Friday, November 23, 2018

STREETS - Donald

11-7-2018 (Downtown; Chattanooga Community Kitchen)
I wish I could have done more, but at the end of the day it's according to what a man has rather than what he doesn't. (2 Corinthians 8:12) But I believe and declare that one day Chattanooga will have a local Dream Center and a ministry team including a 3rd shift that will tend to men and women like Donald. Please keep him in your love and prayers. God bless!

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STREETS - A Ride with Christopher







A little background to this video: It was taken approximately 5PM today. Most people in the video have been ministered to before either by myself or with people with me. One of them includes a woman in a wheelchair that I had previously prayed for the night before while visiting during a night-watch. At that time, she was suffering from pain and arthritis in her left arm. You can watch the video to hear the report of how that was doing this day. Also, a few cliff notes to the car ride (cause I know it was real choppy):

-Was given a few dollars to buy whatever he liked
-Was handed gospel tracts upon his request to witness to people
-Was informed of another ministry in town that specifically meets the needs of the homeless and needy
-Was dropped off in order to buy a cup of coffee


Eventually, I want to get a dash cam for the car because for whatever reason, there's too much interference with what I have now.
Praise reports: -Salvation Army opening their doors for freeze nights
-God's testimony of healing

Prayer requests: -Christopher's medicine and housing needs
-Linda's continued relief from arm pain
-More gospel tracts


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STREETS - Shirley








Downtown Chattanooga; Market Street Bus Stop – 2AM (11-12-2018)

Meet Shirley. With a few medical conditions, she knows she doesn't have long to live if she has to stay on the streets much longer. Pray that whether she lives or dies, she would receive Christ alone by faith.

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Salvation Army - Nate the Gatekeeper


Wow. I had to stop off here and make a post about one of the craziest experiences I've had in a long time. I'm just returning from the Salvation Army where I went to inquire about speaking during their night shelter days. And boy did I run into a character there at the Army. He greeted me upon entering as the "boss" of the place, and that was just the beginning. Now I've known my share of loonies, and even though this cat was eccentric as all get out, he had had an air of authority and legitimacy about him that heralded my attention from the start. From what lasted near half an hour he took me around the place and never let up. It started in the lobby and then he took me around the halls of the place where there are dozens of portraits of biblical characters hung on the walls. I can't begin to describe what this person began to say about each hero of the faith as he pointed them out to me, and related their lives as we walked along, but I can tell you he knew the Word of God. It's like he kept going back and forth between two extremes: Worshiping the Lord and calling things as he saw 'em. 
 
One primary focus of his engagement was lamenting over one individual that he kept saying was backslid and such. I don't feel like I need to get into specifics with this. But this portion of our meeting climaxed when after we or should I say he took time to go into a person's office. And after he had closed the door, he took out a guitar and started making one of the most wildest and anointed praises I've ever listened to. At one point, Holy Spirit told me to just listen. It would be easier to describe what he didn't relate in his praise rather that what he did. But I'll get to that in the conclusion of my testimony. 


Anyway, it was a little while later when the occupant whose name was on the door came bursting in. Not much needs to be said here except to say I knew who we were dealing with now. With a few harsh words to my host and a quick greeting and excuse from myself, we left the room and let out to the main auditorium. There, I struck up a conversation with a previous acquaintance from the streets while this other figure started serenading another visitor in the room by himself on guitar. 

Finally, I rounded out my conversation with my friend, and made my way back to this dude's office. I reintroduced myself as politely and understandingly as I could to him, exchanged contacts and left. But before I did, I got another name of someone else in charge that I could speak to about coming back, and then I returned back to the auditorium and asked "the boss" of who this other man was and where I could find him. He then led me back down another hallway to another door and asked me my name and number to which he wrote on his dry erase board attached to his door. 


And then as I was about to leave, (I can't remember who brought it up first, him or myself) but we agreed to drive around together. By this time, I knew exactly who this person was after spending sufficient time hearing him talk and Holy Spirit confirming it to me. But we got in the car and left the Army property. He told me to go down one street to which I obliged. And it was there he began again telling me his history of being in different prestigious houses and whatnot. One peculiar thing however, he insisted that I kept the worship music blaring on the radio during our brief excursion. He rode in the car like he was in his own world. He kept talking to people on the streets out of the window. And one thing I observed was that he caught everyone pleasantly. They always had smiles on their faces when he engaged them. The only time I ever noticed when people would say an off word to him was when (back in the Army) he wouldn't stop worshiping God.


