The Smell of Knowledge

by billV on October 9, 2017

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I was reading this morning in Psalm 139:16 where King David says that the eyes of God saw your substance and wrote it down in a book before you ever came to be. Every time I walk into an old bookstore or enter a university library (you know the kind with a spiral staircase in the corner and the smell of ancient knowledge) I always get this sense of the presence of God. I know that may sound ridiculous, but I get the sense that God really likes books. There’s something about the recording of wisdom that seems to be close to His heart, and it wouldn’t surprise me if eternity doesn’t reveal that Heaven has a library. Books, kind of like God Himself, require tactile interaction and searching to mine the information in them. They’re not hiding anything that a seeking heart can’t uncover. And the thought that God has a book specifically related to the substance of your being and the destiny of your days is quite powerful. The next time you walk into an old bookstore, see if you don’t find it to be a nice place to pray and ask God what He’s written about you.

Motive and Means

by billV on October 8, 2017

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The news one week ago today brought word of the tragedy in Las Vegas. One man, with a crowd before him, and the means to kill, crossed the line from thought to action, and today dozens of families are being forced to live the unimaginable. The demonic influence of fear is a thief desperate to steal your peace. We must never allow tragedy to cause us to lose hope. Just as one man motivated by hate can change the world, how much more can one person empowered by Love? Two millennia ago in Jerusalem, one man with a crowd before him, and the means to save, crossed the line from thought to action. Today, millions of families are awakened daily to the grace of Jesus Christ. He saved then, and He saves now. He breathed His Spirit into us and has never stopped breathing. Pray for those affected by this tragedy, and let Love motivate you to freely give hope and grace to a confused world.

One Man

by billV on October 2, 2017

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The news today brought word of the tragedy in Las Vegas. One man, with a crowd before him, and the means to kill, crossed the line from thought to action, and today dozens of families are being forced to live the unimaginable. The demonic influence of fear is a thief desperate to steal your peace. We must never allow tragedy to cause us to lose hope. Just as one man motivated by hate can change the world, how much more can one person empowered by Love? Two millennia ago in Jerusalem, one man with a crowd before him, and the means to save, crossed the line from thought to action. Today, millions of families are awakened daily to the grace of Jesus Christ. He saved then, and He saves now. He breathed His Spirit into us and has never stopped breathing. Pray for those affected by this tragedy, and let Love motivate you to freely give hope and grace to a confused world.

