There are many emotions that are rocking our world lately. We have seen another shooting in America, another tragedy on our soil. It goes without saying that many different opinions follow these tragedies. This follows the crazy weather patterns that seemed to plague our country last year. And of course the ring of fire that is always sure to bring shaking to our world. We often hear of earthquakes and volcanos in that ring, and recently there has been shaking outside of it. But when I heard that the great legend, Billy Graham passed, I felt that an era had passed and all the other things filling the news suddenly became silent. I meditated on the thought of this man, known as the American Pastor, passing on into eternity. I thought about the great celebration that he was experiencing. Then I began to think what this means for us that are still sojourning in this world.

Does his death represent more than a great man who had succumb to age and illness in this dying world? The Lord tends to use natural circumstances to help us understand spiritual meanings. An example took place during the last plague that the Egyptians encountered. The angel of death passed over the Children of Israel, as well as the Egyptians. But the Children of Israel obeyed the Lord by placing the blood of a spotless lamb on the sides and the tops of their doorframes. (Exodus 12: 12-13) This represented the blood of Christ that would later be shed for our sins.

Then again, during the “last supper” (which was also during the celebration of Passover) Jesus shared a last meal with his disciples. During this time, he demonstrated the suffering he would endure and the blood he would shed for our sins. He expressed that things would be different, a new covenant, a new era.

“After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, ‘Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’ And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them. saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying ‘This cup is the NEW covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” Luke 22:17-20

So how is this similar to the death of the American Preacher? In my spirit I feel that a door has closed regarding the way things use to be done regarding spreading the Gospel. Now a new door will be opened regarding sharing the Gospel. In times past great leaders went before us, preaching the gospel and spreading the truth. Many people flocked to these great leaders and came to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Today is a different era. I feel the new era is up to you and me. We are to take the baton, so to speak. We (you and I) are the next great leaders. We may not be in a pulpit preaching salvation to a host of hungry souls, but we are lights in a very dark world. I recently heard someone describe the God-head as three different candles, each with their own flame, but when the candles come together, one flame burns; and how bright that light is! It is also the same with each believer. We all carry the light of Jesus in us, but when we walk as one with our Lord AND one with other believers that light is extremely bright.

There will still be individuals who preach to masses, but I believe the era of “the great evangelist” has been changed to the era of several individuals burning as one light for the world. The message will still be preached throughout the world BUT it is up to YOU; it is up to ME to spread that Gospel.

Lord let us each live as Billy Graham lived, deeply in love with you and eager to spread the Word of God. Wake those up who once were changed by his words. Arise in us with new boldness and joy as we shine the light that you gave us, so that others can see that light and be set free. Amen. Come Lord Jesus!

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Reaching Out

Reaching Out

I once knew a man
Named Johnny McGee.
He lived down the road
A couple houses from me.

He worked hard in the week,
But weekend parties didn’t end.
He had so much money
That he was eager to spend.

His house was quite grand;
His car was the best,
On his property: a boat and more
Grown-up toys filled the rest.

He was that man
That men wanted to be,
And women loved to be with
To live frivolously.

After a few years
Watching this week after week,
I noticed action was gone.
Things seemed to look bleak.

I wondered what happened;
Why the house had no noise.
Where were the people
Who played with the toys.

The grass grew tall
Around the house in the lawn.
The boat no longer moved.
The parties were gone.

The quiet was quite nice
But yet unsettling too.
Were things going okay
For Johnny and his crew?

I prayed for my neighbor,
Then I wanted to see
What may have happened
To Johnny McGee.

I took a deep breath
And walked to his place.
I knocked on the door
To see him face to face.

A grouchy voice hollered,
“What?” through the screen door.
I entered into darkness
And saw him sitting on the floor.

“What do YOU want?”
He asked without thought.
“No one comes here anymore!”
He seemed angry and distraught.

He looked thin and sad.
This couldn’t be the same man.
He wasn’t laughing anymore,
And had lost his golden tan.

“I live a few houses down,” I said.
“We’ve met a time or two before,
I wondered if you were ok?
I hadn’t seen you anymore.”

