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Mastering the Marketplace


The Season of Storms

John Chapter 13 is not one of my warm and cozy little chapters. Betrayal, disappointment and crucifixion are not my idea of a good time on a Friday night.

But there are huge lessons that Jesus wants to teach us here. I think the first lesson is that he understood the season he was entering was different than the season he was in. Too often we are looking to maintain those blessed and anointed seasons when we feel like we are winning every battle and are in control to last forever. But they never do.

We need the Holy Spirit not only to teach us and to show us but also to lead us to stay in agreement with what heaven is doing, even when it feels like we are going in the wrong way.

Listen, just look at all the things that are happening in our world today: the catastrophes, the hurricanes, the fires, the dissension, the craziness in politics, it’s all coming to a head. If we think that we are going to argue and negotiate God or others into agreeing with our point of view, we are mistaken.

A Season of Wrestling
We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and rulers of the darkness in high places.

There is a sports brand of attire called Under Armour and I think in some ways it points to what the Holy Spirit wants us to be wearing which is called Inner Armor not Under Armour. The Inner Armor is the conversations of Heaven that take place in our heart. It states and Proverbs 4:23, guard your heart with all diligence for out of it flows the issues of life. We need Inner Armor on our inner chambers of our heart. That is the place that the Holy Spirit dwells.

Tony Evans talks about the definition of a stronghold, and he says, fortress or stronghold is a mindset that holds you hostage. It makes you believe that you are hopelessly locked into a situation that you are powerless to change. That’s when you hear people saying I can’t, I can’t, I can’t… every believer has new data that he is expected to live by, but many of us are still living by the old data that will not be erased completely until we get to heaven. Even though we are on our way to heaven, we are still being programmed by the enemy in some areas. That’s why Paul had to write this in 2nd Corinthians 10:4-6:

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”

We need heaven’s wisdom.

Wisdom is the organization of information through divine revelation to effect a divine outcome by faith and obedience. Tony Evans writes, “This is the question we always face: are we going to use human or divine methods?”

All of life is a war for wisdom and consequently, James addresses this daily battle in his epistle, James 1:5-8:

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

James continues to explain the process further in verse 12: “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

James is warning us to stand vigilant against operating with a double-mindset – which is when we are operating by two different sources of data concurrently.

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Change of Seasons, a Change in Perspective

Understanding a season requires more than a calendar. It is not all about a temperature change. There are other forces at work. The activities of each season reflect its function.

Jesus understood this better than anyone else in Scripture, and consequently, He offers to us an opportunity to learn from Him.

John Chapter 13 clearly shows that this is a period of time when Jesus’s ministry takes a significant and severe turn that most who were following Him did not expect.

Everyone was expecting a complete break-out and breakthrough of Jesus’s ministry onto the scene to the degree that they even expected the overthrow of the Roman government to occur.

But what did Jesus do?

First, He didn’t continue in the old model of miracles, raising of the dead, healings and feedings. So when Satan comes at Jesus, He didn’t begin to battle Satan on the terms and at the level that Satan was engaging Him.

The book that I’m reading by Tony Evans is helping me get a grasp on the times that we are living in.

Tony Evans writes that “the whole world lies in Satan’s power and we have to recognize that he exerts influence over the world’s leaders and structures. Once we understand this principle, we realize the answer to all those lies much deeper than just electing the right person to office. That’s certainly important, but there is a bigger battle going on here. Until we begin to trace our individual family, church and societal problems back to their spiritual source, Satan will continue to take spiritual POWs [prisoners of war] in bunches.”

“You may feel that Satan has taken you prisoner in one or more areas of your life. Your problems may go all the way back to childhood in the form of an abusive parent. You may be repeating destructive patterns in your family that were present at your birth.”

“Whatever the case, you may have been a prisoner of war so long that you think and act like a POW. Identifying the source of attack is one important step toward your liberation. Another is to find out how he attacks us.” P.82

“… if your problem, your struggle, your need is induced and orchestrated by your spiritual enemy, your flesh can’t win the fight. Unless you choose a spiritual response, all the time, effort, and resources you spent trying to fix the problem will ultimately be a waste of time, a band-aid on the situation.”

