Friday, June 23, 2017

Golden Nuggets with Minister Fitz Houston

Now you can catch up on all of the LIVE online fellowship /bible study lessons from Minister Fitz Houston's Golden Nuggets LIVE, which is produced on Youtube and shared to Google +, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter six days a week. All lessons are archived, amen. See you there! God bless!

Golden Nuggets Daily Bible Study Playlist with Min. Fitz Houston - Click here!

For sample lesson - click below!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Homosexuality in the Bible: The Truth Can Set You Free

In January 2012, the Lord put this bible study in my spirit. It was overwhelming at first because of the controversial topic. The more I thought it was someone else job to put this study together, the louder the Holy Spirit revealed to me that I am the one to do it.  Then I thought about it, Jesus was controversial - controversial because He was all about the truth - painfully truthful.  And the truth he spoke was controversial because many couldn't handle the truth.  It's the same today. So out of obedience, I deliver this bible study to you.

(1 Cor.6:9-10) “Don’t you know that those who do wrong will have no share in the Kingdom of God?  Don’t fool yourselves.. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshippers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, abusers and swindlers – none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God.”

(Matt. 19:4-6) – “And He (Jesus) answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read  that He who made me at the beginning made them MALE  and FEMALE,”  and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh?  So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

(1 Thess.4:3-5) –  God wants you to be holy, so you should keep clear of all sexual sin.  Then each of you will control your body, and live in holiness and honor. – not in lustful passion as the pagans do, in their ignorance of God and His ways.”

 First of all, before I begin, let me make it perfectly clear that this bible study is not a debate but a detailed lesson on what the Bible states about homosexuality, so that by the end of this lesson,  you will truly understand how God looks at the homosexual life-style.  That’s the most important thing. Some lawmakers are working around the clock to pass one proposition after another in the attempt to support and justify homosexuality as an acceptable alternative behavior.  Books explaining homosexual relationships have been on the library shelves in our elementary schools since the early 1990’s.  And now, at the time of the taping of this lesson 20 years later, several school districts are in the process of having this homosexuality added to their health subject curriculum and expecting the teachers to teach the kids that  homosexual behavior is an acceptable alternative, whether they believe it or not.

As you can see from my text, homosexuality is listed as just one of many sins.  What makes it such a big deal with Christians is that, unlike all of the other sins listed, the gay community is lobbying to make this sin an acceptable practice. We don’t see mass murderers lobbying to pass a law that they have a right to kill whomever they wish, so what makes homosexuality different?   Homosexuals hold powerful positions in almost every arena which turns into influential power and political power.   This makes Christians defensive and feel  like we are being forced to accept homosexuality as a “normal” lifestyle.  And that is indeed what is happening if the laws of the land eventually pass more and more laws supporting same sex marriages and other homosexual practices.   That would put Christians in the same situation as Lot living in Sodom (Gen.19:1-27), surrounded by sexual perversions all around.  Yet he and his family were spared when God came and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of their perverted practices.

Now with all that said, Christians should not judge homosexuals but instead pray that homosexuals will see the light (the truth) and turn from their sinful ways.  It is not our job to judge.  And that is what this bible study is about, the truth.  (John 8:31-32) “..”if you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.  And you shall know the truth and the truth  shall make you free.”

Jesus also made it clear that since no one is perfect, no one has a right to judge anyone else. 

(Rom.3:23) “For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”

(James 4:11-12) “Do not speak evil to one another brethren.  He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law.  But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.   There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and destroy.  Who are you to judge?”

(Rom.2:1-3) “You may be saying, ‘What terrible people you have been talking about!” But you are just as bad, and you have no excuse!  When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you do these very same things (sin).    And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things.  Do you think God will judge and condemn others for doing them and not judge you when you do them too?”

In the New Testament, the familiar example of how man is not to be the one to judge is in (John 8:1-5, 7,9-11) “Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple.  A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them.  As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and Pharisees brought a woman they had caught in the act of adultery.  They put her in front of the crowd.  ‘Teacher!” they said to Jesus, ‘this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her.  What do you say?’  (v7) They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, ‘All right, stone her, but let those who have never sinned throw the first stone!’  (v.9)When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest until Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. (v10)Then Jesus stood up again and said to her, ‘Where are your accusers?  Didn’t even one of them condemn you?’(v11) ‘No, Lord,” she said.  And Jesus said, “Neither do I, go and sin no more.”’

