The fast answer to that question is that the Holy Spirit is One with the Father and the Son, so the Holy Spirit is God’s Spirit. He is here on earth, and we can have access to Him! Incredible and a bit nutty sounding I know, but it is true!
God uses His Holy Spirit on earth to do many things, which you can read about in the poster above. I encourage you to look through all of those verses. You will come away with a deep understanding and appreciation of Who the Holy Spirit is, and if He does not dwell within you yet, you are going to want Him to!
The main thing God’s Holy Spirit does for us is, well, make us holy. Before I came to Jesus I could not even conceive of how anybody could be holy or even act holy. I had no idea the kind of power God gives us access to before I knew Christ!
Before I got saved, I thought Christians were a bunch of phonies. I thought they were just self righteous people that wanted to act good and pretend to be holy for whatever reason. I did not understand that God’s Holy Spirit actually indwells in every single believer in Jesus Christ and empowers them to actually be holy! My anniversary of accepting Christ is in October (’96), and after almost 22 years, I sure know that power now though!
If you are an unbeliever right now like I was back in the early 90s, I know this sounds nuts to you. Believe me, I know. Read my post “Heart Poured Out” and “Wrestling God.” I know believing in God and accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior sounds crazy! To the world it is absolute madness!
I am here to tell you as a former hard partying unbeliever that it is not madness at all. It is joy and peace and the fear of death is conquered! The Holy Spirit is so beautiful I can’t even begin to describe how amazing it is! The river of joy that flows within my soul is constant and steady even through the worst storms of my life.
Think about what I am telling you for a moment. As I sit here writing this, God’s Holy Spirit is inside of me. He is inside a lot of us throughout the whole world! He is empowering me to preach to you this very moment, and I absolutely would not be here doing this if it wasn’t for Him! Do you think a guy who loved drinking, partying, and chasing girls just gives that up and starts preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and then keeps preaching it for 22 years! No way! I have the Holy Spirit of God inside of me because I repented of my sin and accepted Christ in 1996!
You have access to the Holy Spirit and God’s power too! He will empower you to be holy. He will change your heart and set you free from the fear of death. He will give you power over sin and death! Repent and believe today! None of us know which day will be our last.
“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.”
“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. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
I love Saturdays! Saturday is the day I take my day of rest. No, I am not legalistic, but I like the traditional Sabbath day, and there is great blessing in trusting God and resting apart from work.
On this day, I put away the bills and paperwork, the lawn will have to wait, and no other labor will call me away from resting. Now that does not mean I won’t help my neighbor or someone else who needs help on a Saturday, and I will always preach the Gospel no matter what day it is. I just mean that this is a day where I rest and I thank Him for that full day of rest. We need it folks!
It’s not just physical rest I enjoy. I also do my best to completely focus on God. To pray, take time to listen, and dive into His Word, which I will forever be learning new things from no matter how many times I have read it. I give everyday to the Lord and do those things everyday, but the day of rest is a special day set apart by God for us to recuperate and replenish our bodies and our souls in Him!
This will be one of my shorter posts because “I’m just chillin’ today” as we say here in Colorado while throwing up the “hang loose” sign. Chillin’ in His grace, chillin’ in His love, chillin’ in His Mercy, and chillin’ in His abundant forgiveness! That’s what it means to our family when we throw up the hang loose and shake it! For us, it also means keeping it worry free, and giving it to the Lord. I always tell my kids when we go snowboarding, “keep it loosie goosie!” You don’t want to tighten up while riding the big mountains. Tense=crash. Remember that for life too! Give your worries to the Lord today, let Him carry them, and just rest in Him. He loves you.
My prayer for you today is that if you do not know the Peace of Jesus Christ and the rest that He gives to our souls, then you would come to know Him today and find that peace and eternal rest for your soul! In the Name of Jesus who loves you and died for you, amen!
“In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat–for he grants sleep to those he loves.”
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Jesus speaking in Matthew 11:28-30
If you need to talk or need prayer today, I am still available as always!
I will be talking about faith in this post, but first I want to thank all of you who have downloaded my book (which is my testimony of how I came to faith in Jesus). Many of you have taken me up on my free book offer, thank you! I hope you are enjoying it and it is encouraging to you! If you have any questions or would like to talk with me about it, please don’t hesitate to contact me! I would love that! My free book promotion is active until 11:59 p.m. PT on Monday 8-20-18. Be sure to grab your free copy of “One Man’s Very Strange Supernatural Life” soon!
