Posts Tagged ‘miracles’

A Facebook Post from Allana:15747885_10157951910710282_1166937839466352526_n

Lifelong commitment is not what everyone thinks it is. It’s not waking up early every morning to make breakfast and eat together. It’s not cuddling in bed together until both of you peacefully fall asleep. It’s not a clean home and a homemade meal every day.
It’s someone who steals all the covers. It’s sometimes slammed doors, and a few harsh words, disagreeing, and the silent treatment until your hearts heal. Then…forgiveness!
It’s coming home to the same person everyday that you know loves and cares about you, in spite of and because of who you are. It’s laughing about the one time you accidentally did something stupid. It’s about dirty laundry and unmade beds without finger pointing. It’s about helping each other with the hard work of life! It’s about swallowing the nagging words instead of saying them out loud.
It’s about eating the cheapest and easiest meal you can make and sitting down together at 10 p.m. to eat because you both had a crazy day. It’s when you have an emotional breakdown, and your love lays with you and holds you and tells you everything is going to be okay, and you believe them. It’s when “Netflix and chill” literally means you watch Netflix and hang out. It’s about still loving someone even though sometimes they make you absolutely insane.
Living with the person you love is not perfect, and sometimes it’s hard, but it’s amazing and comforting and one of the best things you’ll ever experience.
Go ahead and share a picture of the person you love and copy and paste this, make their day.
I love this picture of Samuel Guidry it is perfect. a pic of Sami showing off the purity rings that Sam got her for her 16th bday.

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What an amazing day this was!

Learning To Fly

Welcome to our life party ūüôā

Thank you to everyone who came out and celebrated with us ‚Äď make sure to watch the videos, who knows.. you may see yourself

To others who want the full experience, hopefully this will help you get a feel for what our celebration was all about. I want to encourage you to watch every video in the order they are posted‚Ķ they build on each other to show our life and our journey through the great, through the trails‚Ķ Thank you for taking the time to share in our day even from your personal computer ‚̧

Those who don’t have the time to walk through this day with us, you can just view the pictures as you scroll down.

Life Party Getting Ready Set up, worship practice and getting ready for The Life Party to begin

Everyone Watching The Amazed Video (which is below) ‚Äď Sam and I‚Ķ

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The Long Haul

I wanted to first thank God for providing the wonderful opportunity to speak at The Patient Experience Summit hosted by The Cleveland Clinic last week.  It was an amazing event in so many ways.  It did throw us back a week on our look at Daniel as a Hupomone man but we will pick it today.  Click here if you want to go back and read the first post in this series.

What are the characteristics of someone who stays in it for the long haul with God? ¬†Specifically what can we see in Daniel’s life that contributed to the fact that he outlasted kings and empires? ¬†The first thing that we are going to look at is hope. ¬†Even though the word is never used in the text of Daniel, his hope in God shine’s through. ¬†Consider this prayer of thanks after God revealed Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in chapter 2:

20Daniel said, “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him. 21 “It is He who changes the times and the epochs ; He removes kings and establishes kings ; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding. ¬†“It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things ; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him. ¬†“To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, For You have given me wisdom and power ; Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You, For You have made known to us the king’s matter.”

Daniel makes it clear to Nebuchadnezzar who is the revealer of mysteries, not Daniel, but God. ¬†“However there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days.” Daniel 2:28 ¬†This must have seemed very strange to the king who was used to all of his wise men, magicians and sorcerers trumpeting their own skills of wisdom and divination. ¬†Here was a young man who gave all the credit to his God. ¬†Daniel not only held God as his personal hope, he proclaimed God to be the hope of all men. ¬†Daniel stood with Peter in his faith and hope. ¬†“…but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” ¬†1 Peter 3:15 ¬†Daniel’s gentleness and reverence in the proclamation of his hope is perhaps without parallel in Scripture. ¬†There is no sense of derision or haughtiness in any of his dealings with his pagan bosses. ¬†He is a great example to us in all of our dealings with both our fellow believers and those who have not found Jesus as their Lord and Savior. ¬† ¬†Consider Daniel’s plea with Nebuchadnezzar to change his ways, “Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing to you: ¬†break away now from your sins by doing righteousness and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity.” ¬†Daniel 4:27 ¬†The fact that the king did not accept Daniel’s plea is irrelevant to Daniel’s faith. ¬†Daniel acted on the hope that was within him. ¬†The seed of truth planted, God acts and in the end the king proclaims, “Now I Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride” Daniel 4:37

