Washed Away

I was watching a documentary yesterday on Katrina. In the documentary they interview a couple that returns to visit their destroyed home for the first time. The couple said the only things they had time to take with them when they first left were all the pictures, they took nothing else. When they returned they began to look around to see what was left if anything to no one’s surprise their was’nt much. The wife said she had never seen her husband so depressed, she said he was more depressed than when he had returned from Vietnam. The maker of the documentary asked him why he was now so depressed? He said that of all the things he was hoping might still be around were some stuff he had brought back from Vietnam that reminded him of some of the friends he had served with and lost in the war. He went on to say that Katrina had washed it all away and that he promised himself never to let himself to get attached to anything like that again in his life. What a great lesson for all of us. Many times in life we feel like were suffering or were afflicted simply because we have lost something that we were so attatched to. Sometimes we are so attatched to cars, money, jobs and other things that when we lose them it causes us to feel like their is a catastrophe in our lives. Paul said, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on earth.” This is a great reminder for all of us. We can easily lose many things in this world and the fact is that some of us are just one lost job away from losing everything we have. Simply put material things should not be the center of my life. My affections my attachment should be to something that no storm, no catastrophe, that nothing of this world can take away from me and that is Jesus Christ. The bible says, “He will never leave you nor forsake you” what a great promise, material things may come and go but God will always be faithful to me. I think it is better to trust in the Lord and thank Him for everything He has given and provided whether it is a job, food, rent, car or health it is God that has provided. Don’t get so attatched to things that can be washed away in an instant – get attached to something that can never be moved JESUS CHRIST. God Bless.

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How do you Measure?

Often times as we grow in the Lord and we overcome things we used to struggle with wheter they be charachter issues, biblical standards or anything else. We must be careful not to turn into judgemental people. It is so easy to judge someone else on our standard of godly living and forget where God has brought us from and how patient God has been in our growth with Him. We must always remember that not everybody is at the same place in their walk with God. What I have already been through; somebody else may be there now and I cannot measure them against my holiness or my standards. Paul says it this way, “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. ” It is not wise to measure others against ourselves and it is not wise to measure ourselves against others. Then how do we measure ourselves, how do we measure our standards our holiness? Their is only one answer and that is to measure my holiness against His holiness, my standards against His standards, my righteousness in the light of His righteousness. See when I view myself in the light of who He is (God) then I realize I fall very short of His glory and even may feel like the prophet when he said, “..woe is me for I am undone…”. Personal holiness and standards take care of themselves when I view myself with a sincere heart in the light of His word. We should never look at someone and compare them to the level that we are living on, but we can only measure and compare in the light of God’s word. When it seems like someone is falling short in their view and conviction of God’s holiness and standards pray for them that God would give them a sincere heart to look at themselves in His light of holiness and righteousness. It is a amazing how much more a sincere child of God will change when they come to Him with a sincere heart and measure themselves in His light. God can do much more than we can. God Bless.

Jacob’s Walk

First night of camp was awesome. God moved in a mighty way – the outpouring on the altar was indescribable. Their was definetely a divine anointing for those who were hungry. Minister Anthony Romo preached on the difference between an experience and an encounter with God. He used a powerful anlagoy when he described the wrestling that Jacob did with the angel. He said, “that when you have an encounter with God it should change your walk.” When Jacob wrestled the angel the bible says that his hip was damaged by the angel and that it caused Jacob to walk with a limp. The illustration is that after he went home his family and his friends noticed that he was limping, He wasnt walking the same he was different. An encounter with God should bring a noticable change in your life. I am expecting that after this youth camp some young people will go home with a limp (not literally) but spiritually, they will be different. I am praying that I will be different.

