Tag Archives: God

My Testimony

I accepted Christ when I was 7 years of age on a Sunday night in Rota, Spain. I was apart of a kids program called Super Sunday Nights. On this evening we were memorizing verses and we happened to be memorizing John 3:16; “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” After getting familiar with the verse I declared to my teacher, “I want to have eternal life.” She informed me that salvation from our sins comes from Jesus Christ and when we invite him into our hearts he lives with us and helps us by his Spirit. She invited me to pray to God and to ask him to forgive me of my sins and invite Jesus into my heart. I did so as she guided me. It’s funny. I was raised in a Christian home and grew up with bible stories but this was the first time I had ever really understood anything I was hearing. At once it all made sense.

Since then I have battled through many things. I had moved seven times in my life because my parents were in the military. Each time I had to make friends and battle with loneliness and dread. I was the “perpetual new-kid.” Amongst this I sought out the wisdom of the world to confirm what I thought I chose to believe. After many books and articles I would keep searching. It wasn’t as though there weren’t good enough answers; the fact is that I was simply trying to reach God through my own human wisdom. At other times I would pray demandingly for God to come down and perform miracles. I was trying to support my faith with supernatural evidence as if that was enough to satisfy my veracious appetite for “the proof” instead of living John 20:29: ‘Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”’ Simultaneously I struggled with pornography which itself was more of a battle of trying to satisfy my physical cravings. It bled itself out and manifested its true head as a dark “me” attitude.

By the grace of God he has defeated and continues to defeat these enemies in my life. I realize now that my testimony was not so much “from here to there; black & white” but rather “from there and back again;” from innocent-child-like-faith to mature child-like-faith. The skeptic may be inclined to think that I have “regressed,” but in fact I haven’t regressed at all but “progressed.” When I was a child I had received an unimaginable gift from God but I hadn’t begun to grasp what I had received. It was when I was older and a little more foolish that I truly begun to realize just what God has done for me. Through all my doubt and poor decisions God was with me every step of the way. He continues to guide my feet and be my best friend. The truth is that the gospel is simple. In its very nature it weeds out those who would seek God by their own means. In my own life my pursuit for God was a tower of Babel that only after God had confused my efforts did he show me that the way to himself wasn’t through my own brilliance or effort but through the blood of Jesus Christ. Gently he reminded me what I was taught at first. My life now has been a constant pursuit after his Spirit and it’s been my pleasure to find him pursuing me all the same.

Maybe you’re looking for God in the evidence. Maybe you’re waiting for miracles. I would encourage you to stop. Put down the books. Quit waiting on what God could do for you and focus on what he did do for you. The fact is that what Jesus did on the cross was enough for us to praise him for eternity. On the cross he paid the debt of humanity, canceling our sins and earning us salvation, now and for eternity, ultimately reconciling us with God; when we deserved the full wrath of God he took it upon himself to pay the debt that so we may be called his friends. I plead to you on behalf of the Living God to accept his gift. Let your “knowledge” of God drip twelve inches from your head to your heart. A great quote by C. H. Spurgeon sums it up, “Defend the bible? I would as soon as defend a lion! Unchain it and it will defend itself.” Let God’s word fulfill its truth in your life. Quit trying to white-knuckle grace like I did and instead receive it with open hands. Have faith for He will defend himself.

Jake

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Fall On Deaf Ears

My dear God…

Do you ever wonder what God must be thinking right now? If you’ve ever had this thought you’ll immediately find yourself praying. Its a humbling thought to think that out there exists a being of such raw beauty, power, glory if even those words did enough justice, who keeps himself quite before us and listens.

As a kid I remember asking my dad how cars worked. What do batteries do? Why do certain animals look certain ways? To think that God wants us to approach him like a child like that. Why do certain things happen? Who should I marry? What do you think of her? When you start talking to God again its like your childhood comes back to you. Like an intimate secret at last is revealed. Like an ancient mystery has been revealed just for you. Like the universe has bent itself over for your voice. Like restoration.

I find it amazing that animals enjoy the voice of a human and that plants grow better when talked to. God certainly placed us in the garden for a reason. In the same way we know that we were created for Him because our life is dependent on his very words.

Please hear his voice. A deep voice in your spirit, not your mind. Don’t miss His message. He’s calling out to you.

Jake

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Relationships are complicated. Better yet complicated relationships are complicated.

This is dedicated to the second most important decision one can make in their life. Just some thoughts, nothing more. You don’t have to read into it, just read it. 

(Words will now begin assaulting your conscious.) 

Adam was the only man in history to have his wife created for him; the rest of us have the frustrating challenge of choosing a wife out every single living female on the planet. To make this even more difficult we often don’t know what we’re looking for. Somehow amid all the complexity we find the answer to be much simpler.

We want to be known.

At the core of every human heart we find a desire to be, or attempt to be, as fully known as one is by God. Its a process designed to take a lifetime.  

