Walking By Faith

Walk by faith

I want to tell you about one of the most wonderful and intense events in my life that changed my life forever.  It stretched my faith to the limit and it was heart wrenching in the beginning of it.  I had to trust God and keep walking even though I didn’t know what was going to happen.  I had never been in a situation like it before in my life, so I had to completely rely on my faith, not my sight (or rather what I had experience with).

I am talking about the birth of my baby girl.  Our daughter was our first born.  She was born a month early and she arrived into this world only weighing 6 pounds.  She was as small as a little Teddy bear, and she was the most beautiful gift of God I had ever seen.

When the nurses laid her down on the warming table to clean her up, I noticed that her tiny chest was heaving up and down like she wasn’t getting enough air.  I asked the nurses who were helping her what was wrong, but they said she was healthy and fine.  I would not give it up and I persisted to ask what was wrong with her.

The emergency unit nurse heard me and she came over to look at our daughter.  The very moment she saw her, she said, “Okay sir, you need to come with me.”  As she grabbed the wheelie cart my daughter was on, the other nurses backed away immediately.  The emergency nurse is the head nurse and she was the boss.

She quickly, but safely took our daughter to a room where they put her under an oxygen hood.  It’s like a plastic box that goes over them and fresh oxygen is pumped into it.  The head nurse told me that she was having a little trouble breathing and she was glad I said something.  She told me it was normal and everything was going to be okay.  Colorado is at high altitude, so kids who are born here sometimes have trouble breathing due to the thin air.

I was a mess.  I could not stop the tears and I felt broken inside.  There was nothing I could do for her.  I could not comprehend why this would be happening with our first child.  My wife couldn’t even hold her yet.  I was crying out to God deeply inside my soul and clinging to my faith.

I sat down next to my daughter as she lay there just barely a few minutes old struggling to breathe.  She still had her eyes closed and she was so little, so soft and precious.  The weight of fatherhood was on me, and I accepted it with an open heart.

As the oxygen filled her lungs, I could see her chest beginning to calm down and not strain so hard for air.  I was praying for her quietly and digging deep into my faith.  There were openings on the sides of the oxygen hood, so I put my pointer finger inside and touched her tiny left hand.  At once, her little fingers wrapped around my finger tightly.  I whispered very softly to her, “It’s okay honey, Daddy’s here.”

The very second I spoke to her, she turned her head towards my voice.  Her eyes were still closed, but she was turned so that her face was looking right at me.  I said again, “It’s okay honey, Daddy’s here.”

After that, I was in tears and trying not to cry hard.  I stayed like that with her for the next two hours until she was able to breathe on her own.  That was my introduction to fatherhood and I was just a young man in my early 20s.

When the nurse gave us the all clear, she took us back to the birthing room (which was like a hotel suite) and she immediately gave our daughter to my wife.  It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen to watch my wife hold our daughter.  I will never forget it.

I was there for the whole birth, and I even assisted the nurse.  I watched God bring a new life into the world, and it changed my entire life!  It was amazing!

I was there for my son’s birth too, but his birth is funny!  He came flying out in one push and the doctor actually bobbled him for a second and then caught him.  I told the doctor, “Good catch!”  Seriously, he came out like he was on a water slide healthy and strong, praise God!  The second child is easier I guess!

Our daughter grew stronger and stronger by the day, and she is now a beautiful 10 year old girl who loves music, art, and dance.  She plays piano and french horn, and she is the kindest person I have ever known.  I love you Rosie girl!

I call my son Biggie Son, or Bigs for short!  That is because he is a strong athletic boy with a big heart.  I tell him, “You are going to be a big man someday, and you need to use that to help people.”  He has an extroverted type personality and he loves theater and music.  When he walks into school, just about every kid knows and says hi to him because he is nice to everybody.  I love you Biggie Son!

Being a father has stretched my faith to the limit many times.  Many times I could not see how things were going to work out or why things happened the way they did, but I just dug deeper into my faith in Christ.

It was Jesus who anchored me that day my daughter couldn’t breathe.  It was Jesus who helped her in the power of the Holy Spirit as I prayed over her.  It is Jesus I glorify for all of it!

No matter what you are going through right now, you can trust that Jesus can and will get you through it victoriously!  Walk by faith in Him.

Grace and peace to you all!