Okay, back to faith. I have often asked myself, “would you have accepted Christ if you had not lived in a haunted house?” I really don’t know. Probably not at the time I did as a freshman in college. I was real worldly and I liked to party. I was definitely scared of death before I knew Christ and I had a gut feeling that Heaven and hell were real. I didn’t want to die and I wanted to know how to get to Heaven, so maybe I would have accepted Christ in time. Living with a demon sure did speed up my decision making process though, I know that! I believe God has a plan for all of us (Jeremiah 29:11-13), so if I was destined to preach the Gospel, nothing was ever going to stop that.
I love the above verse. This is the complete section of scripture that verse comes from as quoted from the 1984 NIV (Thompson Chain-Reference) Bible I use:
“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.”
1 Corinthians 2:4-5
That is all I know too folks! I did not grow up as a Christian, and I never went to church. My family lived with a demon in our house for 4 years when I was in high school, and when I went to college I met Jesus and He saved me and my whole family from that darkness! I went from hating Christians and never believing to having absolute faith in Christ because of God’s power, and I have been following Jesus ever since!
If you read my book, then you know that my life continued to be strange and supernatural after I accepted Christ. No, there were no more demons. Jesus took care of that. I had two very dramatic experiences in 1998 and one in 2012 that strengthened my faith to a point where I know without a doubt that anything is possible with God, and I mean anything! If you read about what the Lord did for me when I stopped breathing on 4-28-2012, then you know what I mean!
Another question that I asked myself and God for years is simply, “Why me?” Why did our family move into that house? Why did God choose to open my eyes to angels in 1998? Then, when I thought everything supernatural had calmed down, I stop breathing in 2012 and God does a mighty miracle in the Holy Spirit to save me! “Why does this keep happening to me?!”
I don’t have an answer for why, so I stopped asking it. It doesn’t matter anymore. It all happened, and it happened to me and my family. This is my life and these are my memories, and that’s just the way it is. One answer I do have is that I am supposed to tell people. God has made that clear to me, and He has empowered me to do it!
No matter how crazy it makes me look, no matter what it does to my name, I don’t care. It is not about my name. I gave that up a long time ago! It is about the Name of Jesus. Ryan never died for your sins and I never will. Jesus Christ died to forgive your sins, and no one else ever has or ever will. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, period. My greatest purpose is to make that known to the world.
My faith does not rest in the wisdom of men, but on God’s power! With everything I have gone through, do you think it bothers me if somebody hates me for being a Christian or they think I’m stupid? I know the Gospel is foolishness to the world. I have had people call me a fool for believing. I used to think the same thing, and I had fun making fun of Christians before I knew Christ. I didn’t understand that I had that hatred in my heart for believers in Jesus because I was part of the spirit of the world, which is Satan’s spirit. I didn’t understand I needed to be saved. No, it doesn’t bother me and it won’t stop me either. I am one of God’s soldiers in an ancient spiritual war and I am fighting it in God’s power.
With what God has revealed to me and with everything that has happened, I know 100% that Jesus Christ is Lord and that everything in the Bible is true! It doesn’t matter what the realm of men say to me about it. Mock me, hate me, even kill me. I am still going to proclaim Jesus is Lord and tell the world about Him!
How could I not?! God rescued me from real darkness and real evil, then He surrounded me with light and love and tended to me with angels. Then after a 14 year break from supernatural events, my crazy supernatural life continued when He gave me my breath back and let me live in 2012! Do you think He did all those things for me, so that I would hide away and keep the knowledge to myself? No way! He commands us to speak the truth and share the Gospel with the whole world (Matthew 28:18-20).
These events changed the course of my life, and that is why I am here today preaching to the world. God let me live and gave me breath back, so I could use that breath for His glory! He wants me to share it with the world to help people believe. He knows it is hard. I know it is hard. Why did this happen to me and not you? I don’t know, but we can at least learn from each other and help each other. I want you to know Heaven is real, and I want you to be there, and most importantly, so does God! You don’t have to live through the torment of a haunted house to realize that! Learn from my experiences instead.
Most of us have never had to live through the terror of a real haunted house. There is nothing funny about Halloween to me. Those scary movies Hollywood makes are disgusting (as are most of their movies), and they don’t know what they are messing with. They don’t even have the Holy Spirit, and they are making movies about demons. They don’t know what they are messing with folks! Those fallen spirits are incomparably stronger than us if we don’t have Jesus. With Jesus though, you can overcome any evil!
