My Friend Bill & The Holy Spirit

Pic quote Acts 1 v 8

Many of you know about my supernatural experiences.  Today, I would like to tell you about my friend Bill from college.  What I witnessed happen to him by the power of the Holy Spirit was amazing and I am really glad I get to tell you all about it!  We are the Lord’s witnesses of the many amazing things He does and we are to tell the world.  So, pull up a cozy chair and let me tell you about the time the Holy Spirit washed over my friend Bill.

Bill and I roomed together our Junior year in college in 1998-99.  He was from the Western slope of Colorado and he was a country boy.  He had the jeans and cowboy boots to match.  He drove a big truck and he came from a family of hunters.  He was a cool guy and he was one of the calmest guys I’ve ever met.

Bill believed in God and he loved the Lord, but at that point in his life he was really struggling with some deep philosophical questions and he was frustrated.  He wrestled with God over many things and we had many conversations.  I was a leader in Campus Crusade for Christ at the time giving sermons almost every Friday night and leading a weekly Bible study, so he would talk to me a lot.  Plus we were good friends and we liked hanging out.

Every year Campus Crusade would do the Junior/Senior Weekend Retreat up in the mountains at the YMCA of Estes Park.  I had just worked there that summer of ’98.  That is the same summer I had the two angel encounters in Denver.  1998 was a big year!

YMCA EPCYMCA 2

YMCA 3
YMCA Grand Lodge

It was some time in the fall of ’98 when we did the retreat up to Estes Park.  Bill and I roomed together during the trip too and it was a blast.  There were conferences and concerts and bonfires and we all had a great time enjoying the wild wilderness of the Colorado Rockies!  I loved living up there that summer!  Great town and great people!

Saturday afternoon we were in the dining hall.  The whole place was packed with Christian college students.  Bill and I ended up sitting at a big round table with four elderly folks (two married couples) in the far corner of the dining hall.  That decision changed Bill’s life, and it ended up being one more amazing thing I witnessed in 1998!

We introduced ourselves and started chatting.  We let them know about the trip we were on from Campus Crusade and they let us know they were a group of Christian healers that traveled the country helping people.  These folks loved the Lord so much and you could see the Holy Spirit power on them.  It was really cool meeting them!

As we talked and ate lunch, Bill got into a deep conversation with one of the men.  I could tell the man had deep concern for Bill and all of his attention was on him.  The other man was quiet as the two ladies talked with me.  They were very sweet and I was enjoying having lunch with them all.

The table was so big that I couldn’t hear what Bill and the man were talking about on their side of it.  As they wrapped up their conversation Bill and the man stood up and walked to the side of the table.  I remember thinking, “what is going on?”  The other man got up and stood behind Bill.  At this point I looked at the ladies and they looked at me and we just stayed quiet and watched.

The man who was talking with Bill started praying and it was not in English.  It sounded like Hebrew and it was beautiful.  He was speaking in some kind of tongue and I’m pretty sure it was Hebrew.  Once he started praying, the two women got up and they started praying in the language too.  I just sat there quiet.  I had just had two angel encounters a couple months earlier that summer, so I was ready for the Lord to do anything.

It was funny because nobody in the whole dining hall was paying attention to us.  There must have been over a hundred people in there, but it was like our little corner table of fellowship was hidden.  As the man prayed he started walking forward towards Bill.  Bill looked over at me with the funniest look and his little smirk like, “what is this guy doing?”

When the man was a few feet away from Bill he stretched out his right hand towards Bill and at that very moment Bill’s eye’s closed, he had a huge smile on his face, his arms went straight out to the sides, and he fell straight back into the arms of the other man who was standing behind him.  The man who was praying never hit him in the forehead like the phony preachers do.  The man never touched Bill.  The power of the Holy Spirit was released in a healing way through that man and the Holy Spirit washed over Bill in power!

I sat there stunned and filled with joy at seeing the sight of it!  When the man caught Bill, he just gently laid him on the floor and that is where Bill stayed for a little while.  His eyes stayed closed and his smile was so big!  It was like all the worry and strife had been completely wiped away from his mind and heart!  It was beautiful!