Family pic 2
Our sweet little girl.
Family pic 3
She always loved climbing up on the couch and sitting right next to me!
Dad and rosie in mountains
Yep, that is the heat I pack to protect my family when we are in the mountains. If you have a little sweetie like ours, you better protect her.

 

Family pic 4
That is our boy–my Biggie Son!
Family pic 1
She is a great big sister, and he is a great little brother! They love hanging out together.

 

Ambassadors for Christ

Colossians 3 verse 17

I always take a deep breath after reading that verse because it gives me serious pause to reflect on how I act, what I say, and how I say it.  I am a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ!  There I go again taking another deep breath.

There is another verse that causes me to have serious reflection.  In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church, he explains to the believers how they should now regard all people and who they actually are in Christ as they serve Him on earth.

“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.  Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.  And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.  We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.  God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

2 Corinthians 5:16-21

That is an incredible responsibility for every believer in Jesus Christ!  Our main job is to represent Jesus Christ as we wait for His Glorious return.  We are ambassadors for our King!  I am very glad for the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8)!  Just as Paul said, we are to look at all people through the eyes of Christ and offer them this reconciliation with God at all times.

We implore people on Christ’s behalf, “be reconciled to God!”  Through Jesus Christ He is not counting men’s sins against them!  If you do not know Jesus today, please know that He loves you and He died for you.  No matter where you live in the world, he died for you so your sins would be forgiven!  See my invitation to join God’s family in my post “The 116 Family!

In Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus, he gives the believers some practical ways on how we should be representing Jesus:

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Ephesians 4:29-32

Sounds impossible, and it would be, except believers in Jesus are able to live and love like that because of the power of God’s Holy Spirit.  We can speak what is helpful, build others up, and even forgive just as Jesus forgave us!  That is a big one too!  Forgive each other just like Jesus forgave you.  That is so crucial to represent Jesus in victory!

Paul continues his advice on how to live in chapter five:

“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

Ephesians 5:1-2

Paul makes it very clear that believers in Jesus are to represent Jesus by living a life of love like He did.  To be like Him and help people like He did.  In the most simple terms, that is how we are to be ambassadors for Jesus.

“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.  Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.”

Ephesians 5:3-4

I want to focus on “coarse joking” for a moment.   The Greek root of the word sarcasm means “tearing of the flesh.”  Remember that next time you feel like being sarcastic.  If you joke with someone in a mean way, it is not funny.  You are tearing their flesh.

We are not going to be perfect at all of this.  We walk in grace by faith in Jesus.  We are not working our way into Heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9).  Jesus paid the full price for our sins for us.  Always remember that!

God will empower you to live in victory like this when you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior.  You will be able to love, live, and forgive like He did, and He will use you to take His message of reconciliation to the world!

I plead with you and implore you in my time as Paul did in his time, be reconciled to God!  Find peace and healing in Jesus.  He is making His appeal through all of His followers and reaching out to you this very moment!

It has been such a great encouragement to see all of the different blogs for Jesus!  It is incredible to see how He works through each one of His followers.  I pray the Lord will combine each work He is doing through us into one giant powerful work of the Holy Spirit!  Pray for each other!

Here is one more crucial piece of advice from Paul.  It is important to note that he is not saying you can’t have wine.  He is saying do not get drunk.  Just wanted to make that clear.  I don’t drink because of my past and how I came to Jesus, and because of Celiac Disease, but it does not bother me if one of my brothers in Christ wants to have a beer or a glass of wine.  I am not judging you.  Just be very careful how you live.  You know if you are drinking too much, and if you are, then honor Christ and stop.  These Holy God-breathed Scriptures are not about guilt.  They are about wise instruction for living a righteous life.  We are to represent Jesus well as His ambassadors, and I pray that we all do that in the power of the Holy Spirit!

“Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.  Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery.  Instead, be filled with the Spirit.  Speak to one another with  psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.  Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

Ephesians 5:15-21

Jesus is Lord!  Grace and peace to you all!

Here is some music to speak to you with spiritual songs.  I watched this on the blog of a wonderful Caribbean Christian Sister in Christ!  This is Holy Spirit filled African praise!  Enjoy, it is beautiful!  Thank you sister for posting it!

Holy Ghost Air

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

1 Peter 1:13

Ephesians 6 verse 19

 

Salvation By Grace Alone Through Faith Alone in Christ Alone (Not by works!)

