Category: Faith

The Morning Star Rising on the First Day

The Morning Star Rising on the First Day

I thought it appropriate to start this book with my earliest memories, and then move through my life while sharing my spiritual experiences. At the time, it seemed to be a nice way for the reader to get to know the author and his background. The surprise was the earth-shattering discoveries that I uncovered while I was writing. During this process, I came to realize that God had been working in my life from the very beginning; I just did not know it. He gave me people like my mom and dad, who were good people who cared for me and gave me good direction. He issued warnings of danger in ways that could have only come from Him. He showed me the truth of spiritual good and evil at a very early age. He took me by the hand and led me in the steps that I would walk. He closed all the doors but the ones that He wanted me to walk through. In addition, He protected me from harm time after time and did it in such a manner that His divine intervention could be the only possible explanation.
Things that have no explanation just kept happening to me, and they were always for my benefit even though that may not have been the perception at the time. I was blind to the fact that God was at the heart of these unusual events. This blindness made it extremely difficult for me to rationalize these experiences, even to myself. To me they were true mysteries. I rationalized them by thinking that perhaps I was just lucky to have escaped harm, or that I was smart for having the foresight to know a better course. In some cases, I could not come up with any rationalization at all so I pushed the entire incident into the back of my mind and kept my mouth shut. I thought that it was better than having the whole world know with certainty that I was out of my mind. These events would always take me back to the question: why were these things happening to me? Why me? I would discover the answer to these questions through the creation of this book. Writing this book enabled me to see the big picture of what God had been showing me over the fifty plus years of my life. It revealed that God was protecting me because He created me for a purpose. God created me to possess the vision.
When the time came and I turned my life back over to Him, He opened my eyes. Looking back on it now, I am amazed at all the things that He did to protect me or get my attention. The simple truth is that I had been dancing through life not paying any attention.
I did not recognize many of the wonderful truths that God had been showing me. In some cases I did not recognize them even after I returned to Him.
This book tells how God has communicated with me over the course of my lifetime. It is a story of the past, the present, and the future. It is a story that has value for everyone. In it you will learn the spiritual truths of this world and the next. This means that you will learn about the realities of heaven and hell, the angels and the devil, the portrait of the bride and even the judgment to come, just as I did. It is a story of God giving me a purpose that came to me in a line upon line, precept upon precept manner, just like the Bible tells us. I have no recourse but to pass these understandings on to you so that you will know the truth also.
So fasten your seat-belt. What you are about to read will include some of the most fascinating experiences you have ever heard.
Many of the stories in this book may be difficult to believe because they span beyond the laws of nature as we know them, and yet they are true. Many of the stories are parables. They communicate a true earthly narrative that is easy to understand but they also contain a heavenly message. So be warned, you will be stepping into the supernatural quite often as you proceed through this book. These events may shock you and leave you mystified but my prayer is that when you finish this book you will also know how to possess the vision.

The Morning Star Rising on the First Day

​This posting is the third in a series of communications that look at God’s deliberate actions to reunite with His people. In our first posting we established that it is God’s desire to once again dwell with His people as He did with Adam and Eve in the Garden. Our second posting provided a generalized outline that demonstrated God’s repeated efforts to reunite with us. Today, we will look at one of God’s most influential covenants, one that became the foundation for the three most prevalent religions of the world today.

So, lets find out more about this covenant by looking at the 17th chapter of the Book of Genesis. As many portions of this scripture are prophetic of Jesus, I have inserted notes to identify them. I hope to be drilling down into them in future postings.

A Meeting Of Abraham And Melchizedek

The Covenant of Circumcision

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless (as Jesus walked before the Father and was blameless). 2 Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers (as Jesus made a new covenant with us and greatly increased the numbers of those who walk before the Father and are blameless because of the shed blood of Jesus).”

