Author: Christopher
•9:02 AM
Random thoughts (not necessarily Bible stuff):

We have a business coach at work. One of our requirements was to write out our Life Purpose.

Take two or three qualities about yourself that you really like. I would write out a bunch, say around 20, and then number them 1 to 20 in order of importance. Then write down 3 things that you enjoy doing, that bring you a sense of fulfillment. Again, write down several and narrow it down to your top 3. Then write out what a perfect world would be like; "In a perfect world everyone would be _________." Now put it all together.

Mine came out as: My Life Purpose is to use my spiritual acuity, mental brilliance (hee hee), artistic ability, and communication skills to serve, nurture, love and teach others that they might come to know, love, worship, and walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.

When I wrote this out, I realized that I have been doing this all along since the day that I got saved. It has been my underlying framework. Now, I need to get it more in the open so that I am living in my 'sweet spot.'

The business coach also has us looking for the company Vision, Mission Statement, etc. I am very excited about learning these things, and applying them. It has started me reading a bunch of books.

I am thoroughly loving "The E Myth Revisited" and would force every kid in high school and college to read it. It is full of wisdom and insight. 80% of small businesses fail in the first 2 years. This book explains why, and then explains how to avoid failure. Great stuff. ('force' isn't a strong enough word, btw)

I then read "The Houdini Solution" which is about thinking INSIDE the box. It was written by a Madison Avenue advertising man. He talks about the walls, the limitations, that are put on any good ad. "It can't be funny; we don't do funny." "It has to be about family; we're all about family." etc. Limitations force us to be creative. So to solve any problem, first make a box. Outside write all the limitations. Then ask, Can any of these walls be budged? Then find something that works INSIDE the box. It was a good book, but I am still unconvinced LOL . I don't believe in walls.

I am now reading "Edison On Innovation" which is a detailed look at the man who invented the light bulb, the movie projector, the phonograph, the .... well, you get the idea.

We all know that Edison was all about Trial And Error, but this book looks more at the thought processes of this genius. He did not start toward theory and work to reality; he started with reality, immersed himself in it, learned every detail of it, and that prompted him to make certain connections in his mind toward a new invention. One of his goals was to have stocked at his laboratory "every" material known to man; every thing must be on hand so that the invention process can proceed unhindered. He was meticulous, taking detailed notes, and keeping minute records so that he would never have to repeat an experiment. He didn't see success & failure, he saw all results as good; even failures revealed knowledge that he would often use in future experiments. Edison was very reality based. He didn't like book learning because it created the appearance of learning without actually being fully immersed in a subject. He did read far and wide, and studied up on any subject he could...but experimentation was key to making it his own. He believed in making profitable innovations on existing products to pay the bills while he worked on never-before-seen inventions. He studied systems, and often improved the system to make a cheaper product. He didn't waste his time on creating things people didn't want. He had once made a great invention that nobody wanted to buy, so from then on, he studied marketing. Who was his target customer? What didn't they like about existing products? How could he correct those weaknesses, and make a better product?

Good stuff! Love the reality viewpoint. Love the emphasis on systems. Love the hands-on approach.

I am also reading "The Alchemist" which is the story of an Andalusian shepherd. He sets off to find his treasure in Egypt. The book follows him through victories, upsets, and side-tracks. This is Will Smith's favorite book. It's kinda metaphysical, and rejects the mind-stifling deadness of religion (which I also reject). It is really good, and mind-stretching. There is a running theme of 'omens' throughout the book which I re-interpret as the sparkling 'God-crumbs' that you encounter when you are walking God's path. For example, if we wouldn't have intended in our hearts to leave Akron and move to Columbus, we would have never visited the apartment complex where the lady at the desk pointed us toward this apartment complex. When that happened, I immediately sensed a God-touch on it; the Lord was directing us. In the book, these are called 'omens.' I don't like the word, but I agree with the idea.

For example, yesterday, Becca and I painted a calendar on our wall. It covers one year of our lives. In this one year, my goal is to read, read, read and study business books. Why? So that we won't make wrong decisions when we start off toward our Vision (whatever that is LOL). Becca is reading one biography every week and studying the person for their vision, their 'big why,' their mis-steps, their first big breaks, etc. She started with Celine Dion, and immediately identified with her. The omen? The God dust sprinkled for Becca to find? Both of them come from bigger families, they both enjoyed singing for family, they both love the thrill of applause, they both want horses, etc. It was like the Lord was encouraging Becky as she started on this new road.

Anyway, we are attempting to 'sharpen our axe' before we start swinging later on. Hopefully, with increased knowledge will come increased confidence, and then increased success. We want to be more than what we are, to show forth what God can do in people...something besides sitting in a pew waiting for Jesus to come back. (ptui!)
Author: Christopher
•9:01 AM
Okay, this is good stuff. I'm going to take some things that I have learned from the book 'The E Myth Revisited' and tie it into why we as Christians aren't going anywhere for God.

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

That's what the Bible says. God said it.

So where are all the great victories? Where are all the accomplishments for Christ?

There are 3 types of people in the world. 10% are Entrepreneurs. 20% are Managers. And 70% of us are Technicians.

The Entrepreneurs are the dreamers. They are the ones running toward the horizon, charging Hell with a squirt gun. They live in the Future. They are optimists. They always see the happy ending. They never consider failure. The world is full of possibilities, full of victories to be won!

But only 10% of us are Entrepreneurs.

20% are Managers. The Manager lives in the Past. He is all about organizing chaos. He looks at the financial history...and makes a chart, or a graph. He looks at the employee's behavior...and makes a method to fix poor performance, or rewards good performance. He likes order. He is not so much concerned with the result as long as we get there in a nice, predictable, orderly fashion.

And the rest of us, a whopping 70%, are Technicians.

What's a Technician? Anybody who is a Doer. Are you a painter? A seller? A plumber, a roofer, a dentist, a baker, a graphic artist, an author? You are a Technician. These folks are the ones who accomplish the work that the Manager manages. They are the backbone of society. They are sweat and blood and elbow grease. They live in the Present. They are here and now people. They don't have time for future dreams, they have to focus on paying today's bills. They don't have time for strategies, and planning, and horizons...they need to focus on the task at hand.

Most of us are Technicians.

When we read "I can do all things through Christ" we don't see the verse through the eyes of a pioneering Entrepreneur like Paul the Apostle. He saw Christ in him as the source of strength by which he could climb any mountain, reach farther than he had ever reached before, build a kingdom where none had ever existed, etc.

No. We are Technicians. We live in the Present. We see "I can do all things through Christ" as a Technician does. We read it as:

"I can survive all the things that God throws at me today through Christ"

We have a life-preserver where Paul had rocket fuel.

We have a safety net where Paul had a steam engine.

When was the last time that you looked at the future? When was the last time that you set down your tools and picked up your imagination, and dreamed a BIG dream for God?

There is a pioneer inside of you. There is an Entrepreneur that lies inside each of us.

Go ahead! Dream the dream!

Launch out! Take the step! Get a vision for God!

"I can." Just think about it.
Author: Christopher
•11:23 AM
Okay, this is for the kiddoes but it may be a big help to other readers.

How do I deal with a past hurt? Let's take for example the fella who says, "My parents hurt me when I was a kid, and I still carry the root of bitterness in my heart."

The typical solution is for a well-meaning friend to say that God will work it out for good. He will eventually take the ashes and turn them into beauty, and will eventually turn our mourning into dancing.

Yeah, right. I was born in the morning but it wasn't yesterday morning. All your advice did there was say that God couldn't prevent the hurt from happening to me. So I end up with a secret and hidden, but very real bitterness toward God (who could have prevented it, but didn't), and toward my parents/teacher/friend who actually hurt me. You just made the matter worse.

I talked to an atheist lady once about Jesus. She said that she didn't believe in God. So I asked the question:

"How did He hurt you?"

And she began to cry.

"How could he take my mom away from me? Why would he take a mom from a little girl?"

It's not that she didn't believe in God, she just didn't believe in a God who would hurt her like that. She didn't want to believe in a God who was cruel.

Now listen, I believe that many Christians have a lack luster walk with God because they know that they SHOULD walk with God, but they really don't WANT to because of hidden pains, and unforgiveness toward him. They are not whole-hearted; they "oppose themselves.' (2 Tim 2) They run as fast as they dare after God, but they are afraid to ever really catch him.

"Be not deceived, evil communications corrupt good manners." That is, wrong teaching on this subject has brought about a lot of poor walks with God.

Okay, so what is the biblical way to deal with this situation? It's simple: Thankfulness. That's it.

"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; " (Eph 5)

It's not enough to claim Romans 8:28 and say that 'God will eventually work this for good' and therefore I will be thankful for the result. No, we have to be thankful FOR the thing that hurt us.

I remember taking Evan to the doctor to have a boil on his leg lanced. Ouch. Because of his limited knowledge and understanding, all I could offer him was "TRUST me, honey. This is a good thing." But it hurt. And I hurt for him.

But it was good and necessary. And he trusted me, and I held him down. And I allowed him to be hurt. No, I brought him to the doctor and caused him to be hurt. I did it on purpose.

Now listen, our God is sovereign. He controls all things. He doesn't just ALLOW things to happen to us, he brings them on us. And sometimes they hurt us.

"HOW CRUEL!" you say.

