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 Littleton, 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

 

One Man’s Very Strange Supernatural Life Free Book Promo Ends Today 8-20-18!

book cover

Hey, everybody, I’ve been writing like crazy the last week!  I just started this blog on 8-10-18.  I set a goal from that date that over the next 30 days I would build a very content rich site where people can come to learn about Jesus!  After that, I’m just going to keep going serving God and keep building it!  The Lord has blessed it and it is going great!  My mission is to help people come to know Jesus, help people understand the Bible, and to minister to a lost and hurting world.

It is my prayer that the Lord would use this site for His glory and help people come to know Him through it!  It is also my prayer that people find help here in understanding the Bible.  I am also an every day minister to whomever God sends my way, so let me know if you need prayer or have questions!  I have been preaching the Gospel, ministering to folks (including the streets of Denver), and baptizing people for almost 22 years!  God bless you!

I wanted to let everyone know that my free book promotion on Amazon is ending today at 11:59 p.m. PT.  Be sure to download your free copy of my eBook today! 

I want to thank everyone who has downloaded a book!  It has been a very successful promotion (glory to God!), and I appreciate all of you and your support!  It has been awesome to meet all of you and to chat with many of you!  God bless you all!

If any of you have any questions or comments about my book, please let me know!  I love chatting with people, and I will respond to you!  I am working for Jesus, and I am available to help in any way I can!

You can download your free copy of my book on Amazon by clicking the title below:

One Man’s Very Strange Supernatural Life

Here is my book description:

“Do you like a good ghost story?  Have you ever wondered if there is more to this world than what we can see?  Have you ever felt the spiritual realm, but convinced yourself it wasn’t real?  What if you could meet someone who has had such a strange life that it could help you know the truth about life and death, and set you free?  The real question is, would you want to know such information?

Take a trip with me down a very strange road to truth, and you will see where it ends, and new life begins!  You will find answers to questions like:

Is there really a spiritual realm?

Does God exist?

and, what everyone wants to know,

How can I go to Heaven?

This world is not what it seems, and this is not your typical ghost story.  I invite you to embark on a journey through my very strange supernatural memories.  My hope is that your spirit will be encouraged and refreshed as you are set free from the fear of death.  When a man’s memories become too much to bear on his own, he must reach out and share it with others.  What you will find in this memoir is one man’s heart open and raw before the world.  Let them judge me.  Let them call me crazy.  I know the truth…and the whole world needs to know it!”

1 Corinthians 2 verse 5

 

 

The Transfiguration

Matthew 17 verse 5

Did you know one day Jesus took a hike up a high mountain with three of his disciples, and at the top He was transfigured into shining glory right in front of them?!  It happened, and it is recorded in the Book of Matthew.  Jesus showed His true power and glory for just a quick moment to Peter, James, and John, and it is recorded for eternity.

Mount Tabor where transfiguration happened
Mount Tabor in Israel (Matthew 17:1-13, The Transfiguration)
Sea of Galilee 8 Mount Tabor
Sea of Galilee from top of Mount Tabor

“After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.  There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.  Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus.

Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here.  If you wish, I will put up three shelters–one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.  Listen to him!”

Matthew 17:1-5

That is a short section of Scripture that is incredible!  Peter, James, and John were blessed to see Jesus in His shining glory, hang out with Moses and Elijah, and hear God’s voice!  The Lord’s glorious light was literally shining all around them!  Then, if that wasn’t enough, God envelopes them in a bright cloud and speaks to them!

Look at how the men react in verses 6-8:

“When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified.  But Jesus came and touched them.  “Get up,” he said.  “Don’t be afraid.”  When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.”

Matthew 17:6-8

We would have reacted the same way!  Notice how Jesus responds to the men though.  He touches them gently, and tells them to not be afraid.  I love that!

He is so mighty and powerful, and they had just seen His glory and heard God’s voice, yet He is so gentle and caring that He calmed the men even though they were terrified at that moment.

Remember that, today and always.  Jesus is powerful and glorious, but He is also gentle and He comforts us.  The transfiguration shows He can be both at the same time!  Don’t be afraid to come to Him today.  He is saying to you, “Don’t be afraid.”

