Testimony

Why I LOVE Re-Looking New iOS Features

Be honest with me; there’s something to which you often return. You find yourself indulging in something and imagining how great it’s going to be. For me recently, it’s been the new features page of iOS 11 that’s set to launch this fall. This is a fantastic upgrade; it’s going to do a ton for my iPad. I’ll get to do more in-depth multi-tasking (which productivity gurus tell me isn’t true anyway). The files and dock functions are going to allow me to have a more unified approach to my workflow. It makes me want to leave my Macbook Pro at home more and more often. They’re even getting closer to convincing me to buy the most expensive pencil I’ve ever owned.

All of this is good. But when I found myself typing “apple.com/ios” rather than “asana.com” to begin my actual work for the day, I had to ask myself if I have a problem.

I do indeed have a problem (other than laziness and procrastination). This problem is called “desire.” And as Lewis notes, it’s a hat tipped to a bigger something we are all acutely aware of even if merely in our subconscious: There’s more. Lewis penned this phrase:

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

Excuse me for being crude or overly simplistic, but this urge to scroll endlessly through announcements about keyboards and multi-tasking might be indicative of something bigger. Perhaps, it’s alluding to our other-worldly, cosmic desires. I submit that our desires tell us something about who we are and even more about who we are to become.

The key here is vision. I’ve wasted more hours than I’d like to admit on software updates. But people and products of vision point me to one key moment: we were meant for more.

The next time you’re tempted to, or look at something that draws you, ask yourself why. Consider that maybe, perhaps, your desire is actually looking for something more than pixels. You’re destined for an update from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).

ROI: Sow Fruit, Reap Peace and Stability


We are continuing on in our series on Kingdom Return on Investments. Here are top quotes and ideas from the installment on sowing our spiritual fruit.

  1. Jesus can sleep in a storm because of the peace that dwells inside of him. Jesus’ life operated from a place of peace. Because he had this fruit at work in his life, he was able to sleep and in turn affected the situation around him rather than being affected by the situation (Mark 4:35-40).
  2. There’s a battle for your mind. We are to be renewed in our mind. The fruit of the Spirit are how that happens.
  3. The Scripture talks about peace. Bible Concordance on Peace. Primarily, there’s one aspect I want to point out to us: peace means being joined together, being whole. Peace is God’s gift of wholeness. Peace begets Peace.
  4. Our beliefs dictate our behaviors.
  5. The ultimate peacemaker is Jesus and what He did when He died on the cross for us. Think about Ephesians 2. He brought peace to those who were close and those who were far (Ephesians 2:13-14). He joined them together. We’re joined together with God because of Jesus’ sacrifice.

Three Application Points

  • Physical Fruit: Choosing to exercise self-control in a situation that you normally wouldn’t. You have to retrain your body to walk in self-control. Yesterday, I was walking through this market and I saw these beautiful chocolate covered strawberries. They were dipped in powdered sugar, and I’m not even kidding, they were the size of my hand. I said no. I exercised self-control. Something in my brain clicked.
  • Mental/Emotional Fruit: 40 Days of Negativity Fast. You have to retrain your brain to walk in peace. We’ve been doing some of these in our lives. There’s so much negativity in the world today. We need some positivity.
  • Spiritual Fruit: Declare peace. Come home to peace. Share the story from the small group book. (5 minutes). There are those who are overcome by circumstances and those who are overcomers. God says, you’re an overcomer. Read Romans 8. The peace that Jesus cultivated within him because of his closeness to the Father, was the peace that was spoken out over the storm. What storms are you facing? What does it look like to declare peace in those storms?

Tune in to weekly services on our Facebook Live feed here.

