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TeachingFebruary 14, 2019

How to conquer depression with Gods Love

02.14.2019

Rise From Ashes

I will recover my heart and exercise my will to discover how to.... rise from ashes.

Sometimes we can feel like our soul is frozen in a routine cycle of depressive thinking. We look forward to outward stimuli like food, work, friends, church, entertainment, recreation or TV to find euphoria. But temporary emotion is not enough to alter physiological brain paths. Our mind will anatomically return to how we have programmed it to process life. The idea of change will always be complex and “out there some day” unless we learn to live by a faith that is proven by analytical resolve rather than fickle emotions and feelings. We must probe our intelligence and engage our free will to build new brain paths that will lead us to actually experience the promises of God’s Word to rise from ashes.
This is not some intriguing new teaching. It is just common sense that it seems everyone has abandoned.

 

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All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.

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© Michael Woroniecki 2019.
AdventureJanuary 07, 2019

Adventure: “This Is War.”

I was sitting inside a hotel on our 3rd day in Port Alegre, Brazil. Suddenly…

“Bamm! Bamm! Bamm! bamm! Bamm!”.

Probably 20 gun shots rang outside our window. I won’t ever forget the sound because it was nothing like the movies. You felt it. The instinct of fear instantly kicked in for the safety of my family. I couldn’t see where the shots came from, but it was close by. I had the feeling that someone had died. The next morning on the front page of the newspaper confirmed my fears. A rival gang moved into the neighborhood and killed several people.

A few months later we were asked by city officials to go into this exact neighborhood to perform. It was a mind-blowing experience. As we turned the corner to drive up a steep grade two women were wailing on each other. When we turned into the plaza to perform we noticed at least five guys about seventeen years old carrying AK-47s.

One day I was standing in a bakery trying to order some pizza. I couldn’t figure out the ingredients in Portuguese. “Can anyone tell me what ‘acetonas‘ are?” I asked out loud, hoping someone else spoke English. I hope it’s not the acetone I know of that used to repair fiberglass. But it wouldn’t really surprise me down here.

A man at a nearby table a man yelled to me “The pizza is great! Today… two for one”. His mouth was stuffed full of crust, some falling on the table. When I told him I had recently arrived in this city he said loudly through his broken English, “Well, my friend… Welcome to hell”. Oh, wow. That’s cool, buddy. Just what I wanted to hear. Thanks for that. He went on how “The heat here is unbearable and this city should have never been inhabited. It should have remained part of the Amazon”. But mostly he considers it ‘hell’ because the violence is out of control and no one can do a thing about it. Through the conversation, he kept asking “But why??” “Why would an American leave America and come to live here?”. I respond “One Word…Jesus. He loves you brother“. This led us into a beautiful conversation and ended up eating at his table. Acetone wasn’t that bad.

If I had a dime for every time someone said their dream was to go to America I’d be rich. Many are shocked and thrilled when we share a little deeper about how going to America will not help one thing with their inner life. Though the outward circumstances are different, the pain and grief of life will be the same. It’s like with anything in life; you look forward. It comes. It goes. It leaves us the same. Many times it’s worse when someone achieves material wealth and loses a simple heart that was once content with lesser things.

Fisherman hand their nets until the next trip out to the seas to stock the local fish market (behind me).

I have seen how a man who once laughed as his children chase a chicken around a dirt shack in a poor country, now cries with a heavy heart as his kids grow up while he is away working for ‘better’ life in America.

A nicer house with a yard, a car to drive, or money to spend, will not take away the loneliness and hurt that everyone carries inside. Jesus says “what does it profit a man to gain the world, but lose his soul?”. He says “blessed are the poor”. And man, have we ever seen this to be right on. The less you have, the more you have. An ounce of heart weighs more on the scale of reality than a ton of nice stuff or furniture.

This is a local public gym. Tons of guys working out. Kind of like Gold’s Gym in the states, wouldn’t you think? only Brazilian style.

Word spread about us in this city and the directors of several large schools reached out to us. It is exciting when they ask specifically to bring our message of change and the Gospel to their students. It’s different. You got to see it. It’s not religious at all. Many have remarked how the boldness in which we stand for Jesus is something they have never seen. Other things these people say in response to our ministry are remarkable. They show the unique workings of a mind that has not ‘been there done that’ as many in the States feel they have.

Driving into one school (as I mentioned before), a major shooting had shut down the area that day and it had to be rescheduled. A few days later we tried again. Driving into the area, the pavement suddenly stops. Tiny dirt roads wind back though endless shacks. Countless dogs run across the road, AND, SOMETHING NEW, to our view of the “Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood” ready for this? ….PIGS, lots and lots of pigs. Hmmm. Not exactly the kind that you want to say “Here piggy, piggy, piggy”. Not to be offensive to the nation of Pig-land but these guys were so filthy the pink ones were black. They wallow amidst the trash floating down the parallel viaduct. Hard to believe beautiful people are forced to live here. Those pigs are there last ditch meal ticket. There is a school of nearly a thousand students down in here. And this is right where we are headed. We finally find it and arrive at the gate to a weary security guard standing at the gate.

“I can’t hold them back, if they wanna leave, they leave, if you guys are gonna do anything, do it quickly”. He says. Wow, what a leader I thought. A true beacon!

Through experience we have learned, as much as we want to be fun and interesting in schools, we have to start with a very serious attitude. I walked to the front and unfold a large blowup photo of inside one of the worst prison in South America. They aren’t offended. They know this will very likely be their future. They are sobered and scared. I talked at length about the consequences of life. Even though we are young and curious, we must be wise and take things seriously. One moment of being carried away by pier pressure can push the dominoes towards a tragic life.

Every few blocks there is someone sleeping on the street. It’s a scary reality that is never far from event he most “secure” people. things can change on a dime. My mom and sisters often cook up some food and make packets to take out to them.

I was honestly shocked that some 300 rowdy kids were dead silent. The look on their faces echoed the reality of what I had just explained. Some near tears as we talked about the pain of a father leaving or a relative dying. Abraham came out and took over and share the full counsel of the Gospel. In His hand he carried a “Berimbau” that he has learned to play. It is a crude Brazilian musical instrument that is used for the ancient Brazilian dance/martial art of Capoeira. He uses it to illustrate the need listen, as the martial artist does in the sport of Capoeira, to the voice of Jesus. He calls all of us to hear the Fathers ‘rhythm’ and learn the steps of new dance.

This is David doing Capoeira with a local “Mestre”. How a white dude can hang with a Brazilian master is beyond me, but somehow David does it with ease. Amazing dude.

We eventually had some fun as well and did some magic and comedy for the kids. In between we share the gospel and the need to study the Scriptures and give our lives to Jesus.

Later that night I was texting a guy inside a military prison. He explains how there is so much complexity in some of their legal cases they just want to give up. In the Brazilian Favelas, the communities are small and cases of vengeance often get the better of a justice system already in shambles.

He explained that “the Gangs in Brazil are not “gangs”. they are armies. They have better weapons than most nations, AK47’s, hand grenades and a sophisticated network of communication. As cops we are told these are civilian gang members. But that’s wrong. This is war.”

They have an iphone app down here that reports every time there is a shooting. Morning to night my phone is buzzing with reports. In the coming months we will be working extensively in these Favelas. Some of these gange members are very young and desperate. Many of them open to the gospel and willing to change if there is a way out.

Thanks for reading,

Joshua

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Copyright

All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.

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© Michael Woroniecki 2019.
Teaching, TravelsDecember 23, 2018

A Friend 12.25.18

I ask my reader to bear with the length, wordiness, and repetition. My children are helping me to get the whole short-worded blog thing. My next one will be much better. I don’t mean to impose upon you with long-winded truths. I get it. I’m just trying to figure out hos I can give you a tight and edifying word. Thank you for putting up with my ignorance.

A man thought to himself “Why is it every night I feel like I could cry? I am alone. I have no one. I constantly feel sad and fearful. Everywhere I go, I can’t escape myself. Something is wrong with me. If only I had a friend. Someone who understood and loved me. Someone whom I could talk with and could help me battle life.”

People joke about having an invisible friend. This is exactly what God promises. “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness…and he was called the friend of God” (Jm.2:23).

He is Jesus. The hope of my morning.

There is nothing wrong with you my friend. Feeling helpless is human. A person may deny it, but the truth is we all live with hidden pain and chaos. It can be so severe you think you have a personal problem. But God the Father understands and yearns to become your Friend to help, love, forgive, heal and explain how He can bear your burden.

People identify the reason for their pain as a problem with their marriage, divorce or loneliness. Some think it is because of a failure, past experience, present wanting, a personality disorder or a stressful situation.

The truth is difficult issues only exacerbate turmoil that existed long before the incident and will continue long after. It is the strategy of Satan to link your pain directly to some specific thing or person which you can not change. Think about it. It will torment you with helplessness.

It’s time to understand change as revealed in the Word of God.

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All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.

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© Michael Woroniecki 2019.
Teaching, TravelsDecember 19, 2018

Cut To The Quick 12.19.18


WHAT IS GOING ON BETWEEN YOUR EARS?

What is happening in your own private thought room called the mind? If others could see your thoughts would they see black, grey or a display full of vibrant colors? Do you know the life-giving creative thought process of the Holy Spirit? He is waiting to inspire us with His love. Our brain is a phenomenal machine able to chart a brilliant course of love and life, from, in and for, the explosion of resurrection power in the living Jesus.

When we allow God to cut to the quick of our heart a most beautiful thing occurs. First, I must qualify this statement. It is no little thing to open up our doors to Him. Our sinful heart can hold a firm grasp on hiding our secret ways. We don’t want to let Him into our dungeon chamber. But when we release our tight grasp, when we trust in the Father’s love, when we release our life into His hands, and believe that all He wants for us is to know His love, something marvelous happens.

It is not sensational, involving emotionalism. It is the divine intelligent love of God. It is the thought process of the living Jesus releasing His thoughts into our brain called “living waters” (Jn.7:37). Yup. It’s real.

It is like an explosion of the divine colors of eternity entering our finite thoughts. It is called inspiration or anointing. It is the Holy Spirit. It is the echoes of rebirth. In a micro-second, the reality of God’s Spirit cuts into our slothful negativity with His vibrant eternal life. The heartbeat of Jesus touches ours. It is no exaggeration. If anything I cannot possibly express the inexpressible joy. Anything I state is an understatement. If you could picture the physical brain impulses suddenly forced to process divine life what would it look like?

What would a brain surgeon say if he could see this process on a monitor? It is what happened to the woman at the well in John 4, and the Roman Centurian at the cross, and Nicodemus in John 3. This is real. It happened for many people who spoke with Jesus. He defined the content of His words as “spirit and life” (Jn.6:63). The brain is only accustomed to natural thought patterns. The natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them…but he who is spiritual appraises all things” (1 Cor. 2:14ff).

The default of our brain is negativity. It echoes the same voice of Adam “Why is our life not simple and everything is a syndrome of demand and burden?” Could there really be unseen forces using this cycle of thought to keep us down? Why do we so easily settle for this natural way all men think about things? There is a spiritual way.

Why not be brave? Ask God to cut to the quick with His thoughts (Is.55:8ff)? Things that start out simple often drift into mental gridlock. Cut them off at the pass. Learn God’s Word. Memorize a verse. Then, at that moment of a downward spiral, recall it to your memory and wait on God’s explosion of life. Do not conform to this world but be transformed (Rm.12:2). Use your free will to change.

 A simple answer to complex problems is what we all desire. A brilliant scientist named Albert Einstein said: “God’s ways are always simple ways”. He said, “I am not smart, I just spend longer on figuring out problems”. Don’t be so quick to accept the negative. Wait for God’s simple answer. It always comes when you ponder, not the problem, but the living Person of Jesus. God promises “Those who wait…shall mount up like eagles” (Is.40:30-31).

Could it be that “unanswered” prayers have an upside as well as the downside? If what we wanted always happened every time we snapped our finger we would never develop character. God wants us to tap the profound colors of intelligence within our brains. As a Father, His primary purpose is to bring forth the Character of His Son in us. Paul learned that through difficulty God’s purpose is to show us that we are “more than conquerors” simply by using our mind joined with faith (Rm.8:37). He says patience brings about “proven character”. So the upside to “a silent God” is that He is training us to draw upon all that He has already given us and live by faith and walk in humility.

Could it possibly be that we ourselves, without even realizing it, oftentimes complicate our lives because we don’t know how to examine our thoughts and balance our emotions with the Word of God? Are we so consumed with our anxious thoughts that we miss the voice of the Shepherd Who calls us to learn how to utilze the beautiful gift called discernment?

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit…able to judge (cut-discern) between the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

We have problems at work, family, relationships, or lack of, or any number of other outward things. Then there are the inner problems with unbelief, regret, anger, fear, depression, and loneliness. In every, and any situation, our desire is to ‘Cut to the Quick’ to find if there is a simple answer.

Imagine the enormous joy you would feel if you were staggering through a thick forest and suddenly discovered a beautiful paved path. Oftentimes, I find how God is with me, but only by faith. Not my feelings or circumstances. It is only when I step out in faith that I come to the One Who has paved a path in Whom I find the Father’s intended plan.

Long ago, God the Father came up with a very clear path through the forest of the human struggle. At first,  it sounds overly simplistic to say “The words of Jesus offer the answer to everything”. People says “That may be true at a theoretical level but what about the practical solutions needed in multitudes of specific situations?

So many problems require a specialized knowledge and require you to do things you don’t want to do. It was like this in the Old Testament. For a person, back then, to be right with God, a very tangled knowledge, that involved complex rituals of sacrificing the blood of particular animals was required. There were 10,000 laws that had to be obeyed.

Jesus ‘cut to the quick’ when He said “Come to Me… For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day” (Jn.6:40).

Everything we have chosen in life does not have to overwhelm us.

Multitudes of churches today have a long list of do’s and don’ts. Also in the secular world, much is needed to climb the social ladder for success. A specific education, vernacular and image is expected. Even with relationships, things can become very burdensome when the requirements for involvement escalate to unreasonable expectations. Everywhere you look things are not simple. 

The magnificence of God is seen as profound in that, no matter the obstacles of human existence, God has ‘cut to the quick’ with a resolution in One Human. He simplified all matters concerning knowing Him in One Person. He took all our heavy, intimate and complex issues and determined the perfect answer to life is One Man. God requires no vast knowledge, moral observance or personal atonement.

We need not search beyond the boundaries of our own capability. We need not to strive to exhaust ourselves with imagining mental barriers that don’t exist in the sight of God. The answer, as they say, is right in front of your eyes. The question is whether you will “see”; i.e.  “behold the Son”.

Jesus is the most brilliant Person ever to walk this planet. He says “My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Mt. 11:30). How could Someone say such a thing when He was about to enter into the unimaginable burden of carrying the sin of mankind to the crosss?

Jesus came to earth the landscape of humanity was before Him. He lifted up His eyes and began the journey of God meeting man. Jesus walked with, sat by, laughed and cried with, taught, and touched as many as possible. He shared in and with us. Slowly, and ever so wisely, Jesus began to release the greatest gift the world has ever been given access to; His Father.

If the answer to life’s greatest burden of sin, was defined by Jesus as the relationship with His Father, how much more so is this our answer? So the issue for us is knowing the Father as Jesus does.  He promises to reveal Him to us in the exact manner as He Himself knows the Father’s love (Jn.17:22).

There was no need for Jesus to electrify a crowd with a spectacular vision or sophisticated rhetoric. Jesus simply spoke and spoke simply. His Word is enough to generate revelation of the Father to the one who is willing to “behold the Son”. In other words, our part is to see through Jesus to the Father. To see God in Him. To be overwhelmed by His love and mercy.

To “behold the Son” is impossible today, they say if this “Son” is dead and gone. But, for a certain few, however many no one knows, they believe Jesus is a living Person. So then the question is this word “behold”.  Nothing mysterious about its literary meaning. The depth Jesus intended only registers to a heart that knows such depth. It is in the sight of the beholder that the sight of Jesus is truly seen. 

For indeed, to all those who come to behold Him today, is given the same chance that was given to those of yesterday. Oh, to behold Him. To see in Him, beyond the body of a Carpenter, beyond even the life of the Son, to the Character of He Who is called by Him “My Father” (Jn.17).

 Jesus cut to the quick with His every word. Complex problems you say? Jesus revealed every issue is multi-faceted. One Rubix cube can be twisted and turned into a variety of color codes. Likewise, it is about the way in which you “behold” an issue,  that determines the relevance and significance of that issue. To one who beholds the Son, the complexities of sin fade when seeing the profound ways of God are so simple. 

Behold the Son shines His eternal light upon us to release the anxiety of darkness out which our struggles often loom. If we would let His Word ‘cut to the quick’ of our heart, to expose the gutwrenching truth of a situation,  we could find a “complex” situation becoming quite simple. The truth will set you free, Jesus promises. 

Sometimes we say something is very difficult to do when in fact what makes it so difficult is because we refuse to admit our own hidden agenda.  We may not want to do something but want to pretend that we do want to do it. So we make our own situation complex by our lack of honesty and transparency. Thus the Person of Jesus simply exposes our actual motives and leaves it up to us to repent and believe His “My yoke is easy” (Mt.11:30.

John Denver sang a song about watching an eagle fly. He said that any man, no matter how rich, is really a poor man if he never saw an eagle fly. Don’t go your whole life without changing your mind, humbling your pride, and allowing God to bring His eternal word into your heart. No matter what you may have in this world you are poor man if you do not see this Eagle fly.


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All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.

Social Media:

© Michael Woroniecki 2019.
Teaching, TravelsNovember 10, 2018

The Drawing 11.28.18

Check out our new CD my son David and I just finished at ITUNES.com/MichaelWoroniecki

It’s titled “Legacy of Love”- This music is our attempt to meet those seeking the high energy euphoria of EDM with the high energy resurrection life of the living Jesus.

I would rather not name any one of the multitudes of highly admired personalities who have admitted they can not cope with their inner state. They sing. They dance. They make men laugh and cry. They instruct. They exemplify what men desire. But when no one sees, they abuse prescription or illegal drugs, alcohol and sometimes turn to suicide. All because they do not know how to deal with their inner self.

The media is always shocked.  When public tragedy contradicts reason, there is an obsessive search for a motive, because people don’t want to think they themselves could ever do such a thing. Why do “normal” people do bad things? How could someone, who acts so capable, who has it all, do the unthinkable?

The truth is, that every single person, in isolated moments of pain, and memories of dark experiences, has varying degrees of depression and tormenting thoughts. It is not due to a unique personality “disorder” or some clinical “diagnosis” of a past failure. It is, in one sense, not our fault. It is due to the debilitating enigma in our bloodstream called sin. It is like a monster hiding in your home.  It drives us to do things we hate (Rm.7:19ff).  No one ever talks about yet it rules the world. We all share this “disorder” of a broken human nature but who is willing to understand why no one is “cool and together”?

Sin is clearly explained in the Biblical description that we are “desperately sick” and “insanity is in the heart of everyone” (Jer.17:9/Ecc.9:3). We are not “basically good”  (Rm.3:10). It doesn’t matter how well we hide it, we are inadequate to deal with life. We need the context of creation, from the Creator Who fashioned our every bone (Ps.139).

Every aspect of our imperfection attests to the tragic outcome of the genesis of pride in Adam and Eve. You are not alone. Regardless of your sin, the Father yearns to come alongside you. He loves you. Don’t resist. Don’t rationalize. Exert the humility and will to understand His loving revelation of absolute truth. Find beautiful redemption. Our inner cry for help manifests itself in innumerable subtle ways. But thank God, He hears, He sees and He stretches out His arms with His profound solution of mercy. He can quantify and simplify everything we defy.

Come, go with me, to this “Land”…of the living Jesus (Numbers 13:30/Hebrews 4:11). I understand the isolated pain of loneliness. I know the “hell”, but most importantly, I know how to tap heaven. Listen to me, the answer is not “playing church” or striving for a pretense as a nominal Christian. I am sorry if my blunt phraseology offends anyone but  I am just speaking the truth to help rescue a brother or sister into the astounding reality of Jesus. Time is like an evil magician who holds our life in front of us then suddenly “Zap” makes it disappear.

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Bear with me in a little ‘small talk’ to give a bit of background to who I am. My family and I are in Brazil. We’ve been working in South and Central America for about 16 years. We shipped our van to Colombia,  drove through Peru (caught in an earthquake), down to Chile and up and over the Andes through to Argentina. The culture of a ‘third world’ country is very different from the states. Many obstacles.

Rachel and I are in our sixties. Being older makes things much more difficult. Plus we don’t speak Portuguese, as our children do. So everywhere we go is an extreme challenge. But 45 years of marriage has taught us, and our six mighty warriors,  how to venture in the land of faith in God’s promises.  

Above, the high pass in Chile was the mountain cold. But we finally arrived in southern Brazil after ministering for a time in each of the countries.  To transmit God’s love is the generating power of His resurrection. Our Father teaches us to lift the countenance of fallen men with the hope of Jesus. It is worth all hardship.

Besides the streets, God has opened up so many opportunities through the government into schools, prisons, and social events to preach how to tap His living Spirit. Long ago we put together a 90-minute presentation of dance, music, drama, comedy and most of all love. We use it as a very effective vehicle to preach Jesus and reach into places we would otherwise never have access.

INTRODUCTION

I divide this blog into Part I,  Part II and Part III. (someday I may actually write a short  blog like they are supposed to be)

People make a hobby out of complaining. Let’s face it, nobody cares. So if we can finally find someone to listen, there’s a lot we have to share. Pity the poor soul. But seriously, no amount of someone listening to us can heal our pain. We will walk away with the same problems.  Human love is never enough.

The Drawing refers to the specific, peculiar way in which God draws us to Himself. His divine love is the only love that can silence our tongue and lift our heart.  People often said to me “You only came to God because you got desperate”. Well, that wasn’t difficult. I was born desperate. God comes to us in our darkest hours, because it is when we are the most real. He comes on a level to relate to our suffering with His suffering. Jesus killed the “monster” and provides the only weapon; the drawing.

We must understand that death is not just a one-time physical expiration of breath. It is the invisible shadow of the misery of the curse of sin upon all human and individual activity (Gal.3:10-14/Rm.6:23). It is the deep sense of anxiety over the vanity of life. It is the consequence of having a soul (self-life/ego) separated from God. It is the lingering sense of defiance of sin against God and the death of His Son.  We never identify depression (as a result of sin) so we never resolve it. We blame others, or things or God but our grief is the death inlaid in our sin.  Jesus yearns to enter and touch our death with His death, to see if we might want His “out”. He reached into our brokenness as the suffering Servant. He bore this curse so we might become free of it.

If we will seriously ponder the phenomenal love that He demonstrated for us, through His death on the cross, our wounds can be healed.

In our “Christian” culture, the phrase “Death and resurrection of Jesus” is as unimpactful as any book title. Men search for answers to drugs, alcoholism, murder, divorce, record numbers of suicide, PTSD and umpteen tragic problems. Multitudes of “daredevils” do “recreational” things with a hidden death wish. Everyone, at some point, wishes they could escape their life. Jesus is considered irrelevant. Because the “jesus” of today’s culture is nothing but an icon (2 Cor.11:4). How could an event 2000 years ago help anyone in modern-era conflicts?

At first, I hesitated to share this subject because who wants to read about death to self? I know it will cause some of you to stop reading. Everyone wants a quick and easy, snap-of-the-finger “salvation” pill. But if it doesn’t really resolve the inner depths of conflict what good is it?  It is an icon.

What if dying with Jesus, is not only the sole manner of salvation but provides a depth of joy intended to draw you beyond “the old man”.  Neither Catholics or evangelicals understand His death is not a ‘downer’. It is the awesome resolution to guilt, regret, and depression. The key is not to “believe” in some abstract doctrine of ancient history. It is to cooperate with the living Jesus drawing you into individual participation with His death and resurrection (Phil.3:10). Herein lies the “secret” remedy (Mt.10:25/Phil. 3:10). He promises to give you every ounce of wisdom, love, and healing you need. God cannot lie.

In light of all this, shall I not take a chance to share The Drawing?

I shall.

I’ve heard famous millionaires use the expression “I’m dead to you” or “I’m dead to that” in a secular context. Everyone clearly understands what they mean. Maybe you have heard athletes, dieticians, coaches and people in all walks of life use similar expressions, indicating how a denial of self, is a discipline, or “death” to various comforts so as to attain a more noble goal. So dying to self is not some weird concept. It is the true gospel; the GOOD news of God’s spectacular provision through the Holy Spirit. What makes this death fascinating is that in dying to self the Holy Spirit begins to provide far-reaching parameters of who you are to become; i.e. an actual “new creation” (Jn.12:25/2 Cor.5:17). Take it from this master of failure, it works.

Truth is not a bummer. It’s a promise. It is a divine absolute (Jn.14:3). His death and resurrection lead to “living waters” (Jn.7:37).   It is not moral attrition that “draws all men” to Jesus. The power of God is the cross (1 Cor.1:18). This is good stuff, my friend. Because God’s Personal love from Him is personal to you.

PART I

Rock stars, movie stars, politicians, and fat-cat preachers do a lot of crazy things to draw followers. They project their ego with an appealing image, slogans, and words to draw men to themselves. But who, and why, would someone sacrifice their very life to draw men? How could this possibly help anyone else?

Jesus says “Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to Myself (Jn.12:32-33).  Say what?! How could someone being “lifted up” on a cross possibly “draw all men”? And if He is dead, then what would there be for “all men” to be drawn to?

Someone could question whether all men are drawn to the cross when, in fact,  all men are sinners drawn to sin. People aren’t running around seeking Jesus. Quite the opposite. The meaning of this verse is two-fold. The death of Jesus is so magnificent that the conscience in all men bears witness to His death as the ultimate sacrifice of love (Rm.1:20/2:14).  Jesus also means is that all men who come into His realm, and deliberately calculate the sacrifice their life to His death, will experience THE DRAWING of His Spirit into His revelation. (The backstory of the above verse is where Moses lifted a bronze serpent to the people of Isreal in the middle of a plague. All who “lifted up”  to look upon it’s lifting were healed (Numbers 21:9, John 3:14).

It’s like if someone tells you that if you go to the top floor of a building you will see, and be drawn into, the sight of a magnificent sunset. On any other floor, you won’t see it.

Likewise, when a person chooses to “go to” the level, in his own heart, where he can contemplate the love shown in the cross of Jesus, he will behold the Son (Jn. 6:40). If you are willing to lay down your life, He will honor your love. It’s a win-win situation. Do you not want to get rid of your troublesome ways and find peace?

When a person unites himself with the “lifting up” of the cross, the Spirit of God draws them to the living Jesus.  Jesus meant that “all men” who come into the profound ramifications of His death will be drawn into the Character of Christ. He will be made new. Jesus promises all who are taught of God will come to Him (Jn.6:44-45).

The cross is the University of the Father. It is where He teaches us obedience. There is probably no more hated word than “obedience”.  It is the school in which we study and accurately learn all the subjects of faith, forgiveness, redemption, wisdom, and love. It is where we learn how our inability to understand certain things, IS understanding God (Pr.9:10).  The death of Jesus leaves us with a mystery which causes us to marvel, love and obey.

Our lives flash across this world, like cars on an expressway. Suddenly, we get old and arrive at the destination point of all men… Death. So if we are going to die anyway, why not die a death that’s already been died? I know that doesn’t sound correct but His death is a death to save you from death.

In divine foresight, Jesus saw our agony. So he came to earth to ‘kill’ the enemies of sin and death. His resurrection offers a death, more powerful than death, and a life, more powerful than both this life and this death. Paul laughs “Oh death where is thy sting…nothing in life can separate us from the love of God” (1 Cor.15:55/Rm. 8:35-39).

The school of  God’s Spirit operates in only one “district”; the cross. Jesus says if you want Me, deny yourself and take up the cross (Lk.9:24). Paul says I “fellowship with His death” (Phil.3:10).  He boldly explains “I was crucified with Christ…the life I LIVE is Christ… because if we become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly, we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, our OLD MAN (our human nature) was crucified”.

Paul continues “in reference to your former life, lay aside THE OLD SELF...corrupt with lust” (Phil.3:10/ Gal.2:20/ Rm.6:5ff).  Think about it. Paul went back to the past, when Jesus died, in order to find a retroactive present identity and a future of eternity in God’s Spirit.  Resurrection awaits.

Such language the world doesn’t know. And when they hear it they walk away. Likewise, the  “Churches” of today fully understand buzzwords like “prosperity” and “success”. But death to self is like a foreign language.

How about you? Your true identity is waiting for you to leave your comfort zone.

joshua-woroniecki-with-special-need-children

Every step Jesus walked made an impression on earth never before seen in the history of mankind. It’s not about trying to follow footprints in the sand. An earthly Jesus we can not imitate (2 Cor.5:16). Salvation is not emulation. It is transformation through our personal death and resurrection.

Jesus was a divine dictionary of a new world. He said life is death, and death is life, and real love is when you die with Him because then you will be in His love (Jn.12:25).

Love is not a thing to do, but a Person in Whom you learn to love.  God is love. He is intelligent love. He knows how to quantify and simplify our most complicated matters. He knows exactly what you need and designed the magnificent plan to draw you.  As the most intelligent Being in the universe He calculates the exact care we need. So the way to love is to be drawn in Him. Being with Him you desire nothing on earth. Again, Jesus says, “No greater love than a man lay down his life…” (Jn.15:13). His death is the ultimate compass of love. John Denver wrote about how a man is poor who never saw an eagle fly. How much poorer is the man who does not know the love that comes if he will die?

Basically, we are only a problem for ourselves. We are our greatest hindrance to God’s love. Everything about us is an obstacle to the ideal. For this reason, the weakness caused by the cross is the one and the only thing of which Paul brags; “I will boast in the cross…through which I have been crucified to the world and it to me…I will boast of my weaknesses…for when I am weak then I am strong” (Gal. 6:14/2 Cor.11:30).

When a man becomes compliant to Jesus, he is compelled to lose his own ways because of how all complexity arises out of trying to mix and match new spiritual ideals with the routine of an old man. Imagine being free of deceit in secure transparency.

michael-woroniecki

Human existence is regulated by that thing we call TIME. Time is a fierce taskmaster. We link our worth to seconds, days, months and years. Men are captured by it to work away their whole lives. Never thinking there’s something beyond it.  But  Jesus actually obliterated all of TIME when He rose again. He defied time and space. “I was dead but behold I live for evermore”. He created eternal “time”. He can penetrate and transcend our every moment with His realm of eternal life (zoe) (Jn.6:68, 17:3). Through rebirth, His Spirit breaks into our time-conscious existence to “see” the wind of His Spirit (Jn.3:3-8). It happened to me at Notre Dame.

The average tick of a heartbeat is about once a second. At precisely one predetermined second your heart will stop. How many people have you heard regret the time they wasted? The elderly, coaches, businessmen, parents, etc. look back with remorse. You don’t have to be one of them. Redemption not only inverts time but can redefine every moment to transform it.

60 heartbeats a minute + 60 minutes an hour times + 24 hours a day = 86, 400 moments a day. How many millions of moments do you miss living because your mind is frozen by a single memory locked in time?

Behold a vision of a new future. Be drawn to the cross. Find the ‘top floor’. See the Son rise. All your sin was engulfed by the past moments of His three hours of separation from His Father. Jesus became every man’s “old man of sin”. He experienced our every pain and cry from the curse. Jesus was “frozen ” in a moment like no other. By His wounds, He entered every moment of time and by His triumph, He can heal any one of our moments.

All He asks is for you to relate, identify and fellowship with Him in His death. To believe what He did was for you. Remember the finality of death is in glorious eternal life. Past bad memories can fade like a mist. His plan worked. His words fulfilled. All who want Him are drawn to Him when lifted up with Him. It is the true escape.

Paul says “redeem the time” (Eph.5:16).

The cross is not to turn you into a forlorn wimp but rather to become His high energy servant of love, free from yourself, to lay down your life for multitudes in need. Thanks to the relentless work of Elizabeth sending out endless emails online we are so grateful for the donation of thousands of Bibles and New Testaments that we received from an anonymous person. Now, we just had to get them 7000 miles to the other side of the world with the other 30 boxes of supplies. Exhausted Abraham made it work.

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!… Since you are precious in My sight, Since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in exchange for your life (sacrifice)” (Is.43:1-4).

My intention is to help you to see how your true identity is waiting for you beyond the death of your old man. God’s true love is the only power to draw you into a life beyond yourself. To align your mind with His redemption. It is not a suggestion or an option. Repentance is God’s command (Mk.1:15/Rm. 10:2). The Father holds us accountable to change because He has given everything in His Son for us to do so.  It is for freedom that Christ has set us free (Gal.5:1). His truth “shall set you free” (Jn.8:32).

PART II

How do we get the most out of our moments?

The modern-day thinking about being a Christian is to accept and suppress frozen moments while trying to emulate Christian behavior. A sure formula for a miserable life. A one-time sinner’s prayer is supposed to be like a magic wand that puts a  zap on us with an automatic change of heart. It just doesn’t happen. It is nonsense.

What happens after praying the ‘Accept Christ as savior’ prayer is that “Christians” continue on in their old ways and never find the drawing into “a new creation” (Eph.1:11/2 Cor.5:17). Because they refuse to be “lifted up”. Their sinful ways continue and they recycle the same old doctrinal rationalization of a forgiveness that is not based on a relationship with the living Jesus. Satan has free reign to play mind games of hypocrisy and delusion because the old sinful self is never actually dealt with by the cross. The old man lives with Christian pretense and Biblical rhetoric.

If you want to be ‘lifted up’ concede to be brought down so you can lay your life down on the cross.

I think everyone would agree that a man’s state of mind is a composite of his past. Memories are stored away in the library of your mind. It is an absolute wonder how God can access any ‘book’ and reconstruct our brain patterns of thought to establish a new storyline. He edits each one of our stories into a grand epilog. He inserts mercy and turns the curse of sin into a blessing. His cross takes the sting out of our death and inserts an elation of joy.

We are created in the image of God and our capacity is profound.

“…the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace…”(Rm.8:6).

Jesus would never have told men “Repent…” if we did not have the potential within us to do so (Mk. 1:15). Likewise, Paul would not have said: “set their mind” on the Spirit. No matter how many teachings we hear, emotions or tears we shed, the human mind does not change by a poof. It requires the “work” of individual intelligent cultivation. It requires prayer, our words, our heart (Jn.6:39).

In some cases, we may not be fully aware of how much a past experience is holding us “frozen” in a time past. But we have a sense of it. It comes about in our daily disposition. Seconds, days, months and even years tick by, but we remain frozen in the same disorder. The Holy Spirit needs our cooperation to put an end to old ways and implement the process of redemptive humility.

Without it, certain thoughts keep you in “prison” to sadness, lust, despair, condemnation and worse. In fact, our very personality can be shaped by something we don’t even understand. This is the power of the old man. We don’t realize how our free will remains completely limp. This is why God uses hard times to shake us with the power of the cross. He is trying to activate our will, our heart and our lips (Rm.10:6-10).

It is the only way out of our dungeon of despair. Apply your intelligence and rigorous contemplation to believe God, despite the impossibility you now feel.  Jump start your heart like kick-starting a motorcycle. It’s like waking up from a deep coma. You have given up and don’t even know it. Discipline your time. If you will just start anything little to force yourself to implement a new way of talking or acting you will see the deep potential of your free will.

The failure to do so is tragic.

One of the most penetrating sounds I’ve ever heard is when I’m walking through a prison and I hear the echo of a loud slam of steel prison doors. It shudders through me with the feeling that my brothers are suffering in inescapable torture. Likewise, memories can be like like a prison cell that holds you in the grip of a cruel ‘warden’.

We talk to thousands of men whose lives are dictated by one past experience of sin in rejection, sorrow, failure or some tragic situation.  Millions of moments reduced to what they did in one. Our goal is to bring about that ONE that will change all the others; “Maybe there’s something more. Maybe I don’t understand the cross”.

God would never say “forget what lies behind and reach for what is ahead”  if it were not possible (Phil.3:13). He would never say repent if you could not do it. He is not a monster but a Father.

How do you “forget” something you deeply regret? It is up to us to energize our free will and act on God’s promise (Mt.11:12) . He will interject His wind of grace.

“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col.1:14). This “transfer” can happen at any moment in any place.

It is so sad to see people captured by a mere thought.  What is a thought? It is nothing. It is invisible. At best it is a mental image of something that doesn’t even exist in the physical world. It is not a grizzly bear. It is not a steel vice. It is not a machine. It is like a bubble to be popped by your will, your change, your repentance. A limp will leaves a man floating in the realm of abstract imaginations. It is the realm of Satan  (2 Cor.10:3/ Eph.6:12). It leads to hell.

When you go through the motions of yesterday your free will floats in the misery of a routine dictated by time. God says “Without vision, a man will perish” (Pr.29:18). If you allow your will to be controlled by the thoughts in your mind, and your mind controlled by random thoughts of your past, you will have no future  (2 Cor.10:3). Even the apostle Paul had to overcome his deep regret over frozen moments of his past (Acts 22:4/1 Cor.15:9).

Unfrozen

Stuck in a sentence,

 trapped in a wall with no exit,

under siege without weapons,

while the past repeats in the present,

 all logic is threatened,

a flood of unresolved tensions

leave you like a vehicle with no engine.

You are frozen in a moment of endless questions.

I, the Lord, am here for the melting.

I am here for smelting,

the breath, the breaking, the helping,

I am here for the treading.

Be at rest, surrender to the wine press

 and stretch your heart to find an intense stillness,

for when your mind is split asunder

breaking down your internal infrastructure,

when you are pulverized and pressurized

this is when I can purify you into Me

so as to sort and sift the inner life unseen.

I offer like a bridge to retroactively

redeem all things,

through the perspective of faith.

No moments left to waste,

but rather to penetrate

 with a greater grace,

mediate to cleanse the stain,

expiate to wipe the slate

so as to recreate and to fashion,

a focus without distraction,

through the only timeless transaction,

your broken moment now unfrozen,

through My blood atonement,

 So now see with greater dimension

that in the work of eternal redemption

 the final result was the first intention.

-Poem by Elizabeth Faith Shalom Woroniecki (my daughter).

THE MOTIVATION OF BEING CALLED OF GOD-Romans 8:28-30

Salvation offers a magnificent redemption of your entire past, present, and future.  The word for “healing” is Rapha in Hebrew. It means completely fresh, new, repaired.

God says for I, the Lord, am your healer…I will heal you of your wounds. Jesus constantly healed people by His touch (Mt.9:35/ Mk.6:13/ Ex.15:26/ Dt.32:39/ Ps.30:2, 41:4, 103:3, 147:3 /Jer.30:17/ Mal.4:2). Precious moments of contemplation lead to healing and redemption. Redemption is a release upon payment of a ransom. The death of Jesus paid our ransom to Satan to release God’s right to redeem all aspects of our life from sin.

“…you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life…but with precious blood, as of a lamb …the blood of Christ” (1 Pt.1:18).

My son Joshua took the photo above as he found a place to sit alone and contemplate the love of Jesus.

God promises that He can take the greatest regret and transform it into a predestined purpose (Eph.1:11). The majority cannot be still in the moment because anxiety over their past and present life haunt their conscious life.  Jesus promises to send His Spirit to interpret the past, while in the present, and walk on into the future with a profound wisdom and sense of His predestined plan. This is the marvelous provision of redemption. Jesus wants us to learn how to live in the moment. Take no thought for tomorrow (Mt.6:34/Jm. 4:13). And how can we live in a moment when it is full of misery from the past?

HAVE YOU ANY WOOL?

Jesus says “My sheep hear My voice” (Jn.10:27).

When I first read this verse I was baffled by Jesus saying His sheep hear His voice. It seemed as something I would never know because I knew I could never escape my wickedness. I never heard any audible voice or even a still small voice. My mind was so full of junk I could barely hear my own voice.

Hearing “the voice” of the Shepherd seemed to be something only for the saints. But I slowly “heard” as I believed. Paul explains “Faith comes by hearing” (Rm.10:17). Hearing what? Hearing God’s eternal Word speak to you in a moment of time. His voice is not an audible sensation. It is not reading circumstances. It is walking in faith and living in the school of the cross. It is practical reasoning by a mind transformed by the Word of God (Jn.10:3,16).

His voice is “heard” in the true understanding of forgiveness, grace, faith, the blood, wisdom, and love of His Spirit. This is the voice of the Shepherd. He speaks through His revelation in the Scriptures. In every moment, of every day, God is speaking to us in the majestic work of Jesus. He is waiting to translate your every nightmare.

You are quick to “hear” the voices of regret, guilt,  sorrow, and woe but are we willing to “hear” the Word of God speak of forgiveness, grace, promise, hope, and new life? It is for us to explore.

When I was in seminary I had a teacher who would fill large blackboards full of diagrams of Scripture verses in Greek. It was extremely insightful. If you could diagram a moment, what would it look like? It would be fascinating. Imagine one of your moments of sadness. You could write a short sentence. Then under it and next to it and above it write the depths of thoughts and feelings. One moment can be diagramed with multitudes of related moments and they would be chained to multiple dimensions and levels of emotion. Good news. God is God. It is nothing for Him to grasp and transform. Again, He can quantify and simplify your most complex issues. Can you imagine if one of your worst memories could become one of your best? This is God’s promise and He is able (Eph.1:11).

“…a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions” (Heb.9:15).

Hearing His Voice is understanding His perspective. It happens from building the Scriptures in your memory. Your perspective then becomes the Word of God.  Fresh invigoration of new creative views begins to spring forth.  We learn to overcome any fear, any moment or sin. This is the whole purpose Jesus sacrificed Himself. So He can enter into our time with His eternal purpose, His wisdom, and destiny. God is God. Everything He does is eternal. Thus, time is overwhelmed by eternity. We can face natural moments in time because Jesus is supernatural. Death is swallowed up by victory (1Cor.15:54).

Faith grabs His promise of redemption and leads to paths of righteousness. Choose to hear the Shepherd. He yearns for us to find His victory for the most deplorable moments we face; to enter in and to walk out again (Jn.10:4). He can take a memory and transform it into His destiny by an act of your will to believe Him. To set your will to the resolute contemplation of a living God.

Listen

“Come”, I say, “Come!”

“Where is that voice heard from?”

“I am your invitation,
an invisible publication,
in suspended animation,
like an inconclusive equation,
a language lost in translation.
I am taught by the clouds,
the thought on the sprouts,
reached out in the boughs,
as spoke like the river flows,
the oak that grows,
a signal like the smoke,
spread as a dandelion blows,
as bold as the golden hour glows,
covering like winters first snow.
I am breaking down the walls,
My voice has gone out
never to exhaust,
calling to the lost,
to come without cost,
to the light of the dawn
given through the cross.
I am heard in the moment,
known by the one who will own it,
My voice is petitioning,
My words riveting,
My call ever witnessing,
the only question left is…
are you even listening?”

Elizabeth Faith Shalom Woroniecki

PART III

Here are a few examples of situations that highlight the profound meaning in the word REDEMPTION. This past fall we returned to the States to work in some prisons there. As we traveled to a prison, we stopped off in my hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was like crossing the bridge from the present into the past and actually into the future.  I returned to Saint Adalbert grade school  (these stairs). We took the time to explore moments of the past. And at this time we discovered a wealth of joy.

I ask you to look at the building in the background and stairs upon which this football team is standing. Notice little duff in number 14 on the top row. That’s me.  I was 14 yrs. old.  A few months earlier I was shot in the eye with a BB gun. The coach let me pose with the picture but I didn’t play on the team, nor could I play for the next several years.

My heart was shattered by that one moment in time. I felt devastated. Hopeless despair. I ran in the house screaming and crying in pain and fear.  My mom took me to the hospital where I had to lay on my back for a month completely still. It affected every day following because I was mocked and isolated. I remember praying if God was real would He please help me.

In the picture below my family and I stand on the same exact stairs where I felt devastated and hopeless of any future.  Never could I have imagined, back then, that in a ‘trillion’ blinks of an eye, I would be standing in the same exact place with a wife and six marvelous children.  It is amazing to see how the drawing of His death results in the manifestation of predestination.

But “where” did that moment of being shot in the eye come from? Could it have been from my future?  I returned to a place from my past, St. Adalbert’s, but indeed, was it not from my future? I revisited that “frozen” moment of great pain, isolation, and hopelessness. Only to discover His redemption had melted my character into the future of God’s destiny. What made the difference between me and a million others is that I chose to be drawn to the cross in Jesus Christ.  He alone causes “all things” to work together for good (Rm.8:26/Eph.1:11).

I now know how crucial it is to have a posture of stillness before the Lord. I can go “there” at any moment. This began in the hospital bed not able to move. If you are willing to bring the death of Christ into your pain He can bring multi-dimensional perspective to your past. How many moments are being sent to you, right now, from the future? Will you find His redemptive power?

My football career never materialized as I dreamed it would be. So many injuries put me on the bench. Now I realize how God protected me, not only from fame but from physical catastrophe. I had many concussions.  I used my head as a battering ram.  Redemption gave me health and a special gift; how to be alone. Redeem the curse into a blessing. Believe God.

If we learn to comply with a balance in our reactions to sadness, in our emotions and thinking, and not overreact,  we can breed a disposition “that passes all understanding” (Phil.4:7). Not to be erratic or headstrong. Not to be cynical or sullen. To find balance and maintain an equilibrium of mature hope and faith will bring to us the fulfillment of our moments. All my life I was obsessed with finding meaning. I found it.

Truth comes by revelation. It is the only thing to stabilize our fragile and erratic nature in a world of hypocrisy and madness.

 I also took my children to the cemetery to plant a rose on my precious mother’s grave. Her name was Rose.  It was like entering an actual Time Machine.

The following is a synopsis of a mere ten-minute event that rendered me a lifetime of comprehension.

 FINALITY- the end

THE HIT: I heard a knock on the front door as the doorbell rang. I ran down the front stairway. I saw,  through the door window, a spooky looking older man in a black suit. As I opened the door I noticed his hearse parked in our driveway. I quickly concluded he was the undertaker I had just called to come for the body of my mother.

Less than an hour earlier she had died, in her upstairs bedroom. In one short month, intestinal cancer had literally eaten her alive. Her body shrunk from a somewhat pudgy frame to look like a Holocaust survivor.

I open the door and we barely greet. I walk him up the stairs. He is carrying a large vinyl black bag. My mind does not connect that the bag is for my mothers’ body. A bag?!

THE BLACK BAG: As we approach my mother’s bedroom, I point to her lying on the bed. He coldly walks into the bedroom and lays the black bag next to her. The opening of that loud zipper echoes in my memory to this day.  He awkwardly works to maneuver my mother’s limp body inside that black bag.

My mind was having trouble trying to process what my eyes were seeing.

Slowly my heart is gripped by a deep sorrow. In a matter of minutes, I again hear that huge zipper closing around my mother. My mom is inside that black bag. A reality of extreme pain, I had never before known, invaded my conscious existence. The moment was frozen. It was seared into my memory. It was the finality of death. Unlike physical pain, I could not fathom any remedy for this extreme pain. No doctor’s visit. No pills, no bandages, no crutches, no answer.

THE TOSS: My heart was sunk into a quagmire of darkness and sorrow. The man, nonchalantly, picks up the black bag, with my mother inside. Then, he makes a very awkward toss of her over his left shoulder. Is was like a work man’s toss of a cement bag. He walked out of the bedroom and back down the stairs. I’m thinking “That’s my best friend. How dare you treat her like that.” But I realize she is dead….actually dead. Gone. For good. It is something all men refuse to think about yet is inevitably coming for each of us. (Is it not bizarre that the human race pretends they will never die? No man, but Jesus made this subject His life focus.)

How could she be dead? I had just been with my her a few hours earlier, giving her ice to ease the burning pain of cancer eating away her internal organs. I led her into deep-hearted repentance as she turned away from religious deception and admitted her wicked ways.

The Undertaker walked down the stairs, out the front door, and to the back of the hearse. He opens the door and throws the bag inside.  As he walks to the driver’s door, he looks up at me and waves goodbye. He gets in the car and backs onto the road to drive away. We did not exchange more than two sentences. Yet he just took away the love of my life.

