Thursday, December 19, 2013

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made.  He said to the woman,  Did God really say, You must not eat from any tree in the garden?”  (Genesis 3:1)


Notice the very first words the Bible records that Satan spoke to mankind.  “Did God really say?”  What was his tactic?  What was Satan scheming to do?  What was his plan to trip up Adam and Eve and keep them from experiencing God’s best for them?  Simply put he caused them to question what God had spoken to them.  “Did God really say?” 


And thousands of years later nothing has changed.  Satan is still trying to get you and me to question the Word of God.  Especially if you’ve walked through discouraging circumstances or faced some tragedy in life.    


I’m always amused when I read about the early days of Jesus ministry on earth.  After He was baptized by John the Baptist the Bible says, “And a voice from heaven said, This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.”  (Matthew 3:17)


In the very next chapter the Bible tells us that Jesus is “led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”  (Matthew 4:1)  Then it says, “The tempter came to him and said, If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”    (Matthew 4:3)


I just chuckle when I read this because God had just spoke from heaven and identified Jesus as His Son and then the first recorded words of Satan to Jesus are spoken in just a way to try and put a question in the mind of Jesus.  “If you are the Son of God.”  And if you’ll go and read this story you’ll notice something very important.  Jesus never discussed His identity with Satan.  Why?  Because He knew Who He was, it wasn’t open for discussion!  Jesus never questioned His identity because to question His identity would be to question the spoken Word of His Heavenly Father. 


For my wife and me it all started in a hotel room in Colorado Springs, CO.  It was July 2006 and we were in Colorado Springs to attend a pastor’s fellowship at the home of Pastor Ted Haggard who at that time was the Pastor of New Life Church and the leader of the Association of Life-Giving Churches. 


The morning of the fellowship I rose early to spend some time in prayer and seek God for direction.  By this time Jeanie and I both had the desire to plant a church in Pueblo West, CO. and while I was praying I asked God to somehow confirm this was His direction for our life and ministry. I also specifically asked Him to give us this confirmation during the fellowship that day.  And just so we would be certain I entered this prayer in my journal which I still have today. 


I’m not going to share the whole story in this blog but God did give us clear confirmation, not once, not twice but three times in the course of the day. God confirmed this was His direction for us and we should step out and plant the church.  God even went so far as to have someone we had never met before, who was attending the event from Australia, approach us and tell us  that “God has a people waiting on our obedience.”  Now that will get your attention! 


When I returned to the hotel room I entered the events of the day in my journal and I thanked God for confirming His direction. We were excited about returning to Texas and implementing a plan to transition out of the church we were currently the pastors of and stepping out to plant the church in Colorado. 


Our first course of action was to gather the elders of the church and share with them just what God had been doing in our lives and the direction we believed with all our hearts He was leading us.  Let me stop here and say that the elders of the church were incredible people that we loved dearly then and still love today.  Many of them were close friends of ours and very loyal to us and the church.  This was and still is a great church with great leadership! 


But when Jeanie and I shared our desires with these friends their response was one of shock and very emotional which is totally understandable.  Again let me say these folks were awesome leaders and every pastor’s dream of an elder board.  They loved us and we loved them. 


I now believe that Satan used this moment to plant seeds of doubt in my heart causing me to question the direction God had clearly given us.  Just like Satan deceived Eve causing her to question God’s Word he had done the same with me.  When I saw the hurt on the faces of those elders and the tears in their eyes my heart became very emotional and the enemy seized the opportunity causing me to question what God had clearly confirmed. 


Needless to say we didn’t step out and plant the church at that time.  It was four years later before we finally resigned the church and transitioned to Colorado.  What was happening during those four years?  Well my leadership as the pastor of the church certainly wasn’t as effective as it should be because when I questioned God’s direction it led me to being unstable in many ways because my heart was divided and I continually struggled with the thought of planting the church. It was difficult for me to make decisions because I was now uncertain of what God was doing and what direction He was leading us. 


I now believe that when we did finally step out and plant the church there was still a seed of doubt in my heart so that when we faced our first big obstacle I questioned the direction of God and quit! Can you see how dangerous it is to question the Word of God?  That’s why it’s one of Satan’s number one tactics. After all it did get Adam and Eve kicked out of the Garden of Eden and their disobedience caused sin to enter the hearts of all mankind! 


Why am I being so transparent with you?  First let me say that God used men and women all through the Bible that have their failures on display for all of us to read about.  Second, it’s my earnest desire that those who read this not make the same mistakes I did.  My mistakes caused great pain for my family and other people as well. 


But friends here’s the good news.  Our God is a God of forgiveness and not only will He forgive you but He’ll restore what has been lost through your mistakes or the mistakes of others. Trust Him!  He’ll heal and restore the years that have been lost and once again remind you that He has a great plan for your life.  He loves you with an unfailing love and His faithfulness endures forever!  I can’t help but share the following scripture again. 


“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”  (Romans 8:28)


Jeanie and I are now on the brink of a fresh start or you might say a new beginning.  It’s a new day and we’re excited about where God is leading us as we conclude 2013 and enter 2014 with great expectation.  He is working all things out for our good and His glory!


Always remember that God is a loving Father and He desires to restore you and heal your wounds.  “But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds….”  (Jeremiah 30:17)


So let me encourage you today!  As we enter 2014 embrace the Word of God!  Embrace God’s direction in your life and move forward with courage!  Don’t allow Satan to deceive you into questioning God’s Word!  He is a liar, a deceiver and the accuser of the brethren. 


But you and I can DREAM…….AGAIN because Jesus Christ has defeated and disarmed Satan and in Christ we are children of the Most High God and more than conquerors! 


Don’t waste another second doubting what God has said.  It’s time to DREAM…….AGAIN!






Thursday, December 5, 2013

Several years ago God spoke to my wife and me telling us that He was going to give us the ability to pull people from the trash heap of life and make them men and women of God.

That sounded great and exciting at that time but little did we know that God would give us this ability as we experienced our own "trash heap!"

But now we earnestly believe we are entering a season when we're standing on top of the "trash heap," brushing ourself off, dreaming.......again, preparing to rebuild and trusting God that He is going to restore what has been lost.

As we stand on top of our "trash heap" where we can see a bit clearer, one thing has become clear. God has been with us IN THE "TRASH HEAP!" As I look back I can say with confidence God has never left us and He's never forsaken us! In fact God has been using the "trash heap" to prepare us for the future He had prepared for us! That's just the way God works! He never waste a pain and He will use your pain for His glory if you will allow Him!

I love the following verse that many of you know.

" And we know that in ALL THINGS God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28 NIV)

Here's an important key. You need to make your "trash heap" an "all things!" If you do this you'll realize God has a purpose for you and your struggle and it will be like an elevator is lifting you to the top of your "trash heap" and you can at least breathe again the breath of life from Jesus Christ who came "to give us life and life more abundantly."

Don't be smothered in your struggles! I believe there are two main reasons people get smothered in their struggles and never arrive at the place of restoration. First I believe they become victims instead victors! It's simply a matter of perspective but it makes a huge difference. Second they become accusers instead of accepting responsibility for their own actions.

Let me be blunt and say that if you choose to be a victim and an accuser it will be very difficult for you to arrive at a place where you can see clearly and get on the path to restoration. Being a victim and an accuser keeps you focused on your "trash heap" instead of the God who wants to use your struggles for His glory and restore what has been lost whether it was by your mistakes or the actions of another. God's grace is greater than your mistakes and the mistakes of others!