3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations (as Jesus is the Father of all Christianity). 5 No longer will you be called Abram (Jesus); your name will be Abraham (the Christ), for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan (the Promised Land where there are many mansions) where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God. ”

9 Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant (the new covenant is a covenant of selfless love), you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised (symbolic of casting away ones own flesh). 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you (as our love for one another is a sign to others that we follow Jesus.) 12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant. ” 15 God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.” 17 Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”

19 Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac.

I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.” 22 When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him. 23 On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised, 25 and his son Ishmael was thirteen; 26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very day.

27 And every male in Abraham’s household , including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him.

What does the Covenant of Circumcision Mean to us?

Now while this seems like a nice story on the surface, it is very profound when you start to think about what happened here. God communicates with a 100-year-old man whose wife is barren and tells him that he is going to be the father of many generations. How many 100-year-old men do you know that have fathered a child? Most people would say that such a thing is highly improbable. Then God tells Him that His barren 90-year-old wife is to be the one who is going to give birth to his male child. I believe that this is an even more unlikely possibility. So we have a situation here that is doubly improbable, and even impossible to most people I know. Certainly, it would take an act of God to make these promises a reality and we find that Abraham has so much faith that he immediately follow His direction.

From my point of view the act of circumcision that Abraham performed is so contrary to the basic nature of man that I would also believe them impossible. Most men would most likely say something like, “What, are you kidding?” To cut the flesh off the tip of the organ that represents manhood, and throw it away as worthless is counter intuitive from my point of view. To start with, just think of the pain associated with this procedure. I might be able to believe that Abraham would be willing to circumcise himself, but then how did he convince the other members of his family to do so as well? Let’s internalize this for a moment. Visualize in your mind a situation where a member of your family comes to you and proclaims that they have heard from God and that all the men in their family were required to have a portion of their sexual organ cut off as a result. What would you say? Most likely you would say, “you are as crazy as a loon.” So once again we see a circumstance that appears quite impossible, but despite this Abraham does not even question the point with God, but rather simply complies and get’s his family to do so as well. How great a faith is that? For this reason, several of the New Testament scriptures proclaim that Abraham was deemed righteous based of his faith alone.

So when we look at this from a standpoint of God’s promise being the basis of our relationship, what we see is just another example of God directing His people in a way that leads them back into a relationship with Him. God trying to lead us back into a relationship like He had with Adam and Eve in the Garden.

Adam and Eve in the Garden

In this scripture we find God leading Abraham toward the promised land (Canna), where He planned to dwell with his people from inside the Tabernacle that would be built later by Moses. As we have reported several times, the actions reported in these stories are physical in their nature. They are in fact parables or stories that are told to communicate a spiritual message (one that we can not easily understand), by using analogies taken from the physical world that we understand very well. So for example, God’s directing Abraham to the promised land is simply a parable to communicate that there is a spiritual promised land (heaven or the Garden), that we can aspire toward inhabiting. Jesus reaffirmed this concept on several occasions when he spoke about the kingdom of heaven. Just prior to the ascension of Jesus into heaven He told the apostles that he was leaving to prepare a place for them, one that had many mansions.

The Ascension of Jesus

The bottom line here is that the actions of Abraham to God’s message are prophetic of the life, word and actions of Jesus Christ in every way.

So for example, the act of circumcision, or the cutting away of a man’s flesh serves several points. First, it points to our spiritual nature and tells us that the flesh profits us nothing (like Jesus told us). It also tells us that a sacrifice of the flesh is necessary to live in covenant with God, and this makes it easier for us to understand why Jesus had to sacrifice His life on the cross so that we could live under the new covenant, a spiritual covenant.

It tells us that there is nothing that is impossible for God and that it is in times like these, when things seem hopeless that God comes through. It teaches us that no matter how crazy the things of God may seem to the rest of the world, we must keep our faith and follow His direction. It also communicates that we must display a visible sign so that the world will know that we belong to God. In Abaraham’s day the sign was circumcision and today it is our love for one another. Therefore it is critical that people can tell that we are followers of Jesus by simply being with them.