God bless you all!

Mark 2 verse 5

The Resurrection

Matthew 28 verse 6 (crosses)

If you know anything about Jesus, then you know His greatest victory was defeating death!  That’s right, He rose from the dead after being crucified by the Romans!  You can read about the crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ in Matthew chapters 27 and 28.  The historical accounts of those events can also be found in Mark, Luke, and John given from the perspective of each of those men.  You can also read about the trial and death of Jesus in the Roman historical records.  Yes, Jesus existed, they really did nail Him to a cross, and yes, Jesus defeated death and came back to life!

After Jesus rose from the dead, an angel even came down from Heaven to tell two women who loved Jesus that He was alive.

“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.  There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.  His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.  The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.”

Matthew 28:1-4

Our Pastor preached one time about how it amused him that the angel sat on the stone after he rolled it away.  It was like the angel was relaxed and he wanted to make sure the women understood that everything was okay.  He was also showing them that the Romans and their big stone were nothing compared to the power and glory of God!

“The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.  Come and see the place where he lay.”

Matthew 28:6

Mary Mary He is Risen

In verse 7, the angel tells them,

“Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee.  There you will see him.’  Now I have told you.”

That is the part of the Resurrection that most people know.  The part I want to tell you about is in Matthew 27.  This is where you will find the account of Jesus’ crucifixion and death.  What happened after He died is absolutely incredible, and we don’t hear a lot about it.  At the moment Jesus gave up His Spirit willingly on that cross, there was a resurrection bonanza in Jerusalem!  I will give you the full Scripture for context.

The Death of Jesus

“From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.  About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”–which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.”

When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”  Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge.  He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink.  The rest said, “Now leave him alone.  Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  The earth shook and the rocks split.  The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.  They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

Matthew 27:45-54

Did you catch that?  When Jesus died, a bunch of tombs broke open and people who had been dead were now alive and walking around!  No wonder the Roman guards were terrified!  Can you imagine that?!  Jesus told everyone that He is the resurrection and the life, and He meant it!

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.”

John 11:25

When He died and gave up His Spirit, His power opened the graves and brought people back to life!  Jesus Himself walked around and chilled with His followers for 40 days after he rose from the dead.

“After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.  He appeared to them over a period of 40 days and spoke about the Kingdom of God.”

Acts 1:3

“…he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.  They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.  “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky?  This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into Heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Acts 1:9-11

I just think it is really cool and amazing that people who were dead were walking around Jerusalem reuniting with family and friends!  It wasn’t even the day of Jesus’ resurrection yet.  He had just died!

Not many people know about or talk about that part of the resurrection, so I wanted you to know!  Jesus can and will do the same thing for every person who puts their trust in Him for their salvation.  He is the resurrection and the life and if you believe in Jesus, He will raise you from the dead too!

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.  Do you believe this?”

John 11:25-26

Matthew 27:51 records an extremely important part of the crucifixion.  Did you notice that before the earth shook and the tombs broke open that “At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.”  Why is that important?

Before Jesus came, the Israelites had the Ark of the Covenant, which held God’s Spirit.  This was kept inside the temple and the entrance was covered by a giant curtain.  Only the High Priest could enter the temple and be near the Ark.  There was a separation between God and man, and sacrifices had to be made for the sins of the people.

The job of High Priest was serious business.  They would tie a rope around the ankle of the High Priest because if he went inside the temple near God’s Spirit and he was secretly living his life in sin, he would immediately die.  The other priests were not allowed to go inside the temple or they would die too, so that is why they had the rope.  If the High Priest died, they would just pull him out, then elect a new High Priest to do the job.  Now there is a bit of history you probably didn’t know.  Learned that one from my Pastor!

When Jesus died, the curtain was torn in two because one of His titles is the Great High Priest (in the order of Melchizedek, Hebrews 5:6), so He was the final sacrifice for all of mankind’s sin.  That order of priesthood signified the final order.  It was the High Priest who offered sacrifices to God for the sins of the people.  Because of Jesus, there is no longer a need for another High Priest sacrificing lambs for sins.  Jesus paid the price once and for all!  He is the Lamb of God.  There is now no separation and mankind can freely approach God through Jesus Christ!