I Am

by billV on September 26, 2017

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In Christ – The Word of God Says
I AM:
• Godʼs child for I am born again of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God which lives and abides forever. (1 Pet. 1:23)
• Forgiven of all my sins and washed in the blood of Jesus.
(Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:12; Heb. 9:14; 1 John 1:9; 1 John 2:12)
• A new creation.(2 Cor. 5:17)
• The temple of the Holy Spirit.(1 Cor. 6:19)
• Delivered from the power of darkness and translated into Godʼs Kingdom.(Col. 1:13)
• Redeemed from the curse of the law.(1 Pet. 1:18, 19; Gal. 3:13)
• Blessed.(Deut. 28:1-14; Gal. 3:9)
• A saint.(Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:2; Phil. 1:1)
• The head and not the tail.(Deut. 28:13)
• Above only and not beneath.(Deut. 28:13)
• Holy and without blame before Him in love.(1 Pet. 1:16; Eph. 1:4)
• Elect.(Col. 3:12; Rom. 8:33)
• Chosen.(1 Thess. 1:4; Eph. 1:4; 1 Pet. 2:9)
• Established to the end.(1 Cor. 1:8)
• Made near by the blood of Christ.(Eph. 2:13)
• Victorious!(Rev. 21:7)
• Set free.(John 8:31-33)
• Strong in the Lord.(Eph. 6:10)
• Dead to sin.(Rom. 6:2,11; 1 Pet. 2:24)
• More than a conqueror.(Rom. 8:37)
• A joint heir with Christ.(Rom. 8:17)
• Sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.(Eph. 1:13)
• In Christ Jesus by His doing.(1 Cor. 1:30)
• Accepted in the beloved.(Eph. 1:6)
• Complete in Him.(Col. 2:10)
• Crucified with Christ.(Gal. 2:20)
• Alive with Christ.(Eph. 2:5)
• Free from condemnation.(Rom. 8:1)
• Reconciled to God.(2 Cor. 5:18)
• Qualified to share in His inheritance.(Col. 1:12)
• Firmly rooted, built up, established in my faith, overflowing with gratitude.(Col. 2:7)D
• A fellow citizen with the saints and of the household of God.(Eph. 2:19)
• Born of God and the evil one DOES NOT touch me.(1 John 5:18)
• In the world as He is in heaven.(1 John 4:17)
• His faithful follower.(Rev. 17:14b; Eph. 5:1)
• Overtaken with blessings.(Deut. 28:2; Eph. 1:3)
• His disciple because I have love for others.(John 13:34,35)
• The salt of the earth and the light of the world.(Matt. 5:13,14)
• The righteousness of God.(1 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:24)
• A partaker of His divine nature.(2 Pet. 1:4)
• Called of God.(2 Tim. 1:9)
• The first fruits among his creation.(James 1:18)
• An ambassador for Christ.(2 Cor. 5:20)
• Godʼs workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.(Eph. 2:10)
• Healed by the stripes of Jesus.(1 Pet. 2:24; Isaiah 53:6)
• Being changed into His image.(2 Cor. 3:18; Phil. 1:6)
• Beloved of God.(Col. 3:12; Rom. 1:7; 1 Thess. 1:4)
• Raised up with Christ and seated in heavenly places with Him.(Col. 2:12; Eph. 2:6)
• Always triumphant in Christ.(2 Cor. 2:14)
• Freed from the law of sin and death.(Rom. 8:2)
• Brought into the glorious liberty of the children of God.(Rom. 8:21)

The Emancipation of the Gospel

by billV on April 27, 2017

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In July, 1862, Abraham Lincoln drafted the first pass at the emancipation proclamation. It wouldn’t go live nationwide until January, 1863. And like any idea that threatens to change people’s lives, it took some getting used to. People’s love for good news is only outweighed by their fear of change. Or to put it another way, if you take someone out of a log cabin in Kentucky and put them in a mansion in Beverly Hills, they might not adapt so easily. You may recall a quaint little tv show about this in the 60’s called the Beverly Hillbillies. Contrary to the lofty ideals of thousands of former slaves packing up for a well deserved weekend at the beach to celebrate the emancipation proclamation, it took many years for the effects of that freedom to be realized. One slave claimed to believe in Mr. Lincoln, and had heard of the emancipation, but was heading out to the field to tend to it because even though he was told that he was free he simply didn’t know what that meant. And so it is with the Gospel. The Gospel means “good news” and news is to report that which has happened. The cross and resurrection is the emancipation proclamation of Heaven over humanity. You are free. Yes, you. Even YOU! The Holy Spirit will teach you how to be free.

Why I Believe

by billV on April 15, 2017

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I believe in God because of Jesus. I believe in Jesus because of the resurrection. And I believe in the resurrection because of the disciples. We can argue the existence of God, the validity of Jesus, or the legitimacy of the resurrection. But the life and death of each of the disciples is the greatest historical case for the resurrection. These men, one moment huddling in fear, have an encounter with the resurrected Christ, and that changes them forever. Ordinary men don’t die for a lie. And each of them separately, with no way to easily contact the other, was killed or tortured and none of them ever said, “Stop! We made the whole thing up.” That’s simply astonishing.

How did they die?

