Courage

cour·age
ˈkərij/
noun
  1. the ability to do something that frightens one.
    “she called on all her courage to face the ordeal”
synonyms: bravery, courageousness, pluck, pluckiness, valor, fearlessness…

 

We are in a season full of dreaming and pressing into the dreams God has placed in us.  A God dream is a big dream that only He can help accomplish.  These are lofty and can seem impossible.  They put fear in people and it takes a lot of courage to reach these dreams.  Courage, along with its synonyms, have been widely used by many in western culture today.  There has even been a film named Courageous.  I love this film, and it is Christian based with a very good message.  Songs are being written and sung about us, Christians, being brave and having no fear as sons and daughters of God.

Why would God want us to hear the word “courageous?”

As a good rule of thumb, I use the Bible as my plumb line.  This keeps me in line with His heart.  Anytime I operate in the prophetic gifting or receive prophetic revelation, I use the Bible as my filter.  In the past, I would have just said anything or believed anything that had “Thus saith the Lord…” attached to it.  As I have grown in this journey, I have found by using this filter the prophetic gifting will not be used in an abusive way.  The goal or desired end result of this gift is always love.

Joshua:  Moses is handing over the reigns to Joshua.  He is the one that will lead God’s people to the promise land.  It is interesting that Joshua is told not to fear and be courageous 3 times in this passage.  I have seen that if anything is said 3 times in scripture, PAY ATTENTION!!!  I can assure you that Joshua paid attention to these two words as he led the people into the promised land.
Deuteronomy 31:6-8
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” 
7 Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the LORD swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. 
8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Joshua had to keep these words close to his heart in order to conquer the tasks ahead of both possessing the promised land and then settling/dividing the promised land.  This dream is from God and as we saw from the time in the wilderness, only God can accomplish this.
There are countless other stories in the Bible that demand for men and women to have courage to accomplish the things of God.  David, Daniel, Gideon, Abigail, Esther, Mary, the apostles and beyond.  It almost seems the entire Bible is a story about courage.
To take something you believe and then take the step in faith to walk it out does take courage.
The thing I like about the story of Joshua is that some in this generation were sick of not having what God had promised.  God likes to use the unsatisfied or  a.k.a. the hungry!
I believe people are hungry today.  Unsatisfied with not walking in the promise of God.  What promise is this?  The promise of Holy Spirit.  Having the Living God making His home inside of me to lead me in every step I take.
My definition of Courage:  for me to submit everything to God for His leadership without reservation or doubt
I believe it takes courage to hear God speak and act in faith.  I believe this is the piece of adventure that our culture today is crying out for.  This is the courage that God is shouting about through the arts and the prophets.  Time and time again Jesus told His disciples to not be afraid.  Jesus walked this earth and invited courageous behavior from His closest friends.  This was how He taught those learning from Him.  He desired to see His disciples to try things out for themselves.  He is the perfect Leader and we need to learn to lead from Him!  The disciples walked with Jesus who lead them in this way.  Jesus knew they needed Holy Spirit to guide them and is the reason He told them to wait in the upper room until He came.  Jesus imitated the Father on earth with them.  Holy Spirit led them in the same way, as He heard the Father.  This should testify to us today that these men needed Holy Spirit to lead them and His leadership was the same as Jesus’s leadership over them.  We need Holy Spirit to lead our every step and we need courage to do this!
In this picture of courage it speaks of fighting, failing, and then rising again to fight.  I want to encourage everybody that in growth we will fail.  It takes humility to walk with Holy Spirit.  He will tell you something for a person and it may be completely wrong.  Maybe you make a wrong turn or go through a wrong door.  There is a lie in pride that tells you that failure is not an option.  I want to expose this lie and let you know that failure will happen and that God is there with you to help pick you up.  I can testify to this in my own life.  I have failed countless times with hearing Him.  As I have learned to walk humbly, I have known Him to be faithful in always picking up the pieces and making them into something beautiful.  He will take these wrong things and make them right.  I recently heard Heidi Baker talk about how learning to follow His voice is very similar to learning a new language.  You will have both success and failure, but the more you work at it the more fluent you get in that language.  Remove from your mind the fear of failure.  Failure is not something we are to fear.  It is something to be embraced in humility, so we can be used by God and for His purposes.  It is also in this fear of failing that the fruit of being stagnant manifests.  Jesus always encouraged those following Him to keep growing and Holy Spirit does as well.  I have known many people who have been hurt by a religious spirit that will grab onto the fear of failure and disguise it one way or another.  The most common disguise I have seen is obvious and says, “I am not going to do that because I do not want to be religious.”  They fear being religious so much they will not try anything but being anti-religious.  This is sad because it prevents the growth of the person in love for Jesus, themselves, and others.  This is another reason courage is in great need.  Like Jesus and the disciples, we have to keep moving towards Jesus and not get stuck.
Another common fear in our culture is the fear of man.  What will they think of me?  Will they accept me?  I have seen that one of the fruits of the fear of man is having the idea that I have God on my terms.  Maybe it is only a Sunday and Wednesday relationship or some could even add 30 minutes in daily devotionals.  The rest of my time is my time spent for my needs.  I also see where religion is formed in this fear.  This has been a struggle for me. It began in my youth and has grown.  As I have received healing over the last decade, I have been able to overcome this fear.  It is paralyzing for sure.  Most people like to be accepted by others.  If you are not, one option is to change.  This is not how you were created and as I learned, you begin to “act” just to be accepted.  This is not a fun place to be and I can’t think of a person that has been through this that has not picked up other bad habits while living this fake life.  It did not take me long to figure out I could not live like this much longer.  The damage was done and I had picked up habits that were not good for me that I would carry with me until I received healing in this area.  I then was able to grow in hearing Holy Spirit lead me and not fear what others thought.  I still get scared sometimes and that is why I know that it takes courage to have God on His terms.
I choose what I do.  I choose to listen or not to listen.  I choose to act or not to act.  I do know that listening to His voice and then taking the action towards that word takes courage.  This is why I believe the Body in this culture longs and desires for courage.  This is why God keeps speaking have courage and all its synonyms.  I choose to trust His leadership and actively pursuing this language of love.  I see this as a great adventure and is exciting to me.
 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.  1 Corinthians 16:13

 

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To be for something…

What is it to be for something?

Today we live in a crazy world with so much darkness.  It is so easy for us to see and even focus on.  But what are we to do with this darkness?  Shovel it out the window?  Or maybe build a wall so we do not have to see it?  Form a petition to boycott it?  All of these could work…

To be honest, I have tried them all.  They do work, to a point.  Each and every one will tire you out quickly though.  My personality is very good at being against darkness.  To me there is black and there is white.  I do not see any shade of grey.  There is light and dark.  There is a clear division line with me.  This truth about who I am has never changed.  The thing that has changed is my heart and how I react to the two sides.  Rather than just discerning light vs dark, I have grown to understand that light will dispel the darkness.  I can focus on the light and the darkness cannot understand it.