My heart was shattered. Something told me to chase the car, to scream, to stop him… but none of these actions were consistent with reality.  That’s my buddy. My fellow comedian with whom we shared a “Groucho Marks” routine. We shared my deepest words and so many tender hugs. This is the woman who gave meaning to our dysfunctional “family”. I had to let go. To accept the finality.  I headed to the basement, to be all alone. I wept harder and longer than I ever have with such pain my stomach had cramps the next day. How could I ever find the motivation and the vision to live on?

THE FUTURE OF THE PAST:  I could never have known in the living of those moments how much I would share about them in the future.  In a sense, I was living my future, at my most painful moment. The death of my mother taught me finality. When you resolve the end of one source of life, it demands that you find another source of life. 

Let me tell you, that you can go on. There is a purpose to your present day.  Your moments can be melted. It is worth all the understanding and heart needed to find The Drawing.

I remember when I played football at CMU where I learned so much of how to die to my self. It was so very difficult to let go of ways in which I had come to find comfort. By losing my life I was finding space for an unknown future  (Jn.12:25). We have so many shared emotions with our past. It is hard to get beyond them. There comes a time when we must end our love for our self. It must be final.

If we are to make space for new ways we must let go of the old things that occupy our mind. Jesus says a house divided against itself cannot stand. Either you be new or you be old. No one, even God, is going to make you be new. The love for my mother will never fade but my life with her will not return on this earth. This void has been filled with a “…no greater love…”(Jn15:13).

These incidents happened long ago but today I am the outcome of there impact. These moments of the death of my mother and the excruciating moments of rejection playing football at Central have produced decades of life for multitudes. They came with no instruction booklet. It was solely up to my faith in Christ to unravel their significance.

You can choose to take a moment that would be meaningless or negative in your life and interpret it according to the Word of God. You can then learn how to use it to build not only your future but help others with theirs. My friend, I beg you, don’t let your suffering be for nothing. Grasp the sorrow that leads to real change so you can give a depth of the love of Jesus to thousands and millions of suffering all over the world (2 Cor.7:10).

There are countless such moments of which I could share. As hard as it was to explore, once I chose to believe that I could face it in His Spirit, He utilized this incident of enormous suffering and confusion to bring about His glorious destiny (Heb.12). Destiny is a fluid thing. It doesn’t come to us as an iceberg but as the wind (Jn.3:8).

It opened up my cold heart to a heat wave of wisdom. It thawed those frozen moments.  I could translate that pain into resolute maturity and gain remarkable insight. I began to learn how to tap supernatural grace to show me dimension into all my moments of pain. To go beyond my own selfish shallow self-pity to care about others with the comfort He began to show me. The living Jesus lifts our life to the Father as His work of the cross.

The finality of natural death is a paradigm for dying to myself. There is no place for a hope that I will see my mother in this life. All the times we shared together render me nothing but sadness so there is no reason for me to entertain them. Likewise, in regards to my OLD MAN. The death of Calvary left no remnants of the old Michael. He is gone.

My mom always had a dream of me becoming a priest. If only she could see my family and I as eight “priests” today. Back in 1974, she took me to a Catholic Charismatic Conference at the University of Notre Dame. It was there, in the football stadium, that I gave my life to Jesus. We visited the university this past fall, to minister at the Michigan/Notre Dame football game, which was the first of the season. We not only had a tremendous witness with our signs for Jesus, but I was able to recapture the greatest moment of my life I shared with my mom, so long ago, and with my family now.

I was reminded of when I first drove down to ND for the conference at 20 years of age. My mind was calculating the rejection that would be involved in following Jesus. It was after my sophomore year, just after I had traveled out east. (I had no car but I had a thumb.) I “hitchhiked” from Grand Rapids to Mt. Washington in New Hampshire to see a mountain and spend time on top of it to read the New Testament. Upon my return, this very empty man was transformed in one day, at one moment, in one place; Notre Dame, my “Drawing” began.  Eternal life drew me into the meaning I so longed for.

Moments can be like dark caves that He lovingly enters with His redemptive light. From a ragtag lost soul, wandering about in the wasteland of the world,  you can choose to believe in Jesus. I sat in the Notre Dame football stadium gazing upon “Touchdown Jesus”. My Father’s humor, of a football scenario, did not go unnoticed. It was then and there that I was born again. Slowly, I cultivated a focused vision of loving the lost in and by the marvelous Spirit of the living Jesus.

“Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go…your well-being will be like a river…” (Isaiah 48:17).

To watch our six children carry on His Legacy of Love is a fulfillment of indescribable joy. Mercy here Downtown Chicago.

While in the states we were invited into a number of prisons. It was nothing less than amazing. And the men, oh, the men. So precious and in need of the Father’s love and understanding. We went to a prison considered one of the worst in the country. Someone, at some time, was looking for a good spot to dump unwanted material. So horrible it had to be put somewhere out-of-sight, out-of-mind. So bad they actually purchased a landfill for it. Not just any landfill but a landfill on an island so no one would be bothered in any way. It is tragic that we are not talking about some dangerous chemical or a massive amount of trash, but human beings. It is to these men that we go to explain “The Drawing” of Jesus Christ.

There are so many guys from gangs called “the Bloods” and “the Crips”. Their focus is murder and death. Yet who thinks of how they became like this? They grew up in utter hell, treated like animals, whose parents were drug addicts. Their memories are filled with nothing but nightmares. Real nightmares. We did everything the Spirit led us to do to enter their moments with the hope of a new tomorrow in Christ. So many guys who commit murder in an impulse. Then the rest of their life is held captive by this moment.

People just like you and me. Sons of fathers and mothers, brothers to sisters and fathers to children. People who grew up laughing and playing with toys and hoping to buy ice cream from the truck in the park. But now put on an island and locked behind not one, or two or three, but five layers of barbed wire.

It seemed we were going to be very late because the New York traffic was its usual horrid condition. But, as the wind blows, God led my amazing son, Abraham, to navigate our (“compact car”) huge semi-truck, around the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge, to make us on time. It was all so planned to fulfill our Father’s profound destiny. I owe the heart I have for these prisoners to the many past moments that I was sent by the future.

God can use this life to break our ego and to create in us the one thing He will never despise, a broken heart (Ps.51:17).

Downtown New York is like another country. So many homeless people sitting just out of the way of rich people walking by. This woman was one of the many homeless we were able to reach in New York. Just think of her moments (below). What she must go through so as to write such words on cardboard then take them out to sit on the street.

One moment came to us with the idea to witness at the New York Marathon. While there we realize all the affluent runners were leaving clothes along the route. We went along and picked up bags of very expensive sweatshirts and pants. We then passed all of them out to the homeless.

Among the dozens of sharings we had with individuals in NY, Joshua talked to a man who had killed over a hundred soldiers in Afghanistan. He was devastated and frozen in time. He said “no one knows what’s going on me. Everyone thinks I’m just another tough guy but I can’t bear to live.” Joshua spent a long time sharing with him and the guy just broke down to tears in finding the moment where Jesus could come to him.

When we arrived at a certain prison the man in charge had attended CMU the same year as my wife. The security number he gave us was 33 which was my football number. He had us perform for several groups and we were blown away. So many open men. I have never met a man so loving and caring as the man in charge. He invited us to his home for a meal and gave boxes of food and provisions.

My precious Rachel working the harvest all by herself downtown Chicago (above). She is a hundred pounds of heart. One man, one woman, all alone,  can ‘change the world’ of others into His eternal kingdom.

Imagine a homeless guy with no arms walking into a place to get something to eat. I watched him wedge a fork between his toes to bring it to his mouth. Yesterday I fed a guy in a wheelchair with stub legs. No big deal. But another guy had been watching and was so moved to see someone care he began weeping.  Indifference is like an end-time plague.

Multitudes of homeless everywhere we go. We must make effort to feed the poor and homeless. We must care about the handicapped, orphans and prisoners. Not to boast of ourselves. Jesus says don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. But it is amazing what a person can do who dies to himself.

No one can escape the stench and curse of their dying carcass, except those promised a new body. No thoughts are new, except when given by the Spirit. All the ‘success’ offered by this world parallels the past indication that all “successful” men died with nothing. Every accomplishment in this world is a step backward. While every sacrifice and tear shed for Him is reward and laughter in waiting. The only way forward is total surrender.

Implement new thought patterns anchored in the truth of God’s Word.

“O Lord, You have pleaded my soul’s cause; You have redeemed my life” (Lam.3:58).


Sometimes people ask “What can I do to help?”. We say “Anything.” Our financial support is derived from our savings from working for two years.  We could use any help. Our van is 16 years old beaten by South American horrible roads, potholes and overloaded to the max. It is on its last leg. We charge nothing for our CD’s, performances, gas, etc. We drive hundreds of miles every week to numerous places to bring thousands to Jesus. It is nothing. We could do so much more. But maybe someone who is able, might care, not for us, but that the gospel is preached. Thanks for hanging with me my friend.

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All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.

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© Michael Woroniecki 2019.
Teaching, TravelsSeptember 19, 2018

Young Bird 09.20.2018

 

When you were a little child you didn’t spend time being perplexed over how to act. You were carried by the innocent impulse of trust. The fresh scent of a blooming flower made you smile. It wasn’t dependent on money, a work related problem or a living situation. You believed, even though you didn’t know,  Whom you believed. Ok, I get it, the world forces us to worry. But we always have a choice how to ultimately respond.

My son Joshua took this photo (above) one time when we ministered out west by the Maroon Bells in Colorado. Can you ‘hear’… God? (We caught 14 trout.)

As a child you pondered the wind, the clouds, the marvel of flight. God’s love surrounded you and put a wonder within you. You didn’t ask for this love. You didn’t define it with doctrines. You didn’t try to be ‘good’ to earn it. It is the same today, my friend. God’s love is free and requires only that you surrender to Him as when you were a child (Mt.18:3).

Our body gets old, but the child that was in us way back then never went anywhere. We can reactivate our wonder and disposition as a child, at any time.  It never vanished. This is the attitude that touches the love of the Father. Jesus says it is not only required by the only way to find true conversion (Mt.18:3).

Despite how bad your problems may be, or how much you may hurt, or have sinned, a marvelous Father  is waiting to lift you. The cross of Jesus proves it so (Rm.5:8). You may feel distant from God, like a ‘perfect stranger’, but He is a perfect Father  Who runs out to meet you, wherever you’re at (Lk.15).

God is waiting to reach you, with His astounding attributes, that are clearly seen, if you are willing to “see” in Him in them  (Rm.1:20). As in a glistening mountain lake, He is trying to draw you into the pure joy of tranquility in solitude. The Creator of the universe is “speaking” to YOU. Will you will “hear” (Ps.19:1)?

Yes, it does take effort. But the effort is not beyond you. It is not for things to know.  It is not an effort to comprehend theological doctrines, or to ‘get your act together’ or a ‘sinner’s prayer’. Not for things bought with money (tithe).  Not for things learned from a school, church or ‘pastor’. Not by a feeling of righteousness attained by obeying the laws of the 10 commandments. It is grace. It is free. It is the gift of unconditional love. It is the ways of the living Jesus (Jn. 1:17).

 

The things God requires from you are already within you. They simply require intelligence. They require your heart (Rm.10:9-10). They are waiting for you to initiate and articulate. They are latent. They are….the person…of you. You are not a fallen angel or mechanical robot. You didn’t ‘evolve’ from pond slime. You are profoundly created in the exact image of the spectacular living God.

Yes, the sin of Adam corrupted this image. Satan took over, and rules, the  world through sin (Lk.4:6/Jn.12:31,14:30, Jn.15:19, Jn.16:11/2 Cor.4:4/ Eph.2:2,6:12/ 1 Jn.5:19). But the redemption of Christ now offers us the one way back to rediscover our God-implanted potential (Jn.14:6).

You must stop. Utilize your brains.  Stop following.  You don’t need anybody. Begin to tap the ‘new creation’; the kingdom of God (Rom.14:17 /1 Cor.2:11/2 Cor.5:17/Jn.18:36). Be like a man in an air traffic control tower, who regulates high-altitude objects into perfect patterns of flight and landing (thoughts-2 Cor.10:3).

Use humility to unravel a new identity. You can bring forth a beautiful depth of humility, as seen in Jesus; a life-giving personality; a patience; a more time-consuming empathy of care for others. Talk openly, honestly to your Father. You can subject your pride;  “I will learn to do, think and say things anew…with love for God and men in mind”. There are old thoughts, like a rusty vintage car, waiting  to be converted by the power of your intensity, detailed focus, sincerity and reckless abandon for truth.

Listen to me, you beautiful person, all we got is a brief 70 years. That’s it!

You can choose, this moment, to defy your “obstacles”. Don’t let them win. No matter how scared or weak you feel, how much you fail, or others fail you, forgiveness is a simple one time decision. Faith blossoms quickly when seeded in the beautiful meadow of God’s love (Gal.5:6). Regret and fear require recalling bad things over and over again… and again and again. Forgive yourself and be done with it. Forgive others and be done with it. Believe God; His love.

The Father sees us in our fragile condition, as a tiny bird. Jesus says to the most wicked of men, that He yearns to hold you close as…a young bird. (Mt.23:37-Greek- chicks-“nossion”).

 

My son Abraham ‘diving’ into His love with men in one of the worst prisons in the world.

It is crazy-cool how two human beings, who have never met, can instantly dive into a dynamic relationship. This sounds impossible, even ridiculous. But I know, because of Jesus, I constantly lock eyes with someone and we become instant brothers (Mt.25:35). It is the power of God through the cross (1 Cor.1:18/1 Jn.1:6ff). How beautiful. How amazing.

My hope is that you and I could do this very thing, right here, right now. We could rise above ourselves, and without saying a word, participate in the movements of His Holy Spirit.

 

 

 

Of course, the naysayers chuckle of such talk as foolish idealism.  They don’t believe, so they never experience. The world says “Relationships take time. You can’t just love unconditionally.” Have you heard the latest sermon cliche that has spread like a wild fire? A famous “preacher” said “We must agree to disagree”. Poison. It’s an excuse for resistance, to hold on to self-pride. Uniformity is not unity. Can you imagine Jesus saying that (consider John 17:21) ? His love makes men of one heart.

What I write is for the simple, the trusting child; willing to comply; who dare to believe the love of God is such a magnificent reality it can turn ordinary men into extraordinary men. To make us see past ourselves and become consumed with His purpose (2 Cor.5:19). His compassion is far, far beyond anything we have seen in a “church”. It is not a token smile or handshake. It is detailed concern.

Compassion draws us into a life of God; the supernatural, to make us big, with such a degree of heart, that we cover someone, who disagrees, not with our standard, but with His care; even an enemy. We seek no adherence or response in return. It is a one-way street, of other-focused love.  We seek only to give him, or her the love they so desperately need. It is to be a “Hero”.

Jesus asks us to imagine how much He must care for mankind, if cares so much for a little bird (Mt.6:26/Ps.84:3). He sees each of us as such. He calls us to act like never before, because we are loved, like never before. We can care for others because He cares so much for you (1 Pt.5:7).

The Following is a poem by my daughter Elizabeth;

How I long to gather you,
how I long to answer you,
how I long to you love you
in this manner.

To channel My love to you like a flame over a candle.
For everyone tramples
the hope that is so fragile.
You are beaten in this battle,
and life breaks into shambles.
How I long to break those shackles that hold so strong.

How I long to gather you,
how I long to answer you,
how I long to you love you
in this manner.

Your wing is fractured,
and must be healed.
My love is a shield
under which I will conceal you,
and My mercy will yield to you
the things that may seem unbelievable,
for you are not unreachable.

How I long to gather you
How I long to answer you
How I long to you love you
in this manner.

-Elizabeth

Wisdom beckons you to create within you a warm heart, a wise focus, a personality to care. These are all things you can do right now. Don’t listen to old thoughts. Listen to love.

Anyone, at any time, can “invent” new ways to live in the love of God. If you return to innocence, it will return to you. It will reward you. What you must do is right in front of you. Just a choice away. It’s not complicated. Don’t make it so. Just alter your next thought.

God’s love welcomes a total stranger as a total brother (Mt.25:35ff). How much more can it do for those who already know each other; to love each other,  to live with each other, to care for each other?

Healing is not a feeling. It is a decision. It is can be now. Faith is supernatural. Are you willing to be?

Uniformity is not unity. Jesus promises  a oneness the world has never seen (Jn.17). My family and I confirm this. It is natural to love only those who already love you. It is easy to settle for a life put together by familiar relationships, surroundings, and past experiences. This is the norm. This is the way we are born to live. This is the way of our lazy nature.  It does not want to reach deep,  to expend the energy to create a deep heart, to engage our potential in the repentance to become bigger.

Jesus explains “…And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is good enough.'” (Lk.5:39). Jesus says we must be born again (Jn.3:7). Into His love.

His love is defiant to our selfish ways. So much so, Jesus showed us what He thought of our sinful nature on a cross. He compels us beyond it, to an empty grave.  He yearns, to teach us of it’s ways.

My family, of Rachel, our six adult children, and I, have begun to learn how we can live beyond who we are. We shock ourselves with His love. The power of our will dawns upon us constantly like a beautiful morning dew. We feel the triumphant joy rising within so we can bring others into this family of wonder.

In fact, we see this all the time. We see the supernatural. We live the supernatural. We give the supernatural love of God.

Because we know two people can become one, in a Heartbeat of love. We live with this reality in our daily lives. We know that we can dive into a relationship of love with anyone at any time, because we are ‘young birds’ loved by “the mother bird” (Mt.23:37-Greek-nossion/young bird/Lk. 13:34). We have learned how to draw how to expand our wings from within to cover anyone who receives our love.

So what’s my point? Where is this ‘crazy’ guy going with such talk? Well, my friend, I am not taking you to a doctrinal thing. This is not about me or anything I do or have done or will do. What I am hoping here is to bring you to Him. To Him Whom I have ‘seen’. To Him Who dwells amongst us. In the most unlikely, sinful and feeble places of our daily dwelling, God, our Father, is waiting to meet us in Jesus and propel us into greater ‘self’ (Jn.12:25). He Who was, and is, and will always be, yearns to take you with Him.

 

He is at your side waiting to touch you with His love. He beckons you to come alone. To find a field to walk, to run, to rest, to think. He leans against a majestic tree waiting for you to see His smile. If you will let go of the ‘kite’, He will lift it and you will fly. Like a true father, God awaits to sit and talk with His child. To take you on His lap, put His arm around you, run with you, laugh with you…and listen, and listen, and listen…and love you

Yes, this is the Word of the living Jesus. The Son Whom the Father sent to do exactly of what I write. To draw you into His abode of love and a  joy you have never experienced and a place of forgiveness and healing. Where is this “place”? How do we find it? Do I write of lofty spiritual fantasy? No, my friend. I’m quite grounded in the nitty-gritty stuff of this world. I know failure, disappointment, and extreme pain and fear. And I know how the love of God has transformed my life.

Recently, my family and I were working with the homeless and others  on the streets of downtown Chicago. What a gift. What a privilege. (For those of you who know us, we have came back to the states for a short time, from Brazil. We could not pass up opportunities offered to us  here in the states in New York, Colorado and Philadelphia. We will be returning to Brazil shortly but had to seize this opportunity.)

We have been preaching Jesus at many college campuses and events since arriving. But we yearn to return to our third world home where the poor, the orphans, the forgotten and the prisons are as a ‘young bird’ fallen from its nest. The poverty there is of no comparison to here.

While in Chicago we went into the ghetto and projects to preach outside one of the worst ‘gang’ community high schools. In the few hours there we were amazed at the openness to the gospel. Just talking with so many on the streets our hearts were drawn into that ‘place’ of bringing all that is within us to them.

When we went downtown, and to the Monday Night Football game, we talked with so many, many precious people from all walks of life and various degrees of sanity and reality. From the homeless young man, broken to his core, to a man in a seven hundred dollar suit, all hiding their heart within them. A heart full of so many struggles and wrenching conflicts. Who are we to have any answers? Ah, but that is not the question. Rather, Who is He Who dwells on a high and holy place? And how is that we can draw from such a seemingly distant God? It is by faith.

To see others, not as we do, but as He does, is the pearl of great price (Mt.13:45-46). It is the reason and the reality in all that I write.

Jesus says ‘I want to hold you as…a young bird…’ (Mt.23:37-Greek-“nossion”). And He says this to the most arrogant and resistant people of his day; the Pharisees. How much more for you who have no such resistance and arrogance. To you who can reach deep and alter your attitude, your thinking, calculation, resolution, and comprehension. To you who change, in a heartbeat, who you are and consequently, who you shall become, and most of all Who you shall then discover.

There are far more things to our communication than words. Our soul is unseen but its voice is clearly heard through; our body language, the expression of our face, the tone of our heart, the look in our eyes, the motives for how and what we do.

Jesus says human beings can appear one way on the outside but be quite different within (Mt.15:8). David says “His speech was smoother than butter but his heart was war; his words softer than oil yet they were drawn swords…” (Ps.55:21/28:3). What I’m trying to show you is that there are many, many “things” that compose what makes you, YOU.

You have everything to say about whether you look within to bring them out. This is called repentance. As we intersect the lives of so many poor and prisoners we realize it is desperation that is the precondition of receiving the “instant” connection of the love of God. If one does not reciprocate the openness and willingness to communicate in truth and love nothing happens.

Jesus says “I did not come for the healthy…but for the sick” (Mk.2:  ). Ah, such a sweet sound to the ears of this “sick” man; Michael. People have criticized us and distorted our involvement with “the sick” and that’s ok. God forgive them. But as for us, these are those whom we love. These are our friends. We suffer with them, and so we become outcasts like them. They are feeble. They are like a fragile ….. young bird.

Taking pictures in in some prisons is not allowed but some have allowed us to do so.  So we appreciate this allowed photo that constantly makes us rejoice. It is of my three daughters and Rachel  (my wife) dancing a cultural dance with prisoners.

A lady we worked with in Chicago asked me “What must I do to escape my misery? How do I ‘get God’ in my life?” The answer is not the typical response of “Accept Christ”. Of course, the answer is to ask Jesus to come to you, but this does not happen as some kind of magical experience.

men-in-prison-chile

Everything, and I mean everything, starts with reality. Not with praying a prayer, singing a song, jumping up and down, a breakdown into tears of catharsis or any kind of moral betterment (getting your “act together”).

The woman on I spoke with on the street corner had never heard such a thing. She thought she had to clean up her act first. No. Repentance is not “cleaning up your act”. It is learning to simply act. To reach within all your hidden parts and begin to bring them into the open.

Reality starts with reality. It starts with the very things I wrote earlier. Of reaching with expanding your heart. It starts with realizing what and who you are,  as God says you are (Jer.17:9). It starts with finding a deep heart.

Begin to comprehend why you do and think the way you do. It is not your personality. It is sin in you. When I read Romans 3:10ff I was both floored and exhilarated. I was always taught I was a good person. I am NOT a good person. I am born as a wicked sinner and can never change this evil nature of mine. Never. It constantly ruins things for me.  Redemption is not a way of God. Redemption is the only way God deals with us. My job is to be broken and honest with my Father about what I am.

Can you imagine a young little bird? Can you see it’s greatest weakness is it’s vulnerability? My son Joshua is working on a new website titled In Weakness because the more we have grown, the more we have realized, His strength is only out of our weakness (2 Cor.12:9). It is the only place in which you can truly learn to begin to fly: i.e. to live in His love, beyond yourself. Not that I love Him but He loves us unconditionally, despite our sin (1 Jn. 4:10).

When you truly understand, and fully accept, that you are inherently evil, through no fault of your own, you can begin to formulate effective attitudes of gratefulness because you begin to catch a glimpse of “the lake” (Romans 5-8). When you are overwhelmed by His care and love for you, proven in the work of Jesus on the cross, you let go of all that you hold to.

This process creates humility. It is the crown jewel. It puts us into the “place” to receive God’s favor (1 Pt.5:5/Jm.4:6). Suddenly, things that you were never aware of, within you, begin to change. The problem was never with God’s love for you. It was you not willing to face and understand your sin. It is in not believing Jesus actually died for you. So simple. So basic. So profound.

                                                  “Would you….love me?”

old-women-we-met

Can you hear them crying my friend? A ‘young bird’ is crying for your love. Actually, so many. Young, old, broken, hurt, scared, given up, thrown aside, considered worthless, totally abandoned. I’m not talking one or two. I’m talking millions and literally billions. The other day David met a man who came up to him while preaching on a campus.

The man had just gotten out of prison after 17 years. He was blown away by society. He was looking for a pay phone. Couldn’t imagine there were none. Of course, he was homeless. David was able to bring him to Jesus and get him a place to stay in a YMCA. The man was so grateful he cried with David. Two little boys, little birds, instantly entered into a relationship of love.

This is lif, my friend. This is joy. This is the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

 

 

 

 

  “LOVE NEVER FAILS”

Paul

1 Corinthians 13

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Copyright

All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.

Social Media:

© Michael Woroniecki 2019.
Teaching, TravelsMay 22, 2018

Kenos 05.22.18

 

Our youngest daughter, Elizabeth, uses ballet, to display the elegance of Jesus, as a sacrifice of praise to the Father.

 

 

CROSSROAD

This road was made for dancing,

The labor of the Father’s planning,

His Son’s shed-blood for our bandaging,

On the cross our wounds He was wrapping,

The price of our soul He was ransoming,

So my hands are free for others grasping,

And my gifts for others lacking.

This love is for hearts that are cracking,

His seed for the ground of planting,
His answers for those who are asking.
His light is lit for the unmasking,

so their burdens they might start casting,
to make their eyes start laughing,
their courage to be long-lasting.
Because Jesus was the dead man standing,
on His road of  life everlasting.

Elizabeth Faith Shalom

 


Joshua and Dynamic David created this caricature to depict  Will Power –

a Comic Book Super Hero whose powers of faith can take you beyond all struggles. Three cheers for their anointed creativity that has proven extremely effective to help thousands.


Someone recently told me that they love the photos on this wwebsite So I deliberately got a little ‘carried away’. We love the Father for what we see Him do as we walk His Crossroad.


Every person makes decisions every day. Some big. Some small. Some fail. Some succeed. They can determine the quality and direction of your life. I hope what I share here might help you. Don’t you want God on your side? Prayer is not some far off lofty thing. The key to effectual prayer is transparent expressions born out of true humility; kenosis. For God “resists the proud” (Mt.11:25, 29 23:12/1 Peter 5:5/Jm.4:6/Ps.138:6).

My family and I live to share Jesus as we travel all over the world. So we face multitudes of very difficult choices. We were in Paraguay the last few months. God opened doors that we never imagined. The authorities welcomed us into schools, orphanages, prisons and even city events. This, my friend, is something we could never make happen, no matter how we tried. We have no one helping us. No organization or group. We work as we need to. Tons of leg work. Tons of heart.  Got to find places to live and share the gospel.

The photos and things I share are far beyond us. It is living proof that the Father hears His sons and daughters. You don’t need to “play church” or depend on others. God is able. When Rachel and I were first married we were constantly told we could never do what we are doing. Now, along with our six amazing adult children; David, Elizabeth, Ruth, Joshua, Abraham and Sarah we all together are laughing our way into His marvelous ways.

Glory to God we do not listen to men. The Holy Spirit of the living Jesus constantly leads us into amazing opportunities to share His gospel. They happen because He constantly expands our life-perspective. As you grow into God’s eternal love you find yourself constantly hoping that He might allow you to share in His work. The officials invited us to share Jesus, in our performance, for an entire hour in their national independence day event which was covered by nation wide television. Their colors are also red, white and blue.

Paraguay is a nation saturated with the effects of a history of tyranny, communism and dictatorship. The oppression and extreme poverty determines, and is fully recognized,  as causing incompetence at all aspects of society and breeds attitudes of destitution.

We have just arrived in Brazil after weaving our way through many miles of a truckers strike. The bad roads in Paraguay damaged our very old tires so bad we had to replace all five in a small town. This incident, along with unexpected travel and visas costs, sadly cut into our tight budget.

We may never be rich, or have great talent, but anyone, at anytime, in any place, can own the great wealth of compassion if you are willing to learn the ways of the cross.

The world looks down on a broken man, but I have learned how the cross is the only way to truly experience the power of the Holy Spirit (Jn.3:8/1 Cor.1:18).

Ever since I was a kid I can remember how terrified I was to speak in front of people. I was an extremely  selfish guy who could never imagine serving God. Life was all about me. I was, and am, extremely insecure.

But destiny doesn’t depend on what we think about ourselves. In our moments of greatest weakness, it offers us the bridge of simple faith to intersect His divine love, at the cross, with our complete human failure. This is the intersection of an eternal destiny. He wounded me at an early age, and I chose to believe in His revelation rather than rebel with excuses and self-pity (Pr.20:30/2 Cor.5:17). It is not what we claim about ourselves, that proves who we are, but rather what He does in us (Phil.2:12-13/ Mt.6:21).  God trains a coward, through humility, to be a soldier, and son, who learns power, love and discipline (Heb. 12/2 Tim.1:7).

 

 

 

It is not from  human motives or ego,  that we stand for Jesus.  Rather, it is in the constant recognition of our nothingness that allows Jesus His full intervention into our lives. Sometimes a guy will write me who seems interested in Jesus. Then, after I share about the cross, he ultimately fades away because he refuses to consider there is something that he doesn’t already know.

WHAT IS THE CROSS: Just two pieces of wood  put together in a horizontal and vertical manner. However, when Jesus was crucified, upon this Roman configuration of execution, He intersected humanity with a dimension that penetrated the conscience of mankind with an inescapable disconcerting reality. Todays “Christians”  talk about the cross as a vague doctrine that merely requires a kind of mental gymnastics, to substantiate  “salvation”.

Catholics revere it. Evangelicals avoid it. Jews scoff.  The Scriptures leave no man an alibi to ignore it. Two pieces of wood offer no power, but the One Who captured and conquered Satan by it, demands allegiance to it (1 Cor.1:18).  For long after Jesus died, Paul boasted in the cross; “I have been crucified with Christ… and to the world” (Gal. 2:20,6:14). Paul explained the cross as a contemporary ‘living’ work of the Spirit, completed only in fellowship with Jesus (Phil.3:10). He says every Christian, to be a Christian, must be “united” with Jesus in His death (Rm.6:6).

Of course, no person, on the face of the earth, in a right mind, wants to identify with a symbol of barbaric torture. Unless…there is something far more to it. Jesus would never say things that lead to a life of morbid grief. He is the ultimate King of resurrection and abundant life. So when He says “Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Me” it involves divine dynamics, not human reasoning ( (Mt.16:24/Jn.10:10). The question really comes down to “Do you want to experience this reality?”.

A surface definition of humility is an attitude where someone avoids credit for something with a pious tone of voice. There exists a far deeper reality. The practical key to implement ‘the cross’ is to discover the diameter, the caliber and degree of divine humility, as defined by God:

“…Have this attitude… although Jesus existed in the form of God, He did not regard equality with God and thing to be grasped (utilized), but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, and being made in the likeness of men… He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil.2:5-8).  (You see my friend, it is called in Greek “kenos”-to be made empty. When I was in seminary I read scores of theological exegesis on this one concept and realized it has enormous implications. It transforms my life.)

Jesus came as an ordinary man. He emptied Himself of Himself to become the ultimate example of love (Jn.15:13). He Who should have been honored and served chose rather to honor and serve. His ‘humility’ resulted in our salvation.  He emptied Himself of Himself in order to come under us and love us as one of us (Phil.2:7).  Jesus was the firstborn amongst many such brethren yet to be born (us). So thus, His manner of humility is to be our manner (Romans 8:29/Col.1:15-18/Heb.2:11). If Jesus emptied Himself of His divine nature how much more should we empty ourselves of anything we think we are, or have, in our nature?

When we “empty ourselves” of all our fears, pride, goals, excuses and wounds, God then has the space to intervene in our consciousness with His Spirit. It is our responsibility to empty ourselves and His promise to fill us. Abraham exhibited kenos-humility by emptying himself of his greatest desire; the sacrifice of his son, Isaac. This event was a ‘foreshadow’. The Father actually  “emptied Himself” of His beloved Son (Jn.3:16). Then Jesus emptied Himself of the Father, revealing the constitution of true love is sacrifice (Jn.15:13).

This is the mystery of God’s mighty mercy. I testify to this saving love of Jesus. As I emptied myself (repent) He saved me from myself.  It goes like this. Abraham was the first to display that true humility is the precursor to the faith that touches God (Rm. 4/Heb. 11:6). This faith cancels out all ‘puzzles’ in our mind; complex self-serving thoughts (Rm.8:6,12:2). It is bought by nothingness (Rm.4:17-18).  So anyone can get it and use it. God’s grace is a free gift. So anyone can receive it.

Believe; receive; live… new life. Ignore what your body or the world dictates and act on what God says. This is living eternal, divine life. If this truly happens Christ leads you.   Salvation is the work of the Father implanting His Son as His divine seed within a humble heart ( Gal.3:16). It is the condescension of God into our exact misery (Jn.1:18/Ps.18:35). 

For so long I never understood “By His wounds (scourging, stripes)  we are healed” (Is.53:5/1 Cor.1:18). How could it be that our present-day wounds (fears, sin etc.) can be transferred to and healed by a simultaneous suffering from 2000 years ago?

The photos depict a wide range of people. And people carry multitudes of all-varied wounds of sorrow, pain and sin. Prisons are like small cities that hold every walk of life. Every man is different. My family and I are not spiritual entities. We are full of fears, fatigue, and helplessness. How can we, as wounded warriors, heal the wounds of distant strangers?

Human instinct says “Muster up a strong visual (ego). Appear strong”. God says “empty yourself” (kenos) (2 Cor.6:8,4:7-8/Heb.11:34).  Be nothing. Being nothing is something I can do very well. So His Spirit can do what I cannot. We could never imagine living what we are doing. We have no “special calling”. We have no magic dust. There is no secret formula. We are a typical nobody Polish/Irish family of eight from Catholic roots in Detroit and Grand Rapids, Michigan.

It is because the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus was a supernatural event with retroactive ramifications (Consider Jn. 12:32/Heb.9:3ff). It is actually Jesus applying His work today (2 Cor.4:10).

If you change attitudes that hold you back, God promises to lift you up (1 Pt.5:6). Time and time again, when I re-evaluate my selfish ways, I realize that I can not ‘be like Christ’ because I do not know what Christ is like. But I can change my ways because I know my ways and how I need to change them (Jn.12:25/Phil.3:13). This repentance is kenosis. If you want to be healed repent.  Believe His scourging was personally designed with you in mind. Such faith in His love is the impetus to discover new life.

Wounds are not healed by high-class sermons, churches, ‘spirituality’ and preachers. God comes in the most common daily steps, prayers and activities. The Spirit comes like the wind in ordinary moments. I would never want a “Billy Graham ministry”; fly into an airport, taxi to a motel, taxi to a prescribed setting, preach a rehearsed sermon, taxi back to motel, taxi back to the airport, fly home. The most profound ministry we’ve experienced comes while traveling horrible roads, in the most terrible places and walking common places, with fellow wicked sinners because it is all dependent on our nothing but humility and faith in the spontaneous convergence of the living Jesus.

Paul said ‘I am the scum and dreg of the earth’ (1 Cor.4:13). He boasted not of eloquence but of definitive God-activity (1 Cor.2:1ff).  It is in being gut-wrenching that man finds God.  Paul was thrilled to empty himself of himself. His wounds were deep. I have seen many “desperate” men totally self-sufficient. Kenos showed Paul to be truly desperate and transparent in his writings and manifest a living dead man. He killed Stephen and many more. “I am the chief of sinners” he said. Phillip was walking a dusty road when he met a guy riding by in a horse chariot who was transformed in a few hours of conversation with reality (Acts 8).

Today’s “Christians” are so full of religious cliches and token religiosity. Paul was in step with how Jesus enters the lives of men with clarity to bring true healing. The inner struggles of the cross create a deep heart; a man of His mystery.  Any ‘place’ a wicked man goes, the deep heart of Jesus goes.  Men interact with each other according to outward appearances. But Jesus knows the heart and thus deals with everyone according to His profound compassion (2 Cor.5:19).

In one photo we are in a Catholic church. In another Protestant.   We may be amongst obvious hypocrites, while in another gang-bangers. Our ‘haters’ say that such diversity exposes compromise; “You associate with Catholics, protestants, gang members, mentally ill and atheists as if you agree with them”. We know the evil things people say about us but we respond as Jesus says “Father forgive them”.

Paul says “I become all things to all men to win one”  (1 Cor. 9:19ff).  Jesus does not limit His love. In fact, there could be nothing more “compromising” than for a holy God to come into the nature of a sinful man.  Thus is the mercy of the New Testament in contrast to the conditional forgiveness based on moral adherence to the ten commandments of the Old Testament.

A strange thing we have realized is that hypocrites do not know how to laugh or be real with sinners because forefront in their mind is “I must prove I am more righteousness”. To walk in the freedom of the Spirit demands we die to our self-righteousness. Paul became like any man so that, possibly, in some way, he could reach that man. There is only one time that anyone has given us money in our travels and it was a hundred dollars from a bunch of guys drinking beer on the side of the road for whom we just saw and decided to perform. It was so beautiful. These guys were so far from being religious but so honest and sincere. No question it was a fruit of kenos.

Awesome Abraham, often tells men a key is not the “Christian” response; “Ya. Ya. I know all that already”. It is three words of a deep heart; “I don’t know”. Kenos does not leave you forlorn to in self-pity.  It leads you the Door of a new “place”(Jn.14:2). He is a King with a castle of innumerable rooms to choose from; “How can I exemplify the rich humble and loving character of revelation of the Character of Christ”. There is no law only grace.

Jesus exposed the evil in all of us as men on the world stage of the cross. Then, as His second ‘act’, in resurrection victory, manifested the ultimate love and power of the Father. Jesus said “If I be lifted up I will draw all men to Myself” (Jn.12:32). There were no film crews or Internet. Yet the Holy Spirit broadcasts this one event to all the earth in every generation as the one-time manifestation of GOD. You and I do not have to die on a physical cross or emulate the life of Jesus. We must believe with the faith that reflects His work to the Father. 

Despite any denial of any man, the cross absolutely radiates, with undeniable mass appeal, the divine love of the Father for all men. Confess. Believe.  Live an ongoing testimony to Jesus. He is the “Catalyst”of a living gospel of the living Jesus (Col.1:27,2:2). Jesus surrendered Himself to the ‘tools of man’s trade’; wickedness (Mt.20:28). Then created the tools for His Father’s trade; redemption.

Like an astronaut in outer space, who is detached from his tether line, Jesus detached Himself from His divinity to reattach Himself to our dark humanity (Phil.2:9). By this choice, He authored the faith of salvation in the Father. While He ‘floated’ in moments of utter darkness; “My God, My God why have You forsaken Me”, Jesus was working to calibrate, atone, appease, justify to provide specific healing required by each of our grave wounds.

Little did men know, way back then, that by killing Jesus, they were killing their own greatest enemy; sin. In man’s worst event in human history, God was achieving His greatest event in human history.

In a way of speaking, the Father compressed His divine glory, into a human posture. In the womb of Mary, God impregnated a sinful nature with divine power (the incarnation). Then…Bam…33 years later, sin exploded and was forever destroyed. Jesus rose from the dead. This seed is now in me. A hammer and nails failed to kill the One Who reclaimed His divine glory. He was seen for Who He is; God.

“He who knew no sin became sin so that we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor.5:21).

Wow. Big time stuff. Dancing, laughing and singing kind of stuff. We do not bring a dead and boring Jesus to men.  This is awesome stuff. It generates creative intelligence and hope.

Jesus went to the lowest sector of humanity to bring us to the highest sector of glory. In working with “criminals” we proclaim “The Criminal” Who was “despised” and bore the punishment for us all but now reigns as Judge. What love! Jesus was willing to be the ultimate… “prodigal son” Who left His Father but ‘came to His senses’ and danced His way back  (Lk.15/Heb.12:1).

Failure and redemption are my ways. Yet Jesus promises that His love can be in me, if I die with Him. Sometimes I am terribly burdened by all the many things I must deal with but then stop and realize: “Wow. I am watching a selfish slob like me actually care about others? This alone is proof of God is with me.” Intelligent love is not an instinct. It does not fall out of the sky. It takes time and creative will power. It is learned through obedience to an invisible Father God. Through many trials and errors, Jesus teaches us how to think, talk and act so as to absorb the burdens of men and respond with His compassion.

He entered the place where each of us is ashamed to admit and afraid to go. And it is here, in the heart of our sinfulness, where Jesus inserts Himself, to demonstrate the power of God (Mt.20:28).  We must join with the living Jesus to create a divine synergy.  As He believed His Father would raise Him out of every human predicament so must we join with Him today to do the same thing He did. And as the Author of such faith the Father gave Him the Name above all Names(Phil.2:9). He perfectly sympathizes with our every weakness and waits for our moment of kenosis.

So many prisoners tell me the same experience that I myself know; i.e. the mind toils away at night, at times, as if caught up in a cyclone of destructive thoughts. Loneliness feels like it’s eating a hole in your soul. Sometimes sadness is embedded in our every feeling. These are the precise wounds of being human.

Inescapable feelings of pain can conjure up terrible fears. As if some alien being of sorrow as infiltrated our body and is hiding somewhere behind our bones.  This is the monster of sin. I must not listen to its echoes of death reverberating in the chambers of my brain. I  believe Jesus sympathizes with my exact sin and proves my healing has been had by His resurrection.

As Paul writes I “fellowship with Him” in sufferings (Phil.3:10).  I know that when I arrive at the “perfect moment of faith” I shall reign over all my wounds in the power of His resurrection Character. Thus, shall I be healed of these wounds through identification and participation. Paul says “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus” (Phil.3:12).

It is in this sharing with men in this kenos transparency that we witness the healing Presence of Jesus to others. In one prison we had shared with men for about three hours. Sometimes we just don’t know if they’re “getting it”.

After we finished, the prison Director walked with us out to our van. “My jaw is on the ground” he said. I don’t know how to explain what I just saw.” An unbeliever saw the amazing mercy and “kenos” of a ‘humble’ God towards men. It was not a family or a ministry. This is  Jesus. At another prison, as we were leaving through the lobby,  he saw us coming and slowly started to clap saying “Way to go Woroniecki family you brought the Lord Christ to these men like I have never seen”.  It was so encouraging I was dancing on a cloud.


In every prison, we face men, with whom we are at a loss for how to reach. Their living conditions are despicable, both physically and in their souls (Read Section A at the end of this article). But the blood of Jesus runs through our veins as we carry the heartbeat of God. We try to communicate that we are all both criminals and victims. Sin wounds all men in all ways.

One day we drove six hours into the middle of nowhere and back. I was stunned and filled with stress to see the faces, all look the same, as the men came walking into the gathering from their individual cell blocks. It was like an episode of ‘The Twilight Zone’. A sci-fi movie scene where each face was molded into an exact same look of agony. Like we had landed on a distant planet, far from anything we had planned for.

We were there four hours. We could only beg Jesus to touch them. Today we learned of the outcome. A very beautiful thing. The Director, after our visit, changed his web site profile, from his individual picture to a picture of him with our family. It is the ultimate compliment. What he saw as not us.


Contrary to modern “salvation”, Jesus never reduced His work on the cross to; “Pray a sinner’s prayer to ‘accept Me as Savior”.  The gospel calls us to discover an entirely new life through obedience.

The cross is “the power of God” to find this life (1 Cor.1:18). The humility of the cross is a subconscious slow-kill of our greatest enemy; the ego; sin.  Once you give your “Yes Lord” it begins His process. No lasting victory over sin, can ever be won without detachment of yourself from yourself to be united with Jesus. Only the cross can do this (Heb.4:12). No, it is not complex. A caterpillar simply yields to a higher metamorphosis. He will bring forth a butterfly. Read the book “Hope For The Flowers”. God used this book to simplify and edify the glory of the cross to me.

This one simple decision renders the promise; “By His stripes we are healed”. Paul says “that I may know…the fellowship with His sufferings being conformed to his death in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead….” (Phil. 3:10-11). Just snap your finger and change your mind. Believe His Word rather than your feelings.  Every problem; physical, spiritual, emotional, mental, circumstantial involves sin. So by Jesus “becoming sin” and exploding it, He established “the place”; “the way, the truth and the life” in order to conquer it (Jn.14:2,6).

This is the excitement in preaching the gospel.  We have something REAL to take to men. Actual healing. Actual eternal life. Actual redemption of their circumstances. Everything that I know to be true can be true to anyone. It is far greater than material happiness.

This world draws men with an ‘eye candy’ of happiness. One time we were preaching on the quad of Colorado State University. A marine recruiter was offering pamphlets to draw young men; They say “Be All You Can Be”, then something they incur on the job prohibits this from ever happening.  I’ve met many men who tell a tragic story of severe injury both mentally and physically. They offer PTSD counseling, because a handicap, a divorce or thoughts of suicide leave them wounded the rest of their lives. A man’s nature is to be proud, not humble. So hope is far away.

I asked the Lieutenant  “Do you ever tell these young people any stories from Walter Reed Hospital?”  I mean if a package of cigarettes is required by law to warn of possible consequences, like cancer, then how much more so should a job with death and life-altering injuries as a possible end? Likewise is the glitter of Wall Street or Silicon Valley. Precious lives and years wasted for nothing but stress and depression.

Bank on it.  Everyone has no one. And no one has anyone… to love them. Don’t buy the ‘eye candy’. Everyone knows that they have no one. Regardless of image.  God says ‘All men moan like doves…growl like bears (‘Is.59). No matter how many people you ‘know’, you know, that no one knows you. It is heart-wrenching. But it IS solvable through the supernatural work of the cross. No matter if you are a banker or a bum walking on Wall Street,  true repentance,  is the only thing that offers you a promising future. The living Jesus beckons “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden…My yoke is easy and light”.

Jesus says  ‘God so loved the world that He gave…ME’ (Jn.3:16).  I love this wicked world because when someone in it realizes what we are saying it is awesome to be the vessel of salvation. Jesus knew all His Father had to offer men and it made Him ecstatic. Master Jesus came as a poor man, to the poor, with poorness of heart (kenos), to conquer the poorness of the world (Mt.5:3). Whether Paraguay, Brazil, Europe or the U.S. happiness in the poverty and humility of heart.

In His thoughts, beyond the cross,  Jesus anticipated He would find poor individuals to whom He could reveal His viable and profound joy and save men from hell. And man, was Jesus excited when He found such a person (Jn.4:32/Lk.7:9/Mt.15:21). What about you?

Don’t listen to the lies of fat-cat “prosperity” preachers.  Jesus offers you the “mission statement”  focused on healing the poor and suffering, not enriching the comfortable (Isaiah 61). The gospel is the provision of the enormous blessing of eternal life here and now.  Not with material “blessings”, but spiritual revelation (Eph.1:3ff). A heart crammed full of materialism has no desire for invisible comforts of God (Mt. 6:24/Mk.10:25/1 Tim.6:10).

People who realize they are overwhelmed by inescapable ‘hell’, both outside and inside,  have the divine opportunity to see God.  Such circumstances yield the genre of God; kenos. God did, can and does heal the “incurable” wound but it is only when we yield to His kenos (Jer. 10:19,15:18,30:12-15,17:9).

We tell people “I want to show you something you can not see… to prove to you it exists”. This is our heart in our demonstration of preaching the living Jesus and all His rich promises.


Long ago, when we were walking the streets, next to a volcano, in a village in Central America, my daughters were playing with some children. I remember praying “Lord please use such beautiful women to their fullest”. Today I see His fulfillment far beyond anything I could have imagined. They are intimately involved with multitudes of children.

Below ‘Gentle Josh’ translates for his mother and introduces her to sing her heart to wounded ‘children’ disguised as prisoners.

The cycle of desperation breeds children of such poverty with tragic stories.  It makes me wonder “What was the actual real tone in the voice of Jesus when He says ‘Let the children come to Me'” (Mt.18)? Could it have been in a depth of sorrow and sadness from seeing their poverty and desperation? Our hope is to break the cycle of hopeless despair and prevent children from ending up in prison.  Imagine living in a state of panic because you realize you have a life of absolute desperation. No one cares and there is no escape.