Anyway, at one point he mentioned that the hospitals were full of sick people and since he owned it all, he would take it upon himself to go in and minister to people there. So it was Holy Spirit who told me to make the next turn. There was a CARTA bus in the right lane and God had me make a right in front of it and turn down the street was the Emergency Room was. As we were approaching I knew I was close to the point of having to drop him off. I was about to turn into the ER drive-thru when he spoke up and said to keep up a little further and turn left. That there was going to be a spot open for him on the left. And as I turned there, it was exactly as he said. Once we got parked, he turned the music up on the radio even louder and that's when God got a hold of me. Call it an anointing or whatever but there was such a song released in my heart and lips that was a sound that matched the music playing but was entirely different words than what was being sung from the artist. I'll be honest, it was during this time that my attention wasn't so much on this other person; but on God was had me crying and lifting my heart to Heaven. 


Still aware that this person had stepped out of my car and was doing his thing beside me, the only thing that was running thru my mind (and had been for some time) was the premise behind the song, "Favorite Song of All" And that's what was holding my heart at the present time. 

To conclude, we firmly shook hands. And I can barely still recall the glimmer in this person's eyes as we departed. And as I write out this testimony now, I fully understand the ramifications of 1. What this means to myself or anyone reading...1 Corinthians 2:14 - "But people who aren't spiritual can't receive these truths from God's Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can't understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means."
And lastly, one promise in Hebrews that has come to pass today in my walk: " Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. " (Hebrews 13:2)

























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Friday, October 26, 2018

Jesus Christ: As Seen Through the Eyes of Angels

 
The following post is based on a sermon I listened to years ago by Colin Smith. In this piece, I take a look at instances where the lives of angels intersect with Jesus Christ and His people.  I tell it from the point of view of these angelic beings who the Bible says in 1 Timothy 3:16 (concerning Jesus) was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.

Included in this post are the original messages from whence these writings were adapted from.

________________________________________________________
In Heaven

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb."

That's your story. But I can assure you that our first experience of conscience existence was looking into the face of Jesus our Creator and beholding the glory of the One who was, is, and is to come. Worshiping Him and tending to His call is all we know.

You can get a glimpse of our activity in Heaven by reading the prophet Isaiah where he writes of our company praising Him continuously, proclaiming His holiness. His majesty and glory are far above anything any finite mind could ever begin to comprehend.

On Earth

And then in a period of time that we all knew was coming one day; Jesus Christ stood from His throne and disappeared from our entire view. Before this remarkable event occurred, however, one from our company, named Gabriel, was sent from God to a virgin named Mary. During this time of visitation, the young girl was told that she would give birth to a boy and that He would be the Savior of the world. And so He came. In a moment in the fullness of times (as your Bible says) He took upon Himself a body. The Word became flesh and dwelt among you. And as some of us recall the memory of when Heaven most met Earth, we bring to your reminder the time when as the Son of God lay in a manger in a town called Bethlehem: Multitudes of us gathered on a hillside and appeared to shepherds tending their flocks and said:

"Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."

In a Wilderness

And then as you read your scripture and mark the places where angels and the life of Jesus intersected, you will find that the next place we saw Him was in a desert. The person of Jesus Christ grew and lived into manhood, and the question on some peoples minds was would the Son of God live His life on earth as a man or would He resort to using His powers as Lord to make His life easier. Those answers came when out in the middle of the Judean wilderness, the tempter came to Him. This creature was none other than the one who was the instigator of the rebellion at the beginning. Lucifer was His name. And we all had seen his fall from Heaven when he tried to exalt himself above God and in turn, was exiled to Earth. Now was His chance. By the time the devil came to Him, Christ had fasted forty days and forty nights and as your Bible says was very hungry. So as it went, the first temptation the devil came against Jesus with was questioning His divinity and suggesting that He turn stones into bread. To this, we sat by and listened inquisitively.

The second temptation was suggesting that the Christ throw Himself off a pinnacle of the temple and in turn, would cause us to catch Him up with our wings and land Him safely to the ground. By now, we saw the toll that these temptations were having on Jesus. So we sat and waited.

Finally, the tempter had Jesus walk up to a very high mountain and once He was atop, showed Him all the glory of the world and said, "All these things I will give you if you fall down and worship me."

But in a moment that we knew was His final temptation and our release to minister, He replied, "Get away from me Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only!"

Then as soon as the devil left, we were permitted to come and attend to Christ there.

