Sunday, October 20, 2013

Lessons on Perseverance: Shifting Into Supernatural Mode

We recently experienced a great visitation of God’s presence as we ministered in a Hispanic Church down in the border area, which tied in with a recent experience up in the mountains where the Lord spoke through a series of circumstances. It felt like a really unique time when I was preaching as I noticed an incredible leading of the Spirit taking place with the message: The subject was on discipleship and God’s work in our lives to form us into disciples—not just converts—as we walk with and serve the Lord. 

There was an unusual attentiveness there as I spoke that I hadn’t experienced with this congregation before, and a very powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit afterwards accompanied by some powerful healing.  

With all our trials and tribulations as believers we must keep our eyes on the prize—being formed into Christ’s disciples is His plan—all the things we endure, we sometimes forget, are working to our benefit so that God’s grace can reach more and more people (2 Cor. 4:15) and cause praise to flow to God.

The following story from up in the mountains illustrates how God can use unexpected things to work discipleship in our lives and speak certain truths into our hearts:

While in the middle of various ministry we noticed we were coming near the end of summer fast; after ministering in Canada in the beginning of summer and being on the road for weeks at a time, and then getting caught up in various ministry once back here, the days of summer had just zipped by and were almost gone, it seemed, in the blink of an eye.   We decided we should take advantage of an invitation to head up to the Sierras right before summer ended and do a backpacking trip with our friend Lauren, as well as meet up with other friends up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains for a little biking afterward.  

Sometimes you do things and you start getting a sense that the Lord has something more planned than you were aware of. This was one of those times, as we were blown away how the Lord was going before us and literally setting things up for our venture right from the beginning.  

We showed up at our friend’s place to find out that a couple she knew happened to be renting a cabin for that weekend right by the trailhead we’d be taking.  They invited us all up to come and spend the night there to begin our journey the next day from the cabin.  It couldn’t have worked out better if you planned this six months in advance. It was clear the Lord was setting things up and going before us. What we didn’t know yet were all the divine appointments he had planned, including a major one as we crossed the threshold into the cabin.

We finally arrived at the cabin late in the evening after just having driven up that day, and as we literally walked in through the door, one of the young ladies visiting there said that she’d like us to pray for her since she had to leave shortly. Before we knew it, we had just barely walked through the door and then extended our hand to pray and the Spirit of God was falling in power all around us—literally. The next thing we knew we were in the middle of a move of God and everyone there at the cabin was getting hammered by God’s presence. We had a radical unexpected move of God straight away that evening; it was mind blowing the way the Lord just fell so powerfully right as we walked in the door!

The next morning we came to find out that one of the guys we were staying with was an experienced backpacker who was able to give us some much needed tips and advice for our trip before we headed out. 

We were equally amazed to find out that we would be able to literally start our hike straight from the cabin since there was a trail right there that connected to where we were going, and also leave our car right there with them; none of this was planned by us, however by God’s grace it just “all fell into place”. We were blown away how the Lord orchestrated everything and also glad that we would not have to park the car out in the middle of nowhere by the trailhead like we thought we were going to have to do.

We hit the trail rejoicing in all that God had done.  We were having a great hike, excited that God’s hand was with us every step of the way, including another divine appointment right away as we got going along the trail, running into an acquaintance from San Diego.  

Well into the hike later that day, while enjoying the views as we walked up the trail, out of left field suddenly came the unexpected.  Altitude sickness came upon me as subtly as a falling piano once we got over 10,000 feet elevation—having driven straight up the day before from sea level, we never had a chance to acclimate. With one-third less oxygen in the air at that elevation, I suddenly began to experience a splitting headache that got worse with every step. It felt like someone had put a bell over my head and was banging it with a sledgehammer. Waves of nausea then began to hit me as I continued to hike.

The situation was complicated by the fact that we needed to get to our destination before dark to set up our tent, and we were only about 3 miles into the 6 miles we needed to go. The altitude sickness only kept getting worse, even though we stopped to rest to try and let it subside.

It got to the point where I felt like I couldn’t go on any further. I became aware of how similar this was to the feeling that can overwhelm you on the mission field when the warfare hits you like a ton of bricks.  

Some want to discount the severe amount of warfare you experience when you step out to serve God, it is not just fun and frolicking all day. While God does bring many blessings, there is also a severe amount of spiritual warfare and trial you go through that sometimes so overwhelms your system and senses that it can be crushing.  (I remember more than one mission trip to Europe where the moment we landed we got news that all the outreach we set up was falling apart and in disarray; after spending all that time and money planning and getting there it all falls to pieces as you arrive, "Yea, how fun."  Then, there’s one battle after another to see things come back together.)

