Mercy Falls Like Rain

Excerpt from my book  Mercy Falls Like Rain.

Another story worth recalling comes from America’s founder, Christopher Columbus. The following quote is a glimpse into Christopher’s destiny and dedication to his Savior the Lord Jesus. On August 3, 1492 he set sail for the New World which became known as America! His desire to sail began at an early age and before he sailed to America, he had sailed for forty years every place possible. Columbus kept strict documentation and writings for all his travels and things dear to his heart. One such writing came from his Libro de las profecias (Book of Prophecies). The following are some excerpts from these writings which he wrote after Queen Isabella of Castille and King Ferdinand of Aragon granted him permission to set sail looking for the New World.

“I prayed to the most merciful Lord about my heart’s great desire, and He gave me the spirit and the intelligence for the task: seafaring, astronomy, geometry, arithmetic, skill in drafting spherical maps and placing correctly the cities, rivers, mountains and ports. I also studied cosmology, history, chronology and philosophy.

It was the Lord who put into mind (I could feel His hand upon me) the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies. All who heard of my project rejected it with laughter, ridiculing me.

There was no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because he comforted me with rays of marvelous illumination from the Holy Scriptures, a strong and clear testimony from the 44 books of the Old Testament, from the four Gospels, and from the 23 Epistles of the blessed Apostles, encouraging me continually to press forward, and without ceasing for a moment they now encourage me to make haste.

Our Lord Jesus desired to perform a very obvious miracle in the voyage to the Indies, to comfort me and the whole people of God. I spent seven years in the royal court, discussing the matter with many persons of great reputation and wisdom in all the arts; and in the end they concluded that it was all foolishness, so they gave it up.

But since things generally came to pass that were predicted by our Savior Jesus Christ, we should also believe that this particular prophecy will come to pass. In support of this, I offer the gospel text, Matt. 24:25, in which Jesus said that all things would pass away, but not his marvelous Word. He affirmed that it was necessary that all things be fulfilled that were prophesied by himself and by the prophets.

I said that I would state my reasons: I hold alone to the sacred and Holy Scriptures, and to the interpretations of prophecy given by certain devout persons.

It is possible that those who see this book accuse me of being unlearned in literature, of being a layman and a sailor. I reply with the words of Matt. 11:25: “Lord, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hath revealed them unto babes.”

The Holy Scripture testifies in the Old Testament by our Redeemer Jesus Christ, that the world must come to an end. The signs of when this must happen are given by Matthew, Mark and Luke. The prophets also predicted many things about it.

Our Redeemer Jesus Christ said that before the end of the world, all things must come to pass that had been written by the prophets.

The prophets wrote in various ways. Isaiah is the one most praised by Jerome, Augustine, and by the other theologians. They all say that Isaiah was not only a prophet, but an evangelist as well. Isaiah goes into great detail in describing future events and in calling all people to our holy catholic faith. Most of the prophecies of Holy Scripture have been fulfilled already…

I am most unworthy sinner, but I have cried out to the Lord for grace and mercy, and they have covered me completely. I have found the sweetest consolations since I made it my whole purpose to enjoy His marvelous presence.

For the execution of the journey to the Indies I did not make use of intelligence, mathematics or maps. It is simply the fulfillment of what Isaiah had prophesied. All this is what I desire to write down for you in this book.

No one should fear to undertake any task in the name of our Savior, if it is just and if the intention is purely for His holy service. The working out of all things has been assigned to each person by our Lord, but it all happens according to His sovereign will even though He gives advice.

He lacks nothing that it is in the power of men to give him. Oh what a gracious Lord, who desires that people should perform for Him those things for which He holds Himself responsible! Day and night moment by moment, everyone should express to Him their most devoted gratitude.