But that is the response of someone who doesn't know that God is good and that I can trust him with everything, for everything, and in everything. He is ALWAYS good, and can always be trusted.

So, next time you are tempted to say, "Why did God allow that happen?" stop yourself and say, "God caused this to happen." But then, with faith in your heart, say, "Thank you. I trust that this is GOOD because it comes from the hand of my loving Father. I don't understand it. I HATE it. I am angry. But, Father, since it is YOU who has done this, then it is good. Thank you."

Sure it will be hard. It will take a lot of faith. It won't feel right to lay such a huge hurt at the feet of God, but it's okay. He can handle it. And he won't get angry with you for doing it.

He always loves you. He always has. He always will.

We usually fail in this faith response. This right here is where we mess up. We doubt that God is good, and rather than trusting him in FAITH, we respond with doubt like the lady who became an atheist. We turn away because we don't trust him anymore.

But God loves you. He always has. He always will.

Trust him.

Thank him.

That's it.
Author: Christopher
•6:52 PM
The Haven of Rest is a church-supported ministry to people who are homeless. It is a wonderful ministry. I had been asked to preach there one evening, and so I was sitting on the platform waiting for the song service to finish.

Actually, waiting is too calm of a word. I was fidgeting ... very calmly. Ever heard the one about the duck who is peaceful on the top but paddling like mad underneath? That was me. I was on the platform about to preach to a hundred strangers, and I had no idea what I was going to say!

As the song service came to a close, I walked 'confidently' to the podium. Sometimes you just have to do these things by faith. I opened my Bible to Isaiah 53, and began to speak at verse 1.

Soon I was preaching the Cross of Jesus in the flowing river of the Spirit of God. God took over. I don't even remember what I said.

When I finished, I gave an invitation. Probably 8 or 9 people came forward, several for salvation. I was told later that the women who came from the back rows were very hardened to the gospel, but even some of them came forward to get saved!

Among those at the altar was a man in his mid-thirties. I prayed for him, and then he started to walk away.

"Wait a minute," I said, "come here for a second."

When he did, I put my arms around him and hugged him like he was a prodigal son coming home. He began to cry. And cry.

He told me, "I've been asking God for a hug all day, and he just gave it to me."

Turns out the fella was a Bible school graduate who was going through some pretty awful marital problems. He didn't know where to turn, and had ended up at the Haven of Rest. He really needed to know that God had not abandoned him.

And apparently he hadn't! He sent me there to show him the love of God!

"The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms:" Deut 33:27
Author: Christopher
•10:17 PM
As I've mentioned in previous posts, I used to work with Child Evangelism Fellowship all over the city. I led clubs myself, but I was also a helper. Mainly, I was the puppet guy.

I had a little African-American puppet named Tyrone who was on loan for the summer. I had so much fun with him! He liked to do an imitation of Michael Jackson complete with sequined glove and black hat. Once, he did a Karate Kid imitation wearing a white karate outfit. Mostly, he just sang songs (badly), and joked with the kids.

One day, I went to my mailbox at the church. Technically, it was the mailbox for the youth ministry...but that was me most of the time, so it was my mailbox :) Anyway, there was a flyer for a Puppet Ministry School in the mailbox. How cool.

And, they were going to give away a professional puppet!

I prayed a very quick prayer, "Lord, we could really use that puppet in the ministry, but make sure that it goes to the folks who need it the most. And Lord, I'm only asking this once, so if it's for me, I'd like to have it. Thank you."

Weeks passed, and eventually the day of the Puppet School arrived.

There must have been 300 people there! I was sitting in the front row (because I'm a geek, and always sit in the front row; a good habit that I developed in school). We were all holding on to our tickets until the the give away at the end of the night. When the time came, they brought out a pretty girl puppet. They drew a ticket from a hat, and ...

It wasn't mine.

Yep. That stunk.

But I had asked the Lord that they give the puppet to the ministry that needed it most.

"There are so many of you here today, that we have decided to give away a second puppet."

Really!?!

And the puppet fella walked over to ME, and stuck the hat right in front of me.

"Draw a ticket."

I did.

"Please read it loud enough for everyone to hear."

I read the numbers out loud, and smiled.

"It's my number," I said.

He didn't believe me. I showed him my ticket alongside of the other one. It was mine.

I was so excited! My first real answer to prayer. A professional puppet with break-away legs, and they even threw in a pair of puppeteering bracelets and sticks so that I could move his hands.

I named him Isaac because he came to me through faith.

Isn't the Lord awesome?
Author: Christopher
•12:30 PM
Every Christian is centered on something, and not necessarily on Christ.

There are 3 usual centers for the Christian. These are: the Lord Jesus Christ himself as a living, resurrected Saviour, the local Church, or the Scriptures.

1) How can you tell if a Christian is focused on the Scriptures?

They look and act like the Pharisees. The keeping of the commandments is more important than people. They walk by the rule of "Thou shalt not" instead of the Law of Love. They have an invisible rule book that is always with them, and they refer to it often. They will let you know when YOU have transgressed, but they often transgress themselves in other more important ways (which they refuse to talk about). These sorts are always smiling on the outside, but always frustrated on the inside. They see God as having a giant spanking spoon that hovers continually over them, ready to administer the proper punishment.

Now, we ought to be lovers of the Book, and studiers of the Book. I am not saying that we shouldn't be. What I am saying, is there are some who have substituted the Bible for the Lord. They worship the word, not the Word.

Jesus addresses this crowd in John 5:39, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."

Eternal life is not in the Book, it is in the Son (1 John 5). The Bible was given to bring us to the Saviour. The Law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ (Galatians).



2) Then there are those who are focused on the Church.

This type is closely linked to the first type. Their church is the center of their existence. They won't miss a single church service, but they will miss their children's birthday parties. They won't miss Saturday morning visitation, but they will miss making pancakes with their family every Saturday. They believe that revival is 'more people coming to church,' and they count heads on special days, and keep records that they hope to beat the following year.

Sure, they'll tell you that their interest in the church is because they're interested in people, but those people closest to them are farthest from them. They yell at their children every Sunday morning: "Get dressed!" "Hurry up!" "C'mon!" Their voices are angry as they yell at the ones whom God has given them to love and cherish, while on their way to their beloved church.

The truth is, they are impatient with people who get in the way of their trying to please God.

This is very backwards to the plan of God! The family came before the church (Genesis comes before the Gospels).


3) Those who are Jesus centered.

These folks are gracious to others because they know that the Lord is in control. They have liberty to live in the wonderful acceptance of God, and they do. They have friends outside of the church. They can talk about things outside of the Scriptures. They have peace.

They are in no hurry to check off the items of a religious checklist.

Didn't Jesus take care of that list anyway?

If they have to take their child to a Sunday morning doctor's appointment (like when Evan broke his elbow), they don't worry about it. God doesn't need them to carry on with the church service. And there is no condemnation for missing church, because they are walking according to the law of love.

These people talk about fellowshipping with Jesus in a very real way that makes the religious person uncomfortable. They talk about answers to prayers, and the presence of the God, and the gifts of the Spirit, much to the consternation of those who are seeking God with all their strength, but who have never learned to rest in the strength of God.

They are the prodigals who know they are prodigals, but who have come home to fatted calves and music and dancing. And their religious older brothers are angry at their joy (aren't they more worthy?).

Jesus centered people are all about grace and liberty, and love and joy. And whole-hearted worship. They raise their hands, they dance, they rejoice and make fools of themselves in loving their Saviour.

The religious man doesn't get it. The local church folks don't get it.

And that is Okay!! LOL











Author: Christopher
•1:45 AM
The Lord called me to go to Bible College.

But I didn't have the money.

Now, this particular college was a smaller college, and they didn't charge any fees except for books and insurance. I needed $500 each semester.

I can remember my Uncle pulling me aside and saying that he wanted to give me part of his Christmas bonus; that paid for one semester.

I can remember a friend pulling me aside and giving me a check. "This is for you." Another check for $500.

On and on it went. Two semesters my first year. Two semesters my second year. One semester my third year. And then I was on my last semester.

The money was due in a week, and I didn't have any of it. But I wasn't worried at all. I was just watching. How was my Father going to pay this time?

He never spoke to TWO people during the same semester. I mean, it wasn't like a semester would come and I'd get three $500 checks, and then another semester would come and I wouldn't get any.

No, it was one semester = one check.

So, three days before the last payment was due, the phone rang. It was a friend of my mother. She wanted to meet with me and my brother (who was also going to the same school, and who was also broke). I said, "This is it."

She asked if she could meet us for lunch at a restaurant.

"Sure thing."

And after lunch? She gave us each checks for $500.

God is the God of Provision.

No doubt about it.
Author: Christopher
•12:55 AM
Every once in awhile I start writing down answers to prayers, but then I usually have so many of them that I forget to write anything down. Here is a list that I have in the back of my Bible for 2005 and 2006.

- April 2005 New lawn mower. I needed to mow the lawn but I didn't have a mower. I prayed and asked the Lord for one. Then I called my brother to borrow his in the meantime. He told me that he had just purchased a fancy new one, and that I could have his old one. It just needed a new part. He gave me the part too. I used it up until I gave it away in August of this year (2009).