I recall during my inner healing and deliverance training with Prisoners of Hope in Kansas City, the struggle and the growth.  I am not sure if everyone goes through the same stages as they are trained in deliverance or not.  There is this intense stage I went through and I have known others who have as well.  This deep desire for justice comes in to play and wrong things have to be made right.  I would see the bad and immediately want to go into action to kick the bad out either physically or spiritually.  This has gotten me into some difficult situations from time to time.  I remember going into the prayer room, which is an amazing place of continuous worship to King Jesus, and being able to see darkness in the spiritual realm.  People were coming into this place and were trying to stop the worship.  I am sure some of these people knew this is what they were coming in to do, but many did not.  There was seduction, and perversion, and mocking and the list goes on and on.  I would see this and it would make me furious.  I would talk with Holy Spirit in the back of the prayer room asking Him what we should do.  Do we kick them out of the prayer room?  Do we go pray for these people?  Honestly, there was a lot of me asking Him questions in this season.  Very few answers from Him.  This was the Guide taking me through a season of learning discernment.  One day He spoke!  “Why do you focus on the dark?”  My response at first was, “Huh?”  I humbled myself and began to posture myself to just receive.  I knew this was a key.  I looked up and saw a man that was being influenced by a spirit of seduction.  So I just asked Holy Spirit, “How does Father see this man?”  He began to speak to me of how he is an evangelist and called to tell  people about Jesus.  He was masking his insecurity with this seducing spirit.  This young man had been hurt and so he was taking the gift that God created in him and using it for his own benefit.  He told me more of his life and about his calling.  I asked Holy Spirit, “Do I go and tell him this?”  He replied, “No!  Father wants you to see His children as He does.  I show you this for you to pray not against the darkness around him, but to pray for the light that is hidden within.”  From this time on the time I spent in the prayer room was drastically different.  As I would feel Holy Spirit leading me, I would stand in the back and scan the room for the darkness.  I then asked for the truth and began to partner with Creator God about the light that was within.  Some call this the treasure that God has in each person.  It is there in each and every person.  No matter the depth of the darkness God designed each person for light.  I go to church today and still do the same.  I do not have to go to the back wall as I did in the prayer room.  That was a place Holy Spirit was revealing truth to me.  I go to eat or WalMart and see it.  Holy Spirit has allowed me to speak this truth to some, but mostly He has in the place of agreeing with heart in prayer for them.  One more side note to this season.  The question from Holy Spirit about focusing on the darkness has layers.  I was to be in the prayer room to worship a King.  He deserved all my focus.  So in this part of my learning phase, I began to learn that the main focus of the darkness was to get my attention of the Source of the light.  As I learned to focus on Him and worship Him, discernment became easier and easier.  It also became fulfilling.  Darkness will drain you where the light will continue to fill you overflowing.  This is a much happier place to live in!

The darkness around a person, a region, or a situation is easy to discern.  True discernment is to discern the hidden treasure and light within this person, region, or situation.  There is most likely much more into the gift of discernment.  I am continually growing and want to stay in this posture of learning.  I will say that I believe the gift of discernment to be a gift that is extremely needed now and in the days before Jesus returns for His Bride.  I encourage you to ask for this gift and position yourself to learn and grow.

In the last few years, I have seen the opportunity to be against darkness escalate.  There are many things for us to be against and not support.  I have noticed a common theme for our family over the many situations that have come up.  We have not needed to start supporting a business for their position on light because we already were supporting them.  We also have not needed to sign a boycott for businesses because we were not supporting them at the time.  We have taken the position to be diligent in our actions and not be in a place to have to defensively react.  We take light and shine it before the darkness sneaks up on us.

Who are you for?

This is about relationship!  The things we buy and talk of have a person or persons attached.  Who am I helping?  The answer to this question has helped our family be positioned rightly in all the corrupt situations that have come at us over the years.  We have asked the Lord for discernment in  who we should support.  The answer to this question has also kept us from getting caught up in the small issues that the media wants to push and look deeper into what is being hidden.  There is so much darkness and deception today.  Take a moment and look at who you are supporting!

I do not remember who spoke this or where it came from, but it has stuck with me for years.  “You will know who your family and friends are by their support they have for you.  If you have a business or a product, these are the people you can count on to support you and to brag to others about you, even if they do not really need what you have.  They support you for you.”  Unknown

The thing that struck me about this statement is the light in it.  It is the relationship behind the product or the business.  Today, we have become so fearful from the agenda of darkness that we have forgotten that being for something is more powerful than being against something.

In Romans 8 we are given a promise that if God is for us, WHO can be against us!

FOR!  God is FOR you.  God does not fear or worry about the darkness.  He is so FOR the light that the darkness cannot understand this.  The darkness gets so confused it runs away.  Jesus loved His disciples.  He could have gotten so mad at them so many times.  He was always steady and always looking for moment to teach on His Fathers ways.  It is a different kingdom and mindset.  It is a mindset of being for the success of people that are doing what they are called to do.  It is hearing a vision or dream that God placed in a person and looking to support them.  Jesus came to serve, but He was also an offense to many.  He was so FOR showing the world the ways of His Fathers kingdom, it offended all darkness and confused them.

We all have a platform.  Another way to say this, is we all lead people.  It may be your child or position at work.  It could be a blog or even a few friends on Facebook.  My platform is small in this season and I am not going to complain.  I will use this small platform to spread a message of hope and life.  I will support those close to me and their dreams.  I will speak life into those dreams and not death because it seems farfetched or crazy.  I know that if God has placed it within a person, He is for them, and I want to be on His side!