Here Jesus made two distinct points.  Yes, He recognized that she is a sinner because he said, “Go and sin no more.”  But at the same time, He made it clear that the accusers had no right to judge because there is no one who is without sin as mentioned in Rom.3:23.

It is our job as Christians to share what the Word of God says about the homosexual live-style and then pray that they will come to understand that Word and then seek to get their life back in line with God.  As far as the Bible is concerned, as mentioned in my text, homosexuality is a sin which led to severe consequences in the Old testament and a strong warning is issued in the New Testament.

The example the consequence of homosexuality in the Old Testament is the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gamorrah.  These cities were destroyed on account of their unrepented homosexuality.

(Gen 19:1-13) That evening the two angels came to the entrance of the city of Sodom, and Lot was sitting there as they arrived.  When he saw them, he stood up to meet them.  Then he welcomed them and bowed low to the ground.  “My Lord,” he said, “come to my home to wash your feet, and be my guests for the night.  You may then get up in the morning as early as you like and be on your way again.

“Oh no” they said, “We’ll just spend the night out here in the square.”

But Lot insisted, so at last they went home with him.   He set a great feast before them….After the meal, as they were preparing to retire for the night, all of the men of Sodom, young and old, came from all over the city and surrounded the house.  They shouted to Lot, “Where are the men who have come to spend the night with you?  Bring them out so we can have sex with them!”

Lot stepped outside to talk to them, shutting the door behind him. “Please, my brothers! “ He begged. “Don’t do such a wicked thing.  Look, I have two virgin daughters.  Do with them as you wish, but leave these men alone, for they are under my protection.”

“Stand back!” they shouted. “Who do you think you are?  We let you settle among us, and now you are trying to tell us what to do!  We’ll treat you far worse than those other men!  And they lunged at Lot and began breaking down the door.  But the two angels  reached out and pulled Lot in and bolted the door.  Then they blinded the men of Sodom so they couldn’t find the doorway....Do you have any other relatives her in this city?” the angels asked. “Get them out of this place – sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone else, for we will destroy the city completely.  The stench of this place has reached the Lord and he has sent us to destroy it.  (v17) “Run for your lives!” the angels warned.  “Do not stop anywhere in the valley.  And don’t look back!  Escape to the mountains, or you will die.”   (v23) – The Lord rained down fire and burning sulfur from the heavens on Sodom and Gamorrah.  He utterly destroyed them along with the other cities and villages of the plain, eliminating all life – people, plants and animals alike.”

The example of Sodom and Gamorrah is given as a warning for people of all ages.  God holds homosexuals fully accountable for their sin just as He does all the other sins listed in the Bible.

Now remember, even though this bible study is about homosexuality in the Bible, God hates all sin.  In this lesson, I am focusing on those scriptures that deal with sexual sins because many have been brainwashed into thinking that homosexual behavior is acceptable because we are all God’s children.   NOT!  That is one of the most misquoted statements that can land you in the pit of hell.  Correction – We are all God’s creation but only those who are following Jesus and living according to God’s will can be called God’s children.

So you see, one of the biggest misunderstandings through misrepresentation and miscommunication is there is no such thing as a gay Christian or a gay Christian pastor.   If  the term Christian  means “followers of Christ”, those who follow His will and His way, how can you be a gay Christian or gay Christian pastor if you are not following Christ and have chosen to live a live-style that the New and Old testament call abomination, a sin?  God hates ALL sin.

The world is so quick to justify the sin of homosexuality as a trait at birth that a person cannot change, that it makes the problem worse.   I personally know of two people with two different scenarios who were raised by all women and had no male presence the first several years of their life.  All they knew and saw daily were women.  And you wonder why they had feminine traits.  A boy doesn’t know to be manly unless he’s around a manly man.  But in these cases, instead of finding manly men, secure with their sexuality, in the family or acquaintances, to put in the young man’s presence, the conclusion was quickly made that he must have been born a homosexual.   Other environmental settings have also been known to push a young person towards homosexuality are, painful physical and/or emotional experiences with the opposite sex, incest, growing up in a homosexual household, child abuse from perverted adults seeking to twist and confuse a young mind and peer pressure from other young homosexuals, just to name a few.      