- Unk date. Becky and I were down in southern Ohio at a church meeting. At the time, we were missionaries raising support to go to Sri Lanka. The meeting lasted all week. On the next to last day, we realized that we had figured our bank account wrong; we had no money to get home. We prayed to our Daddy to take care of his children. The next morning at breakfast I was sitting across from another missionary. We started swapping stories about God's provision. He mentioned going to a church with no money left to get home. I laughed and told him that my wife were currently in that exact position. He looked at me, and then reached into his wallet. He gave me a $100 bill. Then he said, "I was in that exact same position about a year ago. The Lord took care of me then, and I told him that I wanted to do the same for somebody this year. I have been carrying that $100 bill around since Sunday asking God who he wanted me to give it to, and he just showed me."

- June 17, 05 We had $0 money in the bank, and the gas tank was on E. We prayed and a relative came over and gave us $20 (without us asking).

- June 26, 05 Still without any money, the summer was getting hotter. We needed an air conditioned really badly. $200 came in the mail from a church that we knew. Praise God!

- July 8, 05 I forget why, but I needed to go to Bowling Green on Sunday (probably missionary stuff). I asked the Lord for $20 on July 7th, and $25 came in the mail the next day.

- July 05 Our church gave me a job watching the new church construction site. I was basically the night watchman. They paid me $10/hr. What a blessing during this time. (Becca was very, very sick with our 2nd pregnancy, and I wasn't able to work because I was taking care of her.)

- Nov 10, 05 Evan Charlie was born 4 weeks early and weighed 8 lbs 11 oz!!

- Our church fixed our car 3 times!

- March 3, 05 Still struggling financially. Rent was due. Grandpa called out of the blue and told us that we didn't have to pay that month! We had been praying so hard, and this was a huge miracle for us.

- Evan's belly button hernia is healing up great.

- LOL I got a speeding ticket for going thru a school zone. I still don't know where this school is at! The ticket came in the mail. It was for $35. Funny thing is my sister just gave me $40. (Don't think of it as a blessing robbed; think of it as a need provided for!)

- March 18, 06 Went to visit Grandma. She gave us $270, so we were able to pay insurance on the last day!

- April 28, 06 We didn't have any money for diapers for Aidan. A friend bought some and brought them over to us.

- May 11, 06 I had been praying to win a soul to the Lord. A friend of mine and I were at Giant Eagle, when a kid came up to us asking for a ride into the next town. He needed to catch a Greyhound bus. It was 1/2 hr drive, but we said sure. I started talking to him about the Lord, and when we got to the bus station, he prayed and asked the Lord to save him. (Note: I asked him, would you like to ask Jesus to be your Saviour? He was very excited about the idea and said something like, YEAH! Can I do it now?) Awesome.

- May 14, 06 Went to Camp Meeting. I asked God for 2 things: for a bottom floor room, and for our extra night to be paid for. He did both.

- May 20, 06 Needed Pedialyte for Aidan and Gatorade for Becca. No money. God provided.

- May 25, 06 Needed diapers again for Aidan. Grandma provided the money.

- May 25, 06 We had thrown out our couch a week or so before because mice had gotten into the house, and were living in the couch. Gross!! We asked God for a new couch. Out of nowhere, my Uncle bought a new couch for Grandma...and she gave us hers. We still have it today.

- July 12, 06 Becca's teeth were really bad after the pregnancy. She had x-rays done showing she needed root canals all around her mouth. A couple of weeks ago, I anointed her with oil. Today, the x-rays showed no cavities on the left side of her mouth. They'd all been healed! (The right side was a different story, but Becca asked the Lord NOT to heal the ones on the right side so that she would have a reminded to take better care of her teeth.)

- July 19, 06 One of my favorites. We did not have a refrigerator that worked. We had gone all winter using the porch as a frig LOL We had a 'frig but it didn't work well. We went to Home Depot to put one on a credit card. The card was denied. Rather than be upset, I looked at Becca and said, "God is doing something. He wants to do something different." That night at church, the pastor said that they were closing down the child daycare wing of the building. There were some things there that people could take if they wanted. The first thing he said was a refrigerator! I ran right up and asked for it. And we had it until we moved and gave it away in August 09.

- July 23, 06 Becca told me that "we're almost out of baby food." Within 5 minutes, my mother showed up and asked if the kids needed anything. Wow.

- August 5, 06 This meant a lot to me. Aidan was just a little guy, and he was constipated. He hated suppositories, and I had promised him that I would never give one to him again. But here he was in the same situation again. I prayed for him, and asked Jesus to take care of it. The next day, he pooped 4x. That was so huge for me at the time.

- October 06 Another of my favorites. I was driving down the road talking to Jesus. He was in the passenger seat, and I was talking away. He was so real, so close,... I decided to take advantage, and said, "Lord, would you put new tires on our car?" They were really bare. POP!!
The left front tire exploded as soon as I had asked. I laughed! God has a sense of humor. I put on the spare and drove home. "Becca," I asked, "Do you believe in coincidences?" "No," she said, not knowing where I was going with it. I told her what had happened. Then I said, "God is going to give us new tires!" I was so excited! Well, within 8 days, word had spread of the blow-out and my sister paid to put new tires on the car! Thanks to her and to Jesus!

- Well, I have to get to bed, but I have time for one more. It was autumn, and the leaves were piled up all over our yard. The City had signs up saying that they were collecting leaves the next morning. I didn't have a rake, or the energy to do our huge yard. I prayed, "Lord, I need about $50 to buy a leaf blower, and a check won't do; I need cash!" I went over to the mailbox, and a letter was inside with $500 in cash inside. WHAT!? Praise the Lord! We went shopping, bought a coat for Aidan, and a leaf blower for me.

There are many, many, many specific answers to prayer that I could record. Maybe I'll put some more in the blog later. But here is a verse for you, "If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you." Answered prayer is conditional upon walking in the Spirit, and hiding God's word in your heart.
Author: Christopher
•5:00 PM
I just emailed this to a gentleman who believes that Matthew 24 does not apply to today's believer.

I had stated that I believed the Rapture was AFTER the Tribulation (which is a reference to Matt. 24:29, "Immediately after the tribulation of those days ...") Read it. It's AWESOME!!


Anyway, he said that what Jesus said in Matthew 24 was NOT for me today. It was for Israel.

Well, I Tim 6:3 says, "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ,..." You can't just dismiss the words of Jesus that quickly.

This is an excellent example of what I talked about in 'Dispensational Dishonesty.' Not that he was being dishonest, but he has picked it up from somebody else, who picked it up from somebody else, ...ad nauseum...and nobody has bothered to read the Scriptures on it.

Here is what I responded. May it be a help to you:

You are correct. If you don't get Israel right, you don't get Scripture right.

Check out Mark Webb's "Parable of Two Trains."

http://www.imperishableinheritance.com/2006/the-parable-of-the-two-trains/

This is what I believe, more or less. There is a smooth transition between the Old to the New Covenants. The trains are different, but the passengers are the same. The passengers have merely switched trains.

Abraham was saved by faith (Rom 4). David was also. But how can that be? As Spurgeon says, "Jesus is the Saviour of the body (Eph 5:23), and besides which I know not that he is the Saviour of any other." Spurgeon believed that the OT saints were members of the same body as the NT saints!

If Jesus is the Saviour of only the Body, and Abraham was saved, then Abraham is part of the Body.

What I believe is plainly laid in Scripture:

Example #1: Jesus said in John 10:16 "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold [a fold existing before the Cross!]: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." He had the Jewish fold. He had other sheep of the Gentile fold. The Gentile fold he would bring and add to his Jewish fold, and there would be one fold. This was spoken BEFORE the Cross! The Gentiles would be added to the flock that existed before the Cross.

Example #2: Paul said in Romans 11 that the Gentiles are a wild olive tree. This new tree does NOT replace the old olive tree, but is grafted into old olive tree; it is PART OF IT, not a replacement for it! "And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;" Now the Tree itself is Christ ("I am the vine"). The believing OT branches were NOT broken off, only the non-believing branches. To these were added new branches - the Gentiles of the NT. SO we are members of the SAME TREE, we have the SAME ROOT.

Example #3: Paul says that we Gentiles are built upon a building that includes the apostles and prophets. Christ was their foundation, and he is ours as well.

Same foundation. Same root. Same building. Same flock.

Haven't you ever wondered why the New Jerusalem has foundations named after the 12 apostles (New Testament) but gates names after the 12 tribes (Old Testament)? John Bunyan (author of Pilgrim's Progress) stated that this was clear evidence that the OT saints and NT saints were of one body, one bride. I agree with him.


Because you have separated Israel from YOURSELF, you miss the point that Matthew 24 applies to you.

But Matthew 24 discusses the fate of the 'elect' of God. Who are the 'elect'? Old Testament believers? Yes. But also, New Testament believers:

1. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect?
2. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies,
3.Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes,
etc.

Paul tells us again: "But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter" (Rom 2) and again "For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: " (Rom 9)

This is not Replacement Theology. We don't take the place of Israel; we are joined to them.

With this in mind, you can see why the OT saints had to wait in Abraham's Bosom until the Cross. They were not suited for heaven until after the Cross. Or as Paul says in Hebrews "That they without us should not be made perfect." But if they were made 'perfect' after the Cross, just like us, then what separates them from us?

I urge you to re-think and re-study your position.

I hope I haven't offended you in anyway. That was not my purpose. I just love to teach people the word of God, and at times I'm like a fire hose...hope I didn't put too much in here! LOL

Amen.
Author: Christopher
•2:01 PM
Yesterday at a luncheon, I was talking to the fella who helped start our Healing Prayer Team.