The reason some may never experience warfare in their Christian walk is because they never do anything that is an any way threatening to the kingdom of darkness or in the least way pursuing the purposes of the Kingdom of God or stepping out to evangelize the lost. Some believers also discount the enemy and his realm and that is exactly how Satan likes it; he can be most effective if believers think he is not there and then can all the more deftly carry out his evil schemes.

Well, back to the story, this hike was causing everything in my physical system to be ringing louder. The altitude sickness kept getting worse as we went higher; all I could do was cry out to God for help—and for a while that seemed to do no good—but somehow I just kept pushing on.

At one point I began to worship the Lord out loud, even though it was the last thing I felt like doing, since every effort and movement took all my strength.  

However, at that point, God’s presence began to fill me and the sickness began to subside some, and a bit of strength came back. It is hard enough to keep going uphill higher and higher in altitude when it is making you sicker and sicker. Carrying a thirty-pound backpack certainly doesn’t help matters either. Nevertheless, as I worshipped the Lord I could feel strength coming into my body and it was clear it was supernatural and not my own.

I praised God for a breakthrough finally, the same kind experienced on the mission field many times, when you’re hard-pressed and shaken like Paul says, and have run out of your own natural strength by being hit with heavy trials. It is in those moments that the Lord shifts your gears into supernatural mode as you lean into Him for strength and comfort—a stretching and breaking process to be sure—yet this is the mode that He seeks to teach and lead us to learn to operate in: “supernatural!” However, that doesn’t mean that things will all of sudden be “easy peasy lemon squeezy.”

So after walking with new strength and feeling somewhat better for a bit—I still had a bit of ringing in my head—we came to a junction.

As we looked out ahead, we could see an emerald green lake down in the distance to our right that looked so enticing, especially since it was downhill from where we were. And yet as we paused to pray about which way we should go, we all kept getting a feeling from the Lord that we were to instead turn left and go uphill at this juncture. 

This was neither attractive nor made sense to the natural mind, since going left looked really daunting and we could see no destination, and looking right in the other direction we could see a nice lake in the distance, and yet we stepped out in faith and went left, and it was pretty much straight up with heavy switchbacks, causing us to question if this could be the right thing we were doing.  This boggled the natural mind to be sure; however, it was one of those “lean-not-on-your-own-understanding” moments, and since the same word kept coming to go left, we began to head up. I was not a happy camper as the head ringing came back when I started to make my way up the heavy switchbacks.  

Finally, we got up that last steep and gnarly hill, which just happened to be the heaviest one of the whole entire hike.  So after 6 long miles uphill that day with a thirty-pound backpack and somewhere in the vicinity of 1500 feet of elevation gained, we ended up at a picturesque little heavenly-looking lake with a perfect little patch of grass right by the water’s edge where we could set up camp for the night. 

Final destination: the little lake we camped by in the Sierras at 11,000+ feet.

It was a rare moment in life to be somewhere so isolated, free from all the normal noise and other pollutions and interruptions of our everyday urban world.  We took it in and were glad we had persevered, something so neccessary to get to this once-in-a-lifetime spot.

We had an awesome time there, even though we were a little cramped as we squeezed all four of us into a tiny little backpacking tent that was really only suited for 2 people. I was glad that I had persevered through the trial of the severe altitude sickness.

Perseverance is something not emphasized much these days with all the “instants” of our modern society. From expecting instant food without a moment’s waiting to instant success in any endeavor taken on, most people, including believers, do not have a paradigm for understanding the importance of persevering and enduring trial and difficulty, nor do they think it is something they might have to go through, thinking that if they do endure trials then something must be completely wrong. We’ve been so  completely and absolutely wrongly conditioned and, yes, even taught, to expect our “best life now” without any suffering or trial or battle involved at all. 

Nevertheless, we find something altogether different in the pages of the Bible: well over one-third of the Psalms are laments, including many by David who was chased like a dog and lived as a refugee while waiting for God’s promise and prophecy to be fulfilled for his life. Paul the Apostle talked at length in a personal way about his own trials, difficulties, and tribulations in serving the Lord on the mission field, and cautioned that those who serve God will experience them too.  And lest we forget, Jesus, the very Son of God, yes, God the Son, had no place to lay His head and died on a cruel cross for our sins, not all endless fun and frolicking there. 

