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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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We count the things that matter the most

We tend to count and measure the things that matter the most. It's why we count our money and balance the checkbook at the end of the month. It's why I track our business numbers just about every single day. It's why we count our kids when we get in the car.

Sometime, really, ask me about the time that Cristy drove off and left one of our kids in the house... A few blocks down the street, she turns from the driver's seat and asks the others, "Hey, where's Judah!?"

Full disclosure: I made fun of her...

... until I did the exact same thing.

I can't give you the inside scoop on her story. Here's mine: I left the school one afternoon, cruised about a mile away in the 12-pac van we drive.

The car seemed about 15-20% quieter than normal. I scanned the rearview mirror while cruising down the street at an ever-decreasing speed, knowing something wasn't quite the way it was supposed to be...

"Levi's still at school!" one of the boys exclaimed.

They said it, right as I felt it. I had,...

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A new nature means you naturally do the best things

I remember going to first grade and knowing that, every single day, regardless of how hard I tried, I was going to get in trouble. It never failed…

  • I’d find myself talking to my neighbor at just the wrong time.
  • I’d make a quick reply to the teacher that came across more as a smart mouth than a respectful student.
  • One time she left the room, only to return and find me standing on top of my desk, mimicking a little dance another student had done (they had done their dance on the floor, of course). 

It’s like I had a propensity- a drive- to do wrong. I couldn’t help it. 

I know. We can look back at shenanigans like this and laugh. Some of the episodes are funny- in hindsight. 

The trouble is… well… we often find ourselves in those same situations when we get older. Except this: we’re older. The mistakes are bigger, so the stakes are higher.

Ever felt like you just can’t get it right? That the relationships are...

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Freedom is now!- Podcast #18

It’s easy to punt the promises of God to the future- to a time and space after we die. When do this, we turn the stories and the principles we see in Scripture into nothing more than allegories and tales about what COULD be rather than what SHOULD be in the moment. A lot of us live like this- effectively postponing the blessings of NOW, determining instead to hope for them after death. 

In the Bible, though, people expected God’s blessings to come in the present- they anticipated that His promises were for NOW and not for later. The Children of Israel were delivered in their lifetime- not after they died. In the New Testament, even, Paul had to correct the Church at Corinth. They were so “this world” minded about the power and presence of God that they decided their future in Heaven wasn’t important (see 1 Corinthians 15:12-19).

We’ve swung the pendulum the other way. You see, both are important. 

Yes, we get to go to Heaven when we...

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Come in closer- Podcast #16

podcast relationships sozo Jun 26, 2017

There’s a rabbinical tradition that says Moses’ burning bush was always burning. Or, at least, that it had been burning for quite some time before Moses stumbled upon it.

Furthermore, tradition says that God was there and was READY to speak the entire time. It was only after Moses stopped and “came in close” that God reveals Himself to him… 

(In the same way, it's believed that God is always looking... waiting... wanting to reveal Himself to us...)

The name of God that’s revealed here is interesting, too. The name, YHWH, is actually unpronounceable. It’s the sound of breathing- like a whisper. It a real sense, that name shows us that- 

  • You can’t fully place God’s identity into a single word (like they thought they did with names), and
  • You can’t begin to understand God apart from relationship. From close relationship. From close enough to hear the sound of a whisper. 


Here are the links mentioned...

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Salvation is Jesus' very identity + Here's what that means for you-

The message of Jesus is bigger than the forgiveness of sins. The Gospel affects all of life. Jesus desires for the Kingdom to come present, now. The goal isn’t simply to get people to Heaven; the goal is also to get Heaven to people.

Some background on that...

At the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew, we read that Mary was told to name her child Jesus. His name actually means “salvation, deliverance.” The angel told her, “You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). 

The name Jesus, Yeshua, actually means “salvation.” That is, “Name the baby Salvation because He will save…” Salvation is Jesus’ very identity. 

Jesus came to save people in a far greater way than we may have thought, however. It’s important to note that Jesus came to offer a complete salvation, a salvation that affects the entire person.  

Throughout the story of His life on earth, we...

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Our journey to freedom- Podcast #13

podcast salvation sozo Jun 05, 2017

To understand redemption, we need to understand the first time the word is used in the Bible. You see, later authors actually build on what earlier writers teach us. In other words, to understand the redemption Jesus offers (i.e, 1 Peter 1:18-19, Acts 20:22, etc.), we must understand the concept of redemption those authors had in mind. 

This takes us all the way back to Exodus. The first time we see the word “redeem” in the Bible is what God reveals to Moses that He is about to free His people from slavery (Exodus 6:6). The second time we see the word used is in Exodus 15:13, when Miriam (Moses’ sister) looks back at what has happened and exclaims through song, “God did it! He redeemed His people.”

Redemption means freedom. Freedom from bondage. And Jesus is clear that His freedom is all-encompassing (see John 8:36). 

Now, the Israelites weren’t just forgiven, they were freed. In the same way, we’re not just forgiven, we’re...

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The Blessing of Abraham- Podcast #5

Somewhere, we bought the line that poverty is noble, that sickness is a blessing, and that Heaven is when things really start happening in our favor. Yet, a quick look at the Father of our faith shows us something radically different...

In fact, Paul writes that one of the reasons Christ redeemed us was "so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles..." (see Galatians 3:13-14). 

What does the blessing include? Well… 

  • Health, vitality- see Genesis 12:14, Genesis 14:14f., Genesis 21:1f., Genesis 17:1f., Genesis 12:10, 20:1
  • Financial, abundance- see Genesis 13:2, Genesis 14:14f., Genesis 14:18, Genesis 12:16, 20:14)
  • Spiritual awakening- see Romans 4:1f., Genesis 12:1f. 

Here’s the deal: Abraham's blessing "caught" his descendants in this life, while they were still living. They experienced the presence and power of the Kingdom of God now. In this life. As a person walking this planet. 

Furthermore… and this is...

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Sozo- Podcast #4

Salvation isn’t just Jesus’ name (the name Jesus / Yeshua literally means “He saves”), it’s what He does. Furthermore, Jesus not only saves us FROM certain things, He also saves us TO an amazing life. 

The word in the New Testament used for “save” is sozo (this part of the Bible was originally penned in Greek). That word means far more than being “saved” from sin, though. The word is used to denote- 

  • forgiveness of sin, guilt, and condemnation
  • physical safety
  • spiritual freedom / deliverance
  • physical healing
  • raising the dead

Jesus moves us beyond a life of rules and legalism AND moves us into a life of supernatural meaning and spiritual power. In this episode we discuss what that looks like.


In this episode I mention The Healing Workshop.  You can access the free healing eBook and seven free videos here: www.WeOverflow.com/Healing  


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