I want to share with you about a small company that has big dreams for Jesus.  You pray and decide how to or if you desire to support them.  I do not use the products, because I do not need them or want to use them.  Others in my household do and will use them.  Therefore, I am not going to talk to you about the product much since I do not have personal experience with them.  I want to let you in on the heart of those behind it.  As in the quote above, I desire to support kingdom people, not a product.  We are not in a place we get to hang out with the couple that has founded and produces this product that many use daily.  We do have a lot of conversations with them and we do pray for each other a lot.  The Lord has revealed to me His desire to bless this dream he placed within this family.  He placed this in their hearts .  This couple longs to serve a need at an affordable cost.  Their heart behind this is to love people well.  I personally believe they could at least double the price.  I have heard people try the product and rave about it.  BUT that does not fit in the vision the Lord gave them.  They are willing to be obedient unto the Lord and what He has called them to.  This family is faithful!  The heart of loving others well goes beyond their company and into their daily lives.  They love each other well!  They love their children well!  I have seen them be extremely faithful to what the Lord speaks to them.  They hear the voice of the Lord with clarity and are faithful to follow through on what He speaks.  They have developed an intimacy with King Jesus.  They have a gifting of praise!  They are called to lead others into the throne room through worship.  This is going to be an organic overflow of worship from within their home.  I do not know who this is going to look, but I do see this gift in them.  I know the time restraints of having a family.  I know God has breathed on this dream of their heart because they are able to sustain a business while being mom and dad.  They are consistently in the Word of God and pray.  In a busy life with business and family this is not easy to maintain, but they do!  It is evident in the fruit and overflow of their life and business.  To receive a product that is amazing and prayed blessing over as it is formed, can only make you love the product more.  They are a legacy and are leaving one.  I personally know her parents.  They have blessed us so much and I cannot say enough good things about them.  They live a life hope and spreading the fame of His name in all you do.  They also love their children dearly and are sowing into them.  We have been blessed to come alongside of this amazing family of God.  They have Sarah to help market the product for them.  Sarah’s experience in cosmetology and love for revealing the beautiful creation of God in each person has made for a perfect fit in marketing this amazing product.

Who would not want to support this awesome family of God?

How can you support them?

Their product is mineral makeup that they make by hand in small batches and cover each product in prayer as they make them.  The company is Purely You Minerals.  Their website is PurelyYouMinerals.com or find and like them on Instagram or Etsy.  To make a purchase go to their Etsy store (https://www.etsy.com/shop/PurelyYouMinerals?ref=search_shop_redirect).  If you have questions please let us know and Sarah will help you.  We are so honored and blessed to come alongside Danny and Joy in seeing the dreams of God come to fruition in their life.  If you can use the product awesome.  If not please join us in praying for the business and tell others about this amazing family that they can support.  I know it is simple to support a large retail store because you already go there for other things, but I bring it back to this, who you are for?  If you are not already supporting a friend or family member to see God’s dream within them come to fruition with makeup, I encourage you to go and look and try the product.  Share the Etsy page, the Instagram and Facebook pages.  As sales and products show up on your feed share them.  I ask you to tell others about Purely You Minerals that might struggle finding makeup that works for them.  The heart behind this is to serve and love others.

I encourage you to not be so busy that you do not have the time to know what or whom you support.  It is easy to get caught up in the cares of this life that we do not have time to be diligent and seek out kingdom people and businesses.  Word of mouth is still a great form of advertisement.  As you find something amazing share it with others.  Share the light!

I believe there is so much power in shining the light!  We have so many ways we can do that today.  Let us use the platforms we have to shine light.  It may only be a Facebook account or it could be a million people under you in your business.  Let us throw our energy into shining light rather than shutting out the darkness or shoveling it out.  I promise this does not drain you.  It gives you life.  The more life I give, the more life I receive.  This is how Jesus promised His kingdom works!  Find the people of God you can support and as issues like Target and Hobby Lobby come up you will find yourself on the side of the kingdom of God and not having to react.  Maybe the most important point in all of this is to support your family and friends.  The fruit of not supporting them is not good.  It hurts and causes division.  Jealousy tries to take root, especially as they see you support others that are not close to you.  We should be intentional on supporting those closest to us.  The fruit of this is so powerful.  It reveals that you believe in them.  That you are for them.  We are adopted into God’s family and He is for us.  This is powerful.  We need to display this Fathers heart to our family and friends in our support of them.

 

 

Is McDonald’s all bad?

On a day full of snow and cold I am reminded to slow down! As most everybody can and does in the world today, we get as much done as we can in our time. It is like I live by the slogan “Life is short, do as much as possible as quickly as possible.” I do this and forget to enjoy the now! So I appreciate days like today that I can enjoy the season God has me in right now!

Today I am remembering how bad my feelings are as leader. It was only 4 months ago I was loving where God had us in our life. We just bought a beautiful home, my family was happy and having fun, and I was enjoying my spiritual surroundings with a great Church family and an amzing job working for Jesus full time. In short my life was going great! If there was something lacking it was my one on one time with Sarah. Not that we were having any problems at all. I do believe you are either moving closer or further apart and that there is no in between. My connection with my wife was diminishing at a slow and gradual pace and we knew it was over that last few years. There were some roadblocks in spending that time together dreaming and pursuing each other. We always have been big on dreaming together with the Lord. We had yet to do that over the last few years and this created a disconnect between us. The Lord’s ways are always better than ours! As soon as we saw this and asked the Lord to help things fell in place for us to go to the mountains in Colorado. The very moment we were alone the dreaming started to take place. It was as if we both had dreams but hadn’t shared them yet. Then as soon as the ice was broken the water (dreams) gushed out. At this moment I knew the Lord was telling us about a change coming, but my feelings were saying no it is not. I was happy where I was and with what I was doing. I (my feelings) did not like this new change the Lord was speaking. I do know that my feelings are not a good leader of the decisions I make. I learned that a long time ago. As a young youth pastor in my college years I was once told by a leader that peace is what helps lead your decisions. As you FEEL peace on something go for it. Needless to say, for the next 5 years of my life my feelings led me down a path I would rather not have gone. I felt peace about making money over going to school. I felt peace about a lot of things I knew was not in my value system. This value system or standard should have held my feelings in check and kept me going the path the Lord set for me. In the scenerio of this summer my standard is my marriage is the single most important earthly ministry I have on this earth (besides to the Lord). If I would have been led by peace I would still be in Kansas City today. Instead I was led by His voice and the standards He has helped me to set in my life. So what about the peace? After my experience in following His voice I know that I know my feelings will soon catch up with my standards and letting Him lead. It is a little over 2 months in Texas and my feelings are starting to catch up. I am receiving revelation as to what it is He is doing and why we are here for this season. There are things that are happening that we would not be able to be a part of. We are needed in each of these situations. He has blessed us with a great place to worship that has a little bit of each part of our DNA (spiritual makeup) over the course of our journey. He has blessed Sarah and I with the opportunity to dream on a weekly basis for now. So today I thank You for being a good leader. I thank You for teaching me that I do not have to feel like doing what you say. I thank You that You are a good Father, Shepherd, and Leader and that I can trust You fully with my life and my families life. In this season of thankfullness I am extremely thankful for You and that I feel so safe because of Your leadership.