In a Garden

Then we saw Him in a garden. It was a place where He often resorted to praying and spending time with His disciples. But on this night, the Son of God arrived, and we knew something was different about this occasion. It started when He entered the garden and told His disciples to keep watch and pray. But as He withdrew to a place by Himself, we could tell He was severely affected by what was about to happen to Him in the space of several hours. Your Bible recounts the words He spoke to the Father in John 17 during this time. During one period of intercession before the Father, He uttered those words now recorded and repeated by His followers throughout history: "If it be possible let this cup pass from Me, nevertheless, not as I will but as You will."

It was at this time that great drops of blood began to draw upon His forehead, and He (as well as us) knew this was just a foretaste of the blood He was to shed for humankind a little later on a tree on a hill called Golgotha. Nevertheless, it was at this time that one from our company was called down to Gethsemane to strengthen the One who was to give His life a ransom for all.

On the Cross

They nailed Him to the tree and crucified Him there. But it was at that time that I want to recall to you one of the things that the Christ said while all this was going on:

"Do you not think that I can call upon 12 legions of angels to rescue me from this?"

And as we heard Him say those words, we sat at the edge of Heaven, ready at one instant to save Him, but permission was not given. The call never came. Because as many who already know; no one was able to take His life from Him. He gave Himself freely. Because it was He, who said that no man could take His life. He laid it down willingly. And He had the power to take it up again.

At the Empty Tomb

Moreover, they took down Christ's body and laid it in a grave. Then He was seen by angels. Your Bible describes a violent earthquake and an angel of the Lord coming down from Heaven and rolling back the stone of the tomb and sitting on it. It was at that time that death lost and eternal life won the victory. Jesus Christ has risen, and it's for this reason we now proclaim the message of the resurrection to you. He's alive.

At His Ascension

It was after 40 days that the Christ spent time with His disciples and showing many infallible proofs of His resurrection that it was time for Him to ascend back up to Heaven with the Father. So as He led them as far as Bethany and lifted His hands and blessed them there, He gave them the great commission of spreading and teaching these things I'm sharing with you.

It was at this time as the Christ disappeared from their sight in the clouds, that two from our company (dressed in white) said to those men standing there gazing into the skies, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up into the heavens. Do you not know that this same Christ will return just as you have seen Him go?"

And it was then that they departed and told the good news of this to everyone they met.

At His Second Coming
(Parenthetic)

That's the story of the past and the present. But there is coming a future where we will play a role yet again. The apostle Paul also recorded a future time where Christ would descend from Heaven with the sound of a trumpet. When Christ was on the earth, He told His followers of those times when we would go throughout the entire earth dividing His believers from the wicked and separating them from one another The time is soon. For no one knows the day or hour of His coming. So be ready! 



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Friday, July 27, 2018

Vision for the mission (Funding ministry)

In another post, I wrote about the vision God has given me to plant a church and run other subsidiaries within that ministry. In this update, I want to talk about an idea God gave me to generate income to turn and operate these ideas. I release this post publicly, knowing full well that God can protect the idea and get it into the hands of children of the kingdom who will steward it faithfully.



United Sharpshooters Championship (USC)

This idea is for a new entertainment/sports league that features current and ex-military personnel from all branches of the U.S. services. The program will be divided into two separate sections:
The first half of the show will feature vignettes of each contestant appearing on the show, including military background, training, and personal life (family, children, etc.)

The second half will feature the actual game...
The structure of the game will consist of an arena containing brick walls throughout the field. Each contestant will start at opposite sides of the course, armed with military-grade rifles loaded with real ammo that has had the metal tips of the bullets removed and replaced with paintball heads. Out of three timed rounds, each player will have a certain amount of time to shoot his/her opponent as best as they can.

Each contestant will wear a white jumpsuit with different parts of their body lined off to distinguish different “hit points.” Each part of their body will be sectioned off and will be appointed a number of points for each successful shot that lands there. Moreover, certain areas of the body will be designated “kill zones” so that if any shot hits either of these places, the one who inflicts the shot automatically wins as they have hit their opponent in a critical location. Such places on the body will include headshots and chest/heart shots.