When you have the attitude of a victor you recognize and accept that your "trash heap" fits in the category of God's "all things" and He's working everything out for your good. Everyday you're moving forward knowing that victory is yours in Christ Jesus.

When you accept responsibility for your own mistakes and learn from them and forgive the mistakes of others you recognize that God is preparing you for the place He has prepared for you.

So you're standing on the top of your "trash heap" with the attitude of a victor taking responsibility for your own life. Something very special is about to happen. You're a bit hesitant but then you realize you can't be controlled by fear. Then suddenly, you have an encounter with God and you begin to DREAM.......AGAIN! Yes it explodes on the inside of you and you realize God still wants to use you for His purpose.

"But how can God use me" may be your question? Then you hear this still small voice speaking to your heart and it gives you courage because this is what it says. "I've turned your mess into a message, your test into a testimony and your failure will now bear fruit in My Kingdom."

Then you watch as your "trash heap" transforms into a temple in which God displays His glory through.

“This is what the Lord says: “ ‘I will restore the fortunes of Jacob’s tents and have compassion on his dwellings; the city will be rebuilt on her ruins, and the palace will stand in its proper place. (Jeremiah 30:18 NIV)

It's time to Dream.......Again my friend! May my next blog find you dreaming!

Ken Woolf

Monday, November 11, 2013

"Keep vigilant watch over your heart;
that’s where life starts.
Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth;
avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip.
Keep your eyes straight ahead;
ignore all sideshow distractions.
Watch your step,
and the road will stretch out smooth before you.
Look neither right nor left;
leave evil in the dust."  ( Proverbs 4:23-27 MSG)

I've made it clear from other blogs that one of the main assignments God has given my wife and I is to "Encourage people all over the World!"  I still remember it like it just happened but it was 4 years ago while I was driving down Hwy. 50 in Pueblo, CO. that God spoke those words in my heart.  It wasn't an audible voice but in my heart and ears it was close. 

With this in mind I've had to be very diligent about guarding my heart and keeping it pure and encouraging my family to do the same. Why is this?  Straight to the point, it would be very difficult to encourage others with a "sick" heart.  After all the Bible says, "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." 

Proverbs 4:23 in the New Living Translation says it like this: "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." Yes guard your heart, but did you notice the words after that.  "Above all else."  Sounds pretty important to me.   And let me be up front and say that I haven't always done the best job at this but we've made adjustments as the Holy Spirit has directed us. 

The next paragraph of the blog I'm sharing just so you'll understand the level we've had to rise in guarding our hearts but I'll not reveal the details. 

I've been in vocational ministry for over 20 years now.  But in all my years of ministry I've never been exposed to the elements that have had the potential to damage and give me an unhealthy spiritual heart as I have in the last few years.  From our failed church planting experience to our return to Texas there has been plenty of opportunity for our hearts to be contaminated and instead of encouraging people all over the world I  and my family could be living with offended and discouraged hearts that are spewing venom on anyone who is willing listening. 

When we've walked through failure or disappointments in life I believe God wants all of us to get back to the place that we're Dreaming.......Again.  But honestly that can be difficult to do if our heart is "sick!"  So I think it's imperative that we all make it a priority to guard our hearts.  The following is from the book "Sifted" by Wayne Cordeiro and gives a perfect example of guarding the heart.

"When I disagree with someone who is not present, it's tempting to speak bluntly and sometimes inappropriately.  We are but a breath away from gossiping and tearing down others.  But a man of integrity says, "Hold on! It is not my job to ruin that person's reputation. It's not right for me to criticize him until I fully understand his side of the story."  The Bible warns us not to rush to judgement, saying, "He who gives an answer before he [fully understands], it is folly and shame to him." (Proverbs 18:13).  If you are upset about an incident, do some research first, and allow the other person to share his or her side of the story.  For me to come to a conclusion about another's reputation, heart, spirit, motives, or actions without fully investigating all of the facts would be wrong. Doing so would reveal a lack of integrity.  I honor other people by finding out the facts first, and I honor God by trusting him in the process, knowing that he will ultimately expose and judge the truth of the matter.  If I slaughter someones reputation when he's not there to defend himself, then those listening think, "Whoa! If he slanders that guy when he's not around, then what does he say about me?"  Protecting the reputation of those who aren't present gains the trust of those who are.  Our integrity will be tested throughout our lives, guaranteed.  So prepare yourself by knowing how to respond: by refraining from snap judgements or unfounded gossip." 

My friends words can damage a heart or they can heal a heart.  Proverbs 12:18 says, "There are those who speak rashly, like the piercing of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." 

Today my wife and I feel more spiritually healthy than we did a year ago.  God has done wonders with our heart and He'll do the same for you!  So be honest right now!  What's the condition of your heart?  Just like one of my previous blogs I'm praying for every person that reads this.  The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ came to give us life and life more abundantly.  God wants you and me to be living the abundant life!  He paid a great price for it! 

So if you can be honest and you know your heart is "sick"  why not ask God right now to heal your wounded heart and restore any area the enemy has robbed you! Remember, God loves you with an unconditional love and His mercy and grace are greater than any mistake you or someone else has made. 

Let me challenge you!  Guard you heart and start Dreaming.......Again!  God has a great plan for your life!

Love you!




Monday, October 21, 2013

Fear!  I've not researched it myself but someone who has recently said that the phrase "Be Not Afraid" is used 365 times in the Bible.  I love it, one "Be Not Afraid" for each day of the year!  You think God might be trying to communicate something very important to us? 

Let me be very honest and transparent with you.  The biggest obstacle my wife and I have had to face is fear!  And the biggest fear we've faced is the fear of stepping out again and doing what we believe God is calling us to do.  One of the common things said in our house has been "we tried and it didn't work."  With this attitude what God can do in our lives is very limited.  With this attitude we begin to tell God what He can do with our lives and how to do it instead of us surrendering to God and doing whatever He says.  What keeps us from surrendering?  Fear! 

I personally believe the most potent tactic of the enemy to stop God's plan in your life is fear!  Fear is a paralyzing force and if allowed to control your life will hold you captive and keep you from God's best.  Please understand how dangerous fear can be if given a place in your heart. 

Let me say bluntly before I share with you how to overcome fear that you can dream all you want but if you are controlled by fear you will never step out on those dreams.  All your dreams will be is wishful thinking!  That may sound a bit strong but I hope it helps you understand the danger of being controlled by fear. 

But I love what the Bible says about fear.  2 Timothy 1:7 says "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."  This verse alone is enough to tell you and me that we want nothing to do with fear!  I don't want anything God has not given me.  Look at what one commentary says about fear as it relates to the above verse.  "It's not from God; and it can immobilize and torment its victims, making them feel powerless and alone. Indecision or wrong decisions are then made that could give place to bondage and great human suffering." 

Are you struggling with fear today?  First know you're not alone!  So let me share one verse that I believe will help us all overcome fear. 

1John 4:18- "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.  But he who fears has not been made perfect in love." 

Here's what I earnestly believe.  A person that is controlled by fear has lost sight of how much God loves them.  They no longer have a fresh revelation of God's love in their heart.  This person is no longer focused on the love of God.