It is with this hope that Daniel walked bravely into the lion’s den. ¬†It is a hope that he shared with his friends who walked bravely into the furnace. ¬†It is a hope manifested both in the miraculous and the mundane. ¬†It is a hope that does not rely on events or circumstances, “If it be so, our god whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. ¬†But eve if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” ¬†Daniel 3:17-18. ¬†Paul held this hope even as he walked a path that he knew led to death, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. ¬†I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for¬†me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day;” 2 Timothy 4:6-8

Paul walked the Hupomone path to martyrdom, giving his life.  Daniel also walked the Hupomone path giving his life for the hope that he held in God.  In human terms they had very different ends but before God each of them lived the life of perseverance that He seeks for all who call on His name.


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Lion's Den

 As for every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm. And Daniel continued until the first year of Cyrus the king.  Daniel 1:20-21

Daniel is one of the most amazing characters in the Bible for a number of reasons. ¬†Our canon of Scripture places Daniel among the prophets but the Jewish Scriptures do not. ¬†The Jewish Canon¬†places it¬†in a group called The Writings. ¬†While one cannot deny Daniel’s prophetic gift, he did not hold the office of prophet. ¬†Certainly God calls on him¬†repeatedly to speak ¬†to the various leaders of Babylon, but that leads us to another unique thing about Daniel. ¬†Other than the fact that Daniel was a Jew and was taken at a young age from his home in Judah the contents do not speak of or to the Jews.

So what do we know about this enigmatic figure and author of one of the 39 books of our old testament (one of the 24 in the Jewish Canon)? Daniel lived in the sixth century BC. ¬†His family was either of the royal family or the nobility. ¬†Pretty much everything that we know directly of Daniel comes from the book bearing his name. ¬†The authorship of the book is much debated but I do not doubt that Daniel wrote it¬†near the end of his life, probably after he had retired from public service. ¬†I find most other textual criticism to be contrived either for academic reasons (you have to write your dissertation on something) or with the express need to explain away the miraculous. ¬†He grew up during hard times in Judah. ¬†His dedication to God from the very beginning would indicate to me that his parents were godly people living in ungodly times. ¬†They are not mentioned here or elsewhere in Scripture. ¬†If they did survive the siege and capture of Jerusalem Daniel was taken from them at around the age of 13. ¬†This was the typical age at which the Babylonians of this era began training for public servants. ¬†We are able to historically place the siege and capture of Jerusalem right around the year 605 BC. ¬†This enables us to date many aspects of Daniel’s life, particularly when his service to Babylon began and ended. ¬†This is what caught my attention and brought me to look a little deeper at the life of this man of God, this man of ¬†hupomone (perseverance). ¬†Daniel as we said was not a prophet, he was not a priest nor a missionary. ¬†He was a public administrator and in many ways a politician by trade. ¬†Daniel served God in the Babylonian courts and government until the year or year after Cyrus captured Babylon seizing control of that empire. ¬†That event is historically established as occurring in 540 BC. ¬†So Daniel served God in his capacity as an administrator for several versions of the Neo-Babylonian Empire from 605 BC until 540 BC, or including training around 65 years! ¬†That is some serious Hupomone! ¬†Throughout that time he maintained his dedication to and love for God, even facing death! ¬†He probably spent the last few years of his life (from 540,41 to 543,44) penning the book under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit which would become of part of the canon of Scripture we hold as the Word of God today! ¬†He was very much an Old Testament Missionary, called to a pagan people to speak the heart of God. ¬†Consider his words to Nebuchadnezzar: ‘Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing to you: break away now from your sins by doing righteousness and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity.’ ¬†Daniel 4:27 It seems that most often studies of Daniel focus in on either the eschatological aspects of his prophecies or just a few specific events within the book. ¬†The next few weeks will be dedicated to looking at Daniel and the Long Haul.

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And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

Acts 9:9

This verse comes from a story that many of us may know well. ¬†It is the conversion story of Saul, who would become Paul the Apostle. ¬†Paul was a man who acutely understood the dangers of blind spots, Saul was not. ¬†Saul along with many of the Jewish leaders of his day lived in a big blind spot. ¬†They desperately believed in God and in the coming Messiah but they saw their heritage and tradition as an overwhelming strength and in that feeling of strength they were blind to the truth of the Gospel. ¬†Saul in his strength attended and approved of the stoning of Stephen. ¬†He even watched over the cloaks of them men involved (Acts 7:58-8:1). ¬†Saul in his strength “breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord”¬†sought the destruction of the early Church. ¬†He is an ominous example of how when we attempt to serve God in the strength of tradition, skill, knowledge or any other personal trait that the greater our “service”, the greater our potential blind spots.