Let your faith rest on God’s power. The Lord still does miracles! Angels still help and rescue people just like they did in the Bible. Believers in Jesus filled with the Holy Spirit can still cast out demons (I know, I did it once!). And Jesus Christ is still alive and well moving in power among us today! People, hear me, that is exciting!
I know it’s hard to believe and lay down your life to Jesus. I hope what I have gone through will help make that easier. God loves you so much that He died for you. He does not want you to perish. He wants all of us to come to eternal life! Isn’t that great news today?! You have a Creator, He loves you, and He wants to be with you! Mind blower! Your sins are already forgiven in Jesus. He paid the price for you. All you need to do is receive that gift and that forgiveness is yours! You can have that right now. Let salvation and peace be yours today!
I love you all in Christ! Grace and peace to you!
“For I resolved to nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”
1 Corinthians 2:2
“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.”
I love this picture! Do you know why, besides the fact she is my beautiful little girl who is the sweetest person I’ve ever known? Because it reminds me that God has good plans for us and dreams really do come true!
Through the entire time I suffered Celiac, I thought I was going to die, especially those first four years starting in 2012. From 2017 until now it has gotten a lot better. I didn’t think I would ever be able to do anything again, let alone travel out of state and go on vacation.
My wife and I had not been on a vacation in 13 years, and for the last 6 and a half of those years I have been suffering Celiac. We met in college at the University of Northern Colorado. I graduated in 2000 and she graduated in 2002. After that we moved to the south metro Denver area and within a couple years we started a family. We ran two businesses together for years, one of which is my wife’s piano studio that she still operates today. We became very busy very fast, then the disease, then no vacations.
This summer was different! I was finally well enough to travel, so in June we went big on a trip to San Diego, California. They are just over the Rockies from us. What’s up Cali!
We rented a beautiful home in the hills above San Diego that is owned by an Ophthalmologist. The neighborhood was very close to the border with Mexico and we could see into Tijuana from the house. We also had views of the ocean and downtown San Diego. It was incredible after all of my years of suffering. The avocados and organic chicken are delicious out there too! They have so many gluten free options as well.
Did I mention it had a pool, and palm trees and the ocean breeze was incredible! Yes, it was paradise, especially after a long winter in Colorado! My point is not to boast. It is to speak of God’s faithfulness to me and my family.
I thought I was done for, dead, over, see ya later, but God had other plans! Instead I was at the beach with my wife to watch our children splashing in the ocean for the first time. I was visiting cool places like the Midway ship, the San Diego Zoo, the Safari Park, and Sea World. I was witnessing my children having dreams fulfilled and the magic in their eyes was beautiful!
My little girl has wanted to swim with dolphins since she was 4 years old. She is 10, and the Lord fulfilled that dream for her! I am so grateful to God for that, thank you Jesus!
There is a paradise waiting for us as well! We are all stuck here in the valley of the shadow of death and we all suffer in different ways, but be encouraged, there is hope! God has plans for us that we cannot even imagine, and an expensive vacation to California doesn’t even come close to describing how awesome Heaven is going to be. You are going to want to be there for eternity, trust me!
“However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”
1 Corinthians 2:9
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
There is hope! God is answering your prayers. Give it time. He is working in His timing, which is nothing like our timing. He loves us and He knows what we need. His timing is perfect. I just want to testify to that!
God bless you all! Jesus truly does love you!
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
We have lions where we live. No, not African lions. We have 150 pound Colorado mountain lions. They are beautiful, elusive, stealthy, and very, very deadly. Just look at those eyes! He will kill you if he gets the chance. Happens a lot here. All it takes is for one runner or biker to go out on the wrong trail at the wrong time too early in the morning, and they are breakfast. This lion may have been responsible for attacking a 5 year old boy near Aspen, CO. His mother saved him. It is a reality most people have to deal with here, and we take measures to defend ourselves.
We don’t live in the mountains, but we are very close to the foothills of the front range of the Rockies and we are just up the street from a big canyon. Our neighborhood sits up in the rolling hills above our town. Our house is at 6,115 feet. It feels a lot like the foothills out here. Even the driving is a bit like mountain driving. We have a stream and woods surrounding us, and there are a lot of deer, rabbits, coyotes, fox, mice, snakes, and other critters out here. The lions love it! We even get black bears coming through sometimes.
Recently, we received a warning on the NextDoor App. If you are not familiar with that app, it is a way for people in the same neighborhood and town to stay connected. People send out warnings, updates, news, and the local police department posts information too.