In the secular world, the debate as to whether homosexuality is a learned behavior or a a gene you are born with, is a debate that will go on and on.  However, I'm here to debate.  The purpose of this bible study is not to ignite a debate, but rather to inform all who are interested exactly what the Bible teaches about homosexuality. (John 8:31-32) …”if you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

(Romans 1:18-32) – (v18) “But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who push the truth away from themselves.  (v19) For the truth about God is known to men instinctively.  God has put this knowledge in their hearts.  (v20) From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God.  (v21) Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks.  And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like.  The result was that their minds became dark and confused. (v22) Claiming to be wise, the became utter fools instead.  (v23) And instead of worshipping the glorious ever-living God, they worshipped idols made to look like mere people, or birds and animals and snakes.”  (v24) So God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful things their hearts desired.  As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies.  (v25) Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies.  So they worshipped the things that God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever, Amen.   (v26) That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires.   Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other.  (v27)  And the men, instead of  having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other.  Men did shameful things to other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved. (v28) When they refused to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their evil minds and let them do things that should never be done.  (v29) Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, fighting, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip.  (v.32) They are fully aware of God’s death penalty for those who do these things, yet they go right ahead and do them anyway.  And, worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.”

(Rom.2:4-10,16 )   (v4) “Don’t you realize how kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you?  Or don’t you care?  Can’t you see how kind He has been in giving you time to turn from your sin?  (v5) But you won’t listen.  So you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself because of your stubbornness in refusing to turn from your sin. For there is going to come a day of judgment when God, the just judge of all the world, (v6) will judge all people according to what they have done. (v7) He will give eternal life to those persist in doing what is good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. (v8) But he will pour out His anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and practice evil deeds. (v9) There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on sinning – for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. (v10) But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good – for the Jew first and also for the Gentile.  For God does not show favoritism.  (v16) The day will surely come when God, by Jesus Christ, will judge everyone’s secret life.  This is my message.”
Hope for homosexuals and all other sinners
So you see, regardless of what sin you’ve committed or what kind of sinful life-style you’ve lived in the past, when you accept Jesus Christ and ask Him to be your Lord and Savior, and sincerely mean it, you are forgiven, your slate is wiped clean.  Don’t let the devil try to convince you that it is too late for you to be saved because of the sinful life you’ve lived.  Once you have accepted Him, you are covered by the blood of Jesus and all that was accomplished on the cross.

(1 Cor.6:11) – “There was a time when some of you were just like that, but now your sins have been washed away, and you have been set apart for God. You have been made right with God because of what the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God have done for you.

(Rom.6:1-12)  (v2) “Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?  Or have you forgotten that when we became Christians and were baptized to become one with Christ Jesus, we died with him? (v4) For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism.  And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. (v5) Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised as he was. (v6) Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives.   We are no longer slaves to sin.  (v7) For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. (v8) And since we died with Christ, we know we will also share his new life.  (v9) We are sure of this because Christ rose from the dead, and he will never die again.  Death no longer has any power over him. (v10) He died once to defeat sin, and now he lives for the glory of God. (v11) So you should consider yourselves dead to sin and able to live for the glory of God through Christ Jesus.”

Nobody said it’s going to be easy.  The longer you have lived in sin, the stronger the temptation to return to that life-style.  But the Word has answer for that.

(Rom.6:12-14) (v12) “Do not let sin control the way you live, do not give in to its lustful desires.  Do not let any part of your body become a tool of wickedness, to be used for sinning.  Instead, give yourselves completely to God since you have been given a new life.  And use your whole body as a tool to do what is right for the glory of God.  Sin is no longer your master, for you are no longer subject to the law, which enslaves you to sin.  Instead, you are free by God’s grace.”

So now you know the truth on what the Word says about homosexuality.  Some of you may have learned from this Bible Study and want to get into God’s will.  Some will be convicted and seek God immediately. Still others will half listen, deny all that was shared and go on sinning.  But in all cases, the truth was heard.

