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Several years ago I started developing a strong relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  The relationship has grown stronger and stronger, and He has changed me in many ways.  The following is a collection of daily lessons I've learned through my relationship with Jesus.  Unfortunately, I've learned many of these through mistakes, hopefully on your climb you'll avoid these pitfalls and traps.   (p.s. forgive my horrible spelling!) (if you're not born-again, much of this won't make sense to you.)     [Author's Testimony]

2 Perspectives of God
 

World's Perspective of God Jesus on Cross

Perspective #1:
The World's perspective of God.

We are down here struggling, many people are suffering, there's injustice everywhere, wars, diseases, earthquakes, floods, disasters all over the world, and where is god?

He's in Heaven, enjoying himself, oblivious to all the problems we have down here. Why doesn't he do something?  Why do bad things happen to good people?  Why doesn't he take care of his creation?  Is he asleep? Doesn't he care? And after we go though this miserable life, he sends many people to hell? What kind of god is that?

The natural man loves this perspective because it justifies him, and shows that god is clearly in the wrong.

Perspective #2:
The Biblical perspective of God.

We are down here living in rebellion to God, we don't obey His Word, we ignore His warnings, we refuse to repent, we kill His prophets & crucified His Son, we provoke Him to anger, we reject His mercy, we mock those He sends to us, we ridicule His ways and we live our live in accordance with satan, doing whatever we want, making up our own rules, and continually breaking God commandments.

This rebellion causes God great pain and suffering.  The suffering you see on Christ's body, represents the suffering of the Father's heart, because His creation hates Him and rebels against Him.  He patiently holds back His fierce judgment, not punishing people as they deserve, so that some men might repent and be saved, before it is too late. 

The natural man hates this perspective, because it clearly shows that he is in the wrong with no excuse. 


Make No Mistake about It!
5-23-05

I used to make fun of End Time prophets, thinking they were all kooks, with all their slogans like "beware the mark of the beast 666!"  I'm a little more mature now.  Now I know the truth of this scripture prophesy.  So please don't forget this one promise in scripture, from Rev: 14:9-11

(MP3_Warning)
"And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worships the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:  And the smoke of their torment ascended up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever received the mark of his name (which was 666).
"

I don't know how this will all turn out, but I do know that ANYONE who gets this mark of the beast 666 is DOOMED!  There is no turning back.  There is no hoping that, "God will understand, He'll forgive me for taking the mark, He's merciful and He doesn't want me to lose my life, does He? I don't have to worry, I'm saved."  If you get this mark of the beast 666 on your forehead or your hand, you're finished!  You will NOT be saved!  You have claimed loyalty to the beast.  At the time the mark is given out, it will probably seem like the wisest thing to do.  Solving many problems.  And great pressure will be upon you to get it, like lose of life, lose of job, lose of children, lose of possessions, reputation, house, freedoms, etc.  At that point in time, you MUST be ready to die rather than get the mark.  You must be ready to face execution rather than take the mark of the beast.  Don't compromise, and make no mistake about it, those who get the mark, even believers, will be CONDEMNED forever!


The Banquet is ready, the Bride is NOT!
5-16-05

This parable is as true today as it was when Jesus walked the earth. (Luke 14: 16-24)

 Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.' "But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, 'I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.' "Another said, 'I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.'  "Still another said, 'I just got married, so I can't come.' "The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.'  " 'Sir,' the servant said, 'what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.' "Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.' "

Much of the Church is tied down to the cares and riches of this world, making them unready for the Lord's return. Make no mistake, the Lord is coming back for a bride without Spot or Wrinkle, not for a bride caught up in sin, those people will not make it. [raptureprophecy.com]


The Bottom Line
5-25-05

As Christians we must never lose site of the BOTTOM LINE. Take this example from the Business world.

A man starts a business TO MAKE MONEY.
That man hires workers, to help the business, TO MAKE MONEY.
That man hires a manager, to help the workers, which helps the business, TO MAKE MONEY.
That man buys his manager a computer, to help the manager, which helps the workers, which helps the business, TO MAKE MONEY.
That man buys his manager software, to help his computer, which helps the manager, which helps the workers, which helps the business, TO MAKE MONEY.

The business man never lost site of the BOTTOM LINE. This must also be true with the Christian Church.

Jesus came to SAVE THE LOST.
Jesus gave us the Gospel, TO SAVE THE LOST.
Jesus built His church, to preach the Gospel, TO SAVE THE LOST.
Jesus raised up Apostles, to oversee the church, to preach the Gospel, TO SAVE THE LOST.
The Apostles that Jesus raised up, trained others, to help the church, to preach the Gospel, TO SAVE THE LOST.

Unfortunately the BOTTOM LINE in the Christian Church has changed somewhat.  After hearing many sermons, I've seen that the BOTTOM LINE is often "How to live a blessed, joyful, prosperous, abundant life." Which is a good message, but NOT THE BOTTOM LINE!


How dare we copyright the Word of God!
5-05-05

Did you know that if I wanted to print NIV bibles and send them out, I can't, without paying a huge royalty fee, it's copyrighted.  Did you know that if I wanted to record the worship music at my Church and give that out, I can't, it's copyrighted.  My church had to pay a sum of money to be able to use many of the songs we sing.   Also, there are divinely inspired ministry tapes that could greatly benefit the Church, but they cost you $39.95 if you want to send them to a friend.  A copyright means that unless credit and royalty fees are given, you cannot legally use THEIR material.  If we can't make a song for Lord, or a message to His church, unless we get credit and money, how much better are we than the rest of the world?  And who are we serving?  I know secular people that do more than that.  

Do we believe that we can't stay in business unless we always charge a profit, and restrict copying?  If we distributed the Word of God to 5 or 10 times the audience, would the Lord make it easier or harder for us to stay afloat?

Can you imaging the embarrassment it would cause if a Christian, who was given the divine gift of healing, said "I would love to pray for you, for your healing, for the low price of only $19.95 (check or Credit Card)."   We would be outraged!  But we do this same thing with the Word of God.

The Church is tied up with the systems of this world, and it hinders the Word from going out. (Books, Movies, Videos, Tapes, Articles, etc.)   I'm glad the 1st century apostles didn't copyright their letters.


Get the Accountant out of the Pulpit   

There were once 2 pastors preparing for a Sunday Sermon. One said to himself. I love my congregation, I want them to grow and mature, to learn to be obedient to the Lord and receive His blessing. I will teach them about tithes and offerings.
The other pastor said to himself, "another mortgage payment is coming up, there are still many unpaid bills for the church, and I will need to pay the staff salaries soon. I teach about tithes and offerings.
Now they both prepared an identical sermon, and preached it. So what was the difference?
One sermon was preached by the voice of a shepherd, and the other was preached by the voice of an accountant. And though both sermons were scriptural and true, the latter left a bad taste in the mouth of the congregation, because they watched an accountant pretending to be a shepherd.
Get the accountant out of the Pulpit.


Stuck at the border, leaving Human Wisdom behind.
4-23-05

Much of the Church is stuck at the Border of the Supernatural, and is afraid to cross over.  Mostly because some other people that crossed over got into all kinds of trouble.  And because "Human Wisdom" falls apart in this realm.   Human wisdom does not know if a person is really speaking in tongues, or if he's just babbling.  Human wisdom can NOT tell if a dream is from the Lord or if it was from yesterday's pizza.  Human wisdom can NOT tell the difference between a prophesy and a strong opinion.  Human wisdom can NOT distinguish whether a person fell under the glory of God or by his own accord.  Human wisdom can easily understand how biblical study can spiritually mature a person, so it wisely encouraged, but human wisdom can NOT see how the laying on of hands, or the presences of God can also mature a person.  Human wisdom would NEVER try to cast out an unclean spirit, or do spiritual warfare, or multiply loafs, or go to a prayer closet, or discern spirits, or do anything that might offend the congregation and lose your supporters, or lose your respectability. 

If your church is rich with human wisdom, then you might see 2 parking lot attendants, 1 door greeter, 1 latte stand attendant, 2 Bookstore cashiers, 5 Audio/Video technical workers, 8 ushers, 5 band members, 1 deaf section interpreter, all working during the sermon, all while NOBODY is in the prayer room.  Human wisdom will get you to the 3rd grade spiritually, but you'll never walk in all that the Lord called you to if you're afraid to use the gifts He gave us.
Don't think for a minute that enemy's kingdom is limited by human wisdom.  They'll use any power they have against us.


It's all about the Cross!
5-19-04

As Christians, we are called to live by the cross.  But what does that mean?  Jesus said those who do not pick up their cross daily and follow Him are not worthy of Him.  How do we do that?  My understanding of the cross has change recently.  I used to think that it meant, celebrating the Lord's victory over death.    And that is important, but picking up your cross is not a celebration.  I used to think that picking up your cross had to do with appreciating the Lord's gift of eternal life.  And that is important, but picking up your cross is not the act of being thankful.  I used to think that it meant, knowing we have forgiveness from sin through his blood.  And that is important, but picking up your cross is not a concept that we grasp or principle that we agree with.  I used to think that picking up your cross meant following Christian teachings. And that is very important, but picking up your cross is not the adherence to principles or a following of godly rules.