Behold the Lamb of God

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin.  Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Hebrews 4:14-16

May that be an encouragement to you today!  There is real hope and it can be yours!

Grace and Peace to you all!

Revelation 1 verse 8

Romans 10:9

“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.”

 

 

 

Regret

2 Corinthians 5 verse 17 flowers

Regret is a heavy word isn’t it?  It is a horrible reality on this earth that we all have to deal with, and we all have plenty of regrets.  Bad choices we made.  Sins we committed.  People we hurt.  It all goes wrong sometimes doesn’t it?

I am here to tell you there is hope!  You do not need to carry those regrets any longer!  When you come to Jesus and lay down your life to Him, He will forgive and cleanse every sin and regret you have!  Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation!  The old has gone, the new has come!

That newness comes the moment you receive Jesus, and for the entire time you follow Jesus.  You are a new creation forever!  Even after you receive Jesus, you will make mistakes, and you might regret those mistakes, but Jesus keeps making all things new in your life as you walk with Him.

I want to tell you about one of my most painful regrets that I have had in my walk with Christ.  If you have been reading my blog, then you know I am straight up about confessing things.  I am not self righteous.  I am Jesus righteous!  So, here we go.

Before I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease on 1-6-12, I had been slowly getting worse over the previous 10 years leading up to that.  I was 33 when I was diagnosed.  At the beginning of my 20s, I started having issues with my gut and food.  I didn’t know what was wrong, and doctors didn’t know either.  My bones and muscles were aching and I was losing my appetite.  I was losing weight rapidly, and my spine burned.  By the time I was diagnosed the disease had almost killed me taking me from 160 to 128 pounds!  It was a nightmare!

One of the worst parts of Celiac is what it does to the human brain.  I cannot digest the protein gliadin found in wheat, barley, and rye.  Oats are also incredibly dangerous for Celiacs because it digests into a very similar protein as gliadin.  Oats caused me to go into anaphylactic shock on 4-28-12 for the first time in my life!  It is that protein gliadin that they nickname “gluten.”

Celiac Disease is a genetic auto immune disorder and a chronic illness.  If I eat wheat, my body will go into a full blown auto immune attack on itself.  This attack causes damage to the small intestine killing the crucial villi in the lining that is necessary for nutrient absorption.  The protein gliadin will also break through the cellular wall of the lining of the stomach and “fly around” wildly inside my body.  One of the worst attacks from this wild protein are on a Celiac’s brain.

As it enters the brain, it causes the hormones responsible for fight or flight to stay at peak intensity even when at rest!  To me it felt like a hive of wasps stinging me right behind my forehead.  I would push on my forehead to try and relieve the pressure and intensity, but it just wouldn’t stop.  I didn’t know what was wrong with me!

This auto immune attack on my body and brain were horrific.  When I watched the Will Smith movie called “Concussion” about the football injury called CTE, it made me cry.  It did that to me because what happens to those guy’s brains looks a lot like what happens to misdiagnosed or undiagnosed Celiacs who are still eating wheat.  It can drive us completely mad!  The scene where the poor guy is banging on his forehead is exactly what I did!

Like I said, it was like a hive of wasps stinging my brain!  The increase and intensity in the fight or flight hormones made me feel abnormally agitated and angry at all times of the day.  I had trouble sleeping and focusing, and it kept getting worse.  At the time of my diagnosis in 2012, I thought I was losing it!  I wasn’t, it was just Celiac making me go nuts.

It took a long time for my brain and body to heal.  For at least the first three years of the disease I yelled at my wife and kids a lot, and they suffered because of it.  I know I would not have been like that if the disease hadn’t attacked my brain like it did, but I still have deep regrets about that time in my life.  I hurt their hearts and I scared them.  It was awful.

I also hurt friends, and my Mom and Dad.  I yelled at them on the phone when my brain was on fire in rage.  I hurt feelings and ruined relationships, and I was supposed to be mister preacher man.