What have I been doing on my snow day? Watching home videos from the 1980’s. Life has sure changed a lot from that time. Things are so much faster today than then. Media can rule our life and has shaped our time in so many ways. I know I feel like I have to fill the “empty time” so I don’t miss out. I need days like today to remember the testimony of my life in God. I need to be reminded to slow down in this fast megabyte world I live in and to enjoy the now. I know this is “the most busyest time of the year,” but take time to slow down. In between one of the segments of vhs video a show had been recorded over, but the gap showed a commercial. I am not a big fan of McDonalds food, but a McDonalds commerical from 80’s was in this gap. A snow man was built by a child. Ronald then shows up and says “great job but you are missing something.” The little girls looks a bit funny at him and he blows some Ronald magic dust and appears another snowman. The voice over comes on and says,”this Christmas season, do not forget what is most important, RELATIONSHIPS!” I do not know where McDonalds stance is on Jesus, but that message was much of the message I see Jesus spreading to all in His time walking on the earth. The greatest commandment is to love God and others. Relationship is the value or standard this Man spread to all the earth. He came as a world changer. He spoke to all saying it is not about upholding this law but about upholding relationship. Love each other. Yes, the standard or value system He gave us to change the world is that of love. In my studies this time of year is one depression and anxiety is most prominent. Could that be because of hurt in relationships? I think it is a root cause. We sometimes so hold the standards of our beliefs that we forget about the people we are called to love. I am by no means saying to drop your values or standards, but do want to encourage everybody to value the relationships you have over the standards you uphold. The standards are what you live by. You stay strong in those, but do not forget to love. In a season that Christ is placed in stores, streets, and homes all over, we have to remember how He changed the world. Forgiveness can often be an almost forgot about subject within the church. I encourage you now, if you need to forgive somebody do it now. Reach out to them. Let the world changer inside of you come out and love others. I want to encourage everybody to not get caught up in all the hassle of doing things just perfect for the holidays, but to remember that which is of most importance. As in the words of the McDonalds commercial, “do not forget what is most important this Christmas season, relationships.”

Philippians 4 Peace!

….the peace that transcends understanding…..

I was young and just starting out in serving the Lord as a vocation. I had chosen to serve Him, though I had no clue what that would look like. I know I had my plans, but His were much bigger. I was in a fellowship hall of this little church and helping the leader of the church change light bulbs. We were talking about making the hard decision. I remember him telling me, “when you feel peace, go for it.” I am sure he explained that way beyond those words, but as a young man with dreams and hungry to get going, that is all I heard and remember from that conversation. So, for a season of my life, I followed that rule. I listened and exercised this like it was Jesus that spoke that small phrase to me. I bounced from one thing to another, time and time again. I finished next to nothing and for the next 4 years of my life I was bouncing from one thing to the next because I felt peace about it. I even jumped out of serving Jesus because I felt the peace, in my flesh!

I believe that man of God that spoke those words to me that day meant something way more than what I heard. I believe he spoke to me on Philippians 4. He probably told me not be anxious and to ask God about every situation. Then, by being in His will, I would have a peace in a crazy situation, where peace could not be possible. Being the stubborn young man I was, I had to learn this through my own experience. I have always learned better by exercising a particular thing. It has always been hard for me to hear a story or a sermon and remember it totally. The times I remember the lesson in fullness are the times I live the lesson.

I took this lesson on peace, or the one sentence I remembered, and ran with it. My flesh can find peace in things that do not pass understanding. As a believer, a disciple, a son and ambassador of Christ, the enemy, Satan and his friends (fallen angels aka demons) will go to any length for me to worship anything but God! That includes giving me peace! I love sports and love basketball in particular. I remember dreaming as a young boy of being Mark Price and being the best shooter in the NBA and every chance I got glorify the name of Jesus. I would simulate last shot situations in the drive way. I would play with tornados on the ground just miles away. Growing up I always had success in basketball. The enemy came in with a plan and executed it to perfection. This knocked me out of basketball, as I saw it, from there on. I became bitter and lost the passion and faith I had in the abilities God gave me. I began to fear not making it and it showed on the court. This story to say basketball was a peace for me. Since I could no longer play really, I grabbed a whistle and began to referee basketball. I then decided I wanted to coach. I justified doing this and said it was my arena to glorify God. My flesh was at peace. I began drinking with fellow referee buddies and it was peaceful. I dropped out of school with only 1 and 1/2 semesters left to graduate to take a job I felt peace about. It was at this job I hit rock bottom. I began to search for peace in many ways at this point only to find a huge empty hole in my heart (spirit). A deep cry from within me came to my attention. I felt all alone and was full of fear. On the outside I had peace. I had made decision based on peace for the last 4 years. I was about to break and new it! One truth about Satan, he always overplays his hand. He did with me here. He tried to take me out, but God showed up!

I am not going to go into all the details, but understand that God is so kind and gentle. He loves me so much and is a great Dad. He knows me so well and knew I could handle no more. He knew I was immature and needed to learn this lesson. He will save us and loves to, even to the point of sending Jesus, His only Son, to die for you and me.

Back to it….I am sitting all alone and broken. How did it get to this point God? I felt peace and went. Why did you not meet me in that peace?

His response…..”What do I say about peace?” I love how he responds with a question. Why does He do this? It makes us mature and dig! Plus, He knows me better than anybody and knows if He just tells me I will grab a little bit and go. I had to get it myself so it stuck!

Long story short I learn the lesson that I am not to react out of peace. Rather I am to stand in the place He has called me to be and know He gives peace. In obeying His words and knowing His nature, I can have a peace that transcends all understanding. The Ancient of Days, the Creator of everything, the One that owns a cattle on thousands of hills, my Defender is with me and I have no need to be anxious!

This was 10 years ago. I have had many lessons since then and many opportunities to respond to this lesson. I will share the most recent.

We are missionaries. I actually made a vow as a young man that I would serve God, but not as a missionary. I have repented of this, but that is where He put me serving Him. I have not had a lot of opportunities up to last year for ministry other than where I am. We were under the impression we were in Kansas City for training unto something else in the future. It may still be, but not as quickly as we thought. For 2 years we had asked God about buying a home. The 3rd year He says, “buy!” We had disappointment after disappointment in this process. Peace in the flesh was NOWHERE to be found in this process. It was actually miserable at some points. Over 10 years ago, I would have bailed and ran. We also had ministry opportunities that came up as well. They were great opportunities in places we would be comfortable, even in the flesh. We would have been close to family and doubled our income. There was one thing we continued to come back to…the spoken Word of the Lord. He told us in prophetic word, dreams, His Word, and to us directly for months. We had to continue to stand on His promises about His will for our lives. We have had to continuously battle anxiety and fear to stand in peace and faith. Here we are a day before breakthrough and God sends a snow storm. We have had 7 inches of snow maybe in the last 2 years. We will get that and possibly more today. Here is the cool thing. Snow means redemption! Snow means transition! It means purity! As I think about these 3 meanings I get no peace in my flesh! NONE! It all means tough times have occurred. To purify something is the process of cleaning out impurities. Transition is never easy. Redemption means something was lost for it to be redeemed. One thing is for sure…..All 3 of these are true about this season of our lives. This year marks 10 year anniversaries for Sarah and I. Over the last 10 years we have battled a lot, and we rejoice with God and you. The snow is here and will make moving in a few days a little more challenging, but we are battle tested. We will rejoice with Him and continue to stand! And…Thunder Snow with Lightning! The power of God along with it.

