The Power Of Elijah

Here is a post that my son, Kyle, wrote:

When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?” “Yes, I know,” Elisha replied, “so be quiet.” Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, Elisha; the Lord has sent me to Jericho. ” And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho. The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?” “Yes, I know,” he replied, “so be quiet.” Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them walked on. Fifty men from the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground. When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied. “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.” As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two. Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over. The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, “The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha.” And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him. – 2 Kings 2:1-15

Spirit of Elijah

I often contemplate the story of Elijah and Elisha. I want to focus on the fact that Elisha requested and received a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. Is they were on their way they got to the Jordan River Elijah took his cloak and struck the water and the water was divided. As Elijah was taken up into the Whirlwind his cloak fell to the ground Elisha then picked it up. This is symbolic meaning that Elisha received the double portion of Elijah’s spirit. Meaning that the same Authority except greater rested on Elisha. Later on when Elisha was crossing the same obstacle at the Jordan River he took the same cloak and struck the water and it split just like it had before. This is the confirmation that his spirit did in fact enter his body. See we all want to be like Elijah we all want to have the same kind of power. The good news is we do because the power from Elijah came from God.

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. – Romans 8:11

See not only do we have the same power that rested on Elijah and that rested on Jesus. But we have greater power.

12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. – John 14:12-14

So just like Elisha who inherited a double portion of the spirit of Elijah we inherit a greater power from the Holy Spirit.
This means we can watch the dead raise the blind see the lame walk. We have the power to move Mighty mountains any obstacle in our way just like Elijah separated the Waters of the Jordan. But we do not just have the authority of Christ in his name we are fit to fight his battles.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. – Ephesians 6:13-17

Oh but we are weak. We have taken the sword that he has given us and used it like a toothpick, the Shield as if it were paper, the breastplate as if it were a shirt, the boots as if they were sandals, the helmets as if it were a hat, the belt as if it were a string.
And we ask ourselves why? Because the creation without the Creator will never work. We do not have the strength we don’t have the power we don’t have the wisdom. But this is where it gets interesting.
Because he does. The holy spirit is our intercessor he’s our guide he’s our teacher. And without him we cannot yield the sword we cannot hold the armor and we become susceptible to the blows of our enemies.
The biggest problem with the church today is they believe that they can pick and choose what they want to believe out of the bible. People think that they don’t have to listen to the Holy Spirit if they don’t want to. And even if they do listen to the Holy Spirit they don’t believe that they should listen to everything he says if they don’t want to.
But this is a selfish love that is brought on by Society it’s all about the pursuit of happiness. Jesus is Love Without Love you do not have Jesus. You do not have the Holy Spirit and you are against the laws of God. And without the Holy Spirit Jesus and God the Blessed Trinity you cannot have love.
Grace is sufficient but not just for you. God has called us to way more than we are. The sad part is We Know It And yet we don’t do anything about it. Why? Because we allow fear to set us in Chains. We worry about what people will say or do. But we don’t admit it because we know better than that. But knowing better and doing better or two different things.
So God begs you not to leave his sheep lost but how dare we once lost sheep and found would keep another from being found. What right do we adopted by Christ brought into his family under his house and supervision do we have to justify that someone cannot be covered by the blood of Jesus because we ourselves would not be here if it were not for the blood of Jesus.
So Let your light shine do not hide it under a bushel and do not let Satan blow it out. This is the commission given to us by Jesus empowered by the Holy Spirit under the law’s of God.

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The Paintbrush

This is an article written by my son, Kyle.

When the painting is being painted by a paint brush, the paintbrush never sees the full picture during the painting. It only sees a few colors and shapes and can make up what it will of that. To a paint brush that is on another table in God’s paint room they can see a better picture of what is being painted. Though the paintbrush may be doubtful and cautious at times. It heeds the warnings of the other paint brushes and the master artist.

acrylic-painting-lessons-acrylic-landscape-painting

But when the painting is finished being painted the paint brush is set down. Then the paintbrush can see the entirety of the painting.
How every detail, every doubt, every question, every cautious move, every patient move, every hurtful action, And every loving action. Is somehow painted together to make an Indescribable display.

I am not sure that the paintbrush will ever understand the complexity of the painting that God paints of Our Lives. But I am convinced from the little I have seen of others lives and that I see of my own life.

That God is concerned with the details, he gives us confidence, he is the answer, he is our leader, he is our strength, And truly is the ultimate definition of LOVE. God is undoubtedly a good good father.

Not The Wrong Number

My 18 year old son, Kyle, had this situation occur to him a few days ago. This is what happened and he wrote about it.