Spiritual Edification

I was spending some time this evening with my family talking about the Lord. More specifically my Mom, Sister, Brother in Law and Dad. This is probably my favorite thing to do, to just sit around and talk to my family about the Lord. There are many ways as Christians we can edify our spiritual lives, we can and should pray, fast, read the bible, hear a good sermon, read a great book etc. For me one of my favorite ways to get edified is to converse with fellow Christians and talk about God, talk about His goodness, His mercy, His provision, His faithfulness. There is not better conversation in this world then when God is the subject. You would be amazed how many times people have received a word from God in a simple Godly conversation, you would be amazed at how many times someones faith increased just because you were talking about God, you would be amazed how many times you encouraged someone just because the topic of your conversation was Jesus. The bible say, “Whatsoever you do in word or deed do all in the name of Jesus”. Why in the name of Jesus? Because their is power in that name, their is healing in that name, their is deliverance in that name and most of all their is love in that name. I love talking with my family because all they want to do is talk about the Lord. They want to talk about what He’s doing, what His will is, they want remember and remind each other of all the good things He has done for our family. Do you want your family to be strong? Do you want to edified? Then start by talking about the Lord. Make God the center of conversation in your home, make Him the priority in your fellowship. I want you to know that when you talk about God, He is their listening. He hears every word and whether you realize or not He is sitting there in the middle of the conversation. Is your family struggling? Talk about God. Are your friendships dry and bland? Talk about God. If you don’t have friends that like to talk about God then find some. This is what God commanded Israel, “Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up” (Deuteronomy 6:7 NLT). The bible commands us to talk about God. Their is nothing like feeling that peace and strength in your heart that comes from talking about God. Do you want to be blessed? Do you want to change the spiritual atmosphere of your life? Do you want your faith to increase? Then just start talking about God, “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17 KJV). I praise God for people and families that make God the center of their lives. Pray for me I leave to our district youth camp today, pray that God would allow me to impact someones life for His honor and glory. I will be trying to blog everyday at camp if I can find an Internet connection. I would like to keep everyone posted on the services, testimonies and miracles that happen. God Bless.

Two Day’s

There are only two days left until our District Youth Camp starts. My spirit wants to explode within me becuase I know God is going to do something great. I wonder how Jesus felt after He had been crucified and was in hell preaching to death and the lost spirits. I wonder how He felt because He understood that in two days He would resurrect in the power of God. He knew that in a couple of days His Spirit would be poured out into the heart of man in the form of the Holy Ghost and that would forever change the destiny of mankind. What an excitement he must have felt in His Spirit to know what was about to happen. I feel like in two days someone’s destiny will be changed forever at this youth camp, I feel like in two days their is going to be an outpouring of His Spirit unlike I have ever witnessed. I am excited for what God is about to do. Jesus preached in hell for two days, I am sure that is not where He wanted to be; but He had to preach to death and hell to accomplish the will of God. It amazes me how their are so many avenues God could have chosen to take hell’s keys but He chose to preach. He preached to hell and death and they had to give up the key’s. If preaching could loose the stronghold of Satan and the grip of hell then I say preach, preach with all your heart. Preach to yourself, preach to your circumstance, preach against anything and everyone coming against you, preach to the lost and the sick and watch the stronghold’s come down. Jesus said, “…Go…preach the Gospel…”. It is amazing what will happen when you take God’s word and preach. Who knows what kind of awesome move of God you will be able to witness in two day’s. If the enemy is bothering you, if circumstances are bothering you, why dont you take a second to look them in the face and tell them wait to see what happens in two days. Everything may no look to good right now but in two day’s when God gets done doing what He is doing you will come out in victory. Pray for our youth camp that God would touch lives in a way like He never has before. God Bless.