At the beginning of the summer, when school was about to end, a woman posted a frantic warning about spotting a mountain lion. She had been jogging early that morning (not wise in lion country), and she witnessed a few deer dart out of the woods at full speed next to the High School just outside our neighborhood. There are several elementary schools and a middle school close by too. Behind the deer, was a full grown mountain lion giving full chase! The lady immediately went home, and posted the warning. We have lived here for 12 years, so that kind of news was not new to us. The local elementary schools have had to shut down recess and bring the kids inside many times because a lion was spotted watching the kids from a distance.
That chase happened only a few hundred yards from our home. Gives you that warm fuzzy feeling doesn’t it? Look at that big cat’s eyes again. He is not messing around. He is hungry, and he doesn’t care about your feelings, your life, or your loved ones. He wants to eat, and he is designed perfectly for killing.
How do we live like that, you might ask? How do we let our kids play outside? Aren’t we afraid? All great questions, and reasonable. We are able to live with the lions because we take wise measures to defend ourselves. They have powerful jaws full of sharp teeth and strong paws with razor sharp claws. When I take my kids to the park, I pack a .45 with a spare mag. Those are my claws and teeth.
I received professional training in my 20s from a man who spent 25 years training SWAT teams. He was great! He was an old gunny guy and it was like military training! He was yelling and everything. I had a great time. Before I was diagnosed with Celiac, I was considering being a police officer. The disease ruined that chance, but I am forever grateful for the training I received. My wife and kids have an elite body guard who also happens to roll with angels too.
People might say, but preacher Ryan, you have the protection of angels. Why do you pack heat? Yes, my family has angels protecting us, but the Bible also says not to test God. If I am going to hike on the trails and visit the parks around here, then I need to do my part in protecting my family too. I’m not going to walk around naive in lion country, and I wouldn’t recommend you do either.
I do what the mountain lion would do. I protect my young, and I will do it to the point of my death if necessary. I know some people hate guns. If you live in Colorado, it is legal to own firearms, open carry them on your hip like the Wild West (except in Denver), or even conceal carry (with a special license). We also have the “Make My Day” law here. I am not going to get into the politics of guns. I live in Colorado, I am trained, we have lions, I have kids, I carry for them, and it’s that simple. My wife is from Alaska. Everybody carries heat up there! We are tough rugged mountain people for Christ, feel me? Love always protects (1 Corinthians 13:7).
The Bible tells us we have an enemy who is like a lion too, and he wants to kill us.
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
1 Peter 5:8
His name is Satan, also known as Lucifer. The Bible also tells us that we need armor and weapons to defend ourselves against him. These are not weapons of the earthly kind like my .45, no, these are spiritual weapons from our Heavenly Father.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
When I am with my kids at the park, I stand close by them ready to defend them at a moment’s notice. I pay attention to the wind and the smells in the air. You won’t hear a mountain lion coming like you will with a bear. I have encountered lions twice in the mountains. They are incredibly stealthy! I pay attention to my surroundings and watch my kids intently. I am not afraid. I am alert, I have what I need to defend my family, and I am ready to fight for them. Nobody is going to hurt my wife and kids, not even a big lion!
God wants us to stand ready against our enemy the devil too. He wants us to strap up and take a stand! Listen to how Paul says it, continuing in Ephesians:
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
Did you hear that? How many of the evil one’s flaming arrows can you extinguish through faith? That’s right, ALL of them! What kind of faith can do that?! Only faith in Jesus Christ folks.
When you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you defeat Satan and this world. You are taken out of this world and set apart for God, and the evil one no longer has hold over you through the fear of death. You defeat death and you are made righteous through the Blood of Jesus. You are filled with the Holy Spirit and given Holy Armor to defeat the evil one and all of his attacks!
Remember, we have an enemy and we need our weapons and armor. Be alert, be ready, and pray in the Spirit at all times with all kinds of requests! Take it seriously, and train. Sharpen your sword and shine your shield. This is a battleground, not a playground.
One more thing. Don’t ever forget, our Lord Jesus is a Lion too, and He is much more powerful than the evil one! Jesus is Lord!
Grace and peace to you all!
“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. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”
It is a little after 5 a.m. here in Colorado. I have been up since 3:30. Why? Because of Celiac Disease again. Over the last week I have been going through another Cachexia episode. I’ve bottomed out again and I’m back at 135 pounds. It doesn’t feel good…at all.