I said that some of the prophecies remained yet to be fulfilled. These are great and wonderful things for the earth, and the signs are that the Lord is hastening the end. The fact that the gospel must sill be preached to so many lands in such a short time, this is what convinces me” (footnote: America’s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations; by William J. Federer, pages 113-115)

 

Mercy Falls Like Rain

Performance Trap (July 17, 2017)

2 Timothy 4:6-8 “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

Paul is writing this letter while imprisoned in Rome. As history portrays, he had expected to be released but with his circumstances before him, he is now looking forward to his death.  He was alone except for the disciple Luke with him. The books of Timothy were written to encourage, particularly Timothy, his spiritual son. He had invested much time and teaching into Timothy, wanting only to duplicate himself and encourage Timothy to go beyond even what Paul was able to accomplish for Christ.

Remember the Paul before his conversion and love for Christ? He killed many believers and followers of Christ and was certain his actions were exactly what the Heavenly Father wanted of him. Had it not been for the divine intervention and conversion, his life would have continued down the road of murder for the sake of his cause. Paul’s life, conversion and transformation is an extraordinary example of the God of second chances in the way of “mercy.” Was Paul’s performance and character in life without flaw? Absolutely not! That is clear from what we know of his before Christ and after Christ actions. His heart and soul had become tender and submitted to Christ’s leading. Basically, it took Christ speaking to him asking him why he was being a murderer. Paul knew without a doubt it was the voice of Christ. Then the Holy Spirit proceeded to knock him down from his transportaion and the light of Holy Spirit was so bright he was blinded by it for three days. Now that is one way to get someone’s attention that’s killing others. Why do you suppose the Heavenly Father would choose such a man as Paul to lead others to his Son, Christ? Was he worthy? Was his character flawless? Was is performance at his job (as a murderer) well done and appropriate? Was his heart tender and compassionate? If Paul were alive today and you could ask him yourself these questions, his response may be something as follows:

“Absolutely not!! Although, I did exactly what I thought was right. Based on what knowledge I had of God and my destiny, I performed my job well. My zeal to perform well and my mindset of what I thought was right overshadowed Truth. My upbringing, learning and culture influenced me in such a way I was absolutely convinced I was doing the right thing by killing believers of Christ. It took God himself speaking to me, being knocked to the ground and blinded for three days to convince me I was a scoundrel and definitely not doing what the Heavenly Father wanted of me. I knew after that awakening I better get my act together and listen to what the Heavenly Father, Christ and the Holy Spirit wanted instead of being driven by my own zeal, passion and what I thought was right. I knew if I had not heeded that experience and taken it seriously, my life may have ended quicker than necessary.”

Now the above reply of Paul is of course my own impression of what he might say if asked today and it may not be exactly, but it’s probably fairly accurate at least in concept. The trap of performing well in whatever we do and making our performance the security we rest our character, identity and destiny upon is nothing short of dangerous. It was dangerous in Paul’s era and it’s dangerous in today’s society. But we promote the “performance mindset” all the time. Now doing a great job and your best is by far the goal, however the trap we get into is the security of our identity and view of self being based fully on our performance.  This should not be so. Our character is far more important to the Heavenly Father than our performance and our identity is based on what Christ says and thinks about us. Just read the love story of Song of Solomon and you will see this more clearly.

Read 2 Timothy 4:6-8 again. Paul states who he is because of what Christ did for him and who Christ says he is. This is apparent when he says “I fought the good fight, I’ve finished the race, I’ve kept the faith and the crown of righteousness is laid up for me.” So a murderer submitted his life to Christ and allowed his love to lead him, transform his heart attitude, break his mold of performance trap, turn his mindsets upside down, and plant a heart of compassion and tenderness where there was murder and condemnation. We all need a good reality dose to look at ourselves from Christ perspective and ask him to show us where we have allowed “performance to be our anchor, stability, security, identity rather than what Christ perspective and identity is of us. Clearly, from the story of Paul, we will and do make mistakes. There is forgiveness and mercy for us. He does not define us by a wonderful performance or our horrible mistakes. He reads our heart and washes over us with his mercy and love. He is Perfect Love and when you are touched by such a love as Christ, it compels you to do your best because he leads well and you want to please him and be more like him. He does not condemn you when you fall nor say you will never have another chance. Look at Paul! His life of transformation, correction, mercy and love is someone we can learn from.