Let me gently say that if you are ruled by fear it's very possible that you are more focused on you then you should be and you need to refocus on God and who He is.  And the Bible says that "God is love" and my friend His love is perfect!  Therefore, "perfect love casts out fear." 

I'm going to pray for every person that reads this blog.  Here's my simple prayer for you. "Heavenly Father I pray that each person who reads this blog will have a fresh revelation of your love.  May they fully understand the love that caused You to send your Son Jesus Christ to give His life for them.  And Father I declare that as they are filled with Your love fear will go in Jesus name!  Thank you Father for hearing and answering my prayer!" 

I encourage you to refocus your focus and face God's love instead of facing fear!  When you and I walk in the revelation of God's love for us we'll not only DREAM.......AGAIN but we'll also step out and begin to live the dreams God has given us.  You can trust Him, you really can!

Encouraging the world,

Ken Woolf


Saturday, October 12, 2013

WHAT DO I DO NOW?  This question may be trivial for some but for the person that's stepped out to live their big dream and then experienced failure this can be a huge question.  Think about it, you've poured all your energy and resources into this dream thats been burning in your heart and your whole life has been captivated by what you believe is God's plan for your life.  The big day comes, you step out of the boat, and then you sink.   You've just faced the biggest discouragement of your life and now the question is, WHAT DO I DO NOW?

Some have left good jobs to live the dream.  Some have left family to live the dream.  Some have left communities they were raised in to live the dream. For me and Jeanie we left a perfectly good church with incredible people that didn't want us to leave but we had this dream burning in our hearts to plant a church in Colorado.

I really think Peter, a disciple of Jesus Christ, was in a similar frame of mind when he said in John 21:3 "I'm going fishing."  Just think about it.  Approximately three years prior to this the Bible tells us that Peter, who was a fisherman, dropped his nets at the beckoning of Jesus Christ to follow Him. Basically Peter left his family business to follow Jesus and become a disciple of the Messiah who was to give His life for the salvation of humanity.

Now just before the events of John 21 Peter watched the Man he left everything for die on a cross and in the process of Jesus journey to death Peter denies Him three times! But now Jesus is alive again and Peter's got to be wondering about his future as a disciple.  For those who know the Bible we know that in John 21 Jesus shows up where Peter and some friends are fishing and later in the chapter Jesus commissions Peter to "feed His sheep."  What a powerful moment for Peter who certainly had questions about what his future looked liked.

But this encounter with Jesus Christ all started with Peter saying "I'm going fishing."  I've read several commentaries on this chapter in the Bible and all with different thoughts on the idea of Peter going fishing.  But here's my view on this story and I've used this principle for this season of our life and ministry that we didn't know what to do.

When you don't know what to do, do what you know to do!   I think that's what Peter was doing.  He didn't know what to do so he went fishing, something he knew how to do.  And in that environment Jesus shows up and has an encounter with Peter that established the direction of Peters life, the rest of his life.

When you've experienced tragic situations there's the opportunity for the rest of your life to be one big pity party!   Many people get offended at God and stay mad at the world.  I promise you this is the road to nowhere and you will live a miserable life and make life miserable for those around you.  I know that's direct but it's the truth.

I'm not trying to minimize the pain you've experienced but don't allow your pain to become a life long pity party.  If you'll give your pain to God and start doing what you know to do God will turn your pain into a life long praise party!  

In the midst of our pain Jeanie and I started doing what we know to do.  We currently serve as Associate Pastors in a great church.  In the past two years I've traveled to Romania, Denmark and Uganda speaking in Pastors conferences and Bible Schools. Next month I travel back to Denmark to speak in a conference.

I know God has called me to encourage people all over the world which is the reason I started writing this blog and I use Facebook almost daily to encourage people.  We're just doing what we know to do!

As a result of this some cool things have happened and some doors have been opened.  A person who reads my blogs has strongly recommended that I write a book and has connected me to a publisher.  This same person has told me that he believes there's not just one book in me but several.  I'm not boasting but I am testifying of the restoring power of God if you'll just pick yourself up and start doing what you know to do.  I boast in Jesus Christ alone!

Recently we had a Pastor from New Zealand speak at our church who flows in the gift of prophecy and word of knowledge.  He knew nothing of our past journey and what we had experienced.  He prayed over my wife and told her that we had "passed the test and were coming up out of the wilderness".  He also told her it was good she was married to me.  I liked that one!  Well,  I'm also glad it's time to come up out of this wilderness!

While praying with me he confirmed the five-fold ministry gift of Pastor that God has entrusted to me.  That's when I had what I've mentioned before in other blogs as a "sandy sea shore moment."  He then communicated that Jesus was commissioning me and said "it's time to feed My sheep."

In some peoples eyes Jeanie and I probably have every reason to be mad at God, other people and ourselves.  But we made a decision and with the decision comes the following declaration.  "God still has a great plan for our lives!"  We're going to do what we know to do and experience the restoring power of God.

If one devastated pastor reads my blog and decides to "get back in game" then our mess has become a ministry.  If one woman who has been through a tragic divorce decides to pick herself up and move forward then our test has become a testimony.  If someone who has failed in business decides to "go for it" again then our failure has become fruitful!

But it all begins with just doing what you know to do when you don't know what to do!

Be encouraged today!  You can DREAM.......AGAIN!


Encouraging the world,

Ken Woolf

Saturday, September 7, 2013

It's over for me!  My family doesn't believe in me.  Other people don't believe in me. God doesn't believe in me.   How could God let this happen, we took a step of faith?  What do I do now?  God must be punishing me.  How could God let this happen (repeated)?  What's wrong with me?  What am I going to do now?  I don't know what to do!  How could God let this happen?  I must not be good enough.  I must not be able to hear God's voice.  I'm a loser and a failure. God's mad at me.  Nothing good ever happens to me.  How could God let this happen. 

What I'm describing in the above paragraph is the thoughts you often experience after an apparent failure or tragic situation in your life.  Maybe something big you had been planning didn't meet your expectations and immediately you started wrestling with negative thoughts in your mind. 

That's right, there's a battle going on and the ground this battle takes place on is the soil of your mind.  And with every positive or negative thought you allow to remain in your thinking you are planting seeds that will produce fruit and determine the direction of your life.

That's why the following verse in the Bible is so important!  "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5) Another powerful and revealing verse is "As a man thinks in his heart so is he..." (Proverbs 23:7)

After our failed attempt to plant the church in Colorado there was a day when I realized I had been losing the battle in my mind.  For several weeks I was continually asking my wife is she believed in me.  In her kindness she would always reply "you know I believe in you."  Then one day she'd had enough!  I asked her again if she believed in me but this time her reply was a bit different and eye opening.  She said, "It's not me who doesn't believe in you, it's you who doesn't believe in you." 

In that moment, as soon as she spoke those words, it's like a light bulb was turned on in my heart and I realized  I had been losing the battle in my mind and believing a lie.  You see, the negative thoughts I mentioned above are just some of the thoughts I had been struggling with.  And I was charting the course of my future with all these negative thoughts and making it more and more difficult to recover from our loss. 

It was like God allowed me to expereince a needed awakening that to this day has radically changed my thought life and put us back on the path of recovering all that was lost and being used by God again to love and encourage people all over the world. 