January 2013

God has been stirring in me something since the beginning of November 2012, about His Bride, the Church.  I have received one revelation after another, through His Word and visions, concerning the things coming in our next season.

I first asked Him, “what does our next season look like?”

Isaiah 16:5  In love a throne will be established in faithfulness a man will sit on it— one from the house of David—one who in judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness.

Then while meditating on these scriptures I (in my minds eye vision) saw a line of people.  It was a long single file line that wound around a huge and beautiful mountain.  The path was extremely narrow to where only a single file line could be made.  At the top of the mountain I saw a door.  It was not obvious as to what was behind this door but I had a sense of excitement to the mystery of what was in the door.  Why would people wait so long to get through the little door.  The mountain had steep parts that were rocky and rough and parts where it was easy and comforting.  I noticed on the bottom side a huge gate that was made of fools gold.  It was very wide and to those that not willing to wait or lazy it was the way to go.  They got impatient.  Some on the mountain would get out of line after a while to go in the wide gate.  (Matt 7:13-14)

This is a word to encourage us to be patient and contend.  Not to lose focus of the prize.  This last season was not easy.  The road truly feels narrow and we feel alone at times.  The Holy Spirit is given to us to reveal the mystery’s of God.  I wondered why others did not stop those getting out of line.  I knew this was the Way!  Other’s did as well.  Many of the people were not looking out for others, only themselves.  We need to love others and contend for their highest possible good as well.

Soon after Isaiah 35 was given to us while we were fellowshipping with some friends.  The end speaks of the Highway of Holiness.  The Lord revealed to me that this Highway is a road lifted up with guard rails on each side.  This is a safe way to travel (1 Peter 5:8).  Only the redeemed travel this road made for worship.  There is restoration, joy and gladness on this highway!

Isaiah 35 showed me things that are coming in this next season.  We are going out from darkness into the light.  We do not see the earth as God intended for us to because of man’s rebellion and sin.  God did not intend for us to suffer physical ailments.  We know in Christ’s return He will take all this away.  He is wanting to shift our mindsets to His Kingdom where physical ailments are not ok!  We need to be strong!  Get going!  The enemy wants to freeze us.  How does the devourer do this?  Fear!  He reveals our weakness and keeps us frozen in fear.  It is time to battle this.  Fear is unbelief.  There is NO REST in unbelief.  This is a place where we hear God’s voice, but we do not obey this.  This is rebellion, which God spoke through the prophet Samuel, that rebellion is likened to witchcraft.

The Highway of Holiness we travel on is a place of continual worship.  This is a season we need to purpose ourselves to worship God.  This is why:

Worship causes us to experience the Father’s love.  Faith works by love!  So as we worship, faith is released into us.  It is a time to get intentional with our worship and adoration of our Father in Heaven.  Personal worship and adoration as well as corporately.  This will help in our fight of fear and heaviness.  He promises us a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness.

 

This is where He lead me.  As I read it on plane text in my Bible these words in bold were like this on the page, though the really were not by the naked eye.

Romans 12:9-21  

9 Love must be sincereHate what is evil; cling to what is good10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[a] Do not think you are superior.

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[b] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[c]

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Again I see specific words standing out on the page.  This is where He took me to reveal love to me.  I was then blessed hearing a message on love by Pastor Dave at City Life Church on love.  To love is to contend for the highest possible good! (his definition=awesome)

 

This is a year to contend!  To risk.  To sow.  It is a principle God gave us long ago.  You reap what you sow!  I am feeling the Lord is wanting to quicken the process this season specifically.  Isaiah 16:5 states “speeds the cause..”  This is a season of what you sow today you may reap today or very soon.  He will quicken the process.  Romans 9:14 speaks of blessing and cursing.  Your words are powerful.  In this season they are even more so.  As we can see, the light is brighter and darkness darker every day.  The Holy Spirit will guide you and reveal things.  If you hear a word and your unsure, get the definition.  If you speak a blessing that blessing will come quick and increase in measure.  The same in cursing.  If you curse it will be come quick and increase in measure.  Our God is love and He has mercy on us.  If we realize a curse has been spoken out of our mouth and we repent He is quick to forgive.  I encourage you not to just repent but to speak a blessing after.  The blessing will come!  Be careful in speech!

Financially, spiritually (giftings), hospitably and any other way you can dream of, SOW, into righteousness and justice (by His standards)!  The soil is very fertile and rain in abundance.  Sow in abundance and without fear.  What you do today will effect your tomorrow as well as your children’s tomorrow.  HEAR, His Words with clarity!  We have to be fine tuned to His voice to discern between the just and right cause that He is speaking to you.

I had a vision of playing Madden football with God.  Growing up my brother and I would play on the same team, with one playing defense and the other offense.  God said, I want defense this time.  I promise they won’t score.  Run up the score, no punting, no field goals and only onside kicks.  I knew this marks the season we are entering into.  Pile on the points.  It is time to risk it all at every offensive play you can imagine.  We are on offense, RUN UP THE SCORE!  GO FOR IT!

Spiritually, in gifting, I feel healing and faith (personally).  As Isaiah 35 was spoken over us (confirmation of our next season), I felt this strongly.  In verses 3-6 I heard Him say I am coming to save (deliver) and then will release healing (breakthrough).  This is the season for breakthrough.  Whatever it is you have been contending for this past season, press on!  Keep on it because the breakthrough is coming.  We go back to the principle of sowing and reaping here as well.  Be intentional about building your gift that God has given.  If you have had a desire or even a thought you might like to operate in a certain gift or gifts of the Sprit, press in and go for it!  How?  For healing:  pray for those needing healing, faith: NO FEAR or UNBELIEF, prophetic: edify, exhort, comfort those in need, ect….  We need to be on the offense.  We are told to move forward.  Jesus gave us the power (Holy Spirit) to overcome.  Paul often speaks of pressing on towards the prize in various forms.  As an athlete you don’t go backwards to get first prize.  The enemy may come to stop you but don’t be pushed back, STAND! (Ephesians 6:14)  Remember, we are on offense, go for it.

Financially, I encourage you to sow plentifully!  As the economy of the world is in disarray and extremely weak, especially in terms of investment, God’s kingdom is not.  Holy Spirit led me to Isaiah 58.  Yes it speaks of about God’s fast for justice.  In this speaks of giving and hospitality.  This is the fast He has chosen.  On that note, it is a fasting season!  Prepare yourself for such and enter into it with a grateful heart.  He is also asking us to give to those that are orphaned.  Not just give to an organization that is doing this but to reach out and show love.  Bring them in and feed them.  Do this and He will make sure you are provided for.  Your light will break forth like the dawn!  His salvation comes and power soon follows.  He wants to reveal Himself as the miraculous provider, Jehovah Jireh.  He will do this by His Spirit! (John 7:38-39 and Zechariah 4:6)  Again, by His Spirit, is how we know for what we are to give to and to whom we take in.  Tune your ear into His voice.  Even if it sounds crazy, go for it!  Run up the score!