“I know who you are,”
He said with some pride
“You’re that pastor that prays.
We all hear you outside”

He grumbled, ” Why do you care?
All my friends have all gone.
Nothing matters anymore
And everything’s gone wrong.”

Suddenly he began to ramble
Like he hadn’t spoken for years.
And as he shared about his life
I noticed his eyes fill with tears.

“I thought I had it all,” he began,
“The joy that money can bring.
But now it doesn’t have a spark,
It doesn’t mean a thing.

One day I lost it all.
I made a wrong choice.
Lost all of my hope.”
He began to clear his voice.

“I don’t know why I’m saying this
I don’t really know you well.
But I feel I need to speak,
I need someone to tell.

I was driving too fast
Around the bend down the way.
And I lost control of the car
And I crashed it that day.”

He stared in the air
Perhaps remembering the minute
When he rolled his car
And his girlfriend was in it.

I had heard about that crash
Someone told me the next day.
I didn’t think on it more
Now I didn’t know what to say.

“I lost the girl I wanted to marry
The girl who brought me life.
What was my purpose now?
I killed my future wife.”

Silence entered into the room
I struggled with words to say
Suddenly a thought hit me
And I began it this way,

“I’m sorry for your loss.
I’m sorry for your pain.
I’m sorry nothing seems right,
And your life seems insane.

But the Lord loves you dearly.
He knew how this would end.
He knew that you needed hope.
He knew you would need a friend.”

I reached my hand out to him.
He got onto his feet.
He hugged me in tears,
Expressing his hurt and defeat.

That was ONE moment
Of many times we would share.
He opened up more each time
Realizing someone did care.

One day he met someone
Who knew him better than me.
That someone was the Lord
Who eventually set him free.

And in time he met another
Who shared his hopes and life.
That was the time I married them
And they became husband and wife.

Take the time to listen,
Take the time for prayer.
Someone might need to know
They are worthy enough for you to care.

I now know a family
Whose last name is McGee
They live down the road
A couple houses from me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Image of my Father

In the Image of my Father

The last couple years I have had the privilege of having my parents live with me. It has taught me so many things about myself; who I am and why I react the way I do. When my parents have different views regarding something, I have discovered that I can agree with both of them, even when their views or opinions are different.

You see I have inherited DNA from both of them, perhaps not equally, but enough that causes me to understand most of their viewpoints equally. Likewise I have noticed that my children have inherited a lot of my traits but they also have many traits like their father.

As believers have we inherited the traits of our Heavenly Father? Have we inherited his DNA? I know when we get “saved” or “born again” we are renewed in our spirit man. In the book of  John, chapter 3, Jesus explains to Nicodemus, a Pharisee, that in order to enter the kingdom of heaven he must be born again. Then in Romans 8, the author states that we, who belong to Christ, have the Spirit of Christ LIVING in us. And though our bodies are subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.

FLESH VS SPIRIT
We become a new creation when we ask the Lord into our lives, yet we are still living in our human bodies. So it makes sense that we wrestle doing what God desires vs what our flesh wants to do. Part of us is renewed. Yet our old thoughts argue because our flesh likes the easy way and doesn’t want to grow up. Paul explains this in more detail in Romans 7. He says that though we want to do what our spiritual nature tells us to do, our physical nature is always fighting with us.

“For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” Galatians 5:17 (ESV)

But the more we desire the Lord’s will in our lives and choose to live for him, the less hold the enemy has in our lives.

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 (NIV)

BLOOD OF CHRIST
Jesus was human, yet he was the son of God. Though he was human, he didn’t sin. Jesus was able to condemn sin because he overcame sin while living, like us, in human form.

Yet his blood had the DNA of the Spirit of God which is pure.  So his sinless blood can heal us AND cleanse us from our sins. His sacrificial sinless blood had to be shed to cover darkness and sin. Once we ask Jesus into our lives, that same sinless blood that was shed–covers all our sins — past, present and future.  I believe God sees us without spot or wrinkle because he sees Jesus in us.