You can celebrate the Lord's victory over death, be thankful for your salvation, know about the grace and forgiveness you have, and follow Christian principles and STILL NOT HAVE PICKED UP YOUR CROSS.

So what did He mean 'pick up your cross?'  How do we do that?  What is the purpose?  Why should we need to pick up our cross if He has already won the victory?

I gained a new understanding of the Power of the Cross form the movie The PASSION.  You must understand that one of the biggest obstacles to your obedience to the Lord is your flesh. The flesh always wars against the Spirit, and the spirit against the flesh.  Those obeying the flesh are more susceptible to the devil's influences, than those who walk in the spirit.  Trying to be a Christian while you're in the flesh is like trying to run a marathon with a 50 lbs. backpack. It's much harder, slower, tiresome, defeating and grueling.

I noticed a strange phenomenon after watching the movie...
A. First, my fleshly influences were gone, just drained out after crying the whole movie.
B. Second, walking in the spirit was much easier.  Spiritually I was alive, and I could hear the Lord much easier than before.
C. Thirdly, seeing the Lord suffer gave me a deep love for Him.
D.  And seeing Him suffer also gave me a fierce repulsion to sin, a hatred for it.

This left me in a state where I was spiritually strong as ever. I realized that there is power in the Cross, it can change a person. 
Picking up your cross is surrendering to the Lord's will.  It is the most profound way of saying, "not my will, but yours be done." Putting all the desires of the flesh under the Lord's will. It's not surrendering to a doctrine or a belief, but to the Lord Himself.


Intercession

What's the priority for an Intercessor?  Here's a short story to help explain it. 

Imagine that your car broke down in the middle of a hot desert, being lost, you haven't eaten or drank for 3 days, and the sun in scorching you.  Being over exhausted and starving you accidentally step on a poisonous snake which bites you.  Because of the sharp pain of the bite, you fall and smash your head on a sharp rock in a cactus patch.  Then while bleeding, limping, poisoned, staving and exhausted, you start to hear a pack of ferocious wolfs in the distance pursuing you.  In your attempt to run from the wolves, you accidentally step onto a rusty bear trap, which clamps down very tightly on your ankle. 
Tell me, in this situation, what should be the first thing you pray for?
(Answer: Salvation for Lost Souls!)  Now you understand the priority of an intercessor.


Miserable Worship
11-24-03

As Christian's we often miss a critical part of worship.  We enjoy singing songs, praising the Lord, lifting our hands up to heaven, humbling ourselves and worshiping God, etc, but we often miss the Miserable Worship.  What is the miserable worship?

In Numbers 21:8, the Lord had Moses make a pole with a snake on it, and anyone who looked at it would live.
This was an early example of the cross of Christ.  I once heard a pastor criticize the Catholic Crucifix because "they left Jesus hanging on the Cross", while He has risen.  But the Lord showed me that it is necessary to do this.  Christian's today look upon the cross, and they see the victory of Christ, they see the penalty of sin, they see the Judgment of God, but we don't weep.  Weep for the savior, cry for what He has done for us, and picture Him going through that agony because of our sin. Watch 'the Passion of the Christ' movie. It's hard but don't neglect this.  It is this Miserable Worship that burns the love for our savior on our hearts. 


The Fear of Man
4-26-05

After reading [this message on the Fear of Man] I was very convicted that I fall short here.  I would suggest all people who are in the ministry to read this, and see how fearing man will greatly hinder us from serving the Lord.


A damaged airplane
1-26-05

When a plane is damaged and needs repairs, the last thing it should be doing is flying.  It should be in the hanger, being worked on by mechanics.  And in the same way, when a man of God falls, the last place he should be is behind a pulpit, telling other how to live.  No, it is the time for restoration and healing.  And when restored, he will then be able to rejoin his calling. The Lord understands this needed time of restoration.  But if a man of God is focusing on his image and reputation before men, or the pressure to perform, then he will often skip this time, and be like a sick man running a marathon.


2 Pyramids
1-17-05

There are 2 pyramids that work in this world.  (2 kingdoms) In one kingdom, everyone is striving for the top of the pyramid, so that they may have power and control over others. And there is fierce competition for this. In order to be promoted you must exploit or manipulate your way above everyone else. Once you do, you are given prestige and influence over your subordinates.  On the next level or authority, it is the same situation, you must fight tooth and nail to outwit others in order to advance.  People always have their eye on how they can advance.  In this pyramid, the strongest and most cleaver rise to the top.  Power, prestige, and authority are highly respected here.  Sometimes, favoritism, or the promise to be absolutely submissive can get you advancement in this pyramid.  But one must keep their subordinates in fear in order to maintain control over them.  This pyramid is inherently not stable because there is little unity.  This pyramid is always working against itself.  One level exploits the level beneath them, which exploits the level beneath them, forming a pyramid of authority.

In the other Pyramid (Kingdom) everyone is NOT striving for the top, but the bottom.  To be humble, loving, godly servants is what is respected here.  Promotion is not sought after, but given from the Lord.  Therefore those who are most mature in the Lord advance in this pyramid.  People always have their eye on how they can serve others.  The high levels are those who are  willing to sacrifice the most for others.  Christ is the top of this pyramid, and the pyramid is inherently stable, working as one.  Though not all levels of the pyramid are perfect, it's foundation is.  But the other pyramid's foundation is utterly corrupt.

People from the first pyramid always try to maintain the noble image they they work for the second pyramid.  When people from the first pyramid try to join organizations of the second pyramid (man made organizations) , they find little competition.  They quickly rise to the top in title and positions appointed by man, but not in true authority.  These people make the 2nd pyramid less stable. When there is pressure put on the 2nd pyramid, if these people haven't changed, they fall away.


Meat and Manna
1-04-05

We must learn to eat both meat and manna.  Meat builds up the body, but manna gives us energy. We must have both.  We know where to find meat, it's in the scriptures.  But manna must be gathered everyday.  As scripture has shown, you cannot eat yesterday's manna.  It is gentle and easily trampled.  What good is it if you're a strong 400lb soldier who's always sleeping, or if you're a 75lb soldier, full of energy, but can't lift a weapon.  Both have what the other one needs.

Careful, those who have not eaten meat can take a move of God and turn it into a sect or an offshoot and split the body, for they do not know the God of the past.  And those who have not eaten manna, can take a move of God and vigorously oppose it, for they do not know the God of the present.  Beware of those who say, "All the manna has been collected, there is no more."


Climbing the Mountain
12-28-04

What the Lord has shown me, is just one path up the mountain. Others have taken different paths; paths of sacrifice, mercy, service, that are different than mine.  No one has been to all the ledges of this Mountain. Some paths are faster than others.  Some paths are more steep and difficult than others.  The immature usually take the easiest paths, which are the slowest.  Though some paths all must take, i.e. repentance, salvation.  Never assume that your way is the only way of walking with Christ.  And remember the quickest way to the top is the cross.

Watch out for the "Doctrine of Comfort", It comes from those on the lower ledges.  Though it is made of Biblical Truths, it is usually the slowest way to the top.  Find those who are on the high ledges, and watch them. 

One of the books that has given me great insight is the VISION from Rick Joyner. You can read parts of it at "THE VISION" Those who know the voice of the Lord will discern whether this is was a real vision or a phony.


Man's wisdom vs. God's Wisdom?
12-22-04

When is it easier to move 1 million gallons of water, than to move just 3 gallons?  When is it easier to move 1000 boulders than to move just one rock?   When is it easier to set 1000 trees ablaze than it is to burn just one log?  The man who works at a Water Tower can move 1 million gallons of water by simply releasing a valve.  But it would take me more effort to move just 3 gallons of water by carrying them.  The man atop a mountain, with one kick, can set 1000 boulders in motion, easier than I can carry just one rock.  Then man in a forest, with one match can set a 1000 trees ablaze, easier than I can light one log.  So when it easier to do mighty things? It's not when you push, but when you RELEASE.  
The Lord has shown me that everything we need to accomplish His will is already stored up, and all we need to do is RELEASE.  By man's wisdom we push, and produce little fruit, but by God's Wisdom we release and reap much fruit. 1 word can move a mountain, 1 tear can send a host, and the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.


The bride is not as mature as she thinks
11-25-04

One hard truth that we have to come to grips with, is how often the enemy use Christians for evil intent.  I've have seen this in my own life.  I have been in places where a little innocent comment from my own lips, cause much destruction.  And only later realizing how strategic it was.  This is one reason I put no confidence in my flesh, and you shouldn't either.  As we saw with Simon Peter in Mathew 16, just a moment after Jesus said, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven" Jesus then said, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me" How easily we are used. So the proverb is true, "If a man who does not guard his front door, anyone can walk in."


When you're empty
11-25-04

When you are out of water, where do you go?  (The Well)    When you're hungry where do you go? (The Refrigerator) When your car is empty, where do you go?  (the Gas Station)  Nobody says, "I can't go to the station, I'm low on gas" or "I'm too hungry to eat".  No, that is the right time.  We know what to do when our stuff is empty, but not our souls.  Why is it that when we are spiritually empty, the last place we go to is the throne of God. That should be the first place.