So then this is¬†the question, “How do we avoid operating in Spiritual Blind Spots?”. ¬†Prior to committing our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ we lived in darkness. ¬†It is a way of life for those who are not in a personal relationship with Him. ¬†Jesus came to take us from the darkness that is life without God and bring us in to the light.

John 12:46 
“I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.

Old habits die hard and Peter speaking to believers sheds light on Spiritual Blind Spots

2 Peter 1:4-9

4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.

We can compare this passage to Paul’s exposition on the “Fruit of the Spirit” in Galatians 5. ¬†These passages and many like them provide a Spiritual litmus test for smoking out blind spots in our walk with God. ¬†However I want to go back to Paul’s story to see how God dealt with this problem in his life.

1.  God knocked Saul off of his high horse.

Acts 9:3

As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; 4 and he fell to the ground

2.  God brought Saul to a place of weakness

       a.  Paul was blinded.  The Spiritual state that he was operating in was manifested physically.

       b.  The man who was accustomed to leading needed to be led into the city

       c.  Paul was unable to eat or drink for three days.

3. ¬†God spoke truth into Saul’s life

       a.  Initially God spoke directly to Saul revealing the blind spot that he was operating under.

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†b. ¬†God revealed Saul’s personal inadequacy in a vision of the man who would come to help him.

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†c. ¬†God brought a Christian brother to speak healing into Saul’s life, both of the physical and Spiritual blindness.

Fortunately God has provided us with Scripture and in it Paul’s example (as well as the examples of many other men and women of God throughout biblical history). ¬†With the help of the Holy Spirit we can smoke out our blind spots without being knocked off a horse and blinded.

1. ¬†Examine ourselves for areas of personal (denominational, doctrinal or any other genre of) pride that can make us susceptible to blind spots. ¬†Then we need to follow the Micah’s advice in Chapter 6: ¬†8 He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God ?

2.  Do not be afraid to operate from areas of weakness or of being in positions of weakness.

3. ¬†Always be ready for, looking for and expecting the Truth of God to be revealed in your life. ¬†The primary source is of course Scripture. ¬†The more time that you spend in Scripture with your heart and mind open to God’s message the less likely you are to function in a blind spot. ¬†Secondly always walk with solid brother’s and sisters in Christ who will be honest and open with you. ¬†God may or may not reveal¬†them in a vision to you but be ready to listen to the Holy Spirit as He speaks through them. ¬†Filter it all through the truth of Scripture.

Blind Spots are endemic to our human nature but God through the work of Jesus Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit as recoreded in Scripture has provided us all with the tools to walk in the Light as the Children of God.

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This is our first Newsletter since the closing of The Lewis House.  Below is a link to the PDF version with live links for donations and contacts.





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“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”

Hebrews 13:8


The fancy word for today’s topic is “Immutability”. ¬†That is the last time you will see it in this post. ¬†However the bible tells us that in a world of change biblical perseverance calls for a unique constancy from Christ Followers. ¬†God declares his own character when he tells Moses that “I am that I am”. ¬†This Hebrew word, which became the very name of God to Israel, declares His eternal constancy. ¬†It is here that we find one of the prime qualities of biblical perseverance for the believer.

29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren ; Romans 8:29

It is only by this miraculous transformation process and the submission of our will to His will that we begin our journey to biblical perseverance.  So then do we  live in the same place, do the same things, never change what we eat or do for the rest of our live?  Clearly not.  We do not even have that kind of control on the circumstances of our lives.  Change is introduced to our existence every day, every hour and every minute of our lives here on earth.  This is where we see that biblical perseverance is a spiritual gift not a physical effort.  It cannot be faked or practiced by human effort.  It is manifested in the lives of those who serve and have a personal relationship with God.

Consider Daniel.