“And if your battle is a spiritual battle, it needs a spiritual cure. You don’t fight cancer with skin lotion. You don’t fight a brain tumor by taking two aspirin and lying down. Those kinds of problems demand another kind of help. So do spiritual problems.” P.83

So now think a little bit about what happened with Joshua and the walls of Jericho. God had them walking around the walls of Jericho for 6 straight days. Not talking not saying a word but walking around the whole place. I think part of that exercise by God was to begin to cause them to exercise a disciplined mind in their throat life.

Truly the battle is in the mind and if we manage our minds, we will manage our outcomes. It says in Proverbs, “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.” Jesus wants us to begin to think His thoughts to begin to see His outcomes and also to begin to act in concert with His timing.

If Jesus began to retaliate against the Pharisees at the time, the Romans at the time, and even other religious groups at the time, He would have missed His divine appointment and destiny. Jesus had a place to go, He had something to do, and He and the Father were in agreement on this thing. We need to have our assignments nailed down, in more ways than one. We have to be unmovable.

This may take a little doing because the force that has been brought against you didn’t start 20 minutes ago, it may have started 20 years ago.

John Chapter 13 is not one of my warm & cozy little chapters. Betrayal, disappointment and crucifixion are not my idea of a good time on a Friday night.

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Days of Decisions

When it comes to electing a president, the election takes place on a single day, and then you are stuck with the results, for better or worse, for the next 4 years.

The same thing holds true with an Acknowledged Life: the decisions you make today you will be stuck with, for better or worse, for months, years or decades.

So consequently, realizing this, I see that my daily decisions and acknowledgements will either translate into victory or defeat! A fact about war, victory is never an accidental event, whereas, defeat often comes by virtue of complacency.

But life is all about decisions. You cannot change something by ignoring it. Face it or serve it: those are the two choices Christians must face with respected to spiritual warfare!

Here are some notes I took from Tony Evans’s book on spiritual warfare.

I am rereading Tony Evans’ “The Battle is the Lord’s” and am rediscovering what I have ‘seemed to have forgotten.’ As a result, I am providing a quick snapshot of some take-aways from the book. Here they are:

All of us have tried to change people who are not doing right. What we need to understand is that what happens through people, including you and me, has its roots in something much larger. This fact does not excuse the wrong things people do. They are still responsible. But it helps us focus on the Real Enemy.

Everything visible and physical is the result of something invisible and spiritual. Therefore only by addressing the invisible spiritual cause can we fix what is wrong with what is taking place in our visible, physical lives.

Your five senses are not the limits of reality… not only are your physical senses very limited, but they are often of little help in spiritual warfare.

There are two worldviews, one which is materialistic or natural and the other one is spiritual: it includes competing spiritual world views such as variations of how the spirit functions and operates.

The one spiritual worldview that we follow is biblical-based; it is theocratic and it believes that there is only one true God.

There are other competing spiritual views that believe that horoscopes, palm readers and all sorts of new-age teaching function and work just as much as a biblical worldview.

In order to understand spiritual warfare, we have to address it through the lens of the spirit, with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Many believers are seeing the wounds of spiritual warfare in their own personal lives. This doesn’t mean these people are doing something really bad. It could be that they have a problem such as uncontrolled anger. Please note that failing to control anger grants the devil an opportunity to gain a foothold of your life. Then he can use it as a base of operations to launch more spiritual attacks against you. If Satan can see it’s our emotions he can destroy our ability to function by crippling us emotionally or leading us into all manner of destructive and addictive behavior.

Spiritual warfare also has an impact on Church Life. Paul told Timothy to watch out for doctrines of demons. The church is being undermined in many places today by teachers who purport to teach the Bible but are teaching “the doctrines” from hell. Anyone can quote the Bible. But the devil will use or misuse the scriptures when it is to his advantage to do so.