When you fall into a snake pit, don't walk around.  Surly that is the time to look up and cry for help.  When depressed and discouraged, that is not the time to figure everything out.  We can't see clearly in that pit, just look up and cry for help.


A 90% Victory?
11-09-04

I was shown in a dream an adversary pursuing me, and I could see 2 ways of escaping him. One way was to backtrack, it was slow and over rocky ground, and the other way was smooth and easy.  My friends nearby kept telling me to take the hard way, but it was obvious that the smooth way was an easy escape.  I chose the smooth way, and quickly outran the adversary.  He didn't seem to be able to catch up with me, and offered little resistance. I ran and ran far past him, only to realize that after all this time, the trail was a dead end. Now I was left with the daunting task of backtracking all that way, against my original adversary, and his other partners that didn't chase me after me at first.  The enemy gave me easy success, a false sense of security.  But he offered me little resistance in order to lead me into a trap, and frustrate my plans. He allowed me to have a 90% victory, which in the end was worthless.  If I sought wisdom at first, I would have known when to backtrack.  Job 42:2, "I know that you can do all things, no plan of yours can be thwarted"


Maturity?
8-25-04

Over the years of my Christian walk, I've seen many different Christians at various stages of maturity. And I began to see the difference between the normal

 Christians and mature ones. Here are some of the big separators.  Unfortunately I've learned that I can't trust someone too deeply unless they've reached these stages.

1. The mature Christians has been broken and humbled before the Lord.  Not the kind of humility we learn from society, but a "smashed on the rocks" type of humility. When a person comes into the presence of the Lord, it is very humbling, and pride just melts away, but that's just fine with a mature Christian. 

2. The mature have battle scares, and experience.  When people step into the ring with the Devil, and suffer a few hard hits, they realize how determined, crafty, and destructive their enemy is. But before that, Christians have the "Hey don't sweat it, He's been defeated, relax, no worries" type of attitude.  And this causes them to lower their guard.  I've fallen hard, and I've seen many men more mature than I, fall hard.  I've spent 10+ years in bondage, until I realized that the enemy is no one to be taken lightly.  Mature Christians have the...."I'm Never Going Back to Egypt" mentality.

3. The mature Christians can handle spiritual gifts.  Whether it is prophecy, healings, visions, tongues, being filled with the spirit, words of knowledge, etc, he can handle the supernatural.  But the immature often limit God to only the occasional healing, and a prompting of the Holy Spirit. Anything beyond that is no longer needed, and a thing for heretics.  

4. The mature Christians recognize the Body, and seek fellowship.  A mature Christian is attracted to other members of the body of Christ.  He does not try to separate himself from the body.  Therefore the Lord can speak to him, through other Christians.

5. The mature Christians are constantly praying.  I remember a few years back I would go out evangelizing, but before I did I would always spend roughly 5 minutes in prayer. What was the result?  No Fruit!  When I finally had the faith to pray the entire week before I went out evangelizing, that is when I had the most success. A mature Christian prays often, and can pray for extended periods of time when necessary, even when no other person is listening.

6. The mature Christians are very careful with their sword. They don't presumptuously attack other members of the body, but are careful with their words. They don't go to battle, until they have their orders. 

7. Mature Christians don't hide or wear masks. They can freely admit their many faults before others, even though it might humiliate them. They don't strive to maintain the perfect image before others.  You will see them crying because they put little value in maintaining a dignified composure.

8. Mature Christians Worship the lord. Not just for 1 hour on Sunday, but often.  They press into the Lord, and seek Him. 

9. Mature Christians have crucified their flesh and have picked up their cross.  They are not ruled by the impulses of their sinful nature.


M.G.H!
6-17-04

In examining my motives, I found that I have been missing the main point in a lot of what I have been doing. In asking myself why I am doing things, I find that my motives are good, but they have been off.  For example...

1. Why do I worship the Lord?
    Because it honors God.
    Because it restores my soul.
    Because it brings us together.
    Because He's worthy.

2. Why do I obey the Lord?
    Because it keeps me out of trouble.
    Because God commanded me to.
    Because it sets an example for others.
    Because it benefits me to obey.

These are all good motives, but never forget the main one,
IT MAKES GOD HAPPY.
And that should be enough reason to do anything. May I never forget it again.


It's a War, not a Game!
3-11-04

One of the biggest mistakes I see Christians make is treating Christianity like a Game, and not like a War.  IT'S A WAR; there is a very real enemy.  The Devil's Kingdom is organized, determined, and relentless for the souls of people.  And when you treat it like a War, you'll start winning.  But we make dumb mistakes that no first year soldier would make. 

  • We go into enemy territory, out of shape, unprepared and alone.

  • We go out with no armor on.

  • We don't know how to use our weapons. (The Word of God, Intercession, etc.)

  • We play around with the enemy (SIN), instead of attacking him. 

  • We refuse to take any training. (fasting, prayer groups, accountability groups, living a crucified life, etc.)

  • We don't rescue wounded soldiers, but leave them to die on the battlefield.

  • We don't seek new recruits.

  • When we get captured, we don't cry out for help.

  • We work as individuals and not like a team.  We attack our own ranks.

  • When we fall into a trap, out of embarrassment we don't warn others about that same trap.

If you want to be a strong Christian, and not a Casualty of War, then sober up, and start acting like a soldier!


Focused Intersession
3-10-04

Scripture teaches us to eagerly desire spiritual gifts. (1 Cor 14:1) I have recently asked the Lord for a certain spiritual gift.  The gift I sought after was to be given specific names of people to pray for.  So that my prayers were more effective, and not just blindly shot out.  After praying for this gift a few times, it stated happening.  I have been given 1 to 3 names a day, and have interceded for them. If you're an intercessor, consider asking the Lord for the same gift.


What should bring you stress?
2-05-05

What should bring you stress?  There are many things that bring us stress in this world: money, career, food, reputation.  But there is only one thing that should bring you stress, and that is when you or others are outside the will of God.  You might find yourself in an uncomfortable situation. But say to yourself, "I only have to do what the Lord tells me to do, and be where He wants me to be."  It's better to be a homeless man who obeys the Lord, than a rich King who is disobedient.


Kingdom Prayers vs. Personal Prayers
1-24-04

The focus of our prayers as Christians, should be Kingdom oriented prayers not just personal payers.  Kingdom oriented prayers are eternal, i.e. salvation for a friend, spiritual growth, wisdom, guidance, praying for ministries, praying against the devil's strong holds.  Personal prayers are often temporary, i.e. help me sell my car, my foot aches, I lost my keys, give me a raise, etc.  Use your prayers to advance God's purposes, not just your own.  Don't use the angels of God to just run your errands!


The word of God & the WORD of God
1-16-04

As Christian's, we need to be able to distinguish between the word of God and the WORD of God.  The word of God is scripture, and the WORD of God, is when the Lord's speaks directly to you.  For example, you might read 3 chapters of the bible, but in one chapter the Lord speaks directly to you. You need to know the difference.  Sometimes the WORD of God comes though other believers, even non-believers, so you'll always need to be listening.  Those who CAN'T distinguish between the word and the WORD will be fooled when scripture is misapplied.  The Devil will often quote scripture to us, just as he did when tempting Jesus. So Listen Carefully!


Don't Grab the Levers
1-16-04

Here is a lesson the Lord is teaching me.  I have the habit of grabbing levers.  Here is what I mean...In any situation, there are levers that control things.  In conversation, the one who is speaking has the lever.   In the car, the one who is driving has the level.  In a business it is the boss who has the levers.  It is bad to try to grab the levers in order to be in control.  You begin to manipulate everything.  A humble man does not need to always be in control, but can come under another's authority when necessary.


A Balanced Meal
1-16-04

We all know that a body needs balanced meals in order to be healthy.  And one can't just eat one type of food and stay strong.  In the same way, your spiritual body also needs a balanced meal.  And you won't be spiritually healthy if you just consume one part of the scripture, and ignore others.  I say this because I've noticed certain teachers, over emphasize certain scriptures, to the point that there is an unbalance in the Gospel message.  The message of "Sow your seed, Reap your Harvest"  is a great truth, but has been over taught.   And the message of "God wants you to get your blessing" is another truth, but way out of balance.    We are fat on this scripture, and thin on others.

I try to be careful when criticizing the Church, because so often we fall into the plan of the evil one when we criticize.  But these critiques are needed.  If the only reason you're giving to the Lord is to get something back, then your motives are off.  Even an evil man would do something nice, if you rewarded him. 

God doesn't exist for the pleasure and purposes of His people, we exist for the pleasure and purposes of God! And if you think the Christian life is all about blessing, it's not, and that shouldn't be your focus.  Remember the 12 disciples; all of them went through great struggles and tribulation in their service to the Lord.


