Shocked!

There are times in your life, when the words leave you.  You just don’t know what to say or how to say it.  You know what you are feeling, thinking and living, but it’s almost impossible to communicate.

The Spirit has really been talking to me, teaching me and growing me in the last couple of years.  And just when I think I’m beginning to really get it, the Spirit just keeps on bringing it!

For well over a year now, the Spirit has been growing a burden in my heart for the lost.  Especially for the lost that think they are found.  I have met, talked and ministered to at least a thousand people in the last year that are spiritually homeless.  These are very special people, they look, act, talk, love, and live just like you and me.  The difference that we often preoccupy ourselves with is how they live, but the difference we really need to be concerned with is how they die!

Here is the burden that the Spirit has been growing in my heart:  “If I miss the opportunities that God is giving me to share His amazing grace with others, then they very likely will die without the gift that God has for them of a Heavenly home.”  Many would say to me:  “You are putting too much pressure on yourself!”  And I have to respond:  “No, I am not allowing enough of the right pressure to shape and direct the focus and actions of my life!”

A big problem for me is forgetting the obvious.  I get so distracted by life, that I sometimes miss the many of the opportunities that the Spirit provides for me to share with others.  I could feel this burden growing inside of me, even though I had no idea how to express it.  At one point today, as I was trying to think my way through it, I felt the Spirit leading me to go out with my camera to a certain place.

So I headed out and was taking a few moments to walk through the woods with my camera.  Spending a little time with my Creator in His creation and snapping shots of things that caught my eye – here are a few:

Hard to find this style!
Beautiful New Life!
Not My Cup Of Tea!

As I was walking on through the woods, listening to the sounds of nature and actually allowing my mind, heart and spirit to rest, something caught my eye that I had not ever noticed before.  It looked like someone had built a building of some sort and this really surprised me, because I knew this property and was pretty sure that no one would be or should be building on it.  I moved in for a closer look and discovered that it was more than a building or a club house!

I thought some kids had built a club-house!
This was not a kid's club-house!

As I moved in closer, I could see that this was more than the work of some kids!

This was someone's home!

Someone was or had been living here.  I walked up very slowly, wondering if someone might be at home.  I moved around the shelter quietly and could see that there was no one inside.  When I looked inside, it was obvious that someone had been or is currently living here.

No one is home!
Clothes in a box and a makeshift bed!
A wall divider and little fire pit!

As I looked inside, I halfway felt like someone might be looking back at me.  I actually was a little scared, but looking forward to possibility of meeting someone.  There was no one home, but it was obvious that someone had made this their home.  There was a box of clothes, a makeshift bed, divider wall made of dried bamboo canes, a fire pit, a bottle of water, a torn up cooler and a bucket.

I was in shock!

I was in shock and I did not want to leave, but knew that I could not stay.  I walked back through the woods and made my way back to my truck thinking to myself:  “Even though I know this is a reality, because I have talked to and ministered to some of these very people, it is still hard for me to believe that people live this way today in the United States of America.

In my heart, there was something even bigger eating away at me and it wasn’t until I had spent a few hours in prayer and contemplation that it really started to come together and make sense.

Physical homelessness is a very sad thing, I don’t like it and I want to do all I can to help in any way that I can.  But worse than physical homelessness is spiritual homelessness and the spiritually homeless are dying everyday and heading into eternity without the benefit of their Heavenly home which God offers as a gift to anyone that will receive it.

If I, if we don’t do something about it, then multitudes are going to be spiritually homeless, not just for their life here on this earth, but for all eternity.  The really sad thing is – we are not just talking about strangers here, we are talking about family, friends, co-workers, classmates, neighbors and acquaintances.

Lord, Please forgive me for all of the time and energy I have wasted and please help me to make the most of whatever time I have left on this earth and in this life to reach out to the spiritually homeless with Your precious gift of amazing grace so that we all might enjoy the gift of Your Heavenly Home for all eternity!

You Will!

You Will - He Says So!

When I read about the early church in the book of Acts, I am always amazed and excited about the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of such ordinary men and women.

In my life time, I have caught glimpses of the Holy Spirit working in this amazing way, but I long to see it, like I read it in Acts.  Ordinary men and women totally changed their lives and world in the span of one generation, all because of the vision of Jesus and the filling of the Holy Spirit.

In Acts 1:8 Jesus tells His disciples, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

The really cool thing about what Jesus is saying us in this verse, is that it is both a promise and a command.  There is the promise of the Holy Spirit and the command to be His witnesses.

It starts with “you will”, not “you might, but “you will!”  Jesus is saying:  You – ordinary will be – extraordinary.  And what Jesus said became reality.  We are the testimony that shouts out to the world:  “Jesus Was Right, Because Here I Am!”

Now, here is the big question that you and I have to answer – “WILL WE?”  Do you believe that when Jesus said in Acts 1:8 “you will”, that He was talking to you and me? I believe He was and if you believe the same thing, then that brings you to another question.

How will you live out the reality of Acts 1:8 in the world, time and space that you are living in right now?  This is a question worth asking and worth answering, so take a little time, think it through and let the Holy Spirit guide and grow you!

A Work Of Art!

A Work In His Hands!

What would happen if you really believed that God created you to be His witness, so that you could change this world for His glory?  Would that change the way you live, the things you say and the things you do?  You bet it would and it does!

We are ordinary and this is what allows God to be extraordinary in and through us.  There are social needs all around us crying out for a touch of the supernatural.  There are growing spiritual needs that challenge all of us to be and do more of what we were created for.

God is our Creator and we are His work of art!  God takes what is ordinary, lifeless and often ugly and does what only He can do – turn us into something extraordinary, alive and beautiful.

God is into raising eyebrows and opening people’s mouths.  God is into taking hopeless and turning it into hopeful.  God is into chasing away the darkness with the bright light of His presence.  God is into making death come crashing out of the grave alive and well.

When God steps into our lives, despair, darkness and depression must step out!  What looks like the end to most people, is really just another beginning with God.  You are more than just a work of art, you are a masterpiece.  Stop living in the limitations of man and start living in the grand expectations of Almighty God!

Isaiah 64:8 says: “Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

Lord,  You created me, formed me from nothing into something.  You redeemed me, took my life of no value and gave it value beyond comprehension.  You took what was dead and made it alive.  Please help me to see, understand, believe and realize that I was created in Christ to do good works that change this world that I live in for Your glory.  Help me to grab hold of what You created me for and to never let go.  May my life lived in submission to You, bring blessing to others and glory to You!