Two little boys were at a stop light. Hugging and playing with each other in the intersection, as if displaying some circus act.  One of them made the sign of the cross as he hurriedly ran up to cars hoping for a handout. They got nothing. They huddled back and tried again, and again. While ministering in a prison here, the other day, I asked some men what they were going to do when they were released. They explained  “working the intercessions”.

The cardboard neighborhoods are without number. The individual stories of murder, family tragedy, drug abuse and unimaginable suffering pile up in our minds. We think we can just hear them, comfort the people and keep working. But somehow they penetrate our hearts in ways we do not realize. It’s unbearable.

The impact a willing person can make upon another little human life is amazing. The amount and extent of impact have no limit, except as Jesus says in that “….the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few”.

 

 

 

When the Scriptures say that He “bore” our sin we don’t realize it means all the nitty gritty stuff we struggle with every moment of every day while He walked the earth.  Jesus wasn’t a divine robot. This is why He can “heal”, sympathize and lift your every struggle. He was afflicted by the same constant bombardment of crazy feelings, deep pain, and suffering all around Him, constantly pressing upon Him. He is the ultimate friend and brother.

CANDY WRAPPERS

My son Joshua received two pictures on his phone from an inmate in a very remote prison we visited. They were of left-over wrappers from candy and popcorn we distributed in our time there.  This guy, we’ll call John, owns nothing. But, he would never say “nothing”.  Because in his cell he has two candy-wrappers he protects like gold coins. When he holds them he thinks of far more. You see, the candy wrappers hold back the dark forces of despair pressing upon his mind and sustain him with a memory that calms his anxiety.

They represent three young women, Ruth, Beth and Sarah, and a family who “came from God” one morning in mid-March. The girls distributed, tracts, candy and popcorn down the rows of chairs set up in the prison courtyard. They stopped to greet him personally. They didn’t condemn him but rather treated him like a long lost friend.

Something like this had never happened to John, over the past seven years he had been in prison.  So the candy wrappers held the ‘magic’ of these real memories. They help to balance the memories of deep regret that put him here. He remembers how Ruth placed the candy in his hand and Beth touched his shoulder. He often touches his shoulder and remembers what he felt like. Sarah actually paused to give him a place to talk. John knows that this experience will never happen again.

Below Genius Joshua is working in one of the oh so many cardboard neighborhoods that fill Paraguay.

The man was hit in the head with an ax, by a gang of thieves. He was left for dead, and for blame, at a crime scene, of which he had nothing to do. Of course, no one believes him. He asked Joshua if he could call his eighty-year-old mother and talk to her. After Joshua did so, the man texted back that hearing the happiness in his mother’s voice was like a miracle. It made him read the Scriptures that Joshua had been sharing. The awful sounds of crying prisoners, in the background, and the stench in his nose, fades for the duration he can maintain the memory. So John tells us how he imagines the program is starting over again…and again…and again.  It was the time he was given something, other than hatred; hope, love and access to the words of Jesus.

Imagine: What would be your manner of life; your state of mind; for you to actually cherish candy wrappers?


THE CONSPIRACY- 

Can you recall the words, as you grew up, from teachers, parents, and friends about how this world offers a great promising future? As you got older you realized it was all garbage. People say they don’t know why there is so much mental illness, opioid addiction, divorce, suicide and school shootings.

You might understand it in the desperation of a third world country but America?  People don’t have ‘candy wrappers’. They have access to everything yet have no happiness.

I have walked the streets of rich countries, preaching the living Jesus, and on college campuses, for over forty years. To find one open soul is a very rare thing. There is no “kenos”. They claim to know all about the Lord but have no clue how to effectively cope with the pressures of this world. Young people are raised in the iniquity of parents who have been conditioned to comply with American values.

A culture of poverty adjusts to the poor and uneducated. It makes room for them. It holds to Catholic values. America has no such adjustment. Get with it, regardless of age, or face the consequences. Parents are nowhere to be found. Teachers have no clue. The politically correct garbage does not discern between social issues and immaturity because of age.

Below David uses his mastery of various genre’s of music to ‘Hip Hop’ and ‘Chill’ out with a song he wrote of reconciliation and forgiveness.

Why did famous people Heath Ledger (Joker in Batman), Kurt Cobain, Avicii, Junior Seau, Chester Bennington, Robin Williams, Chris Farley and so many others, both known and unknowns, kill themselves? They had all that riches offer. But nothing can fill the void for your Creator. No purpose=No happiness. No meaning. Opioids and marriage. Big houses, fancy apartments, nice clothes and parties. Booze and entertainment. But when you get to the top you see something you were not prepared to see; it’s the same empty heart as at the bottom.

Below Ace Abe and my wife  Rachel perform a play about a girl chasing butterflies for happiness and a Prince (on stilts-the amazing Abraham) tells her that she must become a butterfly.

People living in rich nations, especially the young, are abnormally subject to a culture of immense anxiety and pressures, scandal, perversion, internet dominance, media distortion and many other things that do not exist in third world countries. The obsession of parents to focus their children on boyfriend-girlfriend relationships results in catastrophic consequences.

Rejection is ‘nuclear’  to the feelings of an adult. How much more devastating to the ill-prepared and immature? So when children (and they are only children)  face rejection and breakups it begins a wound of mental breakdown. American children face things a child of the same age, in a 3rd world,  will not face until their mid-thirties.

Below Joshua loves the kids as a kid.

It is phenomenal how much children absorb. I remember all the impressions I received as a child. Children become what they are taught. They learn hypocrisy or humility. Imagine a child who learns “kenos”. It does no good for a child to be given false dreams  that at a latter age result in disillusionment and depression. The Word of God offers the reality of a dangerous and sick world, but also, hope and promises fulfilled by faith.

And, lest you think this perspective is that of an isolated religious vagabond, consider  a famous man like Sylvester Stallone, in the movie Rocky:

 “Let me tell you something you already know. The world is not butterflies and rainbows. It’s a cold cruel dirty place. And it doesn’t care how tough you think you are. It will beat you to your knees and keep you there as long as you let it. Not you, not me, not anybody can hit as hard as life. But it’s not about how hard you get it hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. About how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. “

(Side picture: Abraham, Sarah, Ruth, Shalom, Joshua, and David organized a birthday celebration of games and competition for a juvenile center of orphan young men who will never have a real birthday.)

You only live once. Who are YOU? Don’t take the easy way out my friend. Maybe not today, but the day is coming when you will terribly regret the fruits of lazy pride. Give up and give in to the cross of  Jesus.

TO SELL, BUY AND PAY– The Game of Christianity

We beg you not to play “church”. The Greek word for foreknowledge is “prognosis”. Like a doctor who can tell you the effects of a disease,  the effects of hypocrisy can be ‘foretold’. If you walk the path of hypocrisy it will become “impossible” to change (Matt. 19:23ff).

Today’s false preachers sell a “prosperity gospel”. The naive buy this false image and commodity to claim “I am a Christian. Look and see”.  They each pay the price of their souls. They sell, buy and pay each other a lie, for the lie that agrees with finding a comfortable life in this world. Amidst some 20,000 denominations, they insist they are different than “lost souls”. Yet when confronted with their many contradictions and hypocritical living they are quick to rationalize “Well nobody’s really different or perfect”.

Anything to do with unregulated exposure to awkward situations, with the outside world of sinners, is forbidden. And anyone confronting this lie or living the truth is denounced as a vagabond “accuser”. They ask “Where’s your love?” while they themselves are do nothing, but token ‘works’, to care for others. Christianity is played within the confines of a building they call “the church”. It can be huge or you and one other person.

Have you ever seen a picture of the statue called “The Thinker”? Most statues commemorate a person or historical event. This statue is simply of a man sitting, with his head resting on his hand, with his elbow on his knee. It is obviously commemorating the posture of thinking; the art of contemplation.

I beg you, forget what everybody else around you says for a moment. If God is real would He not want you to think individual thoughts? The conformity of non-thinking to the system of “Christianity” is nothing more than political correctness. Peer pressure.

Please, my friend, don’t waste your life.  Don’t listen to “Christians” who draw their religious sounding babel out of their mental warehouse of excuses based on sermons, cliches and delusion. They don’t care about you. They care that you might expose them as hypocrites. Jesus wouldn’t even be allowed to speak in the “churches” of today. He is not submitted to a “Pastor”, only His Father. He has none of the scholastic credentials or ‘speaker’ qualifications. His preaching is not based on emotional hype or anecdotes of humor but on reality. He does not preach “church” attendance and a sinner’s prayer. He proclaims “Come follow Me“.

Likewise, Paul would be labeled a “rebel”. The “super-apostles” didn’t recognize him.  His rebuke of the “prosperity” teaching and the love of money and comfort would be classified “You’re not being loving”.

Do something novel. Think. Pray. Force your mind to express your heart to a Father Who loves you. Find a place of solitude and force your spirit to expand. I have never seen a car fix itself. Have you? Never seen a refrigerator cut the grass or a computer wash the floor. No machine can do something it was not manufactured to do.  It is a limited machine.

Not so with you and me. We each have the profound potential to change. I remember in college when I first began reading the Scriptures. The idea that God offered to change me was fascinating. He calls it repentance but it means “change of mind” (metanoia).

You will stand alone before God. So think alone now. His true blessing and destiny await one who will pick up his cross of personal accountability to follow Jesus. To care about others hearing the gospel. Jesus says “The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few”.

The apostle Paul writes about the essential need for a man to think for himself. ; to think differently. It is our greatest accountability. It is a stunning reality but the majority merely acquiesce to common thinking.

Today’s modern “Christianity” thinking is an integral part of Satan’s conspiracy against the truth.  One man, calls himself a “preacher’. He projects an image with a rhetoric to sell his version of a “salvation” of trite involvement. It provides a good feeling of smiles and positive lingo about one’s own self as being righteous without one minor thing, the cross.

(Below we get all men to be STILL with Tae Kwon Do posture)

Each person has the free will to believe whatever, or whoever, you want. Nobody will stop you from deception. The witness of my family and I, is to the truth that the promises of the living Jesus, in His Word, produce eternal life and dynamic oneness;  John 17:11. I would be lying if I said otherwise.


My dearest friend, you have no idea how much you have to give and have been given. The Father is waiting to use you. You can see, hear, smell, walk, sing and do things you can’t now imagine. Aside from the most basic provisions of housing, food, transportation etc.  you are offered all the riches and promises in God’s Word. You have no idea how much you can do, and say,  to help someone else. Multitudes are waiting for your candy wrappers.

Sarah and I tried to share the gospel with an older Spanish-speaking couple at the park the other day;  “Good Lutherans”.   It was hard to get a word in; ” We are saved by grace and need not DO anything.” Such thinking is nothing more than silly nonsense.  When I asked if they ever shared the gospel with others they laughed and accused Sarah and I of being a cult and insisted “works” won’t save us. I wonder. Could it ever be about love not doctrine? I get uptight and fail often but I have learned personally so much of how to reside in His “abode” of love (Jn.14:23).

Today people think that to call yourself a Christian means you are one. They assimilate tons of doctrines from sermons. Then they equate sentimental feelings of ‘love’ for Christ, and doing good works, or throwing token money (tithe), here and there, with salvation. Then, when they find themselves confronted by awkward issues, interwoven into the gospel, they find themselves  rationalizing and justifying their disobedience because their house is actually built on sand (Mt.7:21ff). They don’t understand joy because, in reality, they are living by the very thing they oppose “works” for righteousness.  If you live by legalistic feelings of a troubled conscience then you are headed for a “shipwreck” (1 Tim.1:19). Hypocrites use hand-picked doctrines to block out accountability. Nothing worse than to choose hypocrisy over the wonderful ways of freedom in Jesus.

Jesus did not have aliens in His mind when He said: “Go into all the world…preach the gospel”. Yet every “Christian” we talk to insists “Oh, witnessing is not for me. That’s nice for you but don’t put your calling on us”. My name is not in the Bible. They must be waiting for the aliens yet to come to earth to obey God’s Word.  The truth is Jesus calls the most common and the most nothing (1 Cor.1:20ff). Surely a fisherman had no schooling. I have no in-born ability or desire to tell men about Jesus. It’s not  ” my calling”. It’s my choice. It’s the energy from knowing His love. We love because He first love us.  He makes us care.

Paraguay had a big race event. Of course, all my guys entered it, including Resilient Rachel,  to both run it and to witness at it. It was spectacular. Some ten thousand people. Everyone did fantastic. Lo and behold our “little” Rachel actually won first place in her category. No little feat (feet) considering she has a stride befitting her petite stature. Sorry, got to brag on our sweetheart mother. Despite all her many burdens she manages to run each day and to give her all the highest call.

It was amazing but Relentless Ruth went up and talked to the man in charge. She told him about us being here in their country and asked if she could say a few words to the large crowd with the microphone. I thought it was in vain. He would never do so.

Well, as often times, I was wrong. He gave her the stage and she came through with a beautiful testimony to the living Jesus. She shared about the steel rod in her leg and how she was in a wheelchair. How Jesus raised her up and now she runs in many races. So this testified to

how they can tap His redemptive power and find His healing in all their situations.

As I grew up I saw the lives of three of my brothers end in tragedy; divorce, drugs, and perversion. I did one “little” thing at the age of twenty that led me into this beautiful life. I gave my life to the living Jesus. Your life will either end in the trash heaps of this wicked world or the divine destiny of the living God. You can invest in a life of sacrifice by caring for others with the love of Jesus or live a life of empty existence for yourself. The choice is yours…right now.

 

 

Wired

When you walk the wire, remember Satan is a liar, 
his lies bind you tighter 
so don’t fuel his fire or let his burning conspire 
against the higher calling of your thoughts.
Be a fighter with truth as your attire and the Spirit as your rider.

For the blood is your buyer 
and grace your supplier 
peace the umpire 
and faith the provider 
of the promises of God as your advisors. 
Your desire has already transpired so do not tire,
the saints look on as admirers,
for your foundation is now laid in sapphires.

Elizabeth Shalom

 


We love you very much and would love to help you in any way we can. Please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are just a simple family. Although it has never yet happened, we offer the opportunity here for anyone to help us through a pay pal account. We are not supported by any group, church or organization. We work regular jobs and then use our savings to travel. When we run out we go back to work. The few that support us here and there can only do so according to their own meager means.  If anyone would like to support us this is our pay pal account: [email protected]


A- ONE Abe and Battle heart Elizabeth use humor to help free up the men out of the prison surroundings to laugh and have fun.

SECTION A– Prison life

Have

Over the past ten years, my family and I have worked very hard to penetrate the prisons in South America with the gospel of Jesus. It could never happen in the states but there is a huge harvest throughout the world. As a result of relentless prayer, and such efforts, God opened doors that we never imagined.

I share this to motivate some young sincere man or woman who loves Jesus. People told me I had to have a group support me. Not so. Another nation is only a Hotel and plane reservation away. It is no small endeavor but the rewards of personal fulfillment are enormous. Little did we ever expect what we now know. What we have touched, and been touched by, has changed our lives. We have uncovered a reality, not unlike the concentration camps created by Hitler.

Along with all the innumerable horrors of human suffering; drug addiction, serial killers, abortion, child abuse, human trafficking, etc. being subject to prison is one of the worst tragedies on the face of the earth. As tons of “Christians” get re-saved for the tenth time, or “share a word” with a deluded congregation, who render no true repentance, there are literally millions who would give anything to hear what you have to share. To just have you come and talk to them. To touch their shoulder or hug them.

Try to imagine the severe physical and mental anguish, of living in such hell, moment by moment, with the consciousness of having five, ten, thirty or more years, with not a shred of hope for escape.  then compound them with all the hours, days, weeks, months, years of doing their sentence and nothing but sitting and sleeping in filth and stench.

Below is the art work shop in the biggest prison. It is a very rare provision.

No friends. No contact. No food or nutrition. Slop. No outlet. Nothing to look forward to. No park. No grass. No clean shower or change of clothes. Every view they have is of the exact same walls of hopeless despair. Never an escape. I’ve said these things before in some variation and I will say them many times yet to come because they constantly turn in my mind.


Mighty Mercy brings her fire to all who see her flame. Memories of guilt and regret haunt their minds. They can not run away or hide. Barbed wire reminds them their label is “Dangerous (locked away) Criminal”. The other day I told a group that, in God’s eyes, all men are both criminals and victims. They were not inbred criminals. They spontaneously erupted into applause. That’s how much it is on their minds.

There’s a prison in Paraguay of five thousand men that is like walking into a mental ward. We see things we don’t want our minds to deal with.  If you dare look closely into the eyes of these men absolute devastation and hopelessness. They have abandoned their soul and resorted to animal instincts of survival. They are hanging by a thread of human existence.

Imagine trying to sleep with ten other guys in 90-degree heat and no mattress or air to circulate. Imagine being sick or having a tooth ache or broken bone. Having no hope causes another wave of mental decline. No loving touch. No outside conversations. Some guards treat them worse than animals in a zoo.


Super Sarah works to bring young people out of themselves as she conducts her “Leadership Challenge” at a local Paraguay school.

Then to see these same guys smile at us because of something we say or do. They instantly know our names. They just want to hear us talk to them. When we see them care about us when nobody cares about them. We have received more love from them than anyone we have ever known in the states.

They ask for stuff then apologize when they realize we don’t have stuff because are not supported by anyone and are not rich Americans. Yet some overflow with gratitude and insightful phrases. After studying us as a family this guy told me “You realize Michael that you have built yourself your own private army”.

We asked a guy what he thought of our performance. What could we do better? He said, to be honest, the performance was great. But what was really powerful was your kindness. Your humility in bringing yourselves as a family was most powerful.

Indeed, an army of kenosis love. An army highly skilled in combat compassion. Of “special ops” listeners. We toil constantly with things we could buy to give them but always come to the point that there is nothing greater than the gospel of eternal life. The simple choice to heed Jesus saying “I was in prison and you did not visit Me” (Mt.25:34ff). Now we must do here in Brazil what we have done so many times in so many places all over again all over the world. It is difficult to find an affordable place to live and share the gospel as we travel. It demands a great deal of prayer, leg work, phone, money and computer access to access various entities. So any help would be greatly appreciated. Although we expect none. And if we ever get it we see it as coming from God. Come, Lord Jesus. Hallelujah.

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© Michael Woroniecki 2019.
Teaching, TravelsMay 21, 2018

Candy Wrappers 04.24.18

Our princess Elizabeth wrote this poem. She is a warrior poet. Also she is our resident ballerina.

When you walk the wire, remember Satan is a liar, 
his lies bind you tighter 
so don’t fuel his fire or let his burning conspire 
against the higher calling of your thoughts.
Be a fighter with truth as your attire and the Spirit as your rider. 
For the blood is your buyer 
and grace your supplier 
peace the umpire 
and faith the provider 
of the promises of God as your advisors. 
Your desire has already transpired so do not tire,
the saints look on as admirers,
for  your foundation is now laid in sapphires.


Joshua and David created this caricature to depict  Freewill as a Comic Book Super Hero. It can drive us beyond all the struggles we face. Three cheers for an act that has proven extremely effective.


Someone recently told me that they love the photos on this web site. So I think I over did it. I got a little carried away. Hope you can enjoy them. Can’t say that we don’t love what God has give us to do. My family and I have been in Paraguay for the last few months. God has opened doors that we never imagined. The authorities  welcomed us into schools, orphanages, prisons and even city events.

The Holy Spirit of the living Jesus has led us into amazing opportunities to share His gospel; “Praise You Oh Father”. They even invited us to share Jesus for an entire hour in their national independence day event which was covered by nation wide television. Their colors are also red, white and blue.

Paraguay is a nation saturated with the effects of a history of tyranny, communism and dictatorship. The oppression and extreme poverty determines, and is fully recognized,  as causing incompetence at all aspects of society and has plundered this country into  attitudes of destitution.  We have probably learned more about compassion in our experiences here than in many other longer periods in various other countries.

The gospel was created to reach into such suffering with beautiful outcome if one is willing to learn the ways of the cross.

We may never be rich, or have great talent, but anyone, at anytime, in any place, can own great wealth by the choice to yield to the cross. The world looks down on a broken man, but I have learned how the cross is the only way to truly experience the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor.1:18).

God says His child is not a coward but has power, love and discipline (2 Tim.1:7).  It really doesn’t matter what we claim.  It is what we do, with what we have, that shows the world who we are (Mt.6:21).


It is not from  human motives that we are willing to bear the hardships and suffering for Jesus Christ. It is Jesus living in us. When we die He can move through us. Sometimes a guy will write who seems open. Then, after I share about the cross, he quickly fades away. He does not understand the power God offers in it.

The key to understand the cross is in this Scripture “By His wounds (scourging, stripes)  we are healed” (Is.53:5/1 Cor.1:18).

You see my friend, it is called in Greek “kenos”-to be made empty.  (This is salvation: True humility is death to self; ultimate ’empathy’). God emptied Himself of Himself as the ultimate example of love to us. His ‘humility’ resulted in our salvation. He emptied Himself, of His Himself in order to love us as one of us (Phil.2:7). He absolutely identified with everything about us.

It is the mystery of His mercy. And it works!  It goes like this. All that matters; Faith cancels out the puzzles in the mind. Faith is bought by nothing (Rm.4:17-18).  So anyone can get it. And grace is free. So anyone can have it. You just believe and receive. And if this truly happens Christ comes within you.   Salvation is the Father implanting of the Son as the seed within us ( Gal.3:16). It is the condescension of God into our exact misery (Jn.1:18/Ps.18:35).

The photos depict a wide range of people. Prisons hold every walk of life. Every man is different.

Paul was in step with how Jesus enters the lives of all men. No prejudice. Any place a wicked man goes, God goes.  God does not deal with men according to their sinful ways but according to His profound compassion (2 Cor.5:19).

In one photo we are in a catholic church. In other we are amongst men of all religions. We may be amongst obvious hypocrites, while in another gang-bangers. Our ‘haters’ say that such diversity exposes our compromise; “You associate with catholics, protestants, gang members, cults and atheists as if you agree with them”.

Paul says “I become all things to all men to win one”  (1 Cor. 9:19ff).  Jesus does not limit His love. In fact, there could be nothing more “compromising” than for a holy God to come into the nature of a sinful man.  Thus is the mercy of the New Testament in contrast to the ten commandments of the Old Testament. Hypocrites don’t know how to be with sinners (or laugh with them) because forefront in their minds is “My righteousness”. To walk in the freedom of the Spirit demands we die to our self-righteousness. Paul became like any man so that, possibly, in some way, he could reach that man.

My son, Abraham, often tells men the key to knowing Jesus is not saying “Ya.I know all that already”. Rather three words to God; “I don’t know”. The humility of ‘kenos’ is like a huge castle with tons of rooms to discover and everyone is rich with revelation. In a bizarre twist of realities, Jesus completely surrendered Himself to men to apply their ‘tools of their trade’; wickedness, to His very Person. He chose to fully subject Himself to whatever men wanted to do to Him (Mt.20:28). He knew what it would be.  Yet He continued.

Like an astronaut in outer space who is detached from his tether line, Jesus detached Himself from His divinity to join Himself to our humanity (Phil.2:9). While He ‘floated’ in moments of utter darkness; “My God, My God why have You forsaken Me”, Jesus was working to provide the healing love to our grave wounds.

Jesus displayed, on the world stage of the cross, the utter wickedness of man. Then, as His second ‘act’ manifested the ultimate love and power in resurrection victory. I confess. I believe.  I live an ongoing testimony to the resurrection of the living Jesus, a magnificent mystery (Col.1:27,2:2). Jesus walks this earth today…in us….and all who serve HIm.

Little did men know, way back then, that by killing Jesus, they were killing their own greatest enemy; sin. In man’s worst event in human history, God was achieving His greatest event in human history.

In a way of speaking, the Father compressed His divine glory, into a human posture. In the womb of Mary, God impregnated a sinful nature with divine power (the incarnation). Then…Bam…33 years later, sin exploded and was forever destroyed. Jesus rose from the dead. This seed is now in me. A hammer and nails failed to kill the One Who reclaimed His divine glory. He was seen for Who He is; God.

“He who knew no sin became sin so that we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor.5:21).

Wow. Big time stuff. Dancing, laughing and singing kind of stuff. We do not bring a dead and boring Jesus to men. Jesus  went to the lowest sector of humanity to bring us to the highest sector of glory. This is awesome stuff. It generates creative intelligence and hope. In working with “criminals” we proclaim “The Criminal” Who “despised” the punishment but now reigns  as  Judge. Jesus became the ultimate… “prodigal son” Who danced His way back to His Father (Lk.15/Heb.12:1).

Failure and redemption are my ways. Jesus bore all my wounds, while He was in prison, in scouring, and on the cross. He entered the place where each of us is ashamed to admit and afraid to go. And it is here, in the heart of sin, where Jesus inserted Himself, to demonstrate the power of God (Mt.20:28). Although just a man, Jesus believed His Father would raise Him out of this human predicament. And as author of such  faith the Father gave Him the Name above all Names and demonstrated the power above all powers; the resurrection (Phil.2:9). We now have access to this faith.

So many prisoners tell me the same experience that I myself know; i.e. the mind toils away at night, at times, as if caught up in a cyclone of destructive thoughts. Loneliness feels like it’s eating a hole in your soul. Sometimes sadness is imbedded in our every feeling. These are the precise wounds of being human.

Inescapable feelings of pain can conjure up terrible fears. As if some alien being of sorrow as infiltrated our body and is hiding somewhere behind our bones.  This is the monster of sin. I must not listen to it’s echoes of death reverberating in the chambers of my brain. I must believe Jesus bore this exact thing and live by faith. At these moments, I believe that He was here, all alone, on the cross, in this darkness. As Paul writes I “fellowship with Him” in these sufferings, of the cross (Phil.3:10).  I await the power of His victorious Character. Thus, I am healed of these wounds through identification and His participation.

In one prison we had shared with men for about three hours. Sometimes  just don’t know if they’re “getting it”.  After we finished, the prison Director walked with us out to our van. “My jaw is on the ground” he said. I don’t know how to explain what I just saw.” An unbeliever  saw the amazing mercy and “kenos” of a ‘humble’ God towards men. It was not a family or a ministry. This is King Jesus.


In every prison, we face men, with whom we are at a loss for how to reach. Their living conditions are despicable, both physically and in their souls (Read Section A at the end of this article). But the blood of Jesus runs threw our veins as we are carry the heartbeat of God.

This past Friday, the 18 of May, we drove six hours into the middle of nowhere. I was literally stunned to see the faces, all look the same, as the men came walking into the gathering from their individual cell blocks. It was like an episode of ‘The Twilight Zone’. A sci-fi movie scene where each face was molded into an exact same look of agony. Like we had landed on a distant planet, far from anything we had planned for.

We were there four hours. We could only beg God to help us reach them. Today we learned of the outcome. A very beautiful thing. The Director, after our visit, changed his web sight profile, from his individual picture, to a picture of him with our family. It is the ultimate compliment.


Todays “Christians”  talk about the cross as a vague impractical doctrine. As if it is a mental gymnastics for “salvation”.  Jesus never diminishes His work to a prayer; “Pray a sinner’s prayer to ‘accept Me as Savior”.  He calls us to obedience and a new life. The cross is “the power of God” (1 Cor.1:18). It starts with a humility that kills your greatest enemy; the ego.  But Jesus would never say things that lead to grief. So when He says “Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Me” (Mt.16:24) it is a call to abundant life, not of this world (Jn.10:10). You simply don’t understand, or don’t want to.

No  lasting victory over sin, can be had without  detachment of yourself from yourself. The cross does this. No, it is not complex. If you yield, like a caterpillar, He will bring forth a butterfly. Read the book “Hope For The Flowers”. God used this book to simplify and edify the glory of the cross to me.

Long after Jesus died, Paul says “I have been crucified with Christ…” (Gal.2:20). The apostle Paul explains the cross as a contemporary ‘living’ experience. He says every Christian, to be a Christian, must be “united” with Jesus in His death (Rm.6:6). This one simple decision renders the promise; “By His stripes we are healed”. Paul says “that I may know…the fellowship with His sufferings being conformed to his death in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead….” (Phil. 3:10-11). Re-attach your tether line to the living promises of the Word of God.

 

There is real power in true  faith. Not personal morality. Faith is the only power offered to us by which we can actually access divine life; the free gift of salvation.  Every problem; physical, spiritual, emotional, mental, circumstantial involves sin. So by Jesus “becoming sin” and exploding it, He established “the place”; “the way, the truth and the life” experience of exploding it, for us to enter in order to conquer it (Jn.14:2,6).

This is the excitement in preaching the gospel. We feel so unworthy. We have something to take to men greater than material happiness. This world draws men with an ‘eye candy’ of happiness. One time we were preaching on the quad of Colorado State University. A marine recruiter was offering pamphlets to draw young men. I asked him “Do you tell these guys any stories from Walter Reed Hospital? If a package of cigarettes is required by law to warn of cancer how much more so should a job with death and life-altering injuries as a possible end?

They say “Be All You Can Be”, then something they incur does just opposite. It takes away their ability to be what they could have become. They offer PTSD counseling, because a handicap, a divorce or thoughts of suicide leave them wounded the rest of their lives.

Bank on it.  Everyone has no one. And no one has any one… to love them. Don’t buy the ‘eye candy’. Everyone knows that they have no one. Regardless of image.  God says ‘All men moan like doves…growl like bears (‘Is.59). No matter how many people you ‘know’, you know, that no one knows you. It is  heart-wrenching. But it IS solvable through the supernatural work of the cross. No matter if you are a banker or a bum walking on Wall Street,  true repentance,  is the only thing that offers you a promising future.

Jesus says  ‘God so loved the world that He gave…ME’ (Jn.3:16).  He knew ‘what’ He was and all His Father had to offer and it made Him ecstatic. Master Jesus came as a poor man, to the poor, with poorness of heart (kenos), to conquer the poorness of the world (Mt.5:3).

In His thoughts, beyond the cross,  Jesus anticipated He would find poor individuals to whom He would reveal His viable and profound joy and save men from hell. And man, was Jesus excited when He found such a person (Jn.4:32/Lk.7:9/Mt.15:21).

Contrary to the lies of fat-cat “prosperity” preachers, His “mission statement” is focused on the poor and suffering, not the rich and comfortable (Isaiah 61). The gospel is the provision of the enormous blessing of healing to the wounds of sin, not with material “blessings”, but spiritual revelation (Eph.1:3ff). A heart crammed full of materialism and comfort has no place to find faith in the invisible comforts of God (Mt. 6:24/Mk.10:25/1 Tim.6:10).

People who realize they are overwhelmed by inescapable ‘hell’, both outside and inside,  have the divine opportunity to see God in their “kenos”; emptying themselves.  Such circumstances yield the genre of God. God did, can and does heal the “incurable” wound but it is only when we yield to His kenos (Jer. 10:19,15:18,30:12-15,17:9).

We tell people “I want to show you something you can not see… to prove to you it exists”. This is our heart in our demonstration of preaching the living Jesus and all His rich promises.


Long ago, when we were walking the streets, next to a volcano, in a village in Central America, my daughters were playing with some children. I remember praying “Lord please use such beautiful women to their fullest”. Today I see His fulfillment far beyond anything I could have imagined. They are intimately involved with multitudes of children.

Below ‘Gentle Josh’ helps his mother calm her anxiety and introduce her to sing her heart to ‘children’ disguised as prisoners.

The cycle of desperation breeds children of such poverty with tragic stories. We stop some from ending up in prison. It takes courage just to face their wounds.  In going to so many schools, as we do, it is a profound privilege to realize the impact a willing person can make upon another little human life. When you see their hearts it makes us wonder “What was the actual real tone in the voice of Jesus when He says ‘Let the children come to Me'” (Mt.18)? Could it have been in a depth of sadness from seeing their poverty and desperation of their condition?

They live in a state of panic because they are raised with the unbridled instinct for survival. Imagine growing up in, and slowly putting two and two together, to realize you have a life of absolute desperation.

They are wounded at an early age by feelings of desperation and abandonment. They realize if they want to eat they must do something. If they have no parents what are they to do? Some impersonal guardians are looking any opportunity to escape their responsibility.

We have tried to distribute food and are overtaken by heart-breaking desperation.Two little boys were at a stop light. Hugging and playing with each other in the intersection, as if displaying some circus act.  One of them made the sign of the cross as he hurriedly ran up to cars hoping for a hand out. They got nothing. They huddled back and tried again, and again. While ministering in a prison here, the other day, I asked some men what they were going to do when they were released. They explained  “working the intercessions”.

The cardboard neighborhoods are without number. The individual stories of murder, family tragedy, drug abuse and unimaginable suffering pile up in our minds. We think we can just hear them, comfort the people and keep working. But somehow they penetrate our hearts in ways we do not realize. It’s unbearable.


So sometimes we find ourselves so troubled and depleted.  At the same time it is marvelous because it makes me wonder “Wow. This alone is proof of God; to make a selfish man like me care about total strangers.”

When the Scriptures say that He “bore” our sin we don’t realize it means as a real man 24/7 while He walked the earth.  He was afflicted by the constant bombardment of immense suffering all around Him, constantly pressing upon Him.

CANDY WRAPPERS

My son Joshua received two pictures on his phone from an inmate in a very remote prison we visited. They were of left-over  wrappers from candy and popcorn we distributed in our time there.  This guy, we’ll call John, owns nothing. But, he would never say “nothing”.  Because in his cell he has two candy-wrappers he protects like gold coins. When he holds them he thinks of far more. You see, the candy wrappers hold back the dark forces of despair pressing upon his mind and sustain him with a memory that calms his anxiety.

They represent three young women, Ruth, Beth and Sarah, and a family who “came from God” one morning in mid-March. The girls distributed, tracts, candy and popcorn down the rows of chairs set up in the prison courtyard. They stopped to greet him personally. They didn’t condemn him but rather treated him like a long lost friend.

Something like this had never happened to John, over the past seven years he had been in prison.  So the candy wrappers held the ‘magic’ of these real memories. They help to balance the memories of deep regret that put him here. He remembers how Ruth placed the candy in his hand and Beth  touched his shoulder. He often touches his shoulder and remembers what he felt like. Sarah actually paused to give him a place to talk. John knows that this experience will never happen again.

Below Joshua is working in one of the oh so many cardboard neighborhoods that fill Paraguay.

The man was hit in the head with axe, by a gang of thieves. He was left for dead, and for blame, at a crime scene, of which he had nothing to do. Of course no one believes him. He asked Joshua if he could call his eighty year old mother and talk to her. After Joshua did so, the man texted back that hearing the happiness in his mothers voice was like a miracle. It made him read the Scriptures that Joshua had been sharing. The awful sounds of crying prisoners, in the background, and the stench in his nose, fades for the duration he can maintain the memory. So John tells us how he imagines the program is starting over again…and again…and again.  It was the time he was given something, other than hatred; hope, love and access to the words of Jesus.

Imagine: What would be your manner of  life; your state of mind; for you to actually cherish candy wrappers?


THE CONSPIRACY- Can you recall the words, as you grew up, from teachers, parents and friends about how this world offers a great promising future? As you got older you realized it was all garbage. People say they don’t know why there is so much mental illness, opioid addiction, divorce, suicide and school shootings.

You might understand it in the desperation of a third world country but America?  People don’t have ‘candy wrappers’. They have access to everything yet have no happiness.

I have walked the streets of rich countries, preaching the living Jesus, and on college campuses, for over forty years. To find one open soul is a very rare thing. There is no “kenos”. They claim to know all about the Lord but have no clue how to effectively cope with the pressures of this world. Young people are raised in the iniquity of parents who have been conditioned to comply with American values.

A culture of poverty adjusts to the poor and uneducated. It makes room for them. It holds to catholic values. America has no such adjustment. Get with it, regardless of age, or face the consequences. Parents are no where to be found. Teachers have no clue. The politically correct garbage does not discern between social issues and immaturity because of age.

Why did famous people Heath Ledger (Joker in Batman), Kurt Cobain, Avicii, Junior Seau, Chester Bennington, Robin Williams, Chris Farley and so many others, both known and unknowns, kill themselves? They had all that riches offer. But nothing can fill the void for your Creator. No purpose=No happiness. No meaning. Opioids and marriage. Big houses, fancy apartments, nice clothes and parties. Booze and entertainment. But when you get to the top you see something you were not prepared to see; it’s the same empty heart as at the bottom.

Below Abraham and Rachel perform a play about a girl chasing butterflies for happiness and a Prince (on stilts-the amazing Abraham) tells her that she must become a butterfly.

People living in rich nations, especially the young, are abnormally subject to a culture of immense anxiety and pressures, scandal, perversion, internet dominance, media distortion and many other things that do not exist in third world countries. The obsession of parents to focus their children on boyfriend-girlfriend relationships results in catastrophic consequences.

Rejection is nuclear destruction to the feelings of an adult, how much more devastating to the ill-prepared and immature? So when children (and they are only children)  face rejection and breakups it begins a wound of mental breakdown. American children face things a child of the same age, in a 3rd world,  will not face until their mid-thirties.
Consequently, young people are full of excuses, rebellion and accusations as a result of the iniquity of their parents. These “christians” know it all. “Don’t tell me. Been there done that. I’m doing IT in my own way. Accepted christ years ago.”

It is the delusion resulting from self-consumption in rebellion to the cross.  They can’t be taught a thing. Not an ounce of kenos humility. My family and I know the evil things people say about us, and as Jesus would, we respond “Father forgive them…”.

And, lest you think this perspective is that of an isolated religious vagabond, consider  a famous man like Sylvester Stallone, in the movie Rocky:

 “Let me tell you something you already know. The world is not butterflies and rainbows. It’s a cold cruel dirty place. And it don’t care how tough you think you are. It will beat you to your knees and keep you there as long as you let it. Not you, not me, not anybody can hit as hard as life. But it’s not about how hard you get it hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. About how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. “

(Side picture: Abraham, Sarah, Ruth, Shalom, Joshua and David organized a birthday celebration of games and competition for juvenile center of orphan young men who will never have a real birthday.)

You only live once. Who are YOU? Don’t take the easy way out my friend. Maybe not today, but the day is coming when you will terribly regret it. Give up and give in to the cross of  Jesus.

TO SELL, BUY AND PAY– The Game of Christianity

We beg you not to play “church”. The word for foreknowledge in greek is “prognosis”. Like a doctor who knows well the effects of a disease, we can foretell to you the effects of hypocrisy. Once you grow beyond a certain time, it is becomes “impossible” to change (Matt. 19:23ff).

Today’s modern “Christianity” thinking is an intergal part of Satan’s conspiracy against the truth.  One man, calls himself a “preacher’. He projects an image with a rhetoric to sell his version of  a “salvation” of trite involvement. It provides a good feeling of smiles and positive lingo about one’s own self as being righteous without one minor thing, the cross.

The naive buy this image and commodity of “salvation” to claim “I am a Christian. Look and see”.  They each pay each other a lie, for the lie each agrees to accept. Amidst their 20,000 denominations they insist they are different than “lost souls”. Yet when confronted with their many contradictions and hypocritical living they are quick to rationalize “Well nobody’s really different or perfect”.

Anything to do with unregulated exposure to awkward situations, with the outside world of sinners, is forbidden. And anyone confronting this lie or living the truth is denounced as a vagabond “accuser”. They ask “Where’s your love?” while they themselves are do nothing, but token ‘works’, to care for others. Christianity is played within the confines of a building they call “the church”. It can be huge or you and one other person.

You can choose to believe whatever, or whoever, you want, but the witness of my family and I, is to the truth that the promises of the living Jesus, in His Word, produce dynamic oneness;  John 17:11. I would be lying if I said otherwise.  Don’t listen to the lazy cowards. Become alive.


My dearest friend, you have no idea how much you have to give and have been given. The Father is waiting to use you. You can see, hear, smell, walk, sing and do things you can’t now imagine. Aside from the most basic provisions of housing, food, transportation etc.  you are offered all the riches and promises in God’s Word. You have no idea how much you can do, and say,  to help someone else. Multitudes are waiting for your candy wrappers.

I tried to share the gospel with an older Spanish-speaking couple at the park the other day;  “Good Lutherans”.   It was hard to get a word in; ” We are saved by grace and need not DO anything.” Such thinking is nothing more than silly nonsense.  When I asked if they ever shared the gospel with others they accused Sarah and I of being a cult and insisted that “works” won’t save us. I wondered if they ever thought of one word… LOVE.

Could caring about others trump doctrine? Today’s “Christians” use Bible verses to block out accountability to love men. People think that to call yourself a Christian means you are one. They equate sentimental feelings of love for Christ, and good works, or throwing token money, ‘tithe’, here and there, with salvation. Not quite (Mt.7:21).

I guess Jesus must have had aliens in His mind, when He said “Go into all the world…” because every “Christian” I talk to says “Oh, THAT is not for me. Don’t put your calling on us”. The aliens are yet to come to earth to obey God’s Word.  The truth is Jesus calls the most common and the most nothing (1 Cor.1:20ff). Surely a fisherman had no schooling. I had no in-born ability or desire to tell men about Jesus. It’s not some big complicated “calling”. It’s just the outcome of energy from knowing His love. We are the most simple and share Jesus in all walks of life because He makes us care.

Paraguay recently had a big race event. Of course, all my guys entered it, including Rachel,  to both run it and to witness at it. It was spectacular. Some forty thousand people. Everyone did fantastic. Lo and behold our “little” Rachel actually won her category. No little feat (feet) considering she has a stride befitting her petite stature. Sorry, got to brag on our sweetheart mother.

It was amazing but Ruth went up and talked to the man in charge. She told him about us being here in their country and asked if she could say a few words to the large crowd with the microphone. I thought it was in vain. He would never do so.

Well, as often times, I was wrong. He gave her the stage and she came through with a beautiful testimony to the living Jesus. She shared about the steel rod in her leg and how she was in a wheel chair. How Jesus raised her up and now she runs in many races. So this testified to  how they can tap His redemptive power and find His healing in all their situations.

As I grew up I saw the lives of three of my brothers end in tragedy; divorce, drugs and perversion. I did one “little” thing at the age of twenty that led me into this beautiful life. I gave may life to the living Jesus. Your life will either end in the trash heaps of this wicked world or the divine destiny of the living God. You can invest in a life of sacrifice by caring for others with the love of Jesus or live a life of empty existence for yourself. The choice is yours…right now.

These streets were made for dancing, 
these hands for those that are grasping,
these gifts for those who are lacking.
This love for the hearts that are cracking,
these seeds for the ground of planting,
these answers for those who asking.
This light was lit for the unmasking,
so their burdens they might start casting,
to make their eyes start laughing,
their courage to be long lasting.
Because Jesus is the dead man standing,
and this life is the life everlasting.

-Elizabeth

 

SECTION A– Prison life

Have you ever seen a picture of the statue called “The Thinker”? Most statues commemorate a person or historical event. This statue is simply of a man sitting, with his head resting on his hand, with his elbow on his knee. It is obviously commemorating the posture of thinking; the art of contemplation.

I beg you, forget what everybody else around you says for a moment. If God is real would He not want you to think individual thought? The conformity of non-thinking to the system of “Christianity” is nothing more than political correctness. Peer pressure.

Stop waisting your life.  Stop looking to “Christians” who draw their religious sounding babel out of their mental warehouse of excuses based on sermons, cliche’s and delusion. Jesus wouldn’t even be allowed to speak in the “churches” of today because He is not submitted to a “Pastor” (only His Father). He has none of the scholastic credentials or ‘speaker’ qualifications. He has attended no seminars or schools. He does not preach “church” attendance and a sinner’s prayer. He proclaims relationship with His Father.

Likewise, Paul would be labeled a “rebel”. The “super apostles” didn’t recognize him.  His rebuke of the “prosperity” teaching and the love of money and comfort would be classified “You’re not being loving”.

Do something novel. Think for yourself. I have never seen a car fix itself. Have you? Never seen a refrigerator cut the grass or a computer wash the floor. No machine can do something it was not manufactured to do.  It is a limited machine.

Not so with you and me. We each have the profound potential to change. I remember in college when I first began reading the Scriptures. The idea that God offered to change me was fascinating. He calls it repentance but it means “change of mind” (metanoia).

You will stand alone before God. So think alone now. His true blessing and destiny awaits one who will pick up his cross of personal accountability to follow Jesus. To care about others hearing the gospel. Jesus says “The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few”.

The apostle Paul writes about the essential need for a man to think for himself. ; to think differently. It is our greatest accountability. It is a stunning reality but the majority merely acquiesce to common thinking.

Over the past ten years my family and I have worked very hard to penetrate the prisons in South America with the gospel of Jesus. It could never happen in the states but there is a huge harvest throughout the world. As a result of relentless prayer, and such efforts, God opened doors that we never imagined.

I share this to motivate some young sincere man or woman who loves Jesus. It is no small endeavor but the rewards of personal fulfillment are enormous. Little did we ever expect what we now know. What we have touched, and been touched by, has changed our lives.. We have  uncovered a reality not unlike the concentration camps created by Hitler.

Along with all the innumerable horrors of human suffering; drug addiction, serial killers, abortion, child abuse, human trafficking, etc. being subject to prison is one of the worst tragedies on the face of the earth. As tons of “Christians” get re-saved for the tenth time, or “share a word” with a deluded congregation, who render no true repentance, there are literally millions who would give anything to hear what you have to share. To just have you come and talk to them. To touch their should or hug them.

Try to imagine the severe physical and mental anguish, of living in such hell, moment by moment, with the consciousness of having five, ten, thirty or more years, with not a shred of hope for escape.  then compound them with all the hours, days, weeks, months, years of doing their sentence and nothing but sitting and sleeping in filth and stench.

Below is the art work shop in the biggest prison in Brazil.


No friends. No contact. No food or nutrition. Slop. No outlet. Nothing to look forward to. No park. No grass. No clean shower or change of clothes. Every view they have is of the exact same walls of hopeless despair. Never an escape. I’ve said these things before in some variation and I will say them many times yet to come because they constantly turn in my mind.

Memories of guilt and regret haunt their minds. They can not run away or hide. Barbed wire reminds them their label is “Dangerous (locked away) Criminal”. The other day I told a group that, in God’s eyes, all men are both criminals and victims. They were not inbred criminals. They spontaneously erupted into applause. That’s how much it is on their minds.

There’s a prison in Paraguay of five thousand men that is like walking into a mental ward. You see things you don’t want your mind to see. If you dare look closely into the eyes of these men absolute devastation and hopelessness. They have abandoned their soul and resorted to animal instincts of survival. They are hanging by a thread of human existence.

Imagine trying to sleep with ten other guys in 90 degree heat and no mattress or air to circulate. Imagine being sick or having a tooth ache or broken bone. Having no hope causes another wave of mental decline. No loving touch. No outside conversations. The guards treat them worse than animals in a zoo.


Above Sarah works to bring young people out of themselves as she conducts her “Leadership Challenge” at a local Paraguay school.

Then to see these same guys smile at us because of something we say or do. They instantly know our names. They just want to hear us talk to them. When we see them care about us when nobody cares about them. We have received more love from them than anyone we have ever known in the states.

They ask for stuff then apologize when they realize we don’t have stuff because are not supported by anyone and are not rich Americans. Yet some overflow with gratitude and insightful phrases. After studying us as a family this guy told me “You realize Michael that you have built yourself your own private army”.

We asked a guy what he thought of our performance. What could we do better? He said to be honest the performance was great. But what was really powerful was your kindness. Your humility in bringing yourselves as a family was most powerful.

We are not phonies. No fake smiles. No enhanced photos. No ‘Look at how good and righteous we are”.

Indeed, an army of lovers. An army highly skilled in combat compassion. Of “special ops” listeners. We toil constantly with things we could buy to give them but always come to the point that there is nothing greater than the gospel of eternal life. The simple choice to heed Jesus saying “I was in prison and you did not visit Me” (Mt.25:34ff).

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© Michael Woroniecki 2019.
Teaching, TravelsJanuary 27, 2018

One Drop 01.27.18

I am writing to someone who realizes they don’t have it “all together”. At times you feel like, just below the ‘happy’ surface, is an undefined grief. Unguarded moments totter on the verge of depression.  Such pain can get the best of you and without realizing it influence your life. Mere thoughts can cause failure, dysfunction, and desperation. I know this from experience.