Famed missionary of the 20th century to the Motilone Indians Bruce "Bruchko" Olson suffered one trial after another for years in the jungles of Colombia before seeing one single convert. Without perseverance he wouldn't have reached them at all like he did. Likewise, William Carey, known as the Father of Modern Missions, labored and suffered in India for more than five years before seeing a single convert. On and on throughout Christian History we see the same pattern present itself. 

Even though blessings upon blessings are given to us by the Almighty, they are not without the accompanying trial and tribulation that buffet those who seek to truly and fully follow the truth!

Well, we returned from our hike up the mountain back to civilization—it is always easier coming back down for some reason—to more divine appointments.  We prayed for a young lady whom we met who had been struggling with that discipleship process, and as we talked with her before dinner, tears fell from her face as the Holy Spirit came upon her as she realized the time had come to lay her life fully before Christ and take up the cross and follow him completely!!! Glory! 

Then, when we visited a mountain church on Sunday, the Pastor talked all about not relying on the natural mind but on the Spirit’s leading—exactly what we had just experienced on our backpacking trip!  Then this pastor, a man whom I had never met before, walked up to me at the end of the service and said, “What about you, do you have a word to share? Wow, that was some faith and discernment on his part! 

I shared a word and began to pray over the congregation and God’s Spirit moved and was poured out and we ended up ministering over quite a few different people with the Lord’s presence being poured out that day.

We talked later with the Pastor and found out we had many things in common and he thanked us for helping him “to land the message” as he wasn’t sure how to segue into the ministry, but the word I shared and the ministry that flowed from that point was exactly what was needed, he told us—Glory!!! 

You can bet we’ve had many experiences on the mission field where we needed to persevere through many trials, from being stuck with nothing but a can of sardines over a few day's journey on a train, to having to fit three people in a tiny little cot to sleep in the middle of a freezing cold winter in Sweden. We often have to first persevere through difficulty to get to the glory parts; if you only ever share about the glory, others who will step out may think it strange when they start experiencing trials also.

Well, I will share a little more on some of those stories later, but in the meantime watch this video from our friend Erik, who experienced some hard times early on, on the mission field with us!!!

We appreciate your prayers and financial support, it not only helps us to do the work of a disciple, but also call others unto radical discipleship of Christ as well!!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Deja Vu All Over Again

I recently shared how we were at a friends wedding up the coast when on the way back we stopped by a campground.  While taking a little ride on some bikes the Holy Spirit gave me a clear "stop and talk to this guy" word when passing by a couple.  After a little conversation I found out his girlfriend had been taking him to church lately but he had never received Christ. "I am almost a Christian," he said.  Well, after talking a bit and sharing the gospel with him he opened his heart and received Christ -- Praise God he is "almost" no more.  Who wants to “almost” go to heaven?    

That divine appointment brought back a sense of “this feels like déjà vu all over again.”   Then I remembered: Yep, we had a divine appointment right in that same place a few years ago with the same kind of circumstances leading up to it:

We had been up in the exact same area a few years back at another wedding in Monterey, one of my relatives was getting married, and it had also turned into a series of divine appointments: 

Back then it started off with my uncle, an intellectual agnostic type of guy, who approached us straight off and asked us to pray for him right before the wedding started. 

I was taken aback, after years of seemingly fruitless witnessing to him he was asking for prayer all of sudden. 

He had been diagnosed with cancer—it seems the coolness of spouting off intellectual elitism lost the cache it had at Bay Area parties while swilling that glass of wine with hip friends—now the end game was in sight and agnosticism and atheism offered him no comfort or hope whatsoever. 

So we prayed for him and shared more about the Lord with him and came to find out when we saw him at his home in Hawaii a few months later—after ministering with STN—that he had started going to church, and at an evangelical church no less, down the road from his house in Poipu, Kauai. Wow!!!  

Back in the wedding in Monterey, God’s presence took over our time as we just hung out a bit in the area the next day, and then we headed down the coast and stopped in Big Sur and went for a hike where we came to a fork in the trail.  I remember the Spirit of God giving me a nudge to not go towards the waterfall at the moment, but to instead head up the hotter dustier part of the trail to a lookout point. 

We came to the lookout point and there on the bench was a guy sitting with his head in his hands.  We ended up talking with him and he started sharing struggles he was having in his life with relationships and drugs, etc.   We shared Christ with him and he opened his heart and we prayed for him to receive Christ and for the Spirit of God to minister to him, which He did, Hallelujah!!!