I was then at the OneThing conference in Kansas City and it was the last day of 2012.  I clearly heard Him speak that the countdown was the leap into this next season.

Stand and Contend for His promises!

Sow to reap a divinely multiplied harvest

No Fear or Unbelief!  Fight it with all your might.  Step out and do those things He tells you that seem, “Crazy!”

 

 

What kind of servant am I?

Matthew 18 is the parable of the unforgiving servant.
The king wanted to settle his accounts. God wants all accounts settled between Him and us and between one another. He desires us to make peace with each other and live a life of forgiveness. His mercy is new every morning! It never stops.
This kings servant owes a large debt! Too huge to pay off in his lifetime I am sure. All He has, including himself and his family are going to be sold until the debt can be paid to the king. The fact is, I do not deserve His mercy. I do deserve eternal bondage as a prisoner. But Jesus took that upon Himself and now I have the ability to be set completely free and walk as a son of God. This is an amazing gift available to all! At the time we receive this, I am no longer in my old identity as slave. Along with our identity, expectations from my Father, my Master, change. He expects me to represent His kingdom like a royal son. I am expected to change! It is interesting that in the beginning of the chapter the disciples are asking who is the greatest in my Fathers kingdom? Jesus says, “those that humble themselves and be like a child!” I walk in humility and become like a child. A child that knows nothing, but what he sees and hears in his environment. This child is suppose to be taught mostly by his parents and leadership over him. Jesus told us He only says what He heard His Father say and did what He saw Dad do. This king shows the servant mercy and the servant should then be a leader like the king. That is what the king expects! That is what my Father in Heaven expects of me!
The servant that was forgiven had a servant that owed him a good amount of money, but not near as much as he owed the king. He goes to settle this debt and has no compassion and no mercy like he had just been shown. He harbored unforgiveness against his servant. I am sure the forgiven servant is thinking of himself only. Except the fact that his family, all his belongings and himself were just set free from a huge debt that they could never repay, more than likely. He sees his freedom and gets greedy. He can have more now for himself. That vacation home in the mountains I always wanted is at my fingertips. I just need to collect from those that owe me so I can buy it. This was an act of pride. God gives grace to the humble but resists the proud. There could be many reasons behind his thinking, but pride is a definite root here.
The truth is this my Father forgave me all my sins that I could never ever repay with anything I or anybody except Jesus. Jesus gave His life for my ransom. His shed blood has cleansed me. I am in relationship with hundreds of people and see many daily. I have thousands of opportunities to pick up offense and hold unforgiveness. Those that are closest to me often hurt me the most. My Father gives me the choice. Will I humble myself like his little boy and forgive like He did me? Or, will I hold it against them, in pride?

I see that when this servant was forgiven by the king he was actually given full freedom. He was restored to the place he would be if he never had sinned (owed a debt). He is given all he owns and set up nicely. So when I release another of an offense/injustice done against me, I am to do so like my Father in Heaven. When He forgives me, my sin against him is cast far away and forgotten. I am restored to the place I would be without sinning against Him.

For example:
Just the other day we went to see Libby’s one day Kindergarten program that helps us homeschool her. We came home and hit a nail in our rear driver side tire. I heard it hissing as I stepped out of the car. I back it out of the garage just in case I need to change the tire. I get out, look, and it still has a good amount of air in the tire. I ask for Sarah and the kids to hurry out so I can go before it gets to low. Sarah then says, “but what if you do not make it?” I hear, “You can’t make it! You will get stranded. What are you thinking?” This is NOT what she said. I did get upset at her and gave the silent treatment as she got out and walked in. I eventually made it to the tire shop and was able to have a good half hour to talk to God about this. I found offense from my childhood and had to walk through forgiveness of many of my leaders in the past. I got back and talked with Sarah and asked for forgiveness. We then have a great talk and I am then redeemed to the place as if it had not happened. She may not be able to forget completely, but I have been redeemed in her heart and eyes. Any judgements she may have had concerning this event is released as she forgives me. Maybe she thought I acted like a 12 year old in the situation, saying I was immature. This judgement was released as she fully forgave me. I acted quick in repenting, and was also shown other people I needed to forgive from my past. It was amazing because I was able to get some amazing freedom from one small, seemingly insignificant event.

Peter asked how many times do we forgive the same person for the same offense? It is understood, forever! Honestly I know this was not the first time I reacted to something she said in the same way. I learned in my late teens to keep my mouth shut when I get upset like that. If you can’t say something nice, Jamin, don’t say anything. The issue is, is that I know my wife. Silence to her is painful. It allows the enemy in to speak lies about me to her. Doubts creep in of my character. I could never accuse her in anger. That is not me. The next worse thing from yelling at her mean things of who she is, is silence. It may be on the same level. I do know she does not like it. I also know I have never yelled mean things at her or about her. Other people have spoken ugly to her and I have seen the effects of it. Many may not see the silent treatment as an offense, but it is. It opens a door for the enemy to jump in and speak lies. We have had many talks throughout our relationship about this issue. Sarah has forgiven me, time and time again. Like Peter, I am not a perfect man. I could possibly give the silent treatment again one day. I do know that I will look to repent even quicker the next time.

Matthew 18:34-35.
The king hands the unforgiving servant over to be tortured and Jesus tells us His Father will do the same to anybody unwilling to forgive. Unforgiveness opens a door for the enemy to be allowed to torment us. Not only that, the servant he did not forgive was not released from prison. They both were tortured by one person’s unforgiveness. In my example story I can tell you this little thing was tormenting on both Sarah and I until forgiveness manifested correctly. The enemy came in with lies about each others character and so on. The point is when we harbor unforgiveness, it places not only the person harboring it in bondage/prison, but also the person he did not forgive. These are heavy chains that wears on both parties.

The tormenting, I think can be a number of things. One for sure is the loss of relationship with the other person. I look back in my life and see many great friendships that went sour due to unforgiveness. One person wrongs another and the one wronged will not forgive. This is torture for both parties, because the friendship is lost. I have seen unforgiveness rip families apart. Some issues were very small things, that were blown up by the open door of unforgiveness.