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

MIND OF CHRIST
Our mind bosses us around and tells us many things, true or false, and our body follows suit, which is why many people stay in bondage. They believe their old mind-set, old thoughts, instead of the mind of Christ. They believe they are defeated. They believe they are unworthy. They believe there is absolutely NO hope. Or quite the opposite, they think they do not need the wisdom of the Lord.

But as believers we have the mind of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 2 the author states that no one can know another person’s thoughts except their own spirit. In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Then he ends by stating, “But we have the mind of Christ” 1 Corn.2:15 (NIV)

It is amazing how powerful our mind is. I remember running in cross-country in high school. I kept wanting to give up, but I would tell my body to stop complaining and complete the race. My body then did what my mind commanded.

If my own mind has power over my body, can you imagine the wisdom that could filter from heaven if we would submit to the voice of the Lord Almighty?

Paul writes: “Do not be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

Remember when Jesus said that he only did what the Father told him to do? Well we can do what the Father asks us to do also. As believers we can hear how he thinks. He reminds us of truth, tells us when to pray, or when to speak hope into another individual’s life. You and I have the mind of Christ! BUT it is up to us to listen.

LOVE ONE ANOTHER
The Bible states that as a believer we have become children of God. Just as a child receives his/her parents traits and personality, we each have a part of the Lord’s traits and personality. If we are His children we should work together in harmony, showing grace and love towards one another. He understands us individually, just as I understand each of my parent’s view points.

In the book of John, Jesus states: “…May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” John 17:23 (NLT)

ACTING LIKE MY FATHER
So if I have the DNA of my Heavenly Father, I should act like him, right? A baby grows one step at a time. When they become adults they often look and act like their parents. As we grow in Christ we go from glory to glory. It is a process and can include trials, suffering and mistakes, but develops into deliverance, victory, peace and hope.

My prayer is that I will become more and more like my heavenly Father. May each of us grow into the image of our Father.

God bless.

 

FREEDOM!!!!

FREEDOM!!!!

Magistrate: The prisoner wishes to say a word.
William Wallace: Freeeedommm!!  – Braveheart, 1995

Though the film, “Braveheart” was considered a “historical fantasy” it was a great descriptive story about a few brave souls who sacrificed everything– even their lives–to be free.

Of course this isn’t the only account of sacrifice for freedom throughout the history of the world. There are many nations and/or people groups that have been oppressed. And many individuals who valued freedom enough to sacrifice all they had for it.

The point is: freedom is NOT free. Someone, somewhere, sometime sacrificed so that the word “freedom” could become more than a dream. Instead it would be a reality for those that came after them. I think that many in America or perhaps even abroad do not understand those sacrifices.

Even I take so much for granted. I can work and live where I desire, save money or spend it freely, marry who I want or stay single. My kids can play outside without fear and are able to get an education so they can expand their knowledge. I can worship in any way I want and even have the freedom to express the way I believe openly.

FREEDOM is a gift that I hope my descendants can enjoy, as I have.

Of course you know where I am going from here. The greatest sacrifice for freedom came the day that Jesus gave up his life for each of us. He sacrificed for people who were torturing him. He sacrificed for those who had already died and for those who were not even born. Why was this such a great sacrifice? It was because he was sinless. It was because he was and is the son of God. He wasn’t doing it for himself. He was obeying what his heavenly Father was saying.

The fact is that he could have just rained down fire on those who refused to listen. But he knew that the spilled blood of his pure sinless life was the only avenue that would wash away the sins of each of us and reunite us with the Father. We can now enjoy the same relationship that Adam and Eve had enjoyed before they opened the door to sin. And one day, after this life is over, we will walk with him on the streets of gold.

Jesus didn’t just sacrifice his life enduring great physical pain that was unimaginable. He sacrificed with mental and emotional anguish, having been abandoned by his heavenly Father and dear friends. We may never understand all that he endured that fateful moment. We won’t be able to understand what it felt like to have the sins of the world put on our shoulders nor the pain of all the physical ailments slashing through our bodies when we were already enduring our own agonizing pain.