 I am writing to my suffering-brethren throughout the world who know the cold, dark caves of loneliness and the pain of falling into, and getting caught in, the deep crevasses of life. Of doing things you regret, of thinking thoughts you never thought, or having feelings that seem to draw you where you don’t want to go.

The truth is, all men hide such thoughts and feelings. But they deny it and never dream of sharing it. Why? Because of the ‘something’ that lives within each of us called self-pride; image. It won’t let you be totally honest. We are surrounded by a wicked world that breaks us but then rejects us for being broken.

Well, my friend, despite what ‘they’ say, a broken heart is not a weird or a bad thing. Jesus came for the broken. He was broken to death. He rose out of the tomb to become an Expert at turning death into a beautiful life (Mt.5/Jn.12:25/Is.61).

I am not offering some weird psychoanalysis. I’m saying that when Jesus promises “the truth will set you free”, He means it for the deepest aspects of our life. Such a short well-known phrase contains one word we all desire; freedom, and one that makes us apprehensive; truth. But freedom can only come from truth.

A while back I gained weight due being laid up from some head and back issues. But recently, I finally lost 25 pounds.  At first, I hated the scale. It was my enemy. I hid from its truth because it depressed me. Then I realized the truth was not my enemy but my necessity to get beyond who I was to become who I wanted to be. I had to stop saying “I don’t feel that bad”. I had to weigh myself.  We don’t need to fear the truth because God is for you, not against you. He is not a self-righteous “preacher” Who winks at our self-strength. His power is realized in our lowest moments (1 Cor.1:26, 2 Cor.12:9).

God is a deeply compassionate Father Who, not only knows our weakness but, yearns to comfort those who draw near to His truth. There are real answers to the most difficult struggles. It is human nature to view hard times with a macho attitude. But God looks to the contrite (Is.57:15).  He promises to give such men “life abundantly” (Jn.10:10). There is a third avenue beyond “I’m fine” and “I’m losing it”. It starts with a contrite attitude; “Maybe I don’t know everything about You, God. Maybe I could learn”. It involves not going to others but directly interacting with the One Who sees our hidden motives.

“There was a moment…..when I was all alone out there in the ‘dark’…

I felt….nothing.

Everything and everyone I ever knew or loved… suddenly was nothing.

I was all alone.

My life was paper…

and I thought…

and concluded….. nothing mattered.

Then I beheld the sky and the ocean so alive.

And I wondered

“Could I ever be so alive?”

Could I ever know such symmetry and meaning?”

And I contemplated “Could God be? Could He really be?”

I defied cynicism and cried

“Could You care about me?” 

I made a decision to believe… 

 the story of a Father…

Who sacrificed His Son to death…

to draw me into His love.

If everything was nothing that had I to lose?

And I woke up.

And it was as though I disappeared from the world of paper. 

I became alive… in another world.

  Then I spoke to my fears and said ‘Oh darkness, oh loneliness…. oh ya, ya… so what?”.

I am alive

to love… 

to show others

Jesus lives

Before…  I hated phonies. But I was one. I hated being ignored. Yet, I ignored everyone. I hated men who hurt others. But I hurt so many. I despised the arrogance of men but saw it in me. I mocked others to feel superior. But was crushed when I was mocked as inferior. I was hostile and angry at those who irritated me and this irritated me. When I lived in the dark I felt nothing. I just didn’t care. I was haunted by my own existence; burdened by my own contradictions. But as I hid in the castle of my ego, I found no will to defend its walls. So I surrendered to faith and it led me to truth in Him. 

I found the courage to admit the truth about myself… to myself. After all, who knows you… like you? You are your only chance to find you. I had to hate myself to find myself, lo and behold, this ‘crazy’ talk is the will of God (Jn.12:25, Rom.3:10).

Our journey through time can take us into a maze of unexpected twists and turns. Things happen to us that we never imagined. We come to realize that the ‘oomph’ we once had, to keep us going in a previous period of life, is just not enough to sustain us in the different stage that we now face. Every day demands more than the one before. Where do we turn? How do we turn? As strange as it all might seem, my friend, you are not alone, even in your aloneness. He waits to help you make the right move.

My son David here on the streets of Brazil with one of our graffiti signs designed to reach the many gangs that exist here. (The sign says; Dude, please, think – You are not garbage –  You are loved – Jesus was killed for us- He shed his blood for you).

People on the street have said “You have a beautiful wife and children. How can you say that you suffer loneliness?” Family can be great but it can also be overrated. Never could my wife or children give me the comfort I need. They do not supply my identity. Never could anyone understand my deepest conflicts. King David said ‘Being with You, I desire nothing (no one) on earth…there is no good besides Thee’ (Ps.73:25/16:2). No matter how much family members may “care”, the stark reality is, no human being owns the love to solve our dilemma of total depravity. Do you know what this term means? It is a theological term I came to learn and love while in seminary. At the bottom or this blog, I explain in depth what this really means. It is a bit heavy, but it is very helpful if you have not read it elsewhere on my blog.

It’s kind of obvious, hey? What’s amazing, is the more I understand the Biblical exposé on my depravity, the greater becomes the joy of my salvation. God says “…no one does good (love)…each one has gone his own way” (Is.53:6 /Rm.3:10ff). We are “sick” with self-obsession (Jer.17:9). We are smitten by an incurable “wound” (Jer.15:18,30:12 ). No one but God can comfort a man in the wound of human loneliness. Because we are not a mere body of blood, guts and bones. We have a soul. Made by God, we cry for His Presence and reconciliation.

I don’t know how people make it. Because the reality is, both family and friends can hurt you and even turn on you. They can look at you in the face, saying how much they care about you, then totally ignore you when you need them the most. They never give you what you hope for and let you down more often than not. Why do millions commit suicide, space out on drugs or depend on booze to comfort their pain? Self-awareness, apart from God, is scarily creepy. You think “Man, am I whacked. What the hell is wrong with me? I’m sure glad people don’t know this about me”. Well, guess what? People may not, but God does. Isn’t He a bit more important? You think it is your personality. It is not. Good news. God knew how depraved you and I were before we were even born, and He absolutely dealt with it (Rm.5).

People are terrified by the thought of being alone because they are afraid to face what they really are; bad memories, emotional depression, guilt, sadness, failure, etc.  I fully understand. I had no idea how to live the promises of Jesus while dealing with sin; myself. So after graduating from college, I made a decision to leave my girlfriend, beloved mother, who was dying from cancer, close friends and everything familiar, to travel three thousand miles to Fuller Seminary, in Pasadena, California.  Jesus says “My sheep hear My voice”.  I knew I could not honestly say I did. So I concluded that I needed to get all alone to learn what this meant.

I figured I had my whole life ahead of me. If I didn’t do it now, I may never do so. I feared the entanglement of the world could deprive my life of something God might have for me. Soon after I arrived at Fuller I got a job as a librarian. Weeks and months went by and I didn’t hear from those back in Michigan who said they loved me. I felt abandoned. I slowly realized how much they gave me identity and were my driving force to live. As someone who claimed to love Jesus, I felt this exposed my lack of divine relationship.

One night, after my work-shift in the library, I unlocked my bicycle and started my ride back to my apartment. Suddenly, I was overtaken by fear. I was emersed in thoughts of loneliness and despair. I got off my bike and just stood there, searching to stabilize myself. That huge empty parking lot depicted the desolation I felt within. Mental anguish got the best of me. How could I live with no one?  My heart crumbled under the weight of such a burden.  I was terrified to be all alone.

No one wants to be alone. Isolation is a form of suffering.  It is used to punish prisoners in solitary confinement. One of the most common reactions to being all alone is the common insistence  “Oh, I’m not alone. I have friends and family. I know that people love me. That’s what ‘church’ is all about”.  You may be surrounded by nice, warm, smiling people. But if you are honest you know the sense of feeling all alone despite them all. They have no idea who you really are. And you know it.  The truth is you can’t fathom an identity apart from them. But you don’t know what to do. God is not screaming at you. He says “Take my hand and let us walk” (Is.42:6).

Beneath all my Christian theology was a human nature I did not know how to deal with. Would I have to spend my whole life controlled by it, live in constant guilt and fake an abstract forgiveness millions of times? I could not escape it or make it “better”. I had to face that I was scared and wicked. It humiliated me. It broke me. I was a liar, a coward, a fool, a pig, arrogant and self-righteous. Paul said “I AM…the worst of all sinners” (1Tim.1:15). Present tense.

I heard no audible voice. No signs or visions. What came to me was “while we were yet sinners…Christ died for the ungodly…lo, I am with you always” (Rom.5:8/Mt.28:20). Either God’s Word is true or it is a lie. Either He gives new life or I am stuck with mine.

Jesus…walked… all alone;… made the decision to; leave His parents, call each disciple, rebuke the hypocrites, went fishing, help the poor, heal a leper, raise the dead… all alone; He was arrested one night… all alone; thrown into prison… all alone. Taken out in the morning by soldiers and tied to post…all alone. In each stripe, no one could offer Him comfort. Jesus was scourged… all alone; carried the cross to Calvary… each agonizing step… all alone. Jesus… hung… all alone. Pierced and mocked…all alone.

His all aloneness is waiting to come to you. His suffering can come to you in yours. Such a small thing He asks, to come to Him all alone.

I chose to believe He was with me in my aloneness. Beyond my carnal hope for some “extraterrestrial” comfort, came the hope that, if I obeyed the call to faith, I would find a hope beyond my hope. The Scriptures prophecy “with hope against hope” Abraham found faith (Rm.4:18). I began to understand the Word of God IS God’s Voice. God calls us to obey. There is no other way. In the dark, cold vacuum of our sinful “existentialism”,  we must wake up, get up and walk. I am so alive. He leaves it to us to obey in order to experience divine life.  It is a decision of pure worship.

I gathered myself, got on my bike, and….well…. here I am, 40 years later, writing of it to you today.

My wife Rachel and I portraying the phenomenal transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. Jn.3:3

Jesus identified with our most terrible experiences. Obedience proves whether we believe Him in them. Jesus never called a group to salvation. He called individuals, one by one, face to face. Every single encounter in the New Testament is between Jesus and an individual. Paul says each of us will stand all alone before Him on the day of judgment (2 Cor. 5:10). So, if we will stand alone then, why be afraid to get all alone now? Faith is the only thing that will get you beyond yourself.

The immense pain Adam felt when he was severed from God in the Garden of Eden is part and parcel of us today. People are insistent of the necessity of a “church” because they are ignorant to the driving force of their own Adam-nature.  They seek others to satisfy feelings of loneliness and identity. It’ll never happen. Neither church nor marriage can heal the enormous wound our separation for God.  When a man is willing to stand all alone before the living Jesus, His Presence cures this incurable wound. You finally realize “I am Yours”. A man is freed from the bondage of seeking the passing comfort of people.

Elizabeth worked several jobs over the last two years to get back here to Brazil to help these prisoners. She shares a beautiful reality of how despite being alone in the soil, a tree can grow even behind bars.

The truth is if you are willing to be all alone…before God… you will never be alone. The moment you turn to Jesus, you pop up on the Father’s radar. You DO matter…. to the Father. You matter so much He sent Jesus to DO something you need done for you because you could never do it yourself. Jesus substituted Himself so that you could be released out of the dungeon of self-obsession; SIN.

“…Awake sleeper, arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you” (Ephesians 5:14).

Imagine a courtroom situation where a depraved criminal is being sentenced to death. Suddenly a “stranger”  steps forward to claim the guilt and bear the penalty. The criminal is aghast. What depth of gratitude would you see? Of course, this could only happen in one lifetime. What about a “stranger” bearing the penalty for the crimes of 10, 50, 100 or a thousand or a million vicious criminals; for a time period over 50, a 100 or a thousand years?  Jesus bore every ounce of our depravity.

This ‘stranger’ yearns to become your Brother, because He lives today.  For it was one drop of His sinless blood that covered the crimes of a trillion souls. One tiny drop of perfect blood satisfied the demand for pure holy Character of “the Holy of Holies”. All His righteous demand for justice and punishment is appeased in that one drop; never to be found in any other man. Jesus came to earth to give His entire gallon and a half. It’s called Atonement, Propitiation, Substitution and Redemption.

Forgiveness is not dependent on moral consistency. It was ‘manufactured’ and accomplished through the death and resurrection of Jesus “once and for all”. It is impartially reckoned to anyone who is repentant. Repentance doesn’t mean you will never sin again. It means you will never again doubt His forgiveness. Forgiveness is not contingent upon righteous thoughts or moral behavior but upon the historical event in time and space by the Son of God. Forgiveness is not called Tentativeness or Subjectivity.

Forgiveness is not like an unfaithful marriage partner who flees the spouse upon seeing unexpected evil. Forgiveness does not come and go. It is anchored as a lighthouse embedded in rock that beacons it’s light in our most severe storm.  Even if a ship fades from it’s view the light beacons all the same.

Picture the sprocket on a fast moving bicycle as the free will spinning in the vicious cycle of sin and propelling you in a wrong direction. You don’t have to slam on the brakes with a melodramatic “Mia Culpa”. The issue is not that you locked on to a wrong gear. What matters is that in every moment God is offering the freedom to switch gears, believe the cross and redirect your path. It’s not trite or lawless. It is faith.

True forgiveness is accompanied by clear facial recognition. There is a light. There is a lifting. Eternal life dawns upon the eyes. It is not the general smile men put on to appear nice. True happiness is the divine implosion of “nuclear” cleansing. Final. Resolved. It is finished. I am so forgiven it as though I have never sinned (1 Jn.3:9). It is a treasure in an earthen vessel

Some reject the absolute necessity of getting all alone. Others cannot fathom an existence apart from an identity with their “church”. Paul warns “when people measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding (2 Corinthians 10:12). Listening to others is like using a dictionary that has been doctored with false definitions. It is written to build a conspiracy of self-comfort. The tragedy is no one will stop you, not even God. It’s up to you to wake up. It’s your life. Don’t allow the things, job or people to get you caught up and miss your opportunity to become whom you can be in Christ.

My daughter Ruth at an orphanage during Christmas time.

I was a running back in High School. One time I overslept the departure of a bus for a football night-game. I was awakened by a  furious coach on the other end of a phone call. I have never since been so terrified by simply oversleeping. I was hyperventilating as I raced my car to the bus. I overslept because I had piled down two of my mom’s delicious gigantic ham sandwiches.  I played that game in a fog, got a concussion and fumbled the ball on the ten-yard line. It made us lose the game.

Oversleeping your life has far worse consequences. Yesterday I was 17 yrs. old. Today I am 65. Moments tick by so rapidly. The ‘game’ is on. The Father is not screaming at you on the other end of the line. You may sleep past the clock many times but His forgiveness and redemption wait for you to awaken just one time in faith. He is tender, patient and kind.  His yoke is easy. His burden light. He knows it is easy to oversleep in life.  From the womb to the tomb we are under the enormous pressure to prove ourselves. We are on the clock in a merciless world ruled by Satan (1 Jn.5:19/Jn.12:31/Mt.4:9 ).

The “bus is waiting for you”. Certain times arise in life that God arranges so He show you His love. Reading this right now can be this moment. Seize this opportunity.  Get out of bed. Instead of cynicism, self-pity or unbelief, respond with a different response. Don’t settle for instincts of Adam’s lazy tendencies.  Break the paradigm of human nature.

One time when I was a kid I found an old relic pistol behind a gas station. When one of my friends saw it he said: “Hey man, where did you find that?”.  Such a response made it clear that I really did find SOMETHING.  It was a setting where issues of rarity and personal discovery were the result of an obvious individual search. This is the precise context of facing who you are all alone and finding faith in Jesus.

An old pagan, named Abraham, was the first one to “find”  faith (Heb.11:8ff/Rm.4:1). Abraham was all alone. When you stand all alone before God it is up to you to find faith. Find something no one else has. Find courage. Find heart. Find love. The result is enormous blessing from God. Abraham authored the hope beyond human hope.  Faith is found in the setting of total obscurity. It sprouts in a desert; “a root out of parched ground”(Is.53:2). Abraham had to hope against everything that made sense and hope in a hope that made no sense.

Go someplace all alone where you can really think. No one else is around. It is on an open path surrounded by hills of grass and forest. It is warm. The sky is full of perfectly intermingled variations of grey and black clouds, to compose a majestic but yet sad sense of deep solitude. A subtle thunder bounces between the clouds and echoes across the distant skies. A subtle mist of rain sprinkles the air. Be alone. All alone. Fear not. He is by your side. Here’s your chance.  Talk to Jesus. Find  faith.  Let Him redeem your broken life. 

My family and I have been working for the last few months here in Brazil. So much corruption. The people are so oppressed. Next week we will go up to Rio De Janeiro for a week at Mardi Gras. Millions and millions searching to find an escape from the misery hiding within. They don’t know. They don’t understand.  It is very rewarding to work in the many prisons, city streets, orphanages, etc. Countless stories of the gospel changing people.

My daughter Sarah engaging a little orphan in a “Favela” during a Christmas time event for three hundred children. David was Santa Claus. Talk about a funny, young-faced and skinny Santa. Just looking at him was hilarious.

The other day we got a message from a gang leader in a prison we just went to. He was a bank robber who used a machine gun to rob banks. One day he killed a man who was attacking his sister. We watched God change this man from absolute hopelessness and near suicide to gratitude for beginning to understand the gospel. He said he was getting out this year. We found out he had forty years to go. Many men tell themselves this because it is unbearable.

God has given us an open door into the prisons throughout the country. It is remarkable. Of all the places we could be in the world we are sitting in a “harvest field” of lost souls. When some people find out that we also work in prisons they say “Why do you help them? They get what they deserve”. Obviously, these people do not understand forgiveness.

Often it is necessary to drive 3-4 hours into the country to reach the more remote prisons. Many gravel and dirt roads. Can you say… forgotten.

Prisons here are like a House of Horrors which renders them a daily life of relentless punishment.  Jesus says as we treat prisoners, so we treat Him (Mt.25:45/Heb.13:3). I praise the Father, that in every single prison we have ever been in, we have seen His mercy move upon men. Every single time I hear those steel gates open and close, and walk on, down the cold dark hallways, I marvel over where we are.

To read some notes about our recent ministry during Carnival in Rio De Janeiro, click here.

We are just an ordinary family of eight. We gladly live in obscurity to take the gospel to those who would otherwise never hear. We have no group or organization that support us.  To get here, we worked many jobs in the states.  Our savings will only last so long. So obviously any support would allow us to go longer, farther and help others more.

Paypal account is: [email protected]

I only share this in a hope that someone might read this, who has the means and cares about others.

We are all alone with Him, to reach those, who are all alone without Him.

May you open your heart to His love for you.

This is a small group of guys in a local prison we’ve been able to have ongoing contact with who are getting released soon.

Foot Note Explaining our Nature of Sin:

The Father was devastated by the tragedy in the Garden of Eden. He gave man a free will and man chose evil, over God.  Adam forever defiled our human nature with the insanity of sin and inexplicable rebellion. It’s you, who doesn’t understand how wicked you are, not God. You think you’re a pretty good person because you’ve seen yourself do some “good works” and, well…”Look at that God. Pretty impressive, hey?”. No. Not at all. God sees the pride and denial of what He has revealed about you and all mankind; “There is not one who is good… all have become corrupt” (Rm.3:10/Is.59: 2ff ).

I’d like to ask anyone who has a problem with this “Why?”. Why in the world, would you have a problem admitting how wicked you are? It stares you in the face. Truth can be easy. It’s so productive. It’s so comforting. It’s so freeing. Sin is the conflict of evil inside our “Adam” nature. No, it’s not schizophrenia. It’s the Biblical truth of having a sinful human nature and God offering a divine nature (Rm.7:16ff /2 Pt.1:4 ). Sin is lodged within our mind. It is the eerie sense that something evil is hiding in the room but you can’t put your finger on it. You don’t know the real you.

Satan plays men like a poker champion. Long ago, he inlaid this world with a “society”; jobs, thinking and goals easily within man’s ability to grasp and accomplish (Mt.4:8-9/Jn.12:31,14:30). So man can easily feel “I am good. I am productive” by just doing stuff. In reality, it is all utter vanity and exists for its sole purpose to subvert man from God. So the Father has to break through everything you think is of value to establish an entirely new reality (Rm.12:2).

People say this is crazy and “Christians” try to soften the blow of being a ‘sinner’ in a world that fully belongs to Satan (1 Jn.5:19).  They become victims of fat-cat preachers who have no clue to reality. I am not saying this out of ‘attitude’. I heard and saw, first hand, the backstage scheming while in the largest seminary in the world. ‘Blind leaders of the blind’ (Mt.15:14 ). They reduce the magnificence of the Person and work of Jesus, and His salvation, to a cheap “sinner’s prayer” because they themselves are ignorant of Satan and sin. So “Christians” remain in bondage to sin while claiming to be saved.  They live by a carnal and impotent understanding of “forgiveness”. Jesus spoke the most severely to the most religious (Matthew 23).

My son Abraham sharing with prisoners how to “escape” the inner prison of guilt and turmoil in Christ.

Look, I know this stuff is heavy, but this is the truth that will set you free. It is the principal of the Adam nature within us. It will get you beyond what you think is yourself (Phil.2:12).  If we truly want to see God’s greatness we must accept our depravity. My friend, because of this nature of sin, our humanity has the capability to kill a thousand people and walk away with a smile. There are thousands of examples of the atrocities throughout history that expose man’s depravity. Our sin killed the Son of God. It is everything evil under the sun. Satan doesn’t want to ‘scare the hell out of us’. He wants to exploit this hell he put within us. He wants to arouse our hidden monster, then leave us to die in it. Satan wants to make you think hopelessness is your destiny but it does not have to be.

Sin is not you and you are not it. God wants to teach you to deal with it, as though it were a mechanical problem with your car. It’s called objectivity. It’s called discernment (Heb.4:12/2 Cor.2:11ff).  I’ve talked to so many war veterans, prisoners, and victims of divorce or drugs. They have absolutely no clue what they are dealing with. Sin ‘gets away murder’ because no one identifies it as such. There is no more offensive word in the human language than the word “sinner”.

People find a strange comfort in self-pity.  They say “God could never forgive me” as if their sin gives them an exclusive identity apart from what God has already declared about all men. Jesus bore everything evil in every one of us on the cross. Paul says “I do the very things I hate” ( Rm. 7:20). Therefore man does not go to hell for the outlandishness of some sin but for unbelief in Jesus, that His death cannot cover every sin. There is no greater sin than to shun forgiveness in deference to self-pride (Jn.16:8).

This view from our porch, the city here often floods because of the extreme tropical rains.

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All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.

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© Michael Woroniecki 2019.
Teaching, TravelsSeptember 28, 2017

Having Concluded 09.23.17

We were at the University of Utah for the eclipse. Really good. In Cincinnati where we were preaching at the second largest Octoberfest in the world. Just amazing ministry. So much suffering. So many lost souls. So many people from all walks of life, young and old, coming up to us. So many stories of pain. So thankful to be there to bridge the gap with reconciliation and touch their pain with His love and hope.

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At the Detroit Lions football game, and often in many places, sharing the gospel is just very tough grunt work of standing for hours and sharing with sometimes only a few. Sex, drugs and rock n roll can’t heal the soul. They can’t patch the wounds or fears. No eternal substance. No invisible Messiah. They offer no Father’s hand to hold. No shoulder upon which to lean. All this sounds so obvious but why then do millions from around the country and world flock to a beer festival? No matter how much they drink, no answers are found in this “holy” beverage. Of course, it does cause worse problems. Abraham and Ruth also had an amazing witness in Dayton, Ohio which is the opioid capital of the U.S.

 

Elizabeth Woroniecki

 

Paul says “For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this that One died for all therefore, all diedso that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him…”(2 Cor. 5:14ff). Why is this so hard to “conclude”? Pride. Stinking old smelly pride. We think we are something. The Father loves us enough to break us so we can see that we are nothing. There is not one iota of our flesh that is any different than any wicked man. Christ does not make one cell in our body “better”. But no matter how much He loves us in such ways He always leaves it up to us to choose our response.

Have you ever stopped to realize life on this earth is absolutely meaningless? Have you “concluded”, yet that you are “worthless” (Rm.3.12)? From a doctor, lawyer or president, every walk of life and accomplishment means nothing in light of eternity. The world calls many very wicked men heroes because they do some good act. In light of eternity, no matter how “good” the act, it means nothing. It’s great that people help people but it won’t get anyone to heaven. If good works could get a man to heaven, Jesus would never have had to come to earth and suffer torture. All that matters is the gospel of Jesus because this is eternal.

I have “concluded” that I am nothing. I will never be liked, popular or well known. I fully accept I will never have any friends or home or medical or financial security. Just won’t happen. I have “concluded”, none of it is worth the effort to achieve. I am weak, tired, and frail. But I can talk about Jesus, carry a sign, and walk. I am worthless; because I was born this way.

I fully understand people’s rejection and accusations. I don’t blame them one bit. I love them. I accept that I contradict everything this world says is acceptable. I have, and am, absolutely nothing in this world. I represent nothing people want, because who wants nothing? I will never have a respected “ministry” or be asked to speak somewhere. Everything I do, and everywhere I go, is up to me.

No, this is not some self-pity “Poor me”, rant. Actually, it is my greatest joy. Paul says he boasts only in the cross, and in his weakness (2Cor.12:5/Gal.6:14).  No schedule, no identity, no respect, no life… but eternal life (Jn.12:25). How God longs for a son who would be willing to learn to be led by His Spirit rather than the dictates of this world.  I could never have imagined the living Jesus. All these things, and many, many more, have brought me to “conclude” that the only thing that matters, is “that I might no longer live for myself but for Him”. The only thing I can do that matters, is to bring eternal life to someone else.

 

You’d think such a confession would be that of some very miserable and depressed dude. Quite the opposite. Having nothing, in Christ, means having everything, because He is all in all. His comfort is immeasurable. In my saddest hours, He is there. In my most lonely times, Jesus loves me. His love has met me, in countless times, and places where I have given up. Where my mind is torn, He holds me in His arms. I love the Lord because He hears my prayers. When the ego is smashed Christ is unleashed. Brokenness is such a treasure. It just makes so much sense, that this is the one thing that God does NOT despise (Psalms 51:17). I am a broken and dead man and I love Him so.

How do we find the Father’s care and love? How do we learn to love complete strangers, when we ourselves are subject, like all men, to a nature of laziness and selfishness? These two issues are the very essence of the two commandments Jesus says to sum up salvation: to love God with everything and to love your neighbor as yourself (Lk.10:27). Wow. But how? This is no little demand. Impossible, in fact.

 

 

Ya, I know, it’s so easy to grumble and complain, against the Lord, that He just doesn’t help you. Day after day, then it turns into year after year, “God, where are You. Why don’t you help me?”. I don’t mean to be insensitive, “spiritual” or to put an undo burden on anyone. Please, my friend, don’t read this like it’s just me, beating the same old drum. I’m no “expert” on these things, I just know they work. Don’t you see this is God’s love? This is not one of many.  There is only one answer to all the struggles we face in our sinful nature; loneliness, unbelief, guilt, lust, pride, regret, depression, grief, past sin, etc. One answer; the cross.You must come to realize what it means.

Jesus repeatedly says a man must die (Mt.16:24/Mk.8:34/Lk.9:23/Jn.12:25). Paul writes over and over, continually in his letters (Phil.3:10/Rm.8:17/Col.3:3/2 Tim.2:11) and a whole chapter in Romans 6 to clearly state that death to self is salvation; IF we are united with Him in death we shall know His life. This is the answer guys. This is the resolution to all your struggles and prayers. Just “reckon” all your garbage dead with Christ 2000 years ago.  God’s Solution is right in front of your nose in His Word. Don’t look away (Jn.3:14). Don’t assume you already “did it”. Start with a mustard seed of faith. You have no idea the reward that awaits you.

There is only one thing that makes it “difficult” for you. It is the degree to which pride controls you. You think you know better. You don’t. It’s not like you have to go through a physical crucifixion. Reach deep. Give in. What do you “conclude”?  It doesn’t start out with trying to prove how much you love God, but rather believing how much He loves you, that He won’t leave you stranded (1 Jn.4:10/Rm.5:8). He will meet you where you’re at. Do something different. Find a new response within your heart. Find the stillness of your individual spirit. Nobody will know. It’s between you and the God Whom you will stand alone before. To die to self is not a herculean self-work. Just the opposite.

In a sense, it is doing nothing, because this is all that a dead man can do. It is admitting the full scope of your nothingness. It is worthy of death. What does it mean to really believe this like Abraham (Rm.4)?

The lies Satan has to launch against us are far more destructive than the US arsenal of nuclear weapons, and more numerous than the books in the Library of Congress. “Day and night”. He is relentless and peppers our mind with reasons not to trust Jesus (Rev.12:10, 1Pt.5:8). This is why Paul says he takes “every” thought captive (2 Cor.10:3-5). It is not a warfare that ceases or fades. It is full of failure but also faith that Jesus says forgiveness is “70 x 7” (Mt.18:22) . At times the warfare is moment by moment until you grow into a larger scope of resolution. Just think of how you would feel if you could clearly see Satan speaking to you.

 

 

I want to walk gently and circumspectly. I know that everything matters, in regards to how I think, because it determines my future. So I must walk absolutely contrite (Micah 6:8, Ps.517). When you hunt a deer, you must use stealth. Every step you take can determine what happens. One foot breaking a branch or crackling leaves will spook the deer. Thus it is with learning to become a son and to master yourself.  The Lord will teach you to discern between soul (self), and the Spirit (Heb.4:12). Our heart is more deceitful than anything in the world (Jer.17:9). Paul says he is aware of every thought that comes into his mind because our very selves, our body of pride and mind of sin, conspire to rob and destroy us.

No matter how much you search for an answer, it always comes down to the degree you know the Father’s love for you.

How do all the particulars (atonement, mercy, forgiveness, faith, grace, understanding, etc.) of His love, wrapped up in the work of Jesus, now come to us today? Surely you already know “God is Love”, and will heartily agree with this concept. But does this practically change your life? Do you realize what an enemy you are of the cross? How do you deal with it? In lawlessness or proud self-righteousness? How about neither? Paul says our goal in life, is to “being rooted and grounded in love to be able to comprehend …the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge…” (Eph. 3:17ff). He loves you no matter what, but requires you to be broken to experience His love. Unless your pride (sin)  is broken, you will never how to die with Christ.

 

Michael-Woroniecki-2

 

Imagine if you could instantly counter Satan’s lies with truth because you were so grounded in knowing the Father’s love. If you are not rooted and grounded in love, you will never be able to build and expand upon an understanding of the Father’s love for you. Imagine being so disciplined as to have your impulses trained, not to react out of the flesh, but to respond in the Spirit.

I have no air valve that I fill with God’s love. No pill. No button. There is no way, other than to choose to initiate dying to self. This is love. Sorry, guys. No little prayer. Obedience. It is tough at times, but the joy from obedience is a fountain of life. The cross is not a matter of abstract theory. It is seen and proven in time and space. It was real. It is real. Paul proved it “I have been crucified….” (Gal.2:20) . There is just no other way to live, than to die.

 

The disciples were no brain surgeons. The concept of dying to self is as common to all men as breathing. Coaches, athletes, businessmen, politicians all talk of “dying to self”; “I’m dead to you”, “I died to that”. I have heard many football coaches talk of how they had to die to family times, in order to prepare for a game of fame (a bit warped). Rich men get rich because they know well how to deny themselves. They “deny themselves” constantly to ‘make a buck’.

Sorry. No excuses. Everybody understands death. Death is death. It’s the utter end. No more place to live. Denying yourself is denying yourself. In the blink of an eye, you can die. Stop. End. No more. Of course, if you don’t have real access to Christ, it’s pointless. Sure, you’re going to fail and rebel, but you “conclude” and resolve you don’t want to initiate a life for yourself, but for Jesus. It is faith that separates the decision of dying WITH CHRIST from the pagan dying to self to live for self.

 

 

We are preparing to go back to work in the prisons in Brazil in two months. The transition of tracts and signs from Spanish to Portuguese is no small work. But the image of those men suffering is etched in our hearts and minds, and propels us on. We are very excited. Seeing the power of God’s love is the other side of dying to self. It is the reward. The things we have seen are just beyond amazing. To actually change lives into eternal life is the greatest joy God offers. Jesus said the same (Jn.4).

People ask how we do what we do. We never ask for donations, we work for the money to do what we do. Once in a while, someone asks how they could help us if they wanted to. If anyone would like to help us, the plane tickets cost $4366.64 and our monthly lodging is $1560.00. Obviously, we have the money but, as I explained in previous times, whatever we use, takes down our savings and moves us closer to leaving the harvest field to return back to working. There are 657,680 prisoners in Brazil and God has given us an open door. So anything will help and I mean anything. There is only so much we can do depending on the means we have. Our paypal is: [email protected]

We have faced great danger in facing prison gangs, but love is so profound. Sarah did pick up a 3rd world bacteria last time we were there, from which she has been suffering quite seriously for many months. And Ruth also bears a tough time walking due to the steel rod in her leg. I too have been dealing with something weird in my head that causes vertigo and sometimes, I stop breathing in my sleep. Maybe due to a lot of brain trauma over the years.But nothing compared to the multitudes suffering from so many things, all alone.

 

 

We are so grateful that God enabled us to continue to minister effectively even while working full-time, most of the time working two or three jobs, by taking time off here and there. We were able to reach throughout Asia on an extended trip to China, Japan, South Korea and the Philippines all for the first time. We reached hundreds of thousands in Seoul’s largest gathering ever, the largest street crossing in the world in Japan and some horrible prisons in Manila and even touched Shanghai. We also reached many events here in the States, including about 5-7 million when the Cubs won the Series, events in Texas and Seattle, many universities across the country as well as the Presidential Inauguration.

 

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If we can be of help to anyone in anyway, please feel free to contact us. We also have a new music CD and a beautiful new track, if anyone would like, just ask, and we will send them to you freely. God bless any person who reads this. He loves you so much.

“Come Lord Jesus. We await. Mount your white horse.”

 

Also check out the blog of my daughter Ruth: Broken Is Beautiful

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Copyright

All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.

Social Media:

© Michael Woroniecki 2019.
UncategorizedSeptember 07, 2016

The R&F Railroad

 

Abandoned boat in stormy sea
Peter abandoned his boat while at sea (Mt.14:27). Something overrode his fear ( 1 Jn.4:18).

                                                                                       

(Greetings. Before we get started just a side note here, Music is so huge. God can use it to open our spirit to His revelation. If I might suggest to check out the new music CD we just finished writing in Logic. If it doesn’t help you let me know, I’ll send your ten dollars back. Any money helps us reach the lost  (see bottom of blog). Maybe it will help you, like it helps us. This music is fully appreciated, for how I made it, by using headphones. There are microsounds that are hard to hear without them. The new CD is available at: www.itunes.com/theancientboom )

Imagine walking down a shoreline and coming across a familiar boat that has obvious signs it has been abandoned. You call out to a little boy playing nearby and ask him if he might know what happened to the owner. The boy says “Oh, you mean Peter? He left his boat to follow the carpenter”.

You recall an earlier time  on the beach when you saw Peter engaged in an intense conversation with someone. Prior to that Peter was excited and was telling a small crowd how he had finally paid off a boat he cherished. You wonder out loud “Why would he suddenly then sacrifice his boat to follow a carpenter?”. The little boy smiles “Jesus was no ordinary carpenter”.

Many who met Jesus did similar “illogical” things in response to His touch.

He calls us not to conform to a religion or try to emulate a pious lifestyle.  He promises a “magic”called the Holy Spirit, by which He, transforms a man into a life-giving compassionate person. “I will make you a fisher of men” He promised a self-centered Peter. The living Jesus comes to men in the midst of what they like to do and  offers something far greater to do (Mt.12:6,41).

 

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I was consumed with football in college. Peter was fishing. One woman was a prostitute. Matthew was ripping people off. Paul was a self-righteous “somebody”. One soldier was tormented by guilt. A thief on a cross was at his utter end.

I have talked to many older men; coaches, business executives, car salesmen, doctors, etc. They say “I wasted my whole life on a job. If only I had it to do over”.  So common. Nothing new in this world. Just going through the motions. What you did yesterday will be similar to today and what you do today will be similar to tomorrow. The curse of mundane existence dates back to the consequences of a guy named Adam making a wicked choice. It affects all men, causing a fisherman named Peter, and his buddies, to do some crazy stuff.

Imagine yourself setting out in a boat, about two o’clock in the morning with rough seas in a gathering storm. No, you’re not drunk. Just a bit bored and fool hearty. No one else knows what’s shaking your heart and consuming your mind. You’re not really thinking about fishing. 

Suddenly, you see someone appear walking on the water towards you.  Such a man named Peter should have reacted to the sensational nature of the incident. Instead, he revealed his soul was preoccupied with one burning issue; ‘Jesus, will you command me to come to You?’.

This was no allegory or fairy tale folks. Jesus is God. He yearns to show you. People say “You shouldn’t ‘test’ God”. He says “Ask and you shall receive” (Mt.7:7). He will come to you in any way, at any time, anywhere if you desire His reality. Peter did walk on water. But he lost his focus.  Jesus lifted him up and never gave up on him. Contrary to American Christianity, Jesus offers no career or insurance policy. No American Dream, retirement plan or 401K. Not even a title. His purpose is not for you to invest in becoming a successful professional working to make this fallen world a “better place”. His purpose is beyond this world (Eph.1:3-11).

My family and I are working very hard. We are battle warriors fighting on our terms, on so many fronts, for hurting people. We are not provoked by or compelled to respond to false accusations and banter. We do not speak when we should listen or listen when we must speak. We are set with laser focus, in these last days, on communicating true repentance and forgiveness of Jesus to all.

 

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In a South American Prison

 

Somewhere in my big bald ugly head,  I know you and I could become good friends, even if you don’t agree with me, or are my most ardent enemy.

There is an adage ‘ The enemy of my enemy is my friend’. Satan is working against you, “day and night”,  behind the world around you. He uses sophisticated ways to manipulate our sin (pride) against us (Rev.12:9-12/Eph.6:12/2 Cor.2:11,10:3,11:3). 

It is amazing how quickly contentions dissipate when gaining an intelligent perspective on fighting this mutual enemy: “love covers a multitude of sin” (1 Pt.4:8).

Today, everyone talks so lightly about repentance and forgiveness. As if, by a whim or prayer, it can be snatched off a tree like an apple. As if Jesus really has nothing to do with getting “IT”. Just pray a “prayer” and get “IT”.

Imagine being given an in-depth code to a hidden multi-million dollar treasure. Everything depends on knowing the code. Would you take it lightly?  Jesus says true repentance and forgiveness is the key to have His message in your life as “GOOD news” (Lk. 24:47). Please, my friend, listen to me. You are not exempt from the influence of this culture of hypocrisy. So-called “Christians” refuse to humbly revisit their “foundation”. This, in and of itself, shows a “commitment” only to being stubborn, proud and lazy. I constantly revisit my foundation with a broken and contrite heart (Ps.51:17). It proves true repentance.

It’s not complicated. Quite the contrary. These things automatically transpire in a heart like Peter’s. If you reflect a similar response then surely there are no issues. The complexity is due to the inoculation of all “Christian” verbiage.  God gives explicit examples of how someone can search for repentance “with tears” but not find it (Heb.12:17). This is terrifying.

Paul warns of two kinds of sorrow (2 Cor.7:10). The first is typical guilt and shame. As a young Christian I would beg God for forgiveness, over and over and over, only to find that, after many years, this cycle of stagnancy never changed. True repentance results in a forgiveness that eliminates this morbid cycle and leads to real change and new life. It resolves your past, once and for all  (/Phil. 3:12-13/Gal.5:20).

 

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My son Joshua, on the street with the homeless.

 

Our sinful heart has so much junk going in and out of it, we don’t even realize how regret, over our life, sneaks in and lodges itself deep in our soul. It negatively affects all our thinking.  Out of nowhere weird thoughts and feelings can vex our mind into the sullen madness of sin. It’s like one of those zombie movies. Things you thought were long gone, and dead, come back to haunt you. It’s because you don’t know TR&F (true repentance and forgiveness). Sin was never killed. To die with Christ is repentance (Rm.6). It is the only means to comprehend the depths of supernatural forgiveness.

 

WHY STRIDE WHEN YOU CAN FREELY RIDE?

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True repentance and forgiveness (TR&F) does not involve trying to make yourself a good person. TR&F sets you on the tracks of reality.  So many people think that walking down the tracks means they are on the train of salvation. They simply refuse to look into paying the price  to board The Train (Lk.14:26). They are content to think they can get “there” in their own way; “No thanks. I’m fine”.

The pride hidden behind self-pity is the most successful weapon in the arsenal of Satan. Most people think of self-pity as an innocent comfort zone. Satan fills your mind with an array of lies; ‘God can never forgive me. I know what I did is terrible and what I’ve had to go through is terrible. God does not love me. I deserve to pout. I’m on my own’. As if such thinking gives you a solid negotiating position to manipulate truth. Secret rebellion is as vile as any outward acts of Hitler. It is absolute defiance to faith in what He has revealed. Until you learn to deal with sin, as the evil that it is, it will continue to thwart you from TR&F. God deals with every person on earth in justice and righteousness.

Here’s a fact you probably won’t believe. 20 veterans a day commit suicide. Ever think about them? Never. Why? Everything is about you. Yet they represent everything you are dealing with. How?  I have met veterans who escaped death only to “be killed” in a battle with their mind. They could not withstand the onslaught of guilt, self-pity  and depression over what they did. All their life they feel isolated and alone which breeds self-pity. Repentance is an insult to them and forgiveness is shrugged off as too simplistic a solution. The same is true for everyone dealing with battle scars from the world; divorce, drug addiction, sexual perversion, parental scorn, etc.

 

Self-pity

 

Sin is the greatest “mystery” in the world (2 Thes.2:7). It has as many masks as there are people on the earth. No one can understand it. No one even talks about it. No one, but One, can conquer it.  I know this will sound extreme but the Scriptures reveal the root of all sin is our inborn hatred for God. I know you may not realize how everything we do, whether little or big, is an outcome of this motive. Jesus explains “there is no excuse for sin….they (all men) hate Me without reason” (Jn.15:25). We hate God for using His Law to expose us as utterly wicked.

The reason God does not act the way we want is because He is not the God we want. We want ourselves as god. However, He is the God He is; “I AM”. We are the ones who have fallen and must come to know and surrender to His revelation. The things we don’t understand are not an indictment against God but against our own stupidity and resistance to facing the magnitude of evil in us against Him.

When a man commits a crime legal experts search for a motive. Sin has no motive. It is illogical impulse provoked by unreasonable choices. It is the consequence of a THING within us. It is mindless rebellion. The never ending questions behind every sin are “Why or how could I?. It makes no sense.”

Sin is the most puzzling, vexing, avoided and offensive word in the human language.

My friend, listen to me, this can be a pivot point in your life here and now.  If you will expend the heart to understand these things you will repent and find true forgiveness. It is not a one-time act, but a lifetime of wonderful relationship. It is time to shake yourself out of the lethargic conformity to procrastination. Your life is flashing by like a bullet train. You can be different. You can change the world. I’m serious. It’s time to be intelligent, sincere of heart and utilize your will to believe God as a real solution to your personal dilemma. 

There are 7 billion victims of sin strewn across the battlegrounds of this world. Every place you look is overflowing with immense pain, prescription drugs, greed, insanity, and suffering. Do you really think this is the will of our loving Father? 

Jesus accomplished the phenomenal victory of rising from the dead  so we do not have to be subject to the garbage of this wicked world.

 

My son Abraham inside one of the worst prisons in the world.
My son Abraham inside one of the worst prisons in the world.

 

The “churches” today are a joke. They offer “lip service” of truth but live a lie (Mk.7:6/Mt.23). Their definition of “power” is sermon-hype. Jesus says the fruit of a tree shows it’s integrity (Mt.7:21). Ignorance of the Word result in sermons that replace the Holy Scriptures (Jesus says it is the “leaven”). Jokes and anecdotes are the “ear-tickling” ploy of wolves in sheep’s clothing. As a result, the “disciples” are as plastic and clueless as a bimbo media correspondent. This is not a bitter attitude but a prophetic warning over life or death end-time deception. This is no game. Today there are countless fools “preaching” about sin and their “holiness”. They have no idea what they are talking about. 

First of all, they define sin, as does the world, by a classification system. It classifies individuals as “evil people” based on outward behavior; killers, bank robbers, drug addicts, drunks, perverts etc. In God’s eyes everyone from the Pope to the child killer is the same. Jesus was killed by something no one classifies as “sin”; self-righteousness. 

People like to classify sin by outward behavior so they can feel self-righteous;  “Oh I could never do that. I’m just not that kind of person”. This is only further proof they are “that”; self-righteous. I talk to countless “Christians” whose self-righteousness is far worse than any prisoner I’ve met; “Oh I know I’m a sinner but I’m not that bad”. At least the prisoners admit the prison in which they are captive.  How many times have you heard on the news some local neighbor or family member of someone they “knew” say; “Oh he was not that kind of person. He could never have done that”?

 

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The Bible defines several all-encompassing definitions of sin. It is “lawlessness”, “foolishness”, “knowing what is right and not doing it”, “anything not done from faith”, “all unrighteousness”, “haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked” and “the sting of death” (1 Jn.3:4/ Pr.24:9/Jam.4:17 /Rm.14:23/1 Jn.5:17/Pr.21:4/1 Cor.15:56).  Such definitions “shut the mouths” to all self-righteousness (Rm.3:19). From the pope to every prisoner all of us are subject to a powerful evil force within us rooted in the very blood of our human nature. We are wicked to the bone. 

My wife and I come from entirely different backgrounds. She was a “nice” beauty and I was, and am, the wicked beast. Yet, in the eyes of a holy God, we are the same. Sin is not in our personality. It is in our human nature. 

LAW MIRRORS SIN

A mirror shows you what you look like.  The Law is exactly the same (Jam.1:23-25).  You may think that you are not “that bad”. In the eyes of God, aside from the 10 commandments, there are ten thousand laws He has written, that specify the precise behavior He demands for companionship (Hosea 8:12). The mirror-effect of the Law works like this: It is written “Thou shalt not lust….” – reflection – you instantly “see” that you lust. Paul says “through the law comes the knowledge of sin” (Rm.3:10,20). The mirror reflects the wickedness of your wickedness  (Rm.7:13). We don’t have a hope in hell to be good enough for God.

I am constantly trying to prove to God that I’m not as bad as He says. “I CAN do what is right. Watch me God. For just one moment of time, watch, I’m going to do good.  Here it goes. There, I helped someone. I witnessed to someone. I didn’t swear. I didn’t get angry. See. I can do right.”  If only I could extinguish this cursed voice of pride within my soul. I can’t put a spear in it. I can’t tie up in a dog house. But the good part is coming; None of this is ME. God says “sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace”  (Rm.6:14).  Now, stay with me, you got to get this! 

Paul explains “where there is no law there is no violation” (Rm.4:15). So where is this “where”? It is “where”  Y O U are? Where I am, there is no law. Moses is not my Lord. I live, not by doing what he wrote but by what Jesus “wrote” in me (Jer.31:33). Not by trying to do, or be, right by the Law, but through “the magic code” of repentance and forgiveness; in truth and grace (Jn. 1:17).

 

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From childhood, we are directed by what we should and shouldn’t do. This is the law written in our conscience (Rm.2:24). It is has been pulverized from the “nuclear fallout” of Adam’s sin. So it is by no means accurate, but still in tact to lead us to Christ. True repentance requires we yield our conscience to be “washed” so that our entire way of living “dies” and is crucified with Christ (Heb.10:22/Rm.6,8:3). A child of God is born of the Spirit and led by the Spirit, no longer the law of the conscience (Rm.8).

Paul explains that if being “right” comes by  DOING “right” then Jesus died for nothing (Gal.2:21)(Read Romans 8:1-3)

In the most basic description, the Law is letters on pages. They can do nothing for you. There is no power looking at ink. The Law is not caffeine or testosterone. There is no energy but only misery in words that tell you to do what you can’t do; be good. It does nothing. The only thing the Law does is “kill”  (2 Cor.3:3/Heb.7:19). At best it is a tutor (Gal.3:24-25).