Ephesians 2 verse 8

Yes, that is a long title, but I am trying to make a very crucial point!  Salvation in Jesus Christ is through grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.  I can’t stress how important this is to understand.  There is absolutely nothing we could do before or after we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior to earn our way into Heaven.  This is fundamental to the Christian faith.  You must understand this!

The Book of Ephesians is the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus.  In the letter he is reminding the believers of their new found life in Jesus, and reminding them that their salvation is a free gift from God that they could never earn.  He teaches them that there is to be no boasting about their salvation because they did not earn it through works.  There are no amount of “good works” that will get you into Heaven.  If that were the case, then Jesus Christ died for nothing!  Please understand that!

Here is how Paul says it:

“All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts.  Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.”

Ephesians 2:3-5

Did the Apostle Paul say “it is by works you have been saved?”  Did he say, “it is by your own effort you have been saved?”  No, he did not.  He said we are saved by grace, and that grace comes from our loving God who is rich in mercy.

Paul continues his explanation regarding grace in the following verses:

“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”

Ephesians 2:6-7

There is that word grace again.  I don’t see the word “works” anywhere in there, do you?  That’s because it is not in there and we are not saved by works.  People who preach salvation by works often misunderstand what the Apostle Paul was saying in another set of Scripture found in Philippians 2:12-13.  Unfortunately, they use it to instill fear in people that they have to “work” their way into Heaven or they could lose their salvation.  Let me be clear here, that is a lie straight from Satan!

Once you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are saved and it is finished just as Jesus said on the cross!  Here is the verse people misuse.  I will explain what the verse really means from the Greek context of the words afterwards.

Philippians 2:12-13 (The misused and misunderstood verses)

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”

The New Testament was written in Greek.  The Greek root of “work out” means pressing on toward the goal.  It does not mean, nor does it say, you have to “work for” your salvation.  The salvation part is set in stone because Jesus paid the price for us and our salvation cannot be lost once we are His.  The Greek root of the words “fear and trembling” in this context means a great reverence and respect (fear) and awe (trembling).     He is saying to press on and follow Jesus with great reverence and awe.  He is not saying you have to work for your salvation.  Okay?  Please understand that.

Paul uses the same language when speaking about Titus in 2 Corinthians 7:15:

“And his affection for you is all the greater when he remembers that you were all obedient, receiving him with fear and trembling.”

There are the words “fear and trembling” again.  You see, it is how Paul writes.  It is the Greek language.  He is thanking the church at Corinth for showing Titus such respect.

Okay, now that the language barrier is cleared up, let us move forward.  Paul continues his explanation of salvation by grace to the church at Ephesus by writing one of the most famous verses in the Bible.  Here it is:

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no can boast.”

Ephesians 2:8-9

I think Paul wanted to make it very clear that we are saved by grace through faith and it is a gift from God and “not by works.”  There is to be no boasting from anyone about it!  Jesus saved you.  You cannot save yourself through good works.

Salvation

I want to make something else crystal clear.  Jesus called us to repentance.  Repentance leads you to salvation, which is a free gift from God.  The Greek root word for repentance is “metanoia,” which literally means “a change of mind” or “change in the inner man.”

Strong’s Concordance:
“metanoia: change of mind, repentance

Original Word: μετάνοια, ας, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Transliteration: metanoia
Phonetic Spelling: (met-an’-oy-ah)
Short Definition: repentance, a change of mind
Definition: repentance, a change of mind, change in the inner man.”

Jesus called us to change our minds about our sins, turn away from them, and turn to God and His Way, which is to believe in Jesus Christ!

“From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

Matthew 4:17

“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”

2 Corinthians 7:10

You receive salvation through Jesus Christ and are saved the very moment you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior through faith.  It is a free gift from God by His grace.  Repentance simply leads you to salvation in Jesus Christ, which is by grace through faith, and not by works.

Paul explains this clearly as he writes to the church at Rome:

“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Romans 10:9

Did Paul say, “if you run around and do a bunch of good things, you will be saved?”  Did Paul say, “if you confess Jesus is Lord, believe, and then do a bunch of good works, you will be saved?”  No, he did not.  He said you are saved the very moment you confess Jesus is Lord and believe!  Don’t let anybody ever tell you that you can lose your salvation or you have to work for it!  Those are lies and that nonsense is NOT found in the Bible!