3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his officials, to bring in some of the sons of Israel, including some of the royal family and of the nobles,…6 Now among them from the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 Then the commander of the officials assigned new names to them; and to Daniel he assigned the name Belteshazzar, to Hananiah Shadrach, to Mishael Meshach and to Azariah Abed-nego. Daniel 1:3,6

Talk about change. ¬†As a young man Daniel was ripped from his home, dragged half way across the known world and even had his name taken away. ¬†This Babylonian tactic was specifically designed to destroy perseverance. ¬†Do not be deceived the Enemy is out to destroy your perseverance. ¬†He wants you to come out from under the covering of Christ where he can have a clear and open shot at you. ¬†The Babylonians did everything they could to shake Daniel’s identity as a child of God. But what happened.

8 But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank ; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself. ¬†Daniel 1:8

In the midst of all of this change Daniel did not change.  It is important to note that Daniel remained under Jesus Christ in every aspect of his behavior.  This brings us to another important aspect of biblical perseverance.  It expresses at all times the character of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control ; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.  Galatians 5:22-26

Biblical perseverance is never rude or arrogant.  Perseverance that does not fall in line with His Word is not biblical and is not godly.  When we truly walk in biblical perseverance we are like a lighthouse in the storm.  We go on to read:

9 Now God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials,…17 As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom ; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams ¬†Daniel 1:9, 17

But let there be no mistake.  Satan HATES biblical perseverance and he believes that he can destroy it.  Daniel continued to face opposition throughout his lifetime.  Many other saints both biblical and historical persevered to martyrdom.  Regardless of the physical outcome the Spiritual truth remains the same and the lighthouse of faithfulness shines in the darkness.

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I have been looking over my posts over the past couple of years and a couple of them stand out so I thought that I would throw them out there again. This post has become so much more meaningful over the past year as Allana and I have walked through the storm of Leukemia and a bone marrow transplant. ¬†It also connects nicely with my series on perseverance because at its core persevering as a Christian IS walking in the miraculous. ¬†When we truly “remain under” Christ Jesus as the covering for our lives the miraculous is bound to show its face. ¬†“Open the eyes of my heart Lord” the popular song refrains. ¬†Open my eyes to see Your miraculous hand in and around my life everyday!


Walking in the Miraculous

“So then does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?”¬† Galatians 3:5

Perhaps one of the most amazing aspects of this new life that God has called me to at The Lewis House is one that I should have had in my Christian life regardless of my profession.  It is one that I am still learning to embrace because (unlike my beautiful wife) I am a bit too logical in my make up and a big part of me want to live on the basis of logical observation instead of spiritual expectation.  God is teaching me to walk in the miraculous.

When we truly hear the Gospel with faith there should be an expectation of the miraculous.¬† It is part of the package.¬† This is not a mystical toy store or the ability to bend God’s power to our will for our happiness.¬† It is simply expecting God to act in my life and then walking out my faith and getting to watch Him moving and working in an around me.¬† The cool thing is that the miraculous looks a little different every time.¬† I think that one of the mistake that we often make is when something miraculous happens in our lives we run around expecting that very same thing to happen over and over or even just one more time.¬† This may be in part to our desire to control the miraculous.¬† Humanity has always had an inherent fear of the things that we cannot control.¬† Better to have a god who responds to our requests exactly the same way all of the time, speaking into our lives in the ways that we want Him too (as opposed to in ways that sanctify us, ever conforming us closer and closer to the mind of Christ).

The author of Hebrews reveals the purpose of the miraculous.¬† “…how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?¬† After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.”¬† Hebrews 2:3-4¬† It confirms to us our salvation.¬† This approximates Paul’s statement in Galatians that we already looked.

The other amazing thing is that God will not be put in a box.¬† Sometimes we mistake the fact that he is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow for the fact that we will be able to manipulate and predict his actions in our lives.¬† This error is revealed in Isaiah, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways, My ways,’ declares the Lord.¬† ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are my ways higher than your ways And my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9¬† Does this mean that we just drift along being pushed here and there by a capricious God?¬† Not at all!¬† We cry out our needs, concerns, suffering and desires to God and the open our spiritual eyes wide and watch Him work.¬† It will be amazing, and often in ways that we least expect.

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Faith Gun

We recently played a family game called “Snake Oil”. ¬†The premise is pretty simple. ¬†You have a hand of 6 cards and you need to combine 2 of them to create a product which you the “sell” to the player who is “it” and has a particular profile based on the buyer’s card. ¬†My now second youngest daughter (yes I typed youngest first) needed to sell a product to a soldier and this is what she came up with, The Faith Gun. ¬†She pitched it as a weapon which always hit the target you were aiming at as long as you believed. ¬†Well as comments from my children often do, it got me to thinking about this product and its application to our lives as Christians.

