Stop Fighting People and Start Fighting Hell

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I went on a little run tonight in my first town I lived in when I got married, Worland Wyoming. As ran and prayed I asked God to show me what was happening in the Spiritual realm in town so I could know how to pray while I am here. I felt impressed with something that almost changed the paradigm of ministry to people and even what I am trying to do with Christian Television in Denver.

I felt like he said, “it is time for people who follow me to stop fighting other humans and start fighting hell.”

I think there are too many people who stand behind the wall of “what they believe” and throw rocks at all the people they don’t agree with or disapprove of. I really have no idea where that mentality came from because Jesus sure was not like that when he was on the earth interacting with people who probably did not line up with his belief system.

It is much easier to tell people what you are against than to stand up for what you do by leading with love and acting like Jesus. For some reason, we feel that interacting and working with people we disagree with in some way is going to “taint” our “super-holy walk” with baby Jesus. This is EXACTLY the mentality that the devil wants believers to have.

Until we start to see people who are dealing with the struggles of life just like us, we will continue to judge the actions of people we disagree with instead of loving people FIRST and then praying and looking for our role in their lives.

Stop acting like the religious people of the Bible. They were the ONLY ones who Jesus argued with in the Bible, by the way.

I want to be known as the one who doesn’t agree with everyone but loves LOUDER and FIRST with EVERYONE I come in contact with during my life. That’s what Jesus did and that is what I am going to do. Want to join me?

I Got Mad for the Orphans Today…OOPS

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Today I got angry. I know this surprises everyone that I actually lose my cool every so often (haha) but today was especially interesting. I got angry about the orphanage that Yolanda and I oversee in Nepal. Sometimes, I can get negative about people that I think would and should support what we are doing but don’t want to get involved. I mean, they are ORPHANS for crying out loud!

The interesting thing was that I preached a message at a church a few weeks ago about not having to defend God, the Bible and what He wants to do on the earth. I said, “We don’t need to defend the Bible, we need the Bible to defend US!” (Plus, I knew that was from God because it was too good for me to come up with such a clever line) I had lots of passion and meant every word I said. I am not sure why, but I threw all that good teaching for EVERYONE ELSE out the window and got ticked for the sake of the orphans!!

I need to remember and listen to all that good teachin’ I am happy to give others and remember that our kids in Nepal are HIS kids and not our responsibility. We are just to do our part, present the vision and trust God for the support. We have already had others who are fully behind what we are doing and I know that God is going to bring even more people to us to take care of the kids.

Today, think about something you are worried about or gotten angry about because you thought you were defending the less fortunate or even God, for that matter. Remember that He has way more power than you, has been around a lot longer and has the ability to actually protect YOU and not the other way around.

Ok. Now I feel better getting that off my chest. Have a great weekend!

A Moment of Transparency with the Holy Crap Book

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I really can’t believe that my book is coming out on June 7th. It has been such an incredibly long and arduous journey getting my thoughts out of my head and into a manuscript. It has taken me 7 years to write and get my book to a publisher and the whole time I was sick was only 5 years.

Now that I am finished with the first phase of getting a finalized manuscript to the publisher I am thinking about what my book could mean to people who read it, good AND bad. I have had to come to grips with the fact that some people are not going to like what I have to say maybe because it is not at their literary level or it is too simple (for those people who want a deep theological discussion, which it is not) or that I strike a nerve in people and their relationship with God by talking about something that really hurts. I have ALWAYS said that if you don’t want to be criticized then don’t put yourself into the public eye. The problem with that philosophy for me is that my story, and what I felt like I learned through it, is more important to share with people who are lost in their hurt with no where to turn than for me to worry about public scrutiny.

Many people may think that I am completely secure in who I am because I joke a lot, talk a lot and like to be the center of attention all the time. I am telling you that there is a real struggle inside when thinking of dealing with hurtful words thrown at me when I am pouring out my heart in a book like Holy Crap. I know that God has been and is my strength but it is still something I know I will deal with as long as people are reading my book and giving feedback.

I guess this blog is a micro version of what my book will be for those who read it; transparent thoughts to help people relate to what I have been through and even currently go through. If God was big enough to get me through the hardest season of my life then He will be able to carry me through this next phase of the story.

Holy Crap! It’s almost time to share my story with the world! I pray that my book will bring healing where there has been hurt and hope where there has been despair. Thanks for coming along on the journey with me!

Some Old Books Contain Timeless Truths

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Anyone who works from an office and has a lot of books will realize something very interesting when you have to move to a new area; you will find books in your collection that are out of date. I have acquired not only books myself through the years but also a full library from my mother-in-law when she died which had ones she got from a pastor friend when he died.