As a result of Adam’s sin mankind plunged into ever deepening levels of evil. God created the Law to show anyone, who wanted His companionship, the purity His Character demands.  But man had fallen too far (Rm.7:5). The Law (trying to be good) can not make an evil man acceptable to a holy God.

The Law started 10,000 years ago and also demands complex rituals of animal sacrifice to obtain forgiveness. God says if you insist on trying to be right, in even one small way, you are accountable to obey all ten thousand laws (James 2:10). Have fun. The evil of our sin is only magnified in any attempt to obey the law (1 Cor.15:56).

THE OBJECTIVITY OF SIN- seeing in the puzzle.

The very first thing John said when He saw Jesus was “Behold the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn.1:29).

 

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The prophets foretold of an anticipated forgiveness that would be like “fresh spring rain” from a Messiah. He would not exact from us obedience to the Law but rather freely give to us grace, to cover all our sin, once and for all. Nothing would be required from a man (Hos. 6:3).  . The Law came through Moses…grace…was realized in Jesus (John 1:17)Paul clarifies that the O.T. requirements are now “obsolete” (Heb.8:13). There’s nothing you have to do to repent and be forgiven. The issue is not about procedure but heart and truth (Ps.51:17).

“Behold, days are coming…when I will make a new covenant…not like the old...” (Jer.31:34) “I will tread down your sin…and cast all your sins into the depth of the sea…” (Mic.7:19). “…I will cast all your sins behind My back.” (Is.38:17). “I have wiped out your sins like a thick cloud and your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you” (Is.44:22). The heart of God is to give us forgiveness. That’s it. 

So much can be learned from the initial encounter between Jesus and Peter (Lk.5:7). So check it out: God meets a dirty fisherman. Let’s see. What do you think would be their conversation? Peter said “Go away Jesus. I’m a wicked man.” (Lk.5:7). Jesus said “Repent of your sins and ask Me into your heart as your personal Savior”? Not quite. Jesus never said anything like this nonsense of today. No principles, emotional catharsis of contrived tears or promise of “prosperity”.

Jesus told a woman caught in the act of adultery “Go and sin no more” (Jn.8:3). How could He say this?

 

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Something happened in that air that no one but those two knew; TR&F (true repentance and forgiveness). Jesus touched her with His Character as He touched Peter in the in-depth place with the secret code called reality. His tone, His look, His personal love. The words of Jesus were not Law but grace. Extremely Personal.

This is why you can not separate TR&F from the Person of Jesus. He alone is the One Who imparts reality to these terms. There was far more communicated between Jesus and the individuals whom He forgave. Jesus makes every effort to “reason” with us, compelled by His longing desire for us to know His forgiveness. Peter was weighed down with guilt. As a Jew he was well aware of his failure.

I am not driven to stop sinning. I am driven to serve Jesus. I am anchored in my seat and not lured to consider any STOP.  I am in Christ. He is my Lord. In Him there is only grace. I have learned the “reasoning” of a God Whose reason is “hesed“; covenant mercy. In trying to describe TR&F Paul exhausted the human language and described forgiveness as being so emphatic it is backed by two promises of God (Heb.6:16-17 ). God “doubles-down” on what He offers.

THE TRANSACTION – Snow “reckoned” for Scarlet

 

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“Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord, though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool” (Is.1:18).

As a catholic I went to confession hundreds of times, driven by my conscience, to be and do “right”. The passing euphoria of that “forgiveness” didn’t even last until I got home. It was a passing emotional impulse. I had no idea what repentance meant. Evangelicals don’t realize it, but they think exactly the same as the Catholics they condemn.

Repentance is the intelligent transaction in which we “reason together” with the Father and hand over our life (scarlet) to Him in exchange for His forgiveness (snow).

We have no clue how to deal with sin by our own reasoning. We feel bad over and over and over.  We become addicted to feelings. But neither penance or a sinner’s prayer will lead to TR&F. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t say you’re sorry for your sin. I say it thousands and thousands of times. I so terribly fear presumption. I know my heart is wicked.

It is hard to imagine but Jesus perfectly obeyed every single written Law  (Rm.8:1-3)He is the only One Who was and is acceptable to the Father. Jesus mediated His life to the Father in a vicarious substitution for man. He provided atonement for sin. Thus the holiness of the Father was satisfied and His wrath for sin appeased.

 

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People wrongly think salvation is something in us so we have to be careful to maintain our moral integrity. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus says “I came for the sick…” (Mk.2:17). Salvation is not in us. Sin is all that is in us (Rom.7:18). Salvation is only in Jesus (Jn.14:6). Jesus provides the eternal posture of repentance for communion with His holy Father. He is constantly mediating our sanctification before the Father (Jn.14:23). He uses many things to break us into His disposition of humility. Our destiny and power are not within ourselves but in our standing in Christ (Gal.3:16). It is in the mind-set of Jesus that we oversee and overcome sin.

This mindset (the standing of “white as snow”) was depicted long ago in Joshua as a type of Christ: “Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments…and Satan stood accusing him…and the Lord said ‘Remove the filthy garments…and clothe him in festive robes…and put a clean turban on his head” (Zechariah 3).

Seeing The Puzzle

It is impossible to separate ourselves from sin but Biblical revelation says Jesus did exactly this. The Holy Spirit offers a discernment between Jesus and our sin (Heb.4:12). Have you ever seen one of those puzzles in which you try to identify certain things hidden in the design? Once you identify the objects all the distractions are no longer a problem. God does not make sin disappear as the ‘holy rollers’ claim. What He offers is the Spirit to separate and discern sin, so that we can understand victory rather than live in ignorance and defeat. Sin cannot be understood but God offers an understanding of how to deal with it.

Sin was not created. It is the aftermath of Eve’s “nuclear” defiance against God (1 Tim.2:9-15/1Pt.3:off/Eph.5:22/Col.3:18).  You were not there when Adam and Eve sinned. You had nothing to say about IT. It is like a sickness (Jer.17:9). A cold is not you. It is something you did not choose at birth. But now you do have a choice.

Paul could not have made it any clearer:  “…I am no longer the one doing IT, but SIN which dwells in me…” (Rm. 7:20).

It is Satan’s strategy is to convince you are the source of your evil. You are not. Sin is not your personality. It is human nature. It is Adam’s fault. His nature is ours. His arrogance was sin. Now you can agree with him or agree with Jesus.

RECKONING

 

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There is a specific divine ‘mechanism’ God created to regulate TR&F. It is the only trigger to release you from your feelings and thoughts. To release you from sin. The concept is called “reckoned”or “credited”(Rom.4:9). It is like the transaction behind using a credit card. It is like the slogan of the Nike company “JUST DO IT”. No drama. No tears. No guilt or penance. No requirement for moral betterment. The faith to believe God for TF&F is “reckoned” to a man as what He deems “righteous” (Rm.4:3).

For hours and days on end, you can think “I am the only one who thinks like this. How could I do that? How can I think these terribly sinful things?” You feel horrible. You must choose to believe;  “I know all this crap comes out of the sin in me, but Jesus is greater and my forgiveness has long ago been reckoned”. It is joy “unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Pt.1:8).

6 billion others think the same Adamic cycle but refuse the Jesus cycle. Even Jesus was tempted in all things (Heb.4:15). In the O.T. the concept of a “scapegoat” was that a man had to lay his hands on a goat, confess his sin, then send it into the wilderness. In the N.T. Jesus chose to be our Scapegoat. Instead of blaming something or someone else, He stands willing to accept your blame because He bore it all.

All sin was cast into the sea.  All of IT was forgiven. IT was “tread down” and is “remembered no more”. Jesus “objectified” sin ( 1 Pt.2:24). IT was put on The Lamb  and killed (2 Cor.5:21).

We have all felt the seismic tremors that shake us to the core of our identity when we yield to something evil. We think “How am I ever going to change?”.  If you think you already repented, at a subconscious level, you will really think  “I have no hope. There are no other answers. I’ve surely exhausted my number of 2nd chances”. Jesus specifically addressed there are no limits or numbers to forgiveness (Mt. 18:21).

 

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My daughter Sarah with Special Needs Children

 

The truth is you did not do what you did. Sin did. A war of conscience arises to condemn you. If your conscience has not been “washed” you will ultimately give in to it (Heb.9:14,10:22). Sin comes from hell so we feel like hell. Paul says it makes you feel “death” (Rm.6:23). It causes chaos and confusion.  It draws you further into self-pity and depression. All of it, based on a lie. YOU are not sin. It is going on in you, despite you. If repentance required piety, who determines how much? Are a hundred tears sufficient? How long of time does each sin require “sorrow”? Forgiveness is instant and eternal.

Now, of course, the issue of license is of concern. Paul asks “should we continue to sin so that grace may increase? May it never be!” (Rm.6:1). Without becoming complicated he simply explains everything comes down to true repentance. To die with Christ is a real thing. It’s that simple. Either you believe or you don’t. When the men said “Help us in our unbelief”  Jesus didn’t say “Sure. No problem”. Faith is not about quantity but authenticity (Mk.4:31). If you won’t believe just a little, then you don’t believe at all. A little true faith is faith.

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Read John 12:24

MAKING  WHITE- The finality of the death of sin

The death of sin was made sure; executed by a hammer, nails, a crown of thorns,  a wooden cross and One Man of impeccable Character at one point in time. Sin began in Adam and ended in the Lord Jesus (Rm.5).  There’s no question Jesus was killed. So there’s no question sin is dead.  A ransom transaction of His perfect blood for our sinful blood was completed.  Access to a holy God restored.

It is written “… the death that He died, He died to sin once for all” (Rm.6:10/1 Pt.3:18). New Testament forgiveness is once and for all (Mk.10:45/1 Tim.2:6/Heb9:26).

What’s done is DONE.  No sin can be added. Jesus has already died and risen.

Forgiveness is both an impersonal and personal transaction. It is impersonal in that it invoked a “ransom” of which you had nothing to say (Mk.10:45/1 Tim.2:6).  It was some thing done 2000 yrs. ago because of some thing called sin. It is Personal in that Jesus is the One Who resolved ITHe did so out of His own Personal love for you. Forgiveness cost Him every drop of blood that circulated through His body, down the cross and into the ground. About this, you have everything to say.  It is from Someone offered to someone; you. This experience, Paul describes, as “lavish” (Eph.1:7).

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The Father knew your name 2000 yrs. ago. Jesus knew He was dying for you. In the midst of His mental anguish, a vast number of faces flashed in and out of His pain-ridden body. You were one of them if you are one of them.

Predestination is not confusing. Eternity has no time line. Standing in heaven you will realize it is not predestination that is strange but the limitations on earth of days, months and years that are strange. What was shall be and this is only consistent with eternity. Paul says “The Father chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world” (Eph.1:4). The Father wrote our name in His book “from the foundation of the world” (Rev.13:8).

Sin is not A sin. Thus forgiveness is not for ONE but for ALL sin. Sin is “as scarlet”. Forgiveness is for scarlet. Jesus became scarlet on a cross so all sin, past, present and future was in His scarlet bearing nature (1 Pt.2:24). He Who knew NO SIN became sin (2 Cor. 5:21).

REPENTANCE LEADING TO FORGIVENESS

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Sin began in Adam and ended in Christ. It’s that simple. The question is whether you are ever going to truly claim TR&F. Jesus didn’t kind of die. Or kind of kill it (1 Pt.2:24). Or kind of rise again.

Sin is no longer a problem for God. If it’s a problem for you then it’s all you.  The choice to believe is all yours.   In some bizarre way men do not want to be rid of sin because then they can’t consort with their best friend any more; Self-pity. People depict their situation as so dire, either God does what they want, or it proves He doesn’t really care. In other words, men are God and “the man upstairs” is merely their divine Butler.

People talk about veterans who have died in war as having made the “supreme sacrifice”. But they did not choose to die. They were killed by chance. A man who sacrifices his life to Jesus dies a real death. It is not theoretical or poetic. The depth of resolution require to completely die is a completed sacrifice of self. Paul says “I have been crucified with Christ it is no longer I who live…” (Gal.2:20). It is a conscious and deliberate act of sacrificing his life on this earth for Christ.

My family and I die to our lives daily (1 Cor.15:31). We’ve made thousands of calculated sacrifices so others can live. Jesus replaces selfishness. It is the reason Peter left his boat. Catching men is a joy beyond any haul of fish Peter ever made. How could Jesus tell the woman “Go and sin no more“? The adulterous woman had no desire to continue in sin because the new identity in the love of Jesus was far greater than her carnal desires. Zacheus returned everything he stole and far more. He got it. Matthew got it. John got it. Get it?

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Sharing the gospel downtown.

Repentance is to prioritize your focus on Jesus despite all issues of sin (2 Chronicles 20:12). The kindness of God leads to the praise of His triumph (Rm.2:4). Sin ‘sits there’ insisting it is you, but you insist on being dead with Christ. So we do not promise to do things right from now on because it would never be enough.

Paul was not “extreme” or “radical” when he wrote “united with His death” (Rm.6:6). Death is the only way to strip sin of the power in the law (1 Cor.15:56).

“… for he who has died is freed from sin” (Rm.6:6).

If you are not going to die then you are not going to live. True repentance is true death. If you don’t die to sin then you will die from it. Partial death is no death.

Forgiveness is actually way easier than we want it to be. It is like accessing a credit card that has long been in your name, just waiting for you to personally pick up and use. It was done and ready for you long ago. Credit card fraud is when someone performs a transaction but it is not backed up by his own personal account. Ease of access does not forgo fellowship in Jesus.   

Repentance is “metanoia”; coming to your senses and simply changing your mind.  It is the heart of the prodigal son turning from himself out of the compelling love of the Father (Lk.15). Changing our thinking instantly “reckons” us and brings us into the posture of His thinking (Phil.2:5ff). We die. He lives. God “reckons” us “as white as snow”  (Rm.4:9,22).

A train operator turns a deliberate switch of a lever to alter the direction of the tracks. You must change the direction of your will to believe the forgiveness Jesus wrought is yours. You are never forgotten and always forgiven. It doesn’t depend on a prayer but on the cross.  The train then runs in a different direction. You begin to discover new places. The tracks of forgiveness have long ago been laid. There is nothing you need to do but believe like Peter. You can not change sin but you can switch tracks.

He says “…if we ‘ride’ in the Light (ride the train) as He himself is in the Light …the blood cleanses us from all sin” (1 Jn.1:6-7).

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Do you think there’s any question to massive power churning the wheels of a train? The TR&F Railroad will take you far beyond all your feeble and tentative considerations of salvation. It will set you on board forever. There are over 12 stories of faith in one chapter (Heb.11). Common ordinary people living extraordinary life. When I got on board, at my rebirth at Notre Dame, was the beginning of ongoing transformation; “from glory to glory” (2 Cor. 3:18)

I fully expected something beyond myself to take me beyond myself; into another mode of life. I am not the same person I was 40 yrs. ago…..or 10 years ago….or five months ago….or  last night. His forgiveness has never changed but my comprehension of it has. He has taken me places I could never get to by my own strength.

Old ‘friends’ try to hold me to past sin and immaturity. They say “You used to say this” or “You used to do this”.  I am constantly seeing my scarlet ways and have to choose to live in His new ways (Mt.18:23). My forgiveness does not come from men. It has come from Jesus and keeps me securely on board His revelation.

God warned Able; “sin is after you but you must master it” (Gen.4:7). Paul says “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace” (Rm.6:14).  The requirement to “master” sin is not self-purification. It is hearing God swear to you that He forgives you. A man who knows true repentance and forgiveness is a happy man ( Rm. 4). You don’t have to “get right” before you get serious with God. Simply believe Him to “reckon” you right by the only thing right in the world; His righteousness (Rm.4).

FINDING YOUR FREQUENCY

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There is no one like you. So why try to be like everyone else? Create your own story. Find your own path. Feed a fire within for the “more” God promises (Eph.3:20). Your Father will lead you to His Son but you are the only one who can begin this journey. It’s not about trying to figure out what or how to do things. Like Peter,  face Jesus and everything will fall into place. The puzzle will be solved. The code will be yours. You will be sitting on the train being taken into a destination beyond this world.

 

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Of course I know Jesus forgives me but I have much bigger problems”

How often have you realized that because you are ‘set in your ways’ no matter how you have tried to change everything remains the same?  There is no merit with God for being stubborn over a past “commitment to Christ” when in day to day life you have no clue to His Frequency. Pretense has no corresponding reality in God’s Word; except “hypocrite”.

If you define God by how, or whether, He enriches your life you contradict the revelation of the Father in the words of His Son; “If anyone wishes to come after Me he must deny himself, take up His cross daily and follow Me (Lk.9:26).

Paul says “I run in such a way as not without aim” (1 Cor.9:24).

Life is a maze of rock crevasses and dimly lit caves. Moab, Utah is full of such places. It is phenomenal.  The tight spots, narrow passages, and sharp edges can bear upon you with fearful imaginations of danger. Then suddenly, you turn a corner and behold a view so magnificent you are angered at yourself for any hesitation you had in pursuing this venture; true change of heart. TR&F solves all the struggles of life by replacing our self-serving life with His focus on love for others.

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Forgiveness cost the Father the blood of His Son. Therefore, how quickly, and full-heartedly, must we learn how to forgive ourselves, and each other (Matt.18:21ff )?

A few of us are presently preaching the gospel across the states. If you’d like to meet up contact us through our website.  Some of us are working to save up money. Before we head back to Brazil, Abraham and Ruth will take the gospel with signs and tracks, in three more languages, to Manilla, Tokyo and Seoul this November. They will spy out the land for when we are done with Brazil.

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My family working in a “high risk” gang patio in a South American Prison.

If anyone is interested I would strongly suggest you check out the prison conditions, online, in Manila. There is no zoo or pig farm I have ever seen as bad as these prisons.  We are trying to get in.

As I have previously explained we have no consistent support and rely on our own savings from working jobs. It would be great if anyone could care to help us. It will cost between five and six thousand. Traveling across the states is not free. I am not a fat-cat preacher. We don’t own a home.  Thank God.  I share this, not in a kind of begging spirit, but in joy and faith, as Paul also expressed his needs so he could reach as many as possible with Jesus (1 Cor.9). We proclaim the love of the Father to you and pray the precious Spirit of His Son upon you. Don’t forget to check out our music; search “Ancient Boom” on itunes.

Judgment is near.

Get in touch

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All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.

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© Michael Woroniecki 2019.
Teaching, TravelsMay 05, 2016

Dying To Live 5.6.16

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UPDATE

Most people stay away from God because they think He demands something they simply cannot see themselves wanting or being able to do.  I appeal to you. Look further. Come closer. Don’t be afraid. If He created you out of divine love then surely His plan for you is beyond anything you can imagine. You can’t allow all the Christian delusion that exists everywhere today to keep you from truth. The systems of men do not reflect the Person of the living Jesus.  Understanding does not come by a comprehension of Christian doctrine.

Like Peter, I too was afraid to face Jesus, one on One, because, as  Peter said “I am a sinful man” (Lk. 5:8). As if Jesus cannot relate to sin. Peter knew he could not give Jesus “a good person”. How can a wicked man go ‘toe to toe’ with a holy God?  A guy named Abraham was the “father” of faith. God chose this 100 yr. old pagan to reveal the ‘grand exploit’ He demands is not moral aptitude.

Rather God made clear through Abe, for all the world to see, that what He desires is something anyone can do (Rm.4:1).  God demands a transparent heart. Abraham said to God “I am but dust and ashes” (Gen.18:27). He felt  himself to be “as good as dead” (Rm.4:19).  He appealed to God out of the only place he knew;  “his innermost being” (Ps.51:6).  In this world of mega-pressure to conform to an image and meet worldly standards such simple reality can be either a distant and vague “someday” adventure or a simple choice that begins right now. 

Peter, like Abraham, knew that his sin had rendered him a complete failure in the eyes of a holy God. Truth was his only hope.  Unlike the standard of hypocrisy today a true relationship with God is not born out of a surface claim. It can only be truly appropriated in the collapse of self-confidence, where a man is laid bare and vulnerable, so as to come to grips with Jesus, on the cross in His, and in his,  innermost being.

Think about it. God has created trillions of people. Each person is completely unique.  So what happened between the point of His creation and the multitudes of the world all united as one in rebellion to God? Simple.  SIN. It severed all of us from God and left us ignorant and stupid to wallow in our pride groping for acceptance by others. They call it peer pressure or political correctness. Are you really willing to spend eternity in hell  for the gratification of this life?

You and I face a choice. It is the same choice trillions face in their time on earth. Don’t take this lightly. This moment will determine your eternity in heaven or in hell.

God demonstrated, through Abraham, that it is not exclusivity that causes a man to choose to believe God while others do not. It is a free individual choice to believe God while others choose not to. Abrahamic faith is not the “faith” of  modern society. It is not to ‘wish upon a star’ or Christian presumption. Abrahamic faith is born out of the deep composition of a man’s will  to surrender to the work of Jesus on the cross.  

The “cross” is not a symbolic reference to Christian sentiment from the past. It is not a cerebral but personal BREAKING with ego. It is the living revelation solely able to expose and shatter the deep-seated rebellion in all us (1 Cor.1:18). Contemplation of the multi-faceted ramifications of the cross brings one to the most important choice of one’s life; death or self-pride. Hidden beneath this monster, we call pretense, are catastrophic consequences that must be confronted. The Bible reveals that Abraham’s recognition of absolute inadequacy was a choice of self-failure and the birth place of the divine substance called faith (Rm.4/Heb.11)

I remember a time in High School when I received a D grade on a subject. To me, it was like an A+ because I was terrified of an F grade. Getting an F meant I flunked and I wouldn’t be eligible to play college football. There’s just something so demeaning about getting an F. I was thrilled that my lame efforts got me a D grade. No other letter grade is equated with a word except for  F ailure.

Our pride refuses to think of ourselves as a complete failure. However, in regards to the truth which God requires to know Him, the worst thing we can do is to pretend to be, or know something, that is based on false pretense (Jn.6:29). It means that we are living a lie. When your test comes right down to totally giving up on the subject called “ME”, at the last minute, you made some half-hearted effort to insist “I’m not “that bad”. I am not a sinful failure.

So many “Christians” of today are like D students fighting against that F. They know they fall short of God’s holy standards but sulk in the lie of self-pity, that they just can’t do what God requires. They fear the stigma of an F. They don’t want to be laid bare and exposed for what they truly are. So they strive to pretend they are something they are not.  If only they realized the beauty of an F. F stands for Failure. F is for Freedom. F is for Faith and the Father.  In truth, the “grand exploit” that God demands is to believe Him despite everything you think.

“Humble yourselves….Casting all your anxiety…upon Him because He cares for you…” (1 Pt.5:6).

 

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 THE SCARED HEART

To find the profound healing from agape love one must start by fully recognizing his complete inability and failure in everything he is, he has done and strives yet to be and do. I tell you the truth. If you can get this, it is the “formula” for ultimate fulfillment. To be laid bare and desperate before God, in your “innermost being”, is both the end and the beginning of true victory.  It is only by the Spirit of the living Jesus, in the moment of here and now, that we find Him and His redemptive purpose.  Recently, my family and I were setting up our equipment in the center of a prison courtyard in southern Brazil. It was full of some three hundred desperate men with looks on their faces like “Who do you people think you are, coming into our prison, assuming we want you here?!”.

Never, throughout my life, could I ever have imagined one day being sent by God into 3rd world prisons. There is no credential that prepares anyone for this. It is not a skill to be learned. None of my 20 years of schooling taught me how to bring compassion to hopeless men.

As I realized the hostility of the prisoners around me, my mind was frozen with thoughts of fear. What words could a nobody Polish ‘kid’ find, from the west side of Grand Rapids, Michigan, who was  arrested the night of his High School graduation, for a bar room brawl? Such a predicament exposes who you are deep inside. Fear, desperation, and inadequacy define me as a failure. I don’t care like I should. I have not the answers they so desperately need. What do you say to  cold-hearted gangs in their world of prison?

Jesus was in prison. He sat with others yet so alone.  He was consumed with excruciating injustice and physical pain. His mouth caught the taste of blood flowing down from the thorns that punctured His skull. He suffered more than any man. It was at this terrifying hour that Jesus revealed the astounding reality of what was inside His true identity.

On the cross, Jesus thought He was a complete failure. He Who knew no sin became sin. He became all our failure and knew failure like no man. Jesus cried out, for all the public to hear, an outrageous question for the Son of God to ask…

“My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” ( Mt.27:46/Mk.14:36/Lk.23:46).

“Shhhh. Jesus! Don’t you know? Unbelievers will hear Your unbelief?!”

At that moment, Jesus became the ultimate failure. He was crushed by the fear that He had ‘missed God’. What if everything He did was in vain? How could His loving Father allow Him to incur such excruciating suffering? Such were His fears. Not a shred of presumption. He was laid bare as any man.

 

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In His whisper that followed “Father into Your Hands I commit My spirit,” He let us see His heart as a Son dying, so we could live. He believed beyond His failure to His Father.  He refused to quit on faith in God. He took on sin without sinning.

To His last breath, Jesus was utterly reliant upon the Father. 

At that moment, His heart was torn in two, as Jesus bore the epitome of everything evil we despise in ourselves, and in others. It was a one time act in all of human history. Jesus became the sacrificed Lamb and the atonement that provided forgiveness for the trillions of men His Father created (2 Cor.5:21). In that horrendous moment of fear and despair, the Father had to look away. It was this very moment which left all the trillions without excuse, because Jesus provided everything God demands. He was the Mediator between sinful men and a perfect God. F is for Final salvation.

Jesus revealed that the essence of our fulfillment can only be born again out of complete failure (Rm. 4:19/Jn.3:7). 

If Jesus had not shouted those words, I would never know that fear and unbelief is part and parcel of my daily identity before the Father. His “failure” in death is the bridge for a sinner to access the Father. Paul says “I have been crucified with Christ…” (Gal.2:20). True hope can only be found in true death. Resurrection life is an uncommon divine entity. It can only thrive as death clears away the hostilities of natural ways (Jn.12:25). 

It is written “For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh” (2 Cor.4:10ff).

On THE EDGE

 

Barbed-Wire

 

Many prisoners are in their early twenties. They know and see their life as one huge failure. They face the reality of living out the rest of their lives in this one filthy prison of barbed wire walls, cement beds and eight to ten other guys in one cell. Isolated, alone and living in a body ravaged by drugs, despair and unimaginable regret. I know you can say “Oh that’s terrible”. But I ask you to try to really imagine what this must be like. It is the way to cultivate real compassion.

For 24 hours a day, one thought burns in their mind “How could I have lived the way I did? Surely, God has forsaken me”.  Every one of us is tormented by some variation of these same exact feelings.  We don’t realize that Jesus Himself felt everything inside us. This precious 33 yr. old Carpenter was there with you, and in you,  while bleeding to death 2000 yrs. ago, as a result of His own choice. He had, and has, superpowers. One of which is a personal love beyond all the wonders of the universe.  We hide things for which we could be arrested. He forgives; F is for Forgiveness. One wrong impulse or urge may destroy your life. He redeems. The cross is the historical proof and validation of a compassion for all prisoners of sin.

Who will dare access His power manifested on a cross (1 Cor.1:18) ?

A cliff jumper stands on the edge of a mountain ridge. He looks over all the danger but knows his will has brought him to this point.  Think he’s scared? You bet. But this is what he wants and what he has chosen to do. He faces death but has made his calculations. Every jump is a choice. Of course you’re afraid to take that leap of faith. But life is ticking away and death offers no second chance.

I, like you, must make an individual choice to believe God. No matter how I tried to relate to these prisoners, nothing was getting through. I was standing on the edge facing extreme hostile silence.  Have I travelled thousands of miles, spent thousands of dollars to proclaim God’s mystery only to have common thoughts hinder me on the edge? Do I risk their eternity to maintain my life? Is my goal to appear as a success, for my sake, or a failure for theirs? We have a response we say when people say “Nobody cares”. We say “You’re right. Jesus was ‘Nobody’ to the world”.

When you are a kid, you bank on your parents coming to your rescue. I’m no kid. ‘Nobody’ was coming. We’re talking about a prison, so remote and depraved, only hell has not forgotten it.   It makes the prisons in the states seem like a Holiday Inn.

Was I scared? Not really. Not as you might think.

”“The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom…Fear Him Who can cast body and soul into hell”

(Pr.1:9/Lk.12:5). I know myself. So I fear myself.

I choose to ‘leap’ beyond myself into the winds of the cross. A transparent son has no face to save or together-sounding language to espouse. I am a failure like all men and this is what they must see to “see” Jesus. They must see my scar. These are part of the trillions of souls Jesus yearns to save.

It is in this nothingness, of the cross,  that I find the freedom of new life.  I choose to believe God will open my parachute. I take the leap of faith with these men, to be as transparent and loving as I know to be. No pretense or conjured up image. Jesus says take no thought for what you will say because He will come at the last second (Lk.12:12). When we are dead, He lives.

 

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As a father, having to lead six children and a wife into such danger, I thank my Father for His fellowship in the Spirit. It is everything. If my “parachute” doesn’t open, I am doomed. 

The fear of God drives me into self-scrutiny. No place for ‘image’. Either there is a God and He will move or this is all one big sand castle awaiting collapse. Moments on the edge generate new life. Without this,  I sulk into the grief of meaningless existence. In a world of utter routine boredom, it is rare to find the passion of a love that makes your hands sweat and your blood run fast. 

Paul says “I die daily…” (1 Cor. 5:31). He came to end to find a beginning.  He had to lose before he could win. So any victory was not his. I too was at my end.  It was one of my many “Why have you forsaken me?” moments.

Then, as if on the head of a needle, everything reversed. The Holy Spirit acted. Between the time it took for my mouth to open, and the micro-seconds it took for the thoughts of my brain to reach my mouth, the Holy Spirit changed my heart from judgment to mercy. The parachute opened. The anointed love of Jesus broke through me to get to these men. Some of the trillions saw their choice.

 

Michael-Woroniecki

 

 

(SEE END OF ARTICLE FOR COMPLETION)

Shadows

Do you remember when you were a little kid alone in your house at night? It seemed as if a shadow flashed by just as you turned the other way. You feared ‘someone’ was coming to get you? This was my experience many Saturday nights. Especially when I was watching some horror movie. 

There are two kinds of fear. There is the fear shared with all men. It is the drive to be a success. The fear of death bears upon you that your time is ever so short.  The fear of God is not such. It is the accountability of your conscience that you will answer to God for your choices, or lack of them (1 Pt.1:17/2 Cor.5:10).

You can be anywhere doing anything but deep within is a shadow of fear. Ever day, every moment, you just can’t explain the depths of your anxiety. It is the shadow called death. You do not define it as such but God does (Job 3:5, 11:21-22,12:22/Ps.44:19107:14/Is.9:2,13:6/Amos 5:8). God offers freedom from all fear. David knew His Spirit; “Thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me” (Ps.23:4/1 Jn.4:18). The trillions who are dead testify to the trillions who are alive that death is forever. F is for Forever.

 

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Death is not something that is going to happen. It is something that has already happened (in Adam’s sin) and must simply be completed. It is the Grand Marshall leading the parade called life. The moment Adam and Eve sinned, we lost our immortality. Sin turned us into mere mortals heading to death.   It is not someplace “out there”. We are born into a body in which  death is a code written in our blood. God warns “the ‘wages’ of sin is death” (Rm.6:23)

It gradually kills human cells, causes wrinkles, muscular atrophy and the rapid deterioration of our brain and body. It will ultimately eat even our bones. 

Thus death is in your shadow as the greatest fear. Yet, it is completely absent in all social discourse. 

INSANITY (Ecc.9:3)

There is nothing more bizarre than man’s insane attitude towards death. If I were an alien, that landed on this planet, and found out that everyone walking around is going to die, yet never talks about it, I would ask “Why?” I would be completely bewildered.

No one runs around screaming “Death is coming upon me. It’s going to kill me. Can anyone help me?” Such people fill the buildings reserved for the mentally ill or are seen on the streets as derelicts. Such erratic behavior would be normal, if all men openly discussed the debilitating reality of our vain existence and abrupt obliteration that can happen at any moment.

Can your mind even consider that death could be one breath away?

I have visited and slowly walked through many cemeteries. I have stopped to ponder what must have been the life of the young and old whose bodies are now skeletons in the ground. I recently saw an article that explained how in Paris, they don’t know what to do with their dead because they are running out of room for them. Trillions! I have visited Convalescent Homes and spoken with people on the brink of death. They are about to die. You know it. They know it. Their entire physical state radiates it. Yet, the unspoken rule is “Don’t talk about death”.  As if it will go away when you ignore it.

150 people die  each day from heroin

7,000 die each day in the States alone

150,000 die in the world each day

You may do things, or had things done to you, that in and of themselves, did not  kill you but affected you in such a way, as to render you incapable of considering the gospel. A boxer becomes “punch drunk”.  A drug addict becomes “addicted”.  A drunk develops “wet brain”. God says a contentious woman is worse than death to a passive man (Ecc.7:26).

People talk about all things that cause death but never about death itself. They talk of guns, drugs and many dangers but never of their end.

Man’s refusal to deal with death is of such stupidity, it is like the eighth wonder of the world. People think more of how to swat a nagging fly than death. Even now as you read this, your thoughts conclude it is not relevant and are driven beyond it to the here and now of your daily life.

We may fail at many things in life but magnitude of the consequences and finality of death makes all other failures as nothing.  It is what you and I must face to escape the hell of the trillions.  

 

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THE MONSTER OF FIRE

My mother complained of pain in her stomach. So my dad made an appointment for a biopsy. No big deal. I remember at the hospital. They were wheeling her into the operating table on a gurney. She sat up as she passed by me, standing in the hallway, and did her Groucho Marx impersonation.  She was a crack up. A little while later, they rolled her out and her face was buried in sorrow. A month later, she was dead. Extinguished like a flame.

I would not hear her voice again. No more jokes. No more special moments. No more dancing together or helping her bake an apple pie. So final. Never could I have understood at that time, this was a death which was both hers and mine. Her life was an obstacle to my death. I had to die to an identity that she kept alive;  the very things that prevented me from becoming a new man. God uses the dying in our winters to bring us into the new life of His eternal Spring.

Dying turned a heavy set, jovial woman into a tiny frame of skin and bones.  Night after night she would literally cry and scream from the pain. She constantly would eat crushed ice because she said it felt like there was a monster inside eating her with fire. Then, one moment in one day, when I was gone, she was gone.  Death came to her. The monster won. Yet the “sting” was short lived because she had renounced all false religion and surrendered to the living Jesus. She blossomed on the other side of death into eternal life.

 

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 A SOUND OF DEATH

No screeching tires. No sound of a bullet.  No terrible storm.

I will always  hear the sound of a large vinyl, black bag being zipped closed. My mother’s body was methodically placed next to it, then rolled into it, by a creepy dude in a black suit.  I had greeted him at the door and pointed him to the stairs to her bedroom. To my shock, he then tossed her body over his right shoulder, like a carpet, and carried her body right passed me down the stairs and threw it into the hearse he parked in our driveway.

My mouth was open. My mind was bewildered. What just happened?  DEATH will come to you in a different way but it definitely will come. They took her to a Funeral Home to “show” a body pumped with chemicals and covered with makeup. As if to fool everyone for one last time into thinking “she” is still alive and looks like this. Nope. She’s long gone. A monster killed her.

Death has no moral code or “nice” sounding proper etiquette. Millions of young people are lured into the military, never told that death is an integral part of the job description. Death will violate your “peace of mind” and devastate your “comfort zone”. It doesn’t care whether you understand. Such talk is not “politically correct”. The trillions of the famous and the poor walked in your exact human shoes and are long forgotten so as not to comprehend their end.

My friend, I beg you to listen to me. All of this about my mother is not shared as a son blinded by his affections for a mother. This one woman changed the world because she discovered Jesus at a catholic charismatic meeting and first witnessed to me of a living Jesus. Now I go into all the world. But I recognize her no longer as my mother but as a woman whom God used to teach me a divine lesson.

I share this as though a divine lecture on life given to me by my Father to share with all my brethren.  Stop living as though you are not going to die. Start dying so you can start living eternal life. You can go beyond the death of sin into the death of Jesus. You can be united in the “death” that ends in eternal life.

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The monster of sin hides within each of us. It eats away the precious moments of our life. It burns like an unquenchable fire consuming our time and energy with fantasies and vanities. Satan lusts for our soul with an unbridled fury of hideous passion. If you think you can stop him with a song and a prayer, you have no clue. It was a death of horrendous torture on a cross bearing One Man Who actually surrendered to Satan. He ransomed His soul for ours. One word – D E C E P T I O N. “Oh I’m not afraid of death. I’m fine” are the thoughts of a fool already swallowed by the monster.

Like it or not, admit it or not, self-deception is an out-of-control fire consuming your “house”.  Pride rages from room to room fed by the excuses and alibis of lies of why you don’t have to change.  Men are gluttons for excuses. Death works in unison to hide it’s ultimate catastrophe.  Every day we see it steal away our moments of time. It makes us do and say things that destroy our lives.

We are as if in a drunken coma of the moment.  We think “I ‘m really something. I matter. RIGHT NOW, RIGHT HERE MATTERS”.  No it doesn’t. Not even one bit in light of eternity. We are obsessed with ourselves as if the lead actor in a movie called ME. We are consumed with SELF; SIN. This is why we must fail. We must die before we die. We must allow the cross to kill the monster within called EGO.

A champion is not consumed with his present moment. His  eyes are on the goal. He knows well his weaknesses and trains to defy them. A boxer  does not obsess himself with the comforts and moments of NOW or he will lose his everything (Ps. 73:4).

“How do I feel, what I am thinking, these things are mine, what am I  going to eat etc.” This, my friend, is the curse of sin. 

The truth is nobody cares. The trillions are consumed with their lives. Your death will not affect one iota of the world. Society will not skip a beat. The clock will tick the same before and after you die. How many people will even know when you die?

The only Person Who truly came back from the dead warned that death is not some “light at the end of a tunnel”. It is terrible judgement and if your name is not in The Book of Life you will be cast into the lake of fire (Heb. 9:27,10:31/Rev.20:15). Have you ever seen a huge lake of lava or burning forrest fire? Hell is real. Satan is an “angel of light” who disguises death to men who fall unconscious then come back to tell others a lie (2 Cor.11:14). Even if you do not believe in hell, do you really think non-existence will be fun? In the blink of an eye, you will fall into the power of death and be taken away from whatever you are doing on earth.

 

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ESCAPE!

Unlike all men, Jesus did not avoid talking about death. It was His life mission. But He did  something never heard before. He talked about a death with a promise (Jn.11:25,12:25). Paul, the apostle explained

“For if we have become united with him in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection; knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin; for he that hath died is justified from sin.

But if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him;… For the death that he died, he died unto sin once: but the life that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Even so reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin (everything related to self-life) , but alive unto God in Christ Jesus”  (Rm.6).

Often times, as a catholic, when I saw the statue of Jesus on the cross, it bummed me out. It seemed so distant and irrelevant. So many sermons spoke of being a “sinner” and having to “die” with Christ. Quite depressing. Like most people, I lightheartedly admitted being a sinner because I had no idea what it meant.

To be a sinner is the most offensive and detestable thing before a perfect God. The accurate reflection of our worth is not known by reflecting on our worldly accomplishments,  listening to our ego, the words of others or looking in a mirror. It is by contemplating the utter horrors of hell as the justice for the death of Jesus.

God made hell for the devil and his angels but man made himself suitable for such a place by contaminating himself with sin. Our “worth” corresponds to eternal damnation.

Jesus put Himself in our place of condemnation. He bore what we deserve.  His vicarious death offers us a retroactive redemption.

Prior to the resurrection, death was final. It was over. No further hope for mankind. However, death could not stop Jesus. It could not hold him in the earth (Acts 2:24). Jesus took over death and made it usable; redemptive. The resurrection of Jesus inaugurated a new death. It is not a physical but spiritual.

“I am the first and the last, and the Living one; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades” (Rev. 1:18).

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SUCCESS THROUGH FAILURE

You have heard “fat cat” preachers hoot and holler about “the cross”.  All you have to do is behold their exalted ego to know they are “enemies of the cross” (Phil.3:18). The cross is not a hollow, ancient symbol but a retroactive mystery of salvation  (Col. 1:27). It is “the place” where our heart surrenders to His work (Jn.14:3)

As a once-successful rabbi; Paul said “ I will boast in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (2 Cor. 11:22ff/Gal.6:14). What in the world does he mean? For merely being just two pieces of wood, a “cross”, from some 2000 years ago, gave him a power (1 Cor.1:18).

This term “the cross” is as a foreign dialect from some remote village deep in the Amazon. No one speaks of it as the  power over death. How many world leaders, scholars, actors, coaches, Wall Street bankers, executives, teachers etc. claim the cross as their formula for success? 

The A students of this world have no clue. Paul said, in light of the wisdom gained through the humiliation of the cross, everything in the world is “dung” (Phil.3:7-8). And it does require humiliation, not just humility. For a man to embrace his nothingness is complete defiance to himself.

God specifically designed the cross as the only transition point into His world. Failure is in our blood and He bore it all when He shed all of His

Every single person who follows Jesus embraces his failure as a sinner (1 Cor.1:27). It is the way of salvation. It is not to be feared. It kills our greatest enemy; pride. It kills the monster. It kills our moments of time that we think are so important. “Blessed are those who mourn…” (Mt.5:3ff). It is not that you are left with your failure but with Jesus in His plan for your failure.

 

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Embrace such a One Who designed such a thing. Embrace the truth of Jesus. By doing so you are saying to Satan that what God says to you, and about you, and what Jesus did for you, despite you, is everything to you.  Become united into the specific workings of the Father’s plan.

The “participation”  in the death and resurrection is for you today. It is the plan to turn bad things into good things  (Phil.3:10).

 

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Jesus promises “even though he dies yet shall he live” (Jn.11:25).

This, my friend, is beautiful. Our worst failure can turn into His design for victory.  When I am at my end, as to what to do or how to be, in any and every circumstance, I choose to unify my end with His.  I cry a thousand times “My God, where are You…why have you forsaken me?”  And in this unification, I am free from myself by and in Jesus to rejoice and worship my Father.

It’s not like I ever stop being a failure and start being a success. I live as a failure but believe that if while I was an enemy, I was reconciled to God “through the death of his Son”, much more, being reconciled, shall I be saved by His life (Rm.5:10).

I have nothing to hide or prove. I am a failure to God and to all He intended for the trillions He created. It has been awesome to be freed from the fear of men. I am Michael and there is no one like me. Yet this awareness does not come from looking within but from looking upon the living Messiah.  It is His love that has awakened me to be born again. I do not appeal to the Son on the basis of my ability but on the basis of His accomplishment.

“He Who dwells in the shelter of the Most High shall abide the shadow of the Almighty ….”  (Ps.91). There is a “place” in Jesus beyond the shadows of our fallen nature (Jn.14:23). Surely, how to die to yourself is a “secret” to the proud (Mt. 11:25).

Abraham did not fight to to rationalize, justify or defend himself to God, but to expose himself as “dust and ashes” (Gen.18:27). Then he rose up and believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. He “found” an individual angle to believe God while “in the flesh” (Rm.4:1ff).

Death is not an option. The question is whether you become united with the death of Jesus now, unto eternal life, or are subject to Satan when he comes at your death with his rights to your soul, to take your soul to hell.

Look in the mirror and consider God warns “from dust you were taken and unto dust you shall return” (Gen.3:19).

 

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(continued from beginning)

BREAKING THE PARADIGM

As I spoke I also listened to what words the Spirit brought as result of my repentance; “We fully understand your skepticism.  I would feel the same. The only appropriate response to each of you is to cry with you. I don’t blame you guys for not wanting to listen.  I can only tell each of you that God put us here because He loves each of you. He is here to save your life.”

As my eyes scanned their faces, back and forth, I could see that the divine contact of divine mercy was made. Jesus sent His Spirit. I was off the hook. My death released His life. The men were engaged. Nodding their heads and laughing. We even sang together. By sharing of The One we shared one on one with so many. No exaggeration to say everyone was touched by God’s love. Our hearts were broken by so many stories of such depth of failure. We did not leave this prison with feelings of elation and success but with great burden and intercession.

 

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We know why God “so loved” these men (Jn.3:16/Heb.13:3  /Mt.25:36). Redemption is not one of God’s ways. It is the essence of all of God’s ways towards fallen men.Paul says “power is perfected in weakness” (2 Cor.12:9).

A few days before, Elizabeth had contacted a man from the Gideon Society in southern Brazil. He was favorable to our work and offered us thousands of New Testaments. We were thrilled. It is something I always dreamed of having but not able to afford.

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I placed a box of brand new Bibles on the ground and offered all the men this gift. As I watched hand after hand reaching down into that box, my memory took a picture I will always have in the library of my mind.

These are the men who we were initially forbidden to visit. The head of security was relentless in his insistence that the men were too dangerous. Yet he gave us a chance and later told us we had “broken the paradigm”.  No one has ever articulated something of such meaning to us. He had seen a power which we know is Jesus. The  wind of the Spirit had blown into that place.

We did end up laying the sewers in the one prison I previously wrote about. It cost us seven hundred dollars and several of us got sick from the extreme bacteria. But to begin to eliminate this wretched smell from their daily existence was a real privilege for us. We taught other prisoners how to do it and gave them the materials.

 

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I have written much about prisons but God continuously moves on the streets, orphanages, convalescent homes, community centers and  through many other avenues. The included pictures show some of them. The needs are literally without limit.

People think that because we never talk about our needs we must have some source of finances or support. We do not. For anyone who doesn’t know us and might share in our burden to reach the world for Jesus we are not supported by any group, organization or church.  All eight of us work regular jobs and then, when we have sufficient funds, we minister out of these savings. This is very difficult and consumes time we could otherwise be spending reaching the world in Jesus.  I hate to mention the great demands we face but someone may actually be grateful because they want to help. Such was the case for some people that Paul, the apostle, came to know ( 2 Cor.8:3-4). People today tend to only give money to those from whom they can derive some instant gratification and such is not the case with us.

It is hard to imagine someone supporting us whom I may offend with the truth of the gospel. You may not like to hear these things I share but it is out of love for you. All men have the power of free will. You don’t have to be offended. You can be open.  If a true Christian has the means, I believe God’s harvest would matter and they would see this as an opportunity to help do what they may not be able to do.  God willing we will get to Nigeria where there are millions who speak English. Also Japan and South Korea. While here in Brazil we need to yet get to Bolivia and Paraguay before leaving South America. But that involves driving through the Amazon Jungle which will require an enormous effort and time. It would be awesome to be able to fly.

 

 

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Laughter is like a medicine to break down barriers and release anxiety. A head doctor asked us to present for a group of terminally and seriously ill children at his hospital. It so was beautiful to bring the love and truth of our Father to those in such tragedy. Jesus uses laughter in such a powerful way to break through the initial apprehension.

Some may wrongly think that because we know the Lord that we are “blessed” with “financial success”. These are twisted notions from the materialistic poison of American Christianity. The concept of “prosperity teaching” thrives only amidst a culture in the circles of  the affluent rich.  It doesn’t work amongst the homeless or in 3rd world countries because it is not reality but delusion (i.e. “God wants you to have a nice car, house, successful business, etc.”). 

 Anyone who truly knows the gospel and the writings of Paul, understands the opposite is true. Jesus came to the poor and Paul constantly made mention of his needs (Is.61/1 Cor.9:9). This is reality. Having finances for his ministry was a constant issue for Paul because he lived in obscurity and traveled, not by ‘being sent’ by men, but by his witness of the Holy Spirit. If we were of the system, we would have plenty of support and backing, and this would be considered “prosperity”. Be as it is, we are of the Spirit and constantly face great need because we have chosen to “Go into all the world…” regardless whether anyone supports us.  Jesus keeps His servants humble. Praise God.

