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Healed

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

on earth as it is in heaven

(This is the part 2 of a 7 part series of posts on the vision of Gateway Church, which is to see people saved, healed, set free, discipled, equipped, empowered and serving.)

What do you think of when you hear the word healed? Or when you hear people talking about healing, or people who claim to have been healed by God? I’ll be honest – I used to dismiss it. Coming from someone who has led his fair share of Wednesday night prayer meetings, where we spent a significant portion of the time going over the hospital list, that should be shocking. I didn’t believe in it.

But, I found out that God does all kinds of God-like things, regardless of whether I believe or not. And I came to realize that there are all kinds of healing, not just physical.

There is plenty of evidence in scripture that Jesus spent a great deal of time healing people from all kinds of physical ailments. Just read any or all of the gospels. And his disciples did likewise. What I want to ask is, does that type of physical healing still happen today?

Think about it like this – in Matthew 6, Jesus tells the people that they should “pray like this.” And then He says the words from above – “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Does this mean God’s will is not being done on earth? No I don’t think that’s what this means. I think Jesus is saying that in heaven – in God’s presence – things happen in a certain way, for a certain purpose. That purpose is the glory of God. So, all things that happen on earth should be to the glory of God as well.

Is that they way things really are? And if not, what can we do to make it so?

Just taking a minute to think about my day, I can tell you I did not glorify God in rush hour traffic this morning. I’m just going out on a limb, but I’ll bet not many people did, or ever do. And that’s just one part of my day. I didn’t lie, cheat, steal or kill anyone today. But my thoughts wandered away from heavenly things.

I think as a Christian, it should be normal for us to encounter heaven on a daily basis, and to take heaven and the conditions that exist there with us wherever we go.

What do we know about heaven? And not from people who claim to have died and been given a back stage pass and personal tour of the place by Jesus. What is heaven like?

I think it is a wonderful, perfect, awesome, terrifying place – since we are talking about actually being in the presence of God. It should change everything. I think that since it generally doesn’t, it means that most of the time we Christians are not seeking to be in His presence at all.

On earth as it is in heaven. Revelation 21 gives a little insight into what that will be like. These verses describe a new heaven, a new earth, a new Jerusalem coming down as a bride, and God dwelling with man. Then there will be no more sorrow or pain or death.

We are not in heaven, but we are not of this earth either – as Christians, we are straddling two realities. We walk this planet in physical bodies, but we are spiritual creatures and God actually dwells with us right now! And as such, we have access, because the veil is torn, to things we would not otherwise have had access to. We have God’s attention. And He’s big enough to give each of us His full, undivided attention at all times.

To be in His presence is an awesome, terrible thing. We are to approach him boldly and humbly, believing that what we ask, we will receive.

On earth as it is in heaven – words Jesus said we should pray. I think it’s a lifestyle worth living.

And now back to my point – if there is no sickness, no pain, no sorrow where God is, and if He dwells within us, if we take heaven and His presence with us wherever we go, why do we encounter so much sickness, pain and sorrow? Is God doing it wrong? Are the ones who are sick or hurting or mourning the ones who lack faith? No! It is the ones who carry His presence – we are the ones who lack faith, lack boldness, lack humility. Nothing changes because we don’t believe, because we don’t pray, because we hide who we are and try to blend in and be just like everyone else. You don’t want to come across as weird or anything, do you? No. So you do what everyone else does – “Yes I’ll pray for you!” and you think those words carry some kind of power but you never take it directly to the One who can change everything!

I say “you” a lot above, meaning “me” actually. I don’t see healing on earth as it will be in heaven because of me. And I have actually experienced physical healing, and I’ve seen it happen with my own two eyes, and still I have disbelief. Why? I don’t know, maybe I haven’t worked all the “Baptist” out of myself yet.

But I do know this – in my head anyway – that wherever we go, there God is. And just like always, He loves us, and He wants to know us. I think as we learn who He really is, and as we learn to become His sons and daughters, we will also begin to see more and more of His Kingdom all around us. And I think that means people will be healed physically, both because of who we are becoming, and because of who God is.

What do you think? Does God still heal people physically? Have you seen or experienced physical healing? Tell your story below –

 

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Rest

Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

Rest

I rested most of the day today. Read a book, took a nap, watched some TV. This is the first day in about two months we’ve had to just rest. And it was really nice!

In the midst of my resting, I thought about the words Jesus said above, from Matthew 11:28-30.  When Jesus is saying “Take my yoke upon you,” He’s asking us to agree to the terms of a new covenant.

Think about work animals being yoked together – oxen plowing a field, dogs pulling a sled. They all share the burden equally.

Under the new covenant Jesus is proposing, the burden is all on Him! It’s light for us because He knows we can’t bear it. He knows He will have to bear the sin burden for the whole world.

He carried the burden meant for us. His perfect obedience is applied to us through faith, His righteousness exchanged for our sin at the cross.

Our burden in life is either self-righteousness, in which we will fail miserably and forever, or a life of faith and rest.

As Christians, we can help people find that rest! Those who come to us, or that we encounter from day to day – they need what we have on the inside. We can give them Jesus! And they can shed the dirty rags of the world for robes of righteousness!

So – be Jesus! Be the conduit from which his love flows – from heaven, through you and into the lives of the people He loves and died for!

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The Flower In My Yard

Flower in my yardWe moved into the house we live in now about 11 years ago. It was just me and Cheryl and Trinity back then, and we had plenty of room for all of our stuff – my books and tools, Cheryl’s piano, Trinity’s toys and baby bed.