Why am I telling you all this?  Because I want you to know God healed all of that and wiped it away!  He showed me how to eat right as a Celiac and he began to heal my body and brain, and everything got better!  It is even better than before, and our family is strong because of what we have been through.  My wife and kids love me with all their hearts and I love them with all of my heart!

I was shown mercy and grace from friends and family, and my wife and kids, and forgiveness is mine.  I just want to say right here in this post to all of you who I hurt during my time of suffering, please forgive me!  I love you all!  I literally wasn’t right in the head because of Celiac.  I still take responsibility, and that is why I ask for forgiveness.  Please know I love you all, and I never wanted to hurt anyone!  Please keep praying for my complete healing from this disease!  Please forgive me.

I am okay now.  My brain has not been on fire for a long time, and God brought peace and healing to my body.  He cleansed me of all the gliadin protein that was causing the auto immune attack, and He once again made me new!  Our family has a lot of fun together and we are doing just fine now!  I love you guys!

I am a new creation in Christ every day!  He is the Living Water and the Amen, and He flows within me!  Those dark regrets have no hold over me any longer because I am free and clean in His forgiveness!

What regrets do you struggle with today?  What keeps you up at night?  You don’t have to carry those burdens any longer!  Jesus will take those burdens for you, throw them away, and make you brand new!

Come to Jesus today!  He loves you!

Grace and peace to you!

2 Corinthians 12 verse 9

 

 

 

Who is God?

I AM canyon pic

God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He exists as three in one: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are equal together as One.  In Exodus chapter three, Moses encounters God in a burning bush.  He asks God what His Name is, and God tells Moses His Name is I AM.

“Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?”  Then what shall I tell them?

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.  This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”

Exodus 3:13-14

God continues his answer to Moses in verse 15:

“God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob–has sent me to you.’  This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.”

Exodus 3:15

It is very clear that is His Name and that is the Name He wants to be remembered by forever.  It is also clear from the Word of God that God created the entire universe and everything in it.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

Genesis 1:1-2

God also created human beings and he created us in His own image!  Isn’t that cool?!  You look like your Creator!  We all do, no matter where you live or what color you are, you are made in God’s own image!

“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

Genesis 1:26-27

The “us” God is talking about is Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  All three were present at the beginning of creation.

John 1:1-4

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of men.”

God, that is I AM, loves us!  He loves us so much that He died for us!

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16

God wants all of us to have eternal life!

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

2 Peter 3:9

God is love, and He loves you!

“If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

1 John 4:15-16

The way God loves us is found in 1 Corinthians 13.  This section of Scripture defines once and for all exactly what love really is!

“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

In verse 13 of that chapter, Paul writes,

“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these is love.”

Since we learn from 1 John that God is love, then God’s character is also filled with the above attributes of love.  God is patient, God is kind.  He does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud.  He is not rude, He is not self-seeking, He is not easily angered, He keeps no record of wrongs.  God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  God always protects, God always trusts, God always hopes, God always perseveres, and God never fails!  The greatest is God!  The Great I AM!

Isn’t that great news today?!  There is a God who created you in His image because He loves you!  I am very glad that God has the character He does!  I am so thankful for His love and forgiveness!  When you repent and believe in Jesus, God removes your sins from you!  He will NOT keep a record of your wrongs!

“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.  As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”

Psalm 103:11-14

It is important to note that the “fear of the Lord” is not being scared of God.  His love is perfect and drives out fear.

“There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

1 John 4:18

God is love, so since there is no fear in love, then there is no fear in God.  The “fear of the Lord” means to have great respect and reverence for the Lord.  Once you are made perfect in His love by receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, there is no more fear.  The fear of death is gone, and you revere (or fear) the Lord in the power of the Holy Spirit!

“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil–and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”

Hebrews 2:14-15

Remember all of this today and every day!  Yes, there is a God and He absolutely loves you!  He provided One Way for you to get back to Him, and that Way is Jesus Christ.

“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

I pray you receive His love today!

Grace and Peace to you all!

Psalm 90 verse 2

 

 

Who is Jesus?