But all of this is contingent upon us being able to hear from God directly and being sure that we can recognise His voice. So let’s take a look at this and all the other items identified here in greater detail. We will start this communication in our next postings.

Untill then, may all of God’s blessing be upon you.

Papa Joe Gordon

The Morning Star Rising on the First Day

The Work of the Holy Spirit in Ministry – Modern Day Miracles

When our church decided to launch a program to increase membership, they secured speaking engagements from a number of well-known evangelists and pastors and offered special church services over a single weekend. To ensure that the public knew about the opportunity, they invested in an advertising campaign.

The church wanted everyone who attended these special events to get the message of our church out to our community. Therefore, they set up a number of tables just outside the church to sell books, videos, audiotapes, and other religious items. I had been asked to work the table that offered videotapes of a famous evangelist. In the course of the assignment, I struck up a conversation with an interesting man who came by the table. He mentioned that he had a food distribution ministry and had connections with several salmon companies in Alaska. These companies had a unique situation.


Due to government regulations, the fishermen had to collectively limit the amount of fish they sold each day. If they caught more than the legal limit on any given day, they had to dispose of the excess fish. This typically resulted in taking the excess fish back out to sea and dumping them in the ocean. As a result, the fishermen were dumping large volumes of fish back into the ocean on a regular basis. Now, this is where the opportunity came in. Although they could not sell the excess fish, they were allowed to donate it to a charitable organization. This was where his ministry came into play. He said that he worked with a number of people who would process and freeze the fish and others who would deliver it, all for free. I thought that this could be a great opportunity for our church food distribution program. This man seemed like a nice person, but I decided to check him out before doing anything. I asked him if he had worked with anyone else in our area. He mentioned two organizations, one about which he had many great things to say. He indicated that this organization was led by the Holy Spirit, and that the anointing there was unbelievable. The name of this organization is Friend Ships.


I was very impressed with what he told me about Friend Ships, so I called them and set up an appointment to meet one of their representatives. I also arranged for Johnnie, Wanda, and two other couples to see this organization with us. One day after work we drove over to the Friend Ships’ warehouse on the Long Beach docks. We entered the office area but found that the person we were scheduled to meet with was not there for some reason. However, there was another man there who seemed very interested in us. He introduced himself as Don Tipton. We were soon to find out that he was founder and leader of the Friend Ships organization. What an amazing and rare organization Friend Ships turned out to be.  At that time they did not ask for money. In fact, they operated very well with little money because every worker was a volunteer. No one was paid a salary, including Don and his wife, Sondra.


One thing that we noticed while we were there was that there was a lack of any organizational structure and minimal planning activities. I thought that anyone who came here from corporate America would be amazed at how this group got anything done at all. The irony of all of this was their tremendous ability to deliver food, supplies, equipment, and all sorts of other things to people who really needed it. This was all explained by the fact that they had a secret weapon—their faith in Jesus Christ. They simply stepped out in faith and trusted in God for what they needed. Time after time they watched in awe as God came through again and again.


Remember: Peter Walked on Water until he Doubted

Let me give you an example. They had a food distribution program in which they collected and distributed food for the poor each Saturday morning. Amazingly, they did not make any arrangements for people to bag the food into distribution packets so that the food could be easily passed out to the poor and needy. People just showed up. The right number of people showed up at just the right time to get the job done. They trusted in God, and God delivered.


The entire operation was run this way—on God power. There was something special about Don that I liked right away. He was a no-nonsense kind of guy. He had seen it all, and he was serious about his commitment to God. He told us a story of how he brought his wife to Jesus prior to their marriage. They had read the entire Bible together, and once they did, the call of God became clear to them, and they went into full-time ministry.


They sold their Beverly Hill’s polo field and other businesses and started their ministry by simply stepping out in faith. Their vision was to collect surplus food from the wealthiest country in the world—the United States of America—and distribute it to the poor and the hungry people of the world.