4 Secrets and 8 Links to Losing It

I’m nowhere near the healthiest person I know, but I have been thinking that a few small changes in my sleep, diet, exercise, and time management could do a lot for me, my family, my work and my legacy. Since I started counting a few weeks ago, I’ve lost 5lbs. At 30, I still have double my age and then some before retirement. I’d like to think I could keep going after that. Here are a few things I want to do to make sure I’ll be around then

  • Sleep More: This is no surprise, but sleeping more helps your body, mind and spirit take leaps and bounds in health and productivity. ReWork, a book written by big shots in Silicon Valley, actually has an entire chapter dedicated to sleeping. Rest was built into our lives from the beginning and we do better when we work from rest rather than rest from work.
  • Eat Less (aka Eat Less Sugar): FedUp tells us that Sugar is toxic. So, it’s simple. Just eat less sugar. But, it doesn’t always work out that way. The choice is yours. Additionally, the Leadership Freak blog shares a secret to staying healthy: don’t eat emotionally.
  • Eat More (aka Drink More Coffee): Studies show coffee helps, among other things, in circulation, pain, memory and muscle. Additionally, eating more greens are definitely the way to go. Counting calories, while not actually helpful, motivates me in one way: I say no to emotional eating and yes to healthier choices.
  • Watch Your Time: James Clear has written a brilliant article on improving by 1%. You could do this. Get Toggl and track your time for a week. You’ll be surprised and have some instant ways to move forward.

It’s not about weight. It’s about health. It’s about making steps towards the fulfillment of destiny. You can do this. Today.

Gallons of Grace

  

We just got the car from heaven. It’s not because it’s really the most amazing car.

Knowing we were coming back to the States for three months, we decided we needed to have a set of wheels to help us get around while in Minnesota. We reached out to family and friends to see if anyone had anything available and a couple of people started looking around. 

In the end, my father in law decided to buy us a vehicle. We started looking around for options. His price range was set a little higher than I felt comfortable with. I explained that I’d always grown up working hard for things and earning them. 

Dave sat at the kitchen table and explained that we’re part of the family. He credited God for providing what they have and talked about how proud of us they are. He said it was no big deal, but that he really wanted us to be taken care of. 

As we went car shopping, he constantly asked my opinion of things and then negotiated a deal for a great vehicle that was indeed outside of our personal price range. 

The next morning, as we were preparing to take our new Lincoln Aviator on our first trip, Dave stole the keys and filled up the tank. 

We’re literally driving down the road a vehicle purchased by grace and fueled by grace. 

This is the kind of life I want to live. Andy Mason talks about the “cycle of Sonship” in his quick, but profound book entitled “God With You Work.” 

 In the family, we are connected and receive an inheritance to increase 
He understands that in the kingdom, we begin with the value of family. It leads to connection with God, the Father. In our relationship with Him and through our connection to Him, we receive an inheritance and learn to increase it. 

I have a strengthened desire not only to use this vehicle well, but to increase it, to invest in it. My hope is that I would learn how to live by grace, which freely receives and can freely give, but also expects more than “earning it,” because grace empowers. Our vehicle has been purchased by the blood of Jesus our tank is filled by the power of the Holy Spirit.

What’s stopping us from driving right into what He has for us today?

Dry Bones in Business (企業中的枯骨)

God’s Word is perfect.  It’s filled with all kinds of insight.  Unfortunately, we so often limit it to what it says about what should happen in the church.  Well, God can’t be limited.  I was recently encouraged by a friend to re-examine Ezekiel 37 as it pertains to business.

This is the story of Ezekiel being challenged by God to speak life into something that he wasn’t even sure he wanted.  God led Ezekiel out into a place in the desert where there were tons of VERY dry bones.  God asked if the bones could be resurrected and Ezekiel tried the cop-out answer.  God pushed back and said, “Make it work” (shameless Tim Gunn voice).

Verse 6 is a key: “And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

In business, God is looking to restore 4 things:

  1. Sinews = Systems.  God wants to give us His systems, His ways, His ideas.
  2. Muscle = People.  God wants His people involved.
  3. Skin = Communication/Marketing.  God wants us to have increased levels of communication both inside and outside the team.
  4. Breathe = Presence.  God wants us to experience what it’s like to operate our business in the power and leading of the Holy Spirit.

We began praying these points over Aroma.  It’s been a while now, and I can say the results have been extremely encouraging.