One more very important truth I want to make crystal clear is that once you receive Jesus like the above verses say to do, you will receive the Holy Spirit immediately.  Here is how Paul explains it:

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.  Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory.”

Ephesians 1:13-14

Is it clear now?  You receive the Holy Spirit immediately upon believing in Jesus Christ and that Holy Spirit inside of you guarantees your inheritance in Heaven!!  Your salvation is guaranteed when you trust Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and you don’t ever have to worry about losing it!

If you are a Christian and you go off and start sinning (which happens), it doesn’t mean you lose your salvation, but it does mean God is going to have to discipline you and bring you back.  Sometimes Christians back slide and fall into temptation, but God is gentle with us and restores us through His discipline (see Hebrews 12).  You don’t lose your salvation once you belong to Jesus!

Permanently engraved

I truly hope that clears the whole salvation by grace versus works issue right up!  Jesus died for you and that gracious gift of salvation is free from God, and there is nothing we could do to work for it!  Praise God for that!  May we all live in the truth and freedom of Jesus Christ every day!

Grace and peace to you all!

Ephesians 2

Ephesians 2 verses 8 and 9

2 Corinthians 12 verse 9

Saved by grace through faith

 

The 116 Family!

Romans 116

That is one very powerful verse!  I am not ashamed of Jesus Christ!  He saved my soul and redeemed me!  He defeated very real darkness and evil in my life!  I gave my life to Him in 1996 and have served Him ever since.  Have I been perfect at it?  No way!  I’m human just like you.  I have always walked in the Victory of Christ though, and I keep marching forward unashamed!

Read that verse again please.  The Gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes!  That is good news!  It is not just for a select few.  It is for every single person on this earth, and that includes you!

It doesn’t matter where you live, or what your skin color is, or what culture you are from.  Jesus died for everybody!  Jesus wasn’t a religion invented by Europeans.  Jesus grew up in Nazareth.  Christianity started in the Middle East near Jerusalem!  He started His ministry of preaching the Good News, healing the sick, driving out demons, and raising the dead when He was 30 years old.  History records that His ministry lasted three and a half years, and when He was 33 years old the Romans crucified Him.  These are historical facts.

After His resurrection and ascension into Heaven, his followers went out into all the world to preach the Good News that Jesus Christ died for the sins of all people on earth.  For example, it was the Apostle Thomas (yes, the doubting one), one of the original twelve disciples, who took the Gospel message to India.  They did this because Jesus commanded them to do it before He ascended into Heaven.  At the end of the Book of Matthew, Jesus and the remaining eleven disciples (because Judas was dead, so minus one) gather at a mountain in Galilee. There Jesus gives them a powerful command and authority to preach the Gospel to the world.

“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-20

It is pretty clear that the Gospel message (which is that Jesus came to die to forgive your sins and through Him and through Him alone you can be saved and given eternal life) is to be preached worldwide.  It is not a white thing or a black thing or any other color or culture’s thing.  It’s a Jesus thing!  It’s for all of us!  Are you feelin’ me on this?

Jesus died for everyone no matter where you live.

“You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

Galatians 3:26-29

That means when you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you become part of the family of God!  Paul says it this way in his letter to the church at Ephesus:

“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s  household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.  In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.  And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”

Ephesians 2:19-22

God lives in His people through the power of the Holy Spirit that He gives to each person when they accept Jesus as their Lord and  Savior.  Check out my post on “Who is the Holy Spirit?” to learn more about Him.  When Paul talks about the whole building being joined together in Jesus and rising to become a holy temple in the Lord, he is talking about all the believers together filled with God’s Holy Spirit.

So no matter where you are in the world right now, or what culture you grew up in, Jesus died for you too.  I want to shout out to all my brothers and sisters who I have met through this blog in the U.S., the U.K., Russia, India, France, Italy, Ireland, the Philippines, Turkey, Australia, South Africa, Kenya, Canada, the Caribbean Islands, and Vietnam!  Thank you all for visiting and following my blog!  I appreciate all of you and my prayers are with you all!  I hope that someday that list will include every country in the world!  You are all my brothers and sisters!

Jesus loves you and you can be part of God’s family today!  All you have to do is accept the invitation!  Come join the 116 family and rest in the love of your Father in Heaven!

“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Romans 10:9

Grace and peace to you!

P.S.

Shout out to Lecrae and the whole 116 crew!

