Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hurricane a Coming

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 Today, our plans changed with the incoming hurricane.  We still went and delivered school supplies and clothing to the Valley of Peace. We purposefully prayed for each family for healing and life.

I took the team to the first family, where we were greeted by the boy pictured above, and we were able to pray for them and bless them.  It was good to be in this place of ministry once again, but I was sad that we did not get to do more personal ministry.  Even as we finished up giving away the last bags, the rain began to come.  From that point for the rest of the day it has rained with more or less intensity.

Right now, I am sitting in an open air building with a roof surrounded by rain and gushing winds as we wait for the storm to come.  There will not be much sleeping tonight.  We have a safe cement building to head to when things get really bad, but this is a new experience for me.  Never have I been in such a storm, and yet, I still have peace.  In the end, we can do nothing but pray and wait and wait and pray.  No amount of complaining, wishing, or even hard work will cause the storm to pass.  We must wait, trust, and pray for peace and protection.
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At this moment, I realize that this is not any different than any other moment in life.  We can do a lot of things, but in the end, we must wait and pray for God to do the work.  We cannot cause anyone to grow and bear fruit, but we can plant the seed, water, and fertilize.  God brings the fruit, and causes us to be safe during the storm.  Storms come and they may howl and blow and seem strong and mighty, but God controls the storm.  He protects us in the storm and brings about good in the midst of roaring rushing wind all around.
Devotion –
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Storms will come.  They sometimes surround us and cause us to cower under their intensity and might.  Storms are still a mystery because they are something we cannot control.  However, God is our peace in the midst of the storm.  He protects us and guides us into the best way.  God uses the manner in which we handle storms as a witness to who He is.  We must trust that He is mightier than the storm and obey even when it may not make sense.  His love is more powerful than the raw potential of the strongest storm.  He is our peace!  He is our comfort!  He is the one who brings the best out of the worst.
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Challenge –
I challenge you to look at your circumstances in a different way today.  The boss that is unhappy with you, the co-worker that says things that hurt you, the family member that purposefully does things to get on your nerves, look to God and pray for Him to help you respond as He would.  Respond in love, peace, and trust in the worst possible circumstances that God may get the full glory!!!
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Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
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Step Out & Step Up

Belize Day 4 – 

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Today, we traveled to a nearby orphanage.  It was frustrating to me that it took an absurd amount of time to get there even though it was not very far away. Somehow, stopping at the store and going to the bathroom, we lost about an hour, but that is what happens traveling with a team of 40.  I ended up playing Uno with some kids and talking with them the whole time.
After we got back, we went for a swim in the creek and then prepared for the youth service.
We walked back to Jubilee church where 3 hours of awesomeness took place and there were a lot of people who stepped out where they were not comfortable and shared words and prayed for people.  I prayed as a father over a young girl and God touched her to the point of tears.
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My brother-in-law Bryson got to share his testimony as part of the service and this touched and ministered to so many people.  I could see the walls breaking down as he shared openly and honestly how God raised him from the dead both physically and spiritually and turned his whole life around to a point where I am honored to call him my brother indeed.
It looks like the weather has a possibility of delaying our flights if things do not change. Interesting with the word that I got before our trip.  God did some amazing things tonight and touched many hearts.
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Devotion –
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Over and over, one can see men and women from the Bible being called to step out.  Peter stepped out of the boat literally.  In Acts, we see where Paul and His companion heal a man and the people want to sacrifice to them as gods.  Paul stops them and preaches to them and then ends up getting stoned to death.  God miraculously raises him from the dead, and he goes to the next town and does the same thing.  Paul was willing to step out and be obedient no matter what the results.  Succeed or fail, he was going to be obedient to share the good news.  Every time, God asks us to step out and be obedient, He is inviting us to step up into new levels with Him.
What about you?  Will you accept the invitation to step out and step up???
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Challenge –
Ask Holy Spirit for the courage to step out in full obedience to Him!  Ask Him to speak something challenging, and then step out and do it!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Stand Strong and Speak

