sipping an iced tea eating popcorn. Seems to be working for them, as it is the Word and Holy Spirit that change lives: the fruit is there, so I will not discount its effectiveness in the lives of the people it is serving.

Outcome:

Obviously the desired outcome of all of our teaching must be changed lives, people transformed in their thinking, feeling, and actions – hearts changed and entire belief systems within them changed, so that people not only change what they do, but why they do it.

 

Romans 8:29 (AKJV)

29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

 

 

I will expound for the sake of the assignment, but that initial sentence sums it up.

 

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God, and no matter how we package the message, it is still the work of the Word written of the fleshly tablets of people’s hearts, that causes us to become more like Jesus, and to think and act more like Him in the particular journey He has chosen for us to walk before Him. Though His character and mission of the redemption of all of humanity will never change, His particular mandate, calling, and assignment for each of us, as unique expressions of His creativity and grace, is individual and specific to each of our lives. As we grow in grace and knowledge of Him and His kingdom, we become more effective in helping others walk free from the muck and the mire of the human existence, as in wisdom we learn to teach truth that sets free, tempered with love and the other fruits of the Spirit, that we might win some…

 

 

The Hook, Book, Look, Took, Shook model is a powerful teaching tool, and we have just demonstrated in our primitive attempt at a group presentation, that it actually works! We engage our learners with a creative hook, give them the book, get them to look inwardly for application to their personal lives, and then check to see if it took, through investigative questioning or assignments. If it took, the world will be shook by their changed lives and the power of God working through them.

 

Encourage, Equipped, and Empowered: E3!
e3-pic

Whatever HE Says – Do it!

whatever he says
Two people try to do the exact same thing before God. One has a word from the Lord, and Jesus does miracles for them. The other, did not have a word from the Lord, and they crash and burn, and cause great heartbreak to the Lord, their families, and everyone around them. He will pay for and bless, only what He gives voice to. He will not bless our imitation of others. Truly, it is life or death – accurately hearing Him. John 2:5 – Whatever HE says, do it

Jesus said:

John 10:27 The sheep that are My own hear My voice and listen to Me; I know them, and they follow Me.

He promises that we WILL hear His voice!

Hear Him, and obey!

obey whatever He says

Let’s Pray:
‘Father, I want to hear Jesus voice today. Jesus, you promised to speak to me, personally, what you would like me to do. Please speak to me, and give me clear direction today, and to miracles as I obey. Amen!”

obey no compromise

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