He told me about a college age girl here in Columbus who is blind in one eye. She doesn't have any optic nerve on the right eye.

However, she was prayed over to receive her sight.

And she can see out of that eye.

She still doesn't have an optic nerve on the right eye.

But she sees anyway.

Glory!!



This reminds me of my former pastor. He had a detached retina which was the result of a car accident.

One day as he was praying, he felt a burning (in a good way) behind his eye.

He went to the doctor to have it checked out.

His retina had re-attached itself!

The doctor wrote in his folder "Miracle of God."

Glory to God!!



I remember at my first church there was a new Christian who was very excited about the Lord.

He had seen the pastor and elders lay hands on people for healing, and so when he heard his grandmother had cataracts, he gave it a try.

( O! for the faith of someone who doesn't know any better!! )

He'd visit her every Wednesday. And every Wednesday, he'd put his hands on her eyes and pray for them.

He did this for 4 weeks. Then grandma had her next eye appointment.

Her doctor told her to keep doing whatever it was she was doing, because cataracts just doesn't get better, and hers had improved noticeably.

Glory to God Almighty!!
Author: Christopher
•11:25 AM
Okay, this one may get me in trouble with the brethren, so I'm not posting it for anybody but the kids. :)

I got saved under the teaching of Dr. Ruckman. Ruckman was heavily influenced by Bullinger, and hence, a hyper-dispensationalist. He wouldn't call himself that. He'd even disagree with me, but he was.


The word
dispensation is the noun form of the word 'dispensing' (that is, giving). In the Greek, it refers to the way a household is run. For example, under the old dispensation, the LORD gave the rule of Law to Moses. During that time period, people lived according to the ceremonial laws, the moral law, etc. (If they were saved, they were saved by Grace, for there is no other way to be saved than faith in Christ.) In the new dispensation, the Lord gave his Son to all who will receive him by Faith. So the two clearest dispensations are those of Law/Works and Grace/Faith.

We live in a house where Grace is in charge of our daily lives. The Old Testament Jew lived in a house where the Law was in charge of his daily life. The Law told him what to do, when to do it, who to do it with, etc. Grace allows us to live by the rule of love in Christ.

Now, the Lord does tell us to 'rightly divide the word of truth' in 2 Timothy 2. We are to study and rightly apply what we read.

For example: Everything in the Bible is written FOR us, but not everything was written directly TO us. (I Cor. 10:11)

The Bible records God telling Noah to build an ark. That was not said TO us, but to Noah. It is written FOR us, because we can learn a lot about God's mercy and judgment from the Flood story.

Some Bible teachers go farther than God intended in this 'rightly dividing' process. For example, the Great Commission of Matthew 28 says to Go, and Teach, and Baptize, and Teach some more (short version). The hyper-dispensationalist says this is NOT for the church today. They say that Jesus was speaking specifically to the 12 apostles. "You're not an apostle are you? Then it doesn't apply to you." Again they say, "Matthew 28 says to baptize, but Paul says that he was not sent to baptize (see I Corinthians 1:17) but simply to preach; therefore we are not to baptize today, just preach."
That is their reasoning.

This is heresy, and we all know it. All of us, but the hyper-dispensationalist that is.

Anyway, that's a short introduction to dispensations, which are biblical, and hyper-dispensationalsim, which is not biblical.

BUT WAIT A MINUTE!
Don't we do something just a erroneous?

We have placed the miracles of the Gospels and the book of Acts in a 'separate' dispensation. We have placed them in a cubby hole and then written over them the words "Sorry, not for you."

"That was for the early church, when things were just getting started," we say.

"They needed miracles back then, now we have the full revelation of Scripture," we hear again and again.

Hear what Paul said,"If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words,
even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself."

When we really understand the Bible, we find that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Foundation Stone of his Church. He is part of it. His life flows through it. He is in it. He is the Head, we are the Body.

Then, why would we expect miracles to stop? Has God changed? No. Has Jesus changed? No.

Think on this for awhile. Jesus was sent by the Father as the only Representative and King of the Kingdom of Heaven. What did he do? He taught, preached, and healed the sick.

After a while, he gathered together the 12. He commissioned them to go out to the nation of Israel. They were to be representatives of the Kingdom of God. They were to teach, preach, and heal the sick.

Some time passed. More people heard the message. Jesus needed more workers.

He gathered together the 70. These, he commissioned to go out to the nation of Israel. They were to be representatives of the Kingdom of God. They were to teach, preach and heal the sick.

More time passed. Jesus died. He's buried. He came back to life.

He addressed the group that was gathered there. He gave them the commission to go into all the world. They were to be representatives of the Kingdom of God. They were to teach, preach and heal the sick (Mark 16).

Do you see a pattern?

Some will say that the gospel which Jesus preached is different than the gospel which we preach. He preached the Kingdom of Heaven, we preach the Kingdom of God.

But the Lord says that the gospel which he preached is the same as the one that is being preached around the world today! "
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. " (Matthew 24:14)

We are preaching the same gospel of the kingdom that the 12 were preaching, that the 70 were preaching, and that the 120 were preaching.

Now, here's your homework. Show me the verse that says that this commission has been canceled. Where does it say that we should stop going? Stop teaching? Stop casting out devils? Stop healing?

It's not in there.

"
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, ...Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. " 2 Timothy 3






Author: Christopher
•11:27 PM
Wonderful sermon at church today!

The Pastor spoke from the book of Galatians. He talked about "Jesus Only" believers and "Jesus And..." believers. The "Jesus And..." believers are those who add a little something to their belief in Jesus. Some add the Law. Others add the way that they dress, or the music that they listen to, or the way that they baptize. Why can't we all get along since we all believe in the same Jesus? Because, we don't all have the same "And..." If we all were just "Jesus Only," like Paul taught, we'd all get along fine.

Good stuff.

Then the Lord showed me a little something about healing.

We don't get eternal life as a gift outside of Jesus. John tells us plainly that "He that hath the Son hath life." Why? Because the life is in the Son.

We also don't get righteousness as a gift outside of Jesus. When we receive Jesus, we also get the righteousness of God IN HIM.

All the gifts of God are in Christ. They are him.

God does not give us eternal life; he gives us Jesus, and we get eternal life IN HIM. God does not give us righteousness; he gives us Jesus, and we get righteousness IN HIM.

We don't get joy. We receive Christ, and the joy that is in him. He is our joy. He is also our peace. He is our strength, our shield, our reward. He is all in all.

So what about healing? We pray for healing. What does God give us? He gives us Jesus. And IN HIM, we have healing. The healing is not a gift apart from him. It is in him.

All these things: righteousness, love, joy, peace, eternal life, health, all of them, are revelations of Jesus Christ.

To the glory of God.
Author: Christopher
•9:36 PM
Awesome time at prayer meeting tonight!

We have been going to a Healing Prayer Time ever since we moved to Columbus. They meet on Thursday nights. Wow. They've seen people take off their leg braces and walk right out, plus other cool things! (Of course, I believe that the Lord heals; He used me to pray over Becca's root canals which were healed.)

The boys have been rather rambunctious on several of the Thursdays, so we devised a plan. I would take them to the church gym to play ball while Becca prayed, and then we'd switch later on.

God had another idea.

Becca came to get me as soon as we started playing. Matt wanted me in there for the devotion time. Okay, I thought, shouldn't last too long.

But it did. The boys were very good for the most part. Then they got antsy.

After a while, Becca took them out, and I stayed.

Jump ahead a little bit.

Matt asked if anybody had anything else that we should pray about. One lady said that she did. She had a hurt in her heart that she never talked about.

"Ever since those two little boys came in (Aidan and Evan), I've just wanted to cry. My own boys were taken from me when they were three and seven. That was twenty years ago, and the wound has never healed."

Apparently, her mother and some ladies at her church 'forced' her to give them up for adoption. Not sure of all the details, but she did say that she thought they were somewhat 'right' in doing it.

The whole time she was talking, the verse kept coming to my mind, "In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not." (Matt 2:18)

I walked over behind her, and put a hand on her shoulder, I quoted the verse, and then prayed that God's Spirit, the Comforter, would comfort her.

The presence of the Lord was very evident due to all the praying and seeking him.

She replied that I was right, that she 'would not' be comforted, that she was bitter and angry, and she didn't think that she could ever forgive them.

One of the men talked to her about the need to forgive, and asked her to pray that the Lord would give her the grace to do it.

He seemed to be implying at some future date, so I told her that she needed to speak to 'those people' right now, as if they were in the room with us. I told her to say, "I forgive you, _____."

I thought that verbalizing it would be a huge step in the healing process.

We all closed our eyes in prayer, and she began to forgive them.

"I forgive you." And she said the name of one of the ladies at the church.

And then another one.

And then another.

And then, "I forgive you, Mom."

Tears were rolling by this time.

I felt the Lord wanted me to say something else.

"Just as the Lord Jesus cursed the fig tree but no change was seen until the next day, so the Lord would have you to know that this root of bitterness has begun to die. You might not see it now, but in time you will be whole."

OK. That was weird, but I really believe that Jesus wanted me to tell her that.

What joy!

What Comfort!
Author: Christopher
•4:17 PM
God won't be put in a box. Not yours, not mine.

I've often heard it said that we should look to the Bible for the way that God behaves, and to judge things that we see and hear by what is recorded in the Book.