I have always had more books than shelf space through the years and moving into my new office was no different. It was time for me to go through my books and pair down the ones that I was probably not going to use or read anymore. When I was working full time in church as a pastor I would get books from people like George Barna or whoever the “stat” guy/girl was who was talking about why people do what they do in relation to the church and God. I found all kinds of “how to” books on doing things to get people into church but the dates were from 1998, 2003 and a couple from 2010. The thing I realized when I was holding those books is that they were out of date and, in general, irrelevant at this time in history.

Then I came across 2 Bibles that had dates signed in them from 1910 and 1907. Two books that were almost 100 years old and still had relevant truth, timelessness teachings and powerful words to change lives and alter destinies. A book that I try to implement in my life everyday to the point that I have a question that I am going to ask myself starting in 2015. It is the simple statement, “will what I do/say right now give Jesus a good name?”

The teachings of the Bible have shaped me and molded me into the person I am today and will stay with me until I am no longer on this earth. Men through the ages have been known for many things but I want to only be known for living the truths of the Bible out in my life. That is the legacy I want to leave on this earth and to know that I bettered the lives of those I came in contact with from a life-giving, life-changing and life-empowering book, known only as the Bible.

Two Things to STOP and Two Things to START This New Year

1. Stop worrying about defending Jesus and Bible.
The Bible and Jesus have been around for far longer than you and I have even existed. The Word of God has been staving off attacks of all kinds for many many years. The Word has stood the test of time and continues to bring life and direction to all who heed its words. Jesus is in the business of defending YOU and not you worrying about how you are going to defend Him. He is not up in heaven nervous and biting his nails to the quick…so you shouldn’t either. It’s all about asking God for wisdom and to follow the verse in Matthew 10:16 for this new year; “…being wise as serpents and gentle as doves.”

2. Stop worrying about how to evangelize people and just start loving them!
There are so many things that are happening in today’s society contrary to the Word of God and its principles. The hard thing to realize is that many, if not all, of the things happening in our culture today were happening back in Bible times as well. Our CENTRAL focus in life should be how do we “out-LOVE” people around us who are screaming by their actions that they need someone to listen and show them Jesus. The key is when the opportunity comes and someone asks you “why are you being so nice to be?” or “why do you love me even when I can’t seem to love myself?” that you don’t say something like, “well, just because I am trying to make the world a better place.” You can say, “I follow Jesus in my life and he was the GREATEST example of love there ever was or will be. I am just trying to show the world what that love looks like through me in a healthy nonjudgmental way.” Just because you love someone doesn’t mean that you accept everything they do. Jesus loves YOU and he doesn’t always like the things You do either. People giving Jesus control of their lives will happen when you start SHOWING others what a healthy belief in God looks like coupled with loving others.

3. Start praying and asking God for opportunities to show true Christlike love in 2015.
It’s the age old adage; you don’t get what you don’t ask for. We need to realize that God is always speaking but sometimes we are not truly listening to what He has to say. When we ask God for his will to be done “on earth as it is in heaven” we are saying, “God, use me today to bring your love to a lost, hurt and dying world that is falling slowly out of love with itself and doesn’t even know it.”

4. Start believing for the impossible in your life.
When we go through problems in life, we can program ourselves to start believing or looking for the negative in situations. When we start believing for the impossible we open a door of opportunity for God to show up and show off to encourage our faith and lift the life of someone else. We need to start getting worse at unbelief and professionals at seeing the impossible and believing for something GREAT! I truly believe that 2015 will be a year where faith in the unseen will be needed more than ever and that God is looking for those who would see the “possible” in the “impossible.”

Have a great New Years and wonderful start to 2015!! See you next year!

Good Riddance to Moderate Christianity!

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The days of “moderate Christianity” are coming to close, and I say good riddance! I was talking with a couple of different people this past week about all of the “anti-Christmas” situations that have come up in the news. My favorite so far was a Fire Station in some town that had a “Merry Christmas” sign on it. An atheist group filed a complaint with the city so the fire department took their sign down, in compliance, and put up a new sign that read, “Happy Birthday Jesus, We Love You.” Each of these people I was talking to said that it was amazing to see the attack on Christ and Christianity in society and I said, “I think it’s great!” I said, “I think the opposition to Christ that is happening in America is good because it’s weeding out moderate Christians who only have a familiarity with Christ and not a real relationship.”