James was the first Apostle to be martyred. Herod Agrippa seized him when he was in Jerusalem in the year 42 and had him beheaded. Andrew preached the Gospel in Turkey, Greece, and Macedonia. He was crucified in Achaia at Patras in the year 61. Tied to an X-shaped cross after being scourged, he hung there he preached to people for two days before he died. Peter was martyred by Nero in the year 67. Peter was crucified, by request, upside down, out of reverence for Jesus. His request was granted. Paul was beheaded on the same day as Peter outside the walls of Rome. Simon was crucified at Edessa in the year 67. Matthew preached in Africa and was martyred by the sword in the year 65 in Ethiopia. Thomas was stabbed to death at Mylapore, India, in the year 74. Matthias (who replaced Judas) was crucified in the year 65. Jude was clubbed to death the same year in Persia. James the less had it rough in Jerusalem. The religious leaders took him to the pinnacle of the temple and told him to renounce Christ before all the people who were gathered below. Instead he proclaimed Christ resurrected and they cast him off. Still living after he hit the ground, a man stepped forward and smashed his head in with a club. Philip preached the Gospel in Greece and he was martyred at Hierapolis in Persia in the year 62. Like Peter, he was crucified upside down. Bartholomew was skinned alive in Armenia in the year 72. John was the only one not martyred. However, in the year 95, he was taken prisoner at Ephesus and sent to trial in Rome. Sentenced to death, he was boiled in oil before the Latin gate. Miraculously he survived and was exiled to the island of Patmos. He was later freed and died at Ephesus in the year 100 when he was eighty-eight years old.

So this Easter, I’m compelled to look around me at the arguments of people against the existence of God and the validity of Jesus, and each one has their theories. But the resurrection has moved from theory to fact in my heart because of my own encounter with the resurrected Christ. I understand now, how these men found a cause worth living and dying for. And it’s their lives, message, and deaths that solidify for me the truth of the resurrection, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the everlasting love of the Father. May Easter weekend bring each of you a life changing encounter with the resurrected Christ.

(For anyone who wants to do research on this, I highly recommend Historian Michael Licona’s incredible work called, “The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach”. At 700 pages and more than 2000 footnotes, Licona has done his homework. Also for the especially studious scholar, see the writings of historian, Josephus, Eusebius, and the early church fathers such as Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Dionysius of Corinth, Irenaeus, Tertullian and the list goes on.)

What's the Point of Prayer and Fasting?

by billV on February 14, 2017

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Disciplines like prayer and fasting don’t make God. They make me. There’s no arm twisting or begging of God in these things. They are reminders of Spirit, a focused intention tending to the roots of faith in the soil of the heart. The disciplines of of prayer and fasting kill unbelief and give rise to an awareness that we are more than mere flesh and form. We don’t do these things because we are becoming something. We do these things to become aware of who we are. When you lose yourself, return to prayer.
When your heart is darkened by foolishness, return to fasting. When you forget who you are, pray and listen. When you’re offended at God, fast and detox. These aren’t dead religious works unless they become lifeless habit. They are an infusion of Presence in purposeful acts of life-giving worship. In prayer and fasting, I awaken and align to who the Father has always known me to be from before the foundation of the world. These disciplines keep me from becoming consumed with me.
The desire for things diminishes as the awareness of the Spirit is illuminated in clarity. If you have lost and let go of these disciplines in an effort to rest in a revelation of grace, I encourage you to revisit some of these disciplines that were so important to Jesus Christ. Let the Spirit draw you to them and them to you and in that drawing you will find the Spirit life and depth of soul tie with God that you longed to discover when you said your first prayer.

Four Words for the New Year

by billV on January 1, 2017

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On a mid December night in Titusville, FL, a small group of people who are heroes of mine, Jack Taylor, Leif Hetland, and a few others gathered. After a time of visiting and sharing a meal, we began to worship and pray. These words came out of that meeting.

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In Christ

by billV on April 20, 2016

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Ministry Pics

by billV on December 27, 2013

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Supernatural Life Conference, Harrisburg, PA

Supernatural Life Conference, Harrisburg, PA

Supernatural Life Conference, Harrisburg, PA
Supernatural Life Conference, Harrisburg, PA

Supernatural Life Conference, Harrisburg, PA

Ministering the Grace of Jesus in the Bronx, NYC

Ministering the Grace of Jesus in the Bronx, NYC

Jubilee Outreach, San Antonio, TX

Jubilee Outreach, San Antonio, TX

Austin, TX

Austin, TX

Austin, TX, Outreach

Austin, TX, Outreach

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Cathedral of Prasie, Austin, TX

Cathedral of Prasie, Austin, TX