But what we learn from the Bible is that God is NOT predictable by what is recorded in the Bible!

Before God parted the Red Sea, no one had ever seen him do it.

Before God made the Sun stand still, no one had ever seen him do it.

Before Elijah called down fire from heaven, no one had ever seen God do it.

Before Christ walked on water, no one had ever seen God do it.

God is, according to his own word, unpredictable.

I know a dear friend who surrendered to the Lord and asked God to fill him with the Holy Spirit. He went on for several weeks, and then during a sermon, he felt water pour into his head and fill him from the feet up.

I know of a fella that had a crazy experience with the Lord when we were out door-to-door witnessing. We stopped to pray in a yard. I turned to walk away, and I heard him say,

"Chris, I can't move."

I turned to look, and there he is...just standing there. "I can't move."

He had a huge smile on his face. He was not scared, just immobile. LOL

It was the Lord. He knew it and so did I.

Perhaps the Lord was telling him that he couldn't take a step without him? LOL


God will NEVER transgress his word, but when he wrote his word, he left himself enough room to still go outside your box and mine.
Author: Christopher
•1:12 PM
So I'm driving home from Bible College in my little silver Dodge Omni, and the fuel gauge is getting kind of low.

Real low.

I mean, it's on 'E.'

I haven't got a dime on me. Poor college student and all that. (Actually, I made the poor college students look well off! LOL)

So, I start praying, and singing.

Our God inhabits praise, the Bible tells us, and I needed him really bad!

I was only half way home!

The little needle continues to drop. It passes 'E.'

I'm singing louder.

By the time I arrive at the apartment, the needle is pointing almost straight down. I didn't even know that they did that! If the gauge were a clock, the needle was pointing at 6:30!

Well, let me just tell you, I was shocked that I made it to the driveway.

The carnal explanation: My linkage had a leak. I'm not sure what that means, but the gauge was at fault, not the gas tank. I still had about 1/8th of a tank of gas left. It was just a coincidence that I was singing and made it home.

We fixed the leak, and she was good to go.

The spiritual explanation: God messed with my linkage! I mean, c'mon, the gauge read that there was no gas. God had to do something! So he changed the problem from 'low on gas' to 'leaky linkage'!


Isn't God awesome?
Author: Christopher
•12:29 PM
Okay, this is a weird post. This one is about things that I have known, or had revealed to me in prayer.

1 - I was praying for the pastor's daughter when I felt a sudden burden come over me. I couldn't stop praying for her. I just kept praying, and praying.

The next day, I mentioned it to the pastor. He said, 'Thank you for your prayers.'

And then he told me how she had been in an accident and suffered a broken arm.

I admit, not a lot of detail, but...


2 - I was praying for a dear friend of mine. She was in Colorado at the time. As I was praying, I fell asleep...sorta...and when I woke up again, I was still praying. I heard myself praying for her leg.

When she returned from vacation, I asked her about her leg.

"Fine. Why?"

That didn't make sense. I thought that the Lord had surely shown me something.

A couple days passed, and I noticed her limping or wincing as she walked. I asked about it.

"I fell off my horse in Colorado. I hurt my hip real bad."


3 - This one is very specific. I was praying for my nephew. A heavy burden came over me. I kept praying. God wouldn't let me stop.

By now, I had gained a little insight into this stuff, so I asked the Lord what was going on. I had the idea that my nephew was going to fall off down the steep stairs at their house.

I always worried about those stairs.

I knew that Satan was somehow petitioning for him to fall down all the stairs, so I counter-petitioned.

"Lord, let him fall, but only off of the 1st or 2nd step. Oh, and let him get a bloody nose so that his parents will see how dangerous those stairs are." (no gate at the top)

The next day, I called my brother and told him the story.

"Oh, so your the one."

"What do you mean?

"Alex fell off the 2nd step yesterday and got a bloody nose."

Now that's what I call intercession!! Amen?!
Author: Christopher
•12:06 PM
When I was working with Child Evangelism Fellowship, I got to know a wonderful lady of the faith named Patricia.

Patricia was a prayer warrior and a dear friend. I remember that she had a cupboard door that wouldn't stay closed; it would just 'pop' open at weird times. She made it a habit to pray for a specific missionary any time she'd close that cabinet door. It was just something that she did. She prayed for him a lot LOL

When her house caught on fire, she put a sign in the front yard that read 'He gives us beauty for ashes' quoting the verse from Isaiah.

She had opened up her house to the neighborhood kids. A lot of kids got saved there. I remember leading a young boy to the Lord on her front steps.

"Did he come in to your heart?" I asked.

"Yes!"

"How do you know?" expecting him to say, 'The Bible says so.'

"I felt him!" he responded with eyes wide. (I have heard that several times. Kids are so sensitive and so full of faith!)

Well, back to my story. I was having trouble singing (still do LOL). When I speak, my voice is an average bass voice. But I was singing a weird falsetto. I got laughed at by the inner-city kids who had never seen somebody who couldn't sing before.

Patricia and I were talking about it one day. She said that she would ask the Lord about it.

Some time passed.

I was at home one evening. I had the idea come into my mind that my voice was being strangled. I knew it had something to do with my internal anger. I used to be very angry.

Yes, I even cussed. A lot. But only in my mind. I would curse like a sailor, but nobody ever knew it. Such anger would well up inside me. It just came out. It was terrible.

I looked up 'anger' in the dictionary. Anger comes from the Latin word to 'strangle.' Aha! God was beginning to show me the answer.

The phone rang.

It was Patricia.

"The Lord only gave me one word. He said 'anger.' Does that mean anything to you?'

I almost had a fit, I was so excited!

Well, it's too long to post here, but the Lord helping to get through the anger. The next morning at prayer time (6 am every Thursday!), Patricia said to the group that the Lord told her that if they would pray for me, the demonic spirit causing my anger issue would never come back.

They did.

And it hasn't. I have not had a cursing fit from that time to this. Not once.

A note: Paul says that in the last days men will arise having a 'form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.' Give me the powerful godliness any day! I know what freedom is! I know what deliverance is!

I've been there!
Author: Christopher
•9:28 AM
I remember the very first Bible Club that I ever lead. I just taught what salvation was. I had made my own flannel graph people. Each of these people was composed of 2 pieces of paper. The outer side was their clothing, face, hands, etc.; the inside was either yellow or black construction paper.

I wanted the kids to see that the happy faces weren't necessarily the ones going to heaven. Neither were the angry/sad faces the ones going to hell.

It's a heart thing.

I talked about asking the Lord Jesus into your heart to forgive your sins. The whole story.

At the end of the talk, I had the yellow 'souls' go up to heaven to be with Jesus. The dark 'souls' I crumpled up and threw into a trash can that had flames made out of construction paper taped to the rim.

Cast into outer darkness. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

I didn't preach it mean. I just told the truth.

Then I gave the invitation.

"Close your eyes and bow your heads. If you'd like to ask the Lord Jesus into your hearts, please just raise your hand."

If I remember correctly, we counted 28 hands.

Some save with fear, Jude says.

Fear of God on earth leads to joy in heaven.
Author: Christopher
•8:48 AM
This blog is so jumbled up! LOL I am not trying too hard to be chronological, and it shows!

Since this is for the kids, I thought I'd talk about soul-winning today. Daddy is a big believer in telling people about Jesus. Jesus is the way to heaven; there is no other way. None. Never has been, never will be.

One of my favorite witnessing stories is from Cleveland, OH. I had been going to a church up there for a few months, and so I drove up on a Saturday to pass out tracts/invitations to church.

I had quite a few tracts, and started walking around a residential section.

"Excuse, me, sir. Could I give you an invitation to church?"

If the response was good, I'd strike up a conversation with them. Maybe pray with them.

I'd been out walking for a couple of hours, I think. I got in my car to move to a new location. And as I was driving, I saw a young girl (16-ish) sitting on top of a big, blue mail drop box.

The Spirit let me know in not no uncertain terms that I was to witness to her. Not a voice, but an urgency.

(Note of instruction: The Spirit and the flesh wrestle against each other. When the flesh feels drawn toward something, it is a temptation; we all know what that feels like. Well, when the Spirit is drawing us toward something, it feels like a temptation to do good. That's what this was. A very strong temptation to do good.)

My heart started pounding in my chest. Sure, I had been out passing out tracts, but this time GOD wanted me to talk to a specific person.

I parked the car. Prayed. And walked up to her.

"Hello. My name is Chris. What's your name?

She told me her name. I asked how old she was. She told me that. Then I said,

"I'm going to tell you something that I wish that somebody would have told me when I was 16."

And I told her the Gospel story.

I asked if she wanted to ask Jesus into her heart. She said that she did, and started to climb down from her perch on the mail box.

"No. Just stay right there. You'll never forget it."

And she did. She asked Jesus to save her while sitting on a mail box. LOL!!

I left her, and walked around the corner. There was a group of teens and young kids on bikes. About 6 or 7 in all.

"Hi guys. Can I talk to you for a second?"

Next thing you know, about 7 kids bowed their heads on a street corner and gave their hearts to Jesus!

I came back to the same spot next week, just to follow up.

This time, I found about 5 kids. They were so excited to see me! They told me about witnessing to their parents. It was awesome. They wanted to learn even more about Jesus! They brought some of their friends over.

I think I led two more to the Lord, right then and there.