After a few minutes, Bill started to open his eyes and they helped him to his feet.  When he stood up he was still smiling and the look on his face was like he had just had the best rest in his life!  The people let us know what had happened and they said words of blessing over us.  They were so kind and Bill was a new man.

We had to get to a conference after lunch and as we were walking over to the next building, Bill could not stop looking up to Heaven and raising his hands in the air.  He was completely filled with the Holy Spirit to overflowing!  He couldn’t even talk about it yet.  He just kept raising his hands with this look of wonder and relief on his face.  It was great and it still makes me laugh with joy to this day!

Bill didn’t have trouble with wrestling God after that.  He was at peace and he was one of the strongest brothers in Christ I knew.  God is amazing folks and He can do anything!  So many people had been praying for Bill and many of them were afraid he would turn from the faith.  After his encounter with the Holy Spirit, Bill was a new man!  The refreshing he received from the Lord was a miracle and a great blessing and I hope the knowledge of it blesses you too!

Nothing is impossible for God!  Grace and peace to you all!

 

Jesus Will Bring Us Home Safely

Pic quote 2 Timothy 4 v 18

The Apostle Paul wrote those words while imprisoned in Rome shortly before he was killed for his faith in Jesus.  During his first trial, nobody came to stand up for Paul.  All the other Christians abandoned him.  He was going to be fed to the lions, but the Lord delivered him that day.  Paul ultimately was not eaten by lions.  He was beheaded with a Roman sword.  Paul’s faith in the midst of such persecution is comforting.  He knew no matter what happened to him the Lord would bring him home safely and he gave God glory.

“At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me.  May it not be held against them.  But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it.  And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.  The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom.  To him be glory for ever and ever.  Amen.”

2 Timothy 4:16-18

I have endured many attacks in my walk with Jesus and the Lord has rescued me from every one of those evil attacks.  Whether it be legalistic Christians slandering me and my faith, legalistic Catholics, insane leftists, muslims, literal Nazi people, atheists, cult people (Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons, and even the Brethren), or any other attack the evil one has thrown at me, the Lord has rescued me every time!  I look up to Paul and I respect him for the suffering he endured for Jesus.  Many times while in the trenches of battle, I have thought of Paul and all the first century Christians and what they suffered.  From crucifixion to feeding them to lions to burning them at the stake, they suffered greatly and they deserve to be remembered.

If anybody tells you being a Christian is easy, they are lying to you.  The Christian walk is not an easy road to travel.  It is narrow for a reason.  Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life and He is the only way to Heaven (read John 14:6).  The Lord promised that those who follow Him will be persecuted like He was.  Some of us even give up our lives to the point of death.  Even now in our time there are missionaries who are killed all over the world in nations hostile to the Gospel.

“Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Jesus in Matthew 7:13-14

Most American Christians cannot comprehend the kind of violence that Paul and his brothers and sisters faced in Rome.  There are Christians in Islamic and Communist countries that can though because they face the same kind of violence today.  Can you imagine standing on trial for your faith?  What would they say about you?  Would there be enough evidence to convict you of being a follower of Jesus?  Can you imagine being tied to a pole and burned?  Can you imagine being put in an arena with African lions?  It is just too horrible to even imagine it let alone live it!

When we get squeezed we get to see what comes out of us.  Persecution for our faith does that.  Will we bend and retreat when we are put under pressure or will we rise and stand firm?  These are questions we don’t truly know the answers to until we are tested.  God is in control of everything and no matter what persecution comes our way He will bring us safely into His Heavenly Kingdom!

As that sword came down on Paul’s neck, I wonder what He was thinking about.  I trust with all my heart that he was in perfect peace and filled with great joy knowing that in the very next moment, in a flash, he would be home with His Lord and Savior forever!  All the pain he endured from torture was gone and he walked with Jesus in perfect peace to the place Jesus had prepared for him!

I am very much looking forward to that glorious day brothers and sisters!  May we keep our eyes on the Lord and remember that our brothers and sisters around the whole world go through the same battles as we all follow Jesus.  The evil one loves to attack us, but Jesus Christ is Lord and greater is He who is in us than He who is in the world!

“Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.  To him be the power for ever and ever.  Amen.”

1 Peter 5:9-11

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

1 John 4:4

Stand firm in Christ!

Grace and peace to you all!

