Sharpen Your Blade!

Sharpen your Blade!
sparks
Pr 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

We walk in love, and operate by faith. This verse reminds me of something I heard some years ago, during a leadership meeting.

The minister read this verse, and made the statement: “Seems God takes great delight, when strong leaders, both moving in the same direction, hit each other a glancing blow, and to those on the outside looking in, sparks fly!

He went on to say, that it reminded him of a cole chisel, that if you hit it from the side, it simply sharpens the cutting edge, that you only dull it if you hit head on.

I am a strong leader, and sometimes in my passion and zeal, in working with other leaders, sparks fly. My prayer is that I never dull anothers edge, but that we continually sharpen one another in the love of God.

Pr 9:8 : rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

I am the kind of guy that would rather have someone confront and correct me when I am wrong, than gossip behind my back about me. Bring it on! If I’m wrong, I will quickly repent, receive instruction, and correct myself, and lets get back in the fight, together.

Pr 27:5 Open rebuke is better than secret love.

Yep, faith produces God’s power, and as we move in the anointing to reap harvests in God, we can cut a wide swath. However, while all this reaping, moving and shaking is going on, the oil that makes the combine move, must be the love of God.

scythe
Ga 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

Let’s work our faith, but let’s keep love flowing, so that we can continually sharpen one another, even when the sparks are flying!

I have learned in life, that I either grow in responsibility, or I gotta go…

I either allow myself to be instructed, or I become part of the problem.

Here is my question to you today: ‘Who are you going to sharpen today, and who are you going to allow to sharpen you?’

I would love to hear your thoughts…

Let’s Pray:
‘Father, we love you, and are determined to make an impact with our lives, and bear much fruit for the gospel. Let us not be a stumbling block to the people you have called us to walk with, serve with, and support, and may kingdom conflict only produce the sharpening of our blade, as we encourage one another on to even great exploits, for your kingdom and your glory. Amen’

Warrior Strength

Warrior Strength!

I am the storm

Ps 33:16
The best-equipped army cannot save a king,
nor is great strength enough to save a warrior.

17 Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory—
for all its strength, it cannot save you.

18 But the Lord watches over those who fear him,
those who rely on his unfailing love.

19 He rescues them from death
and keeps them alive in times of famine

It is good to be strong, but strength, weapons, great leadership, and military will not protect and deliver you in the day of battle.

Jesus alone will do that.

Always remember when you see wicked people, that their next heartbeat is only granted them at the hands of their Creator. ‪#‎JesusIsLord‬

1 Corinthians 15:57

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Remember, faith in the battle will bring victory:
Remember Daivid’s mighty men?
We read of Shammah:

But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the Lord wrought a great victory.
Remember warrior, Jesus will give victory when we fight for what is right…
Let’s pray:
Psalm 144:1

Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: God Almighty may I stand strong in this generation for You and Your cause, unafraid of wickedness, bold in my faith and my warfare for Jesus. Amen’

 

Run the Race

Run the Race

run

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

Most of you know, that I serve Jesus, determined to grow in spiritual maturity, academic excellence, and physical fitness.

Each day, it seems Holy Spirit places His finger on one of these areas, and challenges me to step up.

Monday, we knuckled down and disciplined ourselves (my 13 year old princess Keila and I), and disciplined ourselves to complete the publication of our book we have been pecking away upon for several months. Got  the cover designed, and everything submitted to the publisher…Mission accomplished. Yet, while that went well, my work-out at the gym was lack luster, and not really focused and intense.

For those of you who do not know, I have a yearly fitness goal of being able to run under 25 mins in a 5 Km run, while maintaining a bench press of 315lbs. I have never been able to do this yet. While my bench is now at 315, to get there, I had to do much strength training and bulked up, and I let my running schedule go.  I had my running time down to 25:22, but still have not broken that 25 min barrier again. No small challenge for a 54 year old husband, father, missionary, and author…I call it ‘The Great Balancing Act’

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

So last week, we decided to walk two ½ mile laps, of a local pond, before breakfast, to burn fat. Instead of lifting weights on leg day, I jogged, painfully, a couple miles up Turkey mountain here in Tulsa. Tight, brutal miles, in 100F heat through the woods.

Turkey Mountain

Yesterday was legs day again, so I prayed, and felt impressed to again run the mountain. Yet, the way the schedule worked out, I had to run at 1PM, in the hot midday heat here. As I asked Jesus how far to run, clearly, Holy Spirit said: ‘I want you to run yellow trail, all the way around, without stopping.’

In years gone by, we loved that 4.3 mile loop around the mountain, but that was when we ran 3-4 times/week. I have not run over a mile since January, last week’s 2 mile run was painful…

Furthermore, my rational mind kicked in. When we run the mountain, we do it early in the morning, before the searing Oklahoma heat kicks in, in the cool of the day. Even when I was in running shape, running at midday was not wise…

Yet, I felt Holy Spirit tell me I could do it, so humbly, and intelligently, I asked him: ‘How?’

I was reminded of one hot 105F summer day in years gone by, I was scheduled to run, and decided it was definitely too hot! Yet, while picking up some supplies for work at Home Depot, I saw a guy out running!  He finished right at Home Depot, so I commented to him: ‘A little hot for running?’ With fire in his eyes, he said, ‘Nope, just got back from  my tour of duty in Iraq, and we ran every day in 140F, this is just warm, not hot yet.”

hero scared

So, that day, I kept my training schedule, and ran a couple miles. (Thank a serviceman or vet today for freedom!)

Gently, I felt Holy Spirit instruct me to drink a full water bottle before I drove the ½ hour over to the mountain, and that I should listen to Him throughout the run.

So, I drank my water, and arrived at the start of the trail.

It was hot, and I was intimidated!