That's what it's all about. Signs and wonders are fleeting, but a saved soul is for ever!
Author: Christopher
•8:37 PM
We used to meet in the basement of a church in a bad part of Akron. By 'we,' I mean our small group of inner-city evangelists working with Child Evangelism Fellowship.

This club was normally a smaller club, under twenty kids or so.

Not this time!

We walked in short-staffed and under-prepared.

I remember counting 80 kids!!

We did some crafts. I told a Bible story.

Eventually, we passed out the Tootsie Roll Pops. Now, admittedly, I've never counted how many of those things come in a bag, but I was sure that there wouldn't be enough for 80 kids.

I started passing them out.

I reached in the bag, pulled out a Pop, and gave it to kid.

Over, and over, and over... reaching into the bag, pulling out a Pop, and handing it to a kid.

"There's a lot of suckers in here," I thought to myself.

Still I kept passing them out to the kids!

Finally the last kid came forward, I reached into the bag, and pulled out the LAST one.

Just enough for every child to one.

Yeah, our God is like that! He is the Provider! And he loves each and every child the same!
Author: Christopher
•11:28 AM
I was at the apartment of my friend who would eventually be my roommate. It was late at night, and I was praying to God.

I prayed that the Spirit of God would blow like a wind, blowing away the sin and carnality of his church; that he would be like a fire, burning up the chaff, driving out all darkness. I prayed for revival and new life to fill his people.

I prayed fervently and with singleness of heart.

What happened next was totally unexpected. The Lord filled me up with his Spirit.

Now, I was a young believer. I was un-churched (untrained and unrestrained!) and I didn't know that God doesn't do certain things today.

He filled me up.

I didn't speak with tongues, or see flames like fire, or anything else at the time. Those all came later. This event came very early in my walk with Christ and preceded just about ALL the miraculous things that I have written about in prior posts.

This was the precursor to a life of experiencing God's power and close friendship.

God totally took over for several hours, I think.

I was cleaning my roommate's toilet, when I came to myself. What was I doing? What twenty-something young man scrubs down another young man's toilet? I looked at the scrubbing brush in my hands. Then at the clean bathtub and sink. What was I doing?

Then I washed his dishes!

Apparently a servant's heart had been placed inside of me. A change came over me that day which was deep inside of me. Every door of my heart had been opened, and the Lord had walked inside.

When I look back on my life, two days stand out. The date of my salvation and the date of this filling. Before I was saved there was a gray film over my entire life; after my salvation, I had Jesus. Before this filling, I had experienced salvation, but not much else; after this filling, I walked with God easily and saw many miracles.

I have often wondered at Christians struggling to walk with Christ. They say that it's hard. They say that they forget to read their Bibles, etc.

For me, the Spirit of God (on that day of the filling) came into every part of my heart. Since then seeking God has been my heart's desire. Walking with God is easy. He is the first thing that I think about in the morning, the last thing that I think about every night.

He came unexpectedly, and his presence has been a constant in my life ever since.
Author: Christopher
•10:48 AM
Since I'm writing this for my kids, I want them to understand the importance of the word of God.

A lot of folks when talking about the Bible write it this way: the Word of God. But I don't do that unless it is in a title (like the title of this post). Why not? Because the Bible differentiates between the 'word' of God and the 'Word' of God. The capital 'W' refers to Jesus. The lower case 'w' refers to the Book.

The Bible is very important to me.

When I was first saved, every book and pamphlet that I read was pro-KJV (King James Version). I learned about the textual families, the translators, and the histories of the different texts. After hundreds, no, thousands of pages of study, I am still convinced that the KJV is the Lord's word for today.

Ps 12:6-7 says that the Lord will preserve his 'words,' not just the ideas behind those words. There are many similar passages in the Bible; all of them stating that God will keep his 'words', fulfill his 'words,' etc. The VERY WORDS are important.

With this as my background, I trust every single individual word in my Bible is 'thus saith the Lord.' This has been a great source of faith for me over the years.

For some, this attention to the words becomes a stumbling block. They see themselves as keepers of the Book. They become legalists, straining at gnats and swallowing camels. God never reveals a truth to you so that you can lord it over the brethren. Never.

Many believers, GODLY believers, read the NIV or the ESB, or some other book. They believe it is the word of God, and, guess what?, God meets them where they are! If the Lord speaks to them through their book, then who am I to condemn them? Nevertheless, I am still responsible for what the Lord has shown ME.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, The Lord showed me that knowing the Word is the point of knowing the word. The word is merely a signpost pointing us to Jesus. And Jesus is the bridge, the door that leads unto the Father.

This has kept me Jesus-centered even as I was Scripture-centered.

At one time, I was reading 50 chapters of the Bible every day. I have memorized a bunch of it, and more than that, I have had the Lord give me understanding over many of the passages in the New Testament. The words have been engrafted into my life, and changed me.

I believe in reading the Bible, meditating over the verses, studying, etc. For many years, I had verses written down on index cards, and I would go over and over these verses as I drove back and forth to work. I have printed out chapters of the Bible, placed them inside big zip-loc bags and kept them in the shower.

The words of God are life. They reveal the Lord of life to us.

The first church that I attended after getting saved (about 3 or 4 years after I accepted Christ as my Saviour) had a wise gentleman who was one of the elders. He told me something that I will never forget. He said,

"Chris, I've seen many Christians come and many go, those who stay in the Book make it."

After 20 years of salvation, I still read the Bible every day. I still experience the Lord every day.

The word of God is the key. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Author: Christopher
•12:21 PM
I thought I'd tell a few rain stories today.

I used to know an old AoG fella (Assemblies of God) who loved to stop the rain in Jesus' name. He said that he'd go up to a bus stop where some kids were waiting in the rain, and he'd say, "Watch this." And then he'd rebuke the rain and tell it to be still in Jesus' name. He said it worked about 90% of the time. The rest of the time the Lord must have had a reason for the rain to fall.

1 - Treasures in Heaven Yard Sale.

My former church was holding a huge yard sale in the parking lot of the church. The money was going to fund a missions trip to Mongolia; about 10 of our church members were going around the world to plant a church in Ulan Bator, Mongolia.

The sky looked like rain.

Eventually a few drops began to fall.

This would not do at all.

The pastor gathered us all together to pray that the Lord would stop the rain. Then he sat back in his lounge chair and opened a big, black umbrella.

"What lack of faith!" I thought, but soon realized that he had more faith than all of us. He knew that whether he had an umbrella opened or not, the Lord would stop the rain. He had separated his actions from the Lord's actions.

Soon the rain stopped.

We had a wonderful sale under blue skies. And, yes, the group did go to Mongolia and planted a church there.

The rest of the story: That night, I was watching the Local News. Dick Goddard, esteemed weather man, said something like, "My forecast for today was correct except I have to apologize to one square mile in downtown Akron. Apparently, you were the only place that didn't see any rain. I'm sorry, I'll try to do better next time."

Isn't God good!?

2 - Five Day Club with Child Evangelism Fellowship.

It was the time of summer storms. My friend Leigh Ann and I were just finishing up a Five Day Club with Child Evangelism Fellowship. We arrived early to set up the puppet stage, and set out our song and story materials.

As we were starting to set things up, a girl scout troop passed us. The leader said, "You guys better not set up; it's gonna pour in a few minutes."

The sky was black! The clouds looked angry! And droplets began to fall on us.

I replied,

"No it won't. We have a club to do today. It won't rain." (I wasn't trying to 'speak' something into existence; I just KNEW that it wouldn't rain.)

"It's raining already," came the reply.

"But it won't rain."

"Who do you think you are? Elijah?"

"No, but we have the same God."

Leigh Ann and I continued setting up our gear. As we did, the few raindrops stopped, but the sky continued to look terrible.

I remembered that we didn't have any candy. It was still a 1/2 hour before club started, so we ran to the store.

By the time we got back, the sun was breaking through the clouds! Beautiful sunbeams shone down from heaven! And the kids came.

Club went great. We prayed the closing prayer, and sent them home.

As the last kid got into a car to leave, I looked at Leigh Ann with panic in my voice.

"We need to pack up...FAST!"

"Why?"

"God held back the rain for the kids! Start packing!"

It only took about two minutes to pack up everything into the car, but by the time we got into the car, we were soaked! The skies had opened up, and we were drenched!

God held back the rain for the kids, but after that...things went back to normal! LOL

3 - C.E.F.'s end of summer carnival at the Outreach Center of my old church.

At the end of summer, all the Good News Clubs from all over Akron would gather at my church's Outreach Center for a time of playing games and getting rewards. We had earned it. And it was a great time for the kids.

The Carnival would start at about 6 pm. Hundreds of kids would come from all over the city. At 7:30 pm, the club would close. It would take about a 1/2 hour to clean up and store every thing away.

As I sat outside the Outreach Center, it was about 4 o'clock. The sky was a little cloudy but didn't look too scary. I prayed,

"Lord, if it does rain, would you hold off the rain until 8 o'clock? Thanks."

The carnival was awesome as always. Lots of screaming and running, and lots of smiles! We were doing this for Jesus, and we knew it.

We put away the games, the food, and picked up the trash. Then we made our way outside.

I had the door opened to the car, one foot inside and one foot outside. We were all talking, not really wanting the day to end just yet.

I felt a rain drop hit my face. The Lord reminded me of my prayer. I looked at my brother and asked, "What time is it?"