Names of Jesus

116 stage

 

 

 

Message To Prisoners (Shout out to Inmate Blogger!)

Prison bars Jesus set me freePrisoners prayingBroken chain freedomMark 2 verse 5

Grace and peace to you!  My name is Ryan.  I am a Christian (meaning sold out for Jesus) minister and author and I have been preaching, ministering, and baptizing for almost 22 years.  I recently published a book on Amazon about the very strange and supernatural life I have had (One Man’s Very Strange Supernatural Life).  Recently, my blog was followed by another blog called “Inmate Blogger.”  It is an awesome blog where prisoners get to post their writing pieces!  God bless you!  I am writing this to anyone who is incarcerated right now, and this message of hope is for you!  May your writing on “Inmate Blogger” reach out across time, space, borders, and bars, and impact real change for good!  Bless you all!

I have never been to prison.  I had a probation officer once when I was in High School for about a year from something illegal that I had done, but I never went to jail.  I do know what it’s like to have the heat sweat me though.

I know that some of you are incarcerated, but you are innocent.  I don’t know why this has happened to you and it is a tragedy!  God loves you and He did not do this to you!  It is a product of a broken system, which is a product of the fall of man, which is from satan (yes, he exists).  I pray that the Lord Jesus will bring you justice swiftly and restore your freedom and honor, strengthen you, and confirm you!  Amen!

I also know that many of you actually did commit the crimes you are in prison for (just like when I got probation), and I pray you learn from your time of discipline.  God loves you too, and He will forgive you!  I pray for restoration of your freedom and honor as well.  The Lord will strengthen and lift you up!  This message of hope and forgiveness in Jesus Christ is for all of you!  It’s for the whole world!

In Luke 4:18-19 Jesus was in the synagogue in Nazareth, and He reads from the scroll of Isaiah (because they had scrolls back then) where He quotes a passage of Scripture that is talking about Him.  It had been written by the Prophet Isaiah long before Jesus ever arrived.

“He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom.  And he stood up to read.  The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him.  Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down.  The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.””

Luke 4:16-21

What Jesus was telling them was that He Himself fulfilled that prophecy!  Jesus came to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, and I’m not just talking about prison.  I’m talking about our souls!

Jesus Christ came to die for you, so you could be free from sin and death and go to Heaven!  That is a freedom that you can have even in prison my brother or sister!  Let Jesus release you from the chains around your heart and soul.  Let Him heal you and set you free!  Please read my post titled “The Roman’s Road” if you want to learn about accepting Jesus and the salvation He offers you.  You can pray to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior right now, and He will fill you with His Holy Spirit right there in that prison!  I kid you not!  The Holy Spirit is real!  Read my post titled “Who is the Holy Spirit?” to learn about Him.  Read my posts titled “Who is God?” and “Who is Jesus” too!

Spend some time on my blog and learn about who God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are.  Read my posts titled “Heart Poured Out” and “Real Talk” to read about my testimony and how I came to Jesus.  I lived in a haunted house in St. Charles, IL in the early 90s, and my family was tormented by a demon the entire 4 years I was in High School!  That’s why I came to Jesus!

After I got saved, the supernatural experiences continued, but this time it was with angels!  Then, 14 years later in 2012, I stopped breathing due to anaphylactic shock and I died for a little while.  Yes, you heard me right.  I stopped breathing, my heart stopped, and I left my body!  My wife was beside me when it happened.  I’m still here because I was with Jesus and He sent me back!  Sound crazy?  Yep, I know, I’ve had one very strange supernatural life!  That is why I’m on here preaching in the power and joy of the Lord!

Yes, I say it all the time, Jesus is alive and He loves you!  Heaven, hell, angels, and demons–it’s all real!  I’m telling you folks, if you haven’t read my book, please check it out!  It’s free on Kindle Unlimited, and only .99 cents for the eBook.  Thanks to everyone who downloaded a free book during the promotion!!!

To the prisoners who are serving their time because of a crime you committed, I want you to know that God is showing you love.  I know many of you did not have good fathers, or your father was not around.  Maybe you did not have the kind of discipline you required as a young boy or girl growing up in this sinful fallen world.  I want you to know that whatever the crime was, the Lord loves you, He will forgive you, and He is actually treating you with love as you sit in that prison. Let me explain.  Check out this section of Scripture:

“In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.  And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”

Hebrews 12:4-6

That is good news for you today!  Do not lose heart, the Lord is treating you as his sons and daughters!  He will still accept you and forgive you!  He had to discipline and rebuke you for whatever it is you did because He is just, but He will also forgive you and receive you as His own child!  Take heart in that today and be encouraged!