(Heb 10:26-31) “…If  we deliberately continue sinning after we have received a full knowledge of the truth, there is no other sacrifice that will cover these sins.  There will be nothing to look forward to but the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies. (v28) Anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  (v29) Think how much more terrible the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God and have treated the blood of the covenant as if it were common and unholy. Such people have insulted and enraged the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to his people. (v30) For we know the One who said,  “I will take vengeance.  I will repay those who deserve it.”  He also said, (v31) “The Lord will judge his own people. It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

If you are a homosexual who is reading this and think everything I just said is a bunch of bologna, at least you now know exactly how you stand with God as you continue down the path of spiritual destruction.  I will continue to pray for all who live by their sinful nature, that you will see the truth and repent before its too late.  If you are a homosexual who is reading this and feel a spiritual battle going on inside, that is your spirit fighting your sinful nature wanting to do the right thing.  You can act right now.  Don't delay!  Don’t be an enemy to God!  It’s not too late to turn you life around right at this very moment.  Whether you read, watched or listened to this Bible Study, you can accept Christ right now, right where you are. 

(Rom 10:9-10) “For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you be saved.  For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right by God, and it is confessing with your mouth that you are saved.”

Repeat this sinner's prayer;  Father God, I come to you right now with a humble heart.  Forgive me for the wrong I’ve done and the wrong I’ve been.  I believe that Jesus is Lord.  I believe that Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead for me and my sins.  And I ask the Lord Jesus Christ into my life to be my Lord and Savior.  And from this day forward, I will not do a single thing in life or make a single decision in life with asking Him for guidance first.  Amen!

Now after saying this prayer of salvation, with sincerity, you are taking the first step toward victory towards a new life.   The Holy Spirit will help you become stronger and stronger in the battle against lust feed by you old sinful ways.  What you have control of is changing the friends, environments, events and thoughts that were a part of your sinful past and replace them with new surroundings that support and nurture your new life walking with Christ.  Such surroundings include attending church regularly, bible studies, small groups, reading the Word regularly, Christian counseling, fellowshipping with other Christians who support your new life and pray for you .  The more you do these activities the stronger God’s light in you will become until you are walking victoriously in your deliverance over your former life-style.  “With God all things are possible.”

So now you know the truth, and the truth can set you free – IF YOU BELIEVE!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Miracle Curve ( a poetic testimony)

The following poem describes a testimony when God moved mightily and saved what could have been a disaster.

Miracle Curve
Driving down the freeway on a very warm day
Up ahead came a very simple curve,
A gust of wind blew my check out the window
I could only watch my check and say, "The nerve!"

My son stopped the car then he put it in reverse
As I sadly watched my check float away,
To the middle of the freeway out of my reach
This was not a good start for my day.

"Can't run across the freeway, I might get hit!"
As I watched cars speeding by.
My only thought was "Please, help me, Lord!"
Then His help quickly came from the sky.

My mouth dropped open as the check floated up
And over all the cars whizzing past,
The real miracle came when the check came down
By my foot - I had my check at last.

I'll never forget the Lord's work that day
Not a single car had to break or swerve.
The Lord's still working in our lives today
As He proved on Miracle Curve.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

God's Favor From Being Obedient ( a testimony)

After several weeks of what seemed like spinning my wheels, I remembered from my prayer journals that whenever blessings seem to stop flowing in my life, that is God's way of letting me know He needs to talk to me, as it was first taught to me and explained in detail in my blog, God Will Get Your Attention.

At this particular time, blessings had stopped to the point where I said, "Okay God! What is it that I am not doing?" or "What am I doing that is not in your will?"    Immediately, God showed me in the spirit how I had gotten complacent about working on getting my two Christian mini-books and two Christian CD projects to the next level of exposure.

I immediately began to pray for guidance as to where to start in this area becuase now we're talking about a lot of money you need on hand to get thing moving towards that next level.  During my prayer, a Christian book publisher called, whom I had tried to reach weeks before. After telling him about my projects, we came to the agreement that he would take my projects on and be my publisher.  In addition, I had levels of expertise in praise and worship and music that would benefit his ministry.  As a result, by bartering, the cost of publishing my projects would be more manageable.