So, again I asked Him for instruction. Gently, He told me to set an easy pace, and not to blast the steep inclines, but to simply ‘keep on moving without stopping.’

This was to become my battle cry.

keep moving only way

As I started into the woods, I thought through the upcoming run, the descents, the ascents, and the long winding sections, and planned my attack.

From my study of native worship, I immediately sensed the presence of God, when a butterfly circled me several times as I entered the woods, a black ‘morning glory’ that spoke to me of the immediate presence of God with me, creation speaking of our Creator, the beauty of the butterfly reminding me of the abiding presence of Holy Spirit with me.

butterfly morning glory

As I approached the first steep hill, about ½ mile in, Holy Spirit gently instructed me to take the long way around, with a steady effort, avoiding the steep hill, and to ‘keep moving after you hit the top’.

Never was I so aware of Him as my personal trainer, my coach, leading me to fitness, excellence, and to push hard in training, without overextending.

In a full sweat now, I crested the top, and when my mind and lungs screamed for me to stop and run, my head pounding from the heat, I remembered His instruction, to ‘keep moving forward after hitting the top’. Amazingly to me, I was able to do this, and as the trail leveled out again, I was able to regain control of my breathing again, and settle into a steady pace.

The open sections between the trees were searingly hot in the direct sunlight, and I noticed this, and immediately, my coach said: ‘Stay to the shady sides of the trail, and avoid direct heat where you can.’

voice today

And so it went, with Him gently encouraging me over the rougher spots in the trail, and then, as I smelled the stench of the sewage treatment plant near the turn-around, I knew I had to climb the mountain again. My doubts reminded me that this was the very place several years ago where our beautiful golden retriever Rusty had collapsed and died, and that I needed to stop, walk, and cool down on the steep incline, it was too hot to run it. So, I asked Holy Spirit what to do.

Immediately He reminded me of His original instruction, to simply ‘keep on moving without stopping’ so I asked Him for strength to keep jogging up the hill. As I came to the looming Hill, that exploded into a section of direct scorching sunlight at the top, I was intimidated, yet decided to try anyway. As I began my ascent, His voice came to me clearly again, “No heroics here. Just a steady effort throughout the hill, and keep moving at the top’

So, I did what He said, rounded the turn-around, and with lungs bursting, head pounding, exploded out of the trees into the 100 yards or so of heat at the top.

Yet, I managed to keep moving, and eventually regain my rhythm and pace as I reentered shade of the trees, to begin the jog back. As I did, again, a beautiful morning glory butterfly circled me, and I immediately breathed out a ‘Thank-you’ to my intimate never failing God. I felt His pleasure as He replied: ‘Not many notice, when I send my creation to encourage them, I’m glad you noticed…’ I found myself asking His forgiveness for the hardness of my own heart, in the times I know He had done this for me…and that I did not recognize Him until much later.

creation speaks

My body was feeling it now. Over two miles had gone by, and I was hot. He sent a breeze!

Ahead of me was a long open section of path, with no shade!

Yet, the footing was good, and the trail pretty level overall. My legs were hurting, but I had found my stride, and got into my rhythm of grace.

Before I knew it, I was at ‘Heartbreak Hill’. I’m not sure if this is the actual name of this incline, or simply one we have given it over the years. Here is why we call it that. On yellow trail, you circle the mountain, and have descended, and ascended it, so that the final half (If you run it counterclockwise like we usually do) is along mostly the ridge of the mountain. Yet, after 3 miles, when you think you should begin to descend, there is this rough ascent, with loose rocks, that climbs about 100 yards with some tricky footing as you go up. I find this stretch the most mentally tough part of this run, because you have just completed a mile or so of smooth, easy trail, and by that point, you simply want to descend, and head back to the parking lot.

Again, I felt His presence remind me: ‘Keep moving forward, do not stop, just a solid steady effort’, solidifying my resolve to actually complete this training assignment, and finish this run, without stopping.

Made it to the top!  Head pounding, a throbbing headache my reward, lungs screaming: “Stop and walk for awhile!”

Yet, suddenly, I was surrounded by a swirl of tiny orange butterflies!

painted

Like a victory celebration, I felt His joy, that I had made the top of the hill without stopping, and had actually sent these beautiful little creatures to remind me of His pleasure in my accomplishment.

My quads were hurting now, but I knew I could not stop now. It was only flat and downhill from here, with a little over a mile left to go.

I rounded the corner to the right, for the last stretch before the cut-off to the left that descended all the way down to the parking lot trail.

I was tired now, and knew it; my shirt was a dripping ball in my hand from wiping the burning sweat out of my eyes, my body running rivers of perspiration,  but was beginning to believe I might actually make it!

As I saw the trail cut off to the left, Holy Spirit cautioned me: ‘Be careful descending!’ Suddenly, I saw the danger: I was slightly dizzy from the heat, and there is some treacherous footing headed downhill there. I had to nimbly choose my footing, with legs that felt like tree trunks, that were not wanting to be nimble at all.

Furthermore, descending was excruciating! Why does it hurt muscles so much to descend, rather than to ascend? Each step down, felt bone-jarring, as I felt the impact throughout my entire body.

Yet, I made it to the concrete block trail divider, and picked my way down the steep trail, to the final ½ mile jaunt back to the parking lot.

Again, my guardian butterflies were with me, signaling my victory over the mountain!

I did it! By the grace of God, I did it!

1 Corinthians 15:57

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
victory1

Another training milestone laid, in my yearly fitness goal, another mental barrier crushed.

In every area, I am convinced that Jesus would give us victory, if we would trust Him, lean upon Him, and learned to fully submit to the leadership, comfort and coaching of the Holy Spirit along the way.