Finally spiritual warfare affects the life of a nation, the culture in which we live. Satan’s job is to get us to ignore the spiritual realm and give us a low-value. If he can divert us from the spiritual realm, he can divert us from finding spiritual solutions.

According to Ephesians 3:10, spiritual rulers and authorities are dominating the spiritual realm. These are angels. This is important from the standpoint of spiritual warfare, because it takes an angel to beat an angel. If your problem originates in the Heavenly places or Heavenly realms you need a solution that originates in the Heavenly places. You and I are no match for the power and deceptiveness of Satan and his army. We need the power of God to neutralize Satan’s attacks against us.

If you need Divine help but don’t have a ‘Heavenly places’ mindset you won’t know how to get the help you need at the time you need it.

The good news is you can take a trip to the spiritual realm anytime you feel like it, because spiritually, you’re already there. You are seated with Christ in Heavenly places.

In Washington DC, sits Capitol Hill, is where Congress makes decisions about how our country will be run. What is decided there will affect you no matter where you live.

Heavenly places refers to the Capitol Hill of the universe. It is where decisions are made that affect our lives. There are two opposing parties, the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan, each seeking to promote its agenda. Our party headed by Jesus Christ, occupies the spiritual White House, and he has veto power. Satan’s party however seeks to undermine and sabotage and destroy all those who’ve aligned themselves with Christ Jesus.

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Defeating the Deceit of Disappointment

Our lives are stories and in times of great change there are simply more words being written.

Today, we become disappointed when we set our hearts on people or on circumstances. God wants us to set our hearts only on Him. He wants us to trust in His goodness, even in the midst of our deepest disappointments.

It is very easy to become disappointed during seasons of great change.

Some people may call it transition, but change represents ending what was, and sometimes what was was good.
So how are we to navigate change, also known as seasons of disappointment?

I did some research and found a few verses that provide a consolation of heart during such times; here are a couple of them:

■  Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
■  Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens
■  Hebrews 6:19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain
■  Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
■  Isaiah 43:19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
In times and seasons of great change and disappointment, it is not only knowing what to do, but what not to do.
During such seasons have a conviction in God’s:
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How Acknowledgement Leads to a Godly Perspective

Your perspective is what usually leads you into your God-given promises OR BOXES you out.

God has given to us two eyes – and I believe it is a reminder that if we only see things through one eye, we are not seeing the full picture. It is a biologic and physiologic fact that even though the two eyes are just a few inches apart – with two eyes our vision is clearer, multi-dimensional and discerning.

I think the two eyes are a metaphor for how we are to view our lives and situations: from our perspective and from God’s perspective.

When we see things only through our own perspective we limit ourselves.

Prayers of Acknowledgement open up the possibilities.

Scientists have discovered that there are at least 7 benefits of seeing with our two eyes:

  • It offers the person the ability to see when one eye is injured or damaged.
  • It broadens the person’s field of vision – with two eyes a person’s field of vision is 190 degrees. With one eye a person’s field of vision is ONLY 40 degrees.
  • It produces a parallax effect – producing a depth of field. It also allows us to break through the camouflage of another creature.
  • It offers to us a different line of sight.
  • It allows us to see more of an object behind an obstacle.
  • It gives binocular vision – the ability to detect faint objects.

It also allows us to apprehend objects in 3 dimensions.


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Conducting a Vision Audit – The Acknowledged Life

What was the last impression that you had from God leading you in a direction?
What was the circumstance?
what were the obstacles that you saw?
What was your response?
How did you introduce God into the situation?

How did it affect my own identity?
How did it affect my community?
Who else did it involve?

How did I circle it in prayer?
How clear was the vision?


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Spiritual Snap-Back

Adding “Overcomer” to Your Dictionary

When I was typing into my Evernote my April Acknowledgements, I began by writing, “Jesus is Alive! He has come to give me life, an abundant life. I don’t settle or compromise with the Truth. I am an overcomer….

That is when an alert popped up asking, “Do you want to add overcomer to your dictionary?”


When we come to Christ, and we confess him before men, our name also appears in the heavenly document log, and what happens is that Jesus is asked, “Do you want  to add this name to the Book of Life?” to which He answers, “Yes!”

