Joy in the Vibe

“My wife’s happy, Jesus loves me, ‘aint nothin’ left to conform to.”

-KB from song “No Chains

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That is one of the best lines I have ever heard in my life…and I am 40 years old and have listened to a lot of music!  I especially love how excited his wife gets in the background at the end of the song!  I love it because it represents my life very well at this point in my journey on earth.  In fact, that is exactly how I feel.  I’m starting my mid-life ( but no crisis here), I love my wife and kids, I love Jesus, and I don’t need to conform to a world that tells me I am foolish for believing in God.  I like KB and I listen to KB because he preaches the truth, and he does it in unashamed style.  I also like Lecrae, Bizzle, TobyMac, Tedashii, Aaron Cole, Tauren Wells, Tori Kelly, and many other Christian artists that lift me up with their music every day!  I love you all, thank you!

So what is it about this type of music that I like so much?  The main reason is that it is anointed in the Holy Spirit and I can feel the joy of the Lord pumping through their songs!  I also grew up on hip-hop in the 80s and 90s, and I absolutely love a tight beat!  I am very glad for such positive alternatives to worldly hip-hop/rap.  These Christian musicians are preachers for the Lord, and they do it to a tight beat as they take the Gospel worldwide!  They also preach about the pitfalls of their past lives and they reach out to those who need help.  I respect that.

I write and blog, they rap and sing, and we are all like the Apostles trying to get God’s message out to the world.  Music is a great way to do it because music transcends boundaries.  I can hear a song in another language and not even know what they are saying, but still appreciate its beauty.  God designed us to be touched and moved by music, and I love that!

So, what kind of music do you like?  What do you listen to when you are down?  How about when you are pumped and you feel like driving with the windows down?  Next time, maybe give these Christian artists a try and see how you feel afterwards.  I guarantee you will be encouraged.  Sometimes shutting everything down and just letting the vibes wash over you is the best medicine!

Peace!

“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.  Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Ephesians 5:19-20

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creation Declares God’s Glory!

This post will be less about my writing doing the talking and more about letting God’s creation speak.

Psalm 19:1-4

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.  There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.  Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”

Here are a few pictures I have taken over the years with my good ol’ Canon PowerShot SX50 HS camera.  Yes, even the moon pictures.  Our house sits up on a hill with expansive views of the Rocky Mountains.  We are at 6,115 feet here in Colorado, so our night skies are crisp and clear most nights.  We can usually see the moon real good during the day too.  Our backyard faces south towards Pike’s Peak, so we get excellent sunrise and sunset views.  God’s creation speaks beautifully.  I take time to listen every day.

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Close up shot of Pike’s Peak from our home.
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Beautiful afternoon sky headed towards sunset over the Rockies! The jagged peak lower left is where we go fishing. The Platte River is just on the other side.
Sunrise (1) 12-10-16
This was the start of a beautiful sunrise. The next few pictures show the progression. It was like God literally painted the sky with a soft brush.

Sunrise (5) 12-10-16

 

Sunrise (10) 12-10-16

Sunrise (11) 12-10-16

Moon 6-3-17
I don’t know how He does it, but that is just cool!

Moon (3) 6-3-17

Moon (2) 6-3-17

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Pretty in pink sunrise.
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Psalm 95:4 “In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.”

Creation speaks of God’s glory where you live too.

Are you listening?

Peace to you all!

 

Sunday Morning Forgiveness

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View from our kitchen window. That is Pike’s Peak! The line “purple mountain majesties” from the famous song “America the Beautiful” is because of that mountain! In 1893 Katharine Lee Bates visited Colorado, and she found her inspiration for that song on top of Pike’s Peak! The song was actually originally a poem titled Pike’s Peak. I never take for granted the inspiration right outside my window!

It is Sunday morning here in America!  It’s a big day today!  Why?  Just because it’s Sunday!  It’s a morning for pancakes, waffles, and bacon (mmmm bacon)!  It’s a day for family and rest!  I love Sunday!

All across America Pastors are getting ready to preach their sermons and millions of Americans are getting their families together for church.  I am praying for you Pastors!  Don’t forget to pray for your Pastors, they need it too!

