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Christianity community Lifestyle The Promise

Bible, Bacon and Bullets

Over the past couple of years we have made several attempts to start a Mens Ministry at the church, usually once or twice a year, and often with a very low attendance because people always have to work.

This year we did it again, but instead of inviting the men to the church, I decided to bring them out to The Promise which is our future family and ministry home on 12 acres of land half an hours drive from the church in Orlando. My friend from Texas was working behind the scenes. He has been very involved in mens ministry, so he kind of talked me into it. When we first announced it, we called it Bible & Bacon, and then my friend added another B for Bullets, so they all could come and shoot guns!

I guess this was the key to succes. Somehow the sizzling bacon on the griddle would make most of the men rise and shine, and it seemed like adding bullets to the breakfast would be a winner as well.

What is a Good Man?

Saturday morning my field turned into a parking lot as all the guys came to sit at my table to eat and fellowship. The bacon was good, and the Bible was even better. I shared a word on Barnabas who was known as a “good man”, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, leading people to Christ and playing an essential role as an assistant to the apostle Paul (Acts 11).

Right there we talked about our faith in Jesus and what it takes to be a good man, which is different from what you find in your workplace and in the world today. In the Kingdom of God it is not all about money and muscles, trucks, trophees and a trimmed lawn in front of your townhome. God does not look at the outwards, but he looks at your heart.

After breakfast and bible study, people went to the shooting range bringing their weapons and lots of bullets. What a sight! The tables were all set, all we had to do was line up! I had heard that there was a shortage of ammunition in the United States, but not today. Somehow it looked like all the ammunition was right here at The Promise.

Go for the Target

We spend the next hours shooting guns into a big pile of dirt. My neighbor had been cutting the grass, and my friend from Texas had marked the site with yellow painted tires. It was so cool. Some of us did pretty well, and it was great to see how especially the new guys enjoyed the day, the fellowship and the scenery.

My prayer is that they will go for the target and not miss the mark. It is not about the bacon and the bullets, it is about the gospel, finding salvation in Jesus Christ, through the work of the cross and his resurrection power. We are all created in the image of God, and we have all been equipped with mighty weapons so we can fight the good fight in the light, against the power of darkness. Time is precious. Let us not waste more bullets, missing the mark, but focus on the target and live our life fully for Him!

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Inspiration Road Trip Testimony

My Wildest Ride of Faith

People around me know that my motorcycle is my favorite way of transportation. I love motorcycles. I am a pastor, and when I ride I spend time in prayer. That is where I feel closest to heaven. It makes my heart jump! I heard somebody express it like this. “Four wheels move the body, but two wheels move the soul!”.

This blog is dedicated to one of my most adventurous bikes, a red Yamaha 1300 V star 2013, that has followed me since 2018. I only had it for a short time, but my time with this bike has been a a powerful testimony about Gods guidance and provision in my life.

God Loves Motorcycles

One day as I was riding my bike, God spoke to me with an audible voice. “Sell your bike, and send the money to your dad in Denmark”, He said.

This was my chance to clear the debt to my dad, so I listed my motorcycle for sale and waited for months, still riding the bike.

After three months somebody contacted me from Trinidad. He had seen the add, and he was ready to meet me at the church the following Sunday. He already knew I was a pastor, and he knew he was supposed to buy the bike. Gold told him to buy it!

I thought this was very interesting. I am convinced that God loves motorcycles and especially mine!

A Significant Sunday

The following Sunday the man from Trinidad was in church sitting in the front row together with his wife. During service a pastor friend of mine showed up outside. He said God had told him to come to our service, and that he had something to share.

We invited him to the pulpit. This pastor had just finished cancer treatment and looked like skin and bone in a suit. This was his first Sunday in church since the treatment, so I understood the significance, that he was with us in Orlando and not in his home church in Daytona Beach.

We all looked at him as he took the microphone. “I am here in the office of an apostle. God has given me wealth and I am here to distribute it”, he said.

What happened next was unbelievable. I was sitting in my seat as he pointed at my son and daughter in law. “God is giving you pick up truck and a car”, he said, and then he turned towards me. “And this is for you pastor Christian…”

Next thing I hear is a roar from huge motorcycle, like the one I just sold to the man from Trinidad in order to pay the debt to my dad. I looked at the pastor from Daytona Beach. “God has seen your sacrifice, this is for you to keep and not to give”, he said.

I was chocked and so was the man from Trinidad sitting next to me. He was here to buy my old motorcycle, and right there God was giving me a Yamaha V star with lower mileage and all the extra equipment that I had been dreaming of!