God Formulas
1-7-04

I remember hearing a story about an African church, that was meeting at night.  They were doing prayer and worship, when one of the members got up to use the restroom.  Not having a restroom at the church, the man went outside.  Unfortunately, it was very dark and he could not see where he was going.  He walked right into a pit, fell head first.  The pit had a narrow hole, that stuck around his waste.  So the top of his body was suspended underground, while his legs were sticking up into the air.  He started screaming for help, but since he was underground, nobody could hear him.  After more than an hour of hanging upside-down struggling, he prayed desperately for help. 
Finally, he felt somebody's hand grab his leg, and he was pulled out of the pit.  But when he got up to see who it was, he couldn't find anybody.  There was nobody there. 
He finally concluded that it must have been an angel that rescued him.  In excitement he went back to the church to tell everybody how the Lord saved him when he was helpless and upside-down.

So guess what the members of the church did after they heard the story?  They started to pray upside-down. 

That's how foolish men can be, instead of seeking after God, we look for formulas. DON'T PRAY UPSIDE-DOWN, don't follow blind techniques for getting to God. If everything you're doing is just ritual, you won't find the Lord.  The only way to know the Lord is to walk with Him. Don't seek the gift but the giver, don't search for the pool but the river, don't look at the reflection but the light, DON'T TREAT THE LORD LIKE AN OBJECT, but as a person.  Don't focus on His body, His power, His wisdom, or any part of Him, focus on Him.


Human Cell vs. a Moss Cell
1-7-04

The human body is probably the most sophisticated organism of all living creatures. Yet when you compare the human cell to a moss cell, guess which cell is more advanced and sophisticated?

Believe it or not, the Moss cell is!  That's because every moss cell has everything it needs to function, inside the one cell, and it only works only for itself.  In contrast, the human cells work for the whole body, as a team.  And therefore the human body is far superior to moss, even though the moss cell is more advanced than ours.   In the same way, an army of 100 men, working as a team, can defeat an army of 500 men who only care about themselves.

There is a spiritual lesson here, because we are the cells of the Lord's body.  And when we work only for ourselves, i.e. praying for only our needs, working for only our desires, building up only our treasures, then the body becomes ineffective and weak.  The Lord has given each one of use a place in His body, and if the body is going to succeed you'll need to FIND YOUR PLACE, AND COMPLETE THE JOB THE LORD HAS GIVEN YOU, DON'T WORK ONLY FOR YOUR OWN INTERESTS!


Which is wiser a spider or a snake?
1-7-04

Which is wiser, a spider or a snake?  They both have fangs, they both have deadly venom,  and they both kill their prey.  When a snake tries to bites its victim, the victim either fights back or runs away.   The victim often dies later and is devoured, occasionally getting away.  But a spider is much wiser, when it bites its victim, they never put up resistance. and they never get away.  Because the spider's prey is all wrapped up and helpless in a web. 

When the evil one attacks, he attacks like a spider, wrapping his victims up in a sticky web of sin.  Unfortunately people think they can stay in a web of sin, and resist the devil when he finally comes.  But at that time, they won't even put up a fight.   GET OUT OF THE WEB, NOW !


When Lost, Don't Run
12-28-03

When walking a path in the forest, if you are familiar with the area, it is ok to go fast.  But if you are lost, or in the dark, then it is not wise to proceed fast.  For there is one correct direction and 359 incorrect ones and when people are in the Dark, they make foolish decisions.   Spiritually, when you're under attack from the enemy, in confusion, and in darkness, that is the worst time to plan strategy, make goals, or discuss issues.


Hidden Obediences
12-25-03

In a dream I was shown a source of great spiritual treasure that I have often overlooked.  I call them Hidden Obediences.  In this Dream, an angel stood before a piece of garbage laid on the road.  And as people walked by, the angel called out for them to pick it up and throw it away.  But few people could hear him, and those who could often ignored the angel's prompting.  Finally one person went over to pick it up, and the minute he did, the angel spoke to him and revealed great wisdom to him.  It was wisdom on how he could more effectively serve the Lord.

In discussing the dream in my quiet time, the Lord showed me that these Hidden Obediences are everywhere, in many different forms, for all people.  But those who are not humble, those who are not walking in the spirit, those who are fleshly, will miss these great treasures.


Mono-Testimony, Mono-Prayer
12-25-03

Imagine a battlefield, were 2 armies were at war; firing back and forth at each other.  But one army used an ineffective method of fighting. They would take their best shooter, and only allow him to fire at the enemy.  All other soldiers had to keep their firearms at their side.  He would successfully strike down many enemy soldiers, but by himself he could not win the battle.

Unfortunately, the modern church uses this technique.  In every congregation the Lord is working in all the member's lives.  Every member has a testimony of the trials, struggles, visions, victories and lessons from the Lord.  But unfortunately when we go to Church we only hear one testimony, of whoever is speaking.  Each one of us needs to be sharing and hearing the testimonies of others.  In Revelation 12:11 it says "They overcame him (the evil one) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony;"  So Share it!

Unfortunately we also use the same ineffective method with Prayer in Church, 1 person prays and everyone else listens.  Whose idea was this? Pick up your prayer guns, and start shooting.  Intercede for the poor, the hungry, and the oppressed; we are at war! And the Lord and equipped each of us.


Miserable Worship
11-24-03

As Christian's we often miss a critical part of worship.  We enjoy singing songs, praising the Lord, lifting our hands up to heaven, humbling ourselves and worshiping God, etc, but we often miss the Miserable Worship.  What is the miserable worship?

In Numbers 21:8, the Lord had Moses make a pole with a snake on it, and anyone who looked at it would live.
This was an early example of the cross of Christ.  I once heard a pastor criticize the Catholic Crucifix because "they left Jesus hanging on the Cross", while He has risen.  But the Lord showed me that it is necessary to do this.  Christian's today look upon the cross, and they see the victory of Christ, they see the penalty of sin, they see the Judgment of God, but we don't weep.  Weep for the savior, cry for what He has done for us, and picture Him going through that agony because of our sin. Watch 'the Passion of the Christ' movie. It's hard but don't neglect this.  It is this Miserable Worship that burns the love for our savior on our hearts. 


Where are the prophets?
2-08-05

Where are the prophets?  In recent years, we have seen 2 major events happen, 9/11 and the giant Tsunami.  Now ask yourself, did God reveal to anyone on earth these things were going to happen?  It would be hard to believe that God didn't warn anybody.  In scripture he warned people many times before disasters came, is He any different now?  I have heard mention of a man who claimed that angels visited him, and they revealed 4 upcoming events 5 years before 9/11 happened.  He was told about 9/11, the Tsunami, a large earthquake in NYC and one in Europe.  He even wrote these things down in a pamphlet and distributed 1000s out.  Now I'm not sure whether this was a divine revelation from the Lord, or not. But my point is this, there are 1000s of Christian Media outlets; Radio, TV, Newspapers, Magazines, etc.  To my knowledge no one published this man's testimony.  Why not?  How come the first we hear of this is after the second of his revelations comes true?  I have concluded it is become of one reason.  Too much clutter, everybody is talking. (including myself) And this often downs out the people the Lord chooses to speak thru.  Some people are given greater witness than others.  For example both John the Baptist and Jesus were prophets, but in John 5:36, Jesus said "I have greater witness than that of John:"  Therefore, when I [Robert Brownell] find someone with greater witness than myself, I'll try to put sections and links to them on the RESOURCE page.  I can't put everyone there, but those whom I believe have the greatest revelation.
 

Why do we need prophets? 
Imaging there being an enemy nation that hated your country. (not too hard to imaging) And that nation would hire terrorists to come into your country and blow up important buildings.  One by one they would strike, causing massive damage and starting great fires.  So your country would then respond, but how would they respond?  A country with no vision would only put their resources into firefighting.  More Fire engines, more rescue workers, more smoke alarms, etc.  But a country with a little vision would say, "It's not the fires that need addressing, it's these bombs." And they would put their resources into bomb protection.  More bomb squads, more bomb detectives, etc.  But a country with more vision would say "It's not the bombs we should focus on, it the terrorists."   And they would put their resources into anti-terror efforts.  More Intelligence, more secret agents, etc.  But a country with great vision would say, "It's not the terrorists, it's this enemy nation that need addressing." And they would send out their armies against that nation.

As Christians we lack vision, most of our prayers are "Dear Lord, more Fire Engines"  and that will be a losing battle against our enemy.  In Joel 2:28 it says I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.  The Lord gives us the resources we need to see and defeat the enemy. But as of today, if I asked 10 Christians to name some of the living prophets, they would have a hard time naming one.  If I asked 10 Christians to tell me of some of the visions that the Lord is giving His people, they would also have a hard time naming any.  Why is this?  Does no one have vision, is no one prophesying? There was prophesy in the Old Testament, Jesus Prophesied, and there was prophesy in the Book of Acts Church.  Whose idea was it that prophesy was obsolete?

If you're given a prophesy or vision, share it.  And don't be afraid if someone else shares theirs with you.  As we learn in scripture, Matthew 10:41 Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward."   So if we don't receive a prophet, then we don't receive their reward, and we'll be the worse off for it.


Give credit when credit is due
11-17-03

When viewing a servant of God, be sure to see it as a reflection of Jesus.  Then you will give credit where credit is due.  But when looking at a reflection of Jesus do NOT see the person behind it, then you might miss the savior.  And it might be a stumbling block to that person.