Yesterday I got this call from a random person.
Apparently he got the number wrong. Normally I would just ignore things like this. But he left this message saying that he was trying to contact his mom. I could tell by the sound of his voice that he was a full grown man.

So I felt it necessary to call him and inform him that he probably shouldn’t be expecting a call back from this number. He apologized and said you know the thing is. I’m about to go into surgery. Then he says so if I called you it was purely by accident.

Then I simply replied to him I don’t think it was an accident. I said this may seem a little weird. But do you believe in God? He replied to me that he did. So I said then we’re praying right now.

So I began to pray for him on the spot not knowing anything about him the mistakes that he made the regrets that he has or the victories he has accomplished. But I knew that God knew his name and knew every part of this situation.

Afterwards he thanked me and told me that I made a difference that I could never know. And I simply replied to him it’s no big deal it’s what the church is supposed to do.

As a human being I understand that it is necessary to have a healthy body you must exercise and have a proper eating habit. As a martial artist I understand that practice makes perfect. When you practice a specific skill you become competent in that skill. When you possess the competence of the skill it reaps confidence.

If you are apart of the church and the church is the body of Christ I must ask you this question. As the body of Christ do you exercise exercising is the means of tearing down a muscle so that it will build back up stronger. Christ is the coach so when he wants you to exercise do you do it? Do you as the body of Christ practice what the coach wants you to practice.
15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. – Mark 16:15
So the question is do you practice what you preach? As the body of Christ do you have a proper eating habit? In other words do you monitor what you listen to what you watch where you go? What is it that you let influence you?
Now I am not the judge. But I think it’s high time we put the money where our mouth is.

A Bird, Purpose, And God

One of my sons, Kyle, wrote this post on Facebook about an experience he had encountered and his link of it to God. 

Today during the thunderstorm I walked outside to set something out on the porch.

When I walked out there I saw this little bird it had something wrapped up when it’s leg. So I unwrapped it’s leg. When I did it jumped off the porch and then it sat there on the ground. I knew that if it stayed on the ground it probably wouldn’t be safe so I picked it up and I put it back on the porch. And it jumped off again I picked it up and put it back on the porch. It jumped off again. So then I decided it would be safer if I put it inside. I waited til the storm was over and released it.

There are many times in our life where we want to go places we cannot go. But we go anyway but God is gracious enough to pick us up again and again. Until he sets you in a place where you can go nowhere else.

You see that bird had no idea that I had a purpose for where I put it. It had no idea that I had a timing for when I was going to release it.
The bird was scared at first and then it became comfortable then it wanted to be set free but the rain was still pouring.

Doing what God wants you to do maybe scary going where God wants you to go also maybe a scary. This is where you have to have faith in God that in his own purpose in his own time. What he has in store for us will be released.

So do not struggle with where God has you do not be afraid with where God has you. Because what you may not know is that you are not ready. You see if that bird was bigger I would have left it outside for it would have known what to do.

In God’s good time and in God’s perfect will what he has in store for you will come and you will know what to do.

Being A Viola–An Artist’s Calling

My oldest son wrote this article for Masterworks Festival. It is a four week school for people to pursue the fine arts calling in their life, while keeping God at the center of their life and ministry. Although this was written for those that do musical fine arts, it can be appreciated by every person and there is a great lesson to be learned in this for every believer in Jesus.

You may find the original article on their website at: Being A Viola–An Artist’s Calling

strings

So, you’re an actor, a musician, maybe a singer, but you’re also a Christian – What’s the connection? We talk a lot about doing everything to the glory of God as is commanded in 1 Corinthians 10:31, but what does that look like for an artist? Our talents don’t put food on someone’s table, build shelters for the homeless, or finding the cures to the world’s sicknesses, so what can we do?

Ephesians 2:10

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

As we all know, the viola and the violin look very similar, identical to an unpracticed eye. And yet, there are few things that will push the temper of either instrument’s musician more than falsely identifying which string instrument they play. These two instruments, while being nearly identical to the eye, are built specifically for fundamentally different purposes. The subtle differences between the two instruments are so specific that a violin will not fit in the case of a viola nor vice versa and if one tried to play the part of the other you would find the tool hopelessly inappropriate for the job.

Violins and violas are built to serve different positions.

Ephesians 2:10 says that God prepares good works for us to do in advance of our doing them. Jeremiah 1:5 builds on this principle.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

Before we are even conceived God has fully crafted the plans he has for us, calling us to be actors, musicians, dancers, singers, businessmen, parents, church leaders, politicians, or whatever He has specifically designated for you. You’re not a square being forced into the circular hole, you’re perfectly fitted into the hole God’s placing you because it was exactly fitted to your situation before you even came into being.

God is in the business of tailoring the suit before the customer even walks in the door.