"8 o'clock straight up."

Isn't God awesome!?

John 15:16 tells us, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. "

Translated loosely: God will do ANYTHING that the fruit may remain. The fruit is little kids and mission trips. God will do ANYTHING so that that fruit will have a chance to go on.

You can count it!
Author: Christopher
•10:13 PM
My brother, Nat, and I used to share an apartment near City Hospital. One morning, very early, Nat got up to go pray with our pastor on a hill that overlooks the city. This was at some terrible hour like 5am.

Not me though. I stayed in bed.

I was sleeping soundly, and then I was wide awake as if I'd never been asleep. (If you've never had this experience, it usually means that the Lord wants you to pray about something. You're asleep one second, and then wide awake like it was the middle of the afternoon the next.)

The invisible presence of the Lord was standing beside my bed. I felt him standing there behind me. (Note of explanation: At this time, I was praying for about an hour every night. I was working with Child Evangelism Fellowship, seeing kids saved all the time. I was reading the Bible all the time. Basically, I was seeking the Lord with all my heart. Jn 14:21 says, "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." It means exactly what it says!)

I felt him standing behind me. For a split second, I thought about pretending to be asleep, but you can't pull a fast one on God, so I got up. Reluctantly.

"Alright, Lord, I'll give you 5 minutes."

I walked into the living room and knelt with my face on the floor. I waited on the Lord to speak.

Nothing.

"Okay, Lord, what do I know about you?" I prayed, "You're God. You're from everlasting. You came to this earth as a baby about 2,000 years ago..."

On and on I went, listing what I knew from reading the Bible.

"You walked upon water. You fed thousands with a little food. You died for my sins. You rose up from the grave. You ascended on high. You're coming again very soon."

Eventually, having droned on and on, I was feeling tired again. I asked,

"What else?" Not really expecting an answer.

But I got one. I will never forget it as long as I live. The Lord Jesus Christ said,

"Chris, I woke you up to tell you that I love you."

I can't express the emotions that I felt. Tears rolled down my face. I cried for joy, for amazement.

Jesus woke ME up to tell me that HE loves me. I still can't get my head around it, and that's been over 15 years ago. Wow!
Author: Christopher
•2:58 PM
I was very depressed. I had only been saved about a year. I was a college freshman, maybe a sophomore?, and I had girlfriend issues. Dana had a steady boyfriend; okay, she had a fiance. And my life hurt.

It was cold outside. Wet and snowy, and sometime after midnight.

I was alone.

So I went on a pity-party walk, crying and talking to the Lord. Well, more crying than anything else.

Soon I found myself in one of the empty science buildings on campus. I can remember finding a quiet place where I could just weep the loss of my heart's love. (blah blah blah . . . This is almost funny in retrospect LOL)

As I sat against a wall, I said to myself, "I have nothing left to live for."

And that still small voice said, "You have me." It was the Lord.

Immediately I was encouraged. I wiped away my tears, and I headed back to the dorm. I took the long way past E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall. If you've ever been there, you know that there is a fountain in the central square. The water was turned off. A light snow was falling.

It was about 3 o'clock in the morning. All was quiet.

I jumped up on the the wall of the fountain, and turning to all of campus, I shouted with everything in me, "Behold, the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world!"

Suddenly, I heard the sound of rushing wind, but I saw no wind. I somehow knew that it was invisible fire. The fire whirled around me in a circle at arms' length from the ground to just over my head. I couldn't see it, but I could see it. I could definitely hear it. It roared around me, but inside all was at peace and still.

I started giggling, and laughing! Joy flooded my heart.

I had the Lord Jesus, and that was all I needed.


This is a true story. Of course, I didn't come out and tell everyone about it or they'd think I was nuts. It wasn't until many years later that I read about a Baptist preacher who had experienced the same thing while street preaching. "Feeling?" he said, "You want a feeling? I'll tell you how to get a feeling! Get saved. Go tell all your old unsaved friends that you got saved. Then go stand on a street corner and preach the Gospel. You'll get a feeling alright. Like a whirlwind of fire swirling around you!"

That's what I did. That's what happened. Isn't Jesus amazing?
Author: Christopher
•12:32 PM
Our God is a big God.

Sometimes when we talk about healing, people think we're nuts. But God does heal. Here are just a few examples:

1 - My brother can tell of having a terrible migraine. He asked the Lord to take it away, and it was gone. That just doesn't happen.

2 - My friend Leigh Ann had Epstein-Barr Syndrome. This is caused by the virus that normally causes infectious mononucleosis; it is a herpes virus, and is incurable. A small percentage of people develop a chronic fatigue syndrome from this virus. It is also incurable.

As Leigh Ann sat listening to the preacher speak on healing, she heard the Lord speak to her. He told her that if she would go forward, that he would heal her of the Epstein-Barr. She did. He did. And last I heard, she and her husband were missionaries to the Muslims near Turkey somewhere.

3 - I'll never forget when John came out of the back room at church. John was an elder at the church. His face was a mix of joy and astonishment. He said to me, "I can't believe it. I laid my hands on his back, and commanded them to straighten up in the name of Jesus...and I felt them move beneath my hands!" Scoliosis is not a problem for the One who makes the crooked paths straight.

4 - I was washing dishes when Becca said to me, "Do you think that Jesus would heal my teeth?"

Becca, my wife, had previously been diagnosed with teeth needing root canals on both sides of her mouth. They took x-rays and everything.

I replied very nonchalantly, "Absolutely. Get in the tub." I had been waiting for her to ask.

I believe that anointing means anointing, that is, pouring on the oil. She got in the tub and stood there. I grabbed the cooking oil. I poured it on her head.

And the Lord spoke to me, well, showed me is more like it, what to do next. I put oil on my finger and smeared it on her teeth as I prayed. And I got happy.

She asked me, "Do you think he did it?"

"Oh yeah." I knew that he had since he had directed me on what to do. Not a doubt in my mind.

Later, Becca went to the dentist. She had to have root canals on the right side of her mouth.

WHAT?!?! That wasn't right!

Then she told me that while I was praying for her teeth, she was praying that only the left side would be healed. She wanted a reminder that she needs to take better care of her teeth, so she wanted to have root canals on the right side.

Be it done unto you according to your faith LOL! ($1,200 bucks later...)


There are more, but I'll save them for later!




Author: Christopher
•12:26 PM
My roommate and I used to sit in the dark to pray. As mentioned in another post, we'd pray for several hours every night. The glory of God would settle in that room like a peaceful cloud.

One night, we were sitting on the floor across from each other. We had both been praying with our eyes closed. I opened mine. It was very dark in the room.

Except for the outline of light around my friend.

I looked again. I wasn't going to say anything, because surely my eyes were playing tricks on me.

Then he said:

"Chris, you're glowing."

"So are you."

And we went back to praying.


This is basically what happened to us:
Exodus 34:29 "And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him."

If it was so under the old covenant, imagine what it must be like now that we are under the new covenant!
Author: Christopher
•9:55 PM
When you walk with the Lord, sometimes you have encounters with the enemy. Here are a few of mine.

A friend of mine and I would pray from about 11pm to 1am or 2am every night. Two or three hours of intense prayer. Often during these prayer times, the peace of God would settle down like a great restful stillness. If you have never experienced it, I can't explain it. It is a peace, a rest that goes into your very bones.

One night, we were praying as usual. He sat on one side of the room on a couch. I was on the couch opposite of him, facing him. To my left was a large window (which would be on his right). As we prayed, I saw and sensed a cloud of evil enter in through the window.

Ever see Star Gate? When the Gate opens, a liquid metal looking energy squirts out horizontally from the Gate. It was kinda like that, but gray.

Not opaque mind you, but like a transparent film. A transparent cloud of demonic evil.

I looked at my roommate. "Did you see that?"

"Yeah."

"Was it what I think it was?"

"Yeah."

"In the name of the Lord Jesus..."

Well, you get the idea.

During this same time period, we had been trying to help a witch who had recently been saved. We prayed for her. And we saw some stuff.

My brother had an invisible something come in a window and walk down his body as he lay on the bed. He felt the footsteps ~ 1 ... 2 ... 3.

We both saw red eyes about a foot and a half off the floor in a dark bedroom.

Once, I was out walking and praying. A voice spoke in my head, "Embrace Satan."

Why do I mention these things? Because they happened. These things shouldn't frighten the believer; they are mentioned in the Bible.

I learned something during this time. We are not called to focus on the devil and learn all about him. We focus on the Light and the darkness flees. Spiritual warfare is not what it is portrayed to be. Most of the time, we simply walk in the Light, love the Lord Jesus with all our heart, and as the Scriptures say, "Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
Author: Christopher
•10:45 PM
One day a very cute young woman came to my church. She worked with Child Evangelism Fellowship as an inner-city missionary in Akron. She presented her work, and did a very good job at it.

I went home and asked the Lord to show me what his will was. Did he want me to start working with inner-city kids? I wouldn't mind, and, like I said, the girl was really cute.

I don't believe in the flop-n-drop method of discerning the Lord's will (Flop-n-drop is where you ask a question, flop open your Bible, and then drop your finger on a verse). It's very close to divination. And it's quite silly, too.

However, I do believe that the Lord speaks through his word. So, I opened my Bible to 1 Samuel chapter 2. Seeing that I had read chapter 1 the day before, I figured that I would just keep on with my regular reading schedule.

