My first ever immersion baptism

This last Sunday I was baptised.  This was a total immersion baptism.  It was awesome!  It was the single most important event of my life.  The date was 01-13-13 at 1300 hours approx. Here is a comment from my trusted friend and mentor about this event. “That is excellent Hal!  Very exciting. Now you are a new creation. The old man is dead and buried and the new one is alive and strong.”

Deliverance Is Real

I have been deceived all of my life.  I have carried the burden of sin from my forefathers as a matter of God’s law and didn’t even know it.  Add that to my own sins and I didn’t have a chance.  Now I know the truth.  Now I am aware that Jesus has set me and all of us free.

Now I know that there are legal reasons why demons have permission to stay with us and wreak havoc on our lives.  Now I know that we can know those reasons and remove their rights to stay through the authority of Jesus Christ.  More to come.  I don’t want to lead anyone astray by giving out wrong information.  Stay tuned for more about receiving Total and complete freedom from the enemy.

 

A Wake Up Call To A New Life – Personal Testimony

My Wake Up Call came on Sunday, September 2nd, 2012 at exactly 9:45 AM.

I believed I was at the end of my life.  I am 60 years of age.  My will to live had deserted me.  I was not suicidal as I had been years ago in my 30’s but I prayed every day for God to just kill me.  I figured if He did it…it was ok and maybe I would have a small chance of not going to hell.  I began to think I had lost my salvation, if I had it to begin with, because I could not think of any good deed done that would offset the effect of those deeds done under Satan’s influence over my lifetime.  Don’t get me wrong.  There were plenty of good things I had done as a Father, Husband and person over the years.  However, they did not cancel out the cumulative effect of what I caused under his influence.  I know it was under his influence because it just can’t be explained any other way.

I had been, I believed, under the influence of a demonic presence since the age of 8 years old.  My destructive thought patterns took root at an early age and became a stronghold and part of my life as inseparable as breathing.  Now I understand how this sort of thing could very well have been handed down generationally to me as those kinds of spiritual laws work.  But the reality of my current situation led me to believe that God had abandoned me and rightfully so because I figured He had just run out of forgiveness that He had dished out generously all my life.  After all, how could God continue to forgive me when I just keep spitting in His face and the face of Jesus.  The forgiveness cup just ran empty I thought and so now there was no hope because God had finally turned around and left me alone in my one bedroom apartment separated from my family and abandoned by almost all.  This is where the enemy had led me.  This is what I truly believed.  I had absolutely no hope or honor nor will to live.

I wanted to die but I kept waking up.  Every day I would wake up.  I was a walking dead man successful in my daily job but dead to self and to humankind and God or so I thought.  And then after over a year of praying for Him to forgive me and to kill me, He finally did.  Obviously He didn’t kill me but He sent me the wake-up call.  It was an unmistakable call to action as if it came from an Army general in my room.  He had already forgiven me as is His nature but I wasn’t hearing it because the enemy made me deaf to Him and had me believing God no longer loved me and nor did anyone else for that matter.

On Sunday, September 2, 2012 at exactly 9:45 AM I heard this command: ”Shut up and Get your butt up!  Get in the shower and get over there right now.  It doesn’t matter if you are late.”  That is an approximate quote and very close to what I heard.  He, our God and Father who never abandons anyone, ever, was telling me to go to church and it was obvious that I dare not miss it.

You see a couple of weeks earlier I had received in the mail one of those annoying invitations to come to a new church opening.  As if!  I threw it on the counter but did remember that it felt kind of special and that maybe I should pay attention.  Nah!!!  What’s the point?  I was supposed to attend.  I didn’t.

So I had missed the first two Sundays of this church gathering and obviously I was not supposed to miss the third one.  Now understand that I had not attended church for over ten or 12 years and church attendance  for the ten years prior to that was sporadic at best.  I knew I was supposed to go.

I got there at 10:30 AM just as the pastor was beginning his message.  He said, “Everyone please open your bible to Romans 8 for the third part of our series.  I don’t remember what the Pastor said that day but what I heard very clearly and just as loud as the General before but with a loving tone was:

“I love you unconditionally and I forgive you.”

I heard exactly what I needed to hear and that night was the first day in over a year that I didn’t pray for Him to kill me.  I wept and thanked Him for his mercy because I knew He still loved me and forgave even me.  His forgiveness cup had not run out after all.