Belize Day 3 –
Today was a little more relaxed as we gathered together in the morning.  We have four professional teams coming to play futbol, all under 13 yrs old. One team recently won an international championship. We started with some worship and games, and I spoke to them for about ten minutes.
 4 teams playing 4 games is an all day event.  We watched, ate, and cheered on the teams. Finally, at the end, we awarded them some medals, water bottles and other practical and candied items.
Our final event of the day was for the guys on the team to lead a men’s meeting and the women to lead a women’s meeting at two different churches.  About 40 men were gathered for the men’s meeting and we went for two and a half hours in worshipping, preaching and praying for people.
It was here that I met a man named Sebastian. I talked with him for a while and found out that he was a new believer, 10 days, he had been saved and here he was hungry to learn. He admitted readily that before, he had been to several of the surrounding countries dating beautiful women but had by the grace of God not gotten any diseases like HIV… I think there was a little bit more than dating going on.  As I sat and talked, it was good to see how God was moving and how I got to be a small part of the growth of this man in the kingdom. Just being here and encouraging him was an important part of why I came on this trip.
Devotion –
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Psalm 24:3-6 Who may ascend into the hill of the LordOr who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the LordAnd righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Your face.
It is time for you to stand up in the Kingdom!!!  You stand to fight, to run, to act, and command authority.  You cannot sit by and let things return to the evil one, but you must stand and take back the Kingdom of God.
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Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
It is time for you to strengthen yourself in the Lord!!!  Without Him leading, guiding, and strengthening you, you will not be able to stand.  He is the most important part of anything you do, and everything flows out of your relationship with Him.  Spend time deepening and strengthening that relationship and you will truly be able to stand strong!!!
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Matthew 28:19-20 “Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
It is time for you to speak out!!!  Even if you are standing strong, if you do not speak out the truth of why and for Who you are standing, then you might as well be a tree or a statue.  It is good to stand strong but everyone around you needs to know the goodness and might of the Lord and the strength He has put in you.  He calls you to go and preach.  If you just go or just stand, you are the same as any other good ol’ boy.  However, when you speak out the Truth, this is what sets you apart from everyone else.  You have the love and truth of the Lord and this is why you must go out to share the love and truth that He has placed in you.
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Challenge –
Ask God to help you to stand, go, and fight today to build His Kingdom.  Strengthen yourself in Him by spending a little extra time with Him.  Thank Him for this strength of heart and ask Him to strengthen you more.  Today, speak out the truth and love that you have.  Share the good news in a small or great way by speaking forth the wonderful works of God and why you are who you are, not by your power or might, but by the Grace of God and His Spirit!!!
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Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

The Core Counts

Belize Day 2 – 
 
Arriving late at the base (Day 1) we were ushered into utter darkness.  We approached a bridge  and began to traverse it.  As we swayed in the breeze, we realized that this wooden bridge was actually a swinging bridge that spanned a chasm that the river ran through.
The middle of the bridge was probably 300 feet above the water and we could barely see from one side of the bridge to the other.  As we finally stepped off the bridge, we were greeted with a welcome to YWAM sign.
The next day, I would cross that bridge 9 times, and it was not all that scary after carrying guitars and cases of water across it, or watching a moto ride across it.
 Today, I was in charge of the church service at Evangel Temple.  I took a group of about 20 to minister to children and youth. We had the privilege of walking to this church.  The team did really well with Chelsea leading worship, Linda organizing, as well as several games and illustrations.  This service was a real picture of the Body of Christ.  It went well because everyone was doing their part and ministering and it touched the 50+ people that were there.  It seemed like we were there forever after the service making all kinds of balloon animals, but we got back to the base by 12:30.
During the afternoon, we had free time and finally led the evening church service at Jubilee.  We walked back in the dark, and I had the privilege of removing a bat from our bathroom.  Exhausted, I crashed ready to rest and prepare for the day to come.
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Devotion –
 
Mark 12:30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’  This is the first commandment. 
 
Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. 
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During the children and youth service, I shared with them about how what really matters is the core of who you are.  If your core is strong, then the rest of your body will come into order.  A balloon filled with air is much different than one filled with water or rocks.  Increasing the strength of the core increases the strength of the object in question.
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In Mark 12:30, Jesus says the most important commandment is to love the Lord with everything you have starting with your heart.  Proverbs 4 talks about guarding your heart above all else because out of it flows the wellsprings of life.  Your heart is the most important part of you, and what you set your affection on determines your strength.
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 Today, think about your core, how is your relationship with God.  The stronger that bond, the deeper the intimacy, the more everything else will come into place.  Get your relationship growing with the Lord and you will begin to grow in every other area!!!
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Challenge –