Then a strange thing happened: all of a sudden, with a changed countenance and a big smile, he started telling me where the good and hard-to-get-to, hidden surf spots were around the area.  Seemed like he had an injection of truth serum—well I guess he did since the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth—I suddenly felt like a secret CIA surfer giving Holy Ghost injections to surfers along the coast to find out the secrets of their hidden spots.

That is not the only time that has happened, we were in Northern Scotland, way up where if you go further north you will finally hit the North Pole.  We were spending time for our anniversary and visiting the place of former revival.  The area was known for good surf but trying to get to the right place with the right wind and swell hitting at the right time seemed beyond difficult.  I was mostly hitting spots with good swell but “victory at sea” wind conditions; a fun alternative was trout fishing since they have so much trout in this area. You can fish it as much as you want without a license or limits.  Well, after quite a bit of fish I was hungry for some decent surf. 

I ran into this local at a gas station and started talking with him; I wasn’t very hopeful about getting info from him since other locals were quite mum about telling you info on where to surf and when in this region.  However, I was just hanging out and started sharing some Holy Ghost Surf Stories with him.  His heart seemed touched and he looked around to make sure no one else was listening to us, and then grabbed a map and said, “Look here, yank, if you want some great surf, go to this surf spot about an hour away right now. It will have some nice swell and a wee bit of off shore winds.”

Well the secret CIA truth serum of the Holy Ghost did it again, without even trying!  We headed straight down to the indicated spot and it was going off, and I, for quite a while, was surfing completely by myself, hallelujah! Quite the experience for someone from crowded Southern California!!  A Scottish crowd did finally show up a few hours later and there were a grand total of about 4 other guys in the water with plenty of waves to go around.  

By that time, however, I was on my way out of the water and was frosting up as the sun was starting to go down.  In the evening, the temperatures were dropping below freezing even though it was in midsummer.

I looked back as I got out and took in the view of awesome emerald waves, white sand, and jagged cliffs, and thanked God for what was surely a once-in-a-lifetime type of experience!

Praise God for that Holy Ghost truth serum too!!

Some awesome waves in Scotland obtained in
Scotland through a divine appointment.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

20 Year Wedding Anniversary: Reflection On How We Met

Major Highlight 20-Year Anniversary

© Paul Yoh

One of the major highlights of the last year was the celebration of our 20th wedding anniversary, hallelujah! We received this cool email response when we shared about it in one or our newsletters.

From our friend Randy:

Congratulations on the continued successful ministry and especially on your 20th wedding anniversary.  The last is no small feat, and in fact, in this day and age, is a miracle!  20 years of on the road ministry!  Raising a beautiful son!  Staying together...  Pushing through the lean and the stressful times with persistent love!  I am impressed and I happily celebrate this tremendous achievement.  Jesus wanted to teach by example.  You guys teach love by example.  I have always seen God's divine love flowing through you both.  You guys are a walking testament to a truly Christian life, one that is filled with adventures in faith and love.

Happy anniversary and keep in His light and on His path!


It is Hard to believe that 20 years have gone by since we said our vows to one another years back in front of friends and family in Newport Beach; boy, time really does fly by.

It is glorious to see how God's grace, love, power, and mercy has continually worked through His Holy Spirit in our lives to continue to accomplish His will that was announced from the very beginning of time:  "A man shall leave his mother and father and the two shall become one flesh."  God by His grace is continually working all the time fulfilling that goal in deeper and deeper ways—it is incredible to be more in love and feeling deeper as one with God and each other twenty years on into it all; God truly is amazing. 

We give all glory to God to have this testimony in this day of broken marriages.   Both of our parents got divorced while each of us was growing up, which greatly stacked the odds against us having a marriage that survives.  We are humbled and thankful for His incredible grace which always turns everything for good in such amazing and unexpected ways, and without which we’d likely find ourselves on the killing floor just like so many others who are trying to clean up the wreckage of a broken marriage.  Nevertheless, His mercy and amazing grace has continually overflowed by the sheer power of the Holy Spirit to make us more into one all the time.    

Divine Appointment: Seat-saving With Lasting Consequences

We get asked regularly how we met, which is a bit of a wild and crazy story, so it is always fun to retell it:

Mercedes and I met at a conference in Kansas City, some 22 years ago, a place neither of us had ever been to before.

We had both been attending Anaheim Vineyard at that time, but had never met each other there. A brief passing in the hall did have us catch each other’s eye one time though.