He doesn’t call the qualified, but He does qualify the called….

Just for fun, here is the picture my precious daughter took of me actually managing to get 315 on bench!

315

Let’s Pray:

‘Father, show me your plan, purpose, and destiny. Reveal to me the academic, fitness, and spiritual goals I need to set, and give me Your plan to work on all of these simultaneously. I ask this, knowing You love me, You hear, You care, and answer, for I ask in Your mighty name Lord Jesus, Amen’

Running Before the Gale

Running Before the Gale

gale

The Storm at Sea

Acts 27:13 When a light wind began blowing from the south, the sailors thought they could make it. So they pulled up anchor and sailed close to the shore of Crete. 14 But the weather changed abruptly, and a wind of typhoon strength (called a “northeaster”) burst across the island and blew us out to sea. 15 The sailors couldn’t turn the ship into the wind, so they gave up and let it run before the gale.

Running before the gale!

When I was young, full of fire and adventure, I spent nine months becoming trained as an underwater welder, and I decided to join a company out of Key West named Treasure Salvors, headed up by a flamboyant man named Mel Fisher. Hunting Spanish treasure ships off the Florida Keys, it was a great adventure.

Mel Fisher

Then, as God would have it, I had the opportunity to jump ship and join ‘The Illusion’ expedition, headed up by a man from Brazil. Tony had worked in the oil fields as a diver, and had built a 65 schooner, fully equipped as a dive vessal. He had been searching archives for many years, to unearth the plight of the many treasure ships that had sunk crossing the Atlantic. He had his eyes on a Dutch Schooner said to be sunk in the Madiera Island group off Portugal, and several other wrecks along the journey. So, not yet 21, I hired aboard this wild expedition, with two Swiss, a German, a French man from Gabon, Africa, a captain from Brazil, with his wife and two year old daughter, and two Doberman pinchers!

sail

We had many adventures, and some once in a lifetime experiences finding wrecks, spearfishing, and crossing the Atlantic under sail.

We got caught in a force 10 storm, with 50-70mph winds. All we could see is blowing foam, and seas mounted to 40-50’ waves, with the tops being torn off of them by the high winds. We had to keep the boat running before the wind, carefully slicing the waves, or we would breach, overturn, and I might not be writing this story.

For three days and nights, we could do nothing but hang-on!

No food, no sleep as the waves were too violent, and would throw you out of your bunk. Dark, starless night, blowing rain, foam, mist, with one thought on all of our minds, survive.

On the third day, the winds let up, and I ate a dry cracker, crawled into my bunk, and slept for a couple of hours. I was awakened to the sound of the baby laughing, with sun streaming through my porthole!

I stumbled out of my bunk, being flung side to side, the entire boat creaking and groaning, crashing through the waves.

I came above decks to behold a sight!

The wind had stopped in the night, but because it was no longer tearing the tops off of the waves, seas were now 65-80’ tall! Our little schooner would surf up one side of a mountain of water, and launch into the air, to come crashing down the other side of these monstrous waves. We would hit the bottom of the trough, and the bow would turn submarine, plunging the front third of the ship underwater, with hatches groaning, like a cork we would bob up again, and head for the sky again.

The baby was in her safety strap hugging one of the dogs, laughing hysterically!

toddler laughing

One of the Swiss had a camcorder, and he filmed that day: how I wish I had a copy of that video!

We all began to laugh! A celebration of life! We were alive to face another day, the sun was shining, and it was going to be alright!

Now, back to the Word of God:

You know the story, Paul the mighty apostle with a burning zeal and a passionate fire to see his people saved, and right with God. He has met Jesus, and he is going to Jerusalem, capital of the world, to tell them the good news of who Yeshua really is!

FAITH is Fantastic Adventures In Trusting Him.

faith fantastic

Let’s read:

Acts 20:22

And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:

Bound in the spirit,

Some question whether Paul heard the voice of God to make this particular trip to Jerusalem.

Romans 8: 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Spirit led1

Surely Paul is a son of God, and He heard God to go to Jerusalem.

Yet we see an interesting interplay here between the office of the apostle, and the office of the prophet.

Acts 21:11

And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.

Acts 21:12

And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.

Acts 21:13

Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

The prophetic word delivered to Paul was accurate, and for those around him that loved him, was interpreted that Paul should refrain from going up to Jerusalem. Yet, to Paul the apostle, ready to endure any hardship for the sake of the gospel, he was strengthened by the word!

courage Jesus

He hardened himself, recognizing imprisonment and a beating were in his future, but he did not flinch in the face of danger. Perhaps he read:

Isaiah 50:7

For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.

So, as Paul Harvey would say, ‘and now for the rest of the story’.

He made it to Jerusalem, underwent imprisonment, and the foretold beating. Yet, though his path was hard, their was an audience of One that he sought to obey and please.

In His prison cell, that One, King Jesus showed up to personally comfort His servant:

Acts 23:11

And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome

How is that for an encouraging word.

You obeyed me, now I am sending you to Rome – (in the belly of a slave ship) – running before the gale!

Jesus appears

So leader, the storms of life will come. You are either in one, finishing one, or headed into another one. It is the cost of the call, the price tag of leadership, the race run, before our audience of One.

The lonely times leave a mark upon your soul. Perhaps it was this time in Jerusalem that caused Paul to pen these words:

2 Timothy 4:16

At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/leadership-lonliness/

When we enter into the perfect, sovereign assignment of heaven for our lives, all hell may well break loose to prevent us getting to our goal.

faith

Jesus faced the storm on the sea of Galilee, Paul, Joseph in the pit, Moses in the desert…

Jesus suffered alone upon the cross…We who represent Him, will find ourselves alone with

Him too.

While no earthly help may seem to appear, there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. One who knows, who cares, and who will never leave nor forsake you.