 

The Kind of American Christian Man I Am

Flag with mountain

I want to take a moment and explain a few things.  I just wrote a strong post this morning that many people may find offensive.  That is fine.  I am not apologizing for what I said and I stand by it.  I would like to explain the kind of American Christian man I am because a lot of people think Christians are pacifists and that is just not true.  I have had enough of holding back what I know I need to say regarding the state of the world, so here it is.

People may read what I wrote regarding muslims and say, but Ryan, we should “turn the other cheek.”  Let me tell you something straight up and explain my frame of mind when I hear people say things like that.  Do you think God is telling you to just let somebody hurt you or just sit by while somebody else is being hurt?  No He is not.  That verse is about forgiveness.  It doesn’t mean we sit back while some young girl is being assaulted by some muslim!  Do you understand that?!  You are a coward if you don’t help that girl and God hates cowardice!  Do you also understand that?!  I can forgive the guy before, during, and after, but you better believe I am stopping him from assaulting the girl.

I am the kind of American Christian man that will help somebody if I see them being assaulted and that is the most loving thing you could do in that situation!  We have all seen the news!  I could literally list hundreds of thousands of links to violence done by muslims all over the world!  Rapes, gang rapes, murders, acid attacks, suicide bombers, stabbings, shootings, and the list goes on and on.  Europe is in ruin because of it.  Look at France!  I guarantee if you were being assaulted and I ran up and helped you, you would be feeling the love from me as I beat your attacker into submission and hold him for police.  I might be skinny, but these two big fists descended from Cellachán King of Munster can still do the job when needed.  I am willing to put my life at risk and I cannot just sit back while somebody is being hurt.  No sir!  May God use me as He sees fit as His instrument of battle against evil as He needs me.  I roll with angels folks and God fights for me!  You do remember I wanted to be a cop and I received firearms training from a guy who taught SWAT teams for 25 years, right?  So, you understand me then.

God disciplines people for committing the kinds of violence muslims commit.  Is He forgiving and good?  Yes!  That doesn’t mean He turns a blind eye to it!  He is also just and He will bring justice down on the wrongdoer with His rod of discipline!  Don’t make God less than what He truly is.  He is 100% grace and 100% truth.  He will not be mocked.

“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.  The authorities that exist have been established by God.  Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.  For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.  Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority?  Then do what is right and he will commend you.  For he is God’s servant to do you good.  But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing.  He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.”

Romans 13:1-4

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.  A man reaps what he sows.”

Galatians 6:7

I want the muslims to be disciplined hard for the violence they have done all over the world and here in my country.  I don’t want them here in my country doing violence to my people whom I love so much!  I am the kind of American man that if I see your daughter being attacked by a muslim or anybody else, then I am going to protect your daughter and I will give that attacker the discipline he deserves.  Will that be violent?  Yes it will be.  Am I going to hurt the attacker?  Yes I am.  Is that just and loving to help the young girl?  YES IT IS!

If you are a person that has the ability to help and you want to be a coward and tell me turn the other cheek and do nothing while somebody is assaulted, then let God deal with you and your cowardice.  Me and mine protect each other and we protect the innocent and I am ready to do so at the drop of a hat.  Jesus fights for us and He won’t just stand by!  Jesus fought for me and He rescued me with an angel who carried me away from a knife wielding psycho in Denver!  Jesus defeated a demon for my family!  Jesus fights for us!

So, take heed muslim invaders.  If I see you attacking somebody, I am coming for you and the wrath of God will be poured out on you through me!  Do not ever underestimate who God will use to accomplish His will.  I am an American Christian and I will fight you to my death!  Do you understand that?!  You will not win.  You will lose and you will lose badly as the Lord goes before me to fight for me.  I rebuke your violence and hatred and if you continue to bring that to our country, you will be dealt with harshly until we drive you all the way back to where you came from!  I also pray you repent and repentance is God’s love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness to you.  You still have a chance to repent and turn from your sinful hatred.  Jesus loves you too and He offers you eternal life!