I have seen this when I witness to people, after a sermon or a worship service.  I get many praise and accolades from the crowd, that puffs me up.  I hope they don't put their faith in me.  Because truthfully, they are really attracted to Christ, who is speaking through me. The cloths I'm wearing are not my own.  And most of the times I don't even know when He is speaking through me.  And He only speaks through a person, to that degree that they have surrendered to Him.

May it never be that when Jesus shines-the speaker gets credit, and when the speaker falls-Jesus gets the blame.


The Cloak and Compass
10-21-03

The 2 most critical things a Christian needs are Love and Humility. Without them we can easily be used by the enemy.  Humility is a thick cloak, and a very heavy armor.  We don't like wearing it because it slows us down, and it looks so plain and unbeautiful.  But few of the enemy's weapons can penetrate it. Pride, rage, selfishness, lust, self righteousness, they all have a hard time piercing a humble person's armor.  But without humility, it will be much easier for the enemy to pierce and influence you.

Love on the other hand works as a compass.  Because most Christian's seldom get daily directions from the Lord, saying "today you should do this...."  Therefore, on a daily basis, we generally don't know what specifically the Lord wants us to do.  But with Love as a compass, we'll be heading in generally the right direction.  But without Love, even a matured Christian can be marching in the wrong direction.  Consider the Apostle Paul before his conversion, he was thoroughly disciplined and matured in the Law.  He studied scripture, and eagerly followed and obeyed it.  But even with that, he was working in direct conflict to the Lord.  That's why we need our compass.

The last thing you want, when you don't have Humility or Love, is the anointing.  Because the anointing, like a cannon, is a powerful weapon against the enemy.  But if that cannon is not faced in the right direction, it will wreck havoc, missing the enemy and hitting our own troops.  And then your anointing will be a liability to the Lord, and not an asset.  You'll sow division in the body, and make inroads into the Church that the enemy can attack.  This is why so few of Christians have the anointing, and we seldom see things happen the way they did in the book of Acts.

Put on you Cloak and Compass!


Faith and the LIE
10-21-03

What is Faith? 
As Christians we know that there is a spiritual world and a physical world.  But we don't see the spiritual world with our eyes or hear it with our ears, yet it is still there.  Faith is simply acting according to what we know it true in the spiritual world, no mater what the physical world tells us.  But to believe the physical world and ignore the spiritual world is to believe the Lie.  It's that simple. Are you walking in faith or the Lie?


The Paper World and the Real World
10-21-03

Here is a test for you. 
Imaging that you're a CEO of a small business that is going bankrupt because of stupid business decisions that were made.  Now you're faced with the challenge of laying off 100 people.  After struggling for a while on how to lay off people, you find that there is a way out.  By just fudging a few numbers on your financial report, you can save these jobs.  A small price to pay for such a great benefit.   So the question is, would you do it? And why? 

Well there are many reasons not to do it, but one small reason is this.  The paper world must reflect the real world, since the paper world is just a model of the real world.  The truth is that the business is bankrupt, and no amount of paper shuffling is going to change that.  When a company is doing well, it should look good on paper, and when it is failing, it should look bad on paper.  In the same way, this Physical World is the Paper World, but the Spiritual Realm is the Real World.  And it is good to keep these two worlds consistent.  For example, when we see a person who claims to be a man of God, and he lives no differently than the rest of the world, there's an inconsistency, he's fudging the numbers.  And many people just blindly accept what they see in the paper world.  We need to live by what we see in the Spiritual realm, not by what we see in this world. Here are some more examples... 
(A) When a person is telling you gossip, it is spiritually equivalent to them handing you a cup of wine that is spiked with poison.  And that's how you must react.  It will taste sweet going down, but will corrupt your soul. 
(B) When a person is constantly cursing in front of you, it is spiritually equivalent to them spitting and throwing up on you.
(C) When a man is lusting after another woman in his heart, it is spiritually equivalent to committing adultery.
It always bothered me when I read in the Old Testament of how the Lord wiped out certain Civilizations.  For example (1 Sam 15:3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.' ") This seemed inconsistent with the God I know.  But then I looked at it in a different light and saw that the Lord was just keeping the Physical World consistent with the Spiritual World.  The truth was that they were already dead, the Lord just made it obvious. We need to learn to live by what's happening in the Spiritual World, not the Physical World.


The Privilege of Suffering
10-21-03

When we suffer for the Lord, He uses it for His glory.  And He gives those who suffer the ability to help others who are struggling with the same issues.  For example, Isaiah 53:5 shows us that "By his stripes we are healed."  By the suffering of Christ, we have benefited, and He heals us.  So when you're suffering for the Lord, don't look at the present situation, but see how it will benefit many others after you. 


The Glory of the Lord
10-12-03

The Lord's glory is all around us, but we miss so much of it.   We are like spoiled children that grew up in a wealthy family, never realizing all the wonderful things that we take for granted.  God gives blessing for those who walk in His ways.  But when we don't walk in His ways, we pass right by His glorious gifts, never picking them up.  To the meek, they inherit the earth, to the merciful, they receive mercy, to the pure in heart, they see God, to the peacemakers, they are named sons of God. This list goes on and on, and only on Judgment day do we find out how rich we really are.

I would like to consider myself a mature Christian, and for good reason I have very little faith in myself. In my best estimate, for every ten things the Lord tells me, I perceive one, and for every ten situations the Lord sets up for me, I take advantage of one.  But as I mature more, I will learn to take advantage of more.


The Glory of Heaven
7-23-03

Who deserves to go to heaven? Who has earned the right to go there?
Think of your life on earth, with all the lessons, struggles and trials, as like going through the 1st grade. Some people do well, and some people do poorly. 

If you imagine the Glory of Heaven to be like going to 2nd grade, then it makes sense that every good person should go to Heaven, just like every good 1st grader should go to 2nd grade. 

But the Glory of Heaven is not like the 2nd grade, it's more like a PHD at a prestigious college.  How many 1st graders are smart enough to get a PHD? None.  So then I ask you again. Who deserves to go to heaven? Who has earned the right to go there? Nobody, not even the best of us, it is only by God's grace.

Here is another analogy to illustrate this concept.
Imagine the President had a heart attack, and was rushed to the hospital. The president's staff gathered all the best heart doctors in the world and flew them in; they gathered the most experience medical advisors possible, the best cardiovascular experts available, etc.  No expense was spared.  During the procedure the President had the greatest medical experts ever assembled in one room.  Then in the middle of the operation,  at a critical juncture in the presidents operation, a 13 years old kid dressed in fifthly cloths bursts into the operating room. And he says, "I heard the president was hurt so I brought my first aid kit. What can I do to help?"  

I the same way the kid's medical experience did not qualify him for the operating room; our righteousness doesn't qualify us to server the Lord of for heaven, but only by the Lord's grace.


Song of the Day?
6-24-03

The Lord wakes many people up with a song in their heart.  When this happens to you, get on the internet, find all the lyrics of that song and print them out.  In the lyrics will be a message to you, that is pertinent that day.


Emotions?
6-17-03 (Taken from a personal email)

I believe that feelings and emotions are not just chemical reactions in your body, but are actually thoughts in your heart. 
For example, when a person is impatient, these are the kinds of thoughts that are going though his heart.
- "Why should I have to wait in this line?"
- "Why can't this person just do his job, then I wouldn't have to go though this."
- "Why did my boss give me this stupid assignment?"
- "I hope I don't have to clean up this mess?"

These are the kinds of thoughts going through an impatient man's hear.  When you see feelings and emotions exposed like this, then you'll understand that A BAD EMOTION (like rage, selfishness, impatience, etc) IS THE RESULT OF EVIL THOUGHTS IN ONE'S HEART.  These are all self centered thoughts, and thoughts that a good person would never say with his lips, but he might allow them in their heart.

How do get rid of bad emotions in my life? I personally asked the LORD to expose my heart, and when He did, I was just amazed at how evil my heart was. Even though I was a mature Christian, my heart was full of prideful & self-centered thoughts. Soon I was be able to look at my heart, and see what was going though it. Then I was able to fight those thoughts with the Word of God. 

For example,
Natural Thought: "Why should I have to wait in this line?"
Word of God: "Be thankful in all circumstances"
New thought: "God, thank you for this blessing of being able to purchase any food I want at this store, 24 hours a day."

Natural Thought: "Why can't this person just do his job, then I wouldn't have to go though this."
Word of God: "Think not only of your own needs, but others also"
New Thought: "This cashier has probably had a difficult day; I'll give him a little encouragement when I get up there"

Natural Thought: "Why did my boss give me this stupid assignment?"
Word of God: "Serve your masters as though you're serving God"
New Thought: "I'm going to learn to do this, no matter how long it takes."

Natural Thought: "I hope I don't have to clean up this mess?"
Word of God: "The Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve"
New Thought: "I will gladly clean up this spill at work, so the next guy doesn't have to."

When a person continues on this process, of exposing their feelings and replacing them with the Word of God, their emotions soon come into line.


What doesn't work?
6-11-03

Many people loose their faith in Christianity because they take the wrong approach to it, and they have misconceptions about God.  Here is what doesn't work...