Forerunner Consumed with Vision

As the end of 2016 came to a close, I prayed much about the vision for 2017. Many wise and prophetic people have said this is a “year of great change” and “alignment with heavens perspective” is crucial. With this on my mind for weeks, I took a trip to Storehouse-Dallas House of Prayer for some prophetic insight and encouragement yesterday morning. I received exactly what I had hoped from the Lord…confirmation of vision, direction, and encouragement. The Lord is faithful when He says “if you seek me with your whole heart, I will be found by you.”  Thank you Storehouse!

 Everything spoke to me during this ministry time. One thing in particular said was that I am a forerunner. That is not new information to me, but being reminded brought relief and understanding as to why I have been feeling the way I have. I believe many of you reading this are forerunners. I want to encourage you to embrace the vision God has given you for your life no matter how difficult or far away the vision may seem. He has not forgotten you and needs you to fulfill your part. As a forerunner, you will feel alone at times. You feel a bit like what happened in the Narnia adventure…you walk through a secret doorway that is only meant for you to walk through into this beautiful garden of adventure you have only seen in your dreams. It is the kind of vision that you hold dear to your heart and dare not share with those who can not see the vision as you do. It’s actually the place where your destiny is birthed and transformed. Even though you stand alone at times, continue to stand. Find those places of prayer, encouragement and comfort like the Storehouse was for me yesterday when the well seems dry. The fuel you need to continue is attainable and not far away. Search it out. You will be refreshed. This blog is dedicated to all the forerunners who are full of vision. Let’s run together in 2017! 

You Are My Beloved, Now Believe It

Have you ever longed to experience a love so profound and perfect it leaves your heart restored with vision, purpose, and identity? Have you ever experienced a love so perfect your soul was flooded with passion for life and a clarity of your destiny and why you were created? Have you felt disappointed time after time with human love and broken promises?

If you have any degree of this longing for perfect love or an aching in your heart for answers to your soul’s cry to be loved deeply and perfectly, I encourage you to take a walk with me through the pages of You Are My Beloved, Now Believe It. This is a book for all people with any faith in any walk of life. If you are alive and breathing, this book is for you! Life is a journey, and to know a perfect love that speaks to your soul unconditional love, value, worth, identity and destiny is something more valuable than gold.

As a Mental Health Counselor, I have found so many people do not understand who they are, why they were created, what their destiny is, or how much they are loved. The quest to seek truth and provide answers to all these questions led me to write this book. As you open your heart to the pages, you will be refreshed and transformed on your journey to life.

I have also published a devotional study guide to go along with the book, written for individuals or group settings. Both book and study guide can be found on Amazon.com. The book can be found on Tate Publising website. I would love to hear from you and the inspiration this book has impressed upon you as you read.

Enjoy the journey!

Mercy Falls Like Rain

Grace and Mercy have Kissed

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”  Ephesians 2:4-7

Christ pours out His mercy over and over again, strengthening us for the race set before us. The strength to overcome is His unstoppable grace. Because of His mercy, we have been given His grace. They are intertwined and woven together working always for our benefit, even when we do not realize they are at work. Think of mercy and grace’s interaction together in comparison to a sailboat. A sailboat cannot sail without the wind. The sailboat is at the mercy of the wind. But without the actual sail being hoisted in the right position and turned at the perfect angle, the sailboat has little strength which is the grace. Mercy and grace always work together. In fact, mercy propels us to seek the grace (strength) to continue. Mercy brings encouragement where there has been devastation. Mercy brings restoration and life. Why would we want to give up on life and God’s love when we continuously see His mercy poured over us. His mercy gives jump start to His incredible grace (strength).