It’s also the early start of fall right now, which means the start of football season!  No, not the world cup “bend it like Beckham” kind of football (although I like that too).  I’m talking head cracking, bone crushing American football!  Sunday used to be a time when we would all come together.  Together for church and together for football.  Republican, Democrat, rich, poor, white, black, cop, civilian, it didn’t matter!  Fire up that grill and let’s watch some football!  I know, I know, a lot of people in America are mad at the football players right now.  Not many people watched the games last year.  It got crazy on all sides.  Folks, please listen, we must move forward together as a country in peace.  We have all had our say and everyone knows where everybody stands on every single issue we could have ever talked about in politics, and we will continue our individual and collective struggles until Kingdom come.  Politics in this country swings on a fickle pendulum.  It goes left, it goes right, and sometimes it kind of swings in the middle.  Politics in America is like the weather.  If you don’t like it at the moment, don’t worry, it will soon change.

So, please, for the sake of everything good and right in this land, let us respect each other’s differences and viewpoints and move forward together.  From my Christian perspective, what is the alternative?  Hate?  That is an awful choice, and we all know it.  When all is said and done, men are still going to play football despite the risk of CTE brain injury, people are still going to watch football despite kneeling players, and players are still going to kneel even though the owners forbid it.

I don’t respect somebody disrespecting my country’s flag or any other country’s flag for that matter (there are better ways to prove your point), but I do respect their right to do it.  That is America folks!  We can disagree, and we can blog about it, write about it, preach about it, protest about it, and say whatever we want to say and I love that!  There will be people you don’t agree with.  I say this with all love, we have to learn to get over it.  I call it strong fellowship like when you have an argument with a loved one.  It hurts, but as long as we learn from each other and respect each other, then real change can come through mutually beneficial understanding, and life will get better.  There has been a lot of good that has come out of the last several years of real strong fellowship we have been having in this country.  People are awake and listening to all types of issues they never knew about before on all sides.  That is the beauty of freedom.

People have their right to free speech here, and I love that!  I am a writer.  I can’t imagine living in a country where I didn’t have the freedom to speak my mind!  Take note of that Google, Facebook, and all the other big tech companies, and stop trying to censor people you don’t agree with!  You will never take our right to speak freely without fear!  The human heart is unstoppable with all its passion, desire, and wildness!  Even if they killed the internet, people would start printing presses in their basements and the truth would still get out!  Amen.

Why am I writing about Sunday, church, football, and free speech?  Bit heavy for a Sunday morning, I know.  Well, I have been up since 4 a.m. due to issues with Celiac Disease and I have been praying and thinking a lot since then.  Our country is broken right now.  It has been for quite some time.  I love my country deeply.  I was born in the Heartland near the Mississippi River where Huck Finn floated down for miles on his wooden raft, and the humidity is so thick you can spoon it right out of the sky.  I am a country boy at heart!  I grew up in Littleton, CO though near Santa Fe and Littleton Blvd.  I had friends of every color and religion.  I even had a friend who was from Native Aztec lineage, and I even knew some gang members.  The schools were tough and I grew up learning to earn and show respect.

It hurts my heart to see my country so angry and hurting.  It hurts to see the constant hate baiting comments recycled 24 hours a day non stop through our media networks.  Most of it is not true, and only serves to fire up whichever side it is written for, but I digress.  What is my point here?

My point is that we all desperately need forgiveness.  We need to forgive each other, and that is not easy to do for most human beings no matter what race, color, creed, or religion you are.  The number one thing that has helped me be forgiving more than any other thing in life is one simple verse from the Bible.  The Book of Ephesians is a letter from Paul to the church at Ephesus, which was an ancient Greek city.  Paul is writing the believers there to encourage them in their faith and give them wise advice on how to live a righteous life and be imitators of God.  In chapter 4 verse 32 Paul writes, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

That verse stops me dead cold every time!  “Just as in Christ God forgave you.”  That is how much we are to forgive!  It doesn’t say forgive if you feel like it, or if it is easy.  He says to forgive like Jesus does!