Don told us all about their ministry, and how they got started. For example, he told us a story of how their first ship was donated to them. Soon after they had entered full-time ministry, they found their heart was for the poor and starving people all over the world. But to care for them, they would require a ship to transport goods they had collected to the places where people needed them. So, they started praying for an ocean-going ship, but nothing happened at first. Consequently, they said to themselves, we must step out in faith and start looking at ships that are for sale.


One day Don went to look at a 300-foot ocean transport ship. The owner took him on a tour of the ship showing him everything it had to offer. After the tour, the owner invited Don to have a cup of coffee with him, and they sat down to talk. The owner was obviously very interested in selling the ship, and he immediately started to negotiate the price with Don. This, however, made Don uncomfortable because he did not know how to tell the man he didn’t have the money to buy it. Eventually, he told the owner that he ran a food distribution ministry and hoped that he would donate the ship to them. The owner agreed immediately. All he had to do was to come over the following day and sign the papers. That is how Friend Ships got into the shipping business. They stepped out in faith, and God delivered.


But now they had to find a place to store the items to be shipped when the ship was out to sea making deliveries. They found a warehouse that was not being used and got permission from the owner to use it rent free until he could sell it. That owner sold the property after six months, but the new owner extended the agreement with them until he could lease the warehouse to someone else. The result was that they were able to use the warehouse for an additional eighteen months prior to finding their next warehouse in Los Angeles.


Again, they stepped out in faith and God delivered. This kind of thing was the norm for this ministry. There are so many stories like this about Friend Ships. Miracles prevented disaster, money was given just when they needed it, and skilled people like retired naval officers showed up saying that God sent them.


Don explained that their food collection depended on what the local businesses gave them. They also worked with church groups and other individuals to distribute the food locally to the poor. Clearly, God was blessing this ministry. Don explained all of this as he escorted us through the warehouse. We got to see, first hand, all the items that they had collected and eventually would be shipped overseas. The items consisted of all of the things that are needed to support a community including —school desks, fire fighting equipment, and medical equipment. The Holy Spirit was overseeing it all. Pat and I broke off from the group for a while and walked through all three floors of the warehouse, crying like babies most of the time. We were humbled how God had supported this ministry.


Don took us out to the dock where the newest of their three ships was being renovated for duty. The ship was longer than a football field and more than five stories above the water line. The ship was being renovated to become a floating hospital. Their plan was to bring the ship into various ports around the world to deliver medical attention to the poor. As they brought people aboard ship for treatment, there would be opportunity to tell them about Jesus. We walked through the ship and found a great number of people working to convert it for her new mission. I thought: the ship is huge, what a job it is going to be to make her ready for the mission.


The Holy Spirit was on the ship as well. Don brought us to one of the finished meeting rooms and led us in prayer. I believe that every one of us had tears in our eyes in the midst of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. What a pleasure to find a ministry working under the pure guidance and direction of God. I guess that you could say that we got more than we bargained for, but somewhere along the way we did manage to ask Don about the man who had the salmon fish distribution ministry. He indicated that he knew him, and he had been there to visit with them but they had only gotten a couple hundred pounds of fish from him.


Subsequently, this information did not sway us one way or the other. We did not get what we went for, but God delivered what He wanted us to have. He was providing information once-again. This time it was to see how He worked with His people. He showed us a ministry that was His ministry. It ran with volunteer help and required very little money. It was a ministry that was directed by the Holy Spirit with little planning and organization. This ministry just stepped out in faith and learned to depend on Him. He showed us that miracles are still happening today. God has a heart for the poor and the needy. He showed us a ministry focused on building communities and enabling people to better care for their families. If you would like to know more about the Friend Ships ministry, read the book entitled, Jesus and Company—Part 1 by Don and Sondra Tipton. Information on how to order the book or learn more about the ministry is on the Internet. Simply go to


Thank you, Don and Sondra, for being such a true example of what it means to be a Christian.


