Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Vickie and I would like to take a moment and express our heartfelt love and gratitude for you and what you mean to our lives. This time of the year causes us to reflect on what has transpired and also to look ahead to the future. We are filled with anticipation for this fresh wave of God's goodness and glory.

May this Christmas season find you reveling in what Christ has done on your behalf and in the lives of those whom you love. Please remember that He is forever faithful and that His eye is carefully set upon you.
All of Christ's best to you and your family,

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Stepping Out In Faith, Part 7

Good morning to you! I pray you are doing well and that every part of your being is prospering. This blog is the last in the series of “Stepping Out In Faith.” Vickie and I have found ourselves doing this quite frequently as we’ve been on an extended mission trip to the DR. Thank you so much for your prayers and continued support!

With that being said, let’s talk about stepping out in faith. It definitely requires motion/walking, which involves taking steps. We need to get our feet, minds, and hearts moving in the direction that God has told us to go, and He will be with us every inch of the way. The prudent man considers well his steps. Are we even taking steps? Some are standing still waiting for God to do something, but He has already dictated the direction in which He wants us to go. It’s up to us to take that step!

I encourage you to consider well the steps you’re taking. Are you being proactive to change your perspective on life and come into line with the way that God sees things? I’m telling you, that’s a game changer. Has God’s purpose become clear to you?

I’ve always been passionate about world missions; in fact, I was reminded about a time before I was even saved and still a kid. John Kennedy was the president, and he started this thing called the “Peace Corp.” I read a book about it, and I said to myself, “I’m joining the Peace Corp.” I wanted to do this, not only to go to remote places in the world, but I also wanted to help people. This was years before I became a Christian. I have a passion for missions!

Maybe you’re trying to determine what God’s purpose is for your life. Let me ask you a simple question: what’s your passion? Some of you might say, “Man, my passion is to get rich and make money.” There’s nothing wrong with that. You know why? Because guys like me need people like you, and you can give me the money to go do what God has put in my heart to do. We need one another. Activities in the Kingdom of God need to get financed. Who do you think is going to finance it? God has yet to cut a hole in the ceiling. We ain’t never had a hole cut in CCC’s roof for money to be dropped in, but we did have one case years ago where there was a hole cut in the roof—inside job—and they stole the whole safe with all of the Sunday morning tithes and offerings.

Finances come in through people. I don’t sit around praying, “God, just drop it from the sky.” No, it’s more like, “God, prosper your people so the Gospel can go forth.” We have airplane tickets to buy, and there are souls to be saved and disciples made. The Kingdom needs money generators; there’s nothing wrong with that.

What’s your purpose? What’s your desire? I’m not even asking for the motive behind it. If you have a strong desire to do something, chances are, that’s God’s purpose for your life. Right there. Boom. “Well, I’d like to be a nurse . . . I’d like to be a schoolteacher . . . I’d like to be a doctor . . . I’d like to be a lawyer.” God puts that desire in you because He has a purpose for you. Ya gotta be enthusiastic about God’s purpose. That’s what desire is: it’s enthusiasm to achieve something.

So Father, I pray for an ignition of passion; I pray, God, that we would do what’s needed to get our minds renewed and our feet moving in the right direction.

In Him,


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Stepping Out In Faith, Part 6

Greetings! This blog continues to hit on the subject of “Stepping Out In Faith.” Why do we give so much attention to this topic? Basically it’s because, “. . . without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

I was talking to a friend the other day, and he was telling me about this PX90 thing. Now, he’s starting to look all trim and buff, and he said, “You know at first it really hurt, and I couldn’t even lift my hands this high.” I said, “That right there is what keeps me out of the gym.” People, if we’re going to get in shape, we’re gonna have to do something. Similarly, if we want to see our current financial status change, that means taking action as well!  Faith requires actions; we must take steps.

Stop waiting for God to do something when He’s already told you what to do. He has taken the first step by communicating what you’re supposed to do. Until you take a step in response, you have no right to further instruction. So if you feel that God has been silent, maybe you haven’t done the first thing that He told you to do . . . or maybe it’s the last thing that He told you to do.

You might be saying, “I just can’t hear God; I’m in a desert place.” Well, maybe you ought to go back to where you lost the ax head! God doesn’t have to speak because you push a button and put a quarter in.  I love it when Christians say, “God asked me to . . ..” God doesn’t ask me; He says, “Do it,” and then He awaits my response. Maybe it doesn’t work that way in your life. I’ve never heard the voice of God say to me, “Emory, I need you to do such and such. Would you? Could you? Pleeeaaase?” I ain’t ever heard God say “please” to me. He gives out His instructions, and then He waits to see if I’m gonna do it. Every time it requires faith!

It seems that He always wants me to do something that’s going to require an element of faith, and that right there is where many believers stop. It might be in the area of relationships or attitude. God might be saying, “Emory, forgive them,” and I might say, “I can’t forgive them.” Now would God tell us to forgive someone if it were impossible to forgive him or her? No! How do you think God forgives you? It’s a supernatural thing. You can forgive anybody if you choose to. The reason you’re not forgiving is because you elect not to.  

Here’s another thing to consider, forgive doesn’t mean to forget. Forgive means to release someone from the debt, offense, trespass, or penalty. Let it go! They probably let it go a long time ago. Forgive them! God is not telling you to do something that He has not given you the ability to do!

In your finances, God has instructed you to do certain things. It’s amazing to me how many mature Christians struggle with tithing. The reason there’s a struggle is because folks don’t understand that it ALL belongs to God. They say they do, but they don’t live it. So God says, “Give me back one tenth.” “Are you crazy, God? One tenth?” Then you get into the offering part of it (above the tenth), and before long Deuteronomy 28 becomes the reality, “Blessed going in, blessed going out, blessed in the city, blessed in the field, and all of these blessings will come upon thee and shall overtake thee.” Why? Man, you’re walking in the blessing! You’re walking in the promise! You’re walking by faith.