Names of Jesus

Jesus is everything!  Jesus is my Lord and Savior!  He is the Lord and Savior of this entire world and every human being in it!  Jesus is known by many names in the Bible, a few of which are King of kings and Lord of lords, Lamb of God, the Alpha and Omega, Lion of Judah, and the Prince of Peace.  Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  He is also God in human form, and He is One with the Father and the Holy Spirit.  Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice by willingly dying on the cross to forgive the sins of all mankind.  He arose from the dead after three days conquering the evil one, sin, and death with one mighty blow!  He ascended into Heaven, and one day He will return to this earth to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords forever!

Through Jesus we have access to Heaven!

Jesus said plainly and directly in John 14:6:

“I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”

 

In Matthew 16:15-16 Jesus asks Peter a very important question:

“But what about you?” he asked.  “Who do you say I am?”  Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

 

In John 1:1-3 we learn that Jesus was with God from the beginning of Creation and He is God:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”

 

In John 1:14 we learn that Jesus, that is, God in human form, came to earth to be among us:

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Very simply Jesus is your Savior.  He came to die for you, so your sins can be forgiven and you can be reconciled back to God and allowed into Heaven.

Jesus was crucified and killed, buried in a tomb, and came back to life on the third day just as the Bible says!

The Apostle Paul writing to the church in Corinth states:

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.”

1 Corinthians 15:3-5

The story of the birth of Jesus Christ and His life, death, resurrection, and ascension into Heaven can be found in the Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  Those four books are known as “The Gospels.”

Most of all Jesus died for you.  He is your Savior from sin and death.

John 3:16-17

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

Titus 2:13

“..while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,..”

Philippians 2:8-11

“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!  Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

After conquering death, Jesus left all of his followers with one important command before he ascended into Heaven:

“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

That is what I have been doing for almost 22 years now!  Jesus is Lord and He is alive!  I can testify to that and I do!  Read my book to find out about what happened to me when I stopped breathing in 2012!  I was with Jesus and He protected me!

Jesus rescued us, and all you have to do is receive that gift!

“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil–and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”

Hebrews 2:14-15

I pray you receive that precious gift of freedom today!  Proclaim “Jesus is Lord,” and receive Him as your Savior!

“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

“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 one can boast.”

Ephesians 2:8-9

God bless you all!

Isaiah 53 verse 5

 

Lessons From Taekwondo

Ben TKD 3
That is my son smiling at me.

My son absolutely loves Taekwondo.  He has been doing it for a couple years.  He is a purple belt now and he will be testing for his green belt soon.  Taekwondo is the ancient Korean art of combat.  It is very popular in our town.  Tae means to kick with the foot, Kwon means to punch with the fist, and Do means way.  So, it is literally the kick punch way.

I took this picture earlier today.  This is what they call forms class where they practice their punches and kicks, and they train by doing moves on each other and the instructors.

This is where the instructor lets the kids kick without holding back:

ben-tkd-11-e1534729958123.jpg
My son bringing the heat to his instructor!

Yes, I am very proud of him, can you tell?

Here is my boy taking one of his buddies down.  They take turns practicing the move, and afterwards it is always cool to see them pat each other on the back.  Just another day at Taekwondo!

Ben TKD 2
That’s the way to do it son!

I’m showing you this because I love my son.  I am proud of his hard work.  He stayed dedicated and now he is in a program where he can make black belt in two years with hard work and discipline.

It has been great to see him grow as a person through the training and discipline.  He has found a great outlet for his energy and he is learning the valuable skill of self defense at the same time.

My son is focused on the prize and that prize is his black belt.  He will study and learn and train several days per week over the next two years and when he is 10, he will reach his goal.

I am focused on a prize too, but I have waited a lot longer than two years to obtain it, and I will continue to wait until my time is through on this earth.  The prize I’m talking about is Heaven.

My son envisions himself with that black belt on leading the class someday.  He imagines what it will be like, and he doesn’t lose sight of it.  In the same way, let us focus on Jesus and the glory of Heaven!  Imagine what it will be like and picture yourself there!  Press on and take heart!

Whatever you are doing in life, don’t lose sight of the goal!  If you do not know Jesus yet, come to Him today, He loves you and He is waiting for you!

God bless you all!

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 3:14

Beautiful shot of Long's Peak