The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective, but the prayer of a carnal man is weak and useless. If a Christian is not walking in the ways of the Lord, not obeying the Holy Spirit, but living just the way he was living before, don't expect mountains to move when he prays.

What you sow is what you reap. Those who sow sparingly; will reap sparingly, those who sow generously will reap generously. If a Christian puts one seed in the ground, he shouldn't expect to find a lush garden the next day.  Principles of the bible have a blessing and a curse. When you obey them, you generally get a blessing.  When you disobey them, you generally get in trouble.  Don't expect God to nullify the rule of cause and effect.

The Righteous shall live by faith. When the Lord wants to tell me something, I don't have angels appear right before me with explicit instructions on what to do.  But when I humble myself, pray, worship and seek the Lord, I notice that He directs my footsteps in paths of righteousness, He guides my thoughts, and He directs the people around me.  My ability to hear and do the will of God is based on how available I make myself, and how much I am seeking Him.  (and like most people, I am far from perfect.) The Lord's voice is often called "still small voice" 1 Kings 19:12, If you're not paying attention, you'll miss it.

He restores my soul. Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise.  When you praise and worship the Lord, it is your most intimate time with Him.  The scripture says that God inhabits the praises of His people. Therefore, if your Christian life only consists of bible studies and church activities then you're going to get burned out. You need intimate time with the Lord.
And when you worship, drop your sense of self-image. Don't worry what you look like when you worship, don't worry if other people see you cry or raise your hands.  Self image will only ruin your worship. I often cry like a baby during praise and worship.

We live in a fallen world, which is the result of sinful man.  There is a battle of Good vs. Evil, and the devil is a powerful adversary.  Christian's suffer victories and defeats.  Therefore don't blame every bad thing that happens on the Lord.  When a tragedy happens, like a child dies in a fire, don't assume the Lord has ordered it.  That is insulting to who He is.

The Lord works though His children.  When there is a need in the body of Christ, and none of the Christians bother to help, pray or do anything, and nobody is listening to the Lord, then there is a good chance that we are going to suffer a defeat. 


Why Fast?
6-10-03

In our relationship with the Lord, many things are dependent on Him. But our closeness to Him, is up to us.  In Jeremiah 29:13 it says, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."  So each Christian is called to seek the Lord wholeheartedly.  Just like in a relationship, what you get out of it, is based on what you put into it. 
In 2 Samuel 24:24, King David said "No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing."  But I, Robert, used to do just that.  My mom would send me to the store to buy something, and I would put the left over change into the store's charity jar.  How generous of me.  Didn't cost me anything. That money belonged to my mom. So it wasn't a sacrifice to give it.  But fasting is a sacrifice. It costs you something that you want, food, TV, movies, money, games, time, etc.

In an interesting book that I'm reading, The Vision: The Final Quest by Rick Joyner.  (I highly recommend it) He is given a fantastic vision of how a Christian matures. In one vision, Christ was represented by a Mountain.  And the higher you climbed the mountain, the more you would mature in Christ.  For example, there would be a level called "Patience", and once you struggled to climbed to that level, you would mature in that area, and become a patient person.  The mountain was huge, and you could spend your entire life climbing it.
In this vision, as Rick Joyner was climbing the Mountain, he quickly passed by someone on a lower ledge. And Rick continued up the mountain much faster Him.  But strangely, when Rick got to the top of the mountain, that person was already there.  Rick was very puzzled how a person who was slow in climbing (not maturing fast) could have gotten to the Top so quickly.  Rick later found out that there were shortcuts in the mountain that the Lord put in, to speed up the climb. (To speed up your maturity.) 
And one way to take a shortcut was to sacrifice.  For example, if you were on the level of "Serving Your Neighbor," you could sacrifice yourself for that level; by giving up time to your neighbor, by doing favors for your neighbor, by putting their needs above yours.  Based on your sacrifice to that level "Serving Your Neighbor", you would be given a shortcut up the Mountain.  And areas that you were not mature in, i.e. patience, would all of a sudden be given to you.  Whereby other people who did not sacrifice much would have to slowly mature in every area. 
This finally helped explain what happened to me when I fasted for the Lord.  When I was fasting, many part of my personality, immature, foolish, selfish parts, where quickly matured. I matured faster during that time than another person might mature in 10 years.  It was an amazing time of growth, and I would recommend to everyone to consider fasting.  If fact, sacrifice should be a key aspect of every Christian's walk; Sacrificing your time for God and for others, Sacrificing your finances for the Lord, Sacrificing your will for God's will, etc.  But if a Christian's main goal in life is to maximize how comfortable they live, then that person will mature very slowly, and it will cost them much more in the end.  Sacrifice was not just for Old Testament times, it works today.  We just sacrifice different things.


The Enemy and his tactics
5-31-03

Many Levels of Deception: For every one truth there are a thousand lies. And the main power of the devil is deception,  different lies for different people.  Lies that trap some people don't work on others, so he uses many levels of deception. 

But some people don't even believe that they are being lied to. Well, the fool says "there is no God," and the deceived say "there is no enemy."  Yes, there is an enemy, and a motive behind each lie.  His main goal is that people never get to know the Lord, never grow closer to Him, never mature, never become fruitful, and therefore stay under the devil's control.  These people pose no threat to him.

So any lie that keeps a person from the Lord is a success.  He tells people that "there is no God, but only mankind, and we will determine our own future." Many people fall for this lie, but many others believe in God. So he tells those, "Yes there is a God, and all paths lead to God." He then muddies the water so people chase after anything but God.  But some people don't believe that lie, they believe in Jesus.  So he tells those, "Jesus might have been a good person, but because the bible has been re-written so many times, no one really knows who he was, and you can't trust organized religion anyway." So many people never peruse Jesus, which is a victory for the devil. 

But still others peruse Jesus, so the devil uses a very powerful weapon against them, counterfeits.   He gives them churches that have a form of godliness, but never bring people into a maturing relationship with the Lord.  He gives them mentors that have an intellectual knowledge of God, but not a heart after God.  And he tries to get people bogged down with every cares of this world.

Whether a person falls for the first lie, or the last, they're still deceived, and on the wrong track. 
Never say, "I can't be deceived." Arrogance like that will only harm you.  All of us can be deceived.  How can you know if you're deceived?  Well, what is the difference between a weed and a plant?  They both have leaves, roots and a stem.  But only one produces good fruit.  If you seldom find yourself reading God's word, or helping others, or in prayer, then there is some deception.  If you find that praise and worship are not a vital part of your life, then there is some deception. If you can't answer the question, "What is God doing in my life today," then there is some deception.  If you're not excited about the Lord and what He is doing in your life, then there is probably some deception.  You need to be able to take a measurement of your spiritual pulse,  to see where you are.  You closeness and dependence on the Lord will be the main factor in how you are doing.  For me, praise and worship are what get my spiritual pulse back up, and keep me away from deception.


Fake Jewelry
5-31-03

The power of counterfeits:  The devil dresses people up in fake jewelry, so that when they see true riches they say "I already have that, don't need anymore." And they pass it by.  Fake jewelry is beautiful, sparkly, but worthless. No one can tell the difference until they see the real thing.  Learn to identify fake jewelry, get rid of it, and stay away from people who sell it.


Self-Centeredness
5-31-03

All sin stems from self-centeredness.  Thinking more about yourself than about God and others.  This is what the devil preys upon. 


Boast in your weaknesses not in your strengths
5-9-03

There are many stumbling blocks that the devil has put in this world.  And Christian's fall for them all the time. Usually falling for them is so embarrassing that we don't share our experience with anybody else.  And this is very foolish, because by not sharing with others, we leave the people behind us to fall on the same rocks.  What a responsible Christian should do after he falls on a stumbling block is to warn others.  Have the humility to boast in your weaknesses and not in your strengths.  Scripture is full of examples of people who have learned hard lessons, and by reading these; we are better able to avoid those issues. When a person is too embarrassed to share their lessons with others, they are putting more focus on their own reputation than other's spiritual growth.


The desire to see dirty laundry
5-9-03

I was given a dream the other day. And in the dream I was given a chance to see a person in their most humiliating circumstance, with all their dirty laundry out.  I jumped at the chance... and failed the test. 
The test was on how I desire to see people. There was a desire in me to see this person totally bare, with nothing to hide, and their shame in full sight. It gave me a sense of superiority. I said to myself, now that I know the goods on this person, I would always have an advantage over them. Well it was an evil desire. This desire to see people's shame, is the same desire that motivates people toward pornography.  You also see this evil desire in many TV talk shows, like Jerry Springer.  People would come out on stage, air all their dirty laundry, and the crowd would just love it. 
God's word teaches us that we should strive to see people the way God wants them to be, not the way the Devil has them. This is best illustrated by the story of when the prostitute washed the feet of Jesus. (Luke 7:36-40) Jesus saw and treated her as a beautiful child of God, while the pharoses saw her as a prostitute.  Jesus' perspective was the better one.