A week went by without any prayers for personal termination and I began to believe there was hope.  BUT…there was no way I was going to go to that church again. No way!  In fact, just to be sure I missed it I made sure that I drank lots of beer Saturday night and stayed up till 4:30 in the morning.  When I finally crashed I felt certain I would just sleep through Sunday and recover for a good work week.  Wrong!!  At 9:15 exactly Sunday morning I popped out of bed like I had been drinking Coca Cola all night instead of Dos Equis  XX.  I heard that General again.  He said, “Get up!  Get in the shower and get there on time!”  I got up immediately and was there right at 10AM to participate in the worship and music.  Then I heard the pastor’s message and words of the Holy Spirit and that demons exist and influence our lives and we didn’t have to let them tell us what to do.  I was hooked and new I had to be part of this because it was the God pill I was looking for to cure my lifetime addiction.  I learned that day there was a weekly meeting of people who supported each other to become better and it was called Celebrate Recovery.

On Monday I emailed the pastor who led that group and here is part of my email to him:

“J___, I believe I am being directed to join your group. I have been to the service in D_____ the last two Sundays. I am on the website now reading about Celebrate Recovery and would like to inquire to see if I could participate. I can be reached by cell at ___-___-____ or  by email. I think I need exactly what you are offering here. It has been 12 years or so since I have been to a church but I clearly heard Him telling me to go the last two times. I have the heart to help others but in my current state of mind and spirit do not think I am much good. Let me know what is the next step. I live in D_____ and my office is about a block from the church on ____ ____ Road. Thank you for your time.

His partial response:

Hal,

Based on your statement, “I have the heart to help others but in my current state of mind and spirit do not think I am much good.” Qualifies you as one of our group.  Each of us has a story centered around a “hurt, habit or hang-up” which we are working out in the CR ministry. The enemy had a stronghold on my life for over __years with drugs and alcohol, but through our program Christ has provided me a daily reprieve. I do not know what the issue is which is bringing you to this place but we have folks in our group seeing victory over many issues.

I can be reached by cell after 3pm any day this week. See you there Thursday night.

God Bless,

J______

What I experienced at the Celebrate Recovery ministry that night literally brought me to tears.  I had never in my life had the experience to share with other men the challenges I was experiencing in life.  I was shocked and relieved at the same time that there were others like me who had been led down a wrong path by a common enemy into strongholds of behavior and addictions that needed to be healed.

There is much I can’t say here what happened that night but I can say that I was ministered to by the Holy Spirit to break the back of a demonic belief system which was destroying my life.  It was enough to stop the bleeding so to speak and more and more healing is coming every week as I attend these meetings.

If anyone reading this message needs a safe place to go to work out some issues where God is waiting for you with open arms I would suggest finding a CR ministry in your area and attend.  Maybe my message is YOUR wake-up call and hopefully you won’t need the General to bark the loving but stern command to you.  Maybe being here is His whisper in your eyes and ears to seek Him there with other brothers or sisters where you can find a life changing path in a safe place.

I will close this message with the words I received from Him after attending my first CR meeting:

A TORCH SET ABLAZE     9-14-12

What does it mean to be free

To let be who you are

What I made you

What is it like to be able to see

Not the shadows that followed you

But the space within

Created for Me

You hold the light

Now without your plight

The darkness flees

At the wave of the torch

A torch set ablaze

With Me

The fire of God

Is as My rod

Illuminating all the world

No more trouble seeing now

The road to take not swirled

 

It’s a different day today ladies and gentlemen……a completely different day.

When Two or Three Are Gathered In My Name

For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.  Matthew 18:20 – King James Version (KJV)

I have to tell this story.  I keep hearing that miracles can happen when we follow His voice and when two or three are gathered together in His name and that little miracles count too.

Yesterday I was getting into my car to drive to church and I kept hearing “Call S_____ and see if he needs a ride.”  S_____ is a new friend I met at the new church I joined recently.  I had given him a ride home a few days before because he is temporarily without transportation.

I am trying to be better at serving others because I am a recovering “self-aholic” if you know what I mean.  And I have been learning that we can’t be on this journey alone and that we need to be with others.  So I call him and he says he has a ride and thanked me for thinking of him.  It felt good that I had listened to what I was hearing from the Big Guy and that was my first blessing of the day, that feeling of having done right by thinking of others for a change.

The service was great and afterwards I met with S_____ and he asked me “Is that the bible you were telling me about?”  Yes, indeed it was the bible I was sharing with him the other day and I was telling him that all throughout this “Spiritual Warfare Bible”, an NKJV bible, there were individual jewels of knowledge contributed by various authors about spiritual warfare.  It is just speaking to me so loud right now and I was sharing that with S_____.

He looks at it for awhile, intrigued, and as he hands it back to me asks for a ride home for himself and a friend.  Not hesitating I said yes.  So we agreed we would depart soon after saying some goodbyes to some and greetings to others in attendance at the service.  I also realized that had I not called him this morning to offer a ride that he would not have been encouraged to ask me for a ride home and I would not be writing this story today.