Subsequently, this information did not sway us one way or the other. We did not get what we went for, but God delivered what He wanted us to have. He was providing information once-again. This time it was to see how He worked with His people. He showed us a ministry that was His ministry. It ran with volunteer help and required very little money. It was a ministry that was directed by the Holy Spirit with little planning and organization. This ministry just stepped out in faith and learned to depend on Him. He showed us that miracles are still happening today. God has a heart for the poor and the needy. He showed us a ministry focused on building communities and enabling people to better care for their families. If you would like to know more about the Friend Ships ministry, read the book entitled, Jesus and Company—Part 1 by Don and Sondra Tipton. Information on how to order the book or learn more about the ministry is on the Internet. Simply go to


Thank you, Don and Sondra, for being such a true example of what it means to be a Christian.

Keep the Faith

The Morning Star Rising on the First Day

To the one who has long waited for the promise of God

and waits day after day, year after year.

Are you concerned or growing doubtfull

That His promise may not come?

Have your prayers fallen on deaf ears

and does heaven seem so far away?

Is your hope fading? Then I say believe – believe beyond what you see.

The promise will surely come, sometime, someway, somewhere.

The Morning Star Rising on the First Day


In my previous posting (Possess-the-Vision) I communicated that I was going to present the spiritual experiences of my life that led to the creation of the Possess the Vision Mission Statement (PTV Mission-Statement.)

The experience I am about to communicate to you took place while I was in grade school. It will prove to be quite unbelievable to most people, and to be perfectly honest, would have been disregarded by me as well if it were not for all of the other unexplained spiritual experiences of my life. It is the story of a warning that comes from God in the form of a dream and then is followed up by an intervention from God.

My mom and dad would take us to visit my aunt’s family from time to time. We looked forward to these trips because we got to play with cousins our age.

Their house was about an hour’s drive across town and we were driving home late one night after one of our visits. I was tired and was trying to get some sleep in the back seat of our car. I had my head propped up against the interior wall on the driver’s side when I started to doze off. Then suddenly, I quickly awoke with a start sensing that another car was about to crash into us at the precise point where my head was resting.

Thinking about my feeling for a moment brought me to the conclusion that I was just imagining things and so I ignored the sensation and tried to get back to sleep.

But when I did I found that the experienced just kept happening over and over again and so I told my mother about it. She reaffirmed that I was in fact just imagining things and recommended that I dismiss these thoughts from my mind and try to go back to sleep.

So, I made another attempt to suppress my fear and get some sleep but the fact was that the sensation of an impending crash became very strong again and I could not help but pull my head away from the side of the car. This time the result was different however, as an auto came crashing into our car exactly at the point where my head had been resting just a second before. The accident turned out to be minor, and thankfully no one was hurt.

Still, I had to wonder about what the outcome may have been if I had not pulled my head away at the last second. The jolt of the collision was substantial so who knows what had been avoided. I suppose I could have sustained major injury to my head or neck, or perhaps even worse.

In this case, I heeded the warning and made the right choice. Still, at the time I can remember about wondering about where these warnings were coming from and why.

Just to make things clear, I now know that these were warnings from God who was protecting me from harm. I know that each of us is born with a purpose and that the devil will try to abort that purpose in any one of a multitude of ways. So please pay attention to these messages from God and act on them. Your immortal life may depend on it.

In my previous posting (Possess-the-Vision) I communicated that I was going to present the spiritual experiences of my life that led to the creation of the Possess the Vision Mission Statement (PTV Mission-Statement.)

The experience I am about to communicate to you took place while I was in grade school. It will prove to be quite unbelievable to most people, and to be perfectly honest, would have been disregarded by me as well if it were not for all of the other unexplained spiritual experiences of my life. It is the story of a warning that comes from God in the form of a dream and then is followed up by an intervention from God.