You know what though? I’m down in my office typing this post and this disease is not stopping me! The reason for that is that I have had so many consecutive days of suffering (every day since 1-6-12) that God has trained me to keep my mind in the right place. Otherwise, quite simply, I would lose my mind suffering this crazy disease!
People talk a lot about positive thinking, but that can only get you so far. It might work for a little while to think about a vacation you want to go on, or something else you are working towards, but that won’t sustain you when real trouble comes knocking at your door. When your life is flipped upside down and body slammed and you are left crumpled on the floor.
I rise up in victory because my mind is not on earthly things. Everything here is broken and temporary. Through my suffering the Lord has trained me to push through suffering and completely fix my eyes on Him. If I don’t, then the suffering can get the best of me.
Without the Holy Spirit I wouldn’t have the proper power to fight this. Through the Holy Spirit, God gives me absolutely everything I need to be victorious over the dragon that is Celiac Disease. I can slay him with a single blow and just keep moving on. Does he rise up and attack me again? Yep, we fight everyday. Sometimes he gets some pretty good licks in, but every day, no matter what, I win, and I have that victory through the blood of Jesus!
What struggles or suffering are you dealing with today? Did you start your day like me in pain right after you opened your eyes? Give it to God today! Fix your eyes on Jesus who suffered so horrifically for our salvation. Give Him your pain. Give Him your trials. He will carry them for you. He longs to comfort you and give you peace.
Be encouraged and take heart, Jesus is alive!
Bless you all!
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
I just want to take a minute and thank everyone who has followed my blog and hooked me up with such encouraging comments! I have only had my blog going for a few days now, but I have already met amazing people from all over the world. I’ve had hits from Russia, India, Ireland, the U.K., the Philippines, and of course a bunch from right here at home in the USA. All of you are beautiful souls and I appreciate you all! It is awesome how all of our writing crosses through boundaries and barriers and reaches out into the whole world! Praise God we get to live in this time!
I am feeling very grateful to God, and I just want to share that vibe with you! The best way I can think of to do that is through music. Whatever you have going on today, I pray that this vibe will lift you up and you will be encouraged in the power of the Lord!
I want to stand in the gap and pray for everyone right now.
“Lord Jesus, thank you for loving us! I am asking that you lift up and encourage every single person who reads this! Bless those who are hurting Lord. Heal their wounds and comfort them. Lift up our hearts Lord, so that we overflow with joy in the power of your Holy Spirit! I cast out the evil one away from my homies, the ones who know you and the ones who don’t! Protect them, keep them safe in your Mighty Arms of love, and let your love wash over them! In Your Holy Name Lord Jesus, Amen!”
Check out these YouTube links to some great Holy Spirit filled music, and just vibe with me! This is what my peace and joy from Jesus feels like! Peace to you all, enjoy!
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God.”
I want to confess more things to everyone. I am not ever going to be a phony! You have found a preacher who knows how sinful he is and how much he needs Jesus. Like TobyMac said back when he was with D.C. Talk, “Everyday I realize I’m still a man in need of a Savior.” Man-O-man is that so true!
If you have been following my blog, then you know that I have Celiac Disease. I have already covered much of that. What I want to tell you is how angry I was during many of the years of my suffering since 2012. I also want to explain how I arrived where I am today much healthier and stronger with a published book on Amazon, and a blog where I write about God with joy again.
It was three years into the disease, and I was still hurting real bad. I thought after the first year, “surely this will end soon.” I was wrong. My bones, muscles, and spine burned and ached from being so thin. I would vomit at random times (3 a.m. was always fun), I would have massive blood sugar drops, and don’t even get me started about how many times I had to go #2. That went on a lot in years 3 and 4 of the suffering. I was eating gluten free and I also had cut out dairy, soy, and eggs, but my body was detoxing itself and I was still excreting dead intestinal tissue at times.
I was praying and crying out to God for healing, but it just wasn’t happening. Many nights I would be laying on the floor shivering and shaking in a cold sweat after vomiting and having diarrhea at the same time (yes, I would be on the pot with a trash can in front of me at 2 or 3 a.m., and I did that many times for many years). I thought I was going to live like that for the rest of my life!
I became disillusioned with God, myself, and life itself. I became so angry that I wanted to wrestle God! That’s right. I wanted to go man to God and I didn’t care if He killed me! I wanted to beat my chest and yell up at the sky, and that is exactly what I did at times. What I didn’t know and still can’t seem to wrap my mind around is how lovingly He dealt with me during that time.