Mercedes’ family had come up and moved to the US all the way from Argentina, specifically for the revival that was happening at the Vineyard Anaheim in those days.  I also had been filled with the Holy Spirit and received much healing myself in the early days of that same revival.

The Anaheim Vineyard was doing a conference together with Kansas City Fellowship (what later became IHOP), and each of us, come to find out later, felt God was leading us out to this conference in Kansas City for something special. 

In fact, as I was waiting for confirmation from the Lord, those holding the airline tickets were getting a bit annoyed at my “insistence to wait upon God” as they called it,  but confirmation came from the Lord and proved to be of great importance.

A Big Meeting

A big meeting was set for the last night of the conference. I had saved a seat near the front row in the 8,000-seat auditorium, which was packed out. 

Having gone to a lake that day with some friends during the afternoon, I was surprised to come back to find my things from my seat thrown into a pile in the corner, along with other people’s clothing, jackets, and notebooks.  The ushers had decided, that at the very last meeting, after a whole week of everyone saving seats, to institute a new practice of “no seat saving” for the final and last meeting, not much time for people to get used to the new policy really. 

There turned out to be quite a few disgruntled people saying it was a little late in the day to suddenly change everything, after allowing seats to be saved the whole week.  You could definitely hear some grumbling as people were rummaging through the huge piles of clothing and notebooks, trying to find their stuff.

I finally found my stuff in the pile, and then decided I might as well go to the back of auditorium since I now didn’t have a seat.  

As I was walking by the front of the auditorium on my way to find a new place to sit, a small group of guys I had never met began calling out to me.  I didn’t know them, but went over and asked, “What’s up.”

“We save extra seats and are praying who to give them to, and we all just felt you are supposed to sit here,” they told me.  “Wow!” I said, “You have actually saved seats and are praying who to give them to?”  “Must be doing it undercover lest you get persecuted by the ushers!”   “You know,” I responded “I was going to be sitting here in the front originally, and then lost my seat to the ushers’ little game of musical chairs. I think I’m supposed to be sitting up here after all.” 

I was back near the front row again, but the seats had just been rearranged a little bit by the Lord.

I took the offered seat and soon noticed a young lady from the Vineyard I had seen once before in the hall there, sitting close to me.  “Haven’t I seen you somewhere before?” I said.  Well, as lame as that line was, it was true. We had the Vineyard Anaheim as a reference point so we struck up a conversation quite easily.  After talking a while, we also began to find that we both felt called by the Lord towards similar things.

Meanwhile, Mercedes’ mother who was standing next to her, told Mercedes after hearing us converse for a while: “I think I just met my future son-in-law.”  Mercedes was naturally quite shocked at these unexpected words.  Fortunately, I didn’t overhear this statement as I would probably have thought this was some strange Kansas City marriage-arranging cult and would have hauled out of there.  

Her mom had actually had a vision of us being wrapped in cords of love right when we met—a vision that obviously proved itself to be true in due time.

However, the cords of love came a little later as we spent the first year just being friends and hanging out after church and occasionally doing stuff together like having a time of worship with a guitar on the beach or a game of tennis.

We later began to officially date when we were both quite aware from the leading of the Lord where it was all heading—to the marriage altar. Once we knew that, we were just waiting on God’s timing to tie that old knot.

 A Ring, A Beard, and A Wedding Dress

The Lord gave numerous confirmations that he was calling us to marry.  Unusual miracles and divine occurrences continued to lead the way in sometimes amusing fashion:

When I went to meet Mercedes’ dad for the first time, I was in the middle of a Nazarite vow.  After hanging around Lonnie Frisbee at that time, I got the Nazarite bug and took on this vow for a time—I didn’t know it was going to be a challenge of trusting God and overcoming the fear of man. 

I had been going on for almost six months and I had a gigantic beard down to almost my chest as well as long hair down my back and I was looking like an old Moses doll that the cat had dug up and dragged in—not really how you want to be looking when you meet your prospective father-in-law.  It was a time of testing as I was more than tempted to shave it all off before meeting her dad, but I felt led to hold steady and continue forward with what I was doing.  

In fact, Mercedes mother had said: “I hope you’re going to shave off that ridiculous beard before you meet Mercedes’ dad.”  She had actually called Mercedes’ dad to warn him that I looked like a gosh-darn hippie and to be prepared when he meets me that I resembled a hillbilly.