When I read verse 18, "But Samuel ministered before the LORD, being a child, girded with a linen ephod," something happened to me that is very hard to describe.

Have you ever had an old balloon that has never been blown up before? The insides kind of stick together, and when you blow the balloon open, it peels apart in a kind of funny-sounding way. Take that feeling and couple it with the scene from the Grinch movie where the Grinch's heart grows several sizes.

That's what happened to me.

When I read that verse, the Lord seemed to expand my heart and in an instant fill it will his love for little kids. Tears ran down my face. I was totally taken aback at the depth of feeling that came with three little words, "being a child." God showed me in a heartbeat that children can not only be saved but can minister unto him, and I was to have a part in that ministry.

I believe that God anointed me that day in a very special way.

I did start working with CEF. And since then, I have led hundreds of boys and girls to a saving knowledge of Christ.

p.s. No, I didn't get the girl. She later married an accountant, and they still minister to inner-city families in Akron.
Author: Christopher
•10:17 PM
When I was working with Child Evangelism Fellowship, I used to help out at a couple of Bible Clubs, and I had one that I was in charge of.

My club was at (and I am not making this up) the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit. I would set up my flannel graph and stuff in the basement, and then the kids would start coming in. After the lesson, I would give an invitation to accept Christ as Savior. It was a blast!

One particular Thursday, a young girl (Tameka?) wasn't acting right after the invitation. I asked her if she would like to ask Jesus to save her, too. She was about 9 or 10 years old. She told me, No. She said that she was "afraid of Jesus."

I asked her why. Her answer was that her mother had a picture of Jesus that kept looking at her. I told her that some pictures just seem to be looking at you.

"No, it really looks at me."

What would you have said? I chose to believe her, and prayed with her that the picture wouldn't do that anymore.

I had such a burden for this girl! I don't remember eating, sleeping, or even working that weekend. All I remember is praying and praying for her. I couldn't get her off my heart.

When we finally met again for club, I just knew I had to talk with her again. I was relieved that she did come again. After the lesson, I started talking with her.

"I tried to kill myself this past weekend," she said. "I went into the kitchen and I picked up a knife. But before I could use it, an invisible hand hit my hand and knocked the knife across the room."

(I was almost surprised, but tried not to show it.)

"Do you know who knocked the knife out of your hand?" I asked.

"Jesus," she replied.

"Why?"

"Because he loves me." And then she started crying.

And she asked the Lord to save her. I am so glad that God had already shown me that the spiritual world is very real.
Author: Christopher
•12:01 PM
I used to work at Red Lobster. I bussed the tables, I washed the dishes, and sometimes I worked in the Alley.

The Alley is a busy, crazy place. The cooks would prepare the food, put it on a plate, and then push it over a counter to where I was. I would dress the plates accordingly: lobster got butter sauce, shrimp got marinara, crab legs got butter sauce and a lemon (or something like that). And every plate got a piece of garlic toast.

This doesn't sound too difficult, but imagine a busy Friday night. Four cooks are shoving plates at you, waiters & waitresses are yelling for their orders, and as soon as you dress the front plates (all 9 or 10 of them), a new row is pushed forward. You are frantic, and it doesn't stop for four or five hours.

So I sang.

Shouts and tempers were flying around me. Dishes clattered to the floor. Another curse. And here come more dishes.

Inside I was calm, and quiet.

And as my hands worked quickly, my mind was standing before the Lord. I saw the sons and daughters of God standing before the Lord. Their robes were white. Crowns were on their heads. Angels sang.

It was brief. Too brief. Too happy. My eyes teared up.

And I put another sprig of parsley on a plate.
Author: Christopher
•11:45 AM
The next vision came several years later.

A note of explanation. At this time, I was again reading lots of Scripture everyday, praying & fellowshipping with the Lord every night for at least a half hour, and I was involved in almost daily evangelistic outreaches with Child Evangelism Fellowship. I point this out that the readers (Aidan, Evan, and Meagan) might understand that God doesn't reveal things to you unless you are seeking him with all your heart.

I was in my room praying and talking to the Lord. This was in an apartment that I shared with my brother, Nat. As I was praying, I asked the Holy Spirit to 'show me something about Jesus.'

The Holy Ghost was given to us that we might know the Lord Jesus Christ better. This prayer was very biblical. The answer was supernatural, and totally unexpected.

After I prayed, I immediately saw a twisted, tiny figure hanging upon a cross; it was an aborted baby. I recoiled in my mind, and tried to get the image out of my head.

How sick! How revolting! How accurate!

The Lord Jesus Christ was the Father's Son; the Son that came out of his bosom (John 1). He was innocent. He was more than innocent; he was righteous. Sin had never entered his mind.

He made himself small for me. He made himself vulnerable for me. And he died a horrible, mangled death . . . for me. I did it.

How awful our sins are to God the Father! We scrape the crap of our lives off on his righteous "holy Child." And don't even appreciate the severity of our transgressions.

I cried.

Sorry, Lord.
Author: Christopher
•10:14 AM
Visions are funny things. You can't prove them, and you can't verify them. Or can you?

The first time that I ever saw a spiritual vision (Oh, yeah; you may have a problem with this topic, too. Again, read the Scriptures. Numbers 12:6, Acts 10:17 & 11:5, . Who had them? Jacob, Moses, Samuel, Abraham, Nathan, Eliphaz, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Elijah, etc. , in the OT; and in the NT, Paul, Cornelius, Peter, John, etc.)

Alright, the first time that I ever saw a spiritual vision, my room mate wanted to kill me. I came back to our apartment to find the door wide open. In his room, a large hole had been kicked into the drywall, and a knife was stuck in the top of his table. I called his name. I walked around the entire apartment, but he wasn't there.

When I reached the living room, he came in the front door.

"You should leave," he said, "I could kill you right now."

And he looked like he just might try it!

I sat down in a chair, and quietly prayed within myself that the Lord would fill me with his Spirit. Then I said,

"I'm not going anywhere. This is my home too." I knew that he didn't have grounds to be angry with me, and that it must be demonic. He had a past history of demonic happenings.

He was sitting cross-legged on the coffee table by this time.

In my mind's eye, as I sat praying, I saw a large hypodermic needle stick in the middle of his back, and then the plunger was pulled out. The chamber of the needle was filled with a dark shadow.

As I saw this in my mind, my room mate exhaled (like a long sigh), and leaned over as if he were exhausted. Then he looked at me.

"I don't know what that was about." He said apologetically.

We walked into his room and examined the damage to the wall, and the knife sticking in the table. He sat on the bed and said,

"It was like I was possessed or something. And then all of a sudden, I felt the demon getting sucked out of my back. And then I was fine."

And thus, my first vision was confirmed.
Author: Christopher
•6:07 PM
Becca and I have been praying together every night, reading the Bible, and taking the Lord's Supper. ("As oft as ye do it" ...So we are doing it oft ) We are praying for physical healing of Becca's ankles and my fibromyalgia. And we are remembering Christ's death in our place, and that his body was broken, and that he bore our sicknesses upon the Cross. (I know you might not agree with that, but please read your Bible before you comment LOL)

So... there we are sitting on the floor, and I'm reading 1 Cor. 11, and Aidan walks in.

"Honey, get in bed."

"Daddy..."

"Honey, I said get in bed."

"Daddy, what are you doing?"

"We're praying to Jesus that he will heal us."

"Daddy, I'm sick. Can you pray for me too?"

(Wow! He has been coughing at bed time quite a bit; one time it was so bad that he threw up several times. )

He climbed on my lap, and I explained that we eat the bread to remember that Jesus died for us, and that his body was broken in our place. I cracked a cracker in my hand, and he took some.

"Eat ye all of it."

And then the cup. Jesus gave us the cup to remember that his blood goes deep inside us cleaning our heart of its sins.

"Drink ye all of it."

And then we prayed for Aidan to be well.

He's been fine ever since. Yeah, God is like that with little kids. What faith! What simple belief!

Thank you Jesus for letting me take part in such a wonderful experience with my little big boy!
Author: Christopher
•5:57 PM
I have two little boys, and a little girl. The oldest boy is 5 years old. His name is Aidan.

The first time I ever held Aidan, I gave him back to Jesus. I've prayed for him almost every day of his life, and kick myself for the couple of days that I missed.

One night, while staying at a hotel (my wife and I were raising support as missionaries), I sat in the empty stairwell and wept for little Aidan's soul. As I sat there crying, the Lord spoke to me very clearly, "As much as you love him, I love him more."

Right then, I knew that Aidan would be saved some day. God had heard my prayers, but he had sent his Son to die for Aidan a long time before I ever started to pray for him.

On Sept 12, 2009, the boys and I were watching tv. I was flipping back and forth between a football gave and 'Bear vs. Wild.' Aidan pipes up, "I've never asked Jesus into my heart."

Okay, I could have gotten all excited, and opened my Bible and probably scared him away from Christ. Instead, I calmly started talking with him. He said that he was going to wait until he was old and about ready to die (wow! Satan starts early with that lie, doesn't he?). I explained to him that he might die suddenly without a chance to pray. He thought about it, and then said that he would pray today. I made sure that he understood that Jesus died and shed his blood so that he could clean our dirty hearts, and that sin was not allowed in heaven.

He understood and rolled over on the old green couch, covered his face, and prayed.

And little Aidan started his walk with God!