The CSO, the New York Met, Broadway – these are some of the greatest accomplishments for an artist to be able to perform with. The Brooks Atkinson theatre is not in the regular habit of inviting pastors to come and offer a sermon to the cast of Waitress, but a Christian who has taken the years necessary to train their gifts to excellence may be invited as a performer, allowing them a unique window of opportunity for ministry. There they would have access into an entire mission field that no pastor or evangelist could get into. It’s a good work that God prepared in advance specifically for us, as artists, to do. A work that couldn’t be accomplished by just anyone, but was tailor-made to be completed by a trained artist.

Many times an untrained eye may say “Look at that curve, the shape, it’s a violin,” when the instrument in question is a viola. Similarly the world, and at times even the church, looks at us and says “You’re a Christian, so you must become a pastor or missionary.” But while we may be similar in some respects, we are called to a different purpose, just as a viola is built for a different use than that of the other strings. Our Great Composer and Conductor has a solo He has set aside for us alone as the sound only we could produce. Don’t try to force God’s calling for your life into a violin case, it was made for something bigger. Pray and look for what God has called you specifically to, it is sure to be far better than anything we could orchestrate.

God’s Amazing Provision

My oldest daughter, Brittany (age 22), has a story of God’s miraculous provision in an amazing way. I want everyone to be encouraged that God still does miracles and is a faithful provider today. Here is her testimony:

May 26, 2016 was a day I will not soon forget. I am a house cleaner, and have been for the last 5 years. I love getting to be with families. This day, however, the house I was cleaning started flooding from a severe storm going through the area. Water was pouring, and we had been bailing water for an hour or so. I went out to go get a sub pump to help rid the house of water.

We knew the roads were bad some places, but had been told it was fine in our area. I went out, careful to watch around me how the roads were behaving. At one intersection, I saw it would be too bad for me to go through, so I turned around. In the middle of my turning around, a flash flood came from the left and swept me and my van forward a few hundred feet. I was then stuck in a middle of a flooded street with the water up over my tires.

I immediately realized I was in trouble, so I turned off the car, and called the police. A fire truck came and saved me, and we picked up my car later. A few mechanic friends looked at it, and said it looked to be a goner. Our last option was taking it to our regular mechanic. He called me after a day and told me it was totaled. The repairs would be far more than the car was worth.

I knew then that God was going to have to do something BIG. Living in a family of 10, being in ministry, and working full time demanded a car. I started saving, and wondering how God was going to work everything out. I had decided years ago to not incur any debt, on anything. Which sounds crazy, but I knew it’s what God called me to do.

Below the surface, in my prayer closet, and to a few friends, I shared how deeply I wanted the Lord to provide a car. I, personally, have chosen to not go into debt, especially for a car.

I can’t tell you the countless people who told me it was impossible. How I needed to sign a note, and that’s just the way it was. Emails, calls, private face to face “chats” encouraging me to do the normal thing and get a payment. It was wearing on my heart, for sure. But, I KNEW without a doubt what God wanted me to do.

Thankfully, a few loyal souls encouraged me to continue saving and waiting on the Lord. Their faith bolstered mine, and we prayed for God to come through. In December of last year, I had made a financial plan to be able to save and buy a $3-$5k car. In January, I wrote down a dream that the Lord would provide a car, and I put it up in my war room (prayer closet)

A couple weeks ago, God told me to write down a list with specific things I wanted in a car. What were my desires, the things I honestly had not told ANYONE else, the things just for His ears and His hands to work on? So, I wrote them out, itemized in my prayer journal.

Did I feel silly? A little, yes. I told the Lord that hope deferred could kill me (Proverbs 13:12) He told me to wait and TRUST Him, because He is good. Period.

I have been standing on the truth of Psalm 31:19 all year. Like it’s my lifeline, the one thing keeping me sane. “How abundant are the good things that You have stored up for those who fear You, that You bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in You.”

Over, and over, and over again I have quoted that verse. To walls, to the van I was borrowing, to myself in the dead of night when everything told me my prayer was impossible, when I was crying, when I was laughing, when I was with friends, everywhere I quoted it.

One day I received a call from someone, and the person wanted to know if I had a car yet. After some time, this person told that someone had a car picked out for me and I needed to go sign some papers and pick up my new (to me) $10,000 car. This person had a check ready to pay for it in full, no debt on either side. Within two hours I received the call, and drove my car off the lot.

Yes, you can read over that sentence as much as you want. It’s still sinking in for me as well.

God made a way where there was NO way. There was NO WAY I could have worked out this deal. NO WAY that I could have made everything work out. THAT was HIM. My bullet points in my journal were checked off, because He knew what I wanted and what I needed.