He didn’t stop there. He entered into the belly of hell for us and stole the keys of sin and death from satan, himself. He broke every rule of a quiet and meek individual and became the warrior no one suspected. And then if that wasn’t enough, he came victoriously back from the dead to encourage those he left behind and even those who had not yet believed.

Because of that– we can be free!

We are free from the death that could have spun us into an eternity of hell damnation and fire. We are free from religion that binds us up with so many dos and don’ts. We are free to trust in a Savior that brings joy and with no condemnation. We are free from the chains of sin that try to keep us in bondage. We are free to love others and forgive when we couldn’t have before. We are free to pray and come boldly, with grace, into the throne room of our heavenly Father. We are free to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit and believe in healing and hope when the world tells us otherwise.

There are so many freedoms found in Christ.

But we must be careful to not confuse our new freedom with a license to get lazy and sin. Sometimes freedom gets mucked up with the idea that we are not accountable for our actions.  Freedom does not equal no boundaries. Think. Use common sense and wisdom in each situation.

“Someone may say, “I’m allowed to do anything,” but not everything is helpful. I’m allowed to do anything, but not everything encourages growth.”
I Corinthians 10:23 (GWT)

In other words, just because you may not experience conviction about a situation, ask yourself if it brings encouragement and growth in you or those around you. If not, is it the best choice? You and I may be the only version of Christ others may see. (I am preaching to myself here.) These are the times when we use the wisdom of the Lord in each circumstance and remember that we each need to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12)

But let’s go a step further.

Though some choices may not be a big deal, other situations may seem a bit confusing in the hour that we live. Life tends to be more gray, than black and white, these days.  Because something is legal does not necessarily mean it is right or moral. Let’s not forget what Jesus did on that cross that dark day when he sacrificed his life. He set us free from the bondage of sin and deception.

Be careful. Do not turn around and head back down the path you came from, returning to what you left behind.

“Live like free people, and do not use your freedom as an excuse for doing evil. Instead, be God’s servants.” I Peter 2:16 (ISV)

Think of what Peter was saying. He mentioned in later verses that people can get free from the world of filth only to go back to it again. He stated that it would be better to have not known the freedom found in Christ than to have known it and return to an old lifestyle outside of God’s best. He ends by quoting a proverb from the old testament.
(2 Peter: 20-22)

“As a dog a goes back to its vomit so a fool repeats his stupidity.” Proverbs 26:11 (GWT)

Freedom is a wonderful thing. I am so grateful for it.

I pray for those that live in countries where freedom feels like a lost treasure. I pray that they can still find freedom within those boundaries as Paul often did while he wrote his letters from the confines of his prison cell.  I hope that they can feel the powerful presence of the Lord in the midst of any darkness.

For those that live in a free country, as I do, I pray that the freedom of the Lord will remain alive in our hearts and not grow dim by compromise. Instead I pray that we each use our freedom to spread the gospel of hope.

“I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.” Psalm 119:45 (NIV)

Enjoy your freedom in Christ. Amen and God Bless.

 

 

The Light

The Light

As the holidays approach I am reminded of so many people who have faced tragedy this year. There are several people I know personally who lost loved ones — not to mention the national tragedies that plagued our land.

This poem is for them:

The Christmas season is upon us.
There are gifts tucked safe under a tree.
Little hearts anxiously wait
For what seems like eternity.

People are rushing; excitement is bustling
All is merry and bright.
But someone is mourning this season
Because everything is not cheery or right.

Perhaps you lost a child this year.
Perhaps you lost your dad.
Perhaps you lost your home
Or everything you had.

The world didn’t stop
Because tragedy struck.
It spun in its cycle without care.

And Christmas arrived
Though you are broken inside
With hurt that’s incredibly hard to bear.

It is for you that the Christ child
Came from heaven above.
It is for you that He still opens
His arms with mercy and with love.

It’s okay to weep over heartache.
It’s okay to weep over loss.
That is why God sent his son-
To take your pain upon the cross.