The following week I looked in my calendar and realized that God had given me this new bike exactly one year after another significant church service in August 2018 where I gave my former motorcycle in the offering in order to raise the downpayment for us to buy the church!

I Yamahappy Biker

The following months I was driving my new bike, and my new friend from Trinidad was driving my old bike. He invited me and my wife to stay in his house, and we became biker buddies. He even gave me a t-shirt so we could ride together. The printed message on the t-shirt was clear. “I Yamahappy Biker”, it said.

One day my new friend was heading back to his home in Trinidad, and the day he left, he left the keys to the motorcycle in the offering at the church. “God told him to do so”, he said.

I was still living in his house, and the motorcycle was still standing in the garage, next to my motorcycle. But now it was my job as a pastor to find a buyer for my old bike, so that the money for the sale could be given back to the church.

This was the second time I posted the same bike on Facebook, but this time it did not belong to me. It belonged to God, so I believed He would have to find the buyer!

MC With A Mission

It took a while, but in the beginning of March 2020 during a conference in Texas, I was sitting at the breakfast table telling the testimony about the motorcycles, how I gave one in the offering, sold one to give the money to my dad and was blessed with a third one on the exact same day as I gave the first one in the offering.

I was sitting next to a native pastor from the Rosebud Sioux Nation and showed him a picture of the bike that now belonged to the church. I had no idea that he was looking for a bike, so right there, at the breakfast table, we made the deal.

Right there I called my friend in Trinidad, and when he heard the motorcycle was going to the Rez in South Dakota, he started laughing. He told me, that he always have had a dream of visiting the Rosebud Sioux nation, so he was super excited to know that his motorcycle would be owned by a pastor on the Rez.

Long story short. The motorcycle was sold in March and delivered in July. I put it on the bed of a truck and drove it to Amarillo TX where we met with the pastor from South Dakota and unloaded the motorcycle from my truck to his trailer. The ride continues, and only God knows what happens next!

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Mission

Pay it Forward

Children in the Amazon Jungle of Ecuador receiving Corona help. So far almost 500 families have received help.

During this month we have been busy collecting money for our friends in Puyo Ecuador who are suffering because of the COVID-19 lock down. So far we have send close to 8000 dollars to local church which has become a center of distribution of food to people who are suffering in the area. Almost every day they have been giving out bags of food (13 dollar value bags which can feed a family for two weeks) and so far they have reached close to 500 families, some of them in the most remote places where people don’t have any transportation or access to food.

Blessed To Be A Blessing

As people received help, they wanted to pay it forward, and we have seen how people have started to care for one another in a very practical way.

Franklin Sanchez who is one of the key persons in the distribution of food, working for pastor Carlos Marchan in Puyo, has send forward pictures of how his neighbors have joined forces to build a house for a deaf and dumb lady in the street. She was living alone in a shag with the rain pouring through the roof, together with four children, when the neigbors decided to “pay it forward”.

Over the past two weeks they have been building on “Biancas House”, and this week we received the pictures of the new house that Bianca and her four children can call home.

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Disaster Relief

The White Shirt On The Pole

Only a few days after we launched the food bank in Ecuador, the work is spreading to more places. Pastor Carlos Marchan and his team in Puyo has been giving out essentials to the people in the city, but now they are planning a trip inside Jungle to one of the small communities.

The people living in the jungle are under the same lock down as the people in the city and they have nothing to eat. Usually they will travel to the city to buy food or trade for food, but because of the curfew they can’t make it that far. They live so remote, without lights and running water, and they don’t have any cars.

Over the past years we have been visiting the village several times. Usually we would travel out there in the morning, preach the gospel and share a meal with them. Some of you might remember the pictures, my sons tribal adventure when they painted us in the face and gave us chicha to drink as a part of their welcome tradition!

The White Shirt

Right now the team in Puyo is making care packages for the villages with rice, eggs and cooking oil and other things. The government gives out rations of five eggs and a little rice, but our team has been able to buy a lot of eggs so they are giving out packages of 30 eggs which is a huge blessing.

For the past two days our team have been giving out care packages in Puyo, and as they went out to the suburbs, they saw white shirts hanging outside the houses. This has become a common thing in Ecuador, people hanging out their shirts as a sign of surrender to show that they have no more food.

We Need Your Help

In Puyo pastor Carlos Marchan and his team sre loading the cars with care packages to drive out in the communities In just a few days, his church has become a food bank, a distribution center of essentials.

