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Grace + Freedom + Empowerment + Hope & Healing

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You can't out-run the grip of grace- Podcast #45

podcast salvation sozo Jan 15, 2018

There’s a phrase I used to hear a lot when I played sports: “It’s not over ‘til the fat lady sings.” 

I know. That statement is not politically correct. Still, it’s a kick back to the days of opera when the big gal got up and belted out the final tune, a song that sometimes lasted 20 minutes or more. You could anticipate that the end was coming… but there was still much time to go. 

After she sang… Well, then- and only then- was the show over. 

Coach after coach used to tell us that phrase to keep us focused- even while we were losing. Their point? It’s not over until the final whistle blows. Keep going. Even if you think it’s almost over, keep on… 

 

The highway to hell is never irreversible

With Jesus, it’s never over. Ever. Not even when the big gal is warming up. The highway to hell is never irreversible. 

Read Psalm 139. David says that if he ascends to the highest height,...

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Living the Presence of the Future... Now- Podcast #44

podcast Jan 08, 2018

If it seems that you sometimes "don't fit in," that's probably a good sign, right? Follow me here... 

One one extreme, a lot of people believe that this world is winding down, that the earth may actually be burned up by fire, and that the only hope we have is for God to start over. It sounds bleak, apocalyptic, and it creates a mindset that detaches us from the present in such a way that we no longer live like salt and light but live like an irritant- often by expressing our irritation with how things are going…

The reality IS that our world has a way of doing things, a blueprint that seems to be its norm. That’s true for the “big issues” (wars, political nonsense, etc.), but it’s true for small things, as well (the stuff of everyday life). But that doesn’t mean the planet is about to be judged, destroyed, or that it will even simply vanish… 

On the other end of the spectrum, there's grace... 

Grace isn't just an...

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Sons & daughters ≠ beggars- Podcast #43

podcast Jan 01, 2018

Someone told me that the Gospel is simply “one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.”

On the surface, that sounds right. It connects to the idea that:

  • The one who has everything but NOT grace has NOTHING
  • The one who has grace and nothing else has EVERYTHING

But, I was reading the Bible a few weeks ago and something struck me that’s given me a new way of looking at things…

I came to this conclusion: The Gospel of Grace isn't about one beggar finding bread and telling others where to find it. Rather, it's about sons & daughters awakening other sons & daughters to the reality of the true riches their Father has already provided for them...

The back story

In 2 Kings 7 we read about Syria laying siege to Samaria. In ancient times, it was common for invading armies to surround a city and “block it.” No one come go in; no one could come out. Everyone was held hostage within the city walls. Well, everyone was sheltered...

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Your true form- Podcast #42

podcast Dec 25, 2017

Sin isn’t just a “bad” thing, it creates a distortion of our unique form, of the greatness we were given from the very beginning. In other words, it's not about legality (Jesus settled that a long time ago: it's about your creative design.)

No, sin isn’t just a “bad” thing, it’s far worse than that. In fact, the more I study the topic, and that more I gaze at the Father’s grace, the more I believe that the “moral” aspect of sin is the “least” important aspect of it. The greater issue is this: sin creates a distortion of our unique form, of the greatness we were given from the very beginning. 

I know- that sounds like an odd way to present a topic that’s usually presented as a right/wrong legal-type of standing we have with God. There’s more to it, though. 

(I know, too, the opening of this sounds harsh... you're used to radical grace here. Trust me... read on and you'll get a huge dose of...

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Abundance taps into the eternal- not just the external- Podcast #41

podcast Dec 18, 2017

True abundance isn’t the result of hard work or ingenuity (though it involves both). True abundance taps into the resources of the kingdom. 

In other words, true abundance isn’t external- it’s eternal. The circumstances don’t dictate your reality: God does… 

Yes, it’s easier to look at the circumstances and “do the best we can” rather than go deep, take a look inside, and tune into the voice of God. However, it’s this relational dynamic that leads us to the first point of abundance… 

 

Here are four attributes of kingdom abundance…

First, God’s blessing is often strange and paradoxical, such that it continues growing our faith and fostering our relationship with Him. This happens because the blessing often comes in ways that money cannot buy. It comes through relationship…

(What we often confuse for “blessing” is simply our best financial efforts and debt-leveraging put...