“If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.”

Hebrews 12:8

This is an important verse to understand.  I discipline my kids because they are my kids and I love them.  I don’t discipline other people’s kids because they are not my kids.  The discipline you are going through right now proves that God loves you and that you are one of His children!  He is treating you as a true loving father would.

“Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

Hebrews 12:10-11

Did you catch that?  God is disciplining you for your good to lead you to holiness in order to produce in you a harvest of righteousness and peace inside your soul!  Let this time in your life train you to be righteous.  Live a life of peace and share in God’s holiness!

Let these words encourage you today!  There is a God in Heaven and He loves you.  Repent and turn from sin!  Let Jesus set you free!

If you have any questions or need prayer, please contact me.  I am available as an online minister to the whole world!

Grace and peace to you all!

“If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Romans 10:9

Never forsake verse

 

 

 

 

Salt and Pepper

White black brothers

This post is really special to me.  I have been wanting to do this for many, many years!  I have a very good friend out there in the world that I haven’t seen in a very long time, since 8th grade in fact, and I want to let him know that I never stopped thinking about him and I pray for him to this day.

Many of you know that when I was a kid my family moved from Denver, Colorado to St. Charles, IL (which is about 35 miles west of Chicago).  That is when we moved into the haunted house.  I’m not going into that here this time, but if you want to read about that it is in my book “One Man’s Very Strange Supernatural Life” on Amazon.  Believe me, you want to know about what I talk about in my book.  Strange and supernatural indeed!

The move was extremely hard on me.  I left all my friends and everything I knew and I became deeply depressed.  I was the new kid at a new school and I hated every second of it.

Some kids at the school were nice to me, but some were not.  The first week of school I had a dentist appointment, so I arrived at school late one morning.  I gave the office the note from my Mom and they gave me a hall pass to get to class.  The halls were empty as classes were in session.

As I walked up the stairs to my classroom, another student came around the corner just before I got to the top.  I said hi to him, and with no warning at all, he just attacked me!  He grabbed me by my throat with both of his hands and started choking me as he pushed his thumbs into my larynx!  I was in complete shock!   I wasn’t that kind of kid at all.  I wasn’t a fighter.  I was a calm peaceful kid and I grew up having a lot of friends in Colorado.

The kid who was choking me was bigger and taller than me and he had me good.  I could not loosen his grip and I did not know much self defense training at the time (I do now though, I use a mix of street and Israeli Krav Maga,very effective).  I was only 13, I hadn’t hit my 6’1″ height yet, and I was a skinny kid.

I remember feeling light headed as he choked me.  I remember the anger on his face and in his eyes as he pushed  into my throat.  I had never even met him before, and it was only my first week at my new school!

I was looking at him as my breath left me, and right as I was feeling lightheaded and about to pass out (or die) I saw a big black fist smack right into my attackers face from his left!  Immediately the kid released his grip and I took a huge deep breath of air!

What I witnessed after that is the most brutal and beautiful rescue I have ever seen, and I was the one being rescued!  My attacker fell to the ground as my hero continued to beat my attacker with his fists and feet until he was a bloody pulp laying at the top of the stairs.  As my hero beat my attacker’s face with his fist, he stopped for a moment, turned to look at me and said, “You want some of this?!” as he invited me to join in the beat down.

I was still trying to catch my breath and I was bent over with my hands on my knees.  I couldn’t speak, so I just waved at him and shook my head no.  He saw how hurt I was, and that made him beat my attacker even worse.  Blood was everywhere, I was in total shock, welcome to your new school Ryan!  It was the most violent and chaotic event of my life up to that point.

After my hero was done beating him, he stood up and kicked my attacker in the head for one last good measure, then he yelled at him, “Don’t you ever mess with him again, he’s my boy!”  After that, my attacker got up with a face and shirt full of blood and ran down the stairs!  Not one teacher came out into the hall to see what was going on!  I never saw the guy who choked me again.  I don’t know if he quit school or was kicked out or what, but I never saw him again.  Praise God!