But for this to happen I had to take action.  Here's what I did and you can't miss this, it's very important!  I started replacing those negative thoughts, not with just some random positive thought I had, but with God's thoughts about me found in the Bible. 

Over and over I began to read verses that talked about God's unfailing love and His power to restore.  The following verse is one I've continually reminded myself of.  "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28) Here's another great verse from the Old Tesament.  "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

There are many more verses in the Bible that we can use to replace the negative thinking.  I heard a minister say this not long ago and it's so true. "I can't afford to think anything about me that God doesn't think about me."  Now think about that! 

If you and I are going to move forward and Dream.......Again it's imperative that we win this battle in our minds.  Our enemy is a liar and an accuser but we can overcome the negative thoughts with the Word of God. 

These days I'm continually reminding myself that God still has a great plan for our lives.  Now I find myself thanking God for what He is doing in our lives and ministry.  We know He's preparing us for a greater day and the best is yet to come. 

If you've been through a difficult, discouraging season in your life I want to encourage you.  One of my favorite movies to watch is "Castaway" with Tom Hanks.  I even have two volleyballs with the bloody hand print in my office at the church.  At times if you walk in you'll find me talking to them.  One of my favorite lines in the movie is near the end after Tom Hanks character has been rescued.  He says, "I know what I have to do now.  I have to keep breathing because tomorrow the sun will rise." 

If you're having a battle in your mind I hope you know what to do now.  And when you begin to replace those negative thoughts with God's thoughts toward you, the Son Jesus Christ is going to rise in your heart and you're going to move forward and DREAM.......AGAIN! 

Encouraging the world,

Ken Woolf


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I'll never forget Saturday March 09, 2013 and Sunday March 10!  That Saturday evening I received a Facebook private message from a pastor friend in Pueblo, Co., Aaron Tomlinson.  In the message Pastor Aaron let me know that he just had a prophetic dream concerning Jeanie and me.  I'll not share the contents of the dream but I would like to share the following sentence.  "Your lack of perseverance has caused you to be delayed but not disqualified."  Then Pastor Aaron said he believed he needed to reference the scripture found in 1Corinthians 9:24.  I'll share why this is significant later in the blog.

I loved the whole message Pastor Aaron sent but I pointed out that one sentence for a reason.  The following Sunday morning I walked into the church we attend (Jeanie and I currently serve as Associate Pastors at a great church in Port Neches, TX. called Freedom Christian Fellowship) and just as I entered the auditorium I noticed a very sweet lady named Daisy walking up to me with a huge smile on her face.  She walked directly to me and without any greeting said,  "God gave me one word for you last night."  Of course my reply was....okay!  She said, "that one word is qualified! God wants you to know you're qualified."

When she said that to me I had what I like to call a "sandy sea shore moment!"  In a previous blog I talked about one of Jesus disciples named Peter.  I specifically pointed out John 21 where Peter had gone fishing with some other friends.  After fishing all night catching nothing Jesus shows up on the "sandy sea shore" and from there has an encounter with Peter which confirms to Peter that Jesus still had a plan for his life. Even after Peter had denied Christ three times!

What catches my attention in this story is that Jesus showed up where they were at.  I know we're supposed to pursue God but I love those moments when God lets me know He's pursuing me and still has a plan for my life.  And that's exactly what I experienced that Saturday night and Sunday morning.

I had recently returned from serving on a team conducting a Pastors conference in Muhorro, Uganda.  Pastor Aaron didn't know that during the conference, while I was speaking to hundreds of pastors and church leaders, God spoke to my heart that I had quit the church plant in Pueblo West, CO.  It was a total God moment because I was talking about running a race and used 1Corinthians 9:24 as part of my text.  I then had to stop teaching and confess to those pastors that I had "quit" the race God had called me to run at that time.  In other words I didn't persevere.

Here's the point.  I had to put on my big boy pants and confess, I quit, I didn't persevere!  But can I tell you our God is faithful!  He's not the God of a second chance, He's the God of ANOTHER chance!   He'll show up in your life and let you know He still has a great plan for you.

Let me remind you of Romans 8:28. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."  Even in those moments that you failed God, if you allow Him, God can work them out for your good!

My friends that's good news because with that in mind you can DREAM.......AGAIN!


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

When you've experienced failure there comes a time when you have to put on your big boy pants and take responsibility for your own actions.  This may not always be easy but I can promise you this, when you do you're on the road to healing and closer to to a new beginning then you might think.

There's something very special that happens when you make a decision to not blame others but forgive others that have hurt you and take responsibility for yourself!  You step right in the middle of God's mercy and grace and experience His unfailing love and faithfulness!  My friends that's a great place to be, right in the middle of a fresh start! 

We all have the tendency to want to play the blame game when things don't go right in our lives.  In a more psychological term it's called "displaced responsibility."  And this has been a problem since Adam and Eve committed sin in the Garden of Eden when Adam told God in Genesis 3:12 "It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it."  Read closely what Adam said here.  He blamed both God and Eve.

In the Bible we read about two Kings named Saul and David who both sinned while on the throne of the kingdom.  Saul was removed from his place of leadership while David remained King.  Have you ever wondered why?  Saul disobeyed God by not fully following through with God's instructions and David committed adultery and murder.  Yet David remains King and Saul is removed.

It's my speculation but I think in part it's because David took full responsibility for his sin but Saul wanted to blame the people for his sin.  In 1Samuel 15 we find Saul confessing he sinned but he say's it's because of the people I disobeyed God.  In Psalm 51 you read David's prayer of repentance after his sin.  Read closely because in his prayer he never even mentions Bathsheba, the woman he committed adultery with after he saw  her taking a bath.

David had to put on his big boy pants and say "God, against You and You only have I  sinned."  Don't you know it would have been easy for David to make excuses saying something like this, "Well if she hadn't been taking a bath where I could see her this would have never happened."  In other words it's her fault.

But I'm so thankful David didn't do that because you talk about restoration!  Bathsheba became David's wife and they had a son and his name was Solomon.  If you'll read Matthew chapter 1 you'll find the lineage of Jesus Christ.  In verse 6 is the following, "Jesse was the Father of King David.  David was the father of Solomon (whose mother was Bathsheba, the widow of Uriah.) In the lineage of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior is a relationship that started out in adultery.   Wow, our God is good!

We'll talk more about this in my next blog but it's time to be honest.  Stop and ask yourself, "Have I been blaming everyone else for my problems, for my failures?"  I know there are times that people do hurt us but that's where forgiveness comes in.  It just might be time for YOU to put on your big boy pants and take responsibility for yourself.

I'm not saying this to be harsh or mean.  I want you to experience God's healing and love and get on the road to a new beginning!  Because my friend, it's time to Dream.......Again!  

An addition to this blog is coming soon.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

(This is a blog my daughter Staci wrote the same day I posted my last blog.  You should read both, I think God might be saying something! Oh, we wrote these blogs without  the other having knowledge we were doing so.)

There are going to be moments in your life when God asks you to do something that you don’t understand. He may cause you to step out in unfamiliar territory with no sight of what exactly is ahead of you. All you can see is the step you need to take right now. It makes no sense, and in that moment you may not even have an explanation. He may ask you to do something that you do not want to do. He may ask you to do something that you have been waiting to do for a really long time. He may ask you to give something up that you don’t want to give up. He may ask you to go a certain way you never intended on going.