Water or Serum
4-21-03

Suppose a man is bitten by a snake in the desert. In his desperation he quickly tries to get back to civilization. After hours of walking, he is tired, dried up, thirsty, and the venom is slowly killing him. Soon he arrives at the store. Now here is a question for you: If you were the store owner, which would you give him first, water or snake serum? 


the "Truth"
4-21-03

A man was struggling at his job.  He was barley able to finish the work assigned to him.  One manager, came to him and told him, "you're slaking, you're work is mediocre at best, I don't think you can make it at this job." But another manager, came to him and said "I know you're struggling right now, and that its hard work, but you've done great work in the past, and I know you can improve."  Now neither manager lied to this employee, but did they both tell him the truth? Well that depends on how you define truth.  If your definition of truth is "Factually correct information," then they both told the truth. But that's using a poor definition of "truth." True wisdom has 2 parts, a mind and a heart. And just because something is factually correct (the mind) does not mean it has the correct motives and intentions (the heart).  Take the example of when Eve was talking to the devil in the Garden of Eden. The devil said that by eating the fruit of the tree her eyes would be opened, and her eyes were opened. The devil said the she would not die, and after eating the fruit she live many more years.  So was the devil truthful?  If you don't have a good understanding of what TRUTH is, then you won't be able to distinguish between what the Devil tells you and what God tells you.
Jesus said, "The truth will set you free" The truth is liberating, not enslaving. Its motives are pure. Its intentions are just. 


the fit and the fat angels
4-15-03

I believe that when a person puts their faith in Christ, he is given certain heavenly resources. For example, angels to minister to you. And as a person is shown to be more faithful, then more resources are given.  But if a person does not pray or seek the Lord, then many times these resources stand idly by.  In James 4:2 it says "You do not have, because you do not ask God."  Use the resources that the Lord gives you. 
(My analogy)
You don't want to get to Heaven and see a bunch of fat angels. You'll ask them why they are so out of shape, and they'll say, "Well, the whole time we were down there with you, you didn't ask us to do anything."
When I get to Heaven, I want to see all fit angels. In fact, they might say, "Oh, no, here comes the slave driver. He didn't give us a moments rest."


Spiritual Magnets
4-15-03

In my study of scripture and experience in life, if find the concepts of Light and Darkness parallel the way magnets work.
For example, when a person comes close to the Lord, it's like a piece of metal that comes close to a magnet; soon the metal becomes polarized in the same way as that magnet.  But when a good person goes into the devils territory, it's like taking that piece of metal and putting it next to an oppositely polarized magnet. There is initial resistance, and the piece of metal is influenced to flip 180 degrees. But if it stays there long enough, it will become polarized in the same way as that magnet.  The longer the piece of metal stays next to a magnet the stronger its orientation becomes.  It is very difficult to change a Magnets orientation, but not difficult to change a piece of metals orientation. 
I saw this once in a man I was ministering to. On the day I met him he was on fire for Jesus, like I've never seen before; ready to surrender everything to the Lord.  But 1 day later, after he was back on the street, he went into all his old habits and lost the passion.  How could this have happened so fast?  Well that Lord showed me that he was like a piece of metal; changing his orientation depending on what magnet he is next to.  As Christians we are called to be spiritual magnets, which don't change based on our surroundings.  And unless we spend ample time with Jesus, our spiritual orientation will never be very strong.


Don't make a straw man
4-15-03

When a person tells you something, don't assume that they explained it the best way. Strive to see it in the best light. Give the statement the benefit of the doubt, then make a judgment call. But so often I see that we interpret what other people tell us as though a 5th grader told us, and then we shoot it to pieces. 


Don't give the Devil any ammunition
3-25-03

The word of God is a powerful weapon against the enemy, but one must be careful not to give any ammunition to the devil.  While I was singing hymns in front of a homeless shelter, I asked the group of men to stand up. To encourage more people to stand I jokingly said, "Ok, now let's have all the real Christian stand up". A few more did, but later that night one of the men told me that my statement really offended him. He thought to himself, "does this guy think I'm not saved unless I stand up, how dare he say that" He went on to say that he realized this thought was just temptation from the devil, and he wasn't offended anymore. But it made me realize that just by off the cuff remarks I can be giving the Devil ammunition.


Put down the sling shot and come into the Tank

When we are doing the Lord's will by our own strength, it is very weak; like going into battle with a sling shot.  The best we can do is bruise the enemy.  But when the Lord is with us, it's like going into battle with a fully armored tank. 
How do you bring the Lord with you? Well, when you do ministry for someone that you really don't love, or care much for, the Spirit of the Lord won't be very strong with you.  And if you don't pray for them or ask the Lord to intervene in their lives, the Power of the Lord won't be very strong with you. So before you go do something for the Lord, pray first, and have a genuine compassion for those you're ministering to.  If you don't love those who you minister to, ask the Lord for His tears, and He will put in your heart, that which you lack. Now put down the sling shot and come into the Tank.


The difference between the least in the Kingdom of God,
and the Greatest

There is a difference between the least in the Kingdom of God, and the Greatest. The least are those who were stuck on milk, they never progressed. They were the ones who were prepared to meet a merciful God, but they were not prepared to meet a God of Righteous Judgment. They had a love for the Lord, but not a fear of Him.  They took whatever they were given, and walked with it.  If the Lord ever asked them to sacrifice their lives for Him, they would be totally unprepared.   They said, "I am saved by Grace, and therefore there is nothing I need to do."  Salvation was sufficient for them, and they were blessed beyond their wildest imagination with salvation. 
But the Greatest in the Kingdom of God, took whatever they were given and ran with it. They understood both sides of the Lord, compassion and judgment. They went past the milk of the gospel, to the hard foods. They understood what Jesus meant when He said in Matt 10:38-39 anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.   They understand sacrifice and suffering for the Kingdom of God.  And they we blessed beyond their wildest imagination with salvation, but with more, much more.
As Christians we follow Christ, the greatest Son in the Kingdom of God. Follow the greatest, not the least.


The Two Sides of God

When God made man, He made him in His own image. Contrary to popular belief, God did not take a rib out of Adam to make Eve.  What the Bible states is the God took one of Adam's "sides" to create Eve. In other words, half of what Adam was went into Adam the first man, and half of what he was went in to Eve. Adam was split into masculine part along with a feminine part; an aggressive part along with a submissive part, a competitive part along with a compassionate part.  This is way men and women often think in totally different way.  But God, is not limited like we are, He can be compassionate and loving, and He can be fierce and angry.  He can show mercy, and He can show Justice. But we can't tie Him down to only one way.  God is the same yesterday, today and forever, He does not change.  The God of the New Testament is also the God of the Old Testament.  Sometimes when I read about God judgment in the Old Testament I say to myself, "No way, My God would never do something like that." Because in most of my Christian education we only studied one side of God, the Loving Compassionate side. Very little attention was given to the other side. But when I talk with Muslims, they often have a distorted impression of God.  Their impression of God is a mighty and just God, but little is mentioned about His compassionate side.  If you want a complete picture of what God looks like try to understand this picture.  He is to be Feared and Loved.

LION&LAMB.jpg (149685 bytes)


Build your house from the bottom up, not the top down

When building a house, your first build the Foundation, not the Roof. Though it is easier to finish the roof first, is becomes progressively harder to build the next stage, the walls. Because the finished roof becomes a heavy burden to building walls that are not complete. Which then are burdensome to making a foundation. You must make your house, bottom up.  In real world examples this mean...
1. you can't preach the gospel if you not already saved,
2. you can't rebuke someone for a sin, that you have not mastered,
3. you can't disciple a group of people if you're not walking with the Lord,
4. you shouldn't ask for the gift of healing if you don't love the people you're ministering to,
5. you shouldn't ask for revelation if you won't bother to read God's Word.
Getting this out of order, will be a stumbling block to you, and may interfere with the advancement of the Kingdom of God.


The 3 Stages of Sin

There are three stages of sin. Here is how to prevent them.
The 3rd stage of Sin, is the action itself.
To prevent the action, don't enter the 2nd stage...
Which is allowing the Sinful thought to enter your mind.
To prevent the thought from coming to you, don't enter the 1st stage...
Which is putting yourself in a position where you might have a sinful thought, (i.e. a bar, watching an R rated movie, etc)
Cutting off sin at the 1st stage is the easiest way to stop the whole process.
And hold every thought captive.


Disciple of Christ

A short lesson but its true:
If after any period of time of being a Christian, you are not more like Christ, and are not more able to go through what He did for us, then you are not being a disciple of Christ, and are probably wasting your time.


A dime in the Kingdom of God
3-15-03

When Jesus returns, He said that her will reward everyone for what they have done. When you start disobeying the Lord, you lose your inheritance. Not all of it, but some. You think that it is such a small sin that it does even matter. But I tell you, if you only loose a dime of your inheritance, it is a great treasure, more than you can imagine. So live a Godly life, and strive not to lose your inheritance.


Re-Do you Marriage Vows

Sometimes in our marriage, things get stale, where the love that was once present, in no longer growing.  To address this, people occasionally re-do their marriage vows.  This helps keep relationships strong.  
These are signs that you're having a strong and growing relationship with the Lord.  These traits become part of you;
love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, humility, never arrogant, truthful, a desire to pray, a desire to praise His name.
If you do not see these changes in you personality, then the Holy Spirit is not fully manifesting His fruit in you.    If the seed of Christ is not growing in you and changing you, then re-do your vows to the Lord.  Say again the prayer that you said when you accepted Him into your heart. 
"Lord Jesus, I want to stop trusting in myself, and what I can do, and start trusting in You.  I know that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins.  Thank you for paying the penalty for my sins. I ask you to forgive me, and I invite you to come and live inside of me.  Lord Jesus, I surrender to you, and I accept you as my Lord and Savior."

