Poverty & Injustice 

On December 23, 2015 We See Jesus Ministries and our Haitian partners visited the children’s prison in Delmas, Haiti. Delmas is a suburb of Port Au Prince, Haiti. Port Au Prince, Haiti is the 18th most dangerous city in the whole world. Our team was going to this prison for the third time. We were going to deliver dessert and soap so the young men would be able to clean their clothes. When we arrived there was a police pick up truck that had just arrived also with new mattresses for the kids. That was very encouraging. In spite of a great deal of poverty and injustice progress is happening in the poorest country in this hemisphere. As we were getting ready to see the kids there was a small problem. The kids were playing soccer and were dirty and smelly and they had no water at the prison for the boys and young men to shower. So at first they didn’t want us to see the kids in that dirty/smelly condition. So we ordered for (70 USD) a truck full of water so they could shower after we would leave. So we went into their cell block preached the gospel and passed out crackers, soda and soap to clean their clothes with. All of the young men received what we were delivering, some of the young men received Christ. It was also encouraging to see how well the police were treating the kids.

There was a young man in prison who was out helping everything go smoothly. His name was Makson. His story was very moving. I am not writing to say whether he is innocent or guilty. I am writing just to show you another reality. The reality of those who are poor and have no voice. Makson has been in prison for three years so far. He was accused of raping a young girl and getting her pregnant. In three years he has not seen a judge once. There was no DNA test proving him to be guilty. So when poverty is your reality you are actually guilty until proven innocent, unlike when you have money you are innocent until proven guilty. The deeper your pockets are the louder your voice is. If your pockets are empty you have no voice. He is not a victim of racism, he is afflicted by poverty and injustice is his reality. If he gets a just trial with a DNA test and is proven to be guilty then he needs to serve his due sentence. But what if he is not guilty? Then what? Precious years of his life may have been stolen simply because he is poor and the system, even where there is not racism, is corrupt. It is the government’s job to punish him and the church’s job to love and visit him. It is important that we don’t confuse these different but God ordained roles. All authority comes from God, but that does not mean all people use the authority God gave them correctly. To administer the authority God gave you correctly is called Justice. The more poverty there is, the more injustice there will be. The more poverty there is, the less police there will be. Remember police are just like you and I they don’t work for free because they to have mouthes to feed. As I write this I am sitting on a deck on an island off of Haiti watching my son play in the sand with his Haitian friends. The question I am asking myself is my son, Justice, has justice but what about Makson? What about the poor who have no representation? What about the Fatherless who have no defender on earth? What I am saying is that it is important that we leverage our voice, influence, relationships and resources for the poor

Bar Outreach  

After church on December 20th, 2015 at about 8:25 pm Rescue Church did an outreach to the bar across the street from the church. It is an El Salvadorian bar with bars on the windows. The music was loud, the lights were low, there was a man there drooling on himself. The owner was friendly, we were able to literally pray and give her prophetic words while she was bartending. We told her that God had a purpose for her life that was greater than passing out drinks. She allowed 6 of us to walk into her bar and hand out Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards to the people who were there. It was a pretty unique experience. Other people were prayed for, one guy gave my friend Joseph a hug and thanked him for the gift card. A few other guys were honest about saying they had already received a gift card when I went to give them one. A few others were prayed for. Some people didn’t want prayer, and a few didn’t want the gift card. All in all the people were pretty receptive considering how loud it was in the bar. Kindness is the seed that fertilizes the soil of men’s hearts. People respond to the gospel more when we extend a hand instead of pointing a finger. For a long time good hearted and well meaning people have pointed a finger at the world instead of extending a hand. It is important to remember that condemnation has never saved anyone. People are saved by grace through faith when we (the church) give them (the world) a reason to believe in Jesus. It is not us against them, it is us for them the same way that Jesus was for us.

When Jesus came to earth through the womb of a virgin, Israel was under Roman oppression. Israel was an occupied nation, their land was taken, they were heavily taxed and extorted, their women were raped. There was a genocide going on of the Hebrews boys. In that climate heaven responded in the opposite spirit. At the birth of Christ the heavenly host of angels declared “peace on earth and goodwill toward men.” The gospel that we preach and the life that we live needs to communicate and demonstrate “peace on earth and goodwill toward men.” The clearest expression of love and goodwill is generosity. Generosity gives prosperity a purpose. Your act of goodwill may just help someone find God’s will for their life.

How are your Emotions?