The point I’m trying to make is this... Real faith and trust in God doesn’t require a detailed laid out plan of the journey. Real faith is ready and willing to be obedient to God even when you don’t understand or know exactly where He is taking you.


To quote the wildly popular (and for good reason) song... Oceans by Hillsong United

“You call me out upon the water, the great unknown, where feet may fail.”


God calls us out onto the water. To walk somewhere that if attempted without His miracle working power, would swallow us whole.


It’s there, in that place of complete surrender and reliance on God when we see Him in ways we’ve never seen Him before. Suddenly, when we make that leap, our eyes are opened and we finally see and understand how God is ....EVERYTHING. He is what we desired all that time we were searching for meaning, worth and significance. It was Him!


From the boat, this kind of life looks terribly frightening. It’s not always easy to take the initial step. You are walking out into a stripping vulnerability and control will be a distant memory.




I can tell you... There is nothing like it. I’m not sure there’s a greater place to be than vulnerable before God. Crowns, accomplishments and talent don’t matter. All that matters in that moment is your submitted, surrendered heart. That is when you are most moldable. In this moment everything and I do mean everything pales in comparison to this Almighty King of Kings that created the entire FREAKING universe who wants to have a relationship with you. He wants you. God, the one true God wants.. loves.... and is passionate about you.


Once you’ve tasted of the life of walking on water you’ll never want to go back. You’ll find no heavy burdens there. There is no stress or anxiety because a submitted, faith filled life doesn’t worry about working out details and figuring everything out. A submitted, faith filled life just waits for the Fathers direction for their next step and takes it. The rest is on Him and that’s how He likes it.


Staci Woolf


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The audacity of God!  What do You mean "take another step of faith."  God do you know what happened after I took the last big step of faith?  We "walked on water" for a short time but then started sinking quick and now I feel like we're just treading water barely keeping our head above the water. 

This might be the conversation going on in your head if you've ever experienced failure after starting out on an adventure you believe God asked you to take.  But you have to make a decision, am I going to tread water the rest of my life or am I going to walk on water?  I've heard it said before the only true failures in life are those who stay down after falling. 

Many of you know the Bible story I'm referencing here concerning Peter who stepped out of the boat walking toward Jesus on the water but started to sink after taking his eyes off Jesus and focusing on the stormy seas.  Two great things about this story is that Peter did walk on water and when he began sinking he called on Jesus and Jesus lifted him out of the water and they returned to the boat.  Now how did Peter get back to the boat?  I'm guessing he walked on water again.

I know what it is to "sink" after stepping out of the boat and I know what it feels like to be in a place of barely keeping your head above water.  And if you're in this place today I have to ask you, are you ready to "walk on water again?"  First of all let's cry out to Jesus as Peter did.  "LORD SAVE ME!"   

Oh I guess I should have let you know this first.  If you're really serious about "walking on water" again instead of just treading water God will ask you to take another STEP OF FAITH.  Yes God has the audacity to ask you to take another step of faith.  After all, steps of faith can only be taken on top of the water, not while treading water. 

It's time to hear God, obey God and move forward with your life!  I recently listened to a message preached by Pastor Robert Morris of Gateway Church in Dallas, TX.  In his message he asked a question that has been replaying in my heart.  "Where's the next step of obedience for you?  Because that step of obedience could release a miracle in your life." 

Yes you'll probably have to overcome the thoughts of the past.  Yes you'll probably have to overcome fear.  But friends please don't allow the failures of your past to speak into your future!  It's time to be strong and courageous and overcome those fearful thoughts with faith in God.  In your failures it's important to know that GOD HAS NEVER FAILED YOU and He never will. 

So arise, hear God's voice, obey God and "walk on water!"  Yes it's time to DREAM.......AGAIN! Let me take it a step further and say it's time to WALK ON WATER.......AGAIN! 

Hebrews 11:6 (NLT)- "And it is impossible to please God without faith.  Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely him." 

Encouraging the World,

Ken Woolf


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Well I'm here at Christ for the Nations in Dallas, TX. waiting to pick up my son and bring him home to his mama for a few weeks.  He's enjoying barbecue with the other R.A.'s while I'm here at the coffee shop with a cup of coffee.  You don't sense a bit of jealousy do you?

I thought I'd take this time to make a quick blog post so my words won't be polished but from the heart.

It's been two years now that I made the decision to discontinue our newly planted church in Pueblo West, CO. and move back to Texas. Basically we walked away from the dream we believed God had put in our hearts.  Since that time I've thought of a "thousand" reasons why we should have stayed and a "thousand" reasons why we were justified in leaving. You can imagine the emotional roller coaster for the past two years.  Especially when your wife was willing to sell her dream home and I resigned a great church to go and live this dream!  It can be difficult to make sense of things at times.

But wait a minute, maybe that's the reason for the emotional roller coaster. You know, trying to make sense of it all. Especially since God tells me in Proverbs chapter 3 that I'm not supposed to depend on my own understanding but TRUST HIM!

Let me go ahead and share Proverbs 3:5,6.  "Trust in The Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take."

I love the definition of the word trust.  "The trait of believing in the honesty and reliability of others.  Complete confidence in a person or plan."

Friends you and I know that God cannot lie and He is faithful!  We can be confident in the plan God has for us.  But here's the big deal.  Can I trust Him with ALL my heart or am I holding back part of me because I don't want to be disappointed again?

The Bible tells us that "hope deferred makes the heart sick." Can I ask you a difficult question?  Is your heart "sick" today because there's been some type of devastating event in your life?  It's hard to trust God with all your heart if your heart is "sick."

Please allow me to encourage you today and tell you that your Heavenly Father loves you and wants to heal your wounded heart.  I find it interesting that after King David committed adultery part of his prayer of repentance included the following: "God create in me a clean heart."  David realized that God needed to heal his heart.

Maybe you and I need to pray that same prayer.  "God create in me a clean heart."  I can almost guarantee you that a person with a clean heart can trust God with ALL their heart.  You may not have sinned like David did but none the less your heart needs to be healed.

Okay I've just been tying away here at CFNI and still waiting on my son.  Let me challenge you!  Today is the day you can trust God with ALL your heart.  Don't try and make sense of all the disappointments.  It's time to move forward trusting and knowing that God still has a great plan for your life.

In fact it's time to DREAM.......AGAIN!

Encouraging the World,

Ken Woolf

Friday, May 3, 2013

Sometimes it's not easy,  "dreaming.......again."  You've laid it all on the table before and took that big leap of faith.  Oh,  and it was the same"leap of faith" you heard others talk about.  They took the step and incredible things happened!  Their church exploded in growth.  They started a new business and it grew and became very profitable.  Or they took a chance on a relationship and it turned out to be a "match made in heaven." 

But when it came time for you to take that "step of faith" you tripped over you're own two feet, and a few other "feet" that were put in your path.  It can be disheartening to say the least.  You've even tried to pick yourself up and it seems that every decision you make leads to discouragement and now you're just totally losing hope!  WHY EVEN DREAM.......AGAIN, I'm tired of being disappointed? 