The Morning Star Rising on the First Day


After I entered elementary school, I started to encounter things that could not be explained by the laws of physics. Some would call these strange experiences extrasensory perception (ESP). For example, I would dream things that would come true and know things that were to happen before they occurred. You know, I would have a premonition of things to come. Here is an example:


One night I had a dream that I was standing in the middle of the street and an oncoming car was coming toward me at a high rate of speed. Rather than run out of the way to escape, I braced myself and extended my arms toward the car to absorb the impact. The car sped directly into my outstretched hands where amazingly, it was stopped dead in its tracks.

The car was a gray 1940’s model with a v-shaped hood that culminated in a rounded point at the exact point where my hands contacted the car. I could see my hands against the gray automobile just as one would see them through their own eyes, and I was in awe of what had happened. I remember having the feeling of extreme physical strength and I imagined that this is what Superman must feel like—knowing that you can muster unbelievable power and use it to achieve incredible feats. I truly felt invincible.

A few days later, I was playing with one of my friends who lived down the block. We were flying a new helicopter/saucer toy that he had just received. The helicopter was simply a bladed saucer sat on top of a handle that launch the saucer into the sky when the string was pulled.

We were having a great time, my friend would launch the helicopter and I would try to chase it down and catch it before it hit the ground. On his last launch he pulled the string with all he had and the saucer soared high into the air, above the house tops. Just then a strong breeze kicked up that carried the saucer out into the street. Being totally focused on catching the saucer, I started running after it as fast as I could.

As I was not paying much attention to where I was going, my friend’s mother started shouting to me, “Joe, don’t go into the street. Joe, stop!” I remember hearing her words but they seemed faint and very far away. I was in the middle of the street by the time I caught the saucer. It was then that I could hear my friend’s mom screaming for me to come back. I turned and looked up the street and there it was, the gray car of my dream turned nightmare, was speeding toward me. There was no time to get out of the way, so I simply held my arms out in front of me, just like I did in my dream. I could hear the tires squealing in response to the locked brakes. The car hit my hands and stopped. Unlike the dream however, it was evident that it was not my power that stopped the car. I realized that I was not all-powerful as I believed in my dream. The car had knocked me backward even though it just barely touched me. I stood there and watched the front of the car rock back and forth in reaction to the sudden stop. I did see my own hands against the hood of the gray car just like in my dream though. I then realized just looked death square in the eye.

My friend’s mother ran toward me screaming at me to listen to her. Somehow her voice grew distant again as I wondered about my dream that had became reality. How could a dream possibly come true? Why were the real life details being so accurate on one hand while the feelings of power and strength are so wrong? Something stopped that much sooner that it otherwise should have, but it sure was not me. I did not know what to think about this when it happened. As fast as the car was moving, how could it have stopped so quickly?

The body of Christ - On Earth as it is Heaven

Was it possible that some power that I did not understand stopped the car? Was it possible that this power also tried to protect me from this circumstance by giving me the dream in the first place? Or was it a notice to me that that there was a power here to protect me? If so, was it possible that nothing could harm or hurt me? If so, then the big question had to be why?

Well, being like many young boys, I spent about five minutes thinking about it before I filed it in the back of my mind where it was not thought about again for quite a long time.

Looking back on this event now I can say that God intervened in my life and that it was His spiritual power that protected me. If one were to take this event as one single isolated incident then I would have to say that perhaps this was simply just a coincidence. But as it turns out, it was far from an isolated event but rather just one of a string of unbelievable experiences that either communicated a message to me or protected me from harm.

So what does this have to do with the vision? Fundamentally, it shows that we have a heavenly Father who loves and cares for us and who is willing and able to use His power to protect us. This is especially true of those who put their trust in Him and follow His direction (I did put out my hands like I saw in the dream.) I believe that it teaches that spiritual discernment can be achieved if we have faith and pay attention, and I believe that our decision based upon our discernment are critical to our overall welfare and relationship with God.

