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Archive for September, 2015

Our Family – Oh, the Treasure!

Pastor John,

I love our family. I love hearing brother Jimmy stand up and testify about needing God for everything, how we can do nothing without God’s mercy in allowing us to see and hear and feel Him. I love Damien saying he needs to be more like his dog, humble and at Jesus feet just begging for a touch. How could it be any simpler than to sit and wait at the Lord’s feet? Those testimonies make it feel so simple to please Jesus. So easy. The simpler the way, the safer I feel. 

I did not know about brother Earl until we got to the meeting. It hurt my heart. 

I needed to hear what you said tonight (September 30, 2015). I needed to hear to praise God now. Praise Him before we get the gold. I want to store these nuggets away. I want to be here with white hair someday, sharing these nuggets and testimonies. I really love being part of this family. I feel very thankful and I feel very safe.

Beth

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Pastor John,

Tonight’s meeting was so encouraging.   I loved all the wonderful testimonies!  Looking around tonight at all my brothers and sisters, my heart was overwhelmed with love.   I’m so thankful for being here, where Jesus put me.

Michelle

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Hi John,

How you all blessed me last night at the meeting! The love in that room reached out and hugged me so tight, all the way out here in California. And the unity in feelings!  It is all God!  Nothing happens that God isn’t in control of!  How wonderful to know that truth. How wonderful that God has chosen to show us that truth. He has given us such a treasure to be kept above everything else in our lives.

I love it!  And, I love you all!

Patty

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God had a Son before Mary did

Hi John,

I went to sleep last night pondering on all the things we read yesterday in the “God had a Son before Mary did” book and woke up this morning feeling so grateful and thankful for the spirit God has put in my heart to love him and his truth.  I feel more thankful than ever for what the Son of God did for us when he came down to this earth to make a way for us to partake of his and his Fathers kind of life.

I feel more desperate and dependent on him then I ever have before, there is nothing that is worth anything outside of his spirit that he has shed forth in our lives. We cannot live right, we cannot think right, we cannot judge right, we cannot treat people right outside of the spirit that his Son paid the price for us to have and trust in.  Everything outside of that spirit is sin and death!  My heart yearns’ for his sweet holy spirit to keep me and guide me every day.

We have been going through some really tuff times as of lately in our body.  When I got up this morning, I wanted to read something, so I got on the Going to Jesus web site and picked out a tract to read. The tract I picked out was tract  #7:
Stand Still In Jordan”.  What an opportunity we have to stand still in Jordan and trust and have faith in what God is doing in our lives right now!  The waters are raging over the banks and the current is roaring by at great speed, and yet all we have to do is obey his voice and wait on our salvation.

He alone has our destiny in his hands and is ready to meet all our needs when it is time. Oh what faith I feel in my heart in his spirit and his guidance in these times. It’s like you have said, Pastor John, “What does God want us to do?”  That is the only thing that matters; that is the only place to be. All we can do is wait to hear his voice and move when it is time.  God help us to be ready!!

We don’t want to be as some of the Israelites were when God brought them out into the wilderness from Egypt.  They said, “He has brought us out here to die!” He has not brought us out here to die; He has brought us out here to Live!!! And live more abundantly!  And we have lived, and will continue to do so as long as we put all our trust in him. What a joy and pleasure it was to gather with everyone and read this week end.

Thank you, John.

Stuart  

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Loving People

Morning Pastor John!

Lately, I have noticed a change in me.  When I was in the world, I loved people.  I loved to talk to them.  I loved to just be around people.  I was a waitress for a few years, and I was good at small talk.  Now, I feel like the entire world is just saying “BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH.”  I almost feel a cringe-like feeling when I have to talk with people, usually at work.

I remember that when God very first started to really deal with me, I tried everything to get away from Him.  I praise God that He did not let me.  The more I pulled away, the louder God became. I even turned the faucet on in the bathroom to drown Him out!  God got louder.  Well, that’s how I feel like the world’s “BLAH BLAH BLAH” is.  I feel like the more they talk, the louder the BLAH becomes. 