When we come to Christ, of course, we are redeemed, delivered and set apart; and all of those words need to be added to our spiritual dictionary or lexicon. But there is also a number of other works that have to be added as well, one of which is the word, ‘Overcomer.’

There was this bad king of Moab in the Old Testament who wanted this prophet to curse the Children of Israel, but God wouldn’t allow it. Read the story:

Balaam said to God, “Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent word to me,
‘Behold, there is a people who came out of Egypt and they cover the surface of the land; now come, curse them for me; perhaps I may be able to fight against them and drive them out.'”

God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.”  

Numbers 22:10-12

We need to not only start added to our spiritual lexicon, but also deleting some words that no longer belong there. Here’s how to add a word to your spiritual dictionary:
  1. Get in the Book – literally and figuratively.
  2. Become intentional about adding to your spiritual vocabulary.
  3. Walk in agreement with God.
  4. Develop a “Snap-Back” mentality; when bad things happen, learn to spiritually Snap Back!
  5. Like any new language, whenever you stop using it, you start losing it.
  6. Signs that you are losing the battle come after we have forgotten our language.
  7. Our identity gives birth to your language!
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Remarkable Romans

All of the ‘licenses that we have must be renewed on a regular basis: driver’s license, dog license, passport, registration, and so on.

I think it is also true for our calling and life vision. The book of Romans is a great book for Spiritual Renewal. It is as close as you can get to getting God in a box [and I write that with all respect.]

Through Paul, God was able to communicate so much truth in just 16 chapters. He covers salvation, justification, predestination, glorification, transformation and any other “ation” there is out there that God would have for us.

One of my favorite chapters in this book, [and I am sure that I am not alone], is Romans 8. It is a huge reminder of what God has done and provided for us. I put together a brief PowerPoint that covers some of the highlights from the book of Romans. I titled the PowerPoint: Remarkable Romans.

It begins with a definition of the word ‘remarkable.’


worthy of attention; striking.

Extraordinary, exceptional, amazing, astonishing, astounding, marvelous, wonderful, sensational, stunning, incredible, unbelievable, phenomenal, outstanding, momentous.

Click Here.







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Trains of Thought: LEADERSHIP

If you are a political ideologue, this post is NOT for you. But for those of us who are looking around at the circus of discussions taking place and wondering, How did we get to this place? This post is for you.

I believe that America (not just the world) is suffering from LDD – Leadership Deficit Disorder.

Solution #1: Those who love Jesus, not just profess him, but actually love and serve him, must understand that this calls for an all-out prayer war.

Solution #2: We need a massive redefinition of leadership. One of the reasons that our founding fathers were such great leaders was the fact that, for the most part, they were real followers. Most of the founding fathers believed and followed Jesus. The leaders that we are called to follow and support, according to the New Testament, must be followers of Jesus.

Paul writes, Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. 1 Cor 11:1 KJV

The new media culture has redefined what it means to be a leader and a follower. But the New Testament already has instructed us on this matter:

1 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore I urge you to imitate me.

Philippians 3:17 Join one another in following my example, brothers, and carefully observe those who live according to the pattern we set for you.

1 Thessalonians 1:6 And you became imitators of us and of the Lord when you welcomed the message with the joy of the Holy Spirit, in spite of your great suffering.

There is no question about it: Jesus was and is a great example of a leader. But Jesus never had a blog. He never wrote a book, (even though he is the Word). He never set up an organizational structure with job descriptions. He didn’t create a logo. He refused to set up a school of training outside of the School of the Holy Spirit. I don’t think that he would ever appear on the Tonight Show, the Today Show, The View or even The Factor.

Look at his description in Isaiah 53:2-4:

2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

But in spite of this, Jesus is the greatest leader who ever lived, raising up billions of followers who continue even two thousand years after his death.

So let’s look at the present model of leadership training: they look to make you smarter, more follow-worthy, visible, attractive, and charismatic.

But leadership isn’t spelled with a “you.”

