Thursday, October 28, 2010

Speaking to the Rock

I heard a familiar passage on my way to work this morning and it got me thinking.

In Exodus 17, we read about how the Israelites were thirsty in the desert with no water to drink. They got mad at Moses, Moses asked God what to do, and God told Moses to strike the rock. Moses obeyed and water came rushing out.

Then in Numbers 20, we find the same situation again. Thirsty Israelites murmuring and complaining to Moses. Moses goes to God, and God tells him to SPEAK to the rock. However, Moses disobeyed and struck the rock with his rod as before. Water flowed, but Moses was disallowed from entering into the Promised Land.

This story is rich with foreshadowing. The rock is a picture of Christ Jesus. The Promised Land is a picture of heaven. When Moses struck the rock the first time and water flowed out, it was a picture of the crucifixion.

The rock only needed to be struck once; then it only needed to be spoken too. Jesus was crucified once, and that was more than sufficient and now we only need to speak to Him for forgiveness of sins, healing for our brokenness, and the water of everlasting life.

But there are many who live dangerously and continue to strike the rock again and again and again. Hebrews 6:4-6 says "For [it is] impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, (5) And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, (6) If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put [him] to an open shame."

In essence, this passage is saying "Those who turn away from God after walking with Him crucify Christ all over again." Many Christians would say "Oh, but that's not me. I haven't turned away from God." But consider...

Galatians 3:10 - "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." In short, Paul is saying that if you choose to live under the law rather than by faith in the redemptive work of Christ, you are cursed because it is impossible for man to keep all of the 613 commandments in the Old Testament.

Galatians 1:8 - "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." What is Paul talking about here? If anyone preaches any gospel other than Christ Jesus, he is cursed. The belief that you need to accept Christ AND keep the law is just that; another gospel. It is a gospel other than what Christ Jesus and the New Testament laid out for us. It is striking the rock.

When we add to the redemptive work of the cross by believing we have to attain righteousness by the law also, we are striking the rock when we need only to speak to it. We are disobeying God's word and crucifying our savior all over again. We are saying that His grace isn't sufficient and that we have to attain salvation by our good works. That is a false gospel and a very, very dangerous one.

Moses struck the rock when he only needed to speak to it, and he wasn't allowed into the Promised Land because of it. I don't know about you, but that is a sobering thought. If we strike the rock instead of speak to it; if we add to the gospel by believing "law + grace" instead of putting our absolute faith in the final, redemptive work of Christ at Calvary; we are cursed; we can't enter the Promised Land. (Don't get mad at me; get mad at Paul the Apostle!)

As kind of a rabbit trail, I've also pondered why we do this? Why do we as humans try and take the work of redemption on ourselves rather than leaving it up to the grace of God? I think at the end of the day, it boils down to the root of all human sin; pride. If we can get to heaven by "accepting Christ AND keeping the law" we've "earned" our salvation; we've done OUR part. When really, we have no part. We have grace. And grace is all we need. But we humans have this tendency to make everything about ourselves; we love to feel important. But when it comes to salvation, we are insignificant; it's all about Him and what He did on the cross for us. Anything more than that is sin.

Matthew 9:10-13
Martin Luther's Commentary on Galatians 3

Monday, March 8, 2010

My latest sermon uploaded

I got my sermon from Saturday night uploaded. Feel free to give it a listen. It's called "Daddy, Fix It." Feel free to stream, download, and share with your friends and family. God bless!

Click HERE to check it out.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I am playing worship at a youth camp in Sun Valley at the end of this month. I'm really excited about it. Last night I was on Facebook and came across some pictures of the facilities up there...and it's beautiful. One shot of of a log-cabin style building instantly took me back to my childhood.

Every August from as early as I can remember meant campmeeting. Our church would hold an old-fashioned tent revival church camp every August in Smith's Ferry, Idaho. The services were done in a big tent and the log-cabin church was used for prayer meetings and bathrooms. God always moved in awesome, wondrous ways. I can remember seeing the crippled get up out of their wheelchairs and walk. One year there was even a man miraculously healed during a heart attack. Brother Gene Haskins. Towards the end of an evening service he started having a heart attack. He stumbled up to the front, and immediately a bunch of guys held him up and began praying. All of a sudden, the threw both hands up in the air and started praising God and running around.

For those who've never been around this type of thing, I'm sure I sound like a loon. I like to think that I'm a skeptical person, not just accepting everything as something from God. But I've known this man practically my whole life. I saw the fear on his face, the paleness of his skin. I watched him stumble forward. I knew about his heart condition prior to this miraculous event. And I watched as God healed him.

So the question to be asked; does God still move like that? Why did such amazing healings, signs and wonders occur at church camp but don't seem to happen all that often today? My answer; they occasionally do, and the frequency could dramatically increase if we understood why campmeeting was so uniquely special. The reason is faith and expectation.