I know Jesus does separate us from the world.  Jesus took all the desires to be part of this world out of my heart (I pray it’s all out, anyway), but shouldn’t I care for them and want them to come to Jesus?

Am I wrong pastor John for feeling like this?  What is wrong with me?  I feel like I used to really love people.  Now, I feel indifferent.  I would never want to see any one hurt, but I don’t really feel a need to reach out to them about Jesus.  It just scares me.  I know Jesus will put someone in front of us if He wants is to do something but shouldn’t I feel some kind of something for them?

I don’t know about this.  I don’t want anything in my heart that would make God unhappy.  If there is something wrong in my heart please pray for me.  I want to be prepared and pleasing to Jesus when He visits. 

B. D.

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Hi B. D.

You still love people, but now, you see where they really are and how empty all humans are without God.  You used to love the “BLAH BLAH BLAH”, and that is actually what is missing now.  The next level in your spiritual growth will be to realize that you still love people in spite of what you can now see about them, the way Jesus loved us in our foolish blindness.  It will happen.  Just keep following Jesus.  He will take you there.  He will show you that the new creature he has made you loves people the way God does – and sees them as He does.

Pastor John

 

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Genesis 37

Hi Pastor John,

In Genesis 37, it speaks of Joseph’s dream about the sun and moon, and him being over his mother and father.  Who is his “mother” here?  I wonder because I thought Rachel had died by this point.

Jenny

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Hi Jenny,

Yes, Rachel was dead at that time, but the dream was figurative, and so, she being dead was inconsequential to its meaning.  The dream meant simply that God would one day make Joseph the savior of the family, even while his father Jacob was still alive.

Pastor John

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Hearing Our Thoughts

Hi John,

This morning as I was going about taking my shower, I had thoughts that were coming to my mind, about last night’s meeting, about certain ones who are in need of healing, and various other things.  As I was thinking on these things, I was also thinking, sort of subconsciously, of how to organize those thoughts so that I could verbalize them and tell Jesus what I was thinking and feeling.  Before I could finish with my shower and just get still to “say” anything, I heard, “I know your thoughts”.  That was really sweet to me! To have the Lord remind you that he is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  I didn’t have to try and verbalize a prayer at that point.  I just let the Spirit pray and enjoyed the feelings that came.  One of the things that has stood out to me as we read through Matthew, Mark, and Luke, is how often Jesus discerned what people around him were thinking and feeling.  He’s still doing it now 🙂

A little later this morning, while I was working at my desk, I had the thought to get on the web site for our Lincoln bank account.  I didn’t really think I had a reason to, but I went ahead and logged into our account.  When it came up, I was shocked to see our balance come up negative!  As I looked through the recent transactions, I realized that I had accidentally paid one of our bills using this account instead of our other account.  The most recent transaction – the one that would put us in the negative – was still “pending”, so I called Amy and asked her to write a check from that account and go right to the bank and deposit it.  The lady at the bank told her it would be covered.

Whew! I am so thankful that Jesus not only can discern our thoughts, but he can create them as well!

Hope you have a nice visit to KY.  I’m sure they will be very glad to see you.

Vince

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Jerry – My Testimony about Weight Training

Pastor John,

I wanted to write this down and send it to you. It is an old story but it feels alive to me this evening. I’ve learned to trust that feeling. 

This happened about 14 years ago….and that evening, Jesus showed up, and it changed my life: That summer evening, I was sitting at my desk, at the gym that I worked at, watching the clock and awaiting the time to close up. The place was empty, as it usually was near closing time; it was nearing 9 pm

I worked at this gym, back then, at night time… minding the place during business hours every night, (after working 8 hours at my day job) until closing time. The reason I had taken this second job was because I was in this gym every evening anyway. I spent an hour and a half, and sometimes two hours in there every night exercising, so it seemed like a good idea to be compensated for being…..where I already was anyway. 