At times, after watching all the mass shootings and all the crazy turmoil around the world, my suffering would spill over and I would say things like, “YOU DON’T CARE GOD! Sitting up there on your throne looking down on us, just sitting there watching us suffer! You don’t care!”
Another one which was filled with mockery as I pumped my fist and pointed towards the sky was, “You sure must like your throne because you just sit there doing nothing!” I know, it is awful, but I am being open with you about my fight with God.
At times the pain and anguish were so bad that I would call out for God to kill me. “Just kill me Lord please,” was a common prayer in years 3 and 4. I couldn’t take it anymore and I just wanted to go home and be with Jesus. I would tell Him, “Am I your child or not?! I have served you for over 20 years, where are you now?!”
I thought God was done with me, and He was setting me aside. What He was really doing was comforting me, building me up, and healing me in His perfect timing. God is so very faithful to us!
One set of questions in particular really drove me nuts, and I had many conversations with God about it. I would ask Him with anger, “Why did you create any of us at all? What is the point of it all? Were you lonely? Why did you make it the way you made it?”
This whole struggle played out from about 2014 to 2017. When I was diagnosed on 1-6-2012 I weighed 128 pounds. I am 6 foot 1 inch tall, so I looked like skinny walking death. It was horrific. We thought for sure I had cancer. I had gone to doctors for gut pain for 10 years leading up to my diagnosis. None of them ever mentioned Celiac Disease or asked about gluten.
It wasn’t until I met a wonderful Nutritionist Doctor from Denver that I was correctly diagnosed. I love you Dr. Darby, thank you! She told me I was starving to death because of a damaged small intestine. She advised me to immediately go gluten free, and my new life as a Celiac began.
I was 33 years old with two young kids and a wife to support and I got taken out hard! I couldn’t work. We had to close one of our businesses. It completely changed our lives!
What made me more angry than anything was when we found out our kids also have Celiac Disease. Around the same time I was diagnosed my daughter started showing signs of it. She was only 4 or 5 at the time. She was having awful stools, gut pain, and her hair started falling out. We immediately went gluten free, and she was immediately better. Our son is two years younger than his sister, so we caught it early enough in him that he didn’t suffer at all. I thank God we caught the disease before it damaged their small intestines.
Celiac is a genetic auto immune disorder, so I passed it to my kids. I was very angry about that. I would tell God, “Use somebody else Lord, please, leave me alone.” I would yell up at him about all the crazy supernatural things I have lived through, and ask Him why I had to go through all that.
I thought for sure God would smite me. Even though I know He is loving and good and forgiving, I still thought in the back of my mind that He would surely strike me down after all I had said to Him. Surely I had pushed Him too far.
Not at all. You know what God did instead? He wrestled with me, disciplined me, and cared for me in love. He let me vent and pour out my heart to Him. He let me struggle and twist and turn and try to remove myself from His loving bear hug. He let me pump my fist, beat my chest, and yell up at Heaven…and He didn’t strike me down.
He loved me instead! He answered me and told me He created me and all of us and all of this because He wants us to experience being loved and loving others for all eternity with Him in Heaven! He showed me how much He cared from the outpouring of love and support I received from family and friends. My children would write me notes saying they loved me and telling me to not give up. He lifted me up and showed me a better way to eat and live, so I could heal quicker. He cleansed my body of toxins and now I eat better than I ever have (100% Organic, 100% NON-GMO, and 100% Gluten Free baby!) He told me to write my testimony and publish it, so I did and He empowered me to get it done. He told me to start a blog and minister to people telling them everything that He has done for me, and here I am doing just that!
He also showed me that the sin and evil we see in this world is not because of Him. He is on His throne and He is in control. He also gave us free will, and we are living in a fallen world, and satan is very real. The Bible is clear that the world will be in a state of utter chaos in the end, and we most definitely need a Savior. The Lord already provided us a way out, and that way is Jesus. He cared so much that He left Heaven and His throne to die for us!
“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!”
Above all God showed me that I am His, and nothing can ever, ever, ever snatch me out of His hand. I glorify God, honor God, love God, and respect God because He is worthy of that glory, honor, love, and respect. I came through my time of need with a deeper understanding and appreciation of who God is and how He loves, and I am going to keep telling people about Him until my very last breath on this earth. I no longer pray, “Use somebody else Lord.” I pray in Holy Spirit power, “Here I am Lord, use me!”
In all of my anger, I never stopped believing, I always called on Jesus, and I always asked for the Lord to fill me with the Holy Spirit. The Lord even continued to use me to share the Gospel during that time! Jesus has all authority here in my house and over my life, and He always will!