  • God is giving us new insight into how to organize our SOP.  He’s given us creative ideas, but He’s also brought people with advanced experience in this area.  They’ve come as volunteers!
  • God helped us get (re)new(ed) people signed up to help with event planning, marketing, and even cleaning.  Some are volunteers, others are paid.
  • God increased our standards and clarified our internal communication procedures.  He also gave us insight into effective strategies for marketing.
  • God has manifested His Presence each day with things like increased joy, a deeper sense of commitment to His vision, a sense of power, physical manifestations in some people’s bodies, and even increased sales.

We believe God can take any set of VERY dry bones and breathe new life into it.  Where are the dry bones in your company?  Is it the system? the culture? the people? your SOP? communication? operations?

Ask God what He wants to do.  Declare His truth.  Receive the fulfillment of His promises over you and your business.

 

神的話是完美的、充滿各種見解。可惜的是,在教會,我們往往小看了神的大能。然而神是不能被限制的! 最近,我受到朋友的鼓勵重新再審視以西結書第37章,因為該章節內容與企業經營有關。

這是關於以西結受神挑戰的故事,其中神要以西結讓枯骨復活,但是以西結不確定那是否他想做的。神差使以西結進到遍滿枯骨之沙漠中,便詢問以西結那些枯骨可以復活嗎?以西結顧左右而言他的回答。神打斷他並以「無恥之徒」電視劇裡提姆●古恩的聲音對他說:「就讓它復活吧!」

其中第六節是本章重點:「我必給你們加上筋,使你們長肉,將皮遮蔽你們,氣息吹進你們裡面,你們就應復活,你們便知道我是耶和華」。

企業經營(公司)裡,神要恢復四件事情:

1、筋就是系統。神要賜予我們祂的系統、祂的方法及祂的想法。

2、長肉就是代表人。神要他的子民參予其中。

3、皮膚等於訊息傳遞方法/行銷手法。神要我們提升團體內、外層面的溝通。

4、氣息亦是同在。神要我們在企業經營(公司裡)中,經歷神大能及聖靈的帶領。

我們已開始針對上述四個觀點為馨香堂祈禱,到現在已經有一陣子,我敢說效果實在令人鼓舞。

  • 神使我們了解如何籌畫馨香堂的標準作業流程。神不僅已賜給我們創意點子,更帶來許多豐富經驗的行家。他們都以同工身分來到馨香堂。
  • 神幫助使新朋友(友人),報名協助我們活動規劃,企業行銷,甚至是清潔的工作,有些是志工,有些是支薪的。
  • 神提升我們的水準,並且清楚的告訴我們內在溝通程序。神讓我們明白什麼是有效的行銷策略。
  • 神藉由我們漸增的喜悅,對神意象更深的交託,對神大能的體悟,他人身上充滿神蹟的見證及蒸蒸日上的營業額,彰顯神每日的同在。

我們相信神能撿起任何一簇枯骨,呼一口氣使他們成為新的生命。哪裡是你公司之枯骨? 是系統? 文化? 人? 標準作業流程? 溝通方法? 運作方式?

問神要做甚麼? 宣告神的真理,好好感受神在你身上及公司(企業)內之應許吧!

Live Supernaturally, Remember Testimonies

This is partially a summary of a great book by Bill Johnson, called “Release the Power of Jesus” but it’s far more than that.  We’ve been stressing the importance of testimonies at the Aroma and I think it’s important that I outline in writing why.

God says “Testimonies are the Spirit of Prophecy” (Revelation 19:10).

This means that when you hear a testimony, you need to understand that’s what God wants to do again.  He set a precedent.  He did it once, and he’ll do it again.

My greatest takeaway: Jesus has given us far more than we know, and we need to be constantly seeing, hearing and remembering what He’s done in order to have Hope, Faith and Love that it will happen again. Press in!