Boy meets girl. Girl meets boy. They go out and then proceed to tell each other every random detail about themselves. Ultimately as the relationship intensifies so do the heaviness of the shared secrets. And when couples break-up or divorce what do you find?

“Why did you guys break-up?” 

“I don’t know…”

Isn’t it true that at then end of the day, when the emotions have faded and bodies have aged that having our soul’s pursued is enough? Isn’t pursuing someone in itself desiring to know them? Its possible to look into a mirror a thousand times and never see yourself but one glance into another soul can tell us the most about our self; the image we were created in. 

My observation has been this: What is beautiful on the outside, but not the inside can over a period of time appear ugly to me, while what is grotesque on the outside, but beautiful on the inside can just as well appear beautiful to me and there are those rare occasions when what appears beautiful on the outside is just as beautiful as what is in the inside and an unspeakable beauty results.

It makes sense doesn’t it? Shouldn’t we search for somebody who is best suited to navigate the passageways of our hearts? Equipped to plunge into our depths? And take delight in the treasures they find there? 

Hmm…

-Long Jack Lobo 

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The Most Beautiful Thing One Can Wear is a Smile

“I have a right to be ugly.”

August, 25, 1989, a beautiful baby was born. Unfortunately the baby became more and more hideous as it grew. When every passing year puberty left another wicked curse on him. One year an ugly mole, the next a random growth spurt. Each ebb and flow of time left him looking more and more like a freak and less and less like a model. Wasn’t puberty supposed to craft him into a fine young gentleman worthy of the cravings of young women? 

Fredrick Watson sighed as he smiled in the mirror. His sigh soon became a depression when he thought about what he was missing out on. He never was able to gain a girl’s attention, play sports with any dexterity that would allow him to enjoy it in the least or make a group of people laugh at his funny stories. For him, he thought, God had left out all of the good qualities and stitched him up from the assortment of random parts laying around in his workshop. 

Sadly Fredrick Watson is a real person. He resembles many of us as we look in the mirror each day. We feel that God has placed us with misfortunes rather than blessings.

There was one thing, however, that made Fredrick Watson different. As quickly as his depression was hovering it had fled at the sight of his smile. Yes each row of crooked yellow teeth proceeded to banish the darkness around him and lite up the dimly light bathroom mirror. With the curve in his chapped lips he continued to drive the cloud out of him; forcing self-respect into his heart. 

“If the world in its fancy styles and colors can feel a sense of justification when they look in the mirror and see their beautiful faces then I can feel just as well looking in the mirror and seeing my face.” 

Fredrick Watson paused to gather his thoughts. 

“God makes no mistakes. He created each one of us in his image. His purpose is just. He told the blind man that God did this so his glory could be shown.” 

You see Fredrick knew that God didn’t have to fix his circumstances to heal him from the ever foreboding and ominous darkness that haunted his dreams and desires. He had to fix his heart. 

Fredrick Watson withdrew from the momentary battle, dressed himself and went to work. 

“I have a right to be ugly.” 

-Long Jack Lobo

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Living on the Bare Essentials

Today for the internship we got a chance to do some outreaches. The one our group was assigned to was called “Bags of Love.” Essentially we filled plastic bags with items that homeless people may find useful and proceeded to pray about whom God would have us give them to. 

To make a long story short we found these two homeless guys named John and Spider Tom. John had some sort of bi-polar condition, heard voices was married and divorced twice, had three kids, his parents were divorced and left him when he was fifteen and his dad beat him without reason. Spider Tom was a Special Forces Recon veteran who had definitely spent some time in war. 

We got to talking and one of the girls named Queen in my group asked John, “So what do you think are the three essential things somebody needs to live.” 

After sorting out his thoughts verbally John came to the conclusion that to live one needs: 

1.  Your faith

2. Water

3. – (“Umm? That was only two!)

Food was eliminated because humans can live for quite awhile without it and air was also implied. 

This experience really got me thinking because I’ve been so used to living in plenty that I’ve really lost sight of what’s important in life. 

Matthew 4:4 NLT

But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say,‘People do not live by bread alone,but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”

I think its important to realize how crucial the presence of God is to our lives. Think about it, 

every 

thing

comes 

from 

God.

Scientists don’t believe in cold, rather a lack of heat. They also don’t believe in darkness rather a lack of light. The bible tells us that every good and perfect gift comes from God. That means everything! In the end our source of life is God. Boom.

Marinate.

Long Jack Lobo

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Character, Passion, and Attitude

What kind of things are holding you back from being a leader? What kinds of qualities do you need to invest in to become the leader that God wants you to be? 

Today I learned of three central areas that contribute greatly to your leadership and influence: character, passion and attitude. 

Character is essential. Its the iceberg below the iceberg. In short its what makes or breaks a leader. 

Passion is the fuel that helps a developing leader grow.

Attitude is infectious. An great leader infects others with their own qualities. 

Long Jack Lobo 

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