We did make it to Portugal, and discover the 1611 Dutch trader with 54 silver bars on its manifest. Another story, for another day…

You will make it too, if you are willing to abandon all for the sake of the call.

Like Mary told her servants so many years ago, at the wedding feast:

John 2: (KJV)

His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

obey whatever He says

In your hour of trial, HE WILL APPEAR, AND HE WILL SPEAK!

God speaks

Do not settle for the mere words of men, obey Him, and walk upon the water of His Word.

deep

Make headlines in heaven so that this question in the heart of Jesus be answered:

Luke 18:8

Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Let your answer to this question be a resounding YES! You won’t have to look any further Lord Jesus, for I believe!

faith1

Let’s pray:

‘Father, let me not shrink back for Your clear mandate for me. While the storms may rage, may I navigate them and run before the wind of Your Holy Spirit, running before the gale. In Your name and for Your glory I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’

PS: If you would like to read another adventure story type devotion from my treasure hunting days: https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/a-shark-story/

Just in case you think this kind of stuff only happens historically, here’s one from this week when our jeep was stolen: http://www.fox23.com/videos/news/video-teens-commit-tulsa-crime-spree/vDW5k2/

If you would like to help us in our missionary adventures, please make a donation on Paypal: http://chrisaomministries.com/2016/02/27/newsletter-aomministries-feb-march/

http://chrisaomministries.com/2016/03/17/faith-sets-the-sail/

Working on Goals….

goal time

Just like God is trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, so are we. We are a spirit, have a soul, and live in a body.

Each of these areas need to come under the Lordship of Jesus, and I must admit, I have let my fitness level over the years go to the point, that I had a stroke in 2009, mostly because of violating natural law. Can’t work 80 hour weeks, live on fast food, coffee and energy drinks for a couple years, and expect good results. I’ve now lost 45 lbs, and am yearly, setting fitness goals, as well as spiritual goals.

I have noticed that strength training is all about 3 things: Brutal workouts, clean eating, good rest. Seems as a missionary, it is very difficult to control these three all at once…

My fitness goals are simple: 1. Be able to bench 315lbs, 5 times, 2. Run a 5km run under 25mins.

So, as I read:
Ecclesiastes 11 (AKJV)

11 Cast thy bread upon the waters:
for thou shalt find it after many days.

2 Give a portion to seven, and also to eight;
for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.

3 If the clouds be full of rain,
they empty themselves upon the earth:
and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north,
in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.

4 He that observeth the wind shall not sow;
and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap

You can’t wait for perfect conditions, to do what you can with what you’ve got. Pyramided up and got 315 again on bench this week – one time. Would like to be stronger, but it is better to be doing something with what I can do, than nothing, waiting for perfect conditions…

Whatever your goals are, do SOMETHING towards them, today.

do or do not

Let’s pray:

‘Father God, You created me, and You gave me today, a clean slate to write upon. Jesus, I submit to Your Lordship, and Your plan for my life, and ask You for direction, wisdom, strength, health, and clarity, to set and work on Your plan and goals for my life today. Amen’

do it

Mens Ministry

Here is a series of articles I wrote for men’s ministry:

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/the-four-stages-of-manhood-the-age-of-the-patriarch/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/four-stages-of-manhood-fatherhood/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/four-stages-of-manhood-manhood-part-two/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/the-four-stages-of-biblical-manhood-part-one-boyhood/

 

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/manhood-a-bit-of-redneck-righteousness/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/no-bull/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/12/the-warrior-heart-of-god/

Feel free to use these as you see fit!

Stay Blessed!

Keep Smiling!

Jesus is Lord!

C

Courage

courage fireman

We all need it.

True courage comes from God,

Just like God spoke these words to Joshua, so many years ago, He is speaking them to you today:

Joshua 1:9

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Here’s a Paul Harvey Story, that encouraged me today:

COURAGE

One summer morning as Ray Blankenship was preparing his breakfast, he gazed out the window, and saw a small girl being swept along in the rain-flooded drainage ditch beside his Andover, Ohio, home. Blankenship knew that farther downstream, the ditch disappeared with a roar underneath a road and then emptied into the main culvert. Ray dashed out the door and raced along the ditch, trying to get ahead of the foundering child. Then he hurled himself into the deep, churning water. Blankenship surfaced and was able to grab the child’s arm. They tumbled end over end. Within about three feet of the yawning culvert, Ray’s free hand felt something–possibly a rock– protruding from one bank. He clung desperately, but the tremendous force of the water tried to tear him and the child away. “If I can just hang on until help comes,” he thought. He did better than that. By the time fire-department rescuers arrived, Blankenship had pulled the girl to safety. Both were treated for shock. On April 12, 1989, Ray Blankenship was awarded the Coast Guard’s Silver Lifesaving Medal. The award is fitting, for this selfless person was at even greater risk to himself than most people knew. Ray Blankenship can’t swim.

Paul Harvey, Los Angeles Times Syndicate.

Always remember, that you are not alone, that Jesus is with you, and no matter what you are facing, hear these words today:

Matthew 14:27

But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”

courage Jesus

Keep moving forward, walking by faith. Refuse to be paralyzed by fear, do what you know to do, and keep trusting Jesus for the impossible!

Let’s Pray:

‘Father, I chose to trust you today. You are Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth, and you are with me, through Jesus. Reveal Your power and majesty to me today, show me Your glory, grant me courage and boldness to move forward in Your plan for my life today, without compromise, in Your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen.’

courage

 

For prayer, comments, or to donate online:

Email: chris.aomministries@gmail.com

paypal

Donate on-line: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=95XHSDDXDS7MC

Give in faith!

1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?

1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.

Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.