Never forget that your belief in anything will only have its personal value tested when it is opposed, and this includes being a follower of Christ. Jesus even mentions opposition in the Bible in Matthew 10:22 and also in Mark 13:13 where it says believers in Christ would not just be opposed but hated but that those who endured to the end would be saved. This was not only a forewarning of attacks but even a CONFIRMATION that they were living properly! It was also a word given for followers to make sure and count the cost of following after Jesus. I am not sure in today’s world of consumer Christianity that much cost counting is done before deciding to follow Christ, which makes me very sad. I am not saying this as a judgment but more of an observation of the society we live in and what people are willing to give up for Christ versus giving things up for self. If this wave of challenges concerning Christ and people who follow Jesus will help people get off the fence with their beliefs, I think it could actually be something amazing and good for the church. It can also be a good lesson for Christians to learn to lead with the love of Christ (shocker) instead of conjuring up a lecture ABOUT the love of Christ. Jesus’ words were ALWAYS followed up with action so if I say I am following Him, then my actions better line up in the same way. Have a wonderful holiday and Merry Christmas!

Newtown Connecticut Shooting Observations…

I find it fascinating how people who have no concept of God or evil are trying to make sense of the shootings in Newtown. There are many elements at work here (as there normally are in a tragedy like this one) but the evil and the Spiritual motivations behind it is all the same. The Bible is very clear about the intentions of the devil and his desire for the people of this earth. His objective is to “steal, kill and destroy.” (John 10:10) He doesn’t just want to steal from us in this life nor does just he want to even kill us. He wants to destroy us. Now destroy to me is different than the other two because it has to do with not just harming the target but including repercussions that will affect everyone around. I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but there is not a quick solution to where we are as a society. The current government wants to make people feel temporarily better by suggesting that portions of the 2nd amendment be taken away from law abiding citizens but not many are talking about the importance of putting mental health and violent movies and video games into the mix. It has been floated as ideas but all the talk is about “get the evil guns.” The answer to all these problems can be found in a devil that wants to “steal, kill and destroy.” As a pastor, these are wonderful times to take inventory and see if I am doing everything I can to reach out to those “different” people in our world that fit the profile of all the killers in recent memory. I always like to think that I am a friendly person but if I am not offering Jesus as much as my humor to a hurting person then I am just becoming part of the noise in that persons life. If you are a follower of Christ you need to temper everything you are hearing on the news and on the Internet with the compassion of Christ. Flesh will never be able to explain the fruit of the spiritual especially in a situation like the one unfolding in front of us. Prayer is the only solution to what ails America and thoughtful conversation, not knee jerk guns laws and stirring people’s emotions for a political agenda. I don’t know about you, but i have NEVER made a good decision about ANYTHING while thinking with my emotions. Everyone in this conversation needs to step back and have a thoughtful conversation about what is best for the country but all people who know Jesus and know how to pray need to be interceding on behalf of the families of this tragedy and the lawmakers who are making decisions that will affect us all. If you are not praying for this situation in our country as much as your are “preparing for the worst” then stop calling yourself a follower of Christ. I have learned in life that I can’t complain and be worried as well as praying and focusing on Christ. It’s just the way God has wired us all. God bless America and God bless the families affected by this tragedy.

Last Night in Nepal

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Well, we had a great trip to the boarder of Nepal next to Tibet. We spent three days just loving on the people and doing dental work, handing out glasses and praying for the sick. We saw about 195 people in the eye clinic and about 170 in the glasses. We also got to pray for about 16 people and saw one lady accept Jesus into her heart and one man healed of chest pain. I loved just sitting and listening to all the stories of the people we came in contact with. Some people on the last day took a bus from their house and walked three hours up the mountain to where we were ministering. Many if not all of the people we saw had never been to a dentist or an eye doctor in their entire life. The church got all the names and addresses of the people who came to see us so it was a great time of spreading seed of God’s love as well as just praying for people and letting them know about the love of Jesus. We so appreciate the doctors and their wives who came at their own expense to touch the lives of so many people who desperately needed to see and experience the love of God through action.
The awesome thing is that you don’t have to go to Nepal to show the Love of Jesus to the world around you. Many times we say, “if I could only go to a far away country and show people that Jesus loves them…” But you have friends and family that need to see Jesus’ love on display and not in some foreign country. I challenge you today to ask God to give you an opportunity to share His love and to be used by Him. Many times we wait for moments to “stumble upon” a person or situation that needs a God infusion instead of being targeted with our requests and then letting God do the rest!! Have a great night/day and our next stop is a 9 hour layover in London!! Woohoo!! Good times and we will see everyone Sunday am!

Thanks for the prayers! The orphan supplies made it!

You will notice the notes we added to the suit cases for people to not steal our supplies. You never know who is in your bags when you are traveling overseas. 🙂 Notes to thieves combined with prayer makes all the difference in the world!

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