Right after the conversation with the publisher and happy to be back on track with God's assignments, I received two phone calls from my agent with two auditions for the television shows, Watchin' Ellie and Sate of Grace, and was cast in both shows the following day, praise God.

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these THINGS will be added to you", immediately came to mind to remind me that as long as we are obedient to God leading and living our lives seeking to keep God's will and purpose for our lives in mind, then the blessings that follow are God's way of saying, "Well done my good and faithful servant."

May we all seek to stay tuned in to God's guidance that we may be used mightily in His work in helping spread the gospel throughout the world.

God's Favor at the Car Dealership (a testimony)

Many years ago, while writing one of my mini-books entitled, "Your Life, Your Testimony, I remember thinking I don't know what to write in this book.  At the time I hadn't realized the importance of keeping track of all the ways the Lord has moved in your life and the power of inspiration a testimony can have on someone.  In fact, that book has yet to be released because the Lord instructed me to wait until I've written a number of testimonies that He wants me to add to the book.

Suddenly, the Lord gave me the realization that one of the main reasons He delivers us from one situation to another is so that we can share our testimony with others who may be blessed and encouraged by how the Lord's blessings are apparent everywhere we go if we slow down long enough to recognize them.

This testimony is about a time when both of the cars my wife and I drive broke down with major repairs needed to the point where we just decided to give one of the cars to charity and pray for funds to get the other car a new engine, if needed.

A new engine, in this particular case , was estimated to cost no less than $1300.  Until then, my wife and I were forced to either rent cars for work assignments or catch the bus, which is enough to test anyone's religion.

A frustrating cycle began, I would get a job assignment, rent a car to get there, get paid for the job and then watch much of the hard earned money disappear going to the cost of the rental car.  How was I going to save $1300 for a new engine or save $1,000 down payment for a new car if all the money available to be saved was constantly being eaten up by the cost of renting cars.

I applied for a car loan online just to see what I could qualify for.  My credit rating wasn't the best so the results came back with a qualification that I had been approved but with a whopping 23% interest rate attached.  Ouch!  So I just sighed and filed the information away.

Finally, after a few more weeks one weekend, I told my wife, "That's it!  Were getting out of this rental car situation.   I saw several job assignments ahead but I also saw how much of my money was going to be spent on the rental car.

So I went first to a used car lot where I had seen several very nice looking used cars and , in the past, had encountered a very friendly salesman who garanteed me that he could work with me on any kind of credit.

The problem I was facing on this venture was that I had no money to put down on anything that day because of the upcoming rental car bill, but I could get the down payment paid throughout the month.

So on this day, a different and less cordial salesman ran my credit check and came back laughing.

"Ah, have you looked at your credit report lately?" he smirked.

"No, but I'm sure you're about to tell me," I replied.

"There is NO WAY we can put you in a car on this lot for less than $2,000 down today.   You're too much of a risk."

 "Well, thanks anyway!" I told him, and he walked away.

I knew my credit wasn't the best in the world but the way he laughed at my rating really rubbed me he wrong way.  So feeling a little frustrated, I headed back to my rental car.

As I was about to get in the rental car, the Lord told me to turn around, go back and write down all the cars I like on this lot.  Learning many years ago what happens when you are not obedient to the Lord's voice, I pulled out a piece of paper and pen, went back onto the carlot and ended up with a nice list of 14 cars that I liked on this lot.

The salesman was looking at me the whole time like I was crazy, probably thinking, "Why is this man writing down what he likes if can't afford to get any car on this lot?"

Now from this point on, everything else about that day seemed surreal to me.  It was almost like I just came along for the ride.

I went home and told my wife to get dressed, we're getting a car today.  She, of course, looked at me like, "Do you know something I don't know?"  Actually, I was acting with a frightening confidence which even I didn't understand at the time.

I went into my file cabinet, pulled out the approved online car loan, jumped in the rental car and off we went on our way to driving down a part of Van Nuys BL that we in the San Fernando Valley call "dealership row."