Let me help put this into perspective by explaining how Jesus forgave us and what He had to do to make that happen.  This is one of my favorite sections of scripture and it is fitting for this fine Sunday morning:

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  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.”

Philippians 2:6-11

Intense huh?  What that means is that God came down to earth and made Himself a man, His Son Jesus.  Yes, I know that is weird.  How can somebody be two people at once?  Well, the simple answer is because He is God and all things are possible with Him (Matthew 19:26).  Also, it’s not just two in one, but three in one, the trinity.  Don’t forget about the Holy Spirit.  The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit work together and are all part of who God is.  God literally came to earth to die for us, so we could be with Him forever in Heaven.  That is how much He forgives and loves us!

Let’s dive a bit deeper into God’s forgiving character.

1 John 1:9

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

 

Hebrews 8:12

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember there sins no more.”

 

Ephesians 1:7

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.”

 

Psalm 103:10-12

“He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.  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.”

So, what do we learn about God’s character and how He forgives?  If we ask for forgiveness, he will forgive us and purify us completely.  He will remember our sins no more (1 Corinthians 13:5 reminds us He keeps no record of wrongs too).  He lavishes us with grace as he forgives us and we are redeemed.  Finally, He removes our sins from us completely and we are completely forgiven!

Next time somebody wrongs you or you wrong somebody else, remember how much we all need forgiveness.  Let this Sunday morning be a morning of forgiveness.  Tell shame to pipe down!  Tell regret to go home!  Today is today.  It is not yesterday and it is not tomorrow.  Take a deep breath.  You know what that really is?  A fresh start, a new beginning, and another chance!  Don’t waste it being bitter.  Our time goes way too fast down here for that.

Here’s to Sunday morning sermons and Sunday afternoon Football, and here’s to forgiveness for everyone!  Cheers!

Bless you all!

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

John 1:29

 

 

Real Love

Love deeply verse

I love you.  We say that a lot don’t we?  Not many of us truly know what love is though.  Love is not as complicated as the world says it is, and most of us have a very distorted view of what love really is.  So, what is love and what does it look like in action?  I would like to share with you the number one definition of love.  It is found in the Bible in the book of 1 Corinthians chapter 13 verses 4 through 8.  In verse 1 of that chapter the Apostle Paul writes, “And now I will show you the most excellent way.”  Let us read what that way 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.”

If you have never read those words before, or even if you have read them for years, let all that love wash over you!  That is real love folks and that kind of love can only come from God.  You might be thinking, how could any human being on earth really love someone like that?  Great question!  The answer is found in Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit!  He empowers us to love each other like that.  When you give your life to Jesus, He actually fills you with His Holy Spirit, which gives you power to love like He does.  Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.”

In 1 John 4:16 John wisely writes, “God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.  Verse 19 reminds us that, “We love because he first loved us.”  We can extrapolate from these verses that if God is love (and He is), then the character of God is described perfectly in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8!  That is how He loves us!  Me, you, everyone!

Since God is love, then God is also patient, 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 (I praise Him for that!), He keeps no record of wrongs (praise God!), He does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth, He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, and God never fails.  He is not up there hovering over us with a lightning bolt like mythical Zeus!

God’s love my friends is perfect love.  That is how He loves the whole world.  2 Peter 3:9 says, “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.”  Do you realize that?  God loves you and He does not want you to perish!  He wants you to go to Heaven and be with Him.  In fact, He proved His love for us by stepping off His throne and coming to earth to die for our sins Himself.

1 John 3:16 says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.”  John 3:16 says, “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.”  Are you seeing the pattern?  God did it all for the glory of love!

So, when you say I love you or you hear someone say I love you, please remember where love came from, who love is, and how we are truly supposed to love and be loved.

I love you all in the glorious love of God!

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.”

Romans 10:9-10

Suffering All Kinds of Grief

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Good Morning on this fine Saturday!  I hope this finds you enjoying a restful and peaceful start to your weekend.  If your life is like mine, then I know you were very busy this week and you most definitely need a break.  I’m sure I said, “give me a break!” more than a few times…and you probably did too!