God said, “Do it,” and I did it, and here’s the fruit of it. Want to know why some people are more blessed than other people? It’s not because God loves them more, it is usually because of decisions and choices they’ve made. Those choices are based on perspective. It’s really all about fulfilling God’s purpose. What are you doing in your life today? What steps are you taking in order that you might walk in a greater measure of God’s promises and God’s blessing?

~ pg

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Vickie and I send greetings and prayers for a wonderful holiday to our entire church family and those beyond the borders of Cliffdale. This is a special and unique time and never before have we had greater reason to give thanks to God for Who He is and all He has done.

We are very thankful to the Lord for you and the blessing that you are to us personally and to Cliffdale Christian Center!

There is so much to look forward to in the days ahead, and we're very grateful that we have the privilege of sharing our lives together. May God bless you bountifully as only He can do. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Stepping Out In Faith, Part 5

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! I pray you are doing well and enjoying God's promises coming to pass in your life today and in the days to come. My wife and I are certainly praying for restoration, safety, and protection for all those who were affected by Hurricane Sandy, and we would ask you to do the same. We also really appreciate all of the prayers, love, and support we've received from so many following the passing of my mother.

At the close of my last blog, we were looking at the effects of distractions in the life of a believer. We're going to pick right back up with that same subject. Basically, we have to deal with this carnal mind. It can be our biggest hindrance. If the enemy wants to bring division in our homes, it just takes one minor distraction. Yes, one tiny little distraction can bring so much division, and it's all because of our carnal minds. The carnal mind is at enmity against God, so once again we see the importance of Romans 12:1-2.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

It can be anything in life, and yet, it affects every area of our lives. When we're sick and in need of healing, our perspective determines everything. Is our perspective based upon the Word of God, or is it simply based upon the way we feel? What are we thinking about? What are we meditating upon? We might look at our finances and begin to doubt God's provision because we're carnally minded. Then we may feel guilty because we're not doing something right or we're doing everything wrong . . . or God loves him more than he loves me . . . or the devil this or the devil that, and half of the time it ain't even the devil! It's because of the decisions we make. Our decisions are based upon the way we think, and the way we think comes from our perspective.

We are where we are because of decisions we have made. That's called personal responsibility and accountability. We have to take responsibility. I don't care if we're talking about our health, wealth, or relationships. It's amazing to me how many Christians think that it's not necessary to take care of his or her body in order to remain healthy. Sheer foolishness. We think we can eat whatever we want to without any negative implications.

I like to use the example of ol' Jack Daniels. If you think you can consume whatever you want to eat, stick nothing but poison in your system, and believe that it's not going to affect your physical body, then I challenge you to go to ABC Liquor, get a quart of good ol' Jack Daniel's Whiskey, pray over it, and ask God to remove the alcohol. See, some people will pray over their food asking God to remove the sugar demons. There ain't no sugar demons! No, you're addicted to sugar and that poison has an effect on you! "Pray for my diabetes." I pray for so much diabetes sometimes (and don't stop coming for prayer), but I just want to smack some folks up the side of the head, spiritually and in the natural. How about you change your diet? "Well, the doctor said . . ." Do you mean to tell me that you love your sugar more than you love life? Huh? You have to change something! You have to take steps.

Many of our challenges and hindrances to progress are due to our own choices and perspective. Oftentimes, it truly boils down to personal responsibility and accountability. Let's become more cognizant of the effects our choices are having in our lives and make a commitment to move full-steam ahead and not "one step forward, one step back" any longer!

In Him,

Friday, October 19, 2012

Stepping Out In Faith, Part 4

We think that the devil can put thoughts in our head, right? Sometimes we hear, “Don’t let the devil put them thoughts in your head.” The devil doesn’t have the power to do that! Now get this. Those thoughts are the result of your perspective.

What the devil CAN do is bring distractions into your life. When he brings those distractions, he knows just what will work. He gets you to focus on the wrong things and because our minds are not yet renewed and still carnal, we look at those things and they affect us a certain way.

Two of us could look at the same situation; we could even talk about the same person and have two entirely different opinions. Some people love me; others hate me. They won’t say it because they’re Christians, and they’re afraid to. God sees our hearts. You see, this leads to a life of frustration because some of you are going through life with love/hate relationships, not only with people, but also with things . . . with situations. You’ll love it on one hand and hate it on the other.

In an earlier blog, we used the example of walking around the room with your eyes closed as you listened to voices, sometimes even voices you think you can trust. “Take a left.” Well, you might trust that voice, take that left, and then run into a chair. The human inclination would then be to go through life blaming somebody else. No, you shouldn’t have listened to that voice! Don’t listen to all those voices!

Satan can bring these voices into our lives. He’ll get our eyes off the things of God, our purpose, and the prize, and before long, we’re going for the wrong thing. It works; it’s very effective. Think about the children of Israel. What was the greatest weapon against the armies of Israel? Well, I’ll tell you what I think it was: beautiful Pagan women! Man, if nothing else works, send the hotties! You read about that throughout the Bible; it works almost every time! It still works today!!! You watch men and some pretty thing walks by and every head turns. Huh? It doesn’t take much. What were those beautiful women? A distraction. “If we can get them to look at these women,” and what Israelite soldier ain’t gonna look at a pretty Pagan woman? So send in the beauties! It was simply a distraction to get their eyes off the prize and keep them out of the Promised Land!

