“Shakers and Bakers, Coffee Sippers and the Andness of God”


It appears that in the church there are two threads of thought which dictate what church should look like.

There are what we call the Shakers and Bakers, or the Holy Spirit Crunchers.

These are the glory junkies, those who can spend hours in the presence of God.  They are the ones who get slained in the Spirit, and many a time manifest with the so called shaking and baking when God’s powerful glory hits infirm flesh.

They are the ones who love the Spirit’s gifts, speak in tongues, do the Holy Spirit crunches, run through fire tunnels, and laugh themselves into the tears of holy laughter.

The other camp are the coffee sippers. Many here equally love the Lord, may have not encountered the baptism of the Spirit and or spiritual gifts, and would rather sip coffee , discuss the Bible, have a quite prayer, three songs of worship, and go home

These two camps are at odd with each other.

The coffee sippers judge the shakers and bakers as weird and obsessed holy rollers, while the latter judge the former as unspiritual and lukewarm.

The problem as my pastor, Ralph Gomez says, is that many a time we visualize God as an “Either Or” God when in reality He is an “And” God.

Without doubt, there are foundations of the Christian faith, when the “and” can never be interjected, it will always be “either or.”

But in a number of matters dictating people’s behavior, God is more “and” than He is “either or.”

Jesus is both a shaker and baker as well as He is a coffee sipping God.

Most of the  Bibles great characters were Shakers and Bakers.

I am both a shaking and baking as well as a coffee sipping Christian.

I love the manifestations of the Holy Spirit.

I implement all spiritual gifts.

I love holy laughter. I’ve seen God heal people through it.

I love to see when God powerfully touches people with His power and they fall down.

But I also love to be with folks who might not appreciate this move of the Spirit and would rather discuss the Bible and go home.

I feel comfortable in both skins because God does.

People box God into their religious U Haul cartons. If you are a shaker and baker, you are weird. Or, if you don’t like the glory and manifestations, you are unspiritual.

My way is right, while your way is wrong

Looking at these views of God as “either or” is incorrect.

On both sides you will marginalize yourself from brothers and sisters and miss out on how wonderfully God moves with both.

God is neither a shaker nor baker or is He a coffee sipper. God is both.

I am blessed that I feel joyous in with both streams, though I consider myself more of a shaker and baker.

If the  church would adopt more of an “and” mentality with the divergent thoughts of their brothers and sisters when it comes to how should church look like, not only can we go we could go further in Christ’s body, but enjoy the fullness of what our Heavenly Father has to offer in both.

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Do You Have a Prophecy?


There is a man in Nyack whom God has consistently pointed out.

When God does this, I know that He wants me to speak to him.

Our paths had never really crossed. When I have been on one side of the street, he was on the other. When he passed by, I was talking with another person. Yesterday, our paths for the first time crossed.

Approaching him, we struck a conversation.

After telling him that I was a pastor from Miami, I added, “You know that Jesus has been pointing you out to me since I got here. Whenever God does that it usually means that He has a call upon your life.”

Indeed, there had been a Christian upbringing in his life.

I told him that when my daughter left town I would take him for coffee.

His reply was, “You know I am still confused about Adam and Eve and whether God is a He or and a She.”

I said, “We can talk about anything you want from A to Z.”

We shook hands and left.

Why am I posting this?

There was a time that such comments about God would have caused a self-righteous knee jerk reaction. I would have been religiously offended at such a notion, and would have debated and or defended God.

Today, God has brought me a long way. The fact that my reply was calmly compassionate shows that He is working in me.

For one, God does not need to be defended.

But more important, if we are going to be the arms and feel of Jesus on the streets, we need to be the most authentic, and most accepting friend that the guy and gal will find. Our joy, our kindness, and our passion for Jesus must also reflect in a calm way.

Secondly, I am no longer embarrassed to proclaim the Name of Jesus.

There was a time that I was.

I found out that part of that embarrassment was not mine.

It was an attack of embarrassment on my thought life by a demon of fear.

People in almost all cases will respond positively when what you say, you say it with confidence, boldness and a holy pride, not in me but in the Jesus whom I present.

If people see embarrassment or ashamedness in what you offer, this is where negative reactions erupt.

I want to encourage all of us, I included, to ask God to free us from religious knee jerk reactions and the propensity to be offended when people unknowingly or even knowingly distort the truth about God.

We are to be bold, authentic, accept people where they are at, and keep a calm and joyous disposition which reflects God.

And enjoy people’s company.

Everybody has a story. Everybody has a history. Everybody has been through tragedy and difficulties.

Take a genuine interest, be a listening ear.