Grief, trials, and trouble.  We all experience it.  Some of you are dealing with disease, chronic illness, and injury, and I understand that this weekend might not be restful for you.  It might be painful and hard and you might even feel like giving up.  Please don’t!  There is hope, and I want to share why.

I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease on January 6, 2012 and it changed my life forever.  At that time my small intestine was so badly damaged that I only weighed 128 pounds, and I am 6 foot 1 inch tall.  I was starving to death from the inside because my own body was attacking me.  I thought I had cancer.  I didn’t know it yet, but the wheat I had grown up eating was killing me.

I suffered terribly the first 4 years of the disease.  I was vomiting and having diarrhea at the same time day and night.  I excreted intestinal tissue.  I couldn’t stand up straight due to the pain in my small intestine.  My wife had to hold my arm as I walked and I could only eat a few bites of rice and drink some water.  That was the first few months of the disease, but that wasn’t the worst of it.  For 4 years I would be knocked to my knees with debilitating gut pain every day.  The only relief I could get was when I would kneel by the stairs and bend forward until my forehead touched the third step.  I would stay like that for hours until the pain subsided.  The doctor called it “dumping syndrome” and he told me honestly they don’t know why it happens to Celiacs.  The disease weakened my muscles and bones, and it has taken all this time just to get to 140 pounds.  My normal pre-Celiac healthy weight was around 160 to 165 pounds.  The doc said I was the worst case of Celiac he had ever seen, but I also exhibited the best healing from where I was.  Praise God!  He said I was lucky to even be at 140 pounds after what I suffered.

There is no cure for Celiac Disease.  The only treatment is a completely gluten free lifestyle.  Gluten is the name for the protein “gliadin” that is found in wheat, barley, rye, and oats.  Less than 1% of us have immune systems that cannot tolerate gluten.  Celiac Disease is not just an allergy.  It is an auto immune disorder, and classified as a chronic illness.  If I eat gluten, then my body will respond by attacking my small intestine and destroying the intestinal lining.  The disease specifically attacks the villi, which are the tiny hair like structures in the lining that are responsible for absorbing nutrients from the food we eat.  Yes, Celiac Disease can kill people if left untreated.  Unfortunately, people with Celiac usually suffer on average for 10 years before they are correctly diagnosed.  That has to change.

We immediately changed out our entire pantry after my diagnosis, but my wife and I had a long road ahead of us.  I found out I can also not eat dairy, soy, eggs, coconut, and especially oats.  I can’t have NSAIDS either.  Of course the way I discovered I couldn’t have those things anymore was through eating them and violently throwing up, and going through the whole process of my body detoxing itself over and over until I figured it out.  On 4-28-2012 I suffered anaphylactic shock from eating an oat bread sandwich that was supposedly “gluten free.”  It was not gluten free because oats are not gluten free.  During digestion oats break down into a similar protein as gliadin, and can cause an even more severe reaction than wheat.  I stopped breathing that day, and Jesus saved me with a mighty miracle!  That story is in my book One Man’s Very Strange Supernatural Life.

It has been 6 years, 7 months, and 11 days since my diagnosis, and I am much stronger now.  I turned 40 this summer.  It has been a deeply painful and glorious journey through my suffering.  I know what it is like to truly be carried by the Lord now.  I was so ill in the beginning of the disease that I became like an old man, and I was only 33 at the time.  My wife had to help me get dressed, walk, and eat.  I was in a horrible state and I believed I was going to die.  I felt that I was laid out in the dust of the earth and I was done.  The Lord had other plans.

That is where hope comes in.  Jesus is alive and He loves you!  Yes, we have to suffer here on this earth because of sin (which I can expand on later), and we will all go through trials, but we can be victorious over every single one of them through Jesus!  Jesus gave me my breath back that day in 2012, so that I could tell the world about Him and what He has done for me.  He wants to do the same for you!

