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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© 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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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.

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© 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, 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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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, 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.

woroniecki-preachers-at-ut-game

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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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, 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.

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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.

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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.

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 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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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, 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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