Believe me, those memories I have of the angels in 1998, and how Jesus was with me when I stopped breathing in 2012 have given me great strength through my time of suffering! I love you Lord! Thank you for saving me and forgiving me so many times!
He will forgive you too. Give him your whole heart today. Are you angry at God? Good! That’s a start because you already believe that He exists enough to be mad at Him! Open up your heart, be honest, and wrestle Him if you have to. I promise you will end up wrapped in His love forever!
Bless you all!
“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 has been 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.”
That’s me dropping in on Parsenn Bowl at Winter Park Resort (on the Mary Jane side)…back in February of 2000, 18 years ago! We call it “The Bowl.” Winter Park is a great ski town. My Uncle and Aunt used to own a bed and breakfast up there called “The Bear Paw Inn.” The top of Parsenn Bowl is above treeline at 12,000 feet and it is for lack of a better term, totally rad! When you hop off the lift and ride off to the side, you immediately see the huge panoramic view from the rim of the peak that spreads out like a big beautiful bowl filled with snow. It is breathtaking, intimidating, and absolutely perfect!
Just about every rider up there, pauses for a moment to breathe, think, and pick their line before they drop in. This is crucial because at the bottom of the mountain is a forest of trees that you have to navigate through. What I love is that you can drop in anywhere! It is wild, free, and exhilarating!
Believing in God can feel like that too. It is scary for people to let go of their lives and trust God. It can feel a lot like standing at the top of a 12,000 foot peak with a board strapped to your feet looking straight down wondering if you made the right choice! Wondering if you can navigate the obstacles and make it through safely.
At the time of that picture I was 21 years young (I’m 40 now) and just a few months away from graduating from the University of Northern Colorado. I had accepted Jesus in the beginning of my freshman year in 1996, and I ended up preaching and ministering on campus for the next four years (glory to God!). I was a Senior looking to start my new life with the love of my life. I also hadn’t been a snowboarder very long.
That’s right. I dropped into Parsenn Bowl with no helmet and very little experience. Probably not my smartest move. It was real windy at the top and it looked a lot bigger once we got up there for sure. I had to sit for awhile and pray before I dropped in. Before that, all I had done were some big blue runs.
Accepting Christ was like that for me too. I didn’t know much about Him when I accepted Him. I just knew I wanted to be delivered from the evil that terrorized our family for four years, I wanted to be forgiven, and I wanted to go to Heaven. I was only 18 when I accepted Jesus. I didn’t have some deep Biblical knowledge. I was introduced to Him by two great Christian guys who shared the Gospel with me, and I received that message into my heart and decided to drop into God and accept Jesus by faith.
Encountering Jesus and the Holy Spirit was much more exhilarating than Parsenn Bowl though! Look, I know hearing about Jesus can be weird. I remember what it felt like to be an unbeliever and hear somebody talking about Jesus. It would make me feel angry, embarrassed, and I would cringe. I know taking that step of faith can feel just like dropping in on a huge run you’ve never done before. Believe me when I say, it is worth it!
I’m no Shaun White, but I ended up “rippin’ it up” that day, and I had the run of my life! My walk with Jesus has felt the same way! There have been plenty of obstacles and challenges to navigate, and at times I have struggled, but God always picked me back up, and I have had some great faith runs too.
Were there times that I got hurt snowboarding after that? Sure, I cracked my head real good at Copper Mountain a couple years before my Celiac diagnosis in 2012. I suffered a concussion, and it was painful. I didn’t stop snowboarding though. I kept practicing, got better, pressed on, and had perfect powder days yet again.
Getting diagnosed with Celiac Disease shook my life and my family’s life to the core. It changed everything for us. I suffered terrible life altering pain. In the beginning of it, my wife had to help me eat and do things because I couldn’t stand and walk on my own. We thought I had cancer, but it was Celiac, and it almost killed me.
The disease severely damaged my small intestine, which left me with another condition called Cachexia. It is known as Wasting Syndrome. I can only get up to around 140-145 pounds tops, and then I lose about 10 pounds over a weeks time. After that, I gain the weight again, then the process repeats. This happens every few weeks every month like clockwork. It’s due to the damaged villi in the lining of my small intestine. When those go, humans can’t absorb nutrients properly. My Celiac is under control through the gluten free lifestyle, but once the villi are gone, they are gone. The damage has been done. I know God can heal me, but for now the thorn remains. I praise Him for the healing He did give me. I’m here and alive and telling the world about Him, and I am grateful for that!