 

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If anyone would like to help us, I think it is clear, from my writings, such help will be directly spent to reach people in need to hear the gospel of the living Jesus. This is not about us. It’s not about our ministry. God doesn’t care how you think about us. This is about PEOPLE. This is about CARING.  Jesus says whatever you do to the least of my brethren you do to me (Mt.25:45). I am not a fat-cat preacher building an empire of ego. God can orchestrate any means and use anybody through whom He can then convey His love. Even a wretch like me. I don’t know what else I can say.   Our only goal is to bring men the living Jesus in the Spirit of His sacrificial love. We would greatly appreciate any help.

You could send anything as a “Friend” to our  Paypal account: [email protected]

 

 

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Please feel free to contact us about anything. I will not attack you or hold you to any standard. God became a man so that a man could know God. Compassion is my guide. We’d love to help break through any obstacle you may face. Jesus offers a wisdom, healing and light you can not imagine. Not a formula, doctrine or prayer. Reality.

You are on the clock. Your time is like sand funneling through the hour glass. Horrible judgement is coming soon. Madness floods the earth. Wickedness abounds.  God is allowing Satan to move so quickly. All the filth and perversion has defiled the ancient boundaries and the  “standards’ of the “new normal” are being set by the prince of darkness for the dawning of his final surge.

My wife Rachel, sons Joshua, Abraham and David, and daughters Ruth, Elizabeth and Sarah appeal to you “Come to the living Jesus. Your death is worth His life.” The short circuit to any of your  “success” is the mere mention that you are going to die.

 

“What man is he that shall live and not see death, who shall deliver his own soul from the power of hell?”  (Ps.89:48)

 

Picture from last fall preaching on the campus of Central Michigan University.

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All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.

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© Michael Woroniecki 2019.
Teaching, TravelsFebruary 14, 2016

THE REFLECTION 02.14.16

 

michael-woroniecki-famiyTen Brazilian military police dressed in full battle-armor swat gear appeared right in front of us as though they were about to engage in a full-out battle. Four of them had machine guns. Three had double-gauged shotguns. Three had drawn pistols. One had a smoke grenade in his hand. They lifted their bullet-proof shields and, in a crouched line, proceeded down the narrow hallway leading to the courtyard.

 

A guard looked at me and said, “Follow us”. Their guns scanned both sides of the corridor. They would stop. A command was shouted and several broke off to search each cell we passed to make sure no prisoners could get behind us. One thought just kept pulsating in my mind “I can’t believe this is happening for me. They are doing all this for the Woroniecki family?!”.

(-See section titled Travel Update below for continuation -)

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Part I

(next blog Part II)

(Battle Lines)- THE REFLECTION

Do you ever tire of modern ways? Do you ever yearn for ways of olden days, maybe even ancient days?

“I kept looking until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow and the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, it’s wheels a burning fire. A river of fire was flowing and coming from before Him; thousands upon thousands were attending Him and myriads standing before Him; the court say and the books were opened…and behold One like a Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him” (Daniel 7:10:13,22).

“Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls” (Jer.6:16/Mt.11:28,7:7).

God. Who is He? What is He? Where is He? Imagine if we, as mere sinful mortals, could find a reflection of such a holy One?  The reality is God has made known, in the Scriptures, that He yearns for men to know Him, to such degree, that in His creation of us, He placed a reflection of Himself.  It is called conscience. It is not hard to figure out. It is, in a sense, “common sense”; truthful thinking about God (Lk.15:17). This thinking is at the forefront of our mind.  It contains ancient thoughts of the Ancient of Days; God is holy, loving, good, right etc. Our conscience tells us we are to reflect these ways (Rm.2:14-15). The conscience is not salvation but it’s promptings lead to the One Who is salvation.. to what…Whom God deems righteous… His Son Jesus.

The conscience guided men of old, like King David and Jeremiah, to write hundreds of Psalms, to hear God and to lead the nation of Israel. In order to fully utilize it’s capability of intelligence, creativity and imagination it requires a depth of individual thinking in humble ways of a childlike attitude. The  conscience tells you that you have individual accountability to God. It compels you to pursue and discover a divine purpose which is to reflect the image of the Son to the Father (Rm.8:29). It will help you figure how to do this.

Have you ever wondered why you want to show others that “I just want to do what is right”? The Scriptures teach just the opposite; that we all do want what is wicked (Rm.3:10ff). Yet, if you were to talk with any individual, they will insist that they want to do what is right.  This contradiction can be traced to the inner battle in each of us between sin and conscience. We may know what is right, and want to do what is right, but end up doing what is wrong (Rm.7:19-8). From every President and Pope, to every leader of every religion or organization, to every citizen of every country, all men claim a vague undefined goal to be right. No one says “I just want to be wrong“. 

Even the most hardened criminal, drug addict or murderer has the awareness that he should do what is right, even if he does what is wrong. Yet, what is “right” for some is wrong for others. So this strange battle rages at the very center of human existence. People fight over what is right. Multitudes suffer because nothing is right. Madness erupts into wars where people kill each other over what “right”. Families are devastated by divorce because husband and wife battle over what is right. The world is a reflection, not of the image of God, but of the powers of sin and Satan. Battle lines are drawn that do not mark off sections of land but “places” in our mind and heart that define the ancient paths of the image of God and the image of a selfish man.

God says that man is driven by sin to want evil while claiming to want what is right proving the reflection of His Law is written within every man  (Read Rm.2:14-15). Men are stuck in this quagmire of pride that prevents understanding and breeds confusion (Ps.5:9,116:11,140:3/ Jn.8:44/ Rm.3:13ff). What about you? Will you read this blog in presumption and remain ignorant “Oh yes, I already know all that” or humble yourself and gain the understanding and freedom offered by a loving Father (Jn.8:32)?

Are you willing to consider that you do not understand something that you may say you already understand? We are not animals or plants. You and I are created in the very image of God so as to have His moral constitution at the center of our being. We evaluate life, automatically, with reason, intelligence and memory. It is not impulse that governs our existence. We do not chirp or bark. We articulate. We use our senses and experience to evaluate our surroundings and determine what we ought to do.

All these things reflect God. All these things originated in and proceed out of our Creator. We are like Him though we reject Him (Jn.1:11). God is not some weird sci-fi entity. He became like us so we could become like Him (Jn.10:34ff/Ps.82:6). We live our life in the Shadow of God, whether we want to admit it or not. Our conscience is built to reflect the perfect image of God. So until we do this to our fullest you will always feel troubled and unfulfilled. It is sin which keeps us from doing so.

The image of God is marked out in our mind by “lines” that distinguish the boundaries of right from wrong, good from evil, compassion from indifference, truth from distortion, humility from pride, grace from license, sincerity from pretense, etc.

Frustration and anxiety stem from crossing these inner “battle lines” of the conscience to know, be and do what is right while seeing sin and selfishness in control. Our conscience demands that we walk “the ancient path” of God’s Law. But we fail. We fall. The conscience was not created to condemn or complicate our life. Quite the contrary. It was created to empower us with “The Reflection”. It is our sinful nature that creates the conflict.

The conscience serves as a “tutor” of the truth that the only way to be right is to be “reckoned” right by faith in His redemption (Rm.4:5,13,15/ Gal.2:19,21/ Phil.3:9/ 1 Cor.1:30). The conscience beckons us with a witness to faith in Jesus (Gal.3:24/Rm.10:4).  We can not do what only Jesus has done; fulfill the Law. Jesus was and is “The Perfect Reflection” of God to us. His conscience was so perfectly fulfilled that He was the “exact representation” of the Father to us. The fusion of His salvation transforms the conscience, beyond the 1st Adam,  with The Reflection of the Son (Rm.8:29/2 Cor. 4:6).

 

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Abraham is talking with a guy who is 21 and has 26 years to go. Men are weighed down with enormous grief .

YOU MAY ASK  “How can the image of God reside in us if we are sinful?”. It is not a physical thing like a heart vale or or ear drum. Every day you see your image in a mirror. This does not mean that you are in the mirror. God is not in us but His reflection is. I can clearly see my image in the reflection of a pond but I am not in the pond.  The conscience is a magnificent creation; “a science invention”. It is the reflection of God in having the composition of heart, mind and life. Conscience means “with” (con)“knowledge” (science) of God.  It is the crown of His creation. It is the center of our reasoning capability.  This knowledge is a reflection of light, not from this world. It gives us a continual sense of something beyond ourselves. The cross is meant to eliminate the prime obstacle to our reflection of Jesus (1 Cor.1:18). If we die with Him we shall reflect Him and His sacrificial love (Rm.6:6).  It is supernatural automation.

King Solomon wrote, “God has placed eternity in the heart of man” (Ecc. 3:10). Eternity? Yes. Eternity. Paul explains that His invisible attributes are clearly seen (Rm.1:20). Even if one denies God, the conscience tells him He exists. All men are liars (Ps.116:11/Rm.3:13).  When Satan seduced Adam and Eve, he appealed to the conscience because he knew he would win them if he could defile it (Gen.3:1ff). He won. Sin became alive but conscience did not die. A tainted mirror still reflects an image (1 Cor.13:12). Our accountability is great.

We all fight a war with guilt, shame and terrible failure to the dictates of conscience. Yet God has fully provided the means for victory. Peace of mind comes only to those who yield and learn how to utilize the conscience by becoming subject to the living Jesus. Satan taunts a proud man into a war between his conscience and sin he is not prepared to fight and does not know how to win.airport

This war is not with other people, who may have already trampled the lines of their conscience (2 Cor.10:12). It is with Satan who uses pride and ignorance to blur the lines so that you walk away from God’s will and into his (Isaiah 8:20/Mt.6:23/Eph.6:12). Salvation is all about position. It is about standing in Christ, not to reflect your glory but His. Will you stand in the “boundary lines” of the truth, to which the Holy Spirit bears witness to your conscience (Jn.14,16/2 Thes.2:12/18:36)? Satan knows if he can get you to ignore your conscience he will win your soul. He uses thoughts to diminish the significance of your focus and decisions. The mind regulates all “aircraft”  that lands in and leaves out of our brain (2 Cor.10:3). Whoever rules the tower runs the airport. 

 

One time, I was alone hiking in the high country of Wyoming. I crossed over a mountain range and suddenly, I lost all my bearings. For a short time I thought I was lost in the wilderness. I just couldn’t figure out my lines of travel. I begged God to remember. This deep sense of terrible fear radically changed my attitude, seeing how such a beautiful place can become so haunting when you are disorientated. I became extremely careful. Never again leaving my compass behind. In the midst of my alienation I realized how I must be riveted on things I took quite tritely; calculation and recognition of my lines of travel. The consequence of being cavalier about your conscience can send you on a path of no return.

 

God offers a top of the line moral compass. He wants to lead you into  beautiful “places”. This is His promise (Jn.10:10). However, it requires extreme caution and attention. If your daily life is haunted by a troubled conscience, the depths of anxiety can make your existence anything but beautiful. The goal of Satan is to distract your focus with confusion and win your soul to hell. If you snub this reality, you are a fool. Paul says he fought to his very last day (1Cor.9:27/2 Tim.4:7).

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There are many precise bearings on a compass. It demands the discipline of a disciple. Many have no idea how to accurately “divide” between soul and spirit (Heb. 4:12). Praise God that He did not leave us to flounder about subject to the whims of random thoughts and feelings. Conscience points you in the direction of the truth with a “witness” to the righteousness of faith in Christ. The Father has taught me, over 40 years of salvation, how to engage my conscience to reflect Jesus by the power of His Spirit in facing even the most difficult situation (2 Cor.3:18, 4:6). Jesus promises I can never get lost (Jn.10:29).

It is easy to exaggerate and lie and ultimately walk off the path and defile your conscience. No siren will sound. No alarm bell or buzzer will go off when you ignore Him.  You will not be arrested or need to go to a hospital. No lightening bolt will flash at your feet. No one will shout “Hey you! What did you just do?!” You will not start walking into walls or forget how to cook or brush your teeth. You will just blink your eyes, turn your head and lean back in your chair.  But the “silence” of another dark victory assures how loud shall be the screams of hell.

 

You have crossed a line of conscience and the ‘silence’ is deafening.

 

It happens every day in a split second. In countless places, over countless issues, all over the world, men deny their conscience and think there are no consequences. God does not grab anyone by the neck or shake anyone by the shoulders and point to your free will.

 

Look at the reflection of your life. What do men see? We were not created to reflect our SELF. The reflector on a car bumper holds no light of itself. It merely reflects the light it has received. Our conscience yearns to reflect our Creator to it’s fullest potential. Any resistance is the decision of your sinful nature. Jesus offers forgiveness, understanding and grace. But not license. When we continually resist our conscience we risk losing it.

Continual rebellion causes it’s function to become offset, confused and distorted.  Reason is replaced by instinct, impulse and rationalizations that now become the guiding “light” of a troubled soul. Jesus says if “the light that is in you” becomes darkness “how great is that darkness” (Matt.6:23). Men reflect this darkness in their face, their choices and their obsession with selfishness. Virtue and integrity are easily replaced with shallow words and phony pretense. Bitterness and anger take lodging deep in the soul and leave a man to exist in a manhole of regret. Liars are not rare. Pretenders are everywhere. So many men become adrift on an ocean of doubt.  God warns that a life without a clear conscience becomes a “shipwreck” (1 Tim.1:19). The ocean is full of sunken wrecks.

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“Do not move THE ANCIENT BOUNDARY…” (Pr.22:28,23:10).

 

Have you ever run trails or gone hunting in the backwoods and seen a sign that reads PRIVATE PROPERTY-NO TRESPASSING? If you cross the boundary line, you risk being arrested, or worse yet, being shot by some redneck itching to fire his gun to protect his property. I have seen many trampled fences where there no longer remains a clear, defined, boundary line. It gives men a giddy sense that they can cross the line with no consequences.

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Have you ever pondered a beautiful reflection of trees or a sky in a still clear lake? Such are the clear lines of what is right in the life of a believer. The voice of conscience is clear. Each line has an edge. You know what you should do. God has given each of us a free will with which we can blur the line and cloud the air with double-mindedness and selfishness. The person we reflect to others is not Christ but our own confused self. These ways trespass the line and lead you into enemy territory called rebellion.  You can become disoriented in finding the road of Jesus back to the Father. You become lost in the wilderness of the world. Indecision and unbelief blur your lines of travel. Paul says his “proud confidence is this: the witness of my conscience” (2 Cor.1:12).  You CAN do what you want but the consequences of confusion will follow.

 

Before Paul met Jesus, he obeyed his conscience and actually fulfilled the standard of the Law (Phil.3:6). Then, he realized he could not separate himself from the pride of his own self-righteousness. He fell under the death of the cross to obtain the saving righteousness “reckoned” by faith (Phil.3:7ff/Rm.4/Gal.2:20). His conscience was cleansed by the blood of Jesus and redeemed to live in spirit and truth by the Spirit of Truth (Rm. 8:1-3 /Heb.9:14). Two men can take a basket of food to the poor. Outwardly the act seems the same. One man can’t stop thinking “I am helping the poor”. The other man thinks “What is your name, my friend?”. The boundary of God’s love is marked by a line with a clear edge separating it from self-love. If a person talked to someone else about their needs a quarter of the amount that they talked about themselves this person would begin to learn both death to self and the love of God.

elizabeth-woroniecki

Lost men could care less about empty doctrines of Christ. They’ve heard them a hundred times. They need to see and hear the reality of Jesus. Today we see a “Christianization” of the conscience. These “Christians” use Biblical terms with no reality. They pretend to be saved but are lost so they wrongly label the conscience as the Holy Spirit and their own failures as “the old man”. They ignorantly use the terms of grace, faith, the blood and love, but don’t know how to, or even if they want to, apply them to their own life. They wander in a wilderness without a compass.  Satan exploits this confusion born out of presumption (1 Cor.14:33). The Spirit explicitly says that in the last days men will be vulnerable to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons and by means of the hypocrisy of these lies become seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron (1 Tim.4:2). 

A defiled conscience is not seen by someone drinking blood or killing babies. A man smiles. He shakes a hand and asks “How are you?”. He appears ‘nice’. But inside, where no one can see but God alone, he knows that he is not right. And it is the distance between that outward image and his inward conscience where delusion exists. This is the curse and vexing of God that automatically happens to anyone who makes light of the truth in the conscience (2 Thess.2:10).

The trespass shows itself in a fallen countenance and a misappropriation of, and disproportionate responses in, behavior. It is like what the reaction of the trespasser would be at the precise moment that the owner of the property caught him on his land. What should be a “normal” reaction to something, becomes a troubled wrong reaction. Emotional subterfuge becomes the norm. Common sense becomes “hidden”, because reason has now become unclear. You can read of these things, one after another, with the consequences in Matthew 23. (When I look at the picture below I instantly remember it’s stench. It was that terrible.)

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“To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled” (Titus 1:15).

A man who hardens his neck after much reproof will suddenly be broken

BEYOND REPAIR” (without remedy) (Pr.29:1).

 

GOING BACK FOR A FUTURE.

 

Of all things Paul could have written as the culmination and proof, of God’s covenant with Abraham and Moses, within us, he said it is that Jesus sends His Spirit into our hearts crying “Abba! Father!” (Hebrew ‘DADDY” (Gal.3:15-4:6). A child and his daddy. The primary identity of a true believer is a child of God. If you will expend your energy to comprehend this it will change your life. Jesus gives the right (the power of righteousness by faith) to become (ongoing)  a child of God (Jn.1:12). 

Paul says we must grasp “the mystery” of this faith with a “clear conscience” (1 Tim.3:9).

The strategy of the Father was for Jesus to bring a salvation that would cleanse and “enlighten” the conscience of every man to be transformed into a child of God. He spoke directly to, and explained, that this is the enigma in all men. To do what is right is to become a child(Jn. 1:9-13).

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How long has it been since you were a child? Everyone accepts the thinking that being a child was a time left behind, in someplace you long ago lived. I spent 20 years at 919 Lake Michigan Dr. Two cherry trees in the backyard and a huge house with many rooms. It supplied many moments of simple play. I cherish and access memories of innocence, happy contentment and a pure conscience. We have aged and matured but we do not turn into aliens. (At least not most of us. Lol.) 

 

What I mean is, as human beings we possess a physical brain and an unseen mind. They work together to provide a library of all our thoughts and memories. A thought travels at 250 miles an hour. So, we can literally access the memory of our childhood conscience in an instant. The cost is time, focus and a depth of serious contemplation. Can you remember a moment when you were aware of your own absolute innocence to life? You had no option but to be who you were and trust. The conscience of a child most accurately reflects the image of the Creator. God says the identity of child is everything (Jn.1:12/Rm.8:16/1 Jn.2:2). 

 

The reward is a clarity of spirit. An absence of burden. No confusion. No complexity. Childhood was the closest time you have ever had to a pristine conscience. Satan knows the proud can never embark on such a contemplative journey to “become a child”. It’s ‘good enough’ to just try to do the right thing on your own. But the price is losing your soul. A childlike heart is more important than anything in your entire life. It offers the key to a sincere conscience, a beacon of contentment and established battle lines. A child releases the intended purpose of the conscience to reflect the joy of being His creation.

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This is not just a neat thought. It is a divine command of Jesus as the only way to escape enemy territory and enter His promised land of peace and joy. Jesus put extraordinary emphasis “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you can not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 18:1ff).

 

A childlike heart is not naivety or silliness. It reflects the attitude of Jesus. It is the absence of all cynicism. It is absolute trust. It faces every fear with resolute surrender to God. The permanent elimination of complex thought leaves Satan no ammunition (2 Cor.10:3). You establish a firm and clear EDGE to the boundary called TRUST. It insures the edge of love, truth and reality. No trespassing means NO TRESPASSING. It is not Law. It is heart desire. I would have never called my natural father “Daddy”. He was so distant it would have been weird. But this is what my children call me without a thought because we share that special intimate love of the Father that Paul speaks of in Galatians 4:6.

We cannot know or control the future. We can only live in the moments of who we know ourselves to be. This is the essence of the humility that once composed you as a natural child and is now vital to become a child of God. The life of King David is a beautiful display of a sincere conscience. Sincerity is a beautiful Greek word. It refers to a metal proven to have no impurities (alloy). It is a most undervalued word. The lines of sincerity are clearly marked in the conscience of every man. When allowed to function properly, a sincere conscience will automatically lead a person into the truth of multitudes of profound benefits found in the living Jesus.

In the Old Testament the word leb is used for conscience. It means heart. David beheaded Goliath with the vigor of a child. David was smitten in his conscience when he showed disrespect for Saul by cutting off a piece of his robe and when he proudly numbered the tribes of Israel (1 Sam.24:5,2 Sam. 24:10). He instantly repented. David showed a conscience for God like no other man except Jesus. Of Jesus Isaiah prophesied “For a child will be born  to us, a son will be given to us;” (Is.9:6). Jesus was the ultimate Child and cried “Daddy” at His hour of agony (Mk.15:34).

Our conscience resonates with the Character of a loving Father. He put this within us, to empower us to love Him with all our heart, soul, strength and mind and to love each other(Lk.10:27/Mk.12:30/Mt.22:37/Dt.6:5). “The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Tim.1:5).

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My friend, listen to me. Jesus offers a cleansing of the conscience but it requires far more than a little prayer or sorrowful emotion (Heb.9:9, 14,10:22). In fact, Paul warns that you can search for it with tears and not find it (Heb. 12:15-17). No matter where you are in life, no matter how old or how tragic; no matter how impossible your situation might seem, you must go back to your past in order to find a good future. A childlike conscience will lead you into the truth that will set you free (Jn.8:32).

 

Childlike simplicity is the key, because it provides the necessary disposition of a child in submission to a Father, which was inlaid in our composition at Creation.

 

THINKING-The Road to New

 

Long ago, you chose to train your tendencies to be who you have chosen to be and this has carried you into the life you now live each day. If you have violated your conscience, your life is one big mess. You can barely stand to be alone with yourself, let alone be still enough to converse with God. A troubled conscience results in constant stress. Anxiety raises blood pressure and causes premature aging.

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Good old fashioned “ancient path” thinking is a lost art. Modern thinking is demented. The core is self-obsession. Token words and shallow pretense is the norm in Christianity. Everything is conformity to the same image of someone striving to be right. Self-righteousness. Jesus says lose your life and you will find it (Jn.12:25). THINK. What does this really mean?  Paul says “if we die with Him, we shall also live with Him”. He is speaking of something you have never seen or can imagine (Rm.6:6ff/1 Cor.2:off). You are not meant to be who you are but who you are not (2 Cor.5:17). Jesus puts “new wine” into “new wineskins” (Mk. 2:22).  The writings of Paul overflow with a man who, beyond his enormous suffering, knew amazing joy. His articulation is nothing less than brilliant. He fully used his human capability of intelligence and creativity.

 

There is no problem Jesus cannot answer. There is no challenge He cannot empower you to overcome; even any mental or physical infirmity. The “secret” is childlike humility (Mt.11:25/1 Pt.1:18).  Thinking that you are different does not make you different. Different thinking makes you different.  Jesus speaks through your conscience to care for others. His purpose in your life is not to “receive blessings” but to give blessings. Not to spend your whole life focused on saving yourself but to be a servant to save others. I have learned His intelligence which is to learn to approach men at their feet, as He did, not at their face (Mt.20:28/Jn.13:1ff).

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Pride tells you that you deserve things. Jesus demonstrated The Reflection of His Father’s love comes from becoming nothing and “success” is humiliation (Phil.2:7). The image within us speaks loud and clear that all His lines mark out the image of a Servant of sacrificial love. The “lines” in His face caused men to look away (Is.53). To meet a person at their feet is to instantly find access to their heart and mind. Nothing is the key to Someone who offers everything. Jesus washed the feet of His disciples and captured their conscience, not by a summons to Law, but to a Friend Who sticks closer than a brother. The Reflection of love turns things inside out, upside down and recreates a man with a conscience to serve the Father with all the heart, soul, strength and mind. God came as the Servant. To reflect His image is to be a servant to the world. You will never distinguish the operation of your conscience if you are lost in the wilderness of your sinful nature. Never.

 

Jesus came so the poor, the homeless, the prisoners could find His land marks of “milk and honey” (Is.61/Ex.3:8/Lev.20:24/Num.13:27,14:8/Heb.4:8ff). This destiny can be yours, my friend.

“The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me” (Ps.16:6).

 

The humility of the Son is indispensable. It is the only seat from which to properly operate and discharge the “Megaplex” called YOU. A new you is not destined to be a small mini-mart but like a battleship, General Motors, an airport or military complex. At any given moment, you are processing hundreds of simultaneous decisions without any calculated considerations. Electrical impulses that skip across trillions of atoms and cells transmit instantaneous reactions, sent from your brain throughout your body, causing you to move in a set direction.

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King David reflected the messianic heart of Christ (1 Sam.16-17). His exuberance for God reflected the freedom of a child so in love with God his transparency was astounding. He defied conformity to the fear in the army of Israel as he carried Goliath’s head to Saul.  As much as I may quiver over the many challenges I face, as a weak man, I am constantly exhilarated by the courage that comes only from a clear conscience before God.

The only reason I can walk into a courtyard of 300 hardened criminals and face their hostility with love is because it is so far beyond me. I am like a stilled a child resting in his mother’s arms (Ps.131:1). I am completely at His mercy. If it was not something far beyond me I could never do it. If it was something within my grasp the enormous fear would ultimately crush me. As with David, courage comes from a heart for God. It requires the “work” to hammer out the potential of His image within me (Jn.6:29/1 Cor.15:10). It is my burning desire to give lost, suffering men the reflection of the Son. David says “Why are you in despair, oh my soul (the sinful nature)?…I will not fear 10,000…I am fearfully and wonderfully made (so as to find within my God implanted potential a response to all things” (Ps.42:5,139:14/3:6). 

 

 I love the word “realignment” because I get “off” quite easily. The Spirit finds no problem, as He aligns my life to it’s fullest.  Like a river that flows down from a mountain, the channels of reason, logic, emotion, patience, etc. stream in perfect symmetry by simple trust. To use a computer term, a clear conscience provides “live streaming”.

When we follow the lines of what is right, good, and noble, the God of all peace rules our body (Phil. 4:6-9).

 Our brain is full of microscopic electrons, protons and neurons that fire constantly to operate the matrix of motives, memories, experiences, and desires. It automatically translates colors, body reactions, smells, what we touch, taste buds, etc.

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All these things develop “personality traits”. For every conflict you face, this highly capable system is waiting to launch your thoughts with the overwhelming response of resolution. Ever see one of those medical charts of your anatomical composition? Wow. The combined blood vessels in your brain, called axons, are 100,000 miles long. They could circle the globe four times.

 

All this constitutes YOU. The greatest “super-computer” in the world can only do 2% of your brain capacity. There is no cord to plug in or button to push. No yearly maintenance required. The Father created us with these phenomenal capabilities to transit on our expressions with His glory. There is no greater joy than to express the privilege of reflecting His love and humor to the world.

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The creativity and childlike imagination, suppressed in our conscience,  has the capacity to render us answers to things we never before considered. How will you know, if you do not try? Such thinking is a gift waiting to be opened. Men never consider that God offers something unique and different. They think everybody and everything is the same. If you are different they will quickly accuse you of exclusivity “So, you think you are different?”. Absolutely. They find no answers because they give up before they even search. We were created to be utterly dependent upon God not men. Independence from God is dependence on sin.

 

Satan uses fear to drive men to trample the lines of courage. To surrender the edge and blur the line called love with lazy tolerance; to trespass the lines of patience, maturity and wisdom and enter the land of apathy, indifference and natural thinking. We must weigh out and determine the value we place on the propositions of sin leading to hell or on the dictates of our conscience leading to Christ. The fear of God is a boundary line intended to lead men into His “ancient boundaries” (Pr.9:10/Lk.12:5). The edge of a line is of high value because it establishes a clear contrast between delusion and reality. When a person justifies and rationalizes his ignorance to the conscience, he blurs the lines. He who loses the EDGE shall not know when he wanders into the place where he is lost and in danger of hell fire. The terrible reality is that such a man chooses to reflect the power of sin to God and thus exalt Satan on earth. 

 

TRAVEL UPDATE

For those who don’t know, but might care, my family and I are preaching the living Jesus in southern Brazil. The Lord has wonderfully opened many doors of opportunity to use a concert we created to get into places we otherwise would not be invited in to “perform” (preach Jesus). It is actually remarkable.

 

In the prison described at the beginning, the guards led us into a patio of some 300 prisoners. I touched each man with no words in Portuguese but many with my eyes, heart and handshake.  The head security major explained that at a prior time, a few prisoners had dismembered someone and threw the head into the courtyard. Hence the reason he had originally forbid us to enter this place, but we convinced him to give us a chance. Thus the reason for the heavily-armed guards.
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They instantly took positions with their weapons aimed directly at the men. The tension and intimidation were obvious. Childlike trust was our position. We immediately went into the crowd passing out the 300 bags of popcorn that the girls had made the night before (one of the only things we can get in mass quantity that costs basically nothing but time and blesses the guys a lot).  As Joshua told his “hilarious” jokes and Abraham did his “Charlie Chaplin” card tricks, the men slowly realized that we were not there as members of some “evangelical” do-gooders or social group. Just a crazy family with a noble plan.

As we began, the courtyard slowly filled with laughter, tears and most of all the beautiful response to the Word of the living Jesus. Sarah wrote a poem/play about the prodigal son that is very powerful. No one would imagine how Ruth, despite a steel rod and 4 screws in her leg,  does an Irish step-dance (think River Dance) that always wins a rowdy applause and the hearts of so many that have been through such tragedy. David and Joshua creatively thought of how to demonstrate the power of the will, as though it were a machine, through a costume and music (picture included below). The guys ate it up. Elizabeth has this beautiful story she tells about the ground for a seed to grow. She constructed the small model of a cell surrounded with barbed wire and bars out of cardboard as the ultimate soil.

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So many stories. Marco is a man about my age put in a wheelchair from being shot in the spine. Your heart is slain by the lack of ability to do something for him. 10 years to go in this hell hole. A competitive humor lifted some men as they competed to show us their bullet holes and scars from operations. So many humble guys. So different from the states.  One tiny-framed young man, who was from a town hundreds of miles away and never had his relatives visit, asked Joshua… “Is that your mom? Can I hug her?”. When Rachel came over, she just broke, and so did he. So many guys moved to tears just wanting to be held. So abandoned and forgotten. One black guy about 6’6 just wanted to give me a hug. These Brazilians are quite different than other Latins. One guy insisted I take his “Matte cup”. This is a coffee-like drink they take very seriously down here. I could go on ad-infinitum. We share with so many people in parks, soccer games, downtown city streets and festival kind of settings. 

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The Director took Abraham and I into a dungeon-like basement where pits were full of waste and the cells were worse than any dog cage I’ve seen. We offered our manual labor to lay some much needed sewer lines and he took us up on it. We will all be working on this for a while. It made me terrible sick after the first day but I just kept thinking they have to LIVE in this. Such things as this put something in your character and integrity that will serve my perspective for life.

 

Recently, while preaching in another prison, some guys asked “Are you from the 1st world?”. Not a question you’d ever expect. We are far out in the middle of nowhere. Everyone constantly asks “Why did you go out here?” The answer is not “Because we are so concerned” or “Because God told us”. It is simply the end result of the command “Go …” and “the wind blows…” (Mt.28:19/Jn.3:8). We ended up here as a result of Go…ing by our will and being blown by the Spirit.

 

In another prison, I stepped in a puddle while trying to reach up through the bars of a prison window to put a tract in each of the outstretched hands of five guys. I looked down and realized it was full of urine and waste. This prison has no drainage system. Sewage drains down the walls forming pools in the outside courtyard. The whole prison wreaks. The smell remains in your nose even after you leave. I realize this is a disgusting image but more disgusting is that this is the real life situation for men who could be your brother or father, being subjected to this for years on end. These men sit alone in a darkness that crushes their soul.

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Tens of thousands of men are forced into cells so tiny that eight to ten guys have to sleep like pieces in a puzzle. Little water and little ventilation in 100-degree temperatures. No relief. No escape. No breath of fresh air. Incomprehensible. Prisoners of a war this world denies.

 

I seldom use the word miracle because in American culture a 30% discount at Wal-Mart is defined as a “miracle”. But we hope and believe it is God getting this meager family into so many hard-core prisons, city streets, and orphanages. There is no room for boasting or proud self-righteousness. We live by a clear edge of His love and courage. Below is Rachel sending up tracts in a milk carton to guys on the third floor.

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I do not think that anyone who is a true Christian, and who has an abundance, could read this and not want to share in reaching people at the ends of the earth with Jesus. I am hoping for one day when such a person would read this and ask “How could I send something to help?”  It’s never happened but I write this with a hope that it could.  No “entanglement” necessary.  It is awkward to write of the needs in doing such work but Paul repeatedly did the same (1 Cor.9:9/1 Tim.5:18). No man wants to be in such a difficult place but Jesus is worthy and these are the last days. We can not both work a job and preach the gospel around the world. However, my motive in writing this blog is not to get support. It is to teach and demonstrate the reality of living the gospel of Jesus Christ so someone might find true forgiveness in His blood and be rescued from eternity in hell. If you’d like to just correspond I could care less about your support. Please feel free to write and ask any questions. I do not bite.

“…not walking in craftiness or adulterating the Word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God(2 Cor.4:2).

micahel woroniecki

 

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© Michael Woroniecki 2019.
Teaching, TravelsDecember 31, 2015

Wanted 12.31.15

michael-woroniecki

 

Could there be a place, beyond the stars, where there is a real Someone waiting for you to seek His disclosure? Could you be wanted by the God of the universe? He is not ambivalent or neutral in His love for you and does not take into account all your floundering and failures (2 Cor.5:19). Jesus says the Father ‘RUNS out to meet you’(Lk.15:20). I don’t mean to be offensive, my friend, but the truth is that the way you see yourself right now is not at all the reality of your actual state. You are blinded to His love by your fear, rebellion and ignorance. Right now you have the ability to enact something so powerful it will change this moment, this day and your life.

I dare you. I challenge you. I beg you. Stop. Stop allowing Satan to play your life like a video game. Seize control. Unleash the power of your will against the unseen spirit pressuring you to look away and go on to something else. This is not from God but from a dark world within you. It is not unique to you but common in every man. I entreat you, face this anxiety head on. Stand as a brave soldier against a hostile army (Ps.3:6). The goal?  Your own stillness of heart. Absolute inner silence with one Person on your lips…spoken slowly… deliberately… J e s u s. No little accomplishment. The answers to your present dilemma so close. The vigor to live at hand (Malachi 4:2).  Impose your will.  Refuse to conform to the “personality” dictated by a job and others around you.  You are WANTED.

Be no one’s fool my friend. One life. One shot. One Spirit Who can rescue  you…from you.  Hell is not a lame possibility. Escape requires this kind of “work” (Jn.6:29). You don’t need to go anywhere to do something. You need to release what you hold so tightly… and what holds you so tightly; yourself.

 

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I write this letter to enter your home and your heart because I love you. I really do. I am not a “preacher”. My name is Michael and I am a son. I want so much to share beyond all the generic blab and “Christian” terminology. I want to talk with you, to you, in you, as a friend who cares to sit with you and help you learn how to sense the actual Presence of the living Jesus. This is all that matters. In all of life…this is all that matters. This is not a warm and fuzzy “transcendental nirvana”. This is the nitty gritty call of a blood and guts work by Someone Who bore the ultimate brute force. This is reality.  This is freedom, freedom from “the world” is what I write in this blog (Jn.8:32-34).

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My family and I arrived here in southern Brazil about three weeks ago. So different. So much need. So much lack of the gospel. We fully rely on the Spirit to empower us with all we so desperately need. Beyond our personal needs are those of the many we face as we “Go…” (Mk.16:15). We also hope,  somehow, to  find a reliable vehicle that is big enough to carry all 8 of us, our equipment, and many supplies, so we can effectively travel, not only throughout Brazil, but Paraguay, Bolivia etc… If anyone would care to help us it would be so great. Just drop a note and we’ll let you know how.  It is so humbling and motivating to experience the amazing mercies of the Father for the lost. Just amazing. We feel at times like the bread which He broke then gave to the multitudes.                       

 

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God is opening so many doors into prisons. We are presently at the 2nd worst in Brazil. I was thinking the other day  if you could set a prisoner free from a ten year sentence by serving one day in jail would you do so? What if you could free a thousand prisoners by one week of hard labor? You have no idea who they are or what they would do. Maybe they beat their children or could kill someone. You don’t know. Would you sacrifice your time, indeed your very blood, for the benefit of a complete stranger? Paul says maybe someone would sacrifice himself for a good man but “…while we were still sinners… Christ died for the ungodly” (Rm.5:6).

 

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It is easy to think our love is some big deal. Nothing we can ever do will match the sacrificial essence of a 33 yr. old Carpenter sent to earth by His Father. Accurate perspective breeds humility. Jesus suffered, not a month of slave labor, not a few years in prison, not a week without food. He sustained a burning, hot desert for a month without food and water.  His love actually sweat drops of blood. Jesus had no apartment.  He carried no luggage.  He was born in a barn and lived under the stars. He took care of 12 very stupid men. Most of which never understood Him.                            

Beyond this, and so much more, Jesus sacrificed the one thing that meant the most, His divine, intimate communion with His Father. On the cross, His eyes searched the heavens for His eternal Companion. He sacrificed everything He had as the very Son of God.  Jesus bore  the penalty of God’s wrath for our sin through a Roman crucifixion.

 

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Understand The Past To Change Your Future.                     

He did all this for every single stranger He never met who would ever walk this earth. The ultimate moment of victory for Jesus was shared with no one on earth. He stood up, out of the ground, alone, in His new resurrection body. He got up from the dead in a remote and obscure desert graveyard, all alone. Imagine the Hollywood depiction of the undead bursting through as the grass and ground are unearthed. Well, this One was not a monster or beast from darkness. Jesus…the Morning Star.                        

 

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All this so we could be freed from “the world”, here and now, and from being tormented in hell for eternity. …What is “the world”?In our day to day routine it is easy to gloss over the most mind-blowing reality in the universe; that all men hate God so much, we killed Him; while at the same time He loved us so much, it killed Him.

The greatest danger we face in life is not some scheme by Satan to unknowingly capture our soul. Rather, it is outcome of presumption; the erosion of the fear of God.  “I already know all this” (Jn.8:32).                     

What in the world is “The World”  and/rather/or Who In The World Is “The World”?

 

Paul says he received “something” not of this world (1 Cor.2:12). Maybe he discovered life on another planet. From where else would he have received “something” other than from someplace or someone in this world? My friend, in order to gain God’s light you must open, not just your mind, but your heart to another world. Jesus says “My kingdom is not of this world” (Jn.18:36). There is nothing of God in this world. There is nothing of this world in God’s world. The two collided in Jesus on Calvary and the Lamb was found dead.                          

 

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My friend, look beyond all the pretty songs, poetic words, and the religious guise of altruism. This world is not full of love but lies.  The heart of the world is not for peace but for self.  It was proven by what it did to ‘the Prince of Peace’. So vulnerable. So fragile. So innocent. The world is not some evil substance that fills the concrete mixture of buildings to cause high-level corruption. It is not in some TV or Hollywood image of evil.                      

The world resulted from Adam and Eve eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It scared God to the degree He had to frustrate man’s ability to communicate (Gen.11:7). This empire of sin now pulsates in you and I. We are “the world”.  We are the hostile entity against God. We are sin and sinners. Jesus says “…the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.(1 Jn.2:16). The world of sin lurks within. Yet, despite this grievous truth, the Father and the Son have provided the work in which, in the stillness of time and soul, we can discover that we are WANTED.                         

Turning Yourself In – To The Authority

Oh, may we change how we talk of God. Both in our countenance and words, may we speak slowly and not in a pride of knowledge. We did not ascertain these things apart from Him. These are not matters of currency or furniture. We speak of Someone Who dwells on a high and holy place. Do we really know what we are talking about as we are talking about it? Do we really know Whom we are talking about as we are talking about Him? How can we be experts on One we killed?                             

Was there ever one time when you were very wrong about something you felt was very right? If there was one could there be another? This can be prevented by implementing a deliberate attitude of transparency. In the morning, we boast of our knowledge of God. Then later, in the same day, we resent Him for not doing what we think He should. When in fact He was just trying to teach and implant into us the humble attitude He Himself has (Phil.2:4ff). Our only hope is mortification. It produces the one thing God will not despise about us; “a broken and contrite heart” (Ps.51:19). Our only hope to “see” the Most High is to view Him from the lowest point we can put ourselves. Humility and a broken heart leave no trace of presumption. Without this disposition, the gift of sonship remains an abstract doctrine.                           

The obstacles of sin are not merely demonstrated in evil physical acts performed in society. The most hideous is seen in the meticulous nature of our own fascination with ourselves. It is self-deification. Pride is like an apparel for our ego. We are intrigued by our obsession with our world. We alone determine a destiny; sin. We can do what we want, when we want, how we want because we want; sin. Not one person can or will stop you. Free will is a Ft. Knox. Satan has fashioned sin with evil expertise to thoroughly corrupt the soul of man. He whispers the evil thoughts of a billion men from a thousand generations. He knows they work because he has seen them work. Evil works. In fact, it works way better than good because man is adept at evil.  Lies and proud images fall instantly into place as if pieces into an age-old puzzle.  A tiny smirk in one man reflects the unity and conformity with the worldwide conspiracy to defy God and do things your own way. Way to go Adam. Way to go MAN.

 

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The ambiguity of sin is not an accident but an ingenious design. Thus, it leaves no excuse. So let me be clear in stating that behind such theological words as sin, ego, the soul and pride is any laymen’s understandable term of selfishness. Downright insensitive to anyone else’s needs but your own. Despite the caring-image-crap, you love yourself. Your life is a disaster because you are obsessed with yourself.                        

As unique as you think yourself to be, there are millions who share in the exact same struggles and deception.  We all share the exact same body of sin and thus are all tied together as “the world”.                             

Immediately after Adam sinned God asked him (man);     

“Where are you?”.

Man was out of place. Out of the place of absolute submission and obedience. This obviously was not a question of physical place because God knew Adam’s location. Adam had conspired with Satan to “relocate” himself into a world of his own; justified thoughts, rationalization, self-pity, defiance; “I am my own man”. Independence.                       

10,000 years ago Adam introduced us to the thinking process from hell. When Lucifer became Satan, the ultimate ego was born and in a divine microsecond, this archangel of light became dark and found himself cast down to earth. Hell was created as his eternal home of destiny and he busily went to work to subvert man away from the Creator.                         

Adam immediately received access to the most wicked thoughts that you and I are thinking this very moment.  Satan manipulates our feelings and thoughts through the conduit of sin. We conspired with him back then and do so every time we side against faith in Jesus. He has successfully built another variation of hell within our very soul and thus, within every culture of mankind.                           

The common expression “I’m going through hell today” is actually a very accurate statement. I “go through hell” every day. This is why we are vexed by, and don’t know how to deal with, ourselves. We do not define ourselves as “the world” because it rubs our self-righteousness the wrong way. We are not like “them”. In this very thought, we are exactly “them”. We are “caught off guard” by something within us that if we refuse to recognize, we will continue to walk as “the world”.                         

Imagine a soldier who parachutes into the heart of enemy territory but doesn’t know it. He is shocked by coming into hostile places he thought would be safe. When you don’t understand that you don’t understand sin, you think you are living beyond it and it is this very thought, of pride, that shows it’s “secrecy”.  You are trying to resolve something within you that is far beyond you. It is called “the mystery of lawlessness” (2 Thess.2:7). In all his brilliance, Paul could never understand sin (Rm.7:15). Jesus says the essence of sin is “they hated Me without reason” (Jn. 15:25). We live against God, in conspiracy with all men, because insanity is the essence of sin (Ecc.9:3).                          

 

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The body in which you live is completely against you.  It is your “world”. It is the “place” out of which you try to manage your life. You have not identified it as your enemy, so you treat as your friend. The very attitudes of hell pulsate in your soul. It is inescapable. I can’t stand living with myself. I hate myself (Jn.12:25). I discern and divide between my soul and my God-given regenerate spirit in Christ (Heb.4:12). Salvation doesn’t make me jump around like a happy bunny. It sobers me to realize the immense conflict I face and teaches me how to live by faith in the finished work of Jesus.                         

You and I can not fathom what it must have been like for Adam when his blissful God-consciousness was snuffed out by the petty and nit-picky, sick self-consciousness of rebellion and self-obsession. A consequence he never expected. Jesus says Satan is the master at lying (Jn.8:44). Basically everything you think -is a lie. Everything.  A lie is not a singular notion but the end result of thousands of half-truths, exaggerations, misunderstanding, over-reactions, etc. The only way to reach beyond your world of lies is faith and action based on revelation of His Kingdom.                     

Men are terrified to be ALONE with this monster called SELF. We work in the worst prisons in this world and deal with thousands of men whose prison is even worse than the one in which they sleep. Isolation is a form of punishment and torture in prisons and war. Man does not know how to deal with himself. He can not escape his maddening thoughts and feelings. His spirit cries for a love he does not know. He cannot control his impulses because they are fueled by the supernatural powers of Satan, while he is a mere frail human. It is hell within. Literally.                         

Listen to me, my friend, it would be one thing if these things I write were common knowledge. They are not. They are “hidden” from the wise and only revealed to “the babes” (Mt.11:25). Written in the code of sin is the bizarre conspiracy of the world to defy the evil of sin and trivialize it, as though covered by a prayer or feelings of sorrow.                         

 

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You are dealing with things far beyond your capacity to resolve.  The wicked things you see within yourself are not proof of who you are, but of who Satan is. Once you come to Christ, Paul explains sin becomes an isolated entity(Rm.7:20). You have been crucified with Christ, thus, in a sense, you become a third party to what you once were.  Yet in order for this reality to be your reality you must first recognize that you are now but a maggot; worthless as a tumbleweed ( Job 25:6 ). This will bring you to the humility needed for a new creation within. A new world. God’s world. Satan tells you that you are alone with your “personality traits” and evil tendencies of sin. So you hide, rationalize and deny them. As if God doesn’t see them.                                    

We are trained from birth to go along with this narrative of the world within.They are attitudes coming into us through the pipeline of hell. Hell comes out of us because hell is within us. You must see this. You must define the monster within.  Satan has stolen our greatest gift from God, free will.  God is waiting to empower our will with the unction of His grace through true understanding of how the gospel works. We are seduced by the world into a laziness and comfort, so as not to unearth the power of our free will. So that what we define as “living” is really nothing more than acting.                           

 

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The way OUT of the world

I don’t believe “something good is going to happen to me today”. I believe something good has already happened for me every day. I don’t believe tomorrow is going to be better than today. I  believe what He already did will enable me to face tomorrow. I don’t believe I can be all that I can be. I believe I am nothing and anything I become will be produced by His Spirit. If I am nothing, He will be Whom He is in me. If I were to believe any of this “positive thinking” crap, I would fall for the grand old lies within this disgusting body of mine. I would live on the roller coaster of feelings and emotions, not on faith in the past work of Christ.                       

What I think in daily life was determined long ago. There is one past event by which everything I live each day is subject. Wacko thoughts, whether upbeat or downbeat, do not define my disposition. I believe the Word of God provides both the picture I am to paint and the paint with which to paint it. The reality and the power.  I believe in one thing and one thing only; the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Everything I experience is subject to what His work means. My faith in the past renders my present and future already complete. I am a mechanical “robot” programmed to believe Jesus.                          

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I don’t live according to my world. I live in His. This doesn’t mean I don’t exist in my world but I understand it. I live by faith, that the living Person of Jesus bore this exact body, mind, soul, feelings and thinking of mine. He took it to the cross to bear the Father’s fierce wrath. When He did so, it forever condemned the existence of my body on this earth. I can not, nor will I try to, make myself better. Any finger of effort would be to deny the entire revelation of the Word of God.  “May it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal.6:14). I was crucified in the past. I died long ago.                        

Thus, nothing I experience in this body of sin and hell determines anything today. Jesus rose up from the death of our world, in a new resurrected Spirit-body. Although I’ve never seen it or had any “heavenly visitation” where “God told me” anything, I know what I live is real because I live far greater and far beyond my body of flesh. The life I live could not possibly be out of the power of my wickedness. There is no way I could ever live the way I do, if He were not real. I would never choose humiliation over pride. Never. I could never think of the things I think of, never (1Cor.2:9).                          