“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.” ¬†(2 Corinthians 10:4)

Paul consistently describes the Christian life in military terms. ¬†We are in a battle and the enemy is powerful. ¬†“Be if sober spirit, be on the alert. ¬† Your adversary the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” ¬†(1 Peter 5:8 )¬†However God does not leave us un-equipped and unprepared for this battle. ¬†The key is that we need to avail ourselves of the training and weapons at our disposal. ¬†So let me introduce you to the Faith Gun.

1.  The Faith Gun becomes instantly available to every born again Christian when they place their belief, trust and obedience in Jesus.

Our spiritual arsenal becomes instantly available when we receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as a result of our decision to become a follower of Jesus Christ.

¬†In¬†Him, you¬†also, after¬†listening¬†to¬†the¬†message¬†of¬†truth, the gospel¬†of your¬†salvation¬†– having¬†also¬†believed, you were¬†sealed¬†in¬†Him with¬†the¬†Holy¬†Spirit¬†of¬†promise, who¬†isgiven¬†as a¬†pledge¬†of¬†our inheritance, with a¬†view¬†to the¬†redemption¬†of¬†God’s own¬†possession,¬†to the¬†praise¬†of His¬†glory. ¬† (Ephesians 1:13-14)

2.  Proper use of the Faith Gun requires submission and training.

There is only one training manual for the Faith Gun, The Bible.  However there are many resources that God places in our lives as we develop maturity and skill as Soldiers of Christ.

”¬†It was he who gave¬†some to be apostles,¬†some to be prophets,¬†some to be evangelists,¬†and some to be pastors and teachers,to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ¬†may be built up¬† until we all reach unity¬†in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God¬†and become mature,attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.¬†Then we will no longer be infants,¬†tossed back and forth by the waves,¬†and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.¬†Instead, speaking the truth in love,¬†we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head,¬†that is, Christ. ¬†From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows¬†and builds itself up¬†in love,¬†as each part does its work.” ¬†(Ephesians 4:11-16)

“Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you–guard it with the help of the¬†Holy¬†Spirit¬†who lives in us” (1 Timothy 1:14)

It is up to us to take advantage of all of the training resources that God provides, measuring each one by the Manual. ¬†This of course requires that we know the Manual, read, study it, make it a part of our lives. As we do this in submission to the Holy Spirit and living in the presence of God the Faith Gun becomes an extension of our lives. ¬†Snipers will tell you that becoming “One with the Gun” is a vital part of hitting difficult targets. ¬†It is even more true in our Relationship with God.

Faith Gun2

3.  To be effective the Faith Gun not only hits the target, it chooses the target.

Unlike weapons of human manufacture, the Faith Gun not only allows the Soldier of Christ to hit the target, it chooses the target to hit. ¬†This is perhaps one of the most difficult concepts for us to swallow. ¬†It violates our need for control. ¬†It violates our need for direction. ¬†Yes the world teaches that we need to be “one with the gun” so that we can accurately control and direct it. ¬†God teaches that we need to be “one with the gun” so that it can control and direct us. ¬†It is when we do this that God reveals the wisdom of the world to be foolishness. “For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”¬†(1 Corinthians 1:19) ¬†As we become more mature in our handling of the Faith Gun¬†this is of even greater importance. ¬†One of Satan’s favorite tricks is to provide a target rich environment. ¬†One might think that the more targets their are the easier they are to hit but for the undisciplined this far from true. ¬†I am reminded of a hunting expedition that I was on in the hills of Pennsylvania. ¬†I came upon a single doe standing broadside to me at about 30 yards. ¬†I carefully aimed and brought her down with one shot. ¬†At that moment I realized that I had walked into a whole group lying in the brush as they stood and froze for a moment. ¬†After easily taking the first doe I tried to take another unloading the rifle in a target rich environment of 12-15 deer, and didn’t hit anything. ¬†In our target rich environment allowing the Holy Spirit complete control is crucial in order to accurately strike the targets that God has directed us to.

4.  The Faith Gun selects its own ammunition, perfect in every way to impact the target.

The Faith Gun only come in one caliber, LOVE. ¬†It is within in that caliber that God provides many types of ammunition. ¬†Choosing the correct type of ammunition for the intended target is far beyond our ability. ¬†How sad it is when we actually allow the Faith Gun to choose the target but then go off half cocked loading our own choice of ammunition. ¬†We have many “reasons” for doing this, “I am good at this”, “I know what is needed”, “All the books say…”. ¬†Volumes have been written, preached, rewritten and re-preached on this subject so I am not going to try to tackle all the different types of ammunition available. ¬†I will give some general guidelines.