How many distractions is the enemy throwing your way? The Bible says that, “He roams about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.” How is he going to devour? How’s he going to steal, kill, and destroy in your life? He’s going to do it by coming after the Word of God in your heart and mind. If he can get you thinking about things that will bring destruction, and you think about them long enough and get them in your heart, you’re going to do it sooner or later given the opportunity.

We need to get our minds renewed so we are no longer thinking carnally, because to think carnally is to put ourselves at enmity against God. The carnal mind is at enmity against God. Now, walking in the promises of God requires that we walk in agreement with God. You’ll never walk in the fullness of His promises until you’re walking in agreement. Walking in agreement doesn’t mean, “Thus saith the Lord, amen, God said it; I believe it; that settles it!” We think that if we just put a bumper sticker on our backs, that we’re going to walk in the fullness of God’s promises. Do you really believe it, and are you really doing it? Are we moving in agreement with God? How do we do that?

We’re going to have to get our minds renewed. We have to be thinking like God thinks and get on the same wavelength! Now that doesn’t mean being woo woo or super-spiritual. Christianity is not simply based upon some spiritual experience; true Christianity is based upon the Word of God. I’m sick and tired of spiritual frivolity that is not bringing people to a fuller measure of God’s promises in their lives; it’s just giving them goose bumps and making them feel good for an hour a week. It’s cheap and it’s artificial.

True Christianity is based on truth and the Word of God is the final authority. It’s a whole lot easier to have some Shundai experience than it is to conform your life to the Word of God so that you might walk in the fullness of His promises! I feel better; I don’t know about you . . . but I’ve been wanting to say that. 

Thanks for joining me as we continue to look at steps we can take towards obtaining God's promises, and pitfalls we can avoid that keep us distanced from the prize.

~ pg

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Stepping Out In Faith, Part 3

I would like for us to look at Romans 8:6-7 for a few moments. I believe oftentimes that we give far too much credit to the devil. It is true that the thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy (according to John 10:10); we’re all familiar with that. But how does he seek to steal, kill, and destroy? What is it that he’s after? 

More than anything else, he’s after the Word of God. He doesn’t want the Word of God working in you towards the renewing of your mind. If the enemy works anywhere, it’s in the mind. His most effective weapon is distraction. He knows that if we ever get our minds renewed and our lives transformed, then we’ll be proving what is the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. That is definitely something he doesn't want! The perfect will of God for you is His purpose for your life. The enemy's goal is to keep you from fulfilling that purpose. 

As Romans tells us, if you get your mind renewed, then your life is transformed. “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind . . . ” The whole purpose of that is so that we might know and do the will of God. And why is the will of God important? Well, even from a selfish point of view, it is important because in doing the will of God, we find peace and contentment. We find fulfillment.

A few weeks ago, somebody who had not seen me in years asked me: “Emory, are you happy?” I chuckled and said, “Happy, hmmm, happy. Happiness can vary from day to day.” I said, “I can tell you this much, I’m very fulfilled and content. I know that I’m doing what God created me to do.” What greater fulfillment can there be? Am I happy? No, I’m not always happy. Some things make me mad. Some things make me unhappy. Some things make me laugh. Some things make me cry. So the issue isn’t, “Are you happy”; the issue is, “Have you found the will of God for your life and are you content and fulfilled in it?”

Now there are steps that each of us are going to have to take toward the direction of fulfilling God’s will in our lives. It is not a simple matter of “give this up and give that up.” As long as you view your Christian experience that way, then you’re going to struggle because you’ll always feel like you’re having to give something up and you’re not getting anything in return. As a result, your expectations may not be met because you think that Christianity is “giving up and giving up and giving up,” and it’s not. Christianity summed up in a few words means, “Following Christ.” When you follow Christ, you fulfill God’s will and purpose in your life, and therein you find true peace and fulfillment.

Now, Romans 8:6 talks about the carnal mind, and Paul reminds us that to be carnally minded is death. What is death? MTS students, do you remember? In simple terms, death is separation from life. What is life? God is life, right? We know that is what the Scripture says. Therefore, to be carnally minded means that you are separated from God. Carnally minded equals death, but to be spiritually minded equates to life!

I believe that we all still have some level of carnality in our thinking. If you don’t think so, then you just proved that you do! The carnal mind is at enmity against God. I want you to understand the seriousness of this. Our carnal mind is God’s enemy. I’m going to let you "selah" on that. 

When I follow my carnal mind, or when I yield or submit to it, I am setting myself at enmity against God. If you're doing that, I’m not saying that you’re going to go to hell or that you’re backslidden. All I am saying is that when we are operating in carnality, we are separating ourselves from God. That’s why to be carnally minded is death. 

My carnal mind is at enmity against God. When I partner with that or come into agreement with my carnal mind, then the stage is set for that thing to be accomplished. Remember that the Word says, “That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 18:19, KJV).

Is it any wonder that to be carnally minded leads to poverty, pain, frustration, and unrest? Why? Because we’re walking in agreement with that which is at enmity against God. Who do you think is going to win?

This is all part of the subject of stepping out in faith in order to obtain the promises of God. I’m not quite finished with this topic yet and will continue to develop it in the next couple of blogs. Thank you very much for being part of our lives; Vickie and I count it a privilege and a joy to be part of yours!

~ pg  

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Stepping Out In Faith, Part 2

I want you to think about something. Is it easier to walk with your eyes open or your eyes closed? Try walking around the entire room as fast as you can without jogging or running. Now this time close your eyes very tightly, no cheating, no looking, and walk around the entire room just like you did before. You moved much slower the second time around, didn’t you?