I know that much of this may be a stretch right now, but stay tuned as we share more about what happened to me in future postings.

May God’s blessings be upon you!

Papa Joe

The Meaning of Choice


The Morning Star Rising on the First Day

The Meaning of Choice

In my previous posting (Possess-the-Vision) I communicated that I was going to present the spiritual experiences of my life that led to the creation of the Possess the Vision Mission Statement (PTV Mission-Statement.)

 One of the important traditions our family kept was our frequent visits to my grandmother’s house. I rember one such visit that occured when I was still a smal child. My uncle was trying to test my intelligence and to accomplish this he had a test for me. In one hand he held a new shiny dime before me, and in the other a new shiny 1943 steel penny. These war time pennies were made of steel because of copper shortages. These pennies shined just like a dime when new.

So, he held the dime between his right thumb and forefinger and the penny between the left thumb and forefinger. He then carefully explained that the dime was much more valuable than the penny and then placed them boty directly in front of my face. He then asked me to choose the one that I wanted.

My initial move was toward the dime because of what he had told me. But when he saw my move toward the dime he pulled it back a bit and then moved the penny closer and even jiggled it in front of me. Becasue of the movement of the penny it flashed streams of light before my eyes. I thought, gee, the penny sure seems to be much more fun that the dime so I snached it out of his hand.

He then rushed to proclaim my stupidity to everyone in the room, stating that I would never amount to anything. I felt angry and betrayed. Big man!

When I look back at this event today I see that it contains several messages that are applicapable to the Mission Statement of this blog and to our lives as Christians in general.

First of all, life will always present us with choices. Some are good, others are not so good. Some good choices will look undesirable and some not so good choices will look extreemly atractive. It is up to us to discern the truth and make the right choices in life and to therin receive the best possible reward for doing so.

Our life as Christians is based on this principle. In fact, it is the only reason we are here on this earth. Do we choose to do good or evil? Do our lives demonstrate a love for others or are we focused on our own promotion. Do we choose life or death, the light or the darkness, God or the devil?

Jesus the Light of the World is Transfigured before His Disciples

It is in these choices that will determine if we receive a wonderful reward for all of eternity or the horrible consequences of hell forever.

It is up to us to choose. When I look back on my life I can now see that these choices presented themselves over and over again. We will be telling you more about them as we progress with this series.


The Morning Star Rising on the First Day


In my previous posting (Possess-the-Vision) I communicated that I was going to present the spiritual experiences of my life that led to the creation of the Possess the Vision Mission Statement (PTV Mission-Statement.)

My story of my first leap of faith is very unusual and yet it contains a spiritual message foundational to the PTV Mission. Like the prior posting (Dad-Comes-Home,) I recommend looking at this story as a parable, which is a story told in earthly terms but designed to communicate a heavenly message. The message is that we have a heavenly Father that wants us to step out in our faith for Him. When we do so He will support our initiative and protect us from harm. With that said, here is my story:

One day not long after my father’s arrival home my dad was taking care of me while I ate lunch in my high chair. Having had enough lunch and not liking to sit still for very long I squeezed out of my seat and stood up on the high chair tray. My dad was all the way on the other side of the kitchen when he noticed what I had done. I was very excited about achieving this feat and started jumping up and down on the tray of the chair. My dad’s first reaction was to freeze, not wanting to do anything that might make me fall. While he was looking straight at me I grinned and jumped once more just for fun. He said, “Don’t you dare.” For some reason, I thought it would be great amusement to jump and have my dad catch me as there was no doubt in my mind that he would. So, I jumped from the tray as if it were a game and when I did my dad took several quick steps before diving into a slide on the floor, catching me just in time to keep me from being seriously injured. It would seem that I had a natural trust in my father’s ability from the very beginning.