How are your emotions? How you manage your emotions will determine the quality of your life. How you mange your emotions will determine how much people trust you. There is a direct connection between how you manage your feelings and how you manage your friendships. Many people are like a hard drive that is 98 % full and slowing down. When the hard drive is very close to full the computer is not only slower but it is also at risk of crashing. Crashing could mean that you loose what you have because you didn’t protect it well. Many people are one situation away from a meltdown. Your mind, will and emotions are limited in both strength and space. Keeping a clear conscience is not just about admitting when you are wrong or confessing sin, its also about managing your emotions. If you don’t manage your emotions you may have a meltdown. The same way if you don’t make space on the hard drive and just keep saving stuff your computer may eventually crash. The end result of not managing emotions could even be murder or suicide, so this is a very serious thing. Your emotional health is determined by what you internalize and what you externalize. Here is a model I have used especially during hard times.


What to Internalize and what to Externalize.

Internalize – think about and focus on.

  1. What God says in his word (the Bible) and by his Holy Spirit.
  2. What God does. (The Testimonies of the Lord)
  3. Success. (What I have learned from what I did right) 
  4. The lessons I have learned and why? (What I learned from my failures)
  5. Good advice I have received from wise counselors.

Externalize – write them down on paper until you are done processing what was presented to you. 

  1. Problems
  2. Needs
  3. Temptation
  4. Criticism
  5. Failures

We should write down what we internalize as well. The reason I am saying to write down what you are externalizing is so that your problems don’t occupy precious and priceless space in your soul. I hope this helps you process what emotions you are feeling. Remember, emotions make a great servant but a terrible master. 

God is Not in Control

God is not in control and he doesn’t want to be in control. If God wanted to be in control, he would be in control. Who is going to stop him? Who has the power to stop the all-powerful? His power is manifested in that he doesn’t want to be in control. Only weak insecure people want to be in control of others. People who are motivated by fear, lust, pride and greed those are the type of people who want to be in control of others. Powerful people let other people choose their own path; they let others determine their own destiny. In fact the more powerful someone is the less they want to be in control. God is the creator and the sustainer of all things. Jesus is both the Savior and the Judge of all of humanity. I believe in the Deity of Jesus and the Supremacy of Christ. I believe in the Sovereignty of God. I believe God is all-powerful, all knowing and omnipresent. God is clearly in charge, but not in control. If God wanted to be in control he would not have given you a free will. God created all of the animals and then waited for Adam to name them. Does that sound like someone who wanted to be in control? God is a loving Father, a benevolent King, and righteous Judge, but he is not a cosmic control freak. But what about all the evil in the world? Glad you asked. The news doesn’t show us the absence of God; it shows us the presence of the devil. The devil commits a crime and then puts God’s fingerprints on the scene. Don’t believe the lies. God is clearly revealed in Jesus. Jesus died for us while we were still sinners. Does that sound like someone who wants to condemn or control you? Jesus died for everyone, everywhere through out all ages, but we have to choose to believe him. He invites us to follow him. He doesn’t control or manipulate us; he simply invites us to follow him. Will you follow Jesus? You are valuable, you cost him everything. You may be saying, “but I am an atheist I don’t believe in God”, well he believes in you. He loves you and he is pursuing you. No matter who you are or what you have done here is what Jesus is saying to you, “Come to me.”

Prisoners of Hope

In this blog you will find 8 reasons why you can have hope. If you are a believer in Jesus you are a prisoner of hope. In fact you are possessed by promise that is both now and forever. If you are not yet a believer in Jesus just know, he believed you were worth dying for. You are valuable to Jesus. No matter what you have done, no matter what you haven’t done. No matter what has been done to you, no matter what hasn’t been done for you. Jesus is saying to you, “come to me.” Again it doesn’t matter if you are a believer or a gay atheist, or even a terrorist. Jesus is saying to you, “come to me.” Everyone is invited, there is room in his house, there is food at his table. Your repentance (change of mind) is required, all you have to do is acknowledge your need for Jesus and immediately you have access to hope. If you are breathing there is hope. Hope has a name it’s – Jesus. In this life there are ups and downs, good times and bad times. Just know that in the roller coster of real life there is hope. Hope is an anchor to your soul. It gives you emotional stability. Emotional stability makes life worth living. Hope means you can live above your circumstances, it means your challenges don’t have to control you. 

When you have wept until you can’t weep anymore just remember one day God will wipe every tear from your eyes. When you feel like a square peg in around hole and you’re walking through life trying to find your place, just remember that Jesus himself has prepared a place for you in his Fathers house. When you have dieted, exercised and have tried your hardest and done your best and you can’t lose those last 10 extra pounds just remember that one day you will receive a new body, one that is incorruptible. I think that means no pimples or stretch marks, not sure on that one. When you can’t reconcile why planet earth is so dysfunctional remember God will make all things new. I am not saying this so that you don’t try your best in this life. I am not saying this because I believe that you are a victim who can’t have victory. I am just reminding you that we have ultimate hope that trumps the temporary and is eternal. We also have hope in this life which is the anchor for our soul. Below you will find 8 reasons why you can and should look at tomorrow and forever with hope. 