I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…

As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving.

Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.

I am a five-fold ministry gift and office – this is my life – I pray, I hear, I write, and wonderful things happen. You have your job description, I have mine – this is mine….

I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.

Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:

Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies

It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!

Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!

 

A Shark Story

A Shark Story

shark4 lemon

When I was young and full of fire, living for adventure, I completed the Underwater Skills program at Seneca College in King City, Ontario, qualifying me as a commercial diver and underwater welder. When I was 16, my dad had been posted to Norfolk, VA, to take the next level of his officer training as a naval officer, and they had a great youth program, that allowed me to take my NAUI scuba certification. I loved diving, and the ocean, and so Seneca’s training was a great fit for my adventurous personality. After graduation, I went up to Honey Harbour, Ontario, and worked a couple seasons on a cable laying barge, laying telephone cable that connected telephone lines to what is known as the ’10,000 islands’ on the East side of Georgian Bay. Round about October, or November, when things were starting to freeze up, I would buy myself a ticket, and head south to Key West, Florida to go treasure hunting with Mel Fisher. Got to work one winter for Mel’s son, captain Kane, aboard the ‘Dauntless’.

http://www.melfisher.com/SalvageOperations/TributeToMel.asp

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Now this treasure hunting is quite an experience. Mel had 8 or nine boats working for him in his fleet, and people signed a contract for a percentage of treasure found. Mel had previously discovered the ‘Marguerita’, with 22 million dollars of silver and gold recovered, and investors made money, as did crew members that year, for contracts were signed by the year, anticipating the find of the sister ship, ‘the Atocha’, that historians record as having sunk in the same storm with hundreds of millions of gold and silver bullion aboard.

There were generally two types of boats in the fleet, search boats and dive boats. Search boats tow various metal detecting equipment, and dive boats are equipped with digging equipment, as the area the ships were known to have been lost, is known as ‘The Quicksands’, with the bottom covered with constantly moving and shifting underwater sand dunes, that are often 30-40’ high. The dive boats are equipped with air lifts, and a neat thing called ‘mailboxes’. These mailboxes, are huge elbow shaped tubes, that fold down over the propellers of the ship. We had little Boston whaler skiffs with outboard motors, that we would use to fly anchors out on three or four sides of the dive boat, so that these mailboxes could be folded down over the propellers of the dive boat, and pinned in place. The boat would them rev up it’s engines, and blast the prop wash down into the bottom, quickly digging a hole in the bottom 30’ or more deep, all the way down to bedrock. Then, the engines are idled back, to direct a stream of clear, surface water down into the hole. We then, as divers, would grab metal detectors, and would scoot down to the bottom, to see if any silver, gold, or lead musket balls had been uncovered by the blast.

shark shark1

We were allowed to keep our first silver or gold coin found, I still have my 1622 silver piece of eight to this day.

There was a wonderful side benefit to all of this digging in the sand. When we dug the first hole in the morning, the props would immediately uncover any clams, worms, crabs etc, that had been under the sand. Huge schools of fish would begin to congregate around the digging area, so that by the end of an 8-10 hour day of digging, there were literally thousands of fish swimming around the hole with us as we continue to work our metal detectors. We would begin to view the menu for the evenings feast throughout the day…

Now, we were not allowed to spear fish during the day, as any blood in the water would attract sharks, but at the end of the day, just as the sun was setting, we would descend with spear guns, and shoot a dozen or so fish, for Hor De Orby’s (hors d’oeuvres). Probably 8-10 of these fish were grouper or snappers, or some type of delicacy, that we would quickly fillet and hand to the cook, to bread and fry up, as we began the evening chores of washing out dive equipment, greasing ‘O’ rings, filling tanks, cleaning the deck, etc, as we began the three hour ride into harbour, where we would anchor out for the night. These were gratefully served as snacks enroute, before our evening feast. Usually, we anchored at Marquesis Key, as it’s channel enters into the only coral atoll in US waters.

shark spear

We would take all the fish guts, scales, etc, with any trash fish we had speared, and put this in a 45 gallon garbage container, with about 5 gallons of sea water. Someone, over the years, had welded a shark hook to a 3’ length of chain, that we would attach to a clevis on the end of one of our spare anchor lines.

Then after the traditional nightly feast, we play cards on deck, and then hook up a 2-5lb trash fish to this shark hook, and let the line drift back behind the boat 50-100 yards. Every couple of minutes, we would scoop up some of the blood and guts from the 45 gallon trash can, and we would chum for sharks.

For a couple of weeks, all we caught was one skinny little 5’ hammerhead, so I had a hard time believing the stories of the monster sharks the crew had caught in previous years. Sounded like fish stories to me….

Well, one night, there was a ‘glow in the dark’ plankton bloom that was awesome to see. The water was really clear and calm, and you could look down into the dark, and anywhere something moved, these plankton would light up, leaving a glowing trail when a fish swam. Every crest of every wavelet would light up, and it was really peaceful and picturesque. Looked like those greenish glow sticks that people wave around on July 4th fireworks: Really beautiful.

shark glow

Round about 10-11Pm captain Kane told me to pull in that shark hook, and go to bed. I was really tired, and nodding off, but I really wanted to catch one of those big sharks everyone talked about. I pleaded with him to leave the shark hook out, and he said I could on one condition: ‘If you hook a big tiger shark, and it fouls that line in the props, you are first diver in with a knife, to cut the props free.”

“Sure!” I said!

So, I dumped the whole trash can full of chum over the side, and rinsed out the container. Then I thought: ‘How will I know if I get a bite in the middle of the night?’ So, I pulled in about 40 feet of rope, and figure-eighted it around a 70 lb spare Danforth anchor that we had stowed around a set of bollards behind the cabin where we slept. I figured that if a shark hooked itself, it would rattle that anchor on the metal deck, and I would wake up and pull him in.