Be loving and calm, without watering down or sweeting up the gospel.

People need truth and want truth in a world of liars and lies.

Many who do not know Jesus, still want a prayer, and almost everybody wants a word of prophecy from on High.

I know one guy, that whenever he sees me, wherever I may be, blurts out, “do you have a prophecy?’

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Hope Is The Children’s Bread


During my devotional in the New College Press Study Book Series I recognized that hope is the bread, the right, of the children of God through Jesus Christ.

Not only is hope our bread, we are mandated to have hope.

What is hope?

It is the joyful expectation and anticipation that what we have asked God by faith will undoubtedly come to pass.

As a matter of fact, the Christian is saved by hope

I confess that I have greatly lacked in hope, giving in to fear and doubt.

Yet the great key to receiving miraculously from God is great hope.

Great unswerving anticipation and excitement of what God will do lends to great moves of God’s Hand.

Php 1:20  According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

Paul’s hope level was found in his earnest expectation.  This tripartite word, “apokaradoxia”, means to be anxiously anticipating something with head and neck stretched out.

Now I see that hope is not some nebulous option for me to vacillate in and out from, as I have all my life.

It’s a mighty fortress, a bulwark of excitement, anticipation and belief that what God said He will do, will happen.

It’s my bread, my charge, my injunction from the Most High.

I am commanded to hope, to anticipate, to except, to be excited and on fire for God

The devil’s strategy is apathy and passivity, the antithesis to hope.

God’s hands are mightily moved by mighty hope.

 

Ro 4:18  who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.

Ro 5:2  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Ro 8:24  For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

Ro 8:25  But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

Ro 15:4  For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Ro 15:13  Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

1Co 13:13  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

2Co 3:12  Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:

2Co 10:15  Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men’s labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,

Ga 5:5  For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

Eph 1:18  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

Eph 4:4  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

Php 1:20  According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

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The Spirit Of Self Control


Gal 516 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall by no means fulfill the lust of the flesh.

17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these things oppose each other, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

Why do I know that the Bible is the Word of God? If it was not the Word of God, but a lie, I would not be experiencing the incredible reality of these verses.

For 36 years, I never grasped the meaning of these scriptures.

There have been areas in my life that I have miserably failed to overcome in.

No matter how much I have wished, or willed, as Paul says, my will was not strong enough.

I never quite understood what it means to walk in the Spirit. It’s only now that I see that to walk in the Spirit is to conduct my life in the new humanity, which Jesus Christ offers and is.

Anything outside the new humanity, which is me according to who I have been, will always fail.

My trying to overcome, or wish or will out of my own self has miserably failed.

The new humanity, Christ Jesus, however, overcame. His wish or will is stronger than all. It’s perfect

Conducting my life out of this new humanity is conducting my life out of a will that is stronger than all.

That is what it means to walk in the Spirit and I will not fulfill the lust o the flesh.

Only the new humanity does as He wishes or wills according to God.

So it’s not a matter of trying, or willing or wishing.

I tried this for 36 years, and I can overwhelmingly say, that I have failed.

But as I am learning to conduct my life strictly out of the new humanity, I do so from The One who tried, willed, and wished, and totally conquered all.

I suddenly find myself not struggling with the temptations that I did for so many years.

The fruits of the Spirit is self-control.

It’s not my self-control, but the self-control exercised by the new human, Christ Jesus is me, who has a self-control greater than all.

The key is to get out of the old humanity totally and into the new, by the renewing of the mind.

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Full and Full


Full and Full

Mark 8:19 When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve.

Full: Pleres; Adjective

20 And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven.

Full: Pleroma; Noun

These two verses confirm what I always say.

It’s important for the serious student of the Bible to have an elemental knowledge of the original Biblical languages.

To the one who reads this in English, the words full, in these verses appear the same.

When you read them in the Greek, there is a notable difference.

In verse nineteen, full, is the adjective pleres.

An adjective modifies a noun.

In this case pleres describes the condition of the baskets, that they are full of fragments.

However in verse twenty, full, is the noun pleroma which describes fullness.

The following are scripture where pleroma is used.

Mr 8:20 And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full <4138> of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven.

Joh 1:16 And of his fulness <4138> have all we received, and grace for grace.

Eph 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness <4138> of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Eph 1:23 Which is his body, the fulness <4138> of him that filleth all in all.

Eph 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness <4138> of God.

Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness <4138> of Christ:

Col 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness <4138> dwell;

Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness <4138> of the Godhead bodily.