Yes, sometimes God heals miraculously.  In college (back in 1996-2000), I had a friend who was a champion wrestler.  His knee was injured during a match and the docs told him he would need surgery.  I led a Bible study at that time, so all the brothers and I laid hands on his knee one night and prayed for his healing.  He went in for surgery that week, but the doctors said his knee was healed and he didn’t need surgery anymore.  It was incredible!  That friend has been a Pastor since college.  Other times God heals naturally over time, and I’m not just talking physical wounds either.  Come to Him.  Give Him your disease, your illness, and your troubles, and you will see how He makes beauty from ashes.

I posted the picture of the bison because it has deep meaning for me.  The disease left me with very little options for food, but one of the best things that came out of this trial was free range bison meat!  I must do a plug here.  The best company on earth for bison meat is Wild Idea Buffalo Company out of South Dakota!  They are doing everything right when it comes to the land and the animals.  Their bison are 100% free range feeding on the natural prairie, they don’t eat grains, and they are not finished on GMO corn.  If I eat animals that eat grains and GMOs, I will have an auto immune reaction.  The family of Wild Idea are true conservationists in every sense of the word.  I feel connected to the land and the beautiful bison that provide my life sustaining protein source, and I praise God for caring for me so well!

I love that picture because bison are rugged and tough animals that can withstand the brutal trials of nature.  When I look at them standing out there in the cold it reminds me to stand strong in Jesus.  To set my face like flint against this disease and give the fight to Him!  I would not be able to fight this disease like I do in victory and power on my own.  I think the Apostle Peter says it better in his letter 1 Peter.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:3-7

Amen Brother Peter, amen!  Remember, this is not our eternity.  Everything here is temporary, even our pain and suffering.  There is peace, healing, and forgiveness in Jesus.  He can and will not only heal your wounds, but also your hearts.  He wants to carry your burdens and set you free, and there is no condemnation in Him (Romans 8:1).

I am praying for all those who are suffering today.  You are not forgotten!  If you need prayer or need to talk, I am here for you.  Don’t ever forget how much God loves you!

Bless you all!

 

 

The Maiden Voyage

Hello World!  Welcome, and grace and peace to you!  This is my first ever blog and first ever blog post!  I recently published my first book on Amazon.com called “One Man’s Very Strange Supernatural Life.”  Colorado, USA is my home base where my wife of 17 years and I raise our two awesome kids together in peace.  I am an Independent Christian Author, Evangelist (meaning I share the Gospel any chance I get), Minister (meaning I love and help people), and Freelance Writer.  I created this site in order to connect with readers and seekers of truth from around the world.  My prayer and purpose for this site is to reach out to a hurting world and be available as an online minister to anyone in need.  My passion in life is to help people come to know Jesus, and help people understand the Bible and apply it in their every day lives.

I have had a very strange and supernatural life, and that is why I have dedicated my life to serving the King of kings and Lord of lords.  My book is a memoir and my testimony of how I came to know Jesus.  It is not your typical Christian testimony and I am definitely not your typical Christian (if there really is such a thing).  I came to Christ in October of 1996 after living through my High School years engaging in drug and alcohol abuse, and living in absolute terror in a house in St. Charles, IL.  I learned the hard way at a young age that everything the Bible talks about is true!

After I accepted Christ, the supernatural events continued, but they were different with Jesus.  This time it was much more peaceful and beautiful than anything I could have ever imagined I would live through.  The Lord showed me clearly that I belong to Him now.  I have been walking with Jesus for almost 22 years now, and it has been an amazing journey!  He is alive, He loves us, and He is moving in power among us still today!

I wrote my book and I am writing this blog because I have a great burden to tell people the truth!  You need to know that the spiritual realm is real.  You need to know that our souls are eternal.  Most importantly, you need to know your Creator and your Savior, and I am telling you right here and now that I am living proof that God exists and His Son Jesus is alive!

I invite you to contact me.  If you need prayer, have a question about my testimony, God, faith or anything at all, or you just want to comment, I am available.  It is my hope and prayer that this blog shines the light of Jesus so brightly that it cuts through the darkness that is so prevalent down here in the valley of the shadow of death.  Jesus rescued me and my whole family from that darkness, and He will do the same for you!

God bless you all!

Romans 1:16

Unashamed for Life!

 

“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?” -Jesus

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