He longs to give you hope
In a world full of fear and despair.
To give you peace unlike the world
That doesn’t remember or care.

And in the midst of your chaos
I pray that God holds your hand.
That you find the comfort you long for.
That you know HE still has a plan.

The merriment of the holidays are blaring
You may want to ignore it all.
But I pray that you feel God’s presence instead.
And He answers your heart when you call.

The Christmas season is upon us
All may not be merry or bright
But He can shine in the midst of your mourning.
Follow the star, He’ll be your LIGHT.

Amen and God bless.

 

 

 

 

 

Phrases like “he isn’t acting normal” or “that isn’t the normal way to do it” are broad at best. What is normal to me may seem completely abnormal to my neighbor. The definition to the word normal according to dictionary.com is “-conforming to a standard, or what is common, usual, regular or natural.”

Still even that can be different according to cultures, religions, languages, customs, countries, cities, neighborhoods, families or even individuals. Age or the era that we were raised in can even promote different “normal” lifestyles. And when we begin to grow accustomed to the way things are done it is sometimes difficult to change. The custom begins to become part of who we are and we identify it as NORMAL.

Tradition plays a huge role in this,” normalcy”.  If you celebrate Christmas  (as I assume most believers do) the tradition in each family can be different. Perhaps you put up a Christmas tree in your house, or pretend that Santa is coming down your chimney or maybe you do not include Santa, at all.  You might celebrate the holiday on Christmas Eve or when the clock strikes mid-night or in the morning hours. There are a thousands of different traditions that are promoted in different cultures and even families. Who said that we must eat a turkey on Thanksgiving, though it is a strong tradition in America.

Tradition can melt into what you might perceive as normal.  I can only relate to what is familiar to me as people from around the world live differently.  But in America the “traditional family” has begun to change. When I was little it was normal to have a mom and dad. Soon it became normal to see a lot of single-parent households, then there was mixed families. From there couples quit getting married and began to just live together. That became normal. Then we began to see homosexual lifestyles evolve into families. And now the transgender lifestyle, though a minority, is fighting to become a new normal.

Life in America and across the world is changing. The normal is changing. People have grown accustomed to the new lifestyles. What was once thought of as “normal” in my era is fading into the background. As much as people want to ignore this fact, at one time in America it was normal to be a slave or have slaves. But THANKFULLY many good men fought to abolish that. And though it is no longer our “normal” in America today there is so much anger over our past, “normal”,  that violence is erupting. And violence, instead of peace, is becoming popular and normal.

What is normal? Does acceptance equate normal?

IF you profess to be a believer –and I write this to believers as unbelievers may have a different standard to base their truth or may believe that truth is negotiable. But as a believer, we must get back to the basics. The Word of God is the basis to use as any standard of truth. Jesus said that HE is the truth.

“I am the Way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (NIV)

He also stated that we are not of this world and that this world does not and cannot understand, “our normal”.  Read John 17:14-16, John 15:19, 1 John 5:19, James 4:4, 1 John 2:15-17, John 18:36, 1 Peter 2:11-12 to name a few.

What should be normal for the believer is what we read in the scripture regarding the life of Jesus. It should be normal to heal the sick, raise the dead, set people free from darkness. It should be normal to love the lost and forgive quickly. It should be normal to live in freedom and to overcome the darkness that plagues our souls.

Though Jesus died for each of us, because WE ARE ALL SINNERS, it does not mean that we have to change what He stated as truth (or normal.)

I say all of this because different lifestyle choices than what I hold as truth, are all around me and will continue to be as long as I live in this world. Should I love all people?ABSOLUTELY!  Should I change my view of what I consider as “normal” because others think I should? No.

There is a gray line that confuses many. There is an unseen difference between loving people as Jesus did. (And HE LOVES PEOPLE) and living our lives by a standard that holds true to scripture.

I DESIRE to love ALL people–as Jesus did. He loved us so MUCH that he was willing to die for our brokenness and deception and sin.

I DESIRE to love our heavenly Father–as Jesus did.  He loved him so much that he REFUSED to compromise his standards and though he didn’t want to, he went to the cross so WE would be free.