Man, God has taught me a ton about faith over the last few years. My definition of the word has been COMPLETELY overhauled several times, and I think I'm finally figuring out what it is. But that's fodder for another blog post; or perhaps an entire book (although many books on the topic have already been written and the book of a completely different topic I've started working on has only seen 5 pages written in the last 6 months). But campmeeting was amazing and powerful because we had faith and expectation that it was going to be.

People came to church camp with one purpose in mind; renewing their physical and spiritual selves. Mornings and evenings were spent receiving the Word and God's spiritual blessings. Days and nights were filled with fellowship, laughter, and food. Oh Ol' Brother Boots Shell used to make a buckaroo breakfast every year on Friday morning, the last day of church camp. He was an authentic cowboy. And he made some of the best sourdough pancakes I've ever eaten. Then there was the abundance of hot dogs and ketchup after the evening service, roasted over a fire.

Then all of us kids would play hide and seek in the dark around the playground area. And of course, you can't have teenage kids in the dark without romance. Matter of fact, I had my first kiss at church camp. But I digress...

People got away from the hustle and bustle of life. It's almost impossible to be stressed out when you leave the rat race and get up into the pines and mountains and see all the beauty God created. When people got away and left the busyness and stressfulness of life behind them in the valley and came up to meet with God, God always met with them.

God is no respecter of persons, and I would dare step out and say that He's no respecter of places either. I think we can have the same campmeeting experiences, both individually and corporately, if we would put aside the busyness and stressfulness of life and come to God with an expectation of refreshing, renewing, and the miraculous.

I don't think this has any spiritual significance, but campmeeting ended about the time I graduated high school and we haven't had one since. It's kind of an odd, sad coincidence that something that so perfectly exemplified my youth ended about the time that I "came of age."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Cain, Abel and Christmas MP3

Here's the MP3 of the sermon I preached on Saturday night, December 19, 2009. Find out how Cain, Abel and Christmas relate! Please give it a listen and let me know what you think.

Click on the headphones to listen or the down arrow to download.

Cheers, and God bless!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I'm not the kind of guy who finds demons around every corner. If a rake leaning against a tree falls, it's because the wind blew the tree and it caused the rake to fall. It isn't a sign. The devil didn't push it over. I think sometimes Christians, especially pentecostal Christians, do mare harm than good with the hyper-spiritual, exorcistic mindset, casting demons out of everything and everybody and attributing normal bumps in the road to "attacks of Satan" and so forth.

All that being said, I think many more Christians have a "I don't see it so it doesn't exist" mindset, which is weird considering we believe in God, though most have never seen Him. And I think this mindset is even more dangerous. There is a very real spirit realm and simply because we don't see it, does not mean it doesn't exist or doesn't affect us.

Furthermore, I would submit that this reality we live in is in fact a shadow of the spirit world. There are angels and demons that exist in the spirit world that we can't see with the natural eye. They have an ability to interfere or influence the lives and affairs of man, but because we don't see them, we often don't think they're there.

Why am I talking about demons and the spirit realm? Because we've had a recent encounter and I need to first and foremost glorify God and testify of His goodness, and second of all, because our experience and the truths gleaned from it can and do apply to the lives of others and I believe there are important lessons to be learned.

We have had no peace for the last several weeks in our home. Quinn hasn't been sleeping at night. We've had round after round of sickness in our home. Nobody has been sleeping well due to the sickness, sick babies, etc. Lack of sleep and the stresses of finances, children and life in general have overwhelmed us. Everyone has been cranky, snapping at one another, filled with anxiety, frustration, bitterness, etc.

This does not sound at all like God, does it? But it's flu season, so the sickness makes sense. The economy sucks, so the financial struggle makes sense. The kids have been sick and really busy with the holidays and stuff, so the lack of sleep and late nights make sense. All of this added up makes us cranky, frustrated and full of anxiety and stress. It all makes sense. Everything is accounted for.

Well all that changed two nights ago. Quinn went to bed Sunday night and went to sleep just fine. At 1:30AM, about two and a half hours after going to sleep, he woke up screaming. Brooke went in, loved on him, sat with him and rocked in the chair and put him back in bed once he had fallen back to sleep. He instantly woke up, started screaming and wanted out of his crib. Brooke said "I love you, but you need to go to sleep. Now lay down, okay?" And she left the room. She stood outside his bedroom door as he screamed and suddenly, his scream changed. It went from an upset toddler to a petrified, terrified little boy. And suddenly, Brooke heard other voices in his room. She immediately went in and he was screaming, rubbing his head saying "Owie! Owie!"

Again, we aren't the kind of people who see demons around every corner, and we certainly don't want to give Satan more credit than he deserves. But this was obviously a demonic attack and not just a frustrated, over-tired toddler.