As we approached, looking only a cheap new car or medium-priced used car, we saw a cute car marked $7999 and stopped as if that was the car to get.   I got out of the rental car to examine the used car more closely.   All the white collar salesmen gave me this judgmental ''once-over", obviously concluding that I was probably going to waste their time.  So, as a result, they sent a young black rookie salesman to come help me.

"Yes, sir!" I greeted,"I need car today.!"

The young rookie salesman was obviously shaken that he didn't need to use his sales pitch greeting.  He showed me a 2003 version of the same car that made us stop in the first place. After a short test drive, I said, "We'll take it."

Now the fun begins.  I was immediately passed to a more experienced white salesman, who ignored me earlier, whose main job was obviously to close the deal.  For the next two hours, he kept coming up with all kinds of down paymemt options.  However, no matter how many times I said it, he wasn't hearing my repeated statement that "I don't have anything to give you today."

Finally, with the threat that we were about to leave and come back at another time, the salesman left and came back and said, "I've figured out how to put you in a car today.  Give me two checks to ut on hold until you tell us to deposit each one and you've got a car.

"No problem!" I said, "Now that's what I'm talking about!  Praise the Lord!"

Over the next hour, all the paperwork was processed and completed and we drove off the lot with a nice 2000 Dodge Neon which was $2000 higher than our original choice.   However, the dealership knocked $700 off the price of the car so that it would fit into my loan application requirements.  Praise God again for favor.

God truly showed up in the dealership that day.  Coming into the dealership, the only thing I knew for sure that day was the fact that I had no money to put down that day but I had faith that somebody was going to sell us a car, at some dealership that day.

The salesman's original attitude was telling me there was NO WAY I could drive off the lot with a car with no down payment that day.  I guess he thought I was joking when I said, "I HAVE NO MONEY TO GIVE YOU TODAY!"  But when I said, "Then we'll just have to come back at another time", all of a sudden, the saleman made everything work.

Now, in reality, you and I know that it was the Lord making everything work, praise God!  When salesmen want a sale they usually work with you to a point, as long as they have something to gain. But normally, once the advantage is not theirs, they don't want to deal with you.

In reflecting on the blessings of that day, I realized that from the time the Lord told me to write down a list of cars I liked on the other lot, to when we drove off the second car lot, the Lord was in total control.  Never once did I listen to the salesman tell me what I couldn't do.  Never once did I doubt and ask the Lord what He was doing.  I felt an incredible peace the entire time.  I just confessed my desire, believed I'd have a car by the end of the day and watched the Lord do His thing, "making the impossible a possibility."

Then I thought, why can't I apply this to everything in life, put it all in God's hands.  So many times, I've confessed something and then doubted I could really get it.  Once you doubt, you've recalled your request to God because your doubt is really doubting God can bring it to pass.

I share all my testimonies with you in the hopes that they can inspire you with the comfort of knowing God is with us everywhere we go and ready to help us any time.  However, if we don't ask Him for help or don't put it all in His hands, then we are standing in our own way and blocking the very blessings God is trying to get to us.

May we all strive forever to be obedient to God's voice.

Friday, May 27, 2011

God's Favor in the Court System ( a testimony)

Recently, I was served the infamous jury duty notice, as we all get from time to time.  However, this time around, I misplaced the notice until after its deadline to respond and was therefore automatically called in for mandatory service.  Upset at my carelessness, I was particularly disturbed at this mandatory service because of a recent law passed at the time which no longer respected "financial hardship" as a reason to get out of duty for any trials expected to go one week or less.

For me, that could still be devastating as all my jobs were either "on call" or paid by the day.  So, as I thought about it, a short week, as they put it, could still put me out anywhere from $750 - $1500 for that week.

I still had to go through the selection process by the lawyers.  How long would that take?  As I sat in the court room awaiting the dreaded selection process to begin, the Judge asked if there were any hardships other than financial, he would hear them at that time.  Then the Lord guided me to stand up and request a specific week, which was a few weeks later, one that I particularly projected that financially I could possibly afford to take off.

"I don't know," replied the Judge. "I've never had that request before.  Let me check."

Quickly the clerk called the Jury room and came back moments later with the approval for me and to be released that day with the court order to return in 2 weeks.