This is an original idea that takes sports to an entirely new level. Military sports entertainment is an endeavor that has yet to be tapped into yet. With the rise of hostility between rivaling nations in the world, this idea ramps up the interest in U.S. military. I believe this idea is a winner not only for viewers who will tune in to watch this, but it will also prove to be a massive success in advertising. I believe as ratings increase as people watch this, the government will take action and purchase advertising space to entice prospective new enlistees in the armed forces too. The bottom line is that this idea is a money maker. However, it will take considerable amounts of funding to get off the ground. First, ammo makers in the states would have to be willing to engineer bullets that have paintball heads that can be fired out of real rifles. Anything less than the real thing would not be authentic, and interest will wane. This idea is built upon real soldiers with real guns competing against one another.

The system of play could be a bracket system, pitting players against each other until a final head to head to determine a champion. The windfall of the ultimate winner could be determined by however many investors decide to invest in this idea. My guess of an approximate windfall amount would be 1 million dollars to the final victor.
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Thursday, July 26, 2018

And He will show you things to come (Part 2)


 In the previous installment of this title (part 1), I discussed being before the Lord and just praying and praising Him for who He is and what He had already done in my life. I had no other agenda besides that. So I was particularly surprised when after I spent my devotion on Him during this time (years ago) that He started prophesying things to come in my future. As I wrote about before, one of those things was a future wife with specific traits to her. The second and third thing he told me He wanted to accomplish in my life was to use me to plant a church and get formal Bible training at Lee University. As for the Bible training, this surprised me too seeing as how I really didn't like school growing up. I questioned it as well, seeing as how I don't even have a high school education. However, upon calling the college, I learned that there are no such requirements for previous education to study under their adult education program. This was good news to me since I saw no point in studying core subjects if all I wanted to do was preach the gospel.


As for the church He wants me to plant, the only other detail He gave me that morning regarding it was the name He wanted it called. The Church of the Upper Room was what He told me to name it. Over a period of time, He's given me other specific details of what the ministry will look like. At its core, it will be "a ministry unto an audience of One." There will be peculiar differences between it and how a lot of other churches operate. For one, worship will look different. Instead of a team of people standing on a stage and looking out over a congregation; whoever worships by playing instruments and singing, will do so with the congregation on the floor, with everybody facing the same direction. The architecture of the building will be so that there will be a slight descent on the floor starting from the entrance of the sanctuary to the front. This will be accomplished to take more emphasis off worship watching to truly ministering before an audience of One.
 

I've yet to write out a mission statement for this church, but it will be fundamentally set to reach the 7 different spheres of influence in society:
 

 Family
 Religion / Church
 Education
 Government
 Media (Communication)
 Celebration (Arts, Entertainment, and Sports)
 Economics (Business, Science, and Technology

 

The church will do this by:

 1. Supporting missions and organizations dedicated to advancing God's kingdom in each of these realms.

 2. Installing, equipping, and sending individuals called to minister in each of these spheres.


On a grassroots level, The Church of the Upper Room will also be dedicated to serving the needy and homeless of Chattanooga by giving out food once a week on the church's property.


Needless to say, these are huge endeavors. However, one of the largest visions God has given me associated with The Church of the Upper Room is starting a ministry which will physically touch all of Chattanooga and the Tri-State area. It's going to be a 24/6 ministry which will involve Spirit-filled teams working around the clock. It will consist of one phone and a van. Ministering will take place as needed. People may call the number and ask for a visit or whatever is required. These teams will be specifically trained for evangelism and will operate in all the gifts of the Holy Ghost.

 


Eventually, the vision is to equip the teams with body cams and cams in the vehicles and record every time someone is ministered to. I'm thinking of something like the show COPS, but completely ministry related instead. Later, all footage can be sent off to a production company for edit and to make ready for broadcasting and a later date.



So as you can tell, this vision will cost a ton of money to launch and sustain. I even have an idea for building a few apartments on the property of the church to house a few team members. I have my eye on one particular piece of real estate right down the road from the Chattanooga Community Kitchen. What's strange is that half the building itself currently isn't even being used. I expect it to go for sale one day eventually. And when it does, I believe God has designated it to be to the home of The Church of the Upper Room and its associated auspices.


So that's it. Those are the bare bones of what I believe God is calling not only myself to but many others as well. What's beautiful is that there are already ministries and churches already on the scene. And many, I believe, will come and flow with what God wants to do here. Whether that's preachers, worship leaders, urban missionaries, or whoever else. It's the perfect time for God to send out laborers because what Jesus said about the fields being ripe already for harvest is true. To Him be the glory!


In another article, I will write a new post on how I believe God wants to partly fund the ministry I've spoken about here and others who are about the Father's business. Please keep reading and stay tuned for more on Abba's heart. Stay blessed!

 
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