Sometimes I wonder if that's how a man in the Bible named Peter felt.  He laid down his fishing nets to follow Christ and ended up watching the man he left everything for die on a cross.  Peter stepped out of a boat on stormy seas and started to walk to Jesus on the water but then started to sink and had to cry out  for help.  At one point Peter had a great revelation of who Jesus was and was recognized as having a revelation from God but in the same story was rebuked by Jesus.  After Peter tried to tell Jesus He wasn't going to die on the cross Jesus looked at him and said "get behind me Satan."  Think about it, one minute he's being applauded by Jesus and the next he's being rebuked.  Talk about a roller coaster ride.

Then Peter tried to tell Jesus that he would follow Him to the death but in response Jesus reveals to Peter that he's going to deny Him not once but three times.  Of course Peter argues about this and then ends up doing just what was predicted, denying  Christ.  It just didn't seem like Peter could get it right! 

So I can totally understand when Peter said in John 21 of the Bible, "I'm going fishing" and then asked a few friends to go with him.   I guess he figured he could get this right since he was an experienced fisherman.  But wouldn't you know it, they fished all night and caught nothing.  Now Peter couldn't even get this right. What was happening in his life?

I can tell you what was happening, God was setting him up for an encounter with Jesus Christ.  This is one my favorite chapters in the Bible.  Why is it my favorite?  Because Jesus showed up where they were at.  Jesus showed up on that sandy sea shore for Peter!  I know there are times we need to pursue God but I love it when He lets me know He's pursuing me!  

Don't you know it was reassuring for Peter to have Jesus show up and have a conversation with him.  A conversation that let Peter know that God still had a plan for him and that he just needed to continue following Jesus.

Some of us are really struggling with dreaming.......again because we're afraid of being disappointed....... again.  We no longer hope  because we've had our hopes crushed to many times.

Please allow me to encourage you!  Maybe it's time to listen for the voice of the Great Shepherd speaking to you.  He wants you to know He's pursuing you!   He wants to tell you that He still has a great plan for your life and you just need to continue following Him!

In other words, THE BEST IS YET TO COME!  With this in mind let me say without reservation, it's time to DREAM.......AGAIN!  Come on, you can do it because Jesus is closer to you then you might think.

Encouraging the World,

Ken Woolf


Saturday, April 20, 2013

"Afterward Paul felt compelled by the Spirit to go over to Macedonia and Achaia before going to Jerusalem.  And after that he said, I must go on to Rome." (Acts 19:21)

I fully understand how Paul must have felt.  Likewise I am compelled to go!   I have been extended a special invitation to speak at the graduation ceremony for the Christ for the Nations Bible School in Romania.  This is a great honor and privilege to participate and to commission leaders who are serving within Romania as they are sent out to fulfill God's purposes in their lives.  Some will go as church planters, some will go as missionaries- but all will go as fully equipped disciples of Jesus Christ to fulfill the Great Commission.

The invitation for this special ministry trip was recent. I will arrive a few days before the graduation to teach in classes and equip the students for the destiny that's before them. The trip dates are May 21-Jun 01.

I need your help!   I need to raise $2000.00 as soon as possible.  If you would like the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of these emerging leaders in the country of Romania would you prayerfully consider giving a financial gift to help make this trip possible.

Just today I opened and looked over a book I've already read by Bill Hybels called "Courageous Leadership."  I happened to open to chapter 6 which is titled "Developing Emerging Leaders."  Let me share a quote from Pastor Hybels.  "I think leaders are at their very best when they are raising up leaders around them.  Or put another way, leaders are at their best when they are creating a leadership culture."

The Bible tells us that "the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few."  If you would like to be involved in equipping laborers for the Kingdom of God you can send you tax deductible offering to World Connect- P.O. Box 4 - Port Neches, TX. 77651.  

No gift is too small.  After all $2000.00 is only 200 people giving $10.00 or 100 people giving $20.00 or 20 people giving $100.00.

Thank you so much for your prayers and consideration concerning this trip. If you'd like more information you can go to our web-site at    Just go to the events tab and then click on "New Event."

Encouraging the World,

Ken Woolf


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sorry it's been several weeks since I posted on my blog but we're back in gear now.

This event has been etched in my mind now for around 35 years.  Not in a negative way but as a gentle reminder of a powerful truth we all need to remember.

Since I was a young boy I've always loved running.  The joy of running played out with me joining my schools track team in the eighth grade and then continuing to the ninth grade.  While in eighth grade I was an average long distance runner maybe placing third in one meet.  I know I never placed first.

During the summer between my eighth and ninth grade years I worked very hard to become a better runner.  I ran almost every day and loved it.  Due to my hard work my running skills improved which was evident in my ninth grade year of  track.

I placed second or third in every meet and then the week before the district meet I placed first in the mile run.  All my hard work had been paying off.  Then came the district meet, the one that counted and would reveal the district champions in each event and the team champion in our district.

I felt great and was still excited about my first place finish the previous week.   The energy of winning first place was carrying over to this next and final competition of the year.  I started the race and was in the front of the pack almost the whole time.  As we started the last lap I began to pull away and took a solid lead.  I came around the last turn and could hear the fans and other teammates cheering me on.  Yes I was going to be the district champ in the mile run!

Then just a few yards from the finish line I did something I'd never done, I slowed down and looked back.  I guess I thought I had the race won.  Well you can probably figure out the result of my great mistake.  I was passed by another runner and lost the race.  And to top it off it was a guy from a school that was and still is a huge rival with the school I attended.

Why did I slow down and look back?  I'd been trained to never do this.  We heard it week after week from our coaches.  After the race I could hear my coach yelling at me, "Woolf,  you slowed down and looked back!"

Well I learned a great lesson  that day which you and I can apply to our lives even now.  Look at the following Bible scripture with me.

1 Corinthians 9:24- "Don't you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize?  So run to win!"

God has called each of us to run our race.  Throughout this "race" you're going to have successes and failures.  But my friends if you and I are going to "run to win" we cannot "slow down and look back."  This can be difficult  especially if your past holds some traumatic events.

I've spoke of our recent failure of planting a church in previous blogs.  I mean we stepped out in faith and did what we were certain God was asking us to do. We "fell flat on our face" and experienced devastation in many areas.  There were temptations to just quit and say the heck with it!  Just being honest!

But can I tell you that God is faithful and His grace is sufficient, even for your most difficult moments.  He will never leave you or forsake you!  Even when it appears things are falling apart around you.

But here's the deal.  As you remain connected to God He's going to let you know that you still have a race to run.  He's still calling you to fulfill His plan and purpose and you've got to "RUN TO WIN!"

What does that mean?  It means when God speaks to you and ask you to take a step of faith, YOU CAN'T SLOW DOWN AND LOOK BACK!"  You can't allow your past difficulties to cause fear in your heart and paralyze you and keep you from running forward with faith and courage.  

My friend it's time for you and me to DREAM AGAIN!  But if you're going to dream again there will be temptations to "slow down and look back."  Your biggest rival, Satan, does not want you to win your race.  He wants you to continually be looking back living in doubt and fear.

So we must determine today that we're going to "run to win."  As I write this I'm listening to a song I love.  You may have heard it before it goes like this.  "Your love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me."  I love it!  Because His love never runs out on us we can "RUN TO WIN AND DREAM AGAIN!"

Philippians 3:12-14- "I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection.  But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.  No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing:  Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us."

This verse says it all!  Friends it's time to let go of the past, don't look back, and DREAM AGAIN!

Encouraging the world,

Ken Woolf

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The following is something my daughter, Staci Lynn, recently wrote.  It really encouraged me!