If you had someone in the room with you, you may have started listening to their voice(s) trying to instruct you. They probably told you which way to move, but your progress was very, very slow. If you listen to the voices around you, one may tell you to go right, another will tell you to go left, somebody else will say that there’s a chair right in front of you, and you might respond to ALL the voices that speak to you. Many times we’ll start to pay heed to the voices around us because we feel like we need to hear a Word, and there’s plenty of people around who want to give us a word like, “Turn to the right; you’re about to hit something,” or “Stop!”

See, if you had someone in the room, you responded to those voices, didn’t you? The only problem is, none of those voices was the voice of God. It’s just the voice of carnal-minded men and/or women in your life who are speaking as if they’re some sort of authority in regard to your life. “Turn to the right. Oops, no, there’s a wall to the right.”

Walking with your eyes closed, you tend to run into things. You’re likely to trip. When walking with your eyes closed, you’re prone to listen to the voices around you. Do you understand? You’re listening to all the voices around you because you want some direction; you want wisdom, but you don’t know how to get it. You think that all you have to do is listen to everyone else say, “Turn left and do it quickly,” Then you do it, but you do it with a little distrust because you have begun to realize that you can’t always trust what everyone around you is saying.

When we’re walking blind, that’s when we’re the most susceptible to listening to the voices, and those voices oftentimes will run us into a wall, a ditch, or trip us up. The prudent man considers well his steps.

The way to walk in the promises of God is to move forward with your eyes open. God is calling you to move forward from wherever you are. You can identify whatever area of life you want to; it may be just one specific area or a variety of areas in which God is calling you to move forward.

What steps are you willing to take in order to get there? Not what are you willing to give up or willing to sacrifice. See, as long as you look at Christianity that way, it will remain a chore and a hard thing. When you keep your eyes open and on the prize, it’s an easy thing!

The Hebrew’s writer, probably the Apostle Paul, said, “Be not entangled in the things of this world that come in and are encumbrances on you; be not entangled with the sins that so easily trip you up (paraphrased).” The way to do that is not to focus on sin, the way to do that is to focus on the promises; focus on the prize; focus on the goal! That was Paul’s key; he was focused on the prize. That is what empowered him to walk with purpose with every step.

Some of us are stressing and straining, and probably half of you who are reading this right now think you’ve been wrestling with the devil. You haven’t been wrestling with the devil; you’re wrestling with yourself! Some of us have even been wrestling with God! I submit to you that the devil is not your worst enemy, your own carnal mind is!

This is such an important topic, I want to continue to develop it a bit further. I hope that those of you who live in the greater Cumberland and Hoke County area are able to join us this morning at Cliffdale Christian Center. Sister Vickie, Zach, and I just returned from the Dominican Republic and are excited to be with our CCC family once again. We hope to see you there!

~ pg  

Friday, September 21, 2012

Stepping Out In Faith, Part 1

We want to always obtain the promises before we’ve done the will of God, but that’s backwards. God’s Word says, “So that after you have done the will of God that you may obtain the promises.” You have need of endurance, of perseverance. You’re going to have to learn to persevere and honor the process. As we’ve said before, every one of us is somewhere between where we used to be and where we’re going. Every one of us is at some stage in the process.

The book of Proverbs tells us that the prudent man considers well his steps. The “prudent man” here means, “He who walks with a level of wisdom of knowledge, of understanding about life.” The prudent person is going to consider well his steps as Proverbs 14:15 says.

As we make progress, we’re going to move from standing to walking. Standing requires us to stand and be still. Walking involves taking steps. How do you define walking? Can you walk without going anywhere? Well, you’re going to go somewhere, even if you go in circles and end up in the same place, you went somewhere! Walking involves steps, so here’s the essence of walking in the promises: in order to experience the greater measure of the promises of God, you’re going to have to take some steps. You’re going to have to do something. It’s not because God needs our help; He is the All-Sufficient One. However, He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. God rewards faith, and He says, “The just shall live by faith.” 

The Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:26 (NLT) says, “I run with purpose in every step.” What steps are you taking in order to experience a greater measure of God’s promises and God’s blessing? If you’re not stepping, you’re not walking. If you’re not walking, you’re not walking by faith: you’re standing still. You’re going to have to step out which requires you to do something.

I want you to take some time today and consider the steps you’re taking. You say you want to do this, but you’re really doing that. “Boy, I’d really like to learn to play the piano.” Personally, I’ve shared with Ms. Judy that I’d love to learn to play the piano, but so far I have not taken the first step.

Wanting to do it and doing it are two entirely different things. How bad do you want to do it? Do you want the promises of God fulfilled in your life bad enough to take the steps necessary to experience them? You’re going to have to get moving, honey!

In my most recent blogs, we’ve been talking about walking by faith, right? We walk by faith, not by sight. Walking involves taking steps; it involves movement. Everyone who is walking is moving in a direction. It may or may not be the direction of God’s will; it may or may not be moving closer to the fulfillment of God’s promises. But every one of us, when we’re walking, we’re moving in a specific direction.

In regard to the above, let me ask you this: Is it easier to walk forward or to walk backwards? FORWARD! Have you ever felt like you were taking one step forward and two steps backwards? You may feel like, “Man, I’m just not getting anywhere!” There may be a reason for that; you just might not be getting anywhere! I’m just sayin’. So many of God’s people seem to take a step forward, but then take two steps back, not understanding that it’s harder to walk backwards than it is to walk forwards, so you just might as well man up, woman up, or saddle up, and move forward.

In the long run, it’s going to be a whole lot easier, and you will save steps! If I take one step forward and two steps back and one step forward and two steps back, I’m making progress, but it’s not forward progress. Even if I take two steps forward and one step back, I’ll make progress, but it will take me twice as long. The process will be lengthened, and it is not due to anything that God is or is not doing, it’s because I am not moving forward.