Finally, I went to bed, and fell into a deep, exhausted sleep.

In the middle of the night, I was awakened the sound of a loud ‘clang’, and the boat was shaking, and everyone was up, and men were yelling: ‘We got a shark, we got a shark!’ There was the sound of gun shots, as I sleepily ran to the back deck of the Dauntless. They had a spotlight, trying to spot the fin of this huge shark exploding through the surf behind the boat. When the monster had taken the bait, it had flown that 70lb anchor 40’ through the air, and the anchor was pinned against the back guard rail so hard that two men, could not pull it off. As the fish exploded from side to side behind the boat, it seemed like the entire ocean lit up from the line, like a ‘glow in the dark’ football field. A couple of us tried to pull it in, but the rope just tore open our hands, and the entire boat was shaking from the fight!

Each time the fin of this thing would surface, captain Kane would squeeze off a couple of rounds from the .303 rifle we kept on clips for sharks and pirates.

“Bam, Bam! I think I hit him! Bam! Bam!’

Finally, someone had an idea to fire up the big 6-71 Jimmy motors, and hook up one of the winches we used for pulling anchors. Quickly, a snatch block was run off the side, and the rope run through it. We then engaged the winch, and began hauling this beast in. As it got closer, Kane managed to get a couple rounds into it’s head, and the fight was over. Yet, we couldn’t lift it!

So, we placed the rope around a brace, and began winching it in, to discover we had caught a 9 foot, 550 lb lemon shark. Teeth, going somewhere to happen.

Problem was, that even though the fish was dead, it’s jaws would still clamp shut involuntarily, and I had to duct tape a fillet knife to the end of a broom handle to cut the hook out. I wanted to gut it, and put it in our walk in cooler, but Kane wouldn’t let me, so as the knife did its work, the body of the beast dropped off, and descended into the deep, clear waters. We followed it with the spotlight into the deep, and I remember the words my father had ingrained in me as a young boy: “Son, if you are going to kill something, you better eat it!’ I thought about what a waste of good meat that was, and how that shark would never have bothered us diving, or probably even come close to us, as lemon sharks are fish eaters, not generally known to attack people.

shark teeth

Well, the moral of the story:

Sharks are rather amazing creatures I’ve found. A shark’s primary sense is a keen sense of smell. It can detect one drop of blood in a million drops of water (25 gallons or 100 liters) and can smell blood 0.25 mile (0.4 km) away. http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/sharks/anatomy/Senses.shtml

By throwing ladlefuls of blood into the water behind the boat, sharks would hone in on the scent trail, and would readily take the bait placed for them.

So it is in our life. God is love, and we who know Jesus, are His children, designed to walk in love, life, light, strength, power and authority in the earth. With Him, we are invincible, and satan knows this.

So, he has to do something to get through our impregnable armor.

God forgives us, but commands us to forgive others:

shark forgive

Colossians 3:13

Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive].

Luke 6:37  “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

Mark 11:25

And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop.

Mark 11:26

But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your failings and shortcomings.

God commands us to forgive people who do us wrong, but in the business of life, people can tick us off, and we can get offended. This is a bait of satan, designed to get us out of the will of God for our lives. John Bevere has a tremendous book by this title http://archive.org/details/JohnBevereTheBaitOfSatan that you can download.

shark un

2 Corinthians 2:11

To keep Satan from getting the advantage over us; for we are not ignorant of his wiles and intentions.

This is one of the wiles of satan, a trap designed to destroy us.

Unforgiveness to the devil, is like blood is to a shark.

1 Peter 5:8

Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.

shark rent free

Satan is a predator, trying to devour our lives. He cannot touch us when we are fully walking with God, in love towards our fellow man, so, he sends people to do us wrong, with the intent purpose to get us in unforgiveness. Why?

Remember the story Jesus told in Matt 18 about the servant who owed a huge debt he could not pay, and how he was brought before the king? He asked for mercy, and the king graciously forgave him, and released him from his debt. This man then went out, saw another guy that owed him a small amount, and had the man thrown in prison. Servants told the king, who then had him arrested and brought back to court. His verdict?

(Mat 18:33 NIV)  Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’

(Mat 18:34 NIV)  In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

I want you to see this. Unforgiveness will produce torment in your life.!

When you or I choose not to forgive, we go into bondage. You get turned over to the tormenters.

(Mat 18:35 NIV)  “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

Unforgiveness brings torment into our lives, and allows the devil to come and do what he does, kill our dreams, steal our joy, blessing, or perhaps our lives, and destroy things that may have taken us years to build.

Grudges only hurt us, not the person we hate or stonewall, for they allow demonic spirits to torture us, and steal our peace. Forgive: It’s your life at stake…

Homework:

  1.      Come clean with God. Ask Him to show you all the things you’ve done that offend him, and ask Him to Forgive you Come clean with others. Ask God to show you all the people who have hurt you, and forgive them. I had to make a 21 page list, forgive them, then burn the list.
  2.      Come clean with yourself. Ask God to show you all the areas of your life where you are beating yourself up, and forgive yourself.
  3.   Ask God to show you other people that are caught in this trap, and pray for them. There will be healing in it for you. (Job 42:10 NIV)  After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.

Pain….

Pain....