Her dad’s a pretty clean-cut, straight-laced guy, so it was quite surprising when the first words he said upon meeting me were: “Mercedes’ mother said you have a big ugly beard and look like some crazed hippie but I don’t see what the problem is. I used to have a beard and I happen to like beards.”  That was more than shocking; what looked like something that would be a problem turned out to work for good, with a little twist on what everybody thought would be a negative actually turning out to be positive.  In fact,  the little warning from Mercedes’ mother actually caused him to be more positive to me just to spite her, since they had a bit of an acrimonious history since divorcing.

This was followed up by her dad saying, “I heard you got a ring already. Let me have a look at that thing.”   He responded with a disdainful “hmmff” followed by: “Why don’t you take that little thing back and keep the money and give her this instead.”  He gave me a beautiful diamond ring, which blew the little ring I’d bought away. Having some extra cash on hand, especially when you’re embarking on a life lived by faith sure helps out. I was glad to take his ring for Mercedes and take the little one I bought back to the store and get some extra cash.

Those were a few cool miracles already, especially with these things not being the normal course of action for her dad’s behavior, but the miraculous continued. 

We were looking into buying a wedding dress for the ceremony when Mercedes’ step-mom said she just happened to have a designer wedding dress on hand at the moment (not something she usually had on hand) and said if it fit Mercedes she could use if for the wedding—it fit like a glove and turned into a divinely supplied dress at just the right time for the wedding. 

Once again, God intervened and we ended up having not only the wedding dress supplied, but the location as well, saving us even more dinero.
Prophecy – And a Couple of Howling Dogs

When the big day came, the wedding ceremony was being conducted by prophetic minister Larry Randolph who began to prophesy over us right in the middle of the ceremony, which was pretty bold in that atmosphere with all the different kinds of people there from unbelievers to full Pentecostals.  

It got even more wild however, as right at the very moment when he was giving us these powerful prophecies some dogs in the next yard over began to howl, bark, and screech, at the top of their lungs—it seemed the dogs were giving confirmation to his prophetic words over us—if God can use a donkey he can use dogs too!! The Spirit of God suddenly fell in power over the whole place and everybody there began to laugh hysterically all while the glory poured down—hallelujah!  Not a bad way to start things out!!

Onto the Process of the Two Becoming One

Any non-Hollywood celebrity type who has been married more than 72 days will tell you the ceremony isn’t the only thing, you know, that is just the beginning of the journey.  God’s process just goes deeper into shaping Christ’s image into us as his children, but also fulfilling God’s original plan of making the two become one flesh.

The Protestant reformer Martin Luther said that there is no better school for character than marriage—the monastery was a walk in the park when compared to it.  

Luther pointed out that hanging around all day in the monastery was just an endless parade of rituals that didn’t do much to take things all that deep in life with God, neither did it challenge or stretch your soul. The marriage relationship, on the other hand, confronts and holds your selfish human tendencies accountable.

Luther emphasized that marriage stretches us in ways that teach us to know and experience the love and grace of God in a continually deeper way.  


Both of us were attending traditional Christian institutions of higher learning when we got married.  I was at Fuller Seminary and Mercedes at Biola University. 

However, there are more important schools he enrolled us in:  The University of the Holy Spirit –UHS.  This is where you learn to take up the cross and follow the Spirit’s leading as He has you step out into things that may even feel crazy at times, but then you see God’s hand as miracles happen!!! 

The Lord has also taken us through the School of Character which can be called the University of Hard Knocks— UHK.  This is where a few knocks hit you upside the head and you learn in those hard times that God is still working for your best even when you’re struggling.  You learn to yield to the Lord’s work to bring forth fruits of the Spirit as well as gifts into your life.  

Gifts were never meant to exist to the exclusion of fruits nor fruits only to the exclusion of gifts—both are needed and necessary for true maturity in Christ.  Praise God for how Paul speaks about the unlimited patience that the Lord has for us and the sheer grace of God, which works in and through us to heal and transform.  Marriage takes that process all that much deeper.  

The trials of life can at times hit us in ways that highlight our human weakness, but also work to cause us to lean into the Lord, who through the Holy Spirit pours out that unlimited patience of the Almighty, which brings us into an even deeper well of His grace and love through it all. 

We praise God that we see the Spirit of God working all the time to fulfill that plan that was announced from the very beginning of time: “ A man shall leave his father and mother and the two shall become one flesh.” (Gen. 2:24)

Check out our videos on:

"Holy Ghost Wedding Message":

"Towards a Healthy Marriage":