Listen to me. Faith requires steps. Walking by faith requires steps. I don’t care what area of life we’re talking about. Your finances might be a mess, and you know that you need to take steps like setting a budget, cutting up the credit cards, learning to save, or whatever it might be, but so far you’re not taking the steps, and you can’t figure out why God isn’t moving! God will move in response to the steps that we take in the direction in which we’re moving. 

~ pg

Friday, September 14, 2012

Walking in God's Promises, Part 4

I would like to start off by asking you a question: Do you really think that when God told Joshua, “I want you to march around the walls seven times, and on the seventh time I want you to shout,” that Joshua could really comprehend that? Do you think he processed it this way in his thoughts: “Okay, we’re going to march around the walls, we’re gonna shout, and the walls are gonna come tumbling down.” Huh? I don’t think that he quite could have grasped that. He was a warrior.

Also, think about this. God speaks to Gideon and tells him, “Okay, I’m going to use you to defeat the enemies of Israel. So he gathers up an army of 30,000 and whittles them down to 300. Then God said, “I want you to use clay lamps and horns to defeat the enemy.” Do you believe that Gideon understood how God was going to do it? Gideon is ready by brandishing a sword, and he has warriors ready standing behind him and God says, “You’re to use clay lanterns and horns, and with this, you will defeat the enemy.” I don’t think that Gideon fully grasped that. I don’t believe Gideon said, “Oh, no problem, God just said we’re going to use clay pots and blow a lamb’s horn and that’s it!”

He didn’t take the time apparently to try and figure out what God was telling him to do. Cuz if he had tried to mentally figure it out, I’m not sure he would have understood it, and I’m not even sure that he would have done it. All he knew was that God said, “Do it,” so, “Boys, this is what we’re going to do.” He must have thought, “It makes perfect sense to God, so let’s do it.”

Many times we don’t know the end from the beginning. This is something we need to know though: every one of us is somewhere in the process. Right now you are somewhere between where you used to be and where you are going. That’s pretty deep, ain’t it? That’s called process, and you can’t figure out why certain parts of it are hard. “That can’t be God, I bind the devil in Jesus’ name, shundai, shaba!”

You’ve bound the devil and cast out demons. You’ve prayed and fasted. And you’re still going through this thing. It could be God. God’s taking you through a process. But it hurts! I know. That’s usually your flesh burning, and God loves the scent of burning flesh, so let it burn, baby. He’s taking you through this process to the fulfillment of the purpose that He placed in you from the foundations of the earth.

Walking in the promises. How many of you want to walk in the promises and not just stand on them? Here’s one key amongst so many others; although, I would consider it the key of keys. You must develop the ability of being in the right place at the right time doing the right thing with the right people. If you don’t have the right people, it ain’t gonna work.

Believe me. I’ve tried and tried and tried and tried to do right things with the wrong people, and the first key whether in business, ministry, or life is to get the right people on the bus. Because when you got the right people on the bus, it usually doesn’t matter where the bus is going. Did you hear me? That is a principle of success. 
Now you want to be in the right place at the right time doing the right thing with the right people. How are you going to do that? We’ll continue this and I’m going to share some things that I’ve discovered in the Word of God and in my own life that have brought me to that place; I’m not telling you that I always hit the mark and I’m always where I’m supposed to be, although I know there are times when I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing.

God’s Word says, “If you’ll obey these words, these statues, these commands, my blessings, all of these blessings will come upon you and overtake you.” The problem is that we are all looking for the blessings, but we’re not getting overtaken by the blessings. Why? Because we’re not in the right place, at the right time, doing the right things with the right people.

~ pg

Friday, September 7, 2012

Walking In God's Promises, Part 3

Developing God’s perspective on life can change your whole attitude. Some folks have bad attitudes, and it is solely based on perspective. Your whole outlook hinges on the way you view your life, how you see God, and how you see yourself.

In regard to perspective, the more I learn about God, the more I learn about Christ in me, and the more I learn about Christ in me, the more the limits seem to disappear. Now, we know that we can do anything that God calls us to do; it doesn’t matter how much it costs. When confronted with a new opportunity, our human inclination nine times out of ten is to immediately ask, “What’s it gonna cost”? What do you care? As though! Do you really think that you are the supplier of all of your needs? If so, then your perspective needs to change. By definition, your perspective is the periscope through which you view life.

Revelation will cause your perspective to change, and the whole purpose of revelation, in one word, is conviction. Not guilt, but conviction. Conviction is a persuasion. After undergoing this process, we become men and women of conviction. Sometimes we hear, “Oh, I respect him, he has strong convictions," or, "She is a woman with conviction.” Conviction is evidenced when we become persuaded about something.

After that, passion needs to kick in. Another word for passion is “enthusiasm.” Nothing of significance has ever been accomplished in this world without enthusiasm. How enthusiastic are you about your life? “Well, you haven’t seen the life that I live!” Well, change your attitude! “How do I do that? I am the way that I am.” So change the way that you are. “How do I do that?” Get into the Word of God! Get God’s perspective on who you are, not who you think you are. Who you think you are and what you think you can do will always be less than what God says. He sees something bigger in you than you see, and He knows it’s there because He put it there. He wants you to discover it through revelation so your perspective about your life can change.

When you get God’s perspective, there will be passion; there will be enthusiasm. Enthusiasm actually has the root word, “entheos,” which in the Greek means, “in God.” You can look it up, I did. You can find it in Merriam’s dictionary. In fact, it literally means (this is Webster’s Modern Collegiate Dictionary; it’s not even the old 1826 version): “belief in special revelations of the Holy Spirit.”