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Radical Abundance & Relational Trust- Podcast #40

abundance podcast Dec 11, 2017

It’s easy to “spiritualize” the promises of God- and relegate them to another time and place where they have little bearing on our physical lives today. One area we do this is “abundance.”

We say things like, “God gives us true riches…” 

Of course, we do this to explain WHY we don’t see the provision- the radical increase- they saw back in the Bible. 

Here’s the rub. The New Testament tells us repeatedly that the new covenant is superior to the old (i.e., see Hebrews 8:7-13).

So, since our redemption is “better” and based on stronger promises, though, shouldn’t we expect to see this abundance, as well? Shouldn’t we prosper? I think we should…

That said, understanding WHY prosperity happens actually helps us comprehend how to step into it…

 

Abundance is more than just our own best efforts- it connects the Kingdom’s storehouses to our hands

We are redeemed to...

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Redeeming Creation (or- Who cursed creation- us or God?)- Podcast #39

podcast work Dec 04, 2017

Work changed after the Fall. Creative labor (that’s what work really is- or should be, right?) no longer had the ease to it that it had before sin entered the equation. In a real sense, the ground “fought back” with Adam. 

The raises an interesting question: Why did God do this? Why did God curse the ground?

God said, “Cursed is the ground because of you” (Genesis 3:17). In other words, it’s clear here that the curse is a direct result of Adam’s sin.

This leads us to the obvious follow-up question: Did God curse the ground, or did He simply communicate to Adam the result of his actions? 

Or, to ask the question another way- Did God curse Creation or did we?

If God cursed Creation, then we can lay the blame for every natural disaster on Him. Even though insurance agencies refer to tornadoes and hurricanes as “acts of God,” do we really believe that He causes- or caused- them?

Did God cause the storm at sea that Jesus...

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Sometimes taking ACTION on a DIRECTION you receive, leads to a MIRACLE 

I've looked throughout the Bible to try and find a "formula" for faith and healing. I've discovered that, well... you can't find one.

(Listen to the podcast talk at https://www.overflowfaith.com/blog/07 for more)

A lot of people think that you've got to have complete faith in order for God to bless you- and that if you don't then somehow He's restrained until you "get your faith up." Now, sure, belief makes things better. It gives you more stability... a foundation.

But there's no "one-sized" fits all formula for faith in the Bible. I've looked. Over and over. It's just not there...

Get this: Jesus healed people who had no faith- people who didn't even know who He was! (For instance, the man He healed at the Pool of Bethesda, in John 5.)

Jesus also healed people with "partial" faith, like the guy who exclaimed, "I believe- help my unbelief!" when his son was being tormented by a demon (Mark 9:24). And like the lepers who said, "If you're willing..." (Matthew 8:2).

...

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Creative Labor (Work is worship- worship is work)- Podcast #38

podcast work Nov 27, 2017

We were created in God’s Image. He’s a Creator, a worker… one who adds value.

Work isn’t a curse. Despite all of the jokes about dreading “manic” Mondays, work is actually a gift. In the Garden of Eden, Adam worked before sin, before the Fall, before the curse. We were designed to create, steward, and add value to the world around us.

Note how things unfolded way back in the beginning:

First, we were created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). Redemption restores the fractured image of God that has always been present. Jesus takes the pieces and puts them back together such that we clearly resemble who He is.

Second, God is a worker- when He walked on the earth 2,000 years ago Jesus testified that the Father had been working since the beginning (John 5:17). 

Jesus verified, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.” 

God has always worked. He has always enhanced the places He’s present. He has...

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The "secret" the healing evangelist taught me about the Holy Spirit blew my mind

I thought the Holy Spirit was temperamental. Tidy. Reserved. And that we had to act a certain way in order to see the Spirit move. I thought we might "move" in the wrong way and cause the Spirit to exit the building. Turns out, I was wrong. Here's something I learned from the healing evangelist.

The strangest thing happened on a “Christian TV station”  one night (I know- I thought only people could be “Christian,” not music, books, stores, clothing lines, and even station stations… but… alas… a “Christian station” is a cable television network chock-full of televangelists, prayer cloths, and commercials with starving kids that you can save right now for less than the cost of a cup of coffee per day). OK, I exaggerated a bit on that, but you get the idea... yes, there is a station full of this stuff!

Here's what happened: a well-known evangelist (you'd know him if I mentioned his name, described his hair, or detailed the...

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