This has been possible through generous donations from our local church and from business people that we know. As the team in Ecuador has been sending pictures of families and elderly people receiving help, we know that we are reaching the lost.

If you want to be a part of this, we will be very thankful. Think about the white shirt on the pole. Look at the pictures, the faces of the children, the elderly, the places they live and the fear and poverty they are facing due to COVID-19.

If you want to support, you can buy a care package for 15 dollars. One package will feed a family for two weeks.

Click on the link and donate today.

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ecuador Mission

Food Bank Launch As Response to Pandemic

Last week I was on the phone with my pastor friend in Puyo, in the Amazon Jungle. I was happy because our corona lockdown in Florida finally is over, but in Ecuador the reality is very much different. Due to the pandemic, people are not able to leave their houses during regular hours, and they are only allowed to drive their car once a week. Because of this, it is very difficult just to get essential supplies for a house hold. People have to walk, and if they are not back in their house before 2 pm, they will be fined or even arrested.

Many of the people we know have family members and friends that have died due to COVID-19, including one of the ladies that took care of our team in Esmeraldas last year. In Guayaquil which is the second largest city in the nation, they are burning dead bodies in the street or even dumping them in the ocean, because they can’t bury them fast enough.

Church is Essential

My good friend pastor Carlos Marchan who has an established ministry in the area, cannot pastor his church since everything has been shut down. I challenged him to become essential, to buy food and start distributing food to people in the community like we have done it at our church in Orlando, Florida.

I asked him to buy food at wholesale prizes and we would send him the money. Starting with one ton of rice for 1000 dollars, he could make the church into a food distribution center, which would be the beginning of the temporary “food bank” in Puyo.

A few phone calls later, business people started to donate, and the next day we were able to buy one ton of rice, eggs, cooking oil and other essentials for the people in Puyo as an emergency response to the pandemic.

Documentation

Right now the pastor in Puyo is working together with my other friend who is a tour guide. He has a military background and will be able to use his vehicle to pick up the food without any restrictions.

Our friends in Ecuador will be receiving the donations through our ministry and document with photos and video as they buy the food and give it out to the people in the community, especially families and elderly people in the neighborhood who cannot make the walk to the supermarket.

The economy in Ecuador is hit hard. People have lost their jobs because of COVID-19, and when the oil prices dropped, the nation was brought to it’s knees. Oil is a main source of income in Ecuador with an export rate of 60 pct.

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Lifestyle

Finding Faith In Times Of COVID-19

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have all learned how behave as responsible human beings, keeping social distance, not gather in groups bigger than 10, wait for one another as we manuever through our favorite store, that has introduce one way aisles and limits on toilet paper, kitchen towel, paper plates and more.

In this season I have received countless of e-mails from different organisations and institutions of how they respond to COVID-19. Messages from my insurance company, my bank, paypal, the movie theater, different churches and charities, places I have visited or realtors I contacted years ago. I did not even realize they had my email address, so I responded with “unsubscribe”.

What Is Your Response?

As you can read in this blog, our first response has been “feed the poor”. Extravert instead of intravert. Reaching out and touching lives, even though we can’t touch them physically. When non essential business shot down, we can still open the door. Changes motivated by love and respect for our community and authority and not from a fear of COVID-19.

Now is an incredible opportunity for the Church to rise up in love and in service to communities around the world. The need for Jesus is more apparent than ever, and our potential to influence the world is great. What the enemy intends for evil, God can use for good. 

With Vision Comes Provision

In this season we have been feeding our community every night, giving out hot meals to go, close to a hundred meals a day. We started during lock down not knowing if there would be enough hands to help, but so many people have joined the vision.

Since we started feeding the poor, provision has been rolling in, as we have started to give it all out. It is like a constant flow, pallet after pallet, as we keep sharing, a supernatural multiplication is taking place!

Yesterday we received a huge load of t-shirts, and this morning it was distributed so that we could make more room for food. We were organizing and sorting things out for our foodbank. So many people were out there, waiting in line, just to get a few essentials. We gave out 62 boxes, and as we were packing down, we made a final drive for three single mums plus a daughter, her mother and her grandmother!

Where Is Your Faith?

This blog is about giving, but it is also about living. In this season everything we knew has been shaken. This has been a season of turmoil and change. There have been sickness and death, loss of jobs and financial stability, and many people don’t know what to hold on to anymore.

I made up my mind long time ago. Since we don’t know how many years we have in this world, we should live our lives more intentionally, finding purpose and faith before it is too late.