This story communicates that God wants us to act on the faith that He has given us. He wants us to take action on the desires that He has placed in our heart. Most importantly, He wants us to know that He will be there for us if things don’t always work out as planned. I offer the story about Peter walking on water as support for this message. Here is that story.

Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!” Matt 14: (22-33)



Jesus Pulls Peter From the Water


So, the moral of this story is do not doubt. Get out of the boat and do what God has put into your heart. Pay no attention to all the evil winds that will blow around you, but rather have perfect faith in your Father in heaven, knowing full well that even if your faith fails that your loving Father will be there to rescue you.


Jesus is the Choice of Love

The world is a stage where we demonstrate our choices for either good, or evil. God stopped eternity to give us time (there is no time in eternity) to give us an opportunity to demonstrate where we choose to spend eternity.

Things are not like they we in the Garden of Eden where the perfection of God was everywhere. In the garden all but one choice was good. In addition, there was no knowledge of evil except for the forbidden Tree of Good and Evil. So, I would think that things were easier then. We only had one thing to avoid.

Adam and Eve in the Garden

Things are much more difficult now. God’s perfection is continuously being destroyed by the activities of man. There is only one choice for good and that is the Tree of Life that is Jesus. One the other hand the knowledge of evil is everywhere as people seem do evil without conscience. People seem egger for the evil choices that make them feel good, or that lead to riches or that make them seem important in the eyes of others. All of these can become stumbling blocks for Christians as well. Even Jesus was tempted by these things.

Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness by the Devil

But one thing is certain and that is we all have the power to choose and we demonstrate our choices every day. We choose to either love or to hate, to reveal the truth or lie, to save life or to kill, to be a friend or an enemy, to help others or to help ourselves, to live for God or to server the devil. The choices are all up to us. The power is in our hands.

Our choice to follow Jesus is the difficult road, the road less traveled; the narrow path if you will. It is the choice of love (see our postings on love). It is a difficult path to walk down because the world does not understand why anyone would do it. It makes no sense to them. They see self giving love as illogical. Since they live in darkness they can not comprehend the light of God.

Those who take the road less traveled will find themselves on a genuine search to find God by following the pathway to His door. They will find themselves doing His will, attempting to become like Him, knowing Him and having a personal relationship with Him that lasts forever. In this relationship they become one with Jesus. They will find that our life here on earth is to prepare the way for His return in a similar way to that of John the Baptist, who prepared the way for His first coming.

Do We Have the Love of Jesus in our Heart

Continuing our discussion from our past posting we now address another important point. Based on the scriptures presented in that posting, we suggest that the law of the Jews is replaced by the love in the hearts of the true followers of Jesus. To illustrate the case in point, the law states: “Thou shall not commit adultery,” but Jesus teaches us that it is a matter of the heart:

You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Clearly this is a higher standard that simply refraining from the act alone. This higher standard requires a change in heart, something that the law could not provide.

After all, what kind of heart will not resist an evil person but turn the other cheek? What kind of heart will give a thief both the cloak as well as the coat? What kind of heart will give to those who ask and not turn away? What kind of heart gives love their enemies, blesses those that curse them, does good to people that hate them and prays for those who despitefully use and persecute them?

Disciples Carry Jesus Down From The Cross

It takes a perfect heart. What kind of heart does it take to pray to truly seek and worship God rather than pray for our own selfish desires? What kind of heart will fast simply to shed the bonds of the flesh so as to move closer to God? What kind of heart will turn aside the treasures of the earth in favor of the treasures of Heaven? What kind of heart will sell all they have and follow Jesus? Whose heart will trust Him in all things?

Hearts can only be changed by the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit

This infilling comes only when we seek to move closer to God, to change our lives and to become more like Jesus. The Holly Spirit comes only to those who seek Him. It is our choice to do so and our actions and commitment reaffirm this desire. God will not come to us uninvited.

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost

So seek Him with all of you mind, body and spirit.  And pray!

The Power of Prayer