I didn’t stop believing in God because I was diagnosed with a disease just like I didn’t stop snowboarding because I had a bad crash. No, I pressed into God even harder! My faith has grown tremendously during the last six and a half years of suffering, and I am so grateful for God’s love and mercy! It’s not His fault I have Celiac Disease. It’s just part of the fall. I have been carried by the Lord in my time of need and I trust Him and His love for me.
Some of you are standing at the edge of the bowl and you are not sure this Jesus thing is for you. My best advice is, drop in and enjoy the ride!
God bless you all!
“That if you confess, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”
I posted a pretty long piece this morning titled “Heart Poured Out.” What I did this morning was share my testimony of how and why I came to believe in Jesus. I am writing this as an addition to that post in order to expand on a few things.
This site is not about me or for my glory. This blog is to bring fame and glory to Jesus Christ by telling people what He has done for me. I know my testimony is strange. I know when somebody talks about angels and demons that person is going to look crazy. Look, I know. I was the ultimate unbeliever, very worldly, and I used to hate Christians. All I can do is tell people the truth of what I know, and hope and pray that people listen. I can’t force you to accept Christ and I can’t make you listen. What I can do though is serve God with my whole heart and tell people openly and honestly about the supernatural events I have lived through…and not just me, but what my whole family lived through (Dad, Mom, and my younger sister). My hope is it will help you make the best decision you could ever make regarding your eternal soul.
What would people rather I do, not tell them? What would you do? What if you had moved into a house haunted by a demon when you were 13 years old and had to live with it all through your High School years? Would you tell anybody, or would you hide it out of fear of rejection and ridicule? Nobody wants to look crazy, right? What if you had accepted Jesus your freshman year of college, and you had defeated the demon in the power of the Holy Spirit? What would you do if angels rescued you from a violent man? What would you do if you had stopped breathing at age 33 and Jesus saved you yet again? Would you tell anybody then? I sure hope so, and that is exactly why I wrote my book (One Man’s Very Strange Supernatural Life) and started this blog! That all happened to me and more, so I have devoted my life to Christ and I tell people.
Not telling people is like watching a man drowning and doing nothing to help save the man’s life. What kind of person would I be if I kept what I know about the spiritual realm and Jesus to myself? I would be just like the coward who does nothing to help the drowning man. The world is drowning, and I have the life raft. I’m trying to help save you!
The Lord told his disciples in Matthew 28:18-20:
“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.”
That verse is called the Great Commission and that is exactly what I have been doing since I met and received Jesus in 1996. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords, and He told us to share the Gospel and spread it to all nations. I am obeying the Lord, trying to help the lost, and I am not ashamed of Jesus (Romans 1:16).
Ephesians 6:12 explains perfectly what is really going on in this crazy world.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
That means our struggle is not against each other. It is against real evil on earth! Satan, a.k.a Lucifer, really was the lead angel of music, he really did get kicked out of Heaven when he rebelled and fought God, and he and his army of demons (fallen angels) are still here on earth. I know, I used to think it was a bunch of bologna too, but it’s not! That is why we need God! We absolutely need Jesus and the Holy Spirit or we are naked and weak before evil. We need Holy Armor to be protected and to be able to defeat those spiritual forces of evil. That is not some metaphor folks. There are actual demons on earth and they attack people, invade homes, and invade people too. I’m not trying to scare you, but if it does it should if you don’t know the Lord.
You understand that just because you might not believe in something, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist or isn’t real, right? I didn’t believe in it either…until my family moved into a haunted house and we were terrorized for four years poltergeist style. That is what led me to Jesus. It wasn’t until I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior that I had the power to overcome evil. It wasn’t until I read the Bible that I found the answers to what we had lived through. I didn’t want anything to do with Jesus or church or any of it up until that point.
The real enemy is the evil one! I listened to Satan’s lies for years, and all he ever tried to do was kill me!
In John 10:10 Jesus says,
“The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
1 Peter 5:8 warns us,
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
Jesus defeated the evil one when He died on that cross and He defeated sin and death too. The Power of Jesus is still here today. It is available to you at anytime. All you have to do is repent and receive Him. He will receive you as His own and forgive you just like He did for me. You will also be empowered by the Holy Spirit to overcome sin and evil. It is so awesome that my writing couldn’t even hope to capture that power in the most perfect prose!
God bless you all, and remember, nothing is impossible with God!
“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.”