“SUDDENLY” is one of the most loved scriptures for me. I have experienced God in so many various ways…reading the bible…worship…long prayer and fasting journeys of pressing in and working out the salvation experience he desires in us all. But what I love most about my walk with Jesus is when does something in my life … SUDDENLY!!!
No plan, no agenda, no calendar, nothing on my part but everything initiated by God!
Tonight, we experienced Night of Worship and there was a plan, for baptism, for prayer, and certain songs were chosen for the experience. But then all of a sudden…. God pours out His love and individuals began to feel the need to get baptized and identify their life with Christ…. So the picture here is one of those spontaneous moments that God does so well.
Tomorrow, can I encourage you to plan, pray, and pursue God but I want you to do one more thing….EXPECT FOR SUDDENLY TO HAPPEN.
I walked in the gym one day and I could sense that there was something different that day. The gym seemed more alive and there was excitement in the air. It was louder, more intense and a voice was being carried over and above everyone else. “Hey!…Hey!…Hey!…” As i went into the other room, a new train coach from Brazil was present. The most intense Master I have ever seen. No one even comes a close second around this area. His name. Luiz Charneski. He caught me staring at him. But when our eyes locked in (feels weird as I’m writing this) I heard the Spirit say, “Meet him, you will be a part of his life”. That was several years ago and today, I am proud to say we are brothers forever! He began with a dream to come to the states and begin his gym. I thought we were close at one time but it fell through. He baptized my grandson; personally trained him in our home for 6 moths; lived with us for a season, then went back to Brazil to open up his own gym. A few days ago, I heard he was coming back to the states but this time, it was to live. He was going to open up a gym in Austin and was making another effort to live here and become a resident here in the states. Proud to say that the dream will be coming to pass. God is faithful and there is nothing impossible to those who believe and have a little bit of stubbornness to never let it die.
Master Luiz CHarneski of Curitiba Brazil will be opening up his gym in Austin Tx on Nov 1, 2015. Charnesky Fight Gym. I’ll get more details later but if you want to be trained by literally one of the best in the world, make your way over. In the gym, hes a different man. Outside the gym, he is one of the most loving, caring, and entertaining men I have known. I’m always inspired when I’m around him. Inspired to never let the dream die that’s within. Its worth getting back up to try again. When you think your out and it’s over, there’s always another day! It’s what Caleb had in scripture. A DIFFERENT SPIRIT.
Good morning reader. Today is another day. RISE UP and pursue your dream. It’s never too late and your worth it!
For the past several months, I have been spending time with the Cenicero family as they wage ware with their Son, Jacob. This family came to Crossroads Church when we first began at the Coliseum. The most faithful family in our history up to date and I am so thankful to God for their loyalty and friendship. In the days and weeks to come life will change but the one thing that will never change is the memories that have been made. They are forever etched in my heart. One of the first things little Jacob said to my wife was this, “When I get a little older, I want you to be my wife!” Mrs. Natalie said that she was already married but that didn’t seem to phase our little Jacob. 2 days ago as I lay near his bedside praying for him, Jacob opens his eyes and he looks straight into my eyes and with all sincerity says to me, “Pastor, I am so sorry I’ve been missing church. I’ll be missing more but I want you to know that I will be there in spirit.” I listened and told him, “Thank you for those kind words.” In the midst of my tears and prayer, he fell to sleep. Some things in life I truly don’t understand and it drives me crazy when I cant seem to logically fit it in some category I have established in my brain. But we have a saying here at Crossroads, WHEN YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND…TRUST.”
I trust God wholly and am very careful and convicted of how I approach Him in moments such as these. Who am I but clay. The passage that I am reminded of says this:
Jer.18 5 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 6 “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand,
Rom. 9:21 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?
Throughout my life, The Master Potter continues to mold me and shape me. Often times, I feel totally out of control, twisted, contorted, and in the fire kiln sweating uncomfortably as the impurities seem to rise up to the surface. But in the end, He never fails and is always faithful to bring about beauty in the midst of ashes. You see, once you recognize the heart of the Potter, you’ll embrace moments such as these. If i would have walked in fear and never approached my little Jacob that morning at 4am, I would have never heard his voice of comfort and strength. There are days that i feel alone preaching from the pulpit. I wonder if any of it will ever get through but I no longer need to feel this way ever again. Cause I have Jacob’s promise of being present in spirit….and for some strange reason, I BELIEVE HE WILL BE.
LESSON: Listen and look for the Master Potter very carefully at work in your life. You will find that his hands and his feet bear nail prints, and that it is through blood, the blood of the Potter himself, that your vessel is being shaped into what he wants it to be. When we are in the Potter’s hands, feeling his pressures, feeling the molding of his fingers, we can relax and trust him, for we know that this Potter has suffered with us and knows how we feel, but is determined to make us into a vessel “meet for the master’s use” (2 Timothy 2:21)
Jacob, you are a great brother! And I’m sorry you cant ever marry my wife, but she does love you dearly. Soon, we will both be in the everlasting arms of our Master. In His hands, all things are complete and at Rest. Thank you for the beautiful example of servant and soldier you displayed. I’ll forever be grateful and a better person because of it.
(2 Corinthians 6:11-13)
11 O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. 12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections. 13 Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open.
There really is no other way to live your life. Let me rephrase, there is a choice we have daily. To live your life in such a way that it’s open, transparent, full of freedom, and free of suspicion….OR…1/2 way open so that only others see a partial of who you really are. In that comes restrictions, and 1/2 truths, and partial judgments, and constant filtering of motivations. Bottom line: There is TOO MUCH ENERGY spent in living restricted and closed in heart. Especially with those who are fellow partners and friends in your life.
My daughter mentioned something yesterday during our worship experience at church and it just grabbed my heart and said…”yes…yes…yes…” She said, “Our life is a gift…” Let us remind ourselves that life is this gift that God has given to us; not to reserve and hold back but rather to live and express His life, love, and grace through. Open up your hearts and allow others to see and hear your love, passion as well as your hurt, and pain. But remove yourself from those who persuade you to hold back and play defense in life.
The schemes of the enemy is to keep you closed off from full expression of who God created you to be. Gods plan involves freedom, liberty, and pure openness towards others.
Don’t think personality, it’s much deeper than that. Personality is still much on the surface…Not Personality but Person. In every person there is a 4 year old child that is full of innocence, freedom, and smiles. He dreams, plays hard, and laughs out loud without any reservations. When you are around others and they seem distant and closed off….see the PERSON…draw that out of them and most of all, forget not to live like this yourself!
My wife told me about a little boy who came for prayer yesterday. The little boy wanted prayer for his hands. He wanted to have God’s hands. Natalie asked him, “So whats wrong with your hands?” His answer was absolutely so cute. His reply was, “My hands keep hitting people. I want Gods hands.”
The innocence of the child. Heart wide open…no reservations whatsoever! That’s is a longing in my soul. That openness is worth fighting for daily!