Now, at this point in my life, being in the gym was the center of my life. It had occupied that place in my heart for years. But it wasn’t the “being at the gym”, actually, that held me captive, or even the hours of heavy weight training, that stuff was time consuming and hard work, I could have quit both of those,  it was the large, strong person that I had become through that hard work. That was what my life centered around, the muscle that I had developed with all of that effort. That was what my life had become–the upkeep of exaggerated size and muscle that I had built from years of work. Everything that I had control over, in my life, was worked in around the time, energy and nutrition required to maintain the size that I had produced by heavy weight training. And I saw to its upkeep, even to the peril of many more important things over those years.

I had started out a small fellow, reaching about 147 pounds at age 16, and apparently was done growing. It was easy for me to get attached to heavy weight training, and I did at the age of 19.   With many years invested, I became a much larger and stronger person.    Somewhere in there, that became my identity (to me).   My size, my strength, it was who I thought I was. It was what defined me, and the way that people thought of me. My flesh enjoyed the feeling of being extraordinary, physically, and it went on to transcend everything in my heart and become what and who I wanted to be, and what I cared about most. And I protected it. I made sure that the upkeep of that person came first: the daily time consuming workouts, the time away from home and people and things that were of substance, and the expensive and heavy doses of supplements too.

Now, the time in which I worked for this gym was the same time in my life when I had just begun to meet with the saints in Louisville, for your old testament class, at brother Gary’s home. And deep in my heart, I could feel that this “old” nature that I had catered to for all these years was conflicting with the Jesus that I was beginning to know. I had these new and wonderful feelings from Jesus, this new desire for life and feelings in the Spirit, and I could feel the struggle in my heart between that old man who had lived for muscle and strength and the meekness, gentleness and longsuffering of the subdued person that Jesus was wanting to create in me. I could feel that these two natures were indeed separate and that they could not coexist. I also felt that, as much as I loved what I felt from Jesus, I could not just lay down that part of me that conflicted with Jesus. I didn’t even want to.  Instead, I wanted to keep both natures, so I rationalized the weight lifting as “good for me” and healthy exercise and then turned a blind eye to the extra muscle that I was inwardly consumed with maintaining. I tried to pretend that part didn’t exist.  I just wouldn’t look at it. At the same time, deep in my heart, I knew I was holding on to something that was hindering me in Jesus. I tried to not feel bad about it. I tried to make it make sense, but it was just flesh, and deep down, where I dared not look, I knew it.

This is the important part. That night, 14 years ago in that gym, near closing time, while sitting at the desk alone….Jesus, my Savior, spoke to me. In my heart, not my ears, but it was Jesus. He asked me a question, out of the blue…”Why do you work out”, and with all my heart exposed to Him and with all the truth that He already sees, I responded, “Because I am afraid. I am afraid of shrinking up and being a normal sized person. I am afraid of being ridiculed or laughed at for any reason. I am afraid of being ridiculed for obeying God. My size keeps people from making fun of me or laughing at me. I’ve hid behind my size for a long time.”

Then, Jesus asked me, “What would you do if you stopped working out?” And with tears in my eyes, I answered, “I would hide behind you, Lord.”

I then wrote the gym owner a note and left it on his desk, placed the keys on the desk, locked up and shut the door behind me…and never returned. I had quit. I was free. For the first time in a decade, I was free. And I was utterly dependent on Jesus. 

I felt complete that night, a whole and singular and perfect person, and pleasing to Jesus. All that I could do was wonder why I hadn’t done it sooner 🙂

It made me cry writing the last part of that. It was such a sweet moment in Jesus. This was such a real and healing experience. 

It is late. Good night.

Jerry

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September 22nd

Good morning.

Today is the day back in 1998, that I went from being one miserable human being to someone who had hope and joy. September 22, 1998 is the night that I heard a voice, in my hotel room, tell me very clearly “you can stay on the road that you are on and the end result will be very bad, or you can come on this road and the end result will be very good.” I am so thankful for that voice and for His mercy! Every year, I’m rolling along living my life and then September 22 hits and all of a sudden I’m reminded of what He did for me back in 1998.

Thank you Pastor John for being “this road”, and thank you to everyone who has stayed on “this road”. Rob

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Amen, Brother Rob!

What a great thing, that Jesus has put ​this little body of believers together! 

​ “What God has joined together, let not man put asunder!”​

Pastor John

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