Hope in this life.

  1. Jesus will never leave you or forsake you. (Matthew 28:20)
  2. Jesus will keep you by his power. (1 Peter 1:5)
  3. Jesus will finish the work he began in you. (Philippians 1:6)

Ultimate hope, hope in the life to come.

  1. You will receive a new body. ( 1 Corinthians 15:52-54)
  2. God will wipe away every tear from your eyes. (Revelation 21:4)
  3. There will be no more pain, no more sorrow and no more death. (Revelation 21:4)
  4. Jesus himself has prepared a place for you in Father God’s house. (John 14:2-3)
  5. There will be a new heaven and a new earth. (Isaiah 65:17)

Self Neglect VS Self Denial

You have a relationship with yourself. Jesus knew that and so he said, “love your neighbor as yourself.” He also said, “take up your cross deny yourself and follow me.” So which one should we do? Both. In fact doing one empowers us to do the other. Whether we know it or not we have a relationship with ourselves. Whether we speak out loud to ourselves or not we have an ongoing conversation with ourselves so we might as well be nice. Self Neglect is not denying yourself. Denying yourself is putting away sinful thoughts, speech and actions that lead to bad habits and harmful consequences. If you neglect yourself long enough you will not have the strength to deny yourself. Let me give you a practical example. I will use myself so as to not project my issue on you. If I wait too long to eat, I will most likely over eat or eat something that is unhealthy do to the level of hunger that I am feeling at the time. If I don’t neglect myself and I prepare for my day by having a healthy snack with me chances are a lot higher that I will not over eat and that I will probably eat something healthy. So preparing a healthy snack such as cashews or almonds is a practical way that I can love myself. Because I am not neglecting myself, I am positing myself not to eat two slices of pizza while I am out and about. Sometimes loving yourself is just thinking ahead and being prepared to make better choices that you won’t regret later. The more we care for ourselves now, the less regret we will have later. I have never regretted drinking a protein shake, however I  have regretted drinking a huge milkshake.

Many people think they are denying themselves when actually they are neglecting themselves. Jesus is the most amazing example of someone who did not neglect himself, but did denied himself so much that he never even sinned once. Not in thought, word or action. He knew exactly what he needed to do so that he could do what God was requiring him to do. We need to learn from his example. There were times where the disciples were sleeping and Jesus was praying. There were other times when the disciples were up wide awake and afraid in a storm, but Jesus was sleeping. If you love yourself, you will take care of yourself and that will allow you to deny yourself in other areas of life when temptations come. This is not about finger pointing its about soul searching. Being rested and prayerful will make you better able to care for yourself and deny yourself. 

I will leave you with 3 questions that will help you turn this blog post into an action plan that will help you make progress in your own life. 

  1. What is a practical way that you can love yourself today? (This must be productive, not destructive.)
  2. Is there an area in your life that you need to deny yourself?
  3. Is there an area in your life where you have been neglecting yourself?

Remember to care for yourself, invest in yourself and deny yourserlf. You are valuable, you matter! 

5 ways to get Wisdom

The wisest and wealthiest man to ever live said, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Wisdom begins when we know that in the end we will have to answer to God for our motives, words, actions, relationships and the resources that were entrusted to us. When we make decisions from that place of understanding generally we make wise decisions. Jesus said, “wisdom is justified by her children.” Wisdom leaves us both evidence and an inheritance. What is interesting about wisdom is that it outlives the wise. Think of King Solomon, his wisdom is still speaking today although he is not. There are several types of wisdom. There is wisdom that is revealed. This is supernatural logic, that is only made possible through the faith of Jesus. This is hidden wisdom. God gives us revelation and we get wisdom. That is the wisdom that we can ask God for and he gives it to us based on our ability to receive and steward it. Then there is received wisdom that comes by asking the right questions and making the right observations.

Below are 5 ways to get wisdom.

  1. We get wisdom when we ask God for wisdom in faith understanding that he is generous. (James 1:5)
  2. We get wisdom we learn from our mistakes, our lessons learned become wisdom gained.
  3. We get wisdom when we respond to correction properly.
  4. We get wisdom when we stop long enough to reflect on our priorities, progress and circumstances.
  5. We get wisdom when we ask specific questions to people who care for us and are qualified to answers us.