To trust in God is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. The Bible describes faith as the substance of things hoped for. This solid hope is unshakeable, like an anchor of stability that we can hold on to when the oceans roar and rise.

Life is fragile. We cannot take things for granted anymore. Suddenly we see things in another perspective. For some people it might be blurred by fear, but for others it is clear as faith. The world has changed. What is your vision? Is it fear, or is it faith? What is your response to COVID-19?

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Inspiration

Perfect Love Drives Out Fear

The other day I read an article from my home country Denmark speaking about “being skin hungry”. I guess it is a new word in this pandemic, and the definition of “Skin Hunger” is the need of a physical touch, a hug and a kiss. In other words, we need to be loved!

Truth is that we are all social creatures and in this time of global social distancing because of the pandemic, people are starving for physical contact. We can’t live without it, and some people are so under stimulated right now, that they go crazy.

The Fear of Death

Social distancing seems to be a necessary curse right now but I wonder if the consequence of separating people is worth the prize compared to the many broken families, suicides, depressions etc that inevitably will swipe through the world as a consequence of the lock downs and separation of people.

Right now fear is in the front seat. People are afraid of getting sick. People are afraid of being a carrier of the virus. People are afraid of dying. And in order to control the fear of death, people all over the world are trying to control the spread of the virus, instead of turning to God who conquered death and gave us a living hope!

A Jesus Touch

At Powerhouse Church we reach out to some of the weakest people in society and for them the church is an important daily salvage raft that gives them hope and joy and a Jesus touch when most needed.

For them surviving daily in the streets is a much bigger threat than the virus and they need the church now more than ever. We daily follow the news of the streets of Orlando, news of murder, rape, broken families, addictions, gang, aids etc. We see people with cancers, open operation wounds, stab wounds. For them the corona is just another thing on the list to fear.

What Are We Waiting For?

People are telling me to shut down the church and to wait. To take care of my self and not risk the life of our members. My question is; Wait for what? Jesus did not wait for nobody, he touched the lepers and hung around sick people on a daily basis as he was doing his Fathers business. Paul said in 2. Cor 6:2 “Today is the day of salvation, now is the appointed time”. This is the Bible. No government order can postpone God timing.

I do not fear the virus. I do not live by fear, I live by faith, and my faith is being expressed in love. Perfect love drives out all fear. In times of social distancing, it is our time to show our hearts. While Christians all over the world are praying in their homes, their neighbors are sick of isolation and fear. This is the real killer! Who will show them the way to salvation, who will teach them to cry out and pray in times of distress?

Rise And Shine

This is the time for the church to rise!

Romans 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.

This week we have started a daily feeding program, so that people can come and get a hot meal, meet some people, still keeping social distancing, and experience the love of God in action.

Today we received pallets of food and drinks for our food bank, reaching out to homeless and low income individuals and families in our community. On Sunday we have drive in service in the parking, serving the gospel of Jesus Christ to a world that is lost.

We Need Your Help

We don’t know how long this is gonna last, but we will continue to do as much as we can. Right now we need pop up tents to protect the people from the Florida sun and money for food to continue giving out the daily meals.

We need your help. If your conviction is to stay home, I am okay with that, but you can still help us reaching out to the poor. If you can’t go yourself, your money can make a difference. If you want to partner with Powerhouse Church and our ministry in this season, please help and donate today!

We see people with cancers, open operation wounds, stab wounds. For them the corona is just another thing on the list to fear.

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Powerhouse Church

Church is Essential

In this season, my schedule as a traveling evangelist has been put on hold due to the pandemic. Two weeks ago I was ministering in Australia, and before this we were in Denmark and Ecuador. We came back to the USA on March 16th as our president introduced social distancing. We did not have to self quarantine, but I am thankful that I was able to return home before everything shut down.

The world has changed forever. Nothing is the same anymore, schools, entertainment, sports etc. are being shot down, while we are told to shelter in place in our community, staying at home as much as possible, only leaving the house when it’s needed. We keep hearing the word “essential”. Only essential businesses will be open, like grocery stores, doctors offices, fastfood restaurants and … the list is long!

The Gospel Must Be Preached

So now we are here in Orlando, waiting for the plaque to pass by, and in this season the church is essential. People are desperate, laying sleepless at night, turning to drugs and alcohol or even suicide because they are fearfull and hopeless. The world is still waiting for God’s children to be revealed and the good news to be preached. We cannot sit idle, we have a calling on our lives to be servants and witnesses of Christ. Our challenge is to find out what this looks like “in such a time as this”, not to act out of fear, but to keep the faith.