Pain!
Lonely?
I know, Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you, but have you ever been in such a difficult place, that even with Him, your heart is like hamburger, sometimes, the brutality of life leaves you simply numb.
I’ve been having a day like that: raw, where I have fallen upon my knees before the Lord, because I have no place else to go, and I honestly do not know what to do: YET!
Yet is the operating word here. He is faithful, He loves me, and He will both show me what to do, and deliver me.
As I process my own pain, I got to thinking about all the single mom’s with too much month and not enough money, strength, or help.
Started thinking about the divorcees I know, people forced into brutal custody and financial arrangements through the sin of another, the daily, weekly, and lifetime war over children, and money, the wound that never heals….
Then there is the spouse of the alcoholic or drug addict, who silently suffers, for years, as they watch helplessly while their love, self-destructs….
How about the parent of a wayward teen, who is defiant, rebellious, running with the wrong crowd, doing the wrong things, while they, like I have just done, fall upon their knees before Jesus, helpless…wanting to not care anymore, to give up, yet, love still flickers in prayer before the throne of God.
We know God can, but how long….?
Psalm 130:5
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.
I have a simple word for you today. WAIT!
HE HEARS. HE KNOWS, HE CARES,AND HE WILL DELIVER YOU!
Isaiah 40:31
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
In this place, the place of pain, where understanding is lacking, He will come and He will strengthen you.
Don’t give up, you are not alone.
Jesus loves you, and so do I, and I too know, and understand, and I am praying for you…
Let’s Pray:
‘Jesus, How Long? My heart hurts again! Come, touch me, touch them: Heal, Deliver, show me Your way, and I will obey, no matter what the cost, NO COMPROMISE! Amen!”

The Spirit of Faith!

The Spirit of Faith!

The Spirit of Faith!

1 Thessalonians 3:10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?

This is the heart of any true minister. You need faith for your marriage, faith for protection, faith to receive wisdom and revelation from God. Faith to eat your meals, faith to raise your family, faith to provide for your family. Faith to be a good steward over your money.

The Bible says

2 Corinthians 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

Acts 16:5 And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.

I want God’s church to grow, so I must continue to preach the Word to you, because faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Some of you need faith just to get to church every Sunday. Well,

Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

You now see that regular church attendance is actually in the Word of God, so now, you simply have to agree with the Word, for faith came when you heard it, now do what you believe!

Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Once you recognize that your very world is framed by the Word of God, you will have no problem getting to church to hear the good word of God.

Why?

Well, I’m commanded by God to 1 Peter 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind

;feed

Now, if you understand that your life is going to be adversely or positively affected according to your hearing of the Word of God, you will reprioritize some things. ‘Seek ye first’is still in the book, not in a legalistic sense but so that God can add all things unto you.

2 Corinthians 4:13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;

2 Corinthians 4:13 (BBE) But having the same spirit of faith, as it is said in the Writings, The words of my mouth came from the faith in my heart; in the same way, our words are the outcome of our faith;

faith voice

Romans 4:17 ¶ (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

Romans 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

Throughout the week, I spend countless hours praying out mysteries in other tongues, for you.

1 Corinthians 14:19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

tongues1

Why, because faith comes by hearing.

Matthew 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

692 argov argos ar-gos’

from 1 (as a negative particle) and 2041; TDNT-1:452,76; adj

AV-idle 6, slow 1, barren 1; 8

1) free from labour, at leisure
2) lazy, shunning the labour which one ought to perform

For Synonyms see entry 5814

My question to you today is what do you believe about your life? Like that old comedy:Doom misery and despair, if I didn’t have bad luck I’d have no luck at all? Like Eeyor in Winnie the Poor, are you down at the mouth, just barely getting by?

eeyore

Well, you’re carnal then. The children of Israel died in the desert by grumbling and complaining. What are you doing day to day? Calling those things that are not as though they were? Standing boldly on the promises of God, more than a conquerer in Him? Or like the ten spies, do you have grasshopper mentality, all your problems are giants in the land? Where are the Joshua’s and Calebs of this generation who will stand up and boldly declare the victory Jesus bought and paid for in His own blood?

I like the statement I read of the Moravian Christians that went as missionaries to the Virgin Islands to bring the gospel to the slaves there, knowing that it may cost them their lives, that they might need to become slaves themselves, in order to reach the slaves there.

They prayed, “Dear Lord, that we might grant you a reward worthy of Your sufferings..”

reward

They had such a deep revelation of the depths to which Jesus went for us, when He died upon the cross for all mankind, in light of eternity, no sacrifice was too great, in comparison of what He did, to redeem people back to Himself.

Faith, established upon the promises of God despises obstacles. He is the resurrection and the life. He is Almighty God, Creator of Heaven and earth, He lives, and He reigns.

Lets see this spirit of faith in action in the Word of God

David

david

Did David say to Goliath, “You big mighty man of war. You fearsome giant, and undefeated warrior?”

Not!

He was so in tune with His walk with the Lord, and the promises of God, He saw the problem from God’s perspective. ‘Who is this uncircumcised Philistine to raise up against the army of Almighty God?’

He saw himself from God’s perspective, with a covenant with God.
He saw Goliath from God’s perspective, without protection, and without a covenant.

Can’t you see, this man is without protection, and He dares to raise His hand against God? This should be fun, what’s in it for the man who chops off his head?

Did he run from the giant? No! He ran to him! Faith is not waiting for Jesus to come and deliver them but enforcing Jesus victory in every arena of life.

What about Jonathon?

jonathon

1 Samuel 14:1 ¶ Now it came to pass upon a day, that Jonathan the son of Saul said unto the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over to the Philistines’ garrison, that is on the other side. But he told not his father.

14 And that first slaughter, which Jonathan and his armourbearer made, was about twenty men, within as it were an half acre of land, which a yoke of oxen might plow.
15 And there was trembling in the host, in the field, and among all the people: the garrison, and the spoilers, they also trembled, and the earth quaked: so it was a very great trembling.

16 ¶ And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked; and, behold, the multitude melted away, and they went on beating down one another.