Johnson’s book spells out the importance of Testimonies. Here’s a quick outline of chapters

  1. Truth Empowers: Johnson recalls when he first encountered Revelation 19:10, and how the truth of remembering has effected the last 25 years of his life.  He says, “Our capacity to remember what god has said and done in our lives and throughout history–the testimony–is one of the primary things that determine our success or failure in sustaining a Kingdom lifestyle of power for miracles” (Johnson 26).
  2. Spending our Inheritance: We have unlimited resources at our disposal because of the inheritance promised to us in the context of our commission.  Psalm 119:11 says “I have inherited Your testimonies forever, for they are the joy of my heart.”  Spoken and written records of what God has done are our inheritance.  Testimonies reveal God and show us our heavenly resources.  Our original purpose was to be fruitful, multiply, fill the Earth, and subdue it (Genesis 1:28).  Jesus restored this and empowered our destiny, “from Glory to Glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
  3. Encountering His Mercy: We need Scripture and His Works to know him (John 5:31-40, 14:10), so Scripture is intended to lead us to an encounter with Him.  The breadth of the chapter explains Old Testament perspectives on the ark, covenant, going after God’s heart, and Testimony.
  4. Keeping the Testimony: Deuteronomy 6:6-9 explains that God’s word should be the substance of education, the primary topic of conversation, and the content of what’s posted around us.  We are to steward and remember the testimony.  “In unveiling the power of the testimony, God is not just giving us access to a principle of His Kingdom that works.  He is really giving us access to the knowledge of Himself.  Remember, in every story of what God has done, there is an unveiling of His nature and invitation to know Him experientially in the same way” (Johnson 83).
  5. Memories that Give Life: “Jesus led His disciples into continuous experiences with the miraculous.  Every occasion was designed to equip them for the next unexpected challenge they were to face and teach them the ways of His world…Testimonies must become the lens through which we see all reality” (Johnson 99-100).  Mark 6 shares two miracles: 1) multiplying food, and 2) calming a storm.  Mark 6:52 says that because the disciples hearts were hardened, they didn’t understand the fullness of the first miracle.  Thus, they were ill-equipped to conquer the next miracle – calming the storm – themselves.  There are at least three forms of spiritual perception in order of clarity: 1) seeing, 2) hearing, and 3) remembering.
  6. Courage to Leave a Legacy: “Christ commissioned us to go into our promised territory–all the world–and make disciples of the nations, displacing the influence of the kingdom of darkness and releasing the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven” (Johnson 111). The mandate for courage (Joshua 1:5-9) is empowered by “a growing awareness of God’s presence among us” (Johnson 113).  The breadth of this chapter is focused on stepping out in courage because of meditation on the testimony and presence of God. There is also an important section on living “un-offended,” that is building a case for what God has done rather than building a case against Him for what he hasn’t done.
  7. Living Under the Influence: We must remain continually exposed to miracles.
  8. The Power of Transformation: We are called to be kings and priests (Revelation 1:5) who “re-present the King and His Kingdom in order to put Earth into alignment with Heaven” (Johnson 158).  As we seek His wisdom like Solomon, we discover that “we are carriers of the answers to every problem in the world” (Johnson 159, Ephesians 3:8-12). Generational agreement (wherein Psalm 78 outlines four generations) is a key to unlocking a 100 year revival.  Redding, CA (where Johnson pastors a church) is seeing economic revival because of the wisdom of God and the power of testimony being released (Johnson 164).
  9. Releasing the Presence of God: “our great responsibility is to know God and make God known” (Johnson 167).  Obedience releases His presence, power and glory (Johnson 168).  we can release the presence of God, which contains the Kingdom of God through five activities: 1) laying on of hands, 2) proximity to anointing, 3) acts of faith, 4) prophetic acts, and 5) declaration. Heavenly mandates include: 1) love, 2) purity, 3) power, and 4) glory. Near the end of the book, Johnson quotes Spurgeon, “I think I may push it a little further and say what he has done once, is a prophecy of what he intends to do again…Whatever God has sone…is to be looked upon as a precedent” (Johnson 182, quoting Spurgeon).

Book Cover