I almost got rocked out of my rocker when I first read that!  Belief in special revelations of the Holy Spirit! The next definition--you’re going to love this one--is “religious fanaticism.” Ha! It’s believing in the revelation that God has imparted to you by the Holy Spirit. Do you believe in the revelation you’ve received? Do you believe in the vision He’s given you? Bless God, if you do, then that ought to light a fire on the inside of you. There ought to be some passion; there ought to be some enthusiasm because God is in it!

Now that we have the passion, we have to understand: there is a process. I’m doing some things today that God started giving me the revelation on a few years ago. And let me tell you something about my experience. I could have started acting on those things a few years ago and messed everything up. Have you ever done that? I have. Sometimes we adopt the attitude, “Well, God showed me this, it’s God, and I’m doing it!” Maybe it isn’t God’s time! Maybe you have to go through a process.

All of the above are factors of walking in God’s promises. It is my hope and prayer that we all begin to experience the blessing of His promises in our daily lives in a greater degree. They’re all there . . . we simply have to posture ourselves to receive.

~ pg

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Walking in God's Promises, Part 2

Every person in the Bible that you can think of that accomplished anything of significance had to go through a process whether it was Ruth, Esther, Joseph, Daniel, Gideon, or Paul. Even Jesus Himself had to go through and honor the process. Jesus didn’t do that simply by going to the cross. One of His means was by entering the world legally by being born of a woman. So throughout His life, you can see that Jesus honored protocol. Protocol is part of the process. The sooner we learn to recognize, understand, and respect protocol and process, the sooner we will reach the goal of fulfilling God’s purpose in our lives. It’s all based on the Word of God and upon personal experience.

In addition to personal experience, we can learn from the people around us who've gone through so we don't have to, that is, if we're willing to learn from them. I know that there are some young folks, who in your heart, you really, really believe that you know as much about life as the sixty-year old person sitting next to you. I have a six-year old, and I'm trying to take him through a process. Right now we’re still stumbling through, “Listen to your father because he knows more than you.” At six-years old, he’s convinced that he’s smarter than me in the ways of life. So whenever I tell him how to do something, he immediately tells me how he thinks it should be done. We’re talking six-years old! Oh, what a road we have ahead of us! I’m sure none of you have kids like that. Your kids probably commend you on how smart you are every day. If that’s the case, you’d better count yourself blessed.

Also, part of the process is going from faith-to-faith. You need to ask yourself, “Am I making progress? Am I moving from faith-to-faith? Having conquered, am I prepared to conquer some more? What’s going to enable me to conquer?" One of the primary ingredients to fulfilling the purposes of God--this is going to be deep--is to know what the will of God is! Did you get that? Because you’ll never know if you’ve accomplished His purpose if you don’t know what that is! You’ll go through life wandering and wondering and never really knowing.

The first thing we need is revelation. We have to have revelation of God’s purpose for our life. When revelation comes, by definition, it means that something is revealed; it’s uncovered. God makes it plain to us. It may or may not line up with how we think we had our lives figured out. I just knew in my younger days that I was going to be a rock and roll star. I mean, all those gigs we had making $20 a night; we were on our way! Well, it’s kind of funny how things changed. We had the ambition of being stars: sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll; isn’t that a great vision? I was a man full of vision. How do you go from that to having the privilege of going so many places and preaching the Word of God? The two don’t even compare.

I look at what God has done. was able to go back to my very first church, Christian Service Center, this past Easter Sunday. I wanted to honor my former pastor, Pastor Bill. It’s kind of like giving flowers before the funeral. They allowed me to give a message and share. Part of my sermon was that everywhere I’ve gone, I’ve taken a part of that man with me. That may sound strange to some, although in my heart, he infused me with something and imparted so deeply to me. I shared with him all the places I’d been around the world in order to preach the Gospel, and Pastor Bill was simply thrilled and excited. Everywhere I had gone, it was to take Christ, but I felt like he was going with me. Thirty years of this, wow!

In closing, as revelation of God’s will opens up, we can define our purpose. Some of you say, “Well, I’m just a carpenter, a laborer, a housewife, a doctor, a lawyer, a nurse, a dentist, or a garbage collector working with Waste Management. You know what I say? Number one: be the best garbage collector you can be. Find purpose in your work. Because I tell you what, I appreciate your work! I am so glad that we have garbage collectors. Just think about what your world would be like without them. When was the last time that you thanked God for the garbage man and spoke a blessing over him? You don’t have to lay hands on him unless you want to, but pray for him!

So, what has God called you to do? Whatever that is, get passionate about it! We’re only part way through what God has laid on my heart to share regarding, “Walking in His Promises.” Thanks so much for joining me on this journey, and we’ll see you next time!

~ pg

Monday, August 20, 2012

Walking in God's Promises, Part 1

Today I want to transition a bit between our last blog series from "Standing on the Promises" to "Walking in the Promises." First we must learn to stand on the promises and then we can learn to walk in the promises. We must be diligent, first of all, to discover what the promises are. They are found in the Word of God, and depending on who you ask or Google, there are anywhere from a hundred to several thousand promises in the Word. I happen to believe that there are thousands of promises . . . some subtle, some not so subtle.

As you remember, God is not a man that He should lie, nor the son of man that He should repent. Paul said that all of the promises of God are, "yes and amen!" Now, in Ephesians chapter 6, the Apostle Paul says in verse 13, "Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day." Here's what we really want to focus on, "and having done all to stand." We discovered last time that the phrase, "having done all to stand," is somewhat of a militaristic term and literally means, "having conquered, be prepared to conquer again."

All of us can look back on our lives and see apparent victories; we have all conquered to some degree. We have conquered, thanks be to God, thanks be to the blood, thanks be to the Shepherd, and to the power of the Holy Spirit. Scripture says that we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us. So basically Paul is saying, "You have already conquered, and you have already obtained some victories in your life; therefore, be ready to conquer once again." And many times, the current battle is greater than those we have experienced previously. Why is that?