We were made in the image of God! We were made for relationship. One of my most rewarding relationships I have is with Sarah. The husband and wife relationship is so rewarding. At the same time, it is also the most challenging relationship I have. The closer and more intimate the relationship you have with a person the more tormenting it can be with harbored unforgiveness. This is one reason divorce is so devastating to all parties involved. I find it interesting that the subject of marriage and divorce is the next thing Jesus speaks on in Chapter 19. The Pharisees, who are always trying to trick Jesus, ask him about divorce. Jesus gives a great answer. Divorce was never in My Father’s heart! Husband and wife are to be one flesh and that which God puts together, man (includes husband/wife) should not separate. God’s desire is for good healthy relationships where both parties are always ready to forgive and not looking to offend the other.

What if I am sinned against?
I will choose to bind and loose in forgiveness! Just before the parable of the unforgiving servant Jesus tells us how to deal with a person that has sinned against (offended) us. The heart behind this is not about being right or wrong, but about seeking forgiveness and reconciliation of the relationship. It says to tell him his fault. “Jamin, when you joked, and said I stink, that offended me!” We are not told to go tell him all his wrongs. “Jamin, you accused me and are filled with hate saying I stink.” To go in a spirit of accusation or to go with a judging heart will only cause more conflict and more offenses that need forgiven. This is where speaking truth in love comes in! It may be good to model after Jesus. He loved to ask questions. Go ask the person questions. The Holy Spirit will probably reveal to them how they offended you and repent. First, you go alone and try and reconcile. If he continues to not forgive, bring a few people that you and the person are close with. If he still will not forgive, bring the whole church to the person and seek forgiveness. If he still refuses you have to let him go. This is not to say hurt or torment is gone from either party. For the party that has been sinned against, if they seek hard after forgiveness, to these extremes, the person can at least feel as if they did all they could to try and reconcile the relationship.

My Father in heaven actively sought out my redemption in sending His only Son to die for me. My duty as a son in His kingdom is to actively seek peace and reconciliation. Relationships are very important to my Dad. He wants relationship with me and wants me to have good relationships with others. He desires me to be a peacemaker, salt and light to this world. I am to reflect Him and His kingdom. I am to set my heart to seek out forgiveness, whether I offended another or the other offended me.

My side of the Adventure of Birth

Taking a step back to look at May 18th and 19th, the labor and birth of Gideon.

We make our way back to the midwife, after 24 hours of Sarah having to collect urine for her 3rd test to check her protein level. 2 weeks prior we were placed in the hospital, released and then sent home on bed rest. Sarah has never had protein levels high before so we both just knew we were having to go through the motions with this test to be sent home again. Her blood pressure at home stayed around 130/85. Not bad at all, really. Each time we went to the Midwife’s office it ran high. I had even scheduled a t-time to play golf the next day and we had left Libby with Kayla (young lady living with us), knowing we would be home shortly. As usual her BP jumped. They come and tell us we are going to the hospital to monitor Sarah until her urine test comes back. We are extremely frustrated!!!! They sent us home with the test the day before and my thoughts when we got home were that we should pack our bags. Why not right? For whatever reason we did not. A few hours later they came back and for the first time, the protein level was high. So…induction here we come.

Disappointing, yes. Shocked, yes. As I sat there with my beautiful wife, I looked into her eyes and could see the shock. Yes she was excited to see Gideon but I think some fear set in and most definitely some anger. Who at? The nurses or midwife, some maybe. God, more than likely. But this did not last long. Why, because we expressed it to Him. I have had a lot of disappointment and many many times to get angry with Him. Before I would let it simmer inside me and build up. I have learned through experience to get it out! I get “the list” from Sarah of things she needed ME to pack for her. Ya laugh a bit here…First of all because yes, Sarah had a list….Sarah never makes list, but thank You Lord, she did this time….Now laugh at the picture of me trying to pack without a list….Ya, I even get a good chuckle out of that one. I am angry and honestly ready to refuse the induction, probably because of fear placed in me from the nurses and midwife for reasons of being early he may spend a good amount of time in NICU and so on. I wanted this to be special and for Gideon to be with us. The chance of not waiting 3 days so my son would not have to be place in the NICU for a few hours was a huge to me. I called both mom’s and let them know what was going on. Now, I was on my way to pack! Hungry and mad! Here I was alone in a car with God. I got to release this anger to Him. He is so good to me, I cannot say this enough. Just like I do not like Libby to hold in the anger that is stealing her joy, He wants me to release this on Him and talk it out with Him. When He says He wants my burdens (Ps 68:19), He is not joking. God has helped teach me to deal with anger rightly and keep the enemy from stealing my joy. That is exactly what I did in the next 10 minutes on my drive home. I get home with this excitement and pure joy. My son will be arriving soon! This thought or mindset would not leave me either….and my joy would be with me as well.

Packing went well (I only forgot a few things). Dado and Nana (my grandparents) call and tell me they may come (and do and they eventually get there before Gideon arrives). Libby is set to go with Megan, who is with Sarah at the hospital, while I pack and get Libby. We have all our amazing family and friends notified to pray.

I return and Sarah is dilated to a 3 with the cervix still thick (no induction, yet). 6 pm they begin the induction with Cervidil. We have the worship going. Peace and His presence have completely filled the room. The nurses loved coming in, each one saying how peaceful it is in our room.