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” ----Eleanor Roosevelt

“Feel the fear and then do it anyway” Jillian Michaels-The Biggest Loser

I believe I had inadvertently started on a path of self-destruction. By no means was this on purpose. Is it ever on purpose? We start out with the best intentions. We start out knowing that this time we will be bold. This time we won’t cower in a corner. This time, we will walk the path toward our dreams with courage and boldness. 

And then, there it is. That twinge in your stomach that says: “What the heck am I doing?” “You can’t do this.” “It’s not possible.”

That “BOLD” “COURAGEOUS” attitude lasted for…. about a minute, if that. Once the initial thought of, “There’s no way I can do this” sets in, it’s only downhill from there. The seed was planted. Doubt has now invaded. Fear has crept in. Again.  You find yourself in the pit you said you would never go back to. This pit is full of self-deprecating thoughts, hopelessness, unbelief, bitterness and that’s just naming a few of the things that tend to latch on to you.  You’ll never set out on an adventure that would prove to be more than you could handle again. It only leads to disappointment. We start believing every little lie that’s whispered in our ears. We have now created a habit of believing the worst about ourselves. This is one of the slowest most painful deaths that can invade our lives.  You are slowly killing yourself when your thoughts are consumed by toxic lies that are intended to hinder and barricade you. You think you’re protecting yourself. You think you’re “playing it safe”.  My friend, you are deceived.

Really, it wasn’t more than you could handle…

It was just more than you could control and that freaked you out.

How do I stop feeling this fear? How will I be happy or successful if I am constantly finding myself paralyzed with fear? How do I overcome this?

I believe the thing that separates the successful from the unsuccessful isn’t that they learned how to stop feeling afraid. It’s that they felt the fear and then did it anyway. 

Ultimately, the Perfect Love of God casts out all fear. So don’t think that I am saying you have to feel fear of every little thing for the rest of your life. God CAN and WILL deliver you.

BUT I believe it is stepping out in faith when you FEEL afraid and move forward anyway. It says that “Contrary to how I feel right now, I know that GOD loves me and is faithful and holds my world in the palm of his hand”.  God doesn’t fail folks.   We have temporary setbacks but there’s that beautiful truth that we can’t forget: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Start living and stop letting fear control your every move and every decision. It is not God’s will for you to live like that. In fact, he sent Jesus so we could have ABUNDANT LIFE! So have it, dadgummit. (Staci Lynn Woolf)
Good job sister
Stay Tuned


Friday, February 15, 2013

I'll never forget Friday February 8, 2013! I was speaking to hundreds of pastors and church leaders in Muhurro, Uganda from 2 Kings 13:14-19.  In this story Elisha became angry with the King because he only struck the ground three times with an arrow which revealed his lack of passion and faith.  You'll have to go and read the story.  While teaching this I communicated to those pastors that it could be  the King only struck the ground three times because he may of only had three arrows and that this would represent living life by sight instead of living by faith.  And if you know the Bible it tells us that "faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen."  I told those pastors and church leaders that if not careful we'll make the same mistake in ministry and make decisions based only on what we can see with our natural eye and not faith.  The Bible tells us that "without faith it is impossible to please God." 

This is where it gets interesting.  While praying for the pastors at the conclusion of the session the Holy Spirit spoke the following words in my spirit.  "You quit the church plant in Colorado based on what you saw with the natural eye."  You heard that right, I QUIT!  It was a very humbling moment for me.  I began to weep and had to stop praying and confess before these hundreds of pastors and church leaders that I had QUIT!  The voice in my spirit was not a condemning voice but it was the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit telling me that the decision I made to discontinue the church was one made out of doubt and fear based on what I could only see happening with my own sight.  It certainly was not a decision made in faith.  I QUIT! 

Oddly enough even as I type those words (I quit) I sense the cleansing stream of God flowing through my inner man as I did that day in Uganda.  No more wondering what went wrong, how could God do this or I must have made to many mistakes.  The reason why the church plant didn't work is finally summed up with the words, I QUIT!

Our last launch team member was now leaving to return to Texas and our financial support had dropped 90% for the last two months of the church.  I looked at what was happening in the natural and made the decision to discontinue the church instead of pressing through this moment living life by faith.  I knew God had sent us to Colorado but had lost sight of that and just gave up!  Something I never thought I'd do. 

But here's how great our God is.  As I began to meditate on what the Holy Spirit had spoke to me I was reminded of the Apostle Peter and how he never thought he'd deny Jesus, but he did.  Not once but three times!  Now here's the cool part.  It's not just coincidence that Peter was chosen on the day of Pentecost to preach the Gospel message to thousands of people and thousands were born again.  I just wonder how many people in the crowd that day had heard Peter deny Jesus just before His crucifixion?  Now they're hearing Peter preach the Gospel with boldness.  Can you see it?  OH THE GRACE OF OUR GOD! 

Here's my point.  When it was revealed to me that I closed the door in Colorado and not God, God didn't just leave it there.  He began to comfort me with the truth that He still has a great plan for my life and ministry. Yes I made a mistake but friends God's grace is greater then our mistakes and He is a God of restoration.  Yes, God is not just the God of a second chance but He is the God of ANOTHER CHANCE! 

I don't know where you're at today?  Maybe you're getting ready to quit something because of the circumstances surrounding you.  First let me encourage you to get alone with God and get a FAITH perspective and base your decisions on faith.  Maybe you're in a place like me where you've already quit.  Please don't fret my friend, as I said earlier GOD IS A GOD OF RESTORATION AND HE'S MORE THAN WILLING TO GIVE YOU ANOTHER CHANCE!  Build yourself up in your faith and seek God with all your heart and get ready to hear His instructions.  With God there's always another chance! 

I love it!  When you and I realize the truth that God gives us another chance then we can begin to DREAM.......AGAIN! So don't let anything stop you and have faith in our God because the best is yet to come! 


Stay Tuned

PS I had to add this last paragraph.  Just as I finished proof reading this post getting ready to publish it I looked at the time and it was 3:33pm.  In case you don't know many times the number three represents resurrection.  With God your dreams won't stay dead long.  Seek Him and He'll resurrect those dreams! You may think it strange but I just laughed and gave God praise! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

These people are rebellious and evil.  Let's do everything we can to frustrate and discourage them.  We'll even write a letter of accusation against them and bribe some people to help us stop them!  What their doing is wrong and can't continue!

This sounds like some pretty awful people doesn't it?  Well it might surprise you to know these are things that were being said and done against the Children of Israel when they were released from captivity and sent back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple of God.  You can read about it in the Book of Ezra.

I mean these people were DREAMING.......AGAIN!  Let me share Psalm 126:1,2 again.  "When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem, it was like a dream!  We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy...."  While writing this I can sense their excitement.  Maybe they were realizing their true identity.  They were now beginning to understand that they were not "children of captivity" but they were children of the Most High God!

Yet immediately they faced opposition.  They experienced negative words spoken against them trying to remind them of their past.  Words trying to identify them as someone other then who God created them to be.  I can only imagine some of the inner personal struggles they must have faced in overcoming their past but now they had to overcome the words of others!  