One man, with God, walking by faith got victory over an entire enemy nation. Why, because when he did in the natural, God did in the supernatural,

and:

15 And there was trembling in the host, in the field, and among all the people: the garrison, and the spoilers, they also trembled, and the earth quaked: so it was a very great trembling.

God backed up Jonathon, and the earth quaked. Where are the giant killers today?

The David’s that will look enemies in the eye and tell these mountains to move?

The Jonathon’s that will take the battle to the enemy, not run from it or pretend it doesn’t need to be fought!

He went to the enemy, and he won.

How about the three Hebrew children? Let’s pick up their story in the midst of their challenge.

Danial 3:10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image:
11 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.
14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?
15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?

Notice the attack is against the glory of God, we must keep our attackers focused on Him, not us.

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.

Spirit of Faith – They knew God, and knew He would deliver them!

17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
17 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

If you throw us in the furnace O king, God will deliver us and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king.

That kind of stand of faith will really tick a controlling person off. They think they are in charge.

19 ¶ Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.
20 And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.
21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
22 Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Enemies were destroyed in their own flames.

No weapon formed against you shall prosper.

23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.
25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

In your trial of faith, in the firey furnace of your affliction, the object of your faith will appear!

fourth man

Jesus, your Lord and your king, shows up, for He will never leave you or forsake you. When He does, you get delivered for God acts!

26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire.
26 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.

The kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our God and of His Christ. Kings come to the light of God’s glory.

Isaiah 60:3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

10 And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee.

1 Peter 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. (God shows up, you get delivered, and yes, you get really grateful and glad!)
1 Peter 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

27 ¶ Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.

God gets the glory, you get the promotion, and the real purpose of your trial is revealed – the harvest! God has eternity on His mind, and we are the only hope this generation has. Sometimes we go through things at the hands of satan and wicked people, that God allows for a season to perfect us, glorify Him, and most importantly, allow others to come into the kingdom of God.

2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.

Notice the gospel was preached by the government as a result of the stand of faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They did not bow, they did not burn, and the entire nation came back to God through their stand of faith, and they were promoted!

Ps 75:5 Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck.
6 ¶ For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.
7 But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.

promotion

So who are you anyway? A grumbler, destined to spend forty years in the desert in despair, or more than a conquerer in Christ Jesus?

You can choose what you are going to do right now, COMPLAIN AND REMAIN (In your present trial), or PRAISE AND BE RAISED (seeing the power of God make your mess a miracle!) Praise Him in the midst of your madness, and He will deliver you!

Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

Jesus made it plain,

John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

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

victory1

So your bills look like they have you whipped? Are they a mountain of bills yet? God said something about mountains in Mark 11:24. Are you down so low you have to look up to see bottom? Not! Never! You are the head and not the tail, a child of the king, made to sit with Him in heavenly places. There is no circumstance that can lord over you, unless you let it. Whatever your circumstance is, get over it with the Word of God.

Jesus is your Lord, and He has the final say.

arms Jesus is Lord

1 Corinthians 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.

If it is in the world, your faith in God is well able to whip it. Are you a grasshopper? Or are you well able to take the land?

Stand in the presence of our king, and let’s reaffirm our faith in Him again.

I don’t care what your bankbook says:

God says:
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.

2 Corinthians 8:7 Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.
2 Corinthians 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

You are a giver aren’t you?

Let’s believe the Word together!

The Bible says now 1 Corinthians 16:13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Isaiah 35:4 Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.

Now how are we to be strong, when we feel so weak?

In the Lord, using our faith-filled words!

Mark 11:22-25New King James Version (NKJV)

22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

I am a whosoever, and so are you! (https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/mountain-moving-faith/)

We are mountain-moving, history making disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Joel 3:10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.

mountain-moving-faith3

You say it, and God will back you up, and you will be strong.

Is 53:4 ¶ Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Thank you Father, we were healed. We believe it and receive it, now, by faith.

Now normally, I end these exhortations with a prayer, but not today. The Word of the Lord given to me by the Holy Spirit is PRAISE!

Ps 67:5 Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.
6 Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us.

Praise is the weapon of the day, the key to unlock our victory, today.

Hurting, discouraged, feeling beat? Been there, done that…

Sing!

I don’t care if you are choking on every word join me:

‘We bring the sacrifice of praise, into the house of the Lord’
‘We bring the sacrifice of praise, into the house of the Lord’
‘And we offer up to You, the sacrifices of thanksgiving’
‘And we offer up to You, the sacrifices of joy!’

Praise paralyses devils, it is the shout of victory that overcomes the world, for God inhabits the praises of His people!

I remember hearing a testimony of a women doctor, dying of cancer and a heroin addiction named Dr. Lillian Yeoman. She had been asking God to heal her, and bringing His promises of healing before Him in prayer, yet was still dying. One night, lying on her pain-wracked bed, she had a vision, that changed her life. She saw a balance, with one side that was labeled PRAYER, and the other side PRAISE. The side that was labeled PRAYER was weighted down completely, while there was nothing on the praise side to counter-balance the load. She claimed she heard the voice of God speak to her, to PRAISE, and that when the weight of her praise, equaled the weight of her prayer, she would be miraculously healed. So, she began to sing praises to God, like a croak at first, but as she gave herself to it, she began to get stronger, and her voice clearer. She stayed with it, until she literally sang herself off of that deathbed, totally healed of cancer, and totally delivered of her heroin addiction.

praise

He is worthy!

For prayer, comments, or to donate online:

Email: chris.aomministries@gmail.com

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Give in faith!

1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?

1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.

Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.

I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…

As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving.

Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.

I am a five-fold ministry gift and office – this is my life – I pray, I hear, I write, and wonderful things happen. You have your job description, I have mine – this is mine….

I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.

Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:

Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies

It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!

Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!