Around 4 in the morning contractions begin. Sarah and I both were able to get 4 to 5 hours of sleep. This would prove vital, as well as Sarah being able to eat breakfast that morning, for the events to come. Around 10 am the contractions were strong and regular. Sarah, who is absolutely amazing, was full of joy and determination. I honestly am seeing a new side of her right here. I know she is determined and strong, but she has now crossed into a new level. Noon rolls around and I am thinking Gideon could arrive within a few hours. I get lunch brought to me by Libby and Megan, Chic-Fil-A. I eat while Libby and Megan take over comforting Sarah during her contractions. We wanted Libby to be with us as much as possible. They could only stay for a few hours because Megan had to go to work (she leads the Immersed internship at IHOP) for a bit and Libby had to go with her. This is where I personally get a lot out emotionally. Libby comes to me crying, looks into my eyes, and says,”dad I miss you! Can I stay with you?” I had to leave the room. I pick her up and we have a great cry session for a good 5-10 minutes. I tell her it will only be a little while and giver her hope that Gideon could soon be here. I tell her it will probably be more than 2 hours but not much more, and she will be back in 2 hours. She leaves full of excitement to get to meet her little brother. Sarah labors hard for a little bit before the contractions almost stop completely. They would start-up again in a few hours and at 3 I am thinking Gideon will come by 5. I kept praying please God, lets not do like we did with Libby and go over 24 hours since they induced. Honestly, I could do nothing but pray really. I encouraged as much as I could and as directed by Holy Spirit. Not long into this batch of contractions and come to a stop again. Now frustration has set in some. It is so funny how the enemy keeps trying to get us down. We created our own little glory zone for His presence to rest in the hospital room. That hospital room was anointed and Holy Spirit was manifested in many ways throughout the few days we were there. Sarah was becoming fatigued. She had not eaten since early morning and she had been laboring a lot throughout the day. The midwife comes in, “lets start Pitocin” she says. I know it has been a long day and I wonder if Sarah is thinking of taking any pain drugs yet. I keep this to myself, but I am honestly almost wiped out, so I know she has to be tired. For the contractions to come like that and then stop, was tiring. The monitors for Sarah or Gideon never worked right to begin with, so the strength of the contractions were unknown to all but Sarah. I must say, I knew they were not little ones. I could see it in her beautiful eyes. I know her better than most anybody on earth. We have been joined as one. There was a few things I continued to see though and it never wavered one bit….determination and joy! Seeing this gave me renewed strength. Pitocin was started around 6 p.m. at a low dose. She got going quick! Only a few hours until they took it off completely with contractions going strong. Dado and Nana get there around 7 pm and come and say “hi” to us. Then Sarah’s midwife, Crystal comes in, and helps. She suggests a new position because Gideon is stuck in her pelvis! Well now we know why the contractions kept stopping! He was stuck in her pelvis. Somewhere in here is where we began to hear Sarah say, “I cant do this.” A great friend, Rod, told me that is when it would be baby time. We get in the new position a little after 8 pm. Just before 9 pm they check her, she is at 8 cm with her cervix still only 60% thinned. Sarah needs to go to the bathroom, potty break! She has a lot of lower back pain so we position her straddling the toilet and push on her lower back to ease the pressure. She works hard not to push at this point. Crystal says, “My rule is no baby will be born in the toilet, let’s get back to the bed!” She turns to get things ready and I, right with her jump in to assist with her back pain. We run to the bed and honestly, how we got there we don’t really remember. She was tied up to an I.V. and all we can remember is, it was blur. Crystal asks for her not to push (they were not set up yet because her cervix was not thinned). Sarah does great with the first one to not push, but the next came quick! She says, “I can’t not push!” Crystal then gives her the ok….One push…..I look and the head is almost out! 2nd push…head is out! Sarah is now saying, “I cant do this, it hurts too bad!” Yet the worst is over! I then look her in the eyes and say, “Baby, his head is out! He is here!” With shock in her whole person, she says, “really?” Crystal says, “one more push, then reach down and grab your boy!” BAM!!!! He is now in out and she is reaching down to grab our son.

There is now a shift in spiritual presence in the room! I don’t know who else felt this, but I did! I felt the shift like never before! I ask, “Holy Spirit, what is that!” I knew immediately, angels were crowded in that room to the max! A time of rejoicing over Gideon, yes, but the full experience added to it even more. Not only did we do this with no medication, but we had so many opportunities to quit and take an easier or quicker route, but did not!!!! We persevered and the Heavens were rejoicing with us at 9:14 pm on May 19th. I love the presence of God! I have felt Him in many tangible ways, but never like this before. I have sensed angels around before, but never like this! A sweet taste of victory, in Jesus!

So why was the presence of the Lord SO strong at that moment?

I have been asking Him for weeks this very question.

What did I hear? “You will find Me in the lowest place.” As I sat in the Global Prayer Room here in Kansas City, I was thrown off a bit. My first thought was He gives grace to the humble, but resists the proud. I was able to see where we, as a family unit, had humbled ourselves and have been brought low over this. Finally having another child! Some will understand, because you have been to the point of desperation for healing or breakthrough in a certain area. I cannot try to tell you how many times Sarah and I have gone to the altar call for healing. Or how many times we have heard a word of knowledge about not being able to get pregnant, so we would stand, and contend, again. It got to the point, Lord please do not give them a word of knowledge like this…..but it usually happened when we said this. The amount of time we spent with God asking for this ONE thing, a baby, more than filled the hospital we were in, the city, or even the state if you turned prayer into oil. Each tear we cried over this, has been stored up. Every second of each persons time contending in prayer with us has been accounted for and came to fruition at that point. As I continued to listen to Him, the worship leader began a chorus…”In the lowest place is where I find You!” I am at the point of tears. Of all the people in their, He is bringing into the light this one thing….the birth of Gideon. So I knew then it was not a small thing. As I got the point of being able to listen again from feeling the overwhelming love You long to pour out on me, I hear you say, “Jamin, you turned to me, Your loving Dad, and depended fully upon Me!” I put my trust in You. I then just sat there and let Him love on me for a good amount of time.

Now here I am with another question. If I was able to trust Him in that area, can I learn to trust in every area of my life? I love how Holy Spirit, like Jesus did as He walked this earth, answers my questions with more questions. This life is very short, but means so much in terms of our eternal life. Each moment is a new opportunity to grown with Him.

To finish the day of Gideon’s birth:
A few moments after Gideon was placed at Sarah’s chest we hear our midwife, “OH MY, that is third time this week!” I think nothing of it, but it did not take Sarah long to respond. “What is wrong? Is my baby ok?” And with a huge smile Crystal responds, “He is great. He had a true knot in his cord. It was loose.” She shows it to me. I am unsure how true it is but I hear in the background, “glad he came early.” I knew exactly at that point what they meant. The less room in the womb and the stronger he would have gotten in there, the higher the chance the knot could have tightened. I am blown away at the goodness of God. He constantly knows what is best for me. At times I may not agree or even express my doubts. One thing will not change though. I will believe God. Not just “in” Him, but believe Him. I am learning, like Abraham and so many others with great faith in His Word did, to talk with Him about my doubts of His promise over my life. This is the communication that makes my life fruitful. My desire is to bear GOOD fruit. Fruits of righteousness! I thank You, Abba, for the many promises You have spoken over me!

Libby was at the hospital and were in the waiting area with Dado and Nana. Megan was able to take pictures and stayed with us in the room. Shortly after Gideon made his arrival I found Megan and asked if she would go get Libby. She had waited so patiently for so long. She was more than excited to meet her baby brother. Libby could very well become a Midwife one day. She was not grossed out or upset with any of the bloody images and even asked to see the placenta. Crystal stretched it out for her and explained it in detail. My daughter amazes me! She watches Gideon get bathed and dressed. Gideon eats for the first time and then Libby comes to me, “Dad, let’s go home!” She was ready to take her brother home! I will say Sarah was doing awesome and looked like she had just a regular day. We were going to move rooms as well so with all the packing up, I can see maybe where she got this feeling we were going home. It is childlike for sure and brought us a good laugh!

Praise you Abba! Thank you for my family and all you have entrusted to me. You have blessed me richly. It reminds me of one of the Little House on the Prairie segments where the Ingles have run out of money and they all pitch in to work and help pay off a debt at the Olsens Mercantile. Mr. Olsen at the end tells Pa, “You are the richest man in all of Walnut Grove, because of your family!” I feel like Pa (Charles Ingles), in being the richest man in Kansas City! Thank you God!