After he ran away, my hero came over to me, put his arm around me, asked me if I was okay, and then he said, “Don’t worry about him.  You’re my boy and you can hang out with me!”  I will never ever forget that, ever!  That big black fist landing on my attacker’s face was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.  It was like slow motion as his fist made contact with the side of his face, and all at once I could breathe again.

My hero’s name is Damien, and brother, if you are out there and you happen to read this someday I just want you to know I love you brother!  THANK YOU FOR SAVING ME!  You are a hero to me and I will always remember you that way!  You didn’t know me at all, but you rescued me and called me your friend!  You introduced me to your homies and I felt loved and welcomed!  You are the man bro!  Seriously, you are the man!  You were a strong man back then when we were just kids, and I would love to see you now!  I bet you are a cop or firefighter or something!  You are a hero and I love you, that is all I know brother!  I bet you have kids too, and I know our kids would love playing together!  Our wives would like each other too!  My prayers and heart are still with you brother!

Damien and I were best friends after that, and I didn’t have any more trouble with anybody.  Before we moved into the haunted house, we lived in a small apartment for about a month.  That ended up being really cool because I found out Damien lived in the apartment complex across the street, so we hung out at school and home.

We were together all the time.  We loved listening to rap and hip hop together.  That is back when Cube, Dre, and Snoop were young and poppin’ back in the early 90s!  Man that music was off the chain back then!  Damien and I were always vibin’ to that!

We hung out together so much that the other kids in school started calling us “Salt and Pepper.”  Damien was taller than me with a tall high top fade for a hair style (Like Kid from Kid n’ Play).  I was the skinny white kid with blonde hair and blue eyes.  Guess who was Salt?  It’s okay to laugh.  Damien and I thought racism was about the stupidest thing on earth!  We rolled together tight like two peas in a pod.  We were homies, best friends, and I knew he had my back!  You don’t want to catch a beat down from my hero!

I hate racism.  With all my heart I hate it!  That big black fist was the most beautiful thing I had seen since we moved!  I was heartbroken and lost from the move.  I was lonely and hurting.  Do you think I cared at all what his skin color was when he was saving me?  Nope!  That was the most beautiful skin I had ever seen!  He was like a big beautiful black angel of power and love!  Man, my attacker received the rod of the Lord through Damien!  Straight up 100% street style beat down!  Man there was a lot of blood!

I hope I can find Damien someday.  I just want to give him a big hug and then chill and talk for hours and hours while listening to some sweet beats bumpin’!  We are still best friends, forever brother!

I lost touch with Damien because his family had to move back to the south side of Chicago before we started High School.  The last time I talked with him, he said the schools had metal detectors and it was very violent every day.  I hope you made it through brother!  I know you were tough enough to survive it, that’s for sure!  The south side is no joke folks!

If you know a guy named Damien from Chicago, and you think this story might have been about him, please contact me!  I pray I find him!

God bless you all, and remember those divisions of the flesh are caused by the evil one.  We are all made in God’s image, and no matter where you live in this world or what color you are, you are my brother or sister!  Squash all that racism nonsense!  Squash it for good!  There is none of that in Heaven!

I love you Damien!  You will always be my brother!

Peace!

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

Jesus speaking in John 15:12-13

 

 

 

 

The Love Debt

Romans 13 v 8

Okay, this is a big one!  This lesson from the Bible is so important that if you do what it says to do, you will fulfill the entire point of the Bible!  Do I have your attention?

Check this out:

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.  The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Love does no harm to its neighbor.  Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

Romans 13:8-10

Nobody likes debt and it always feels great to pay it off!  Loving each other is a debt we are to never pay off.  You can love your neighbor as yourself in the power of the Holy Spirit and that debt is never a burden in His power!  Read my piece titled “Real Love” to find out what love really is through God’s eyes.

Those verses above also come with a warning.  Picking up in verse 11:

“And do this, understanding the present time.  The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.  The night is nearly over; the day is almost here.  So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.  Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.  Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

Romans 13:11-14

That’s it folks!  If you want to live a righteous life that pleases God, then repent, turn from darkness and sin, clothe yourself with Jesus, and love people like He did!  You will fulfill the whole point of the Bible, which is love!  It is the greatest love letter ever written!

Bless you all in the eternal love of Jesus Christ!

P.S.

See my post titled “The Roman’s Road” to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior!

Beauty from ashes