I love doing yard work, and this yard was a challenge from day one. It was a combination of Bermuda and St. Augustine grass, with a few weeds thrown in for good measure. So I had a choice – do I used the yellow bag of weed and feed, and kill the St. Aug, or do I use the purple bag and kill the Bermuda? Purple bag it is –

For the first 3 years, it was an unholy struggle. I was out yanking weeds almost every day, all spring and summer. Yanking, pulling, digging, patching in new sod, watering, fertilizing, spraying. And in the 4th year, our yard was amazing! We had a four inch covering of thick beautiful grass, front and back, and I was so happy!

Except for one little thing – no matter how much I sprayed or pulled or dug, this one stupid little white flowery weed always came up in the yard, every year, always in the same spot. I used to tell Trinity to go pull it, and she did, then one year she thought it was pretty so we left it. I mowed around it once a week, and when it got hot in the summer it would go away.

11 years I’ve been hating that stupid white flowery weed.

And now we are selling our house. We’ve been cleaning and painting and patching and throwing stuff out and hauling other stuff to storage for weeks, maybe even months. And about a week ago, that stupid white flowery weed came up in the yard. I saw it and sat down and cried like a baby.

Our first daughter was barely 6 months old when we moved here. It’s really not much of a house, and we actually couldn’t afford it at first, but we made it work. This place has seen the best and the worst of each of us. 5 years in, and little Zoey showed up. It was a tough pregnancy on Cheryl. Right about the time she was supposed to deliver, I got a kidney stone and missed almost a month of work with it – long story – and at the same time, the church we had been planting shut down.

I’ve had 5 different jobs since we moved here, Cheryl’s had 4. We had to declare bankruptcy about four years ago – another long story –  and almost lost it all. It was so bad that winter, within about a 3 week period, our lights were shut off, our water was shut off and Cheryl’s car was repossessed. But we made it through.

We have been happy here, we have been depressed here, we have recovered here, we have been set free here. This is not just a house, it’s a home.

Don’t get me wrong – I want to move. It’s too small for the four of us. And I’ve never lived in one place this long. It’s an old, small house, and in spite of our past, our present is awesome, and our future, although unknown, is so bright we have to wear shades. We have faith in a great God who has brought us here, who is propelling us into a destiny that he set up for us before he even created a thing. He is steadfast even when we can’t be. He’s the rock, and often we are like the weeds.

So, in spite of the things that happened today (taxes, toilet overflow, missing work to stay home with a sick kid, spilling paint on the floor, and about a dozen other things), we are moving on. And we won’t look back. There’s no time for that, but I may look down every now and then – on the foundation that was built while we were in this place, and for that stupid white flowering weed…I cry every time I think about it. I will never forget it. Not as long as I live.

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She Started In A Garage

garageHistory tells us that a lot of really great things were started in garages – and I guess so does the Cadillac commercial that gave me this idea.

Without garages, would we have Apple Computers, Amazon, the aerospace industry? Would we have fast, beautiful cars, awesome music or even movies like Frozen?

Yeah, we would still have all that. But would it have been as cool? No, I don’t think so.

What is the deal with garages? Why have garages been so instrumental for so many years in ushering in so much change?

I know why it’s like that at my house – there’s just no more room in the house itself. We had to move all of Cheryl’s recording equipment out into a room I built in the garage.

So, for us, just like for so many others, the garage, and the work that has gone on in the garage for so many years now, is about to usher in a new era for our family. For so long, Cheryl has been out there – on her piano, playing her guitar, recording, writing, re-recording, tweaking and modifying. And praying – praying that because of her gifting, that other people would be led into the presence of God.

Her time is now! There is no other way to say this, no other person to give credit to – it is all from God. He has blessed our family so much over the last year – so much! And because of what He has done for us, the changes in our lives, we are able to share so much with all of you. That’s what my writing is all about, and that’s what Cheryl’s music is all about. She just wants to share with the world how wonderful God is, how much He loves us, how much He has done for us all – she wants to lead you into a place of worship.

And on March 4th, you will be able to be a part of that – her first song, I Am Yours, will be released into the world – on iTunes, on Amazon, on Spotify, on Google Play, and several other websites.  Specific links will be shared soon, but for now, you can check out a preview by clicking this link to her YouTube video.

I know God has so much more in store for us! This is just the first step of many – and we are trusting Him, and walking the path that He has opened up for us. I would love it if you all would decide to take this journey with us – for Cheryl, it may have started in a garage, but for her, not even the sky’s the limit!

aside

Don't quitI have quit so many things. Hundreds of things. Maybe even a thousand. Funny thing is, all the stuff I need to quit I keep doing, and all the stuff I need to keep doing I quit.

I always seem to quit when things get hard, then I regret that I quit and then it’s too late.

I quit because I get tired, or because the result I was going for is not happening. Or because I get hurt. Or scared. Scared of failure and scared of success. Like if I do really well, people will expect a lot from me and at some point I won’t be able to deliver. Fear that if I succeed I will fail, so why keep going?

No more! I am going to stand up and declare that my days of quitting are over! I am going to stop quitting!

My commitment was made on January 1st, 2014. To myself, to my family, to pursue just one thing – learning what it means to be a son of God. That’s it. This is my journey, but as I learn to know Him more, as I discover what being a child is all about, I will share it all here. I don’t want to do this on my own any more –

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Is 41:10