Progressive Sanctification

 While I was in prayer today God reminded me of how faithful He has been to me. Despite many ups and downs in my walk with God He has never failed me, let me go or given up on me and I just praised and worshipped Him for that. It made me think of how patient God is with us, how well He really knows us and how determined He is to transform us into His image (the image of Christ). Their is doctrine in Christian teaching known as the doctrine of sanctification, the word sanctification means to “sanctify” or “set apart” so really it means the doctrine of seperation. This doctrine of sanctification has 3 aspects: Positional, Ultimate and Progressive Sanctification. What I want to consider in light of what God was ministering to me in prayer is Progressive Sanctification. Progressive Sanctification simply means that as I grow in my walk with God I become more and more seperated from ungodly and unholy things. It means that overtime as God works in me – He begins to transform me from a former image into the image of Christ. Here it is in the simplest terms I can think of, “becoming what God has already declared about me”. The reality is that we do not always live like what God has declared about us for example: God has declared us to be loving, kind, fruitful, compassionate, patient and enduring but many times we act in the opposite way. I think most Christians would agree that all of us fall short in one way or another in one or more of these areas. But God is patient and merciful towards us, yet never distracted from His purpose of working these godly graces into our lives. As we become more and more seperated from the things of this world and we allow God to work in us – we ourselves begin to see God’s manifested work in us – I know of no greater joy than being able to see how God has changed no transformed some part of my life into the image that His word declares. It is nothing but divine joy for the angry man when God transforms his anger into kindness, it jdivine joy for the worried woman when God transforms her worrying into peace, it is jdivine joy for the bitter man when God trnasforms his bitterness into happiness and a life of friutfulness. I like how Paul describes this ongoing work of God in us, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Wow what an amazing thing, it is the glory of God that transforms me and just because He has transformed me into one glory that does not mean that He is done, He still wants to transform my glory into another glory. The word of God is amazing! So when I think about God and His mercifulness His patience towards me it helps me to understand that He is patient towards me because He is working His purpose in me (sanctification). But we must understand that God is not alone in this. We are to be co-workers with God in this work of sanctification and spiritual transformation. Often times we can speed up the work  by doing our part and understanding what He is trying to work in us, looking at ourselves honestly in the light of God’s word and asking Him for the grace to change. I leave you today with this scripture in Hebrews 12:1, “…let us lay aside every weight and sin that doth so easily beset us and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” Sometimes the only thing that is hindering us from growing is our reluctance to lay aside somethings for God. May God bless you in your sanctification. God Bless.

Jesus Name

 A man was driving through an intersection one day with his four year old son when his car door flew open. The little boy flew out of the car and into the intersection right in front of a oncoming car. The last thing the father could see was his son right in front of the other car. The father did not know what to do so he cried out JESUS! He finally stopped his car and ran to his son, he was relieved to find out nothing had happened to his son. The man that was driving the car was hysterical, screaming and crying. The father told him to calm down everything was alright, his son was okay, don’t worry nobody got hurt. The man looked at him and said, “You don’t understand I never hit the brakes!” God still does miracles if you need His help call on the name of Jesus. I read this story on the Internet today there was no author but I thought it would be a blessing. God Bless.

In the Belly

We had a guest preacher at our church this weekend he is the elder of our sector Pastor Francisco Quezada. His message was really insightful and inspiring. The idea of his sermon was that God uses different circumstances to teach us to worship him and that no matter how bad the circumstances may seem that God is still in control of the circumstances. I thought I would share with you the awesome illustration he used to give strength to his message and share with you some of my insights. Most of you are familiar with the story of Jonah and the whale if your not here is a quick refresher. Jonah was sent by God to the city of Nineveh to preach repentance because of their wickedness but Jonah refused the will of God and tried to escape on a ship. The bible says that God caused a great storm  a tempest to arise and that the storm was so great it was about to sink the ship that Jonah was on. The men on the ship were fearful for their lives so they cast Jonah into the sea. This is the part that is really inspiring. It says that God prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah, the elder preached that God is the God of our circumstances and that like Jonah God will often prepare circumstances for us when we refuse His will in our lives. Circumstances that wont kill us but thatwill cause us to worship Him. He said that God had prepared the stomach of the whale so that it could be habitable by Jonah although it was very uncomfortable, although it was a circumstance Jonah did not want to be in, Jonah would not die because God was in control of the circumstance. Often times when we fight the will of God we encounter circumstances that feel like they are going to destroy us but as long as we are a child of God and as long as we really love Him, He will not allow anything to kill us. The bible says that Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and that for three days he prayed and worshipped God. Have you ever felt like that? Like the affliction, the problem the circumstance is so great that you have no other options left but to pray, to cry to God, to worship and hope God delivers you? Have you ever felt like that? Maybe your in the belly of the whale and you dont know it! The bible says that Jonah literally felt like he was in hell, “…out of the belly of hell cried I…” (Jonah 2:2). What was God trying to teach Jonah in these horrible circumstances: He was trying to teach Jonah two things: To worship Him in midst of affliction  to be obedient to His will no matter how strange, awkward or uncomfortable it may feel (Jonah did’nt want to go to Nineveh because he was a Hebrew and the people of Nineveh were gentiles). So the bible teaches us that Jonah worshipped for three days and that from the belly of the whale his prayer reached into the holy temple of heaven. No matter how low you may feel, no matter how terrible your circumstance may seem if you pray in faith and worship God you prayer will reach God in heaven. And on the third day God spoke to the fish and the fish vomited out Jonah on dry land, not in the deep of the ocean, not into another circumstance but on dry land into the will of God. Worship God in your circumstance and learn what God has been trying to teach you and the day will come when God will speak to your circumstance and your circumstance will have to vomit you up, it will have to let you go. My prayer is for all those who find themselves at a low point in their lives and in their walk with God, may God speak to your circumstance, your low point. When Jonah had learned to do the will of God; God changed Jonah’s story from a story of shame to a story of Glory. Jonah is the only prophet who is a type and figure of Jesus Christ in the aspect that like Jesus, he was in the belly of hell for three days and on the third day, like Jesus he rose again. God can change your shame into glory. If you don’t know what to read this week in the bible try reading the book of Jonah in the Old Testament. How does your life relate to Jonah? God Bless.