The two weeks went by quickly and that day was upon me again.  As I headed towards the courthouse, I remember saying a short prayer, "Lord, I know that you cancel debts, but I ask you now, if it be Your will, please cancel this jury duty." 

Even after saying that prayer, if I had to serve then I had to serve.  It was already a blessing for my time to be postponed to a week I was off, spring break.

As I enter the jury room, there were only eight people in the room unlike the 100 plus that were in the room two weeks earlier.  The clerk came out to give instructions to us like before but told me to just sit tight because my situation was different.

"Uh-oh, they've got me for sure now!" I thought.

Following her instructions, she told all of us to wait, as she had to check with all of the neighboring court rooms and their need for jurors.  About five minutes later, the clerk returned and said that all needs for jurors had been full-filled and that we would not be needed this time around.  Our time was served. We were then released.

Trying to withhold the fact that I was doing a praise dance inside, I gave a very controlled smile and quietly left the building.

Outside, I must have said,"Thank you, Jesus" or "Praise the Lord!" about a hundred times.  The Lord showed favor towards me in preserving that week of work I thought I was going to lose.  The Lord also knew that the week I was requesting was going to be a slow trial week or a week where no new trials were beginning.  I knew none of this, of course.  I just had the faith that everything was going to work out. God is so good!

Then I thought about how we sometimes limit all the places where we think God's blessings can show up.  Why not in the courthouse too?  I have been consistently trying to be obedient and apply HIs word to my life in every way.

That day only continued to strengthen my faith in God's blessings.  For deep in my spirit, I knew that even if I did have jury duty, God would have provided some other way for my finances beyond my imagination, IF I did not doubt.. "for He is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that I can ask or think according to the power that works in me." (Eph.3:20)

No matter what your situation just remember that "God did not create a spirit of fear, but of love, and of power and of a sound mind."(2 Tim.1:7)  It is when we keep fear out and put our trust in God that blessings are released into our life.

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

God Will Get Your Attention ( a testimony)

TEXT: (Matt. 6:32) - "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you."

My life is filled with testimonies of God's goodness and awesome power as I'm sure your life is as well, when you stop and think about it.  That's part of how you increase your faith.

Think how God came through for you in the past.  Write them down if you have to, no matter how small the incident may seem to be.  On a day when you're in a real hurry and God has a parking space waiting for you right in front of your destination, that is just as much of a miracle as a miraculous financial blessing when the times are tough.

When you keep a log of God's blessings in your life, you suddenly realize that He has never let you down.  He may not have come through the way you were expecting but nevertheless He came through.
Sometimes, what seems like a trauma at the time, when you look back at it, was God's way of getting your attention for some divine purpose.  He had been waiting for you.  The problem was that you've been too busy to hear His voice of guidance.

I am reminded of a paragraph in the book, "Elijah Task", which states, "If God has to remove everything in your life that is important to you in order to get your attention and get you where you are supposed to be, He will do it."

The above-mentioned quote is the basis of what this testimony is all about.  The testimony I am about to share with you is part of a larger testimony described in detail in one of the books in my mini-book series, "Guided To the Light."

I've been living in Los Angeles since 1978.  I came out here knowing only a few people.  So I had to pretty much build my career from the ground up.  It's been a slow, methodical climb, building my career in television, film, industrial and educational films, plays and most recently, voice-overs.

I've had a number of survival jobs in between my acting jobs ranging from security, temporary agencies, taxicab and substitute teaching, just to name a few.  Finally, in 1992, I was making enough as an actor to live on residuals and session fees.

Suddenly, from 1995 to the first half of 1997, I had the slowest audition/interview period ever experienced since being in Los Angeles which turned into little to no income from acting.  This began with an unusual series of events.

A new agent I had just signed with at the time was suddenly fired during the reorganization of her agency.  I soon found a second agency.  Shortly afterwards, the owner of that agency decided to close down.  I then remained with one of the second agent's associate agents, who merged with a third agency.  I didn't go out for auditions one time over the next year.  Then the two agents in that agency had a major disagreement and split up.  Since the previous year was so slow, I decided to stay with the third agent.