Here is my definition of fullness

Envision that you have a bottle filled with Coca Cola. What is the Coca Cola? Is it the bottle, or is it the liquid inside of it? I would propose to you that it is that brown, sweet, delightful liquid that we gulp down and enjoy. So what is this fluid called Coca Cola made out of? Well, it is made up of every ingredient that is perfectly mixed in its required quantities and precise order, to lawfully recognize and labeled it as this reality that we call Coca Cola. This is the fullness of Coca Cola! In other words, the fullness of Coca Cola is the very essence and nature of this liquid, which makes it to be Coca Cola and nothing else. The fullness of God then, describes the very essence, the reality, and the evidence of who God is. It also describes to us every attribute and characteristic that is required, to make God, God.

The first verse can describe quantity.

The second verse can describe quality.

What Jesus gives to us is of the highest quality. He fills is with fullness of all that contains Him and is of Him.

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Where there is a Will there is Way and the Problem With Washington.


Where there is a Will there is Way and the Problem With Washington.

This weekend I am staying in a hotel in Connecticut.

Mary and I only drink caffeinated coffee.

We consider decaffeinated a mortal sin.

The hotel offers two little plastic containers with a tiny bag of coffee, for one cup each.

I had my portion yesterday.

This morning faced with an early dawn coffee emergency, I had to resolve my problem.

We had brought a bag of Seattle’s Best.

After my wife used her little plastic container with one bag of coffee, I carefully poured some of Seattle’s Best on top of her wet and used coffee bag.

I then put the little container back in the coffee maker and added the cup of water.

The black coffee successfully poured through.

I was proud of myself and how I had beat the hotel system.

That is, until I tasted my coffee!

It was full of grinds!

Seattle’s Best had slipped through the holes at the bottom of the container.

Mary said that she has brought a few filters with the coffee.

But lo and behold, I was out of cups.

When I was tempted to take one out of the garbage, she said that she had seen a few ones in our bedroom.

Indeed, there were several still wrapped for water consumption.

I took the cup with the grinds laden Seattle’s Best and carefully poured it into my new cup through the filter that Mary had brought.

Voila, I had a wonderful cup of coffee.

The moral of the story is that where there is a will there is a way.

I resolved my problem in five minutes, because I was willing to.

Then I see hundreds of adult Washington politicians bickering about the same problem that they said that they would solve seven years back, and are still bickering about it today and have solved nothing.

Really, on both sides of the aisle, these men and women are not trying to solve the problem. Let us not kid ourselves.

For as with my cup of coffee, or with any other problem you face, where there is a will, there is way.

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“We shall be magnified in you according to our rule, into abundance.”


2Co 10:15 not boasting of things beyond our own measure, that is, of other men’s labors; but having hope that, when your faith has increased, we shall be magnified in you according to our rule abundantly,

Greek: “We shall be magnified in you according to our rule, into abundance.”

 I am realizing that God’s purpose in taking one through times of financial testing, if that person is faithful in honoring God through his or her generous giving, is to bring that one into a place of abundance.

Financial tests if successfully overcome in obedience to the will of God, are meant to give you an eventual breakthrough into great abundance.

The spirit that God creates in you to overcome financial testing is the same spirit that then will gradually break you in the realm of abundance, which is God’s default nature.

Scarcity, poverty, weakness and infirmity are not the will of God.

Yet God will many times take our weaknesses in these and make them our greatest strengths.

If you can overcome, scarcity and poverty by God’s Spirit, I would not be surprised if you learn to function in great abundance.

Look at the life of Joseph after overcoming 13 years of scarcity in the dungeon.

I also think that the greatest abundance comes to the one who learns to looks solely to God to fulfill His needs.

Not that God sometimes will not ask us to make our needs known to others, for He does.

But ultimately, the man or the woman of God who wants to function in the miracle provision which God gives, must walk on the waters of faith, looking to God alone.

It’s in getting to the brink of those waters, where you think you will drown, and see God faithfully come through, that you learn to believe for more and more and more.

If we look to people for money, we will always be limited.

I also say that this is the definition of poverty.

If you learn to look only to God, you enter into the realm of transcendental and limitless possibilities.

John Natale had an awesome commentary which impacted me.

 5/13/14

John Natale Ministries

“You’ll never be financially prosperous if you keep reminding yourself and others that you have lack.”

In conclusion, there is a level of growth of faith, slow as it may be, that will eventually bring you into abundance, as Paul says in the scripture above.

But for that to happen, you can’t hold back from God at any level or any place.

Where He says give, you give.

Where He says, surrender, you surrender.

Where He says, you walk on water, you walk.

But all is meant by God to bring you where you can believe, walk in, and receive abundance, which once again I say, is His default state.

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