*Under no circumstances will God call you to use ammunition that is incompatible with the caliber of our Faith Gun. ¬†“If I speak in the tongues¬†of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy¬†and can fathom all mysteries¬†and all knowledge,¬†and if I have a faith¬†that can move mountains,¬†but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor¬†and surrender my body to the flames,¬†but have not love, I gain nothing.” ¬†(1 Corinthians 13:1-3) ¬†I could appropriately quote this chapter in its entirety as a guide to the ammunition appropriate for our Faith Gun, but you know what go ahead and read it for yourself. ¬†The results of using incompatible ammo can be devastating. ¬†When we try to slip ammunition containing hate, greed, jealousy, disdain, selfishness or fear into our Faith Gun the resulting explosion can scar us and those around us in horrible ways.

*It would be wonderful if God would always give us clear miraculous guidance in the appropriate ammunition for every situation. ¬†I know that pastors in particular wish that this was true. ¬†It is in these cases that unity with Scripture becomes all important. ¬†In order to achieve this you have to KNOW the Word of God. ¬†This involves reading it. (Hmmm…is sarcasm an appropriate ammunition…Paul used it so….). ¬†In these cases I would suggest that utilizing the ammunition that best expresses the intent of the caliber is the best choice. ¬†The Bible is a remarkable document. ¬†When you measure situations against the whole of Scripture the Holy Spirit will often make clear what the best ammunition is to achieve God’s intent.

5.  Ultimately the Faith Gun operates to and for the Glory of God.

This point dove tails with the idea that the Faith Gun chooses its target.  We often desire and I have even heard it preached that the Faith Gun is here for our protection and comfort.  Scripture is clear that as Soldiers of Christ we operate for the will and Glory of the Father.  We operate in suffering, in poverty, in wealth, in comfort, in every possible human condition for the Glory of God

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I did not sleep well last night. ¬†I find that as we approach the time of returning home and as the visits to the hospital and to our doctors become fewer and far between, there is not a sense of relief but a sense of fear. ¬†Throw into the mix the new healthcare laws going into effect in a matter of days and not really knowing how that will impact Allana’s ongoing care and I find myself doing just a little bit of internal churning. ¬†Friday enhanced for me the precariousness of her situation. ¬†This is not to say that this sense of fear came on suddenly, it has been building. ¬†It just kind of peaked last night and early this morning. ¬†But as I finally gave in to the hopelessness of getting back to sleep, again…I heard buzz of an incoming email and this is what I found:

Sep 29, 2013

Facing Your Fears

By Charles F. Stanley

I wanted to smile and cry at the same time. ¬† At that point the content of the devotional didn’t really matter. ¬†God was just reminding me the He knows where I am at every minute of every day. ¬†I am a little disappointed in myself that after all of His miraculous interventions in my life I am so easily sidetracked but it is great to KNOW that I have the God who is ready to coddle me when my human weaknesses show through. ¬†I did of course read the piece and the first major point highlighted what had really happened.

“The first and best move you can make to build up your faith is to get your eyes off your problem and off yourself and onto Jesus.¬†He is the Source of all your supply. He is utterly reliable and possesses all knowledge and all authority. Speak aloud the words of¬†Hebrews 13:6¬†until they sink deep within your spirit: ‚ÄúThe Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?‚ÄĚ

People may criticize, reject, ridicule and persecute, but they can‚Äôt take away your salvation, your relationship with Jesus Christ, your eternal home in heaven, or the joy, contentment, and inner strength the Lord imparts to you.”

It is part of the incredible human disconnect that is at the heart of our faith. ¬†For the Children of God successfully facing fear means not looking at the problem, or problems that bring the fear, it means looking right into the face of Jesus. ¬†It is from this place that Paul tells the Philippians that he has learned to be content no matter what his circumstances are because no matter what is going on around him or what is happening to him, the face of Christ never changes. ¬†I would encourage you to go and read the rest of Stanley’s devotional for today but here are the basic points

Second, ask the Lord to give you the help you need.

Third, encourage yourself by memorizing the Word of God and quoting it as often as you need a fear-buster of inner strength.

And, finally, ask others to pray for you.

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