I believe the answer can be found in part in Romans chapter 1 wherein the Apostle Paul says, "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ." We've all heard that before, and we declare that. In fact, we make that declaration oftentimes to express our boldness and our faith. "For it (the Gospel) is the power of God unto salvation to every one who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." Then we must read on to verse 17 to capture the concept of what is being communicated. "For in it (the Gospel), the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, the just shall live by faith." This is just one of at least four places in Scripture that we find the phrase, "The just shall live by faith." Please note that it doesn't say the just should, the just could, the just might, but it says the just SHALL, which means it's a given. Why? Because it takes faith to be just; it takes faith to be justified.

We read here that we are to be going from one level of faith to another level of faith. So here is a question that we all need to ask ourselves: Am I growing from faith to faith? Can you look back on your life and determine whether or not your faith is increasing? Your level of faith should be going upward and onward. It is a false assumption to believe that the longer you walk with God, the more faith you acquire. We probably all know people (perhaps even ourselves) who do not have the faith today that they might have had ten, five, or even two years ago.

Paul prayed for the Corinthians that their faith might be increased, and so are we to be moving from one level of faith to a greater level of faith. That's why I referred to my own life years ago that "having done all to stand" for me at one point was being able to pay my light bill. It was conquering to be able to pay my bills on time and to keep the telephone turned on. What a relief! Some of you might not even know what I'm talking about, but if you've ever had your phone or electricity turned off because you couldn't pay your bill, then we can relate.  

So for me, it may have been a great victory just to be able to pay my bills or put gasoline in my auto. I can remember times when I was driving my old Pontiac down the road, and I would see the little red needle would go weeeelllll below empty, and it didn't take me long to find out exactly how far down it would go! You know how you find out? If you run out of gas enough times, suddenly you discover you can let it go this far, and no farther.

I can remember traveling down the road and having to believe God. Back in the day I'd hear great testimonies about people pouring something else into their gas tanks, and their engines still ran. But I was always a little fearful of that. I mean, my old Pontiac, it wasn't much, but it was all I had.

So we're to be going from faith to faith. I like to put it this way: I've gone from ten dollar faith to tens of thousands of dollars of faith. I've seen my faith increase because today in my life, ten dollars isn't going to make a whole lot of difference. See, God doesn't take you directly from ten dollar faith to ten thousand dollar faith; there's this little thing between the two called "process." This is a significant portion of growing from faith to faith. We'll cover the importance of "process" in my next blog.

Thank you very much for joining me as we talk about His promises and how to claim them and make them your very own!

~ pg

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Standing on His Promises, Part 4

The last time I wrote, I talked about gaining God’s perspective in every area of our lives. I want to talk about that just a bit more. As we begin to renew our minds with God’s Word, our perspective begins to change; we acquire God’s perspective.

God has vision and provision for every area of life. For sickness, God has healing. We view death; God sees life. He has a totally different perspective than we have in our human mind. So the carnal, unregenerate mind must come into alignment with God’s mindset and with His perspective. That can only happen with revelation that brings conviction. Conviction brings persuasion. The purpose of conviction is to bring about change: transformation. Revelation without transformation has no effect.

So God’s not just revealing His will to us so we can simply know what it is; He reveals His will to us so we will have a conviction about doing it! After we have done the will of God, we will have the promise. Oh, how God wants to lavish the promises upon us! He wants to just pour out His promises in every area of life, but He knows that we must first do His will! In order to do His will, we have to know what His will is. And for us to know what His will is, we have to receive fresh perspective and revelation so that we can develop a conviction that will ultimately result in a life transformation.

Prayerfully we are moving to the place of living according to the principles and precepts of God, and then we won’t even have to chase the promises. The writer of Deuteronomy said the blessings of God will overtake us! They’ll just come up on us! Why? Because suddenly our lives are lined up with the will of God, and then this weird thing starts to happen. We find ourselves at the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing, and with the right people. Instead of being in the wrong place, at the wrong time, doing the wrong thing, with the wrong people! Suddenly things come into alignment with the will of God and then boom! Oh, there’s’ one of those promises right there! BAM. Oh God, You’re overtaking me! Is this making sense to you?

We have need of endurance, but in order to have that endurance, our perspective must change. Our human perspective must be transformed in order to have and demonstrate a correct, spiritual perspective. There is a God-given, Spirit-inspired vision for our lives. God has a vision for your life! You may or may not be living out that vision. I’m not judging that. In order to live out the vision that God has for your life, your perspective has to change. You have to begin to see your life as God sees your life. This will bring you to a place of being able to determine ultimate purpose. We talk a lot about purpose, but until your perspective changes, you cannot fulfill your God-given purpose, and that purpose goes beyond you! It actually goes beyond you and your household. Human purpose must come into alignment with God’s will for our lives.

Purpose is simply having an objective. What is your objective in life? What are you attaining to? Someone might say, “Man, I’d be happy to just get a job and pay my bills.” Okay. Let me tell you something. Everything I’ve been asking God for this week has been happening unbelievably beyond what I expect. Do you need a job? Then let’s agree together right now. “Father in the name of Jesus Christ, open the door of employment and opportunity for my brothers and sisters to get the job You have for them. I pray that you each may have the boldness to go through that door no matter how menial the task may seem, and BOOM, a bigger door will open in front of you. May you see that it’s not simply a job or source of income, but it is an opportunity to represent Christ in a place of employment. God, I ask You to open that door of opportunity for each one who is believing You for it.” Friend, now that we’ve prayed and believed God together, when that door of opportunity opens for that job, I don’t care if it looks good to you or not, just do it . . . as long as it’s legal and it’s from God.