Don’t Neglect the Bridge

The recent collapse of the bridge in Minnesota has stirred up some thoughts in my spirit because it was a tragedy that could have been avoided. Current news reports site the main reason for the bridge collapse is negligence. Two years before this tragedy inspectors had warned the state that the bridge was in need of repairs and could no longer adequately hold up to the enormous weight and pressure that was being applied to it. The warning was that the bridge had been neglected far to long and needed immediate attention. Often times our spiritual lives are the same we neglect the bridge of prayer and consecration. We continue to allow the weight of life and the pressure of the enemy to pass over us and when you least expect it a great collapse. Burdens, afflictions and pressures of life are to much for us to carry on our own we need divine strength from God to help from day to day. Prayer and consecration is much like a bridge it allows the the spiritual strength and blessings of God to crossover from heaven into our hearts. I heard a preacher refer to it as the crossing over of the celestial into the terestial. In other words divine strength, divine power and divine glory are reserved for us in heaven but it needs a way of reaching our hearts, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all thing that pertain to life and godliness…” (2 Peter 1:3), prayer and spiritual consecration are the bridge that allows these promises to passover and become reality in our lives. The consequences of neglecting this bridge are tragic, a spiritual collapse, an inability to deal with the struggles and circumstances of life this is the result when we neglect this spiritual bridge. Prayer and consecration are not easy but they are vitally necessary to victory in the Kingdom of God that’s why Paul said it simply, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) the teaching is rudimentary “Don’t stop praying”! I believe neglect is the single greatest cause of spiritual tragedies. Many people have fallen from there faith, fallen into depression made bad spiritual decisions simply because they neglected this spiritual bridge. In life we will face many trial and tribulations but the man/woman of God who has not neglected their spiritual life, this is the man/woman who will be able to withstand and live life in the fullness of victory. My prayers and condolences to all those who lost loved ones in the Minnesota bridge collapse. God Bless.

Small Church Big Move of God

The youth service in Hesperia was awesome this weekend. It took me back when I was younger I remember going to services where the church was to small to fit everybody. That’s how it was this weekend they had to place chairs down the aisles, in the overflow and some outside. What was amazing about this was nobody cared because Gods glory was being manifested and people were hungry for that presence. To say the least it was mighty outpouring, truly a pentecostal experience. The worship lasted for about 2 hours and nobody was tired, the sermon another hour and the altar call at-least on more hour. It is amazing how time will stand still when your in the presence of God it seemed like we were there only an hour. The altar was crowded nobody fit but God is not limited to the altar, the ministers changed the entire sanctuary into one big altar and God began to move in mighty way. The people who were outside were not left out either God began to minister to them right outside as well, “What a Mighty God we Serve”. I personally witnessed deliverance, restoration and the outpouring of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of other tongues. God is not limited, God is not limited to Sunday in our sanctuaries, He is not limited to the size of our buildings or the amount of people in our pews. The only thing that can limit God is unbelief – not believing God will do what He said He would do. I praise God that He allowed me to be part of such a great move of God. What a privilege and honor we have to be able to be eyewitnesses of His majesty and glory. God Bless.