I don’t have wings. I can not float. (Not even in water, LOL.) What I do is to believe beyond myself to what Jesus did 2000 years ago. My spirituality is not determined by what I do or by what happens or doesn’t happen in a day or in a situation. It was determined 40 years ago at the University of Notre Dame when I decided to believe and follow Jesus.                          

 

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My life is not determined by “my world” but by the teachings of Jesus, as He defines reality. No matter how real my thoughts and feelings may seem and what they may tell me, when I believe in the light from God’s Word, I am lifted by faith into another realm.  What He has long ago spoken instantly pushes all the buttons of reality within me.                             

The war of the worlds was fought within the human body and has already been won by Jesus. Therefore, I live as a victor, not as a victim. I choose not to whine and moan but rejoice that my name is written in the Book of Life. I triumph over, rather than succumb to, the world of hell within. When I fall,  I instantly rise because, in His world, I have never fallen (1 Jn.3:9). My sin is as the blink of an eye, because such confidence in His finished work is the greatest praise I can offer. My Father sees me under the blood of His Son.                        

THE TERM

When Jesus arrived on earth, He took the idea of  “the world”, out of it’s positive context, and redefined it in His light, as inseparable from condemnation, judgment and ultimately hell.  What had always been used as a generic term referring to the great accomplishments of men, was now exposed as the most evil hostile entity against God.       

               

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In speaking of the world as the place of all men, He says “Light has come into the world and men love darkness” (Jn.3:19) and  “The world hates Me because I testify that it’s deeds are evil” (Jn.7:7).  He is talking about us, mankind. In our world of hell, we hate God, because His light exposes us as so far from Him. We are faced with our free will to choose. Believe or pretend.                          

In the world of our sin, we feel resentment towards God for what we think we deserve. We are frustrated in our putrid, shallow existence. Jesus confronted the conscience of the world. His Supreme Authority over this world resonated, and resonates, within the conscience of our own individual world.  In Jesus, an entirely new dimension had dawned upon the world, with the truth that  “The Norm” of man’s existence (our individual existence) is absolutely abnormal to God. Everything we do, and anything we do, in this world is not only absolutely vain but wicked. There is no meaning, whatsoever, in any facet of this world. It is only to be condemned. Everything about men is essentially bizarre.                                   

The transformation of His light is our only hope of becoming “normal”. He is our only hope to find the destiny of redemption. The world of sin is in our blood, atoms and molecules. It is a smirk with no explanation. It is the vain gazing in a mirror. It is as slight as a twitch of lust.  It is the anger or jealousy right below the surface of our disguised pretense. It is in the gluttony we call overeating. It is the source and strength of every self-serving tendency. It killed Jesus 2000 years ago and resents Him in anyone in whom He lives today.                     

 

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A homely looking Carpenter walked our streets and explained how His mere presence on earth meant  “judgment is upon the world….now the ruler of the world has been judged (Jn.12:31,16:8/1 Jn.5:19).                                  

In a short three year period, Jesus designated all the realities and terms of our world as of no comparison to the One for Whom He stood. Satan immediately came out of hiding and, with all the powers of hell, manipulated the world to kill Jesus for giving us this revelation.                                    

The two worlds collided in a place where two pieces of wood made a cross. One act of One Son forever altered the accountability of all men to reject the world. “If I be lifted up…” (Jn.12:32). Jesus says their accountability is now before them. Jesus explained that the body of God upon a cross would summon all men to this inescapable accountability in their conscience. Each man’s response to His act would define their eternity.                                

 

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“If I had not come and spoken to them (about the world), they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin (to live for the world). He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘ They hated ME without A cause.” (Jn.15:18-25).                                  

I was driving up to Central Mich. University for a summer football test. I had just met Jesus, a month earlier, while at a catholic charismatic conference at the University of Notre Dame. I was contemplating the deep things of becoming a disciple. I could have never imagined back then that one day my six children, Rachel and I would be standing before thousands for Jesus.          

                  

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All that was on my mind was that I was about to see my old buddies who knew me only as “the crazy War” (A wild ‘party-down’ dude). How would they respond to my new-found decision to follow Jesus? I remember the exact moment of pulling into the parking space outside the stadium housing.                                 

I stepped outside of my dad’s car and, as I saw my buddies approach, I simultaneously realized that I had stepped into a world of complete hostility and opposition. Little did I know of what I had done, in giving my life to Jesus.“If the world hates you, you know that – It Has Hated Me – before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you (Jn.12:31,15:18ff). It wasn’t me they were hating. It was Jesus in my world.                              

There were no sirens, alarms or bells sounding over what was happening. I was just an ordinary man who had been called OUT of the world. It surely hit me hard. “They” came up laughing, swearing and joking expecting me to reciprocate their insanity. While I saw myself in each of them, I was no longer “them”. I knew exactly what they were thinking, because I shared in their world. I was “of” the world but now I was called “OUT of” the world.   I was “born again” and as Jesus promises I could now “see” the kingdom of God (Jn. 3:3).            

          

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“Remember the word that I said to you, ‘ A slave is not greater than his master. ’ If they (the world) persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. (Jesus attaches no names, countries or skin color to “them”. “They” are we. Unless, you are called OUT of them. YOU are either “them” or hated by “them”.)  “But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.” (Jn.15:20).                     

All the generations of man, though they had never met together, responded to me out of the same conspiracy to hate God “without a reason”  (Jn.15:25). My naive mind was stunned. It was “without reason”.  The world within me was devastated, but who I had now become was secure. I felt His pain and I rejoiced that it was now mine. It all meant so much. It meant that I was no longer of the world. I had received the “something” of which Paul spoke that was not of the spirit of this world. I was actually, not theoretically, in Christ. Just a few months earlier I was “the life of the party”. Now, I was the life of the Suffering Servant.                     

“Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate… (isolation and solitude) And I will welcome you. (The magnificent Friend is the alternative to “their” “friendship” (Jn.15:15) And I will be a Father to you, (The vague usage of “God” becomes “Father”) And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” (2 Cor.6:14ff).

 

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Our family: (from Right to left): Joshua – Ruth – Michael -Abraham – Rachel – David – Elizabeth – Sarah

Instantly all the “they’s” and “them’s” of whom Jesus warned stood before me.  It could have been any college campus, city, state or country. And since then, it has been thousands and millions from over 50 countries, cities and nationalities all over the world.                        

**This might be a good place to take a break and then come back and keep reading. It’s a lot to take in, but it is well worth the time and concentration. – Joshua

The “Place”

Jesus says “In the world you will have tribulation but be of good courage I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16:33). Jesus promised “I go to prepare a place for you” (Jn.14:2). This “place” is the abode I express in these pages. Jesus promises “My Father and I will come to you and create an abode within you” (Jn.14:23).. Beyond the soul, the self, the world, the ego is the precious  heart of Jesus. Catholics call it  “the sacred heart of Jesus”. In response to the sinister choice of Adam, Jesus, as the second Adam, has a heart of selfless love for the Father. He offers this to us by faith.                     

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When I met Jesus in the football stadium of Notre Dame, the first thing I did afterwards was to go to a place on campus called The Grotto. I lit a candle of thanksgiving and life commitment.  Prayer is a process of individual calculation to deliberately articulate to the unseen Father certain words about certain things. It is not repeating a “sinner’s prayer” or anything written in a book by someone else. It is the individual expression born out of the heart of a son or daughter crying “Abba. Daddy” (Gal.4:6). Yet, prayer is not just that. There is a much deeper prayer from a “grotto”, an “abode” within, yet beyond this world. This was the entire purpose of Jesus. To create a place for us to fellowship with His Father.                     

As a catholic, I lit a candle as a prayer many times. It took years for God to break through my thick skull, so that I could understand that such an outward ritual was something I could do within. I could become a flame burning in my love for Jesus, despite my world of sin and death. This inner communion is as of  “tongues” to the Son, to the Father. It is the mature response of surrender to Christ beyond my suffering. It is to “connect” at every, and in every, moment, that Jesus might be the beginning and the end of all that I do. It is realizing and rejoicing in His accomplishment of working His will into mine. Paul says to pray “without ceasing” (1 Thes.5:17/Rm.8:26). This is physiologically impossible with audible words. Clearly He is talking about a supernatural operation, because you have to care on the affairs of everyday human existence.                                                    

 

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The sole purpose of prayer is not the happiness of your world.  No matter how the world accuses Him, the Father is not compelled to prove His love. He has already done everything HE can do. God met extreme hatred with extreme love. The world has no excuse. You have no excuse.                                       

Prayer is intended to build communion with the Father. This is your greatest need. Move your tongue and your mind will change and you will “see” things differently. This is your only need. Once you know the Father, you have everything. He calls you OUT of your world into eternal life here and now. Whatever thing you may be praying for, will come and go, but if you could draw moments of eternity using your moments in time, imagine the joy.                                  

The Titanic was a gargantuan ship. Imagine what kind of machine would be required to raise it miles off the ocean floor. This is a small, insufficient picture of how our will and reason remain dormant. The weight of the world upon us is so horrible. It pressures us to fear being rejected by others, to conform, to give way to sin, to give up “What’s the use?”, to be full of anxiety and stress. The world is not ONE reason for despair. It is THE reason for our “hell”. So once we understand it, we can forget it and start doing what Jesus says, “Go into all the world” (Mt.28:19). We are made in the very image of God Almighty, with tremendous capacity to be creative, strong and loving. To bring our light of the gospel to those who have no light. We can sustain enormous opposition and accomplish great things in Jesus’ Name.                                                

 

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To the degree to which we are willing to deal with the truth is the degree to which God can help us, because He says “I will ask the Father, and He will give you the Helper… the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive” (Jn.14:16) .                               

Most people think if they want help, they have to pray for it. They wait and wait and wait for that “something” that never comes. They don’t think to think that it has already come. They must simply believe in the past.  Or people think they have to change this and that and do a lot of other things BEFORE they get serious. These are exactly the lies of Satan to prevent immediate repentance. The Holy Spirit is not earned by prayer or change of lifestyle. No one can draw a picture of faith. It appears at a moment of action. It automatically triggers grace. It requires no journey of self-purification or time, not a second or a month, for you to think about it or ‘get things right’. Everything is done.                                  

To know the character of the Father’s love is the supernatural lifting “machine”. God does not deal with you according to your sin but according to His vast accomplishment in Christ.  He rejoices “It is finished” (2 Cor.5:19). What if the Father’s response to your prayers is at a far deeper level than you are willing to see?                               

God’s compassion will never be triggered by your self-pity. God does not feel sorry for us, in our rebellious world of sin. Our father Adam didn’t reject God by accident or mistake. So his code of defiance is reflected in our nature of response to God. We are defiant. Self-pity is not innocent. It is defiance to the work of Jesus. Sin is a calculated choice against conscience, revelation and free will. It is the choice to reject what is right and choose evil (Jn.5:20).                            

God’s compassion is based on His hope that if any man will see His glory, and grasp what He did, that man will conform, submit, obey and change. When Jesus taught the apostles to pray, He was not giving them a formula of prayer. Jesus does not say this is “what” to pray, but this is how and the way to pray (Mt.6:9). Jesus was giving men a divine perspective. We need to see things as God sees them. Beyond our minuscule world of selfishness is reality and truth as God reveals.  The reality of our situation does not exist within us, or around us, but beyond us.                                                    

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It is not what we think or see that should shape our desires and prayer, but rather what Jesus reveals. We are in a tragic state about to fall into eternal hell fire. The worst thing we can do is to “pray” contrary to the will of God. Behold God as Father, with the perspective of HIS realities.                                     

This world is not waiting for condemnation. It is condemned. We need to get out of it and it is not going to happen if we are fixed on praying self-seeking prayers that only further breed our life of self-centered “happiness”.                             

The purpose of your struggles is to solidify your resolve. To prove what, rather Whom, you truly desire. I have talked with many people who cry over their plight. I understand the sorrows we must bear. It can be a good thing to cry like a child. I have done so in times of unbearable sadness.  But in our crying, we must cry out to Him and not in a pouting tone of pity over ourselves.                                     

We must stop the  “praying” for what you think you need and decide to respond to how God has already met your needs. The frequencies of a right spirit are those joined with the song of the Lamb. Everything, everything, everything is about eternal life.                              

 

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THE POWER FOR SUCCESS

”Having begun by the Spirit” (Gal.3:1ff).

The secret power for the success of any endeavor is your degree of will.

 

The formula for frustration is to follow Jesus without Jesus. Knowledge has no “living” power.                     

Knowledge has no voice of comfort and counsel. It is theory. Salvation can only begin when begun by the Person of the Holy Spirit; “having begun by the Spirit”. If it is God Who starts something, then it is God Who will complete it. Salvation is not a work you can begin, because it is not a work you can finish  (Phil.1:6, 2:13/Jn.6:44-45). If it does not begin “by the Spirit”, it will never result in the Spirit. If you do not begin by the Spirit you will never learn how “It is finished” before you began (Jn.19:30/Rm.8:13/Gal.3:3).                     

The only way to do something that YOU can’t do is to be moved by something greater than you. Faith is understanding that you will never understand. Faith requires a nothing that is quite something. It is not just beyond you. It is in spite of you.  It is the confident surrender to a promised outcome.                     

So often the world responds to the gospel as something so complicated they just can’t understand it. I have known people who go on for years and years without repentance because, they say, they just don’t get it. “How can I become new through an event in past history?” To me it is all so simple.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Everyone chooses their response. We are not a plant.  We are made in the image of God with logic, reason, love, truth, kindness, etc. God did not leave us to function with instincts as an animal but with everything we need to understand salvation.                      

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The world uses it’s capacity to explain highly complex things like atomic fission as a process of splitting the nucleus of the atom. The result is a transmutation into two particles. Big words but not that complicated.    A man can accept the complex ideas of nuclear fission, but say salvation doesn’t make sense. Jesus, as the second Adam, interposes His risen Spirit upon our fallen adamic soul to generate a life giving spirit (1Cor.15:45). Simple. So the issue is not a lack of intelligence but a desire to understand. Regeneration causes the “transmutation” of two entities; the soul and the spirit (Romans 7/Heb.4:12/1 Cor.15:45/Jn.4:24/Jn.3:3). Simple.                         

Scientists are all “ga-ga, goo-goo” over  “the God particle” (Higgs Boson); an inexplicable explosion of undefinable, insurmountable energy which gives mass to matter. So what do you do with the history of one Man who rose up from being dead and offers eternal life? My friend, this is all about eternal life. When I decided to seek Jesus I interpreted my natural circumstances of isolation as the chance to repent. Interpret your circumstances as your chance to change.                       

 

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I remember when my life had become one huge struggle. I  wondered if God existed. Why didn’t He help me? I felt so alone. Could I ever escape the burden of my own life. Slowly, the composition of my free will began to materialize.  I could DO SOMETHING about my life. What I DID mattered. My desire grew. Little did I ever expect that as the Father raised His Son so was He about to use this same power to raise my  “Titanic”.  When you are passive and lethargic God seems distant. Faith is action. It is the only road on which God travels.                       

I wondered if there was like one big thought about God that could help me figure it all out. Something where I did not need a spiritual experience or to see a vision of angels. Was there something very obvious and sure that could be known about God if I were to believe Him? He was just like so distant. Then one day I remember reading Exodus 34:6.                                  

“And God passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.” Moses had no clue to God and God gave him the ultimate revelation.                                 

I  chose to believe this. This answers my questions. God is good. The Shepherd is good. I CAN trust Him with my life. He has no hidden agenda of hurting me.                               

Who are YOU?

Salvation does not occur by God waving a “magic wand” over a man. It is an engagement in a two-way relationship or it is nothing.  Paul says “work out your salvation in fear and trembling because it is God Who is at work in you” (Phil.2:12). He has heard your prayers and tried to use your struggles to draw you to Himself. It is you who are caught up in the world.                                

            

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The “Christians” of today think that God should feel for them if they don’t have what they want.  They want the Father to make their own life better according to what they say they need. This, my friend, is crazy lazy. Our problem in everything we deal with IS NOT what we think it is.  It is our selfish world within. “ But your sins have made a separation between you and your God….”(Is.59:2). Jesus says to deny yourself and care about the needs of others. This is His answer.                                 

Sin has rendered us as sleeping giants. We are deceived to our own accountability. Unless we awaken our potential, we will go to the grave like billions who have never tapped the latent power of the will. They never engaged the Father.                                 

What if God allows you to think you are left alone in your suffering for a supreme reason? What if dealing with this thinking brings you to a realization you need? You need to see the person who lies within you rather than the person you CLAIM to be. It really means nothing to say you love God and will do this and that, when you live in a nice, comfortable world. Your inner true person goes unchallenged.                                

 

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God knew exactly what Abraham would do when He told him to sacrifice Isaac. It was Abraham who did not yet know himself. Abraham came to see himself only when he faced his suffering. He was left alone to see what he really wanted in life.                              

The silence of God can seem excruciating, until you gain perspective on His revelation. His goal is to save you, no matter what. Your life here and now is the only thing God has to test every fiber that makes you, you. Will you rise up in individual faith in God? Will you insist that the death of Jesus is not enough? That you deserve “something” from this world?                     

When I gave my life to Jesus, I told God that if this commitment does not involve any spiritual experience, I will just follow Jesus out of my own strength. I determined He is worthy. I’ve never seen any visions of angels. Never been “slain in the Spirit”. Just get up every morning and love the Lord. Never could I have imagined that out of my seed could grow a tree and a place for the birds to sing (Matt. 13:32/Jn.12:25). It is nothing less than marvelous.                       

 

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Yet times without number I have wondered “Where are You, Oh Father? Why won’t you answer me?”.  In the silence and obscurity of severe storms the little seed is sending massive roots into the soil. Such is the outcome of relationship.  There are times when I am desperate in begging God to do something, but absolutely nothing seems to happen.   It is at these times when my roots keep me secure in faith.                             

This one issue of “unanswered prayer”  is the main reason the world answers “Where are you, Adam?” with  “Where are YOU, God?”.                                 

Our world questions His love and existence, because He does not do what we think He should. The natural outcome of “unanswered prayer” is an atrophy of “faith” into despondency. We lapse into self-pity. What does anything matter if God doesn’t hear you? You are all alone. Our world says “God doesn’t care”. This is the same narrative from hell. Few will ever admit it, but gradually this “praying” undermines sincerity and turns a “Christian” life into a facade. On the outside you maintain a “confession”, but inside you’re going through hell.                     

A guy we know from Argentina typifies the world. He told us how his little girl was sick. He prayed and prayed for her to get better, but she did not. He gave up on God and is now filled with bitterness, as he blames God.  God was trying to draw this man to Himself in testing the man’s character. If he would have ever conceded to God, God would have given Him an understanding that he never imagined.                                  

         

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This is not praying to GOD. This is merely expressing what we want to make our world happy. If we don’t get it, then we get angry. God is not a man who bases His response to us on our reasoning (Is.55:9ff/Rm.8:7). Satan wants nothing more than to advance the conspiracy to accuse and defy the Father. He has established this narrative of “prayer” in our world.                                                         

God is not a Genie in a bottle. He is not a divine “Make-a-wish” foundation. God is a Father. He is not obligated to us because our thinking tells us so. Jesus used the expression “Father” 184 times. The Father is so extraordinary, that just the memory of Him carried Jesus through His agonizing visit to earth(Jn. 13:3).  Jesus was enthralled with the Father; “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was” (Jn.17:5).  Our prayer must be rooted in a faith that the Father is Who Jesus revealed Him to be.

Existential suffering scrubs us down to the bone. King David says God searches our heart (Ps.139:23/Prov.20:30). One time, when we were on a boat, I had to swim down to set the anchor. It concerned me how this relatively small thing was our security in a storm. Tiny unseen motives are the anchor of our life. Each time you suffer, you swim down to see your anchor. It determines how you sleep at night.                

         

 

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Paul explained exactly what motivated him (motives). He was not trying to show everyone that he was a good Christian. He said:                     

 “I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing (not “accepting”) Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that (1)I may gain Christ, and (2) I may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that  (3)I may know Him  and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; (These 3 things required) in order that (4) I may attain to the resurrection from the dead”. (Phil.3:7ff).                     

Change may sound like a gargantuan work, but in one quick tick of time Paul left the world. The distance between the saddle and the ground upon which he fell was maybe five feet. In this small space, Paul was raised from the deep. He had no time to pray, get rid of any sin, clean up his act, do any “good deeds”,  obey any Laws or attend any Sunday service.                     

Such a salvation would not register with the evangelicals, but all that God wanted from Paul was Paul. Paul saw himself. All he ever really wanted in life was God. This is what God wants you to see, or not see, in His “answer” to your “prayers”. He wants you to see who you are, so that you can do what you want. Paul stood up from the ground but never again stood up for the world.                     

Could it be possible that you do not know the very thing; the very One Who provides the very thing you do not know  you are seeking? What do you do when you have absolutely nothing and God seems far away? Whatever you do, this is who you are.. this is what you truly want.                     

Louis Armstrong wrote the famous song “What A Wonderful World”.  Back in the 80’s everyone considered the song “We Are The World” a great unifying force. The term “the world” is not harmless. It slaughtered the Son, devastated the Father and necessitated the creation of hell. To understand the unseen powers is to bring clarity into your life.                   

 

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Jesus translated every word of every language into one word; SIN. Every word and every action by every man, every day, everywhere is SIN. After the fall from his horse, Paul never again sought place in the world; “all things are but rubbish”.  He never sought it’s acceptance. Never identified with it’s definitions of morality or thinking of righteousness. Paul lived outside himself. He lived in Christ (Gal.2:2).                     

Beyond all our sin is the debilitating loneliness you and I feel in our bed at night, as though it were some physical pain. It is rooted in our adamic nature incurred by the sin of Adam. This one feeling of isolation is the single most reason for all other sin. The depths of our heart cries out 24/7 for this one thing Adam lost in the fall, which we desperately need but can never supply; the love of an intimately personal Father. The love of our Creator God is waiting in Jesus to bring you into His family, in His love to be reconciled back to His Father. To this my friend I tell again that you are WANTED.                                          

Jn.17:6ff-“ I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me. I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours; and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. I am no longer in the world (He was standing on earth.); and yet they themselves are in the world…”.             

        

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© Michael Woroniecki 2019.
Teaching, TravelsOctober 06, 2015

Contact 10.5.15

I clearly remember in First Grade when Sister Marie Catherine took us to the library for the very first time. She told us to search for any book about our favorite subject. Some kids got books on fishing, cats or rivers. My eyes scanned the shelves until I found my book. I was so excited until I showed it everyone and they all laughed. The title was simply Mommies Are For Loving.  I thought this book would give me a new way to love my mother, but they saw only my simplicity.  I actually remember a deep sadness in my little mind because in that moment, I realized I could never say or be who I really was.

 

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My point, however,  is that each of us clearly reveals our true passion in life by the things we choose. On what do you spend your time, emotion, thoughts and money? These days, so many claim to be a Christian. They think it depends on what they confess, how many Bible verses they know or whether they prayed a sinners prayer. The truth is, as Jesus says, where your treasure is there is your heart(Mt.6:21/Phil.3:9/1 Tim.1:15).

 

I couldnt hide my love for my mother. When she died of cancer, so did I. I had always been, like Jacob, a momma’s boy(Gen.25:28,27). (Such a confession shatters the hard-guy-macho image I ultimately developed to hide my heart.) But when I was twenty years old, I chose another book, that once again triggered the mockery of my contemporaries. This time, I did not hide the passion of my heart for God’s Word. I choose to live in Jesus and make contact with the lost. This is the ultimate story a man can read and live. It is not proven by words you speak but by the things you do.  You can not overestimate the power found in being resolute. 

 

Rachel and I were on the corner of Market and 12th St. in downtown Philadelphia  during the days of the Popes visit. We were sharing with a guy named Ray who had just gotten out of jail after eleven years. He was trying to figure out how he could possibly get a job and was at his end. Another woman was not able to pay her rent and that very morning was  forced onto the streets. She was shaken and devastated.

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We couldnt meet their material needs but we could contact them with the love of God we know they need. To make personal contact from our world into theirs with Christ.  It is absolutely amazing what one human can do to help another, without spending a penny. Of all the things you think you are looking for, or that you need, I can tell you, without a doubt, that this thing of helping others in Jesus, is the thing that will answer your everything.

 

This Christianculture requires far more than typical and generic gospel lingo. Youve heard it a thousand times. So has everyone else. In order to breakthrough with an effective witness, there exists an exciting adventure of shattering our own barriers to discover a living Jesus Who gravitates to sinners and despises religiosity. To bring Him to them in a way they have never heard is palpitating but exhausting.

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Sometimes we force ourselves to think as if we were aliens bringing a message from another planet. Indeed, behind todays complacent Christianpresumption is the reality that this gospel is a very strangemessage; An invisible Being became the most loving man but was crucified yet rose again to give us eternal life. Even God says Who has believed this message?.(Is.53:1).

 

We must change mens response fromHo huminto Oh wow. We must work to create new winethat is not befitting old wineskins; Been there done that(Mk.2:22). To the majority, this involves ways they define as offensive because they cut against the grain of status quo Christianity, where comfort breeds hypocrisy. Christianity has set the worlds standard for what is “loving”, important and unmentionable and they are all wrong. Christianity does not offer revelation of the living Person of Jesus. It is thousands of doctrines of men that put Christ in a theological system as seen 1 hour on Sunday.

 

The love of Jesus within us offers a profound magnificence to others, if we are willing to expend our own individual, creative energy to tap it. Our downfall is not a laziness of physical exertion, or the fault of some evil seduction, but of unwillingness to reach deep and expend the spiritual energy from within our spiritual character. This act is true repentance. It is born of love from and to God.

 

True repentance starts with true love.

Replace a token gesture with the time necessary for genuine empathy. Dont look away. Look towards. Choose to make eye contact. Personally deliver the gift of the Holy Spirit as He comes to you. Like never before, lay down your fears. That ultimate feeling you have been searching for out thereis actually right here in front of you, right now in presence of another human. Teach yourself how to engage the face of a downcast soul. This may be his only moment to be touched by the Spirit; Hey Buddy, how ya doin? You exist my friend. You matter. You are so important to God He died for you.

 

You can say it with your words or start with a determined smile. No money needed. He doesnt care what you say, just that you care. Go to your inner bankand draw from those deposits you have long ago made. Enter the secret workshop of your own heart, so you can distribute your personal design. God sees in secret and will reward in secret (Jn.14:23/Mt.6:4).

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Noah sent out the dove in hopes of finding rest. Send out your spirit and it too, will find a place. You will receive far more than you give. What you have been searching for will now be within. What has long sat within you unused is exactly what others are waiting for. Stop allowing yourself to prevent yourself. Jesus guarantees He will sendyou a promise. Think about it. How do you send a promise? Its all about operating unseen stuff in an unseen world. Its awesome. His promise is His Spirit to anyone, anytime, anywhere (Lk.24:49 ). Freely receive, freely give.

 

We are constantly told by the homeless how devastated and hopeless they become, because no one even looks at them. Can you spare a look? A few words? I always ask someones name and repeat it in the most sincere manner, because, really, how often does anyone hear their own name, spoken in a deliberately loving tone? You dont have to save their soul. Just make it more open.

 

After a few hours of sharing the gospel, Rachel and I got back on our bicycles and started riding down the street. A couple blocks away, off on a sidewalk, we saw a young man stooped down giving to someone a hamburger. When we looked more closely, we were so blessed to realize that that young man was our son, Joshua. He gave us a bunch of hamburgers and we went off to a local park.

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Earlier that morning, Abraham had contacted a number of fast food places and finally found a sweet woman manager at Wendys. She sold him and Joshua a hundred hamburgers for a dollar each with a coupon for a free drink. Its amazing how God so often leads us to people who will help. So he bought a large cooler and filled it with the hamburgers and was pushing it on a dolly down the street. He had to laugh as this guy yells out Youre not going to try to give me some weird food or talk to me about some weird cult are ya?. Theyve seen it all. 

 

As we made our way through a large crowd going to see the pope, one tall black man was just randomly walking through the crowds saying out loud at a conversation tone  Could anyone please help me? Im starving!.  Rachel could barely hear him. What did you say?she asked. He repeated his request. He was so grateful someone heard and helped. What if we werent there?

 

In another part of town were our daughters. A mother of a family asked Ruth if she had any food. Ruth and the girls had made sandwiches,  so she had a bunch. The lady had four children and a husband and was so grateful. Another lady was sleeping in her car and came to see the Pope searching for a spiritual experience but had nothing. She was so happy to get not only a measly little sandwich but the counsel of a loving wise woman.

 

Story after story after story I could tell of so many individuals lost, devastated and in great need. At the same time, there were so many rich people walking by, talking about the great teaching they had just received on Helping The Homeless

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This is quite funny, but Ruth always cracks me up with her anointed creativity. She told some of the homeless guys to go up to the people who were coming out of the Convention Center and ask them for help because she knew they were just getting out of the Help the poorteaching sessions and would be feeling guilty. One guy came back and said It worked. He was so grateful to Ruth because he got like 60 dollars. It was a fortune.

 

I watched two women just staring at Rachel as she was helping this one guy. It was as if they were marveling over some kind of magic she was performing. All she was doing was stooping down on her knees and talking to this guy. It was like How do you do that?There was a subtle, puzzled yet condescending smirk on their faces as if to say I dont have to do thatI cant do thatcan I?. Its not complicated. You can not fail. Theyll take anything. They could care less about your words. They have nothing.  It takes no education or qualifications. Its called HUNGERand its not a game.

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Making CONTACT with people in the Name of Jesus is the purpose of a true Christian. Tons of Christianson campuses tell us how frustrated they are trying to find Gods will for their lives. They want some kind of self-serving special ministry. The Scriptures lay it out very clearly; Jesus says Go therefore (anywhere)I was hungryin prisona strangeretc.(Mt.25:30,28:19). You will find your purpose, not in a specific place, but in a specific effort to love the unloved. When the world beats the hell out of you, it is only natural to think there is nothing to live for. You become aimless. You feel useless. Everybody lapses into some mode of self-pity; Where are you God? Why dont you help me?.  Use yourself to help yourself give yourself. Then you will see God. 

 

Being Changed

 

Pretend you are a young person. Your whole life is before you. You haven’t been beaten up by the world. No dreams dashed or shattered. No tragic events. No physical ailments. No huge worries, burdens or fears. No shattered relationships. Your heart still intact, not broken. Your emotions are not all over the place. Not yet seen the worst of yourself. No disillusionment or cynicism. Fresh. Happy. Alive. Ready to live. Genuine and energetic anticipation boils in your blood.

 

I tell you, my friend, this is the disposition required for real change.  Put aside all the past stuff and be a child. You can do it. If you want. The crazy imaginations in your mind are just that (2 Cor.10:3). Thoughts are not actual physical or material stuff that weighs you down. They are merely invisible lies that you can ignore. No matter how much an imagination haunts you, resist its effect on your behavior. Just keep on doing what youre doing. Resist the devil. He will flee (Jm.4:7).  Imaginations are like copper to sound waves. They block the frequencies of faith.

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God says we do not know HOW to do good. It simply is not in our nature. “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, Or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good who are accustomed to doing evil.(Jer.13:23). We fail a  thousand times to change a thousand things.  Its par for our human course. Accordingly, Jesus says His forgiveness is without number (Mt.18:22).  He knows how the sin of Adam separated us into a bizarre world that has us having to deal with problems way beyond our ability. Our sinful nature is simply too strong.

 

So, how then can Jesus command us to “Repent”(metanoia-change of mind-(Mk.1:14)? Would a loving God tell us to do something He Himself says we can not do? This would be quite cruel. And crazy. Obviously, something is missing. I mean, if God clearly says striving to obey the law is, not only useless, but wicked, then how in the world are we to change (Gal.2:16/Rm.3:20)?

 

Is it about TRYING?

 

God says Cease striving…” (Ps.46:10 ) and by the works of the law (trying to do what a law says) shall no flesh be justified (-do what is right- . Read Gal.2:16,17,3:11,3:24, 5:4).  The answer of trying is what I was told growing up.  Well, I may not be perfect (wow what an admission!) but I try as hard as hell to be good” (now there’s something to look forward to. LOL). Sorry Charlie. The best of your strength is the stench of a putrid rag (Is.64:4). Its not like you can produce divine molecules that enhance Gods existence. He needs nothing (Acts 17:25).  Nothing. We have nothing but sin. The only point of trying isLook at what I can do.  Ok, Adam. We got it. Its called self- righteousness. Ego. Its what makes the world go round. It is a complete denial and rebellion to what God reveals in the Scriptures of our worthlessness.

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No. Change is not wrought by trying. Being right is not something we can achieve. Never, never, never.  There is a food. It doesnt require a prescription. No doctor needed. Have you ever eaten humble pie? Its delicious. The beginning of everything and anything begins with your end.  Taste and see that what the Master Chef prepares is good (Ps.34:8). Truth sets us free (Jn.8:32).  I am wrong. I always have been wrong. I will always be wrong.  I am wicked. I will always be wicked. I am a scoundrel.Ah,  now isnt that delicious?

 

Change requires that you move two ways:

One; come to Him in broken transparent truth to find light from Jesus. From the beginning Jesus says “COME TO ME” (Mt.11:27/Jn.5:39,6:37,7:37 etc.)

 

Two; go to those in great need to bring His love and light.  At the end He commands  “GO TO ALL THE WORLD”  (Mt.28:19/Mk.16:15). When you know Jesus you serve Him (Jn.12:26).

 

How is it that Saul changed to Paul? He yielded to the Light and came to see how he had something only he could do for God. No one is just another soul. The world may know you by number but God knows you by name. Paul was the only one who could do something specific God wanted. He alone carried a massive love no one else carried. What is your name? _______ (your name here) has something no one else can give. Paul hated life and wanted to die. One thing made him want to live beyond himself; to help others (Phil.1:21ff).

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Nothing else in the whole world can change you but these two things. Nothing. The spring of some passing Christianemotion or prayer service may cause a temporary change, but hard-core reality will smack you in the face and force you back to your old ways. Your life will be as common and miserable as everyone else’s. You can talk your head off about how much you know God or how different you are from the guy next door but what you do shows your passion.  

 

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“The kindness of God leads you to repentance?(Rm.2:4).

“God demonstrates HIS OWN love in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us…the ungodly”  (Rm.5:6-8)

“In this is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 Jn.4:10).

 

It is common sense for someone to have to show their excellence in order to get a reward. God did not use common sense. He used mercy and did things backwards based on the secret mystery of His mercy. If you want to know this marvel, it will not happen by trying to prove your excellence.  Dont focus on proving your strength. Its like trying to quit smoking by trying to quit smoking. Itll never work. The law kills (2 Cor.3:6/Rm.7:6).

 

You have to replace the passion. Focus solely, and only, and always on walking over to the stream, in your mind, sitting down and beholding the Lamb; the living Jesus. Who are You Lord? Help me.”  Learn and meditate on the revelation He has given of Himself in the Scriptures.

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Consider His phenomenal mercy.not for you (as though you are the focus).but rather because of Who He is. The demonstration of Himself in His love is to be our focus. I dont mean to sound complicated or out there. I am simply explaining real answers that require real work (Jn.6:29). God. Who really is He? To get beyond your ordinary ways you must do extraordinary things that you do not ordinarily do. Jesus. Who really is He?

 

You see, people wrongly exegete the focus of John 3:16 as to be God so loved this world. Such thinking breeds an arrogant entitlement. The scholastic emphasis of this verse is not on this world but on the revelation that God is of such a nature and Character that He SO LOVEDTHAT HE GAVE. Its trying to explain that the nature of His mercy is essentially sacrificial.

 

The world is not a lovable little teddy bear whom Jesus could not resist dying for. The world shall be destroyed with fire. God cannot love evil (Hab.1:13/Is.6:3). His holy eyes are not on random sinners or their sin. Rather the Father beholds the Son and the Son beholds His Father in a perichoresis (dancing around-trinity) in the Holy Spirit of eternal love. God is such a Person Who did such a thing as giving His Son, out of His heavenly glory, knowing He would be tortured by us and for us. His purpose for us is to be caught up in this glory which is the full realization of all the attributes of God.

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Its like, imagine someone building a playground to show their love for a community. It is not for any particular person. Nor does it matter whether anyone plays on it. It is all about the character of the one who made an enormous investment so as to build a playground (or spaceship – see CONTACT below).

 

His eyes were full of sorrow. Now, they are full of fire. His face was marred more than any other, now, is like the sun (Is.53/Rev.1:16-18).  He was the Lamb and now, the Lion (Jn.1:29/Rev.5:5).

 

Everything starts, and ends in, and with, and by, and for, the mystery of His holiness (Eph.1). He has demonstrated, in time and space, a message to mankind which we humans have defined as love but is so far, far, far beyond any human concept. It is hesed(Hebrew-unconditional mercy). It is a wonder. It is a miracle. It is a holy mystery of divine majesty. It is something we can only comprehend when we stop, when we are still and when we believe. The prodigal son chose such a moment of awakening, like a lightbulb coming on. In it, he pondered all the everything his father had and all the nothing he had. It motivated his heart to change his direction (Luke 15).

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The Life

I can not imagine a life without Jesus and finding opportunities to help people in need.  It is the spaceship that landed in my world of selfishness (see CONTACT below). All that I have come to know in Christ overwhelms my putrid little mind. My heart is constantly grieved by the hatred we bear from this world because it is not my heart.  I am occupied by another Being (Gal.2:20). I am driven by His purpose. I have His vision. 

 

People lie and say evil things about us but our sounding board is a homeless man. He doesnt know or care about our rejection. If anything, our suffering helps us relate to him.  They have no one to comfort them. They have no food. I have plenty. Persecution and loving others is the blessed proof that Jesus lives within (Jn.15:20/1 Jn.3:14 ). When I was lost, I did everything for myself and yet could never find myself. Now, I have lost myself in everything that is His (Jn.12:25).

Surely, I was not born this way. I was born again to be this way (Jn.3:3).

 

The other day I was at Kent State University and utterly depressed by the blasphemy, mockery, and filth. The very things that God has given to help a young person find their way to Him: i.e. a stable mind, a will, a heart, a conscience, health etc. are the very things they give to this world to be destroyed.

 

Insane and lawless teachings of evolution, self-love, anti-God, behavior modification, etc. corrupts them. Their friendsuse peer pressure to force them to conform. It destroys their individuality. The intense scrutiny to succeed by their parents causes them to give in to the ungodly thinking of the world that defiles their conscience.

The educational system turns men, who are created in the image of God, into godless monsters in a very short time (1Cor.3:19, 2Cor.4:4, Jm.3:14, 2Pet.2:12). 

 

You and I can do something, my friend. We can help one young boy or girl. We can rescue a young person from hell. So many young, energetic 18-year-olds look to their parents for direction, but their parents are only looking in another direction, out for themselves. So they run off into the world and never come back the same. What happened to that young, innocent child?  He is engulfed by the abyss of self-pride. Like a sheep led to slaughter his will becomes trained in hypocrisy and rationalizations. He hides his cry for love with an IMAGE, and no one knows or cares.

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Today, the colleges and job market destroy young lives like war killing men. I have met so many young guys whose lives are destroyed because they married a contentious woman (Ecc.7:26/1 Pt. 3/1 Tim.2:9ff). Now their goal is to work, work, work. God did not make us to work. It is a curse of sin redeemed by the purpose of Christ Who became our curse (Gen.3:19/Jn.6:29/Gal.3:13).

 

Success!is nothing but a lie from hell that ends in the grave of regret and disillusionment. If anyone, with an ounce of truth, listens to the language of the common world, they are terrified and aghast. We hear and see every day this world is full of mental illness, alcoholism, and drug addiction. Its not here and there. Its everywhere.

 

The standard of normal that my generation knew is long gone. An insanity concocted in hell is the new normal and sign of these last days (Mt.24:12). No one can imagine the stories we could tell. Parents are going to answer on the day of judgment. They give so much of their everything to so much of nothing, while their children suffer in silence, hoping for nothing more than the attention of love, of which they are due but never receive.

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Getting married and having a baby is what young people are told is happiness. Then, once this bubble pops, another disaster results. They repeat their parents cycle of loneliness, frustration, anger, misery and divorce. They do not understand, and simply cannot bear, the unseen forces in the air against them in these last days (Eph. 2:1,6:12).

 

If you were to do a study on crime and all the killings on college campuses, you would find that the history behind every perpetrator is a personal suffering from parental divorce, a breakup or some major rejection, and an unbearable burden. The strain, tension and evil that demons impose upon the vulnerable is nothing less than supernatural (Eph.2:2/6:12 2Cor.4:4). Humans are fragile. God says all of us are desperately sick”  (Jer.17:9/Ecc.9:3/Is.59:11). To activate this inner sickness only requires some outward trigger. I could write a book on all the bizarre things weve seen, heard and experienced over thirty years of ministering, thousands of times, at colleges here and abroad.

 

All men are closed to the gospel. So we work hard on pamphlets, signs and a heart of gentle love, creativity and truth of Jesus to get beyond the religious garbage offered by the false preachers of today. It is no little battle. How do you effectively fight with someone to give them what they desperately need but deny? How do you warn men about a system that they think is for them, while it destroys them? We have no love or wisdom within our flesh. Not one atom in our body is angelic or divine. We are as selfish as anyone.

 

This mercy comes only from focus on the fascinating reality of the gospel. To constantly go to the foundation of revelation. We love because His love is so profound. The answer to defy weariness and banality is childlike comprehension, contemplation, reexamination and reevaluation of the gospel. From this do we realize a compassion and burden so deep it controls us (2 Cor.5:14). Eight individual choices to change because we glory in the mercy of God as revealed in Jesus.

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Contact


There have been many movies about aliens from outer space beaming a frequency into the atmosphere of the earth. The people in the movie are flabbergasted when they actually make CONTACT.  Scientists scurry about and military generals plot a strategy over any possible threat. They fear military superiority could annihilate their existence. What might a superior being, from another galaxy sound like, look like or be like?

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Well, my friends, it has happened. God has made CONTACT. He beamed His message from beyond the outer limits to mankind on this planet called earth.  From a place beyond the stars and all human imagination, this Being sent a clear, lasting and concrete statement. This distant Being reached across all obstacles in every universe, because of His immense and deep desire to communicate one message to mankind: hesed’. He spoke one word. The only living word Jesus” (Jn.1:1). Can you say this Word? Can you live His Name?

 

*I hope anyone who reads this understands that I am not being weird by using the analogy of aliens etc. I am just using this verbiage to fully appreciate the wonder of the Incarnation.

 

This Being is called GOD. Tons of people claim they know Him. Really? You KNOW GOD?! Wow.  Tell me about Him. I dont want to hear doctrines. God is not faith, truth, the death and resurrection, the blood, the Bible, grace, etc. These are all things. God is God. He is a Person; a Father. You know Him? Really? You have met Him? People think that using a flowery and poetic Biblical language proves they know God.

 

Let me tell you that the frequencies of this Being actually materialized into HUMAN FORM. This Contact from another world came not as a doctrine, militant, politician, educator or ruler. He came as the ultimate Servant. God made human contact with man, as a Man, so that He Himself could both relate to and actually come within man. He offers to transform humans into His very likeness.  How does this take place?

 

There is a space machine. Its design and engineering is the most sophisticated ever seen by mankind. It dazzles the mind beyond hi-tech gadgetry. It is beyond any robot, computer or sci-fi machine. It has the power to transcend time and space. It reaches to the depths and heights of  dimensions unknown to men. Paul says it killed him while turning him into a selfless person (Gal.2:20).

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It is made from two pieces of wood. A tree cut down and crossed together, split asunder the atoms of one man. The arms of this man must be opened, spread wide open and locked into position… but not by His own doing. Two soldiers of a fierce human army did so forcefully. Using nails as the positioning tools. The mans blood would now be used as the fuel to generate the activation of the cross. The human beings of this world imposed their will upon the Being of another world. The purpose would be annihilation of Him, because He embodied the worst of all mankind.

 

He was not made of titanium but flesh and blood. He did not travel through time but devoured time as a Lion does its prey. Oh, death where is thy sting?(1Cor.15:55). A rocket is not required but the nitty-gritty engagement of your will with the living God. The cross is the space agevehicle to transport a human man from this earth into the Presence of the Other Being (1Cor.1:18). A human man can now receive a divine nature (2 Pt.1:3/Rm.6:6). In order for contact between the two worlds to take place, the two worlds had to collide. The battlefield was the cross and a Lamb was found dead. This excruciating experience of horror would provide the contact through which human beings can actually LIVE FOREVER.

 

What a strange tale. I remember sharing the gospel with one of my Psychology professors in college. How God became man etc. He sat and listened. After I was done, I asked what he thought. He said it sounded like some story from a Marvel Comic Book series.  God asks, Who has believed this message? …” (Is.53:1). In this day and age of 40,000 denominations and common Christian reference, where is real proof of CONTACT?

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God decided long ago He would make CONTACT with the human race, through His Son, with a very specific people;  The Poor. The fall of Adam contaminated the human race with arrogance and pride. God knew His only hope was to focus on those who have nothing in this world but suffer greatly at this very moment. These are those with His greatest hope for contact because they do not have the comforts of this world, so they are more receptive to the coming of His world. Jesus says, My kingdom is not of this world(Jn.18:36).

 

Jesus says The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me (Why Lord?),

Because the Lord has anointed me (For what reason Jesus?)

 

To bring good news to the poor (literal Hebrew afflicted);

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

To proclaim liberty to captives

And freedom to prisoners; (Is.61:1ff).

Want to know Gods will for your life? Here it is in black and white.

 

The Invisible People

 

We often wonder why, despite the efforts we make to share our ministry, no one from multitudes of those who claim to be Christianshave ever made any effort to support us. In the Book of Acts, the true church would sell their houses and possessions to help the gospel go to the poor (Acts 4:32ff). People worked for this sole purpose. The needs of suffering souls, that we could reach throughout the world, are enormous. It is not about us. We want no home, boat or 401k.

 

The reason is so very clear. The world fully recognizes Christianindividuals, personalities, groups, concerts, meetings, rhetoric, good works, etc. as long as they agree to throw in their lot for the conspiracy against being real in Jesus (Pr.1:14). When you associate with invisible people, you become invisible. You drop out of the system. No more games; either secular or Christian. Your words become silent words, that no one hears, because of this thing called Real.

 

Some simply refuse to contact us because they fear we may confront their lives. They think that because they may have crossed our path before, it is the same today. One predestined thing that has come out of all the controversy we have faced over the years is a family with one agenda: MERCY. Suffering burns away dross.

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The truth is we are extremely sensitive to each contact we make or that is made with us. We treat no one the same or according to previous relationship. Nor do we have some preset radical platform by which we process everyone. God treats us, not according to our past, but according to His future. Likewise, do we deal with others. We made a T-shirt that says                           

 

NOBODY CARES.

 I AM NOBODY.

1Cor.1:27

 

People say You think youre the only ones. No. We have never thought this but who cares? Surely not the poor or homeless. We are actually quite grieved when we are told by prisoners or homelessYoure the only ones who have ever done this for me. If we are doing anything wrong, God will make it clear and anyone can go out and do it better. Even if we were offin some way, Paul says all that matters is that the gospel is being preached (Phil.1:14-18).

You surely dont have to worry about too many people. The harvest is plentiful. Theres plenty of room in this world.  But be ready. Because nobody cares about what youre doing. If you embrace the cross it will make you invisible in this world, but be encouraged, you will become visible in His world.michael-woroniecki-quote-7

Dont waste any more time. Refuse to let Satan hold you back with his mickey-mouse lies. Start small and God will turn your mustard seed into a tree. Its about passion. Enjoy a piece of Humble Pie. Love truth. Talk to Jesus with your own real words. Ask Him for light. Love the unlovable. Identify with the rejects, the ugly, the rebels. The guy who seems the hardest may be the most vulnerable. Dont settle for who you have been. Become who you are not.

 

Theres still time. Dont think about it. Just let it happen. If you pray, just a little, you get so much. Just be ready. Because GOD WILL do what you ask. Become the message; the gospel; His heart, the Fathers mission; contact human beings with Gods love, experience the perichoresis of the Father (Jn.17:26). Judgment is near.