Brooke came and got me and asked me to come in and pray. When I walked in the room, I didn't feel anything. I didn't feel any eerie presence. No goosebumps. No hairs standing on end. But I sat with Quinn and held him as he trembled, and we decided to bring him to bed with us. But before we did, I wanted to pray. I began to pray, but felt no eerie presence. Until I started rebuking and binding Satan and his demons. That's when whatever it was showed up. And it made the hairs on my neck stand up. And it didn't go away. As I began to pray against it, the baby who was sleeping in our bedroom began to scream.

We took Quinn back to bed with us, but I didn't feel the issue was resolved and none of us slept well. In fact after I finally went back to sleep, I had a horrible nightmare that instantly woke me up and kept me awake for another few hours. When I got up for work, I went to the kitchen to make coffee, and still felt eerie.

I called my mom, told her what had happened, and asked her and Dad to come over after work and pray with us over our home. That evening when they came over, we anointed to doorposts of our home and bedrooms, Quinn's bed and room, and we began to pray. After we prayed, we all felt a peace that we hadn't had in weeks.

Quinn went to sleep last night at 8PM. After putting him down so peacefully and easily, I called my mom to tell her and Dad and to thank them for praying. My mom then told me when they left our house, she asked my dad "Did you feel anything when you walked in there?" My dad said "No. Nothing. Until I started praying and called it out. Then it showed up." And I know exactly what he was talking about...right in the middle of his prayer, that same eerie feeling rose up and every hair on my body stood on end. Whatever this demonic spirit was, it's assignment was to hide its presence and it only "came out" to terrorize my son at night or when we directly called it out.

We prayed, cast it out, and it didn't return. We all slept great last night. Quinn slept from 8PM to 915AM without waking up once. We all felt an amazing peace that hadn't been there in weeks.

God taught me several valuable lessons through all of this.
#1. Don't discount the spiritual realm; it is very real and can and does affect our lives.

#2. Don't always just assume that the sicknesses and sleepless toddlers are attributed to natural causes. It very well could be the work of Satan, and we as God's children have authority and power. Jesus said in Luke 10:19 "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you."

#3. There is massive amounts of power in several people praying in agreement together. Whatever this thing was, I didn't cast it out when I prayed. But when we called in reinforcements and all prayed together, it left and didn't return. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says "And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken." The power of prayer exponentially increases when we join with other believes and "agree as touching any one thing. (Matthew 18:19)"

One more thing...There are rules and laws for the spirit realm just as there are in the physical. That demonic spirit had no legal right to be in our home. He was violating the spiritual law, and as such, had to leave when we cast him out. Had we had some kind of unconfessed secret sin in our lives that allowed the demon in, he wouldn't have to leave because by our sinful actions, we allowed him in. Since that was not the case and he "snuck" in somehow, perhaps "piggybacking" in on someone else or something, he had to leave when we confronted him.

So in closing, when you experience something in life that just doesn't seem right, realize that it might be a demonic attack. Search your heart for unconfessed, unrepented sin. If there is sin, get rid of it by turning from it and asking God's forgiveness. If there is not, then the demon has come against you illegally. You have absolute authority and power to vanquish it. However, if by praying you cannot, call in reinforcements. Have other believers join you and agree with you in prayer against the enemy and cast him out.

Here's a flowchart I made (just for fun).

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Sickness

Ugh. It's been a miserable few weeks. I came down with the swine flu the weekend of man-camping back in October. After being sick for a week, I got over that and caught bronchitis. I was finally feeling healthy, and have now caught some kind of cold/cough thing again.

My kids have been sick a lot too. We've been stressed with finances, stressed with sickness, stressed with lack of time, just stressed in general. Yet through it all, God has been good to us. He has been our rock. He has been my strength. He's given me great grace to make it through.

He's given me joy so that I could lead others in worship. He's given me peace so that I could minister His word. He's given us a heart to give and even in our lack, He's given us the means to be givers.

That's great spiritual insight or wisdom today. Just a quiet smile and a "thank you" to my Heavenly Father for all His goodness to me, even in my temper tantrums and faithless fits.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Spider on the pantry door

God has a funny way of reminding me of things. I pray this blesses you as it blessed me.

My son Quinn is obsessed with cookies. He is forever going to the pantry and asking "Cookie? Cookie?"

Quinn is also terrified of spiders for some reason.

I went into the kitchen after discussing the bills/finances with my wife. I've been stressing a little bit about money this month and especially so today. Well, I went into the kitchen and saw a spider on the pantry door and laughed to myself "Well that will keep Quinn away from the pantry!"

Then I thought "How mean...what kind of father would I be to give my son a spider when he asked for a cookie."

Whoa. Matthew 7:11 "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"

God is never late with provision, and when I ask my heavenly Father for the things I need, He will not give me a spider instead. And when I get down and whiny, He uses funny things like my son's love of cookies and fear of spiders to remind me of His goodness.