As I was stating earlier, my seeking God for a few things recently was borne out of frustration, and I said, “God, I need to see this, this, and this,” and boom, boom, boom happened within twenty-four hours. I’m telling you that God is in a good mood, and He’s just opening up opportunities.

Things are going to start happening! And don’t let your human perspective mess you up. Before you know it, you’ll start weighing things out and thinking about things and get that old unregenerate part of your mind going.

God has promised provision, but many times that provision is a result of us getting the vision and having the perspective of God, which is seeing life, our life, through His periscope. We can ask ourselves, “How is God viewing that? Is God just taking us through a bitter circumstance and trial because He’s a mean, old God who doesn’t like us anymore?” NO! Maybe He brought us to some bitter waters because He knows we need to be cleansed and strengthened and prepared for what’s ahead.

Having done all to stand, therefore stand. Having already conquered, and every one of us has conquered, let’s conquer again! In fact, the Scripture says that we are MORE than conquerors! Why? Because having conquered, we’re ready to conquer again! Aren’t you ready to conquer again? You know, conquering is better than being conquered. The only one I want conquering me is Jesus. I almost got a t-shirt this past week that said, “beautiful losers.” At first I thought, “Who’d want to wear that?” But then I began to think about my life and thought, “I’m a beautiful loser.” And I would gladly lose it all, again, for Jesus. In the world I was a loser, but He made me beautiful.

I have to stop. Hallelujah. I said that God has been answering prayer; He surely has been. You have to change your perspective; you have to find the promise. Isn’t God good?

~ pg 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Standing on His Promises, Part 3

We're continuing to look at God's promises and how they relate to us as believers. Philippians 4:19 is a promise that is quoted frequently: "My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Does that mean that God's going to supply all of your needs? It's not a promise that He's going to take care of all of your wants or desires, and when you get down to brass tacks, you'll find out there's a big difference between needs and wants. God has promised to cover every area of need: physical, spiritual, and emotional. But if we're not aware of the promise, then we don't have anything to stand on.

So, the solution to that is to become aware of His promises. You gotta find what the Word has to say concerning various situations. And when you find the promise, you have the right and the authority to stand on it! So no matter what comes, we stand. It doesn't matter what the devil has to say or what the world thinks. I'm standing on the promises of God, as I have need of endurance, so that after I've done the will of God, I may receive the promise. We just have to find the promise in order to have a foundation to stand upon. The promise is our platform. It's what's going to hold us up. It's what we stand on having done all to stand. If we are aware and knowledgeable of the promise, then we can stand long and strong knowing that God is faithful! God is not a man that He should lie, nor the son of man that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Has He spoken and will He not make it good? He will! In fact, in the list of attributes of God, faithfulness ranks right there at the top.

By the way, someone might say, "Love is the number one attribute of God." Love is not the number one attribute of God! Love is not just one of His characteristics. Love is something that He is. He IS love. It's not just something about Him. It's what He is. God is love; He is life. God is light. Those are some of the things that "I AM" is.  

Many times what we lack (or where the discrepancy comes in) is in our point of view. We don't see as God sees, so our outlook must change. God freely gives vision and provision. This is going to sound very simplistic to some of you, but all we need is faith in God! You've heard it said, "Where God gives vision, He gives provision." But you see, you gotta first have the vision in order to receive and experience the provision! In other words, the vision is the way that God sees things; that's His perspective. And when we come into the Kingdom through a relationship with Jesus Christ, we have a human perspective, and perspective, by definition, is a periscope. It is THE periscope through which we are looking at life. In other words, it is the periscope through which we are viewing each area of our life. It could be in regard to our health, finances, family, or marriage.

I used to have a totally different perspective many years ago. I used to think that it was okay for a man and a woman to live together without being married: co-habitation. My wife would tell you today why so many people live together. Her definition is very clear, and she means no offense by this, but why buy the cow when you can have the milk for free? Some of you will get that later.

But my perspective has radically changed in many areas of life, like abortion. I used to think as the world thinks: "That it's a woman's right to choose and that a woman should have the right to do whatever she wants with her own body." She has the right to do what she wants with her own body; she just doesn't have the right to take an innocent life! Different perspectives!

Perspective is the periscope through which we view life, and it's the first thing that needs to begin to change in our lives: the way we see. We must receive revelation of God's Word in the Bible. Not just what we think He said, and not just what we feel like the Holy Ghost is speaking to us. Because if we feel like the Holy Ghost is speaking something to us, and it's not lining up with the Word, then it might be a ghost, but it ain't the Holy Ghost!

Perspective changes as a result of revelation. Revelation by definition is an uncovering. It is a revealing of something. It is enlightenment. So suddenly, through the work of the Holy Spirit within us, the Word of God takes on life. Now the Word of God is being revealed to us in a way that it never was before. I read the Bible as a sinner and it didn't make a whole lot of sense, but now it's like, suddenly every time I open the Bible, WOW! God is speaking to me! YES, He is! And He's speaking to you, too, for a purpose! He wants to give you revelation. Revelation is always intended for one purpose: to bring conviction. By conviction, I do not mean guilt. Conviction literally speaks of persuasion. It speaks of changing the way you think which is what the Apostle Paul wrote about in Romans 12:2, "Be not conformed to the world, rather be transformed . . ." How are you going to be transformed? By the renewing of your mind. You get your mind renewed when revelation of God's Word comes. Your perspective begins to change.

Vickie and I are looking forward to our soon return to Cliffdale Christian Center after being on an extended mission trip to the Dominican Republic. Thank you so much for your prayers and support!

~ pg