My word for 2016, which was decided last December, is Praise. I have been looking at Hebrew words, and there are 7 different ones for praise. Each serves a unique purpose. Halah is the one that the Lord imprinted on my heart yesterday. It means to be clamorously foolish before the Lord, to rave upon the Lord. It’s loud, it’s unorthodox, it doesn’t fit into the American boxes we tend to force “polite praise” into. For the things of God are foolishness to the world (I Cor. 1:18-25).

Halah is the name for my car. I didn’t think I was going to name it. But, honestly, it’s not mine, it’s the Lord’s car, and that’s what He wanted.

Thank you to those who uplifted me when I was down. A month ago, I wasn’t sure what God was going to do. But, you helped me see past the circumstances to see glimpses of His glory.

To those who told me it was impossible, thank you. That now tells me how BIG God is. I hope that everyone sees this and realizes that MY GOD, can do ANYTHING He wants to. He isn’t zippered in by proper behavior, and an agenda that everyone can read and follow. He is FREE, and invites us into that freedom.

To those who are going through a difficult time, let me share some advice. There is no secret sauce to receive blessing. There isn’t a formula to receive His attention. It takes 100% surrender to Him to receive blessing. IT WON’T BE EASY. There are STILL difficulties in life. But, wow, He takes care of His children. Their SOULS prosper because He is a good, good Father.

If you don’t know Him and His goodness, I pray for you. That you would see this car as a miraculous sign that there is a God and He cares for you. He sees every broken piece of your heart, and He longs to have a relationship with you. It’s simple, you confess your sins, accept Him as Lord, and invite Him to walk with you DAILY as Lord. Let Him be your light and hope in dark times. I promise, He will take care of you.

Romans 11:36 “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To HIM be glory forever. Amen.”

Habakkuk 2:14, “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”

Loving Your Spouse When You Are Single

My 22 year old, single daughter, Brittany wrote this article recently. I felt it would touch someone’s heart and life. She gave me permission to post it here.

There are times when I have been discouraged about being single. Third wheeling, no date to bring to a wedding, all your friends being married, all the questions about WHEN you’ll find the right one, I have been there – am still there. (single, that is)

The Lord has spoken to me some words, and figured I would share it and maybe some of my single friends will feel encouraged. Not everyone will get married, but I am speaking to those with the desire to be married. I haven’t mastered all of these, and I am still clay at the Potter’s wheel.

How I love my spouse (when I am still single):
1. I love my spouse my remembering it’s not just about the ring on the finger. I wear a purity ring that will be replaced by a wedding ring one day. But, it’s about my WHOLE LIFE, not just the span of my life when I am married. How am I bringing good things NOW? Tomorrow morning? Next month?

Proverbs 31:12, “She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.”

2. I love my spouse by crucifying the flesh so that Christ reigns. This goes into so many areas, but one I will mention is abstaining from sex, and pornography. My body is the Lord’s, and treating it as sacred is important. This honors God and my spouse. (If you are seeking help with this area, look up Fight the New Drug)

Psalm 101:3, “I will not look with approval on anything that is vile.”

Romans 13:14, “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.”

3. I love my spouse by not letting bitterness and impatience take hold. It’s easy to see all your friends as happy couples and be bitter towards God. But, taking a step back and remembering that He has GOOD plans, at the PERFECT timing sets your mind in the right place.
Romans 8:25, “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”

4. I love my spouse by being thankful in every circumstance. Did you know that when you get married life problems don’t go away? Loved ones die, people get sick, you can lose your job, tragedies HAPPEN. But, when your soul is founded on something SOLID, Jesus Christ, nothing shakes you. You have joy in places where only “darkness was supposed to reign”. Also, there are a MILLION things to be grateful for, just ask God to open your eyes to see the gifts He gives.
1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

5. I love my spouse by learning life skills. It’s fun to think of some knight in shining armor slaying the dragon. But, cooking, cleaning, changing a tire, etc are important skills that will benefit your spouse.
Luke 16:10,”One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much.”

6. I love my spouse by waiting on God’s permission. Choosing your own timing, person, and situation may seem beneficial. But, I know from experience that it’s BETTER to wait on God to bless a relationship. Having to say no to dates seems completely backwards in my season. Yet, waiting for God’s timing is so much more worth it than all the comments and sideways glances I get.

Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

7. I love my spouse by praying for them. I pray for his safety, the development of his character, the relationship he has with The Father, that he would be wise about life, that he would say no to temptation, etc. Pray for your spouse the way you would want to be prayed for.
Mark 11:24, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”

This season isn’t easy, but the next season won’t be either. The Lord refines us like gold in every life marker. I pray that you would use your single years wisely, because it’s for a short season (big picture wise).

Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”