Three months later, the third agent vanished into thin air without warning.  He was there one day and then "puff", the next day his office was empty with no warning or word as to what happened.

Almost three years had passed during all of these events.  With no acting jobs during this time, before I knew it, the residuals that were previously sustaining me had reduced to insignificant amounts.  Things had gotten so slow that I had to go back to my old survival job of graveyard shift, security work.

During the shift on my security job, the devil immediately attacked my mind with the old "You're a failure" angle or "You're going backwards now, you might as well give up on your crazy goal."
I responded with ministry tapes, gospel audio tapes, bible study, prayer and whatever else I could find or think of to offset the devil's attack.

The graveyard shift was perfect in that there was very little activity during the shift.  I found myself praying and studying the Word more than I ever had before, just to keep a sane mind while warding off the devil's constant mental attack.

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you" began to ring in my spirit nightly.  During all that quiet time on each shift, the Lord's quiet voice instilled several revelations in to my spirit.

"If this is what it takes to get quality time from you, the maybe this should be your career choice and not acting."

Around the same time, another dear friend of mine prophesied that the Lord wanted me to rise to a new level in spreading the Word, which was practically non-existent at the time.  She explained that "works" are fine but the Lord wanted me also to spend some quality time talking to Him more.

MY COMMITMENT - God's timing for the prophecy was incredible, as usual.  It was very easy to talk to Him at that time because, once again, bills were starting to add up.  However, unlike earlier in my life, I was doing my best to live by the Word.   I remember that I had a total of $2,500 in creditor deadlines that had to be paid yesterday.  Attempting to relax my mind, I went fishing and talked to God like He was sitting next to me on the riverbank.

MY BLESSING FROM OBEDIENCE -  Later that day, when I got home, I went to the mailbox and there was a residual for $3,000 net in the mailbox.  I almost had an accident on my way to the bank, shouting and praising His name in the car.  The lesson I learned from that experience was "Trust God and have faith!"

"If you are going to be useful to Me in the entertainment industry, then you need to minister to at least one person in every project you're involved in.  It may be to a group or just to one person.  Sometimes you may just need to be that listening ear or sometimes you'll be ministered to by someone else.  I'll determine which form of ministry is needed from project to project.  You must be ready at any time."

I responded, promising to commit and be ready to minister as directed.

MY BLESSING FROM OBEDIENCE - Almost immediately, I was cast in several consecutive "guest starring" roles spanning over the following television season.   The lesson learned here was "the blessing from obedience and seeking God first."  Everyone was asking me what did I do to get all this work?  Get a new agent, new pictures or what?  Whether they liked it or not, the answer was a direct testimony about my commitment to the Lord.  For some people, I could tell my answer was ministering to them.  For others, I could tell they'd wished I had given them a different answer.  Still, the seed was planted and will hopefully take root over time.

"All of our desires are goals based on the talents we each posses.  But that's only the small picture. The big picture is that the various directions our talents take us are designed to make us "spiritual beacons" in our chosen field.  This will allow us to spread His word.  It is when you refuse to become that beacon that God has called you to be, that you have problems succeeding in that field.

COMMITMENT - I have committed that whenever I have a divine assignment or vision from God, I will act on it in a timely manner.  Typing this testimony was a divine assignment because originally all that was written here was clear revelations in my spirit.

MY BLESSING FROM OBEDIENCE - the blessings from being obedient to this revelation continue to this day.   Whenever God wishes to adjust my path or talk to me, everything in my life comes to an abrupt halt.  I have come to learn whenever that happens, God is saying, "we need to talk.  You're getting distracted from the assignment I have given you."

If I am too busy to obey immediately, it is almost as if all the blessings run away from me and brings everything to a halt until I talk to Him and get back to the assignment at hand.  Oh, but praise God, when I am obedient and follow his lead, blessings flow from all directions.

So if you ever come to a point in your life when nothing seems to work right for you or everything seems to be out of sync in your life, it could be that the Lord is calling you to take that step closer to Him.  Or has He given you an assignment that you've been reluctant to act upon?  If either is the case, you're standing in your own way until you allow Him to take complete control of your life in every way.  Go for it!  Let go and let God!