As we were preparing to leave I apologized for the messy car and had to clear a space in the back for S_____ to sit and his friend sat in the front.  All is feeling really good.  I have friends in the car and helping others is not something I do often or well and so I am feeling good at this point

We go a mile or two and come to an intersection.  I negotiate the turn and drive 100 yards when S_____ yells “STOP!!” and I immediately pull over.  He says I just heard a loud thump and saw something fall off your car.  I looked in the rear view mirror and there to my horror was my new “Spiritual Warfare” bible laying in the middle of the intersection of the very busy street we had just left about to get run over by hundreds of cars waiting for the turn of the light.  I leaped from the car and started running toward the book as it was not safe to back up using the vehicle.

S_____ jumped out too and started running with me.  Everything seemed surreal.  There was the bible in full view of approximately 100 or so vehicles being held at the light that had not changed yet.  I mean as soon as it would change there would be an Indy 500, an onslaught of vehicles coming down the highway and my precious bible would have been ruined and tattered and torn.  But amazingly not one car was moving.  Here we were running at what seemed an incredibly slow pace and the light was holding for what seemed an incredibly long time and all those cars were just being held in place until I could reach my bible and rescue it.  It was almost as if time had been stopped in order for me to reach the bible and for all I know it might have been.

As I was retrieving the bible from the middle of the intersection waving to all the people in their cars being held at bay by the light, S_____ pointed out that there was a piece of paper still down the road that he thought came out of the bible and we should get it.  I said no.  It was in fact the notes I had taken during the service but I said “Just let that be.  I have the bible and that is all that counts.  Don’t worry about it.  It’s not that important.”  It seemed unreachable to me anyway so I let it go.

Just one moment as I entered the grassy area off the road the cars immediately began to speed toward their destinations and the wind and rush of the cars was intense and I thought how wild that was and how I almost lost my bible.  It seems I had put it on top of the vehicle when I went to clean it out for S_____ and forgot it there.  It slid off when I made the turn and hit the pavement in the middle of the intersection.

You might be thinking right now “Cool, but what is the point of all this?”

As we entered the vehicle again to resume our journey home we were all laughing at what had happened and hi-fiving each other for rescuing the bible and having a happy ending.

It was then that I realized if it weren’t for S_____ I would not have known my bible had fallen to the middle of the street.  I would have lost it.  I thanked S_____ and then he shared with me how the enemy works in his mind.  He said, “You know, Hal, here you are thanking me and the enemy is already working on my mind telling me that it is my fault because if I had not been in need of a ride you wouldn’t have had to have this experience.”  I replied, ”That’s interesting because the enemy was working on my mind as he was working on yours.  He was telling me that if I really cared for that bible and if it really was any good I would have taken better care of it and never put it on the roof and forgotten it.”  Then S_____ said, “Yeah.  I guess that is really silly, huh.  It’s a good example of how the enemy just wants to tear us down by our own thoughts when these things happen and we shouldn’t listen to him.”  The passenger says, ”I think the enemy was trying to rid you of that bible.”

It is interesting that just prior to the book falling off the car we had all three just talked about how God works in mysterious ways for our good.  I think He used this incident to expose how the enemy works to create self-depreciating thoughts.  And together, the three of us were able to identify the works of the enemy in this regard and laugh at it and dismiss it.  It is a lesson and a healing I shall not soon forget.

Just then the passenger in the front said. “Look!  Is that yours?”  I turned just in time to see the notes on that piece of paper floating by my window by the wind created by the passing vehicles.  The wind had picked up that piece of paper and transported it over 100 yards past my window onto the safe ground next to us.   The passenger exited the car and retrieved my notes that the wind had delivered back to me.  She said, “I guess the Lord wanted you to have this teaching after all.”  I guess she was right.  How else could that have happened?   Was it coincidence?  We can believe what we want.  I believe He was creating a little miracle that saved my bible, returned my notes to me supernaturally and exposed how the enemy works on our minds with a lesson that will not soon be forgotten.  I believe He was there with us in the car as we were 3 gathered in His Name.

By the way, in my notes were reminders of how, as believers in Christ, we will be facing many storms big and small.  Nothing gives us a free pass from storms and when we find ourselves in one we had best be sure we are in the same boat as Jesus.  In Mark 4:35-39 the disciples had the benefit of Jesus in the same boat to quiet the squalls threatening to sink the boat.  Jesus was with us in the car and He quieted the storm for me and allowed me to retrieve my bible that the enemy was trying to lose.  We were there in His name talking about His workings with us in that His ways are not our ways and that He works in mysterious way and He certainly did on this day and the good book was retrieved and the enemy was exposed.

Thank You, Lord, for Your miracles and healings when we listen to Your Voice and are gathered together in Your Name.