Ask God to purify you and rid you of everything that keeps you from loving Him.
Commit to grow deeper with Him no matter what!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Boots on the Ground (Belize)

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Day 1 – Boots on the Ground
Gathering at DFW airport, the mission had already begun… or the attacks had, though I am sure everyone has had their fair share leading up to the trip.  A girl named Sarah did not have a consent form from her father.  This was her first mission trip, and she has dreams of being in medical missions, so it was a rocky start.  I waited with her and told her stories until her dad came back and narrowly missed the cutoff time.
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As we entered through security, this minor calamity averted, it was obvious that the enemy was trying to keep us all from coming to Belize.  However, we did not let fear or worry get in the way, but pressed in with faith.
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More complications when we arrived and getting our luggage through customs, but no big deal.  Here, I am in my element.  With this being my 28th foreign mission trip though I have never been in Belize, I was ready for the adventure once again!!!
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L.J and Sheldon transported us to the Belize sign after we had loaded our luggage and I was blessed with being in the van with a very nice luxury AC.  Probably the only time I will have it on this trip, but for half the team or more, this is their first mission trip, and I was glad to let them have the true cultural experience riding in the window-conditioned bus.  Belize has surprised me at the poverty level and run down appearance even near the airport.  It reminds me of Cambodia in many ways.  The air is muggy though the temperature is less hot than Texas.  It does not seem like it when you are constantly sweating.
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At the Belize Sign, I approached a man named Ashton.  I spoke with him a bit and invited him to take a picture with us.  He seemed to have other intentions when he hugged several of the attractive females, and I even had to pull him out of an embrace and ask him questions about himself to keep him focused on other things.  I ended up praying for him and asking God to show him his true family and His love.  Paul happened to be there and gave him a word about God restoring a broken relationship in his life.  Here it was, real-time ministry in Belize, and it was so easy.
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We left here and ate together at the Cheers restaurant where I was able to get to know Santie a little better.  Then we journeyed to the base and had an orientation before heading to bed… later than most wanted.  After taking a nice cold shower, I write this basking in the glory of the foreign mission, where I have been privileged to be once again.
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Devotion – Boots on the Ground
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Matthew 6:10 Your kingdom come.Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 
 
Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 
You are in a battle!!!  Every day of your life you are warring for the freedom of your soul.  Sometimes, you will be given the opportunity to fight for others as well.  As we travel to Belize, we are warring for an entire nation, souls to be prepared and revival to be harvested for the Kingdom.  Wherever you are, God is able to use you in a mighty way as long as you do not let the enemy make you back down.  Sarah did not give up but pressed in because she has a purpose on this trip. I stepped in to encourage where I could have passed by only looking out for myself.  Brothers and sisters, we are in this battle together and we cannot afford to leave anyone behind.
God is calling you to do great things for Him wherever you are.  When you obey, you are His boots on the ground.  It is up to you to take the fight to the enemy and forcefully advance the Kingdom of God.  The enemy will not stand by and do nothing, but you partnering with God makes a majority in any and every situation. Never back down from what God has called you to do and never settle for less than all He has for you.  You must stand for Him and do what’s right because so many people are counting on you!!!
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Challenge – Ask God to help you be His boots on the ground today. Now, step out and be obedient to what He tells you to do no matter how big, small, or silly it may seem.  Your obedience has the power to invite God into a situation so He can move in the greatest way possible.

 

Being a Leader/Disciple

Servant leadership

In the last post, Simple Discipleship, I tried to bring you up to speed on where we are at the moment.  I also encouraged you to study several key verses and see what God was saying through them.

In the post, I have included the main points of my notes and the link for the live teaching I did at Living Water Church.  I would like to invite you to comment with your observations and what God was saying to you while studying this teaching.

Before we get started with the discussion, here is the topic for next week:

Intimacy/Love of God

Scriptures for Study: John 15:1-17, 1 Cor 13:1-13, Eph 3:16-21, Deut 7:6-9 

 

This is the first discussion in the Simple Discipleship Series.

Here is the Link: Being a Leader/Disciple

Here are my Notes: Simple Discipleship Week 1

 

Since I have included my full notes, I will try to make this more of a coherent summary.

As we study what a disciple and leader are from scripture, we need to understand the definition of each.

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What is a Disciple? .

Are you a Disciple?

What is a Leader? 

Who are you leading?  What are you leading them to?