This we do as much as we can. Even though we don’t have our traditional church services, we had our first drive in service on March 29. We will not neglect the gathering of the saints, we can still meet up to 10 people to worship and pray and live stream our services, and we must still reach out to the community and feed the poor, which we do even more in this season.

What Are The Guidelines

Last week we called the Orlando Police Department to get guidelines in the current lock down. It provoked me that the churches are closed, while the store next door still can sell Coca Cola and snacks. Is church not more essential than Dollar General?, I asked.

The lady on the phone gave me a link to the Orange County website, stating that “this Order does not limit religious or funeral services at any location, but all persons leading, performing or attending religious or funeral services are urged to fully comply with all measures advised by the CDC, including limiting gatherings to not more than ten (10) people and practicing social distancing of at least six (6) feet between persons.”

Essential workers includes workers who support food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, such as those residing in shelters, which also includes the church!

Hot Meals Every Night

I don’t know what other churches are doing in this season, but this week Powerhouse Church in Orlando have started a “soup to go” kitchen for our community, so that nobody have to worry about the necessities of life as long as the county is under lock down. Last night was our first night. People came walking, riding on bicycles and driving in cars for a hot meal made with love. We didn’t do a lot of advertising, but still we served 55 meals the first night and many more to come.

This is how we fight our battles. We pray, we worship, we stand on the Word and we feed the poor. We are the church, and in this season we have church, every time two or three are gathered, when we feed the poor from our soup kitchen. We are there for the people, sharing the good news in a time of much sorrow and distress. Serving God and serving people, that is still what we do.

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Inspiration

A Day in the Studio

A few weeks ago I joined Rich Marshall in Orlando as his guest on the God@Work television show. This program, that highlights how God is at work in people’s lives around the world, is produced by GodTV and my segment will air on March 16th at 8:30pm Eastern time. I really enjoyed my time with Rich and his other guests as we explored the power of God at work in our daily lives. Please tune in and tell your friends about this opportunity. 

GodTV is on channel 365 if you have DirecTV; or you can get it online at www.god.tv/work. I am on episode 110. You can also download the GodTV app; God@Work is under the GodTV Originals section.

I genuinely hope you will watch the March 16th program and drop me a note letting me know what you think. GodTV reaches out to million 300 homes on the globe with a potential of 1 billion viewers.

If you are one of them, plz let me know!

Remember, put it in your calendar: Channel 365 on DirecTV; online at www.God.tv/work or on the GodTV app.

Categories
Mission

Church on The Beach

Last month I went on a mission trip to Ecuador to speak at a conference in Puyo in the Amazon Jungle and to visit the city of Esmeraldas which is a major seaport in the Northwestern part of the country.

Over the past year we have been ministering to a group of fishermen in Esmeraldas. It started with a random fishing trip and a bbq on the beach, and as we were eating together and sharing lives, people gave their lives to Christ. At this occasion, God gave us a vision to start building the community and supporting the families there.

I already shared how some of the businessmen in our church https://www.powerhouseflorida.com/ invested in a boat to to help a family with seven children and this time, we were able to raise funds to buy 1000 yards of nets.

Faith in Action

Coming back to Esmeraldas this time I found out that the fishermen had appointed a new leader of their fishing commune and that he was born again. He was happy to meet us and asked us to come and teach the community, and the following day he asked us to come and help them start a church.

We went out fishing and after the catch we arranged another fish bbq on the beach. People came from near and far, and this time it was much more easy to share the Word. I understood that the boat and the nets had been preaching for me.

When Jesus was preaching to the multitude, he did not only serve them the Word, he also looked to their physical needs and served them food. He demonstrated the power of God through five loaves and two fishes supplied by a little boy. Jesus was very practical and we should learn from him!

Building Church Community

As we were sitting around the fire, we realized that we were not only building the community, we were building church. These were tough fishermen, not saints. Some of them were alcoholics, but as we preached the gospel, they wanted to change.

It was almost midnight when we led the fishermen in the prayer of salvation. They received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and repented from their sins, right there on the beach. Then they started talking about getting baptized, and eight of them were ready to do it right away!

The water was there, so there was no reason to wait. Those that wanted to be baptized went out in the waves of the Pacific Ocean. It was cold and dark, but they didn’t care. This was the power of the gospel unto salvation, and these fishermen are now Fishers of Men.

I can’t wait to go back to the beach of Esmeraldas and see what God will do next time. I have no doubt. God is gonna build his church right there, as we continue to reach the lost!