Have you all forgotten about the American militiamen and our Constitution?  We have the right to fight back.  We even have the right to fight our own government if we need to!  Our ancestors were the ones who won their freedom in our American Revolution!  Our people died in our American Civil War!  My Mom and Dad even live in a house that was built just after the Civil War!  This land does not belong to muslims and it never will, do you understand that?  Stand up and fight back for this land you should love!  God tells us to love, so love your country and protect her!  Love each other and protect each other!  Love your neighbors and protect them!  Love the innocent and protect them!  Love children and protect them!  Wake up from your stupor and stop submitting to evil!

Do I pray for muslims and do I want them to be saved?  Of course!  I have love and compassion for my enemies too, but God is also just and they need to be disciplined for what they have done and for what they are doing.  Let God bring justice and may He protect our country and spread Holy revival through our land.

I forgive them in the Name of Jesus, but the violence cannot continue!  About a year or so ago, there was a muslim from Mogadishu, Somalia who was made a cop in Minneapolis, Minnesota and given a gun and power through a badge.  One day a beautiful young white girl who needed help came over to the police car and before she could even say a word, that muslim cop pulled out his gun and shot her dead.  She had done nothing wrong and she didn’t have a weapon.  She was asking for help due to a domestic issue.  His American partner sat there in total shock asking him why he did that.  Why?!  Because he is a muslim and he hates women, especially American women, that’s why!  His American partner should have stopped him, but it happened so fast and no American cop would think another cop is going to just shoot some young girl asking for help.  That Somali muslim is a murderer, not a cop…and he sure isn’t American!

Somebody made a terrible mistake giving him power like that in our country over our people!  That is just one example.  There are so many more heartbreaking tales of violence out there.  Too many to count.  Minneapolis has real problems with muslims now.  They call Minneapolis “Little Mogadishu” now.  This is not something we Americans are ever going to accept!  This is a land of freedom and opportunity to live in peace under our laws and way of life.  It is not a land for you to come in as invaders as you preach you will rule America within a few years.  None of the other immigrants do that.  Just muslims.  If you truly want to come live in peace, you can practice your religion freely like everybody else.  You don’t have the right to come over here and run around in our streets with guns and bombs killing people and you don’t have the right to rape people!  That may be normal in your culture, but those are heinous evil crimes here and you will be punished severely for such acts.

It is godly and loving to stand up for people who are being assaulted.  Remember that folks.  Don’t be a coward.  Stand up for each other like my friend Damien did for me when I was in Middle School!  He rescued me from being choked to death in the stairwell of my school and he beat my attacker to a pulp on my behalf.  He was my best friend.  He is black and I am white and we had great love for each other.  So, before you call me a racist against muslims, remember that.  Stand up for each other like I did for the girl in Middle School who was being pushed and punched by some guy in gym class.  She appreciated how I intervened and slammed him to the floor.  She was happy as we watched him run away like a coward.  She also wanted to date me after that by the way.  Just saying.  Thank You Lord for using me to help her and thank you for using Damien to help me!  I pity the person who tests the Lord and stirs Him to fight!

Before I go, I am also the kind of American Christian man that still holds the door for ladies and for everyone else.  I remove my hat during the National Anthem, put my hand over my heart, and I sing every word with love in my heart.  I salute the brave men and women who have earned that respect by serving our country.  I believe in helping people and loving my neighbor.  I believe in protecting women and children and those who can’t fight for themselves.  I believe in giving without needing anything in return.  I believe in hard work.  I believe a man should protect his family and his countrymen.  I believe a man should have courage and be ready to offer that in a situation of need.  I believe a man should put himself in harm’s way for those he loves even if that means his death.  I believe a man should stand up and tell the truth no matter the cost.  This is the love I have in my heart for my country and for all people and that love comes from God!

Wherever you live in the world, start standing up for each other and fighting back!  Don’t let muslims rape and kill and take over your cities!  Wake up!  I don’t know the times and dates of the end, but the end is coming and World War 3 will be a big part of it.  Love each other and love your country and fight to protect it!  I don’t hate muslims.  I hate the sinful acts of violence they keep committing.

Jesus is coming back and He will defeat the Islamic armies that gather against Israel in the end.  Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.  In the end, Jesus wins and Jesus reigns!  Amen, come Lord Jesus!

Remember, love always protects!  Thank you to all of our law enforcement and first responders who protect us every day!  You are truly courageous!

Grace and peace to you all–even to muslims (turn from darkness and receive His light!)

“Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails…”

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

 

Quite A Birth Announcement!

Angel and shepherds

Christmas is the worldwide celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.  He is our Lord and Savior and we honor and celebrate Jesus!  We all announce the birth of our children in a variety of creative ways.  God also announced the birth of His Son and it is very encouraging to read about the very creative and miraculous way His birth was announced!  I would like to share that with you during this time of celebration, so without further delay, may I introduce you to the historical record of the shepherds and the angels.

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you;  he is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Luke 2:8-12

Angels and shepherds best

“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the

highest,

and on earth peace to men

on whom his favor

rests.”

Luke 2:13-14

manger scene Thomas Kinkade
Thomas Kinkade

“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”

Luke 2:15-20

I once heard our previous Pastor give a sermon on this at Christmas and he talked about the status of a shepherd at that time.  Shepherds were considered “lower class” people in their society.  They were generally poor in material wealth and not many people would have considered what they had to say as of any importance.  It is beautiful and powerful that the Lord revealed angels to them and He chose them to spread the word about Jesus!  It is also a testimony of God’s power that people were amazed at what the shepherds said.  I’m sure people could see the wonder and amazement on their faces as God was in the midst of using them to spread the most important message the world has ever heard!

I’m also sure they felt a bit crazy telling people about angels announcing the birth of the Savior of the world to them.  I felt crazy telling people about my angel encounters too, but I’m glad they did and I’m glad I did too.  We must tell the world about our experiences with the Lord and glorify His Name no matter what people think about us!

It is awesome that God sends angels to help us and communicate God’s messages at times!  It is awesome God chose a few humble shepherds to witness His glory and tell the world!  It is awesome God came to earth as a man to die for us, so we can be with Him forever in eternal glory!  That is the powerful message of Christmas, and to that I say Merry Christmas to the whole world!

Grace and peace to you all!

“For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given,

and the government will

be on his shoulders.

And he will be called

Wonderful Counselor,

Mighty God,

Everlasting Father,

Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:6

Christmas manger

 

 

A Single Hour

Pic quote Matthew 6 v 25

This is a very good word from Jesus.  I have never added a single hour to my life by worrying.  None of us have.  Believe me, as many of you know, I have plenty I could worry about.  I say this from what I have learned after many years of suffering, give it all to God!  Whatever it is, lay it down to the One who can carry it for you.  Lay it down to the One who loves your soul!  He will take care of us and meet all of our needs.  Just look at the pretty little birds and remember His words.

Have a blessed and encouraging weekend!

Grace and peace to you all!

Here is a new song called “Bring On The Holidays” that Toby Mac just put out for Christmas!  He just tweeted it out yesterday–enjoy and Merry Christmas!

Beneficial Suffering

Pic quote Isaiah 38 v 7

The Lord has been speaking to me about my suffering and the plans He has for me.  He has been showing me that even my suffering is for my benefit somehow, and all the pain and anguish I have been through are still part of the good plans He has for me.  I have talked about the above Scripture before and the suffering Hezekiah endured and how He cried out to God.  I understand his heart and the anguish he suffered described in Isaiah chapter 38.  In His great love, God kept me from the pit of destruction and let me live too!  In His grace and mercy, He has put all my sins behind His back!

The Lord spoke Isaiah 38:17 to my heart along with Jeremiah 29:11 this morning.  He wanted me to see the connection and remember both verses together at the same time.  Why?  Because He wants me to trust in the plans He has for me, even when those plans require anguish and suffering.  He wants me to trust that even my suffering is beneficial.  When you follow Jesus, He makes beauty from ashes in every area of your life and nothing is wasted.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

We have to trust that even the suffering we endure as part of God’s plan will somehow prosper us and not harm us.  Somehow His plans will always bring hope and a future.  Yes, when we follow Jesus, even our suffering is for our benefit.  We might get angry and we might not understand, but He will see us through.  All we have to do is trust Him and keep walking by faith.  Easier said then done, but with God nothing is impossible and He holds our hearts.  Whatever troubles you are facing today, remember, if you know Jesus, then He is working on your behalf for your benefit!

May His will be done today and every day!

Grace and peace to you all!

Pic quote Jeremiah 29 v 11