A leader is to be more of a father that walks with you through the day to day struggles of life than an instructor.  Anyone can tell you what you should be doing, but a father will take you hand and work through the hard times with you to make sure you come out the other side.

1 Corinthians 4:15-16 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore I urge you, imitate me. 

1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. 

It is the job of a father and leader to encourage, comfort, and challenge the people following them to walk more in line with God.  

Every single one of us is created to be a good disciple and a good leader.  How are you doing?  You will be discipled by something and you will lead others into something. What are you being discipled by?  Where are you leading others?

From the scriptures we studied, we can see a few characteristics of good disciples and leaders.

We must be do everything out of love!!! Jesus even loved Judas who he knew would betray him.

We must have Humility!!!  Jesus took the lowest job and did it well even when no one else wanted to do it.

 

We must Serve others!!!  We do not get to choose who we serve or how we serve them.  We must humble ourselves and honor all those we are leading.

We must be the Example and Pioneer!!!  Do as I do.  Lead others by doing it first not just talking about it.  God blesses us when we act, not just when we know or say the right things.

 

A Good Leader is a Good Follower!!!  We must follow Jesus first and foremost and have a close personal relationship with Him.  We must look like Him, smell like Him, walk like Him, and talk like Him so that we can lead others in the right way. And so they never go astray.

We must give God the Glory!!!  Everything we do is through His power and authority so he gets the glory and honor that He rightfully deserves.  We may get some honor and blessing for being obedient, but God gets the ultimate glory and honor for making it happen.

We are Influencers of Heaven!!!  Our actions influence heaven when we are walking in line with Jesus.  Heaven has influenced us and transformed us into sons and daughters.  Because of this, we have the influence of heaven on this world.

We must be Selfless!!!  We deny ourselves legitimate (and illegitimate) pleasures of this world so that we can be truly free and filled with the Presence of God!!!

 

 

We must know True Value!!!  First, we have to know the true value that God has for us, and then we have to know the value He places on the souls of all mankind.

 

1 Timothy 4:8 godliness is profitable for all things

We must be Faithful and Steadfast!!!  The only time for us to test our allegiance is right now.  Will you stand for Jesus when no on else does?

We must Know God!!!  This is the key to being a disciple and leader. Seek to know God in a deeper way!!!

We must Be Strong!!!  When we know God, He makes us strong

We must be Adventurers!!  When we know God in a deep way, we have what we need to do great things, and He can trust us to be obedient in doing great things.

We must be Lead Others into Knowing God More!!!  Part of us knowing God is us sharing that knowledge and relationship with others.  Part of us growing in God us teaching others what we are learning.

We must Understand our Authority!!! God has given all authority to Jesus, and Jesus has given it to us.  Jesus’ authority is ours if we will only walk in it.

We must Go!!!  God calls His followers to action and doing.  What are you doing for Him right now?

We must be Disciple Makers!!! We are called to make disciples of nations.  This comes by us raising up others who can reproduce the discipleship we have instilled within them.

We must be Carriers of Christ!!!  Jesus goes with us, and His power, His Presence, and His authority works in us and through us.

We must be Lovers of Jesus!!!  We must love Him first and foremost in all things, and this love should eclipse all other loves

We must be Willing to Sacrifice!!!  We must lay down our junk and take up what God has for us.  We must lay down our very lives.

We must be Finishers!!! Being a disciple and being a leader are not easy things, but we do not start what we cannot finish.

We must be Spicy and Full of Flavor!!!  People recognized Jesus because of what He said and did and people should recognize us because we are just like Him.

What are we worth if we no longer look like Jesus???

What is a Disciple? A disciple is someone who leaves everything behind and follows Jesus out of a heart of love.

What is a Leader? A good leader is a disciple, who is leading people to do the same thing that He is daily doing.

 

 

 

Our position in the Kingdom is not made up of what we have, it is determined by what we are willing to give up out of love and obedience to our Father.

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What does this study mean if we do not make it personal???  I want you to meditate on these question:

Who am I leading?

Who is leading me?

Who can I disciple?

Who do I want to be discipled by?

Is it worth it to you to be a disciple and leader? 

Ask Holy Spirit to bring revelation to you how you can follow Him more closely.  Anything that you need to confess and leave behind, do it now and never look back!!!

Remember that we are all walking through this together.  May the Lord Bless you and Keep you!!!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!