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© Michael Woroniecki 2019.
Teaching, TravelsJuly 22, 2015

Touched 06.22.15

Elizabeth was talking with an administrator in the prison office. Suddenly, she heard a bunch of guys screaming. She ran outside and saw a prison van rocking wildly back and forth. She was told these are new prisoners who just pulled up and are screaming and getting violent because it is now dawning on them that they are about to leave society and enter this horrible place for their future for many years to come.

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If you’ve never seen a third world prison, you can’t imagine the horrible condition of these places. Filthy, overcrowded, stench, terrible and little slop, crying and screams throughout the night, cold dripping called showers, no washers and dryers, dirty stinky clothes, rare recreational time and all this for years and years and years.

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So many prison cells we walk by with hands reaching out, hoping to be touched. They go for years without ever being touched or touching anyone. Jesus was touched by everything that touches us but remained untouched by sin. He was both God in His power and a Man in His weakness and identity.

 

Men touched His hands and feet with nails. He touched men’s feet with a wash basin and a towel.  Men touched Jesus with a whip. He touched men with healing, deliverance and food. A woman touched His cloak and instantly He was touched by her faith. A woman touched the face of Jesus with a cloth. He touched her with His blood. He told John, at the cross, to touch His mother and John held her in his arms.

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Of all things John could have written, he says of the beloved Son “what we have looked at and touched with our hands(1 Jn.1:1). It was the specific moments he remembered of touching the Person Jesus. You may want to love someone but don’t know what to say. Start with a touch….your touch. It starts with extending your arm.  A pat on the back…a warm handshake. It will happen if you will start. Don’t know what to say in a situation? Walk in and use your hands…let them be His hands.

 

On the cross Jesus opened wide both arms and hands. He had touched mankind and had fully allowed them to touch Him and consider our horrendous response.  Imagine this picture in His Father’s eyes.  There would be no excuse for any one of us to say “Oh but God you don’t understand me”.  You may not believe it but God did it. Jesus touched every space in this universe of man and every single part of us that sin inhabits and rules. There is nothing the Lamb did not touch and does not understand because He was there. (below is a photo of a mural behind us where we performed this morning).

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“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize (Greek literally “be touched”) with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted (touched) in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore  let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy (be touched) and find grace to help in time of need (to touch others)(Heb.4:15).

 

The question is, will you let Him touch you? Will you touch Him? Will you touch others? Your life is flying by. Take a chance. Five fingers on two hands are there so you can literally touch people with the Father’s love. We can take the extended arms and hands of Jesus and extend them through us to a world reaching out in desperate need, like the prisoners sticking their arms through the bars of prisons cells.

 

Touching does not begin or end with physical contact. It is born in a broken heart. At the end of every road you’ve traveled is the nothingness you don’t want to face. How many times and ways  that you thought would end in something new and different but all you found was nothingness. It is here in the desperation of desperation where His touch is waiting for you. When you are finally over and done with your ways, there is a hand from above waiting for you to grasp. “All day long I stretch out My hands…to someone who walks in the wrong way” (Is. 65:2).  When you truly have been touched by Him the only response is to want to touch another’s hand.

 

We can go the extra mile to shake an extra hand, touch an extra shoulder, slap someone’s back, touch a nose with a finger and a smile, put our hand gently on the side of a face, use both hands to take two hands, just place one hand on someone’s back, point a finger at and then touch someone on their heart, use a fist to pump someone’s chest to signal ‘be strong’, and so many other creative ways. All this because we ourselves have been touched by the Lamb Who takes away the sin of the world. Let us be bold, to touch someone.…to love someone craving to be loved.

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There are so many scores of  people barely existing in this wicked world. They live in such sad loneliness and crave a loving touch. But would never admit it. So many homeless people whose lives you can comfort without a penny, just a touch.  The same can be true of anyone around you. So don’t be afraid to do something that may seem awkward because the gospel is carried and spoken through mouth and touch. It is love. It is God touching men with Jesus through you. Wouldn’t you love to be the one that someone else tells others about how they were touched by you?

 

So many who crave what I have in my possession and can give to anyone at any time if I will be bold enough to do so. Knowing this truth helps us share the gospel with crowds who may initially seem intimidating. They are laughing and acting happy but because the Word of God tells us that it is misery in all men’s hearts we know that we can appeal to them as to how they really feel when they are all alone. We CAN come into their presence and touch them. We can give them the touch of the living Jesus.

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Above is a photo of moment in our presentation when we ask the prisoners to participate in a movement symbolic of focusing their lives and in such a place of thought and focus beginning to seek Jesus.

Supper

This morning we were in a prison and a guy had only one arm. It was cold during our time there. I had an extra coat I gave him. He was very grateful. He told me a Lion had eaten his arm when he fell into it’s cage at the age of 12. It happened right here in the local zoo. His parents just let it happen. The lion ate his ear, part of his other arm and the back of his skull. It was as if the incident happened yesterday. He was still traumatized. He was like a little boy and just wanted to be held. We touched him. And he touched Jesus. His name is Louis (below).

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There are people you encounter whom you can touch. Last fall I was holding a sign about Jesus and sharing with the crowds outside the University of Tennessee football stadium. A guy who had been in Iraq came up to me really angry. He told me had killed many men. He told me I had no idea the evil he had done. He was so amazingly honest. He said today’s churches are full of phonies and have no answers. He couldn’t believe it when I agreed with him. I just put my arm on his shoulder and listened.

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Think of when you may have used the term or heard it used; “That was very touching”. It reaches deep within. It penetrates all your walls. This is our goal as children of God; to be “very touching”. Sincere. Alive. Compassionate. A Samaritan woman (a pagan) thought the issue of God was about going to a certain place, as do the majority of “Christians” today. But Jesus told her God had nothing to do with going to any place or doing anything. He touched this woman with truth and revelation. He told her that God wanted to make her suitable for Him by recreating her into “spirit” (Jn.4:24). How loved she must have felt. Could you not see Jesus holding her hand while talking to her?

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The response of this woman filled Jesus with His Father’s joy to such an extent it was like he ate a delicious supper (Jn.4:34). They thought He meant physically but Jesus made it so clear that His whole desire was to do the most simplest and basic thing of touching souls with His Father’s love. That’s it.

 

Likewise, that guy at the Tennessee football game gave me my supper. He broke down and told me he would read anything I could give him. He asked what specifically did he need to do. I told Him everything is done. Talk to Jesus. Ask Him to save you. We both knew God had visited us right there in the middle of all that drunken madness in front of the stadium.

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It was so awesome to be in Santiago, Chile for so long. Wow. God did so much over that time. There is a organization from France who ran this prison we went to last week. They saw our ministry and told us  they would pay for us to go to a bunch of their prisons around the country. It was like music to our ears “They would pay for our gas and lodging?!”.We were planning to leave the next day and had made plans at another prison so we couldn’t change it.  Finally someone actually offers to help us financially and we have to leave. Such a bummer we couldn’t do it.

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These people were really amazing. This was a secular organization but welcomed the gospel because they saw it’s power to change men’s lives. Jesus is so awesome. Now if He would just get us that kind of support from someone over in Brazil. They reminded us of people from Colombia. We really miss Colombia.

They triggered a thought of this one guy when we were working in Colombia.  He was the equivalent to a Navy Seal. He was in the front lines of the war on drugs. Every time we met he would tell me about how  he had to kill so many guys over the past week and how he did it. It was unbelievable to try to comprehend that this is what he did on the weekends. Went and sought out the FARC. Sometimes he used a gun. Sometimes it was by his own hands.

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Anyways he couldn’t get over how I could keep talking to him knowing that he was constantly killing men. God just gave me the grace to deal with him. I always sought to shake his hand and hug him. He was an Arab who despised Islam from his days in Saudi Arabia. He was very interested in Jesus. I told him about the Roman soldier Jesus talked with. Surely he had killed many men. I shared how we often went to Army camps and shared with Generals, Captains and tons of common soldiers who had done horrible things. This is what Jesus is all about; touching the untouchables.

This is one reason my greatest desire is to reach men who admit they know nothing. They are not “religious” nor do they want to be. I would rather do whatever I can do in order to talk to or be with someone who openly admits not believing in God than a hundred guys who say they do believe.

 

Whether it’s on the street, at colleges or in prisons we gravitate to the “sick” not the “healthy” (Mk.2).

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Sometimes the guards allow us to just walk through the different prison patios and share personally with guys. One older guy was lifting “weights”. A bunch of plastic pop bottles full of water tied together on each end of a broom stick. He was about 55 years old and a stocky build. Abe and I lifted with him and shared some pointers. Most of all we just held the guy in an extended hug. We gently put our fist on his heart and said “Animo”. Be strong. Fight on.

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He had no visitors because he was from Italy. He didn’t have any warm clothes so we gave him what we had. He had been in prison many times for drugs and armed robbery, also murder. But he was getting out in a year and half. We were able to really get down to nitty gritty salvation and talk about Jesus. We gave him a Bible and told him how to read. He was so, so grateful. He name was Walter.

 

The other day there was another guy named Walter who was completely blind (below, dancing with Ruth). As I was talking with him, he took my two hands. He put one finger on one side of his skull and one from the other hand on the other side. I touched the actual hole in his skull where one of many bullets had passed through his head and destroyed his optic nerve. As awkward as this may sound, I put my hand on his head as if a father putting his hand on his child.

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So many times when I think guys won’t like this, they welcome it. They are touched. I know if someone did it to me, I would love it. They hurt. I hurt. There are place within me of great pain and sorrow (Is.53). Places no one knows and I don’t know what to do with.  But they are highly valuable because they are what help me learn to touch others. Walter was eighteen then and has been in prison since then. He has fifteen more years. He showed me five other bullet holes in his neck, back and stomach. Imagine being blind in prison.

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This morning when we were performing, a guy died somewhere else in the prison while we were there. Suddenly the administrators ran out and we didn’t know why. He might have been murdered, they didn’t know. Just like that; death comes. It’s very tough being in prisons because the gospel always brings conviction and awkwardness with those in charge. I speak of sin and hell and people just don’t like to hear this. So they take out their hatred against us. Sometimes it is quite bad and very difficult for us. But every time Jesus is Lord and gets us through and beyond.

 

Down from Walter there was a cell with only one guy in it because he had killed seven people JUST SINCE HE HAS BEEN IN PRISON. It would take so, so much work to get through to him. Three guys next to him were like vegetables. Not mentally ill just gone crazy from being in a cell, with no out time, year after year. They just stared at me. Could hardly communicate.

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There were a couple young men, named Christopher, who were about 27 yrs. old. But they  had a disposition like I can’t explain. I felt like I do with my sons at times. They were young and had an attitude like “everything’s gonna be ok” but you could just see the depths of sadness in them because their lives were over. They had 18 years to serve. You hold em. You look into their eyes with all the love you can. But more than anything, you beg them to talk to Jesus. To ask Him to for salvation. It is a custom here in Argentina to kiss each other on the side of a cheek, so it makes it easier for the guys to get the hug they so desire. When we first got here it was awkward but now it is automatic. A worker this morning noticed how the guys were giving us hugs as if to their family members and she was touch by our love for them and their response to us.

 

Wisdom

Salvation is not about what Jesus can do for me or what I can do for Him. It is about HIM and what He HAS DONE for mankind. It is about expressing  the fullness of our body, soul, mind and heart to touch others with He Who lives in us. It is about having your thoughts occupied, not with yourself, but with how to express the prize possession of the wisdom of the ages. Paul says this wisdom “is not of this age…or none of the rulers of this age has understood  for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Cor.2:6ff).

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He equates the word wisdom with salvation. Paul is trying to say there is a practical, usable, formidable, fathomable composition of truths, ways and insights of a wisdom that we can possess and express to others. Then as if to nullify any grounds for our boasting (“Ya I got that”), he says this wisdom comes only if a man willing to be foolish (1 Cor.3:18ff).  Paul says it is not about proud “persuasive words” but of  God’s “Spirit and power” (v.4).  This wisdom is power.

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This wisdom is an ongoing, life-long comprehension and fascination with the one and only God-Man-Son-King-Lord-Shepherd-Messiah-Captain-Lion-Brother-Jesus. I am constantly in awe of Him and His ways so far beyond mine. It is so exciting to touch the lives of others. To have the gift of wisdom with which to be an agent of the Most High. Wow.

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Two days before we left Chile we went to that prison I mentioned and we asked the Warden if he would give us the worst of the worst. Oftentimes, they think we want the good behavior guys because they will be better behaved. He said he would decide after he saw how we handled our first performance who he would bring. After he saw it, he told us  he would bring out the worst guys: 400 of them! Sure enoug,h they walked into the gym with no intention of letting us in. Hard, cold and distant. A lot of murderers and armed bank robbers.

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It was very tough to get to them at first. I just thank Jesus that He has touched me deeply so as to break me. So I don’t rely on myself  or I wouldn’t have a chance of breaking through to such guys. I just have to be who I am in Christ.  He is my only hope. I can’t strive or give up. We do this thing called the Ladder where we talk about how each crime has two victims. The guy who commits the crime is a victim just like the one who the crime was against.

 

We deal with the sin of it all as Paul shares in Romans 7. Paul says we do the very thing we do not want to do. So many guys are victims of one horrible moment of terrible reaction. This is not to take away their accountability, only to say God sees things in a much bigger perspective. One guy killed his brother by accident when he was drunk. So many guys rob places for families when they’re on drugs. They can’t get jobs. No excuses, just a fact.

 

Anyways slowly, we broke through.  At the end it was amazing. So many guys came up so grateful. One guy came up to take the microphone and just thank us from all of them. The Holy Spirit came and did His work. Set the captives free (Is.61:1). They made us these beautiful leather wallets and actually wrapped them as gifts. No one has ever done anything like this for us.

 

God so touched the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever touches Him will have eternal life (Jn.3:16)!

 

Jesus asked “who touched Me….and as many as touched were made whole” (Mt.14:36/Mk.5:31).

 

Here’s a video David recently made to share with us on my birthday. The song isn’t ours, it was just a song he found that had a cool sense and the theme “magic” in it.

Woroniecki

There are 500,000 prisoners in Brazil. So we will have to translate everything into Portuguese. They are some of the worst conditions in the world. It’s going to take a lot of work.

porto-alegre

 

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Teaching, TravelsJune 25, 2015

The Second Move 07.25.15

 

Many men gamble for silver and gold.

But my game is different as I get old.

I hunt for a man whose love is real.

Whose care for others anyone can feel.

Such a prize to gain, so beautiful to see,

One whose vibe isn’t “What about ME?”.

To find this heart is to touch the Lord.

Because he himself is slain by the Sword.

Behold, oh world, my quest is done.

Right under my nose,  my precious son.

Oh, Abraham, how you love us all.

Set your will to fulfill His call.

You maintain, pack, carry and park,

Sometimes work, morning to dark.

You lift our bags and humor our hearts.

Navigate our ways and find our parts.

The Spirit filled you with His wisdom and touch;

a heart for Jesus who offers so much. 

Your nature, we know, is not without sin

It’s your relentless love that proves I win.  .

The world won’t care or say a thing

But of your will for the Father, do angels sing.

 

*(Had to stick in this personal note. No one will ever know the price my children pay or the character of profound sacrificial love they give in this ministry of Jesus to the world. So their old papa will, here and there, be saying what I think angels say. “Rock on dudes”.)

abraham-woroniecki

The 2nd Move

 

Glory to Jesus. We are finally in Brazil.  All the way from Colombia, down the coast of Peru, over to Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, and now Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. What a journey.  So many miles, so many smiles, so many tears, so many fears.  Countries driven and walked by sixteen feet of one family. Not visiting “churches” with sermons but walking streets with signs. Not a token message of status quo Christianity but the personal touch of the living Jesus led by His Spirit.  Over 400,000 tracts given out… one by one. Any support anyone gave us is still bearing fruit. Every provision I prayed how to allocate in so many ways so that men today, at this very moment, are still being changed because we were enabled to get to them. May He reward you accordingly.

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Teaching, TravelsMay 29, 2015

The Fragrance Of Nothing | 2 Cor.2:14ff | 05.29.15

michael-woroniecki-2015

The other day some thieves used a sledge hammer to knock a hole through a brick wall and broke into our trailer late at night. They stole over a thousand dollars worth of stuff.  Many of the things we got for prisoners and we can’t afford to replace them. It caught us totally unprepared. Jesus says “But know this if the master had known at what hour the thief came he would be ready…Watch therefore: for ye know not on what day your Lord cometh…Be ye also ready: for in an hour that ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Mt.24:42/Lk.12:40).

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Teaching, TravelsApril 18, 2015

The Helper Is Waiting 04.18.15

Over the years we thought many would be a friend.

But sharing my heart put that to an end.

Too many things I should not have said.

But I thought they wanted to be reckoned dead.

Obviously rather concerned with what others said.

 

What does it mean to be Spirit led?

What does it mean to be Spirit led?

 

So easy to say “Jesus is Lord”.

But a man is proven when cut by God’s Sword.

The day soon comes when each shall stand.

What price will you have paid for the nails in His hand?

 

(Lk.14:26-28/Jn.12:25/Rm.6:6/Heb.4:12/Mt.7:21/Mk.8:38)

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Teaching, TravelsMarch 16, 2015

Prison Break 03.16.15

March 16th 2015

What are the odds that the one day we go to a prison that night was planned for a prison break?

prison-woroniecki-visit

There is an infamous drug lord nicknamed “El Gato” (the cat) who controls the major drug cartel. Along with drug dealing he manipulates soccer teams. He has ordered the hit on several people involved. He is a millionaire but only 32 years old.

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Teaching, TravelsMarch 14, 2015

“Magic” [Video] 03.14.15

Here’s a video David recently made to share with us on my birthday. The song isn’t ours, it was just a song he found that had the theme “magic” in it. We’ll be posting another blog soon.

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Teaching, TravelsMarch 08, 2015

The Key Of David 03.08.15

March 7th 2015

Remember the scene in The Wizard of Oz when the four are knocking on the door of the Wizard in The Emerald City? A funny man slides open a little peep door and then slams it telling them to “Go away!”? Elizabeth and Ruth had a similar door-issue when they tried to get into a prison the other day and a mean guard just slid open a little slot and told them “Never. Go away.” Since it is not in their blood to give up they went around the side door where they were again told “Can’t happen. Go away!”.

They went to the back door where the guards didn’t know what to do. “It just so happened” at that very moment the Head Director came by. They seized the opportunity and told him what we wanted to do. He was very puzzled and kept asking “Why did you come here and how did you get to me?”. He was gripped by their appeal and invited them into his office. He was overwhelmed by our story and wholeheartedly gave us an open door to come into his prison the next day.

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Teaching, TravelsJanuary 31, 2015

David In A Wheel Chair? 01.31.15

(Just a side note about Abraham’s video Going to see the Son (2nd chance). We will send a copy to anyone who would like it. When we were ministering in Boston this last fall we met a guy who was a professional videographer. Abraham sent him the video to critique. He just wrote last night with a response that blessed our socks off. A complete unbeliever and stranger couldn’t stop saying how he was blown away by such professional quality from an amateur. He specifically detailed all the variables in the five specific work sections with A to C grades.  Mostly A’s. Couple B’s. One “C” on too many words. He also really liked the music I wrote for it. That he would even take the time to write such a long and specific help said everything. We registered in his world. It gives us great hope for the vision we are seeking to yet bring into reality to glorify Jesus in this generation. Abraham spent hundreds of hours so he is really encouraged.)

So we arrived at the Miami International Airport terminal…

The Woroniecki clan all huddled just outside the security check-through line. One tiny, little, gigantic problem; we got 2000 lbs. of luggage when our limit is 800 lbs. In any number of other places you might think there was hope. But an airport has such strict guidelines for security reasons. When I looked at all our boxes, bags, back packs, etc. I just thought “Oh Lord how can you possibly get this through?” It was, in one word, ridiculous.

Our Baggage

(A back-story to all this stuff is that various companies finally responded, after months of petitions,  for blankets and shirts for prisoners and stuffed animals for orphanages.) So anyways, we were denied entry by the guard and expected to eliminate  1200 lbs. of stuff right then and there that we had worked so hard to bring to people.

We fight hard with everyone, whether it’s police to get into some areas or officials to get onto plazas, or bureaucrats to get into prisons etc. So Sarah went to the head of the airport and presented our case. The guy was, of all countries, from Colombia, which we consider our second home. It was his only day there all week. Needless to say we found great favor. He did a lot of string pulling and computer work to come up with those beautiful words “Bring all your stuff here right now!”. Glory to God!

So here we are in Montevideo, Uruguay after going into three prisons within the first two weeks of arrival. The blankets are a God-sent to the prisoners and also even to some guards. They say it is very cold inside even during the summer and are very grateful. These blankets open up hearts into which we sow God’s Word. They see we are not there to do “good works” to feel good about ourselves but sincerely care about them in the love of Jesus. “Thank You for Your heart Father!”.

Men In Prison

Sad to tell that we had a type of tragedy that hit us hard in the second prison. My precious David tore his Achilles tendon. We were devastated. Being in a third world country with such a serious and severe injury scares me. People don’t care enough to give us accurate information. For most people who live in a stationary place with access to local hospital care it would be bad but not near what it means for us. Below is the very moment he tore it. You can see his face is bewildered. Just couldn’t walk.

As foreigners, having to deal with 3rd world medical care, not having a stationary residence but rather traveling in a van is not an easy thing to resolve.  And of course when the poor people see us in their hospitals, whom they are convinced are rich Americans, they can not believe that we are in financial need. David IS energy. His life is constantly LIVING to it’s fullest. I can’t express how much he gives us vision, inspiration and sheer desire. For him to have to deal with a wheel chair plus carrying it about in an already extremely tight living situation forces us to reach deep. We were at the hospital most of the night after prisons but God gave us the grace to go to another the next morning. It is tough to trust doctors who seem quite ambivalent and unprofessional in dealing with something so serious as David’s future walking capacity. Especially after the cast they temporarily put on just broke in half. Now we have to go back to do it again.  We have to yet figure out about surgery. Where can we look for help when no one cares? The Lord God is a Father Who will be over everything.

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None of this touches on the personal suffering of David.  Our strength is that God says He “scourges every son He loves” (Heb.12). His leg is in a thigh high full length cast for two months. For us two months is traveling on difficult roads into three or four  countries with the need for David’s help in so many, many areas. For anyone who is at all aware of our ministry you may recall when we first shipped our van here. The second day in Cartagena, Colombia I severed my Achilles while ministering downtown. God led us to a Naval surgeon  who operated the next day and I was in a wheel chair for the following four months.

So surely God is with us and will give us the grace we need now as He did then. We are trying to gather ourselves to head back on the road tomorrow headed North. We have to go back to the hospital to redo the cast then load up all our junk onto our van and drive on as “The Beverly Hillbillies”. There are some large festivals going on in this region we will try to get to.

God is so good, His ways so deep. Trusting Him within though everything burns. What a divine privilege to carry His gospel to all these people in such need of Jesus. We were downtown yesterday, after the prisons, and a guy from Iran came up to me who was moved by our witness to Jesus. I can share about many, many people with whom we have found open hearts here on the streets and on the beaches. We had some awesome ministry downtown. Just so unique here. Uruguay is a very unreligious country. Nothing like the states. Just not that “Oh ya, I already know all that I’m a Christian”. Not at all. It’s so refreshing and hopeful.

Yesterday we were in a courtyard of another  prison with guys that the guards said were the worst of the worst. I wish I could take you with us to see what we see. To watch men transformed right before our eyes. It’s amazing. I don’t mean in any way to imply that it has anything to do with our fleshly abilities but yet I want to proclaim how powerfully God works through us, despite us,  to manifest Jesus. The guy below (center) is Jorge whom David gave the Chicago Bull’s hat. Amazing guy we saw change his heart.

woroniecki-prison-picture

So many grieving stories of young men sentenced to 20 or thirty years for one drastic mistake. One guy  was stabbed near his heart and threw the guy against a wall in defense, he hit his head and died. A lot of armed robbery and murder stories. Old men, 60 to 70 years old, unable to get a job, desperate to support their families get caught in the web of drug smuggling. Now destined to die in prison never to see their families again. One very young guy had that tone of about to weep at any moment telling me over an over he would never see his mother again. Not his girlfriend. Not his wife. Not his child. His mother. It just says so much. So many men who are just boys.

The guards are horrible. We are told stories of beatings and abuse. These guys, we are able to comfort, make them smile, laugh, hope and most of all hear the gospel of  God’s love. To help them realize that there is a Father Who will run out to meet them regardless of how terribly they have failed in life. Sarah wrote this beautiful poem of Luke 15 and I just can’t tell you how moving it is to these men who were convinced their crimes rendered them hopeless in the eyes of God.

michael-woroniecki-in-prison

I tell them how wrong those rich evangelicals are who equate success and self-happiness with God’s Presence. The idea of being “broken” is a detestable concept. Above all NEVER BE BROKEN. Quite the opposite for the Jesus of the Scriptures. I tell them how Paul called himself “the scum of the earth”. Paul had “fellowship” with the sufferings of Christ (Phil.3:10). He writes of constant failures, sufferings, fears, rejection and a redemption of his sin as God’s means of bringing His blessings. Blessed are those who mourn for they shall know God’s comfort.

I tell them my life is one of failure after failure in every way. I thank my Father for breaking me in so many ways. It is not about merely having to endure suffering. Everyone does that. It’s about engaging God in it all. Suffering requires active participation of faith in God or it does nothing but make you bitter. Paul lost everything. Jesus and Paul did not “put up” with suffering. They drew from the Father HIS light and purpose of another world. So, you ask, what has suffering gotten me?  Everything that is anything. Where has it gotten me? Here. Where I am. With them. Which was my original prayer way back in 1974 in the Notre Dame stadium when as a twenty year old kid I asked God to please use me to my fullest potential.

All my failures brought me to this prison right here right now to love them with the truth of Jesus. His ways kept me from my ways. All those many years of “success” and “blessing” of striving to find a “ministry” from my Master’s Degree from Fuller Seminary spent, unknowingly,  on trying to satisfy the hidden monster of ego (self). Trying to re-save the “saved” for the fifth time around. Teachings upon teachings upon teachings upon teachings to those who have had so many teachings their whole life is just another effort to obey another “unique” teaching.

While throughout the world there are multitudes who respond immediately to the simple gospel,  intended for those who are SET, not to harden their hearts, but to give their hearts to Jesus. God is going to judge by how He sees, not how we think He sees.

I held a middle-aged man (below) in my arms yesterday for several minutes. He just wouldn’t let go. Naturally I wondered if it was just emotion or maybe he was overreacting. His name is Julio. Then when I saw his face I realized my arms were those of Jesus. He just broke.  He heard.  “Forgiveness? For all my sin? Who is this Jesus? How do I can I  find Him?”

michael-woroniecki-2015

Today, by God’s marvelous grace, David was sitting in his wheel chair back behind our equipment. Despite the cast in the burning hot sun. He insisted on being there and ministering. Please don’t think I am trying to sound religious when I say his attitude is like “It’s not about me. It’s about souls”.  So many young guys surrounded him in his wheel chair to talk. It was like seagulls on a beach when you throw out bread. He uses one of those “cool” modern raps to hip hop music he wrote to reach out to young guys.

A couple of hat companies sent him some amazing hats that he is able to give to certain special guys and you can not imagine how much it means. It is like you gave them a brand new car. One guy actually said “I’ve wanted to own one since I was a little boy”.

The women’s prison reminded me, no exaggeration, like what you see in the death camps by the Nazi’s. It was a condemned hospital building. Dark, crumbling, all overgrown. Unfit for human occupation. Their faces were etched with pain. Some of them had children and you could see they were absolutely at their end. It meant everything to draw the children into dance and give them a stuffed animal. It opened their heart.

Protect Your House

God gave me this word: “If you had a nice house or apartment that had nice furnishings and furniture would you let some crazy hooligans wander in off the street to raise havoc in your home? Would you let them destroy your house for the sake of their own insanity?  The answer is obvious.

So then why do you do it? Why do you let THOUGHTS out of the thin air walk into your mind with chaos? Why do you leave your door open to all the lying emotions Satan and all his demons choose to bring in to you? He hates you.  Jesus says that a house divided against itself will fall (Lk.11:17).

Thoughts are not in your pocket. They are not in your cupboard. You can’t show or touch them. They are invisible things that Paul says Satan fills the very air we breath with (Eph.2:2/2 Cor. 10:4).  You must stop these “strangers” from coming into your house (Jn.10:5). This will prove who really owns your mind. Imagine some stranger boldly coming into your house, laying  on your bed at night, and saying whatever he wants. Self-pity, loneliness and regret are relentless in their effort to live in your house.

Wallow-In-Nothingness is some guy who walks by, in the middle of the day, seemingly harmless, until he gets inside your house. Then he is all over you with crazy nonsensical aimlessness.

But  what if someone came by your house who sincerely loved you, out of nowhere? What if he knew all about your personal suffering, sin, fears and weaknesses? He stands outside your house waiting for you to welcome him in. He offers promises of hope and goodness. We have been carrying signs up and down the beaches here that are filled with tourists. This morning I drew a line in the sand with my big toe. On this side I wrote SELF. Then I stepped over it and onto the side of  a walk of faith where I choose to believe God is so good.  He is the Father Who created the magnificence of all creation.

So my friend think seriously about who you allow to come into your house. For whatever you allow to come in will determine your state of mind. If you don’t stop them at the door they will just wander in. Before you know it they will control of your house. They don’t care what you say. They only respond to what you DO. Grab them by the neck and throw each one of them out. Do so with “violence” (Mt.11:12). Because I assure you that the one who is sending them does so with malicious intent.

Choose to welcome in humility of mind, praise, thankfulness, love, faith.  God is good. Forgiving.  Picture a sunset. Watch one. See a flower. Stop. Smell one. See a face. Touch a shoulder. Grab a hand, love someone. Lift up your eyes and believe. See the cross. See the One Who shed His blood so you can love His Father. Say it once. Say it a thousand times. “I believe You Messiah Jesus are the Sacrificed Lamb”.

sarah-woroniecki

So we journey on. Anyone who could and wants to help us, we need it. For us fifty dollars is a lot of money. Gas is six dollars a gallon here. No exaggeration. You can check it on the Internet. This place, as poor as it is, is more expensive than any country in South America. It’s one reason we are leaving. We can’t afford it. The government is just insane. Paraguay and Brazil are both better than here. We love you all very much and pray for those of you we know. Hallelujah! Jesus is coming soon!

Saphire-Skies-Uruguay-Sunset

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Teaching, UncategorizedNovember 16, 2014

“Oh” 11.16.14

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

We were immersed in a sea of orange. All eight of us were spread out in front of the stadium at the Tennessee vs Alabama football game. Well over a hundred thousand people. The blessing was so deep I believe it comes out of the DNA that runs within my spirit of the blood of the Lamb.  “Oh…” the wonder of a Father and Son Whom we get to serve in His Spirit.

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Sure there are scores of hypocrites and evil doers but for the burly guy named Sam, who shared with me how he had killed men in war and couldn’t imagine how Jesus could forgive him, for the well-dressed older businessman who had been through a divorce and had had it with his “church” and all the others it is beyond worth it. If there is any wonder, quest or desire to do “God’s will” this is it. “Oh…” the depths of His simple and dumbfounding ways are so joyful.

Of course we all felt so bad for David who had the “Student Section” and was pelted with both filthy words and objects. But God gave him the grace to endure it all. We could only comfort Him with the sufferings of Christ.
The following few days we spent dealing with a campus full of reprobates. We have been preaching at University of Tennessee for over thirty years and it has gotten progressively so bad it is impossible to explain. You have to see it to believe it. The drugs and alcohol, mixed with Christianity is a formula for insanity.

 

michael-woroniecki-preacher-university-2014

And so I say to you, do not twist the things of God. Be a child. When you find your back up against the wall, and the “living” shadows of Despair, Grief and Regret point their fingers at you, insisting on their accusations of hopelessness, you must shake your head, rise to your feet and stand in the Word of God. Prove yourself to be a true child of God. If you can stare down your worst nightmare and say these heartfelt words, as Paul did, then surely you are a “just man who lives by faith” (Rm.1:17):

woroniecki-at-university-of-tennessee
 This picture was in the University of Tennessee’s Paper the Next day.

“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For ho has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor?…” (Rm.11:33). Do not doubt! Only believe. You think this… You think that… But He is God and you but a man; a worm; a maggot (Job 25:5-6). His ways are so, so, so far beyond (Is.55:6ff).

Woroniecki-at-auburn-university-2014
This was the picture for the University of Auburn’s Newspaper.

We had a rich blessing in Alabama, mostly at Auburn University. It is quite a unique school. Lots of crowds and numerous good sharings with individuals. So now we are finishing up our ministry on college campuses and preparing to head back to Montevideo, Uruguay and throughout South America. So much required in preparing to go, in going, in arriving and in heading out.

Our hope is to get those silver aluminum-looking insulated skinny blankets in the camping department at Wal-Mart for the guys in prison overseas. They are small and work well. They cost about a buck a piece so obviously we can’t afford them at that, being that we deal with thousands of guys. So we are writing letters to those corporations as well as many other companies to try to get goods to help bless these guys. Also we are doing the same to try to get equipment. We are hoping to get a projector and screen to really help us in so many venues.
We have a web site that we send to people to verify our work. If anyone would like to help us you can check it out. Wow. Would we ever appreciate any help: www.wouldyougobeyond.com

men-in-prison-chile

 

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© Michael Woroniecki 2019.
Teaching, TravelsOctober 23, 2014

Today 10.23.14

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Don’t give up. No matter how many times you blow it. No matter how it may seem that you are sinking into a quick sand like routine of bondage.  HOPE IS ON THE HORIZON OF “TODAY”. It doesn’t depend on a monumental change. It starts with a mustard seed of thought. Just one. Right now. God loves you. It is beyond love. It is MERCY-Hesed-never ending. Not dependent on your actions. Don’t accept Satan’s garbage that you have to first get your act together before you give your life to the Lord. It won’t happen. It’s just the opposite. Give your life to Him then He will provide the supernatural grace to help you change.

“God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, NOT COUNTING THEIR TRESPASSES AGAINST THEM” (2 Cor.5:19).

Think about this. No matter what you’ve done, or how bad you see yourself, His love has not slacked off from the moment He hung on a cross, bleeding to death, FOR YOU. Don’t focus on yourself. Refuse to be dragged down by your failure. Rather believe in this One Named Jesus. There is no other like Him, never will be. The love and forgiveness He offers you is like no other but it requires one thing from you: FAITH.

I’m not very good at getting old cuz I’ve never done it before and it’s a killer, literally. I just want to apologize for my last blog. It was not up to my desired standard and I take it seriously to think someone would spend their time to read this. I care about you and want to write things of truth to help you but I have been very hard pressed by the pace we set in order to reach as many schools with Christ before cold and rain make things too difficult. Driving hundreds of miles every other day, after preaching and doing all the other stuff involved in constantly moving takes it toll.  I probably won’t be able to get one out for about a month or so.  I usually spend days to write so as to edify and teach but on that last one I just spent an hour or so with things off the top of my head. It showed.

Michael-Woroniecki-at-wall-street

For college students who read this, or any young person (under 60), I would plead with you to seize upon your time before it flies away and you to become old without even realizing it.  Most of all you have to change your heart as fast as you can.  God holds a future for you in Christ, not in this world. So many of my years were spent learning things that I could have implemented much more quickly if I had been told what I am telling you. I am now sixty years old.  Death is at work in the members of the body and it offers no options. It feels like I am in a house in which all the walls, floors and ceilings are collapsing around me and there is no way to escape. I just thank God for having the depths of salvation from which I can draw each moment of each day.

If-Anyone-Is-Thirsty

Don’t waste your time, my friend, listening to your own feelings or what others say. Begin to develop a solitary walk of faith in Jesus.  Personal reward, here and now, is immense. In order to fully appreciate all that God offers you must see and understand the horrendous peril in which you now must face. Hell is nothing to take lightly. God’s will for you is NOT to find a career or just exist in a world gone mad. Because you won’t just exist, you will drown in misery. There is nothing but insanity and disillusionment waiting in any system of this world. This world offers only lies. God has already clearly revealed His will in the Scriptures.

The purpose for your life is service.

God’s will is for you to live someone else’s life: Jesus’. If you will give Him your “Yes” He will being His work. Yield to His breaking of your sourish man. “He died for all , so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf” (2 Cor.5:15). Jesus says there is no greater love than one lay down his life for others (Jn.15:13).  There are millions whom you can help bring to Christ if you will take and apply the gift of faith and relationship with a loving Father. If you want a life of blessing Jesus says it comes in giving not in getting. Many say “What am I supposed to do quit my job and go live and beg on the street?”. This is the shameful thinking “Christians” have of what will happen to them if they trust in God.

Abraham-at-U-of-M

 Every moment is a dream. Every sharing with an open soul is joy beyond explanation. Every ordained opportunity to lift up Jesus is a privilege beyond anything of which I am worthy.

I would guess that with the backdrop of all the things that fill your mind each day you do not think much of what we do. But it is no little thing to preach the gospel. Have you ever thought about someone, in our case eight people, standing on a street to proclaim the mysteries of Christ? Imagine someone who, without a doubt, is in the anointing of the living Jesus.  It is a very, very extraordinary thing. It is marvelous. In fact it is the only thing that matters in the world. There is nothing anywhere, at any time that is more important than preaching, with full understanding and authority, the future world, the kingdom of the living God. Now this is something worth living for; HE is worth living for.

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I pray that you might realize this blog is a door into reality. It may sound exclusive. I don’t really care.  I know Whom I know and I hear His voice. God’s Word is true. Judgement is near. My wife and I and our family of eight adult children are on the ‘front line’ in these last days. We live and travel together consumed with one vision: the living Jesus. Today’s “Churches” are an outrage. Stay away from the hypocrisy of the “Christians”. All they want are  excuses to not take God’s Word seriously and obey Jesus. He alone will more than provide. There simply are no true Christians to be found. Just hypocrites. When we confront them with their hypocrisy they talk on and on about how we are not loving and that they have all this “love” yet not even once, in over thirty years of preaching, on hundreds of campuses, cities and events, has any one ever  asked us “Hey is there anyway I can help you?”. They don’t ask because they are afraid that we might answer. Jesus says that even your enemies you should bless. They wouldn’t dream of it. Consumed with SELF. We are also constantly dealing with effects of and direct confrontation with “preachers” who are just nuts-jobs, evil men who want to use the gospel to exalt their own egos. They rant and rave, but no heart or reality. It is very grieving to see the effects of their delusion. Yet we are encouraged by so many kids that come up to tell us they see such a difference in our spirits compared to them.

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Be wise.  Get alone. Study God’s Word. Learn from Him how to implement His grace by faith. You should think long and serious about why sin and hell are forbidden words. Hell is spoken of over and over by the most loving One to ever walk this earth. Please ask me for some amazing literature on these issues we just wrote. No money or obligation. Just say send me everything. Sin is not some “whoops” mistake or isolated action. You have to first learn to understand why and how it is deceiving and destroying you in order for you to become free from it’s power. Meditate on Romans 5-7.

If you are insulated in a life style wherein you live unto yourself this blog offers you a glimpse of what’s really going on in the spirit of the air.  If you do not take necessary action you will find yourself caught up in the vortex of a delusion carefully crafted by demons. God is just and  is not partial to anyone. The work of the cross is a living, ongoing fountain of provision for all the needs you claim to have.  Being passive and unresponsive to God’s revelation will leave you no different than the billions of lost souls, who complain day and night because they refuse to believe that real FAITH IN JESUS is the ultimate answer to their prayers.

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These days are so evil. Men’s heart and conscience are so defiled and hard. You have to get serious. Don’t play games. Anyone of my six children, probably in your age bracket, can share with you about a life in Christ. The world bombards you with the hype of a career, education and marriage. All of which are dead end roads.  We beg you that now, today, this moment to stop in the ongoing babel over living for yourself. Don’t follow in the footsteps of your parents or “leaders” of this world. Follow in the footsteps of the One sent to the earth by your Father. Live for Christ. Lay down your life. Target the lost, the homeless, the poor, the world. Or if you physically can not do this help those who do. This is God’s will for you.

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A man we met on the street. His life was so normal, then he hit hard times, got robbed and eventually lost it all. Now he sits all day hoping for someone to care. He told me he begged for 6 hours and got .50 cents.

 

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All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.

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© Michael Woroniecki 2019.
Teaching, TravelsAugust 25, 2014

Be Big 8.8.14

It’s so amazing how a world that is so familiar suddenly becomes so distant, just from being transported from one culture to another. I would urge anyone, no matter what you do in life, to immerse yourself, for whatever time period, into a 3rd world nation. It will change you remarkably for the good for the rest of your life. It will make your decisions much easier because you will have cultivated a much bigger perspective and wisdom.  It will pave a way for things to come about in your life that you would otherwise never see, do or be.

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Copyright

All material on this website is protected by copyright. Duplication or theft of photos or content is subject to criminal prossecution. Some names and information regarding places, testimonials, and other content has been altered for privacy purposes while all relevant material has be unaltered.

Social Media:

© Michael Woroniecki 2019.
Teaching, TravelsJune 19, 2014

The Kick 6.18.14

Welcome to anyone picking up my blog in the midst of our ministry in South America. It has been quite an amazing drive of over three thousand miles starting in Bogota, Colombia over seven months ago. You can back log that time throughout the various countries. It has become obvious to us how much the Father so cares for those in prison. No other group of people does God so express His concern than these suffering souls. In Matthew 25: 36 and Hebrews 13:3 God straight out commands those who call themselves His to care for them. It has been such a privilege to be welcomed into some of the worst prisons in the world. I document these times throughout my blog.

crossing-the-andes The border of Argentina is only an hour  from where we were in Santiago, Chile.  On the morning we planned to leave a dense fog smothered Santiago.  The visibility was a block. “Lord, please, lead us” was my cry. We decided to head out.  Slowly, the sun broke through as we began to climb the Andes Mountains. It was terrifying but awesome. Like so many times when we have had to find that extra “kick” to move out beyond any obstacles by faith.  Then blessing of the Son will break through beyond the fog. Soon afterwards, the second largest mountain in the world came into view against a beautiful blue sky, because we did not let the fog hold us back. It’s so cool to realize the purpose of what we are doing and how we got here by shipping our van long ago to Colombia. When we stand back and think about things it is so obvious that the very hand of God has brought us here for the sole reason to live love and proclaim His Son.

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The mountain range looked like it was divinely air brushed with a soft,  pristine snow. It’s weird for us to see winter beginning in what we know as summer. The pass had also just opened after being closed two days from ice and snow. We made it though a small window without having to be delayed.  We began to zig zag up  it for some thirty switchbacks of fifty yard runs that snaked all the way to the top. We were excited, taking pictures and praising God. Our 43rd country at the 33 latitude. (33 Was my jersey number when playing college football.)andes-mountains It was pretty cool at the border except that our van is so high we almost ripped down a gas line in the tunnel. Guards got a bit uptight until they saw Elizabeth up there pushing all our stuff down. Amazing how God really uses personality. It’s ours to give and no one else has what you have. When they saw our stuffed dog on the front of our cattle guard they cracked up. The Dog is like a secret weapon. He gets his picture taken like a folk hero. One time, prison guards asked us if there was some type of deep symbolism to it. Nope. Just some of our ridiculous humor. The hardest thing was having to pay almost 1500.00 for visas to get into the country. Ouch. That  hurts.the-dog

We were going to go to Bolivia first but decided instead on Buenos Aires then to Bolivia through Paraguay. Got a witness in Mendoza and stayed the night there then headed out. What a sweet drive. Woke up early to a phenomenal orange filled sky at sunrise. The song “Fragile” by Sting was playing softly in the background and we were all together as a family, driving to share the gospel, on the other side of the world, in love with Jesus and each other. Hallelujah. Moments like this radiate with destiny. On our way we passed flocks of parrots and flamingos. sunrise-in-argentina God’s grace empowered us to be able to make a two day drive in one day.  Abraham is an excellent driver. Also Sarah, David and the others all want to get their time in the seat.  Hit a huge traffic pile up because of an accident on the way into the city. Five motorcycles had slid under a huge tanker. So many ambulances. Just terrible. Buenos Aires is an enormous traffic laden city. It’s always tough constantly figuring out how to get around a new huge city and start from scratch. First on the list was an apartment. Sarah found a place for thirty bucks a night, which is a steal. It should cost at least four times that but they have a natural gas leak they can’t find, so they dropped the prices. Hopefully no explosions. It is a profound privilege to do what we do. Whether we find open or closed hearts it is always a “first love” joy to proclaim the gospel in another country.

Downtown Buenos Aires is just packed with people. They have quite the reputation for being arrogant. A popular T-shirt says “I’m not just perfect. I’m Argentinean”. The arrogance is grievous but preaching Jesus is awesome. It was 34 degrees yesterday. That’s not awesome. Our signs and cross are extremely effective as all eight of us spread out and preach Jesus in both Spanish and English and sometimes Portuguese.  Joshua and Abraham made some incredible new signs and also a new tract. It is just so exciting to actually be an integral part of God’s eternal purpose! woroniecki-sign-jesus Every day, in ministry and practical living, we face a war zone (Eph.6:12). I remember in college when I first read that this world belongs to Satan I was, in a strange way, very relieved. It never made sense to me to “help make this world a better place” (Mt.4:8/1 Jn.5:19).  I had no desire to strive to be accepted by any system of the world. The primary name Jesus gives Satan is “a murderer” (Jn.8:44/10:10). This is not “extreme” thinking. It is basic Biblical truth. I think Jesus knows what He is talking about. Satan is constantly using relationships and circumstances to destroy you. You may not take it seriously, but he does as the “god of this age” (Eph.2/2 Cor.4).  Satan is not thinking about it. He is constantly working every minute, every hour, every day to do so (Rev.12:10).Don’t ever buy the lie that Satan is NOT intimately at work in your life. Yet your response should not be to focus on him but on talking to Jesus.michael-woroniecki

 

When you accept Satan’s lies you don’t realize how ridiculous they are. It’s terrifying when you stop  to realize that it hasn’t been a couple of days or weeks, that you have wasted, by listening to him, but rather it has been YEARS. Satan has stopped you from so many things(2 Cor.10:3). Get angry. Get scared. Get grieved. Get up and fight!  He really is stealing, not just time, but the quality of your only life (Jn.10:10). If you don’t change NOW what makes you think that you will ever change?  God WILL be there.rachel-woroniecki-performing-on-street

How many times have you felt  you’re on your own, as if nothing you do really matters? The most essential need in your life is motivation. Agreed? Motivation comes from first, breaking beyond a lie, so you can get a hold of God’s truth and love (Heb.4:12).  God offers His divine sense of purpose as your motivation. It is not about whether what you DO matters. Rather motivation comes from WHO YOU ARE. If you are not anchored in rebirth, you will have no real understanding as to the ways of His Spirit (Jn.3:3-8). You are on your own and Satan knows it.

The blessing beyond the fog is in retrospect, when you realize that the decisions you made in faith were the outcome of your identity in Christ (Jn.10:29). God blessed Jacob, not by bestowing on him some vague “blessing”, but by calling him into an identity that changed his consciousness. Jacob had always fought with men. God transformed him into Israel: (Hebrew)-“one who fights with man and God and wins(Gen.32). Most people think that being a Christian means surrendering to oblivion. Nothing they think or want matters any longer because God is going to do what He wants regardless of they think. Boring religion breeds “the lazy hillbilly” (2nd paragraph below). God is a living Person Who yearns to be actively engaged in your life. Like Jacob, you can WIN with God. 

People meander down a river of self-pity without a paddle or a clue. They claim to be “Christian” but have absolutely no divine sense of identity or motivation. As simplistic as it sounds, they are just too lazy to talk to God. When I was in Fuller seminary, all I ever heard was the chit-chat over what their identity would be when they graduated. They sounded like little children telling their 1st grade teacher what they wanted to be when they grew up. Most said “a pastor”. Others said apostle, teacher, evangelist or umpteen kinds of  “ministries”. They were motivated by filling slots in a religio