Here are some of the qualities of a leader:

  • Integrity
  • Humility
  • Ability
  • Mission-Centric Vision
  • Conversations that are Vision-Mission-Worthy
  • Frustration and intolerance for things not Vision-Worthy
  • An incredible capacity to give birth to new leaders

Some of these qualities cannot be taught; they can only be modeled.

We are a culture that has become quite facile in speaking out of both sides of our mouths.

One of the leaders that I know who was on the New York Stock Exchange is also a man who has been sober for over three decades. Yet, in spite of his acknowledged weakness in the area of alcohol, he was sought out for advice by hundreds of individuals for his wisdom.

What he learned through his weakness was a form of power that would sustain him, and others, through the storms of life.

Could it be that God permits our weaknesses because it is through our weakness that we discover his grace and power? Well this obviously was the way St. Paul saw it.

2 Cor 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

A Turning Point
Repentance is winter stationno longer a cultural value; as a matter of fact, an individual is prosecuted if they do acknowledge their wrong, and disqualified as someone worth following. Thus we engender a cover-up culture, from make-up to crime.

Our culture is dominated by the “smartest person in the room” pathology. We are prone to worship and follow (yes, when you follow someone, it is an extension of worship) those individuals who are strategic, innovators, change-agents and talented, not to mention beautiful and cool.

When was the last time you heard a leader described as being meek? Yet two of the greatest leaders in scripture are referred to as being meek: Moses and Jesus. Maybe that is why there is such a void of the presence of God?

James writes:
But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

I believe that God has a remnant of leaders he is training.

You can identify them as the people who say, “Thank you.”
The people who say, “You are right, I was wrong.”
The people who give before they are asked.
The people who are not disturbed by traffic.
They hold doors, they listen more than they speak.
Don’t spend more than they make.
Don’t promise what they can’t deliver.
Don’t hide their weaknesses, but acknowledge them.

The new leaders are going before us, to show us how Jesus did it.



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Quality of Life, Quality of Victory

What does it mean to enjoy a blessed lifestyle? In many cases, for those of us in America, this gets

translated into a standard of living and the number of things that you have. Your car. Your house. Your

clothes. Your club. Your town.

But I think that the Apostle Peter, after Pentecost, gives us a true example of this: “And a man who was

lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg

from those entering the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter the temple, he asked

them for money. 4 Peter looked directly at him, as did John. “Look at us!” said Peter. So the man gave them

his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 5 But Peter said, ‘Silver and gold have I none;

but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Rise up and walk!’” Acts 3:2-6

Two things are really cool: Peter tells the man to do two things, first, to look at Peter and second, Rise

and Walk. Two big Aha’s: when people look at us, do they get a glimpse of Jesus? When people listen to us,

are they lifted up by Jesus?

Peter’s example points to the important issue: it isn’t the things that you have, it is the victory that

you demonstrate that translates into the quality of life.

The quality of life is proportional to the quality of victory.

I think Jesus is trying to show us a couple things: being blessed isn’t based upon your inventory of

‘stuff’ at the time, but your position. What I mean by position is your spiritual position. Not even your

emotional, physical or intellectual state. Psalm 91:1 states. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the

most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

By Acknowledging God, it keeps us ‘put.’ Yes, even fashionable.

I use that word not in the sense of New York Fashion, but from a biblical point of view.

Here is the question: Are you fashionable? Are you spiritually agile and resilient to recognize and respond

to the Holy Spirit, to the Word and with the heart of adventure? Or are you stuck in rituals, not


I intentionally avoided saying ‘the heart of love’ – because embedded into love is adventure. When people

fall out of love, they fall out of adventure. Allow me to remind all of us – love, ultimately – is a grand

adventure – in which we join another in the discovery of each other and of life life!

Look at Jesus when he confronted the Ephesian Church in Revelation 2:4, “But I have this against you, that

you have left your first love.”

When Jesus gives them this word of correction saying that they had lost their first love, He wasn’t saying

they didn’t love Him, but it stopped being an adventure.

When love stops being an adventure, it stops being love.



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