“Lord grant your children wisdom. We need to learn to live a life that shows abundant love, as Jesus did. And we need to live a life without compromising with sin, as Jesus did. We cannot do it without your wisdom and strength.  Amen”

God bless.

 

Will you obey?

Will you obey?

I want to share a written testimony from a friend of a family member. Though this is a season of thanksgiving, this is not a testimony of thanksgiving, but a testimony of obedience to the Lord which eventually leads to thanksgiving. Obedience is powerful and sometimes difficult, but ALWAYS rewarding. I hope this stirs your heart as it stirred mine.

So my life has been crazy these last few months. My wife and I took a huge step of faith, and answered God’s calling on our hearts to leave Alaska. Everything about what we’ve been doing has been a huge unknown. All we knew for sure was that God was asking us to leave.

We thought selling all our stuff was going to be the hard part. OMG was I wrong! Traveling 14,000 miles across the country, grasping at straws trying to make sense of everything. Asking God is this it, is it that, what is it you want us to do?!?

Seemingly not getting any answers, just going off gut instinct that we should keep going. I personally felt lost, hopeless, and to be quite frank I was starting to doubt his existence.

I remember sitting in Dallas, Texas arguing with my wife telling her “I’m done, I’m freaking done. There’s no hope, he hasn’t said crap, this has been a huge sham, I’m done.” I found a place I really enjoyed, and was ready to just give up and move to Ft. Collins, Co.

Even though I was fed up, and felt like there weren’t going to be any answers. I still had this sick feeling in my stomach that we had to keep going. So I took one last step of faith, and said Screw It! I’m going to Orlando. If I’m going to do this, I’m going to have fun.

About a third of the way there, on a Saturday, this band I’m sharing with you,
(Give Thanks to God—Housefires) popped in my head. I told Lacey “this band I really like, they’re in Atlanta, how far of a drive is that, can we make it there for Sunday service?” My wife told me it was about 500 miles, I said, “screw it let’s go.” We drove through the night, though we were tired we made it! And it was amazing! It was like the word was tailored just for us.

After church we drove to Charleston, SC then on to Charlotte, NC to visit Lacey’s aunt and uncle. Two amazing people of God, gave us incredible words of wisdom. Decided, ok God we are going back to Ft. Collins.

Then the night before we were going leave, I said to Lacey “what about that church in Atlanta?” “How much would it add to our trip to go back to ATL?” To attend that church again. To both of our delights she said, “It’ll only add an hour to our trip!”

On the way to ATL I said to my wife, “what about ATL?” She said, “not a snowballs chance in hell am I moving to ATL!” I guess she really didn’t like it.

When we got there something amazing happened. God spoke to me. The one thing I’ve been begging him to do this whole friggin’ time, he finally friggin’ did it! He told me clear as day, “you can go back to Colorado, and you won’t disappoint me, but I want you here, the choice is yours.”

And apparently God spoke to my wife too, because at the end of the service she was balling looked me square in the face and said, “Well I guess we’re moving to ATL!”

We had decided together that it would be best to leave ATL and see if our hearts would change. So, we went to Florida to swim with the manatees. Didn’t see any manatees, but our resolve hadn’t wavered.

So, we went back to ATL and said, God this is it, we’re all yours! To which the reply was a big fat NOTHING! My initial reaction was to get angry! “Are you effing serious right now, I can’t believe you’d give me a glimmer of hope and just tell me to piss off!”

I was starting to feel hopeless again. Starting to doubt if what I heard was really God. I could have sworn it was him. I do not make this stuff up, I heard him clear as day.

Well about another week had past and my doubt is building. I’m back to feeling hopeless. Mind you I never really told any of my family or my friends what I was doing. Because I was certain that they would think that I was flippin’ nuts! So in all this, I felt alone. With the exception of my brother Pete, and my Wife. I felt lost and alone. ATL is a big city with over 5 million people and I didn’t know a soul.