When you experience failure in any area of life such as a failed marriage, business or even a moral failure you not only have to overcome your own negative thoughts and emotions but sometimes you have to overcome the words and actions of others.  Even Christian brothers and sisters.  And sometimes  these negative words and actions come from others simply because we're not doing what they want.  It happens!  Friends there's nothing new under the sun.  It happened to the Children of Israel and it will happen to you and me.  ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU'RE TRYING TO REBUILD AFTER A FAILURE!

For the Children of Israel it even got to the point they were so discouraged and fearful that they were forced to stop rebuilding the temple.  And this is were many people are that have set out to rebuild after a tragedy.  You've faced much opposition from the words and actions of others on top of your own personal struggles and now you're just surviving instead of living life with value and purpose.

BUT TODAY I HAVE GOOD NEWS!  I love Ezra 5 because it tells us that God sent His Prophets to encourage the Children of Israel so they started again to rebuild the temple of God!  CAN YOU SEE IT? PLEASE DON'T MISS THIS.  WHAT THEY NEEDED WAS SOME ENCOURAGEMENT  NOT DISCOURAGEMENT!

I know there are times in my life I need to encourage myself and that's very important but in a season of rebuilding it's also vitally important that you have people around you who will encourage you.  

As I'm writing this I just heard the following words in my spirit.  "It's not a sign of weakness to have people around you to encourage you.  In fact it's pride to think you can do it on your own."  Let me say it again, we need each other!  It's interesting!  We need each other but no-one can take the place of God in your life.  He's the ultimate encourager!  In fact He wants to encourage you through others.

That's why you need to IGNORE those who are trying to discourage you.  Jesus had a gift of ignoring those who were trying to accuse and discourage Him and we should do the same.  Circle your life with people who believe in you and will encourage you.

Just a little side note.  The Bible identifies Satan as "The Accuser of the Brethren."

In closing this blog post let me challenge you with a few things.  When necessary encourage yourself in the Lord.  Build an inner circle of people who are for you and will encourage you.  Distant yourself from those who discourage and accuse you and others.  AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS YOU CAN DO IS BE AN ENCOURAGER!

Here's what I've discovered.  When I know for certain that God is for me and not against me and I can encourage myself and others and have people around me that are encouraging me, these are the ingredients for DREAMING.......AGAIN!

Stay Tuned, more to come! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Quitting is not an option!  I've had to settle this in my heart.  Have there been times that giving up and living the "easy life" was something I thought about?  Most certainly!  Have I thought about just getting a simple decent paying job and moving to some small town and my wife and I just hide out for the rest of our lives?  Yes I have!  Well, Jeanie won't let us move to a very small town so let me say a "medium" size town. 

But friends listen to this.  If we did that we'd be living the rest of our lives as victims of our tragedy and that's just something I refuse to do.  Look at the following verse God spoke to the Children of Israel while they were still in captivity. 

Jeremiah 29:11- "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.  They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." 

Now does that sound like "victim" living to you?  No way!  God says I've got a great plan for your life.  I don't want to sound to strong here but I've got to say what's on my heart.  There comes a time we've got to stop whining over our tragedy and "get back in the game."  Please, I'm not trying to be harsh and insensitive, and people who know me know that's true.  My desire is to encourage!  But quitting and just living as a victim the rest of your life is not God's plan for you.  He loves you and me and wants us to step into the new day He has prepared for us. 

One of the reasons I started this blog was because I felt the Spirit of God was telling me that there are many "wounded warriors" out there who have just quit because of some tragic event or circumstances that discouraged them to the point of giving up.  My challenge to you is to "get back in the game!"  God still has a great plan for your life and He wants to use your pain for His purpose. 

Several years ago a great woman of God by the name of Barbara Wentroble prophesied over my wife and I and said that God was going to give us the ability to pull people from the "trash heap" of life and make them men and women of God.  Little did we know that this ability would be developed and come from going through our own "trash heap!" 

Friends let me say it again.  God wants to use your pain for His purpose.  The tragedy, difficult circumstance, or whatever you want to call it, God wants to use it to reach and bring healing to others.  I can't wait to see all the people God is going to allow us to minister to out of our tragedy! 

There are times I still struggle with fear of failure and rejection but once I get into God's presence and hear His voice the fear and rejection leave and I'm encouraged to continue moving forward because I know God has great things in store for our future! 

The same can be true for you.  Will you still have struggles from time to time?  Absolutely!  But when you're living life as a victor and not a victim you can move forward and overcome every obstacle. 

So here's my challenge to you today:  "Get back in the Game" and DREAM.......AGAIN! AND NEVER FORGET THAT GOD IS FOR YOU!

Stay tuned for more


Monday, January 14, 2013

I'm worthless.  I'm a failure.  God is punishing me for my mistakes.  Nothing good will ever happen to me.  My spouse thinks I'm a failure.  My children think I'm a failure.  Everybody rejects me.  Why even try again it will just fail.  I don't have what it takes.  God is done with me.  I hate my life.  I'm  not good enough.  Everybody thinks it's my fault.  God's promises don't apply to me.   I'm just a loser!  

Don't kid yourself!  When you've been through devastating situations and you're working to rebuild, the biggest battle you'll face is going to take place behind your two eyes and between your two ears!  If you haven't figured it out yet I'm talking about the battle that's going to take place in your mind.  And if the above is just some of the thoughts you've been battling with please allow me to caution you and encourage you at the same time.

The Bible tells us "that as a man thinks in his heart, SO IS HE."  If you allow these thoughts to rule your mind and heart you are destined to live out these negative, destructive thoughts.  I can't tell you how many times, in my low moments, I looked at my wife and asked her the following question.  "Why would you want to be married to me, I'm just a loser!"  Now, I have the most incredible wife in the world. She has stood with me through some very difficult times and encouraged me when she was down herself.  I thank God for her everyday!

But there came a time I had to stop allowing these kind of thoughts to control my mind and therefore control my life.  How did I overcome these destructive thoughts?  Well I didn't, but God did!  Let me quickly explain.

I've been studying the books of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Bible.  The purpose is because these books record the events of the Children of Israel rebuilding the temple of God, rebuilding their city and rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem.  Basically they were rebuilding their lives after being taken captive and being held in captivity for approximately 70 years.  I'm not going into great detail at this point.

But here's the interesting thing I've noticed.  When they were released from their captivity and allowed to return home to rebuild the temple, rebuilding the temple was not the first thing they did.  The first thing they did was build an altar and offered sacrifices to God.  Simply put, they put their focus on God!   They began to worship Him!

Stop and think about it with me.  When I'm thinking all those negative, destructive thoughts, my focus is on ME. And I can't fix ME and YOU can't fix YOU!  But God can and will but we've got to focus on HIM!

Here's the cool thing about all this.  When I begin to focus on God I begin to think about me the way  God thinks about me.  And my friend, God has nothing but good thoughts about you and has a great plan for your life.  I love the following verse.  Oh by the way, it was written about the Children of Israel after they were released from captivity.

Psalm 126:1,2-"When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem, it was like a dream. We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy.  And the other nations said, What amazing things the Lord has done for them."  

Can you see it?  When you begin to focus on God, you begin to think about you the way He thinks about you.  And when you think about you the way He thinks about you, YOU will begin to DREAM.......AGAIN!

Oh by the way, God's not rejecting you because of your failures.  His grace is much greater then you might realize.  Focus your heart and mind on Him and experience His unconditional love!

Much more coming, stay tuned!