--feel free to call me, I'm your servant, and I'll pray for you.  - Robert Brownell +86  134-2953-0765  (Beijing)


on Servant-hood

When Jesus came to earth, he came not as a King but as a servant.  And anyone who takes on the name of Christ should also be a servant.  Here are some aspects of being a servant, which you should recognize when you answer these questions. Don't read the answers until you have your own.

What is the difference between a waiter that serves you and Mother Teresa?
(Anyone would serve someone for money, but a Godly servant must serve for no profit.)

What is the difference between serving the President when he asks your help, and serving a beggar when he asks for help?
(Anyone would serve someone of honor, but a Godly servant must also serve people of low position.)

What is the difference between serving someone in Public and serving someone in Private?
(Anyone would serve someone while everyone is watching, but a Godly servant must also serve when nobody is watching.)

What is the difference between helping a someone who just had a heart attack and needs a doctor, and helping someone who has a small need, like needing a can opener?
(It is easy to serve someone for the big needs like emergencies, but a Godly servant will serve even in the small things.)

What is the difference between helping a person who has asked for your help, and helping someone you have never met?
(It is reactionary when you help someone who asked you, but a Godly servant will often serve you before you ask, proactively.)

How does a Godly servant feel when he serves?
(A Godly servant will feel a joy when serving, but others will feel that they are fulfilling their obligation, or are compelled to.)

Should you ever remind a person of how you have served them.
A normal person will keep an account of his service, so that he can bring it up later, "Remember when I helped you, not I need something." But a Godly servant will keep no account of past help.

What is the difference between donating blood for a friend in dire need, and donating a Kidney for a friend in dire need.
(Anyone can give what they can easily afford, but a Godly servant will give what is hard for him to afford.)

What is the difference between helping your brother, and helping a stranger.
(Many people will help out friends and family, but a Godly servant will help out those he does not know.)


Dreams

[a Spiritual story]
If I tell you a story, you can picture it in your mind.  But if I use gestures and emotion when I speak, then you can get an even better feel for the story.  Even more, if I use pictures, then you can understand the story better.  Now if I added video, and sound-fx, you're understanding for the story would continue to improve. 
How much better can the Holy Spirit tell a story, for a dream is a spiritual story.  The story is not heard with our ears, but we are put into the world of the story, as though we are experiencing it fully.

Why are we given dreams?  Well, why do we tell stories?  We can tell stories to entertain people, or teach them a lesson,  prepare them for something, or many other reasons.  There are many reasons the Holy Spirit can give you a dream.  And when he does, you should know that he had a purpose behind it.

The dream I had this morning (3-25-02) was a convicting dream, showing me some of my faults.  I was talking to a man on the phone, and he was giving me directions, and I was simply not listening to him, or paying any attention.  But I was acting as though I was paying close attention, saying "yes, I know, ok, sure, yah, I hear ya."  I was acting 2 faced.  When I woke up, I asked the Holy Spirit for an interpretation of the dream, and it was to show me my personal shortcomings.  In this dream and the next 3 dreams, the Lord showed me 15 of my shortcomings. 

When the Lord gives you a dream, pray for its interpretation and pray that you can remember it, but do not ignore it.  Write it down, or you will forget it.  It is a valuable part of your spiritual growth.  If something bad is happening to you in the dream, the Lord might be warning you of something, so pray against that dream from happening.  If it is a very intense dream, or nightmare, then it may be of greater importance, something of immediate need.  So pray even more intently on those. 


The Living and Dead Word of God!

The Word of God is living and active, it is spiritually discerned.  But the Word can also be Dead.  When the Pharisees threw down the prostitute in front of Jesus, and stated that the Law required her to be punished, they were using a Dead Word of God.  Though it was from scripture, the Holy Spirit did not prompt them to say that, and the Holy Spirit did not confirm to Jesus that she should be punished. 
Scripture in the Hand of a person who does not have the Holy Spirit or is not listening to the Holy Spirit can be dangerous and misleading.  The Devil will often use the Dead word of God, though the Word is still valid, he uses it at the wrong time.  Like a parable in the mouth of a fool, or a rifle with the wrong type of ammo, it will only backfire.
Be careful with moral accusations against your brother, if a time arises to rebuke your brother, be sure to only use the living Word of God.


What is Your Covenant with the Lord?

Everyone should make a covenant with the Lord.  A covenant is the prayer of your Life.  It is not focused on the Day to Day needs, but sums up what you want to happen in your life. The Prayer should have everything that you need to live a full Christian Life.
-to see my covenant with the Lord, click here---
My Covenant Prayer


The Boy, the Man, and the Angel.

There is a boy, a man and an Angel standing before your desk.   You say to them, "Show me your money"
So the boy pulls some lunch money out of his pocket, and puts $1.25 on your desk.
The man looks at the boy and says, "Kid, that ain't nothin", and he pulls a wad of $100 bills out of his wallet, and places $1,600 on your desk.
The angel looks at the man and says, "Sir, that's nothing." The angel touches the desk, and it turns into solid gold.

Then you ask them, "What is the most painful experience you ever had?"
So the boy, tell you about a time when he was punched by the school bully.
The man looks at the boy and says, "Kid, that ain't nothin" and tell you of a time he spent 3 years in a prisoner of war camp.
The angel looks at the man and says, "Sir, that's nothing, I've thrown people down into the pit of hell, where they experience non-stop agony, shame, and hopelessness"

No matter how bad we think we have it, or how smart we think we are, this life is but a taste of the life to come.  You ain't seen nothin yet.


A 3rd grader's painting

How many 3rd grade students have ever made painting that made were put in an art museum, or invented things that helped advance mankind.  In the same way, a man's righteousness, in God's sight, is like 3rd grade junk.  Never measuring up to His standard.  As Jesus said (John 15:5), "apart from me you can do nothing."  You absolutely need him if you ever want to live a meaningful and godly life.


Heaven & the Whitehouse

Which do you think is easier?  To get into Heaven and see God, or to get into the White House and see the president?  Surly God's standard is much greater than man's.  Yet nobody just walks into the White House and says, "Hey, get me the president, I want to see him, I'm an American citizen, I paid my taxes."  Do not think of Heaven as the default, whereby when people die they just go there, unless they did some deadly sin.  Heaven is not the default, Jesus said in Matthew 7:14 "small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Do not take it for granite. But stick close to the Lord and live a Godly life.


The Smile of God

A father has 2 children.  When the father comes home from work he finds one child sitting on the couch watching TV and one child cleaning the house and helping his mom.  Now the father loves both children equally, but which child do you think will get the biggest smile from the father?  The one who is helping.  Do likewise with your heavenly father.  For His smile is precious, and to be sought after.


What to invest in

What do you invest in?  Do not invest in those things that will perish, but invest in those things that will last.  Nobody will say, on Judgment day, "if I only would have exercised more" or "if I only spent more time at work."  No they will wish they spent their time on the eternal things.


How to Remember

When we stand before God, do we want Him to remember us at are ugliest moment?  Do we want Him to know us by our dumbest opinion? No.

And so we should not remember a person by their worst action, or remember them by their weakest opinion. 


Don't base your faith on your feelings

I used to be under the opinion that whenever you serve the Lord it should be very joyful and pleasing.  I.e., A good servant will want to do his masters work.  But what kind of faith is that, when you only do what brings you joy?  Anyone can do that.  The real test is when you obey the Lord, even when you desperately don't want to.  I no longer have any confidence in my flesh, and what I desire. 

    When I should be reading the word of God, my flesh will want to sleep.

    When I should be praying to the Lord, my flesh will want to eat, or do something else.

    When I should be volunteering my time, my flesh will want to work on some other project.

A mature Christian should have no confidence in his flesh, he must constantly say, "I don't care what I want, I will do what my spirit know is right."  For you are no longer a creature of flesh, but have been born again.


The Legitimate Purpose for the Blood of Christ

The blood of Christ is for the legitimate forgiveness of sins, for a person who is repentful and seeking the Lord, it is not for the wicked man who does not care about righteousness but is only looking for a get out of jail free card.


Spend now, pay later

One difference between the fool and the wise man is that the fool will often spend now and pay later, and the wise man will save now and spend later. Learning to avoid the need for instant satisfaction, and being willing to sacrifice is a sign of maturity. 
Here are some examples,
1. Study and get an education now, and reap the benefits of a good Job later.
2. Patiently invest now, and reap a good return later.
3. Keep fit and healthy now, and be in good health when you get older.

When the devil temps a person, it is for instant pleasure at the cost of long term pain.  But when the Lord speaks to a person, it is often for initial sacrifice, for a long term benefit.  This is why it is always easier and pleasurable to listen to the devil, but in the end you'll always wish you listened to the Lord.

 
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