Well, my Wife was going to a mother’s ministry at the church. I guess she lost it, she spilled the beans that we were for lack of better words homeless in Atlanta. That lead us to meeting Lisa a lovely lady at the church. We told her that we were contemplating skipping out of town to persue job opportunities in Colorado. She prayed over us and told other people about us and asked them to pray for us too.

That leads us to Gregory. Oh, Gregory you were personally my biggest step of faith!

I met Gregory at Amelies a French bakery in midtown. I didn’t find out till later that he practically lives there. Lisa from the women’s ministry put us in touch with him, and told us “Gregory has a word from God and that word is stay in Atlanta God wants to use you in a big way.”

So I had to meet this man who wanted me to stay. I need to see this man for myself. I need to size him up and make for 100% sure he is not full of crap. I met him, and he was 100% legit. He was absolutely on fire for the Lord. Ok Gregory, I’m going to trust you. And I’m going to trust that this is God.

I go to leave the bakery and I hear God again clear as day just like before. “Give that man your laptop” I said what? He said, clear as day! “Give him your camera.” To which I replied you’ve lost your mind, I’ve gone crazy! What God? which one is it the laptop or the camera? Not that I’m giving him either. I can’t believe I’ve lost my mind.

I’m standing by my jeep in the middle of this parking lot befuddled. “Really God I can’t believe you’re going to make me give up my prized possessions. No I ain’t doin’ it!

I go to get in my jeep and God says to me and I quote “DON’T YOU DARE DO THIS! NOT WHEN YOU’VE COME THIS FAR!” WHOA! Mind you I’m still pretty sure I’ve lost my flipping mind. Tell you what God, I’ll just go ask him if it is you he’ll tell me and I’ll know for certain.

So l go back in that bakery, and I ask this strange man I’ve never met before 30 minutes ago. “WHAT IS IT THAT YOU WANT?”

You should have seen the look on his face! “God told me you want something, what is it?”

Still looking utterly confused Gregory stammers, “well I have been praying to God for a new laptop.” Stopped him right there, and told him to follow me. He followed me to my jeep and I gave it to him, I just gave this strange brown man my laptop.

Gregory was ecstatic, I was feeling pretty good about myself. He took his laptop and I went on my merry way. Still totally confused. But screw it I’m all in. Gregory sends us a message inviting us to his house church. Told us he wanted to introduce us to his people.

We decide to get a hotel because we hadn’t showered in a couple days and I can’t even process what’s just happened. Let alone think about anything. And God spoke to me again.

“I TOLD YOU TO GIVE HIM YOUR CAMERA!”

“Umm, Lacey I think I screwed up, I think God wanted me to give him my camera too.” She said, “Are you sure honey, I really don’t feel like God is asking you to do any of this.” I told her “of course I’m sure I’ve never been more sure about anything.” “Tell you what, we’ll fleece it. If God wants me to give this man a camera, then make this evening about a camera.”

We prayed over it, and go to this house church function that Gregory invited us to. SWEET BABY JESUS! The whole evening was about Gregory and his dang photography ministry he’s embarking on. You have to be kidding me! Needless to say I pulled Gregory aside and told him God told me to give him my camera too, but I was holding it back.

It’s amazing! What those two acts of obedience did. I obeyed God and because of that, God is starting to open doors. I now have a church family, more friends than I’ve ever had in Alaska. I have a place to call home. And Atlanta is really starting to grow on me. I have no idea what God is doing, but I’m sure it’s going to be great!

I am so happy to call Grace Midtown my home. God is definitely doing amazing things here!

P.s. I told God my only steadfast requirement for a church is a worship service that is on fire with the holy ghost. And he delivered!

I’ve been embarrassed to talk about this, but I feel that God is asking me to. And I’m going to obey him. Because this is what I am. #iamsecond #gracemidtown #housefires #ermagerdburbbles

God bless each and every one of you.

If you’re so inclined please share my testimony — Gerald Wright

“But I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you.”
Jeremiah 7:23 (NIV)

May you be reminded of several reasons to be thankful this holiday season. And may you also reap the rewards that follow obedience in Christ.

God bless