Thoughts from Pete’s Message October 23,2015

Why Follow Him?

Behind enemy lines, we must approach God’s altar and humble our hearts before him. In our own strength we can do nothing. A broken and a contrite heart is the key to approaching the heart of our heavenly father. When we forsake ourselves, we can follow him with reckless abandon. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ… it is the gospel of God unto salvation. For we preach not ourselves but Jesus Christ and him crucified.

A disciple is a disciplined follower. There are five reasons for following Christ.
The first is that we have been forgiven. When we realize the depth of forgiveness, we can leave behind our old man nature at the foot of the cross, and seek the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus. To experience his forgiveness, is to know and understand our Savior and the depravity of the sin nature from which he has saved us.

The second reason for following Christ is security. Security is putting our hopes and dreams into something that can never be taken away. Why dedicate ourselves to something that is here today and gone tomorrow? Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Security comes with the blessed assurance that I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which he’s committed unto me against the day of judgement.

This third reason for following Jesus Christ is joy. He chose us for a purpose to be his disciples and to follow him. Our mission is to walk with him, to follow him and to make him known… when necessary, use words. My purpose is to know him because he is my Lord, my friend, my comforter, and my deliverer. As we follow him, he will teach us how to become just like him. To know him and the power of his resurrection, being conformed to his image… through suffering and endurance in following him, he will teach us to conform, not to the world’s mold, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds… to prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

The fourth reason for following Christ is that when we stray, he will discipline us to return us to an upright position. According to Hebrews, God disciplines those he loves. The word of God is profitable for doctrine, reproof and correction. Correction is training to live uprightly. This corrective discipline hurts, but produces upright growth in truth, righteousness, and character. Our victory in Christ is not at the expense of others. If we feel envious of those whom God has blessed, he will teach us humility. We are not competing with our brothers in Christ. God will teach us how to live uprightly and to cheer for those who are less well off than we are… to rejoice with those who do rejoice and to weep with those who weep.

The final reason for following Christ is peace. Peace is the remedy to anxiety, worry, fear, and disillusionment. Our Peace is the result of our reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ. To reconcile is to bring back together that which has been separated. Only through Christ’s reconciliation can our hearts be connected with God’s heart. God has reconciled us to himself through the sinless sacrifice of his only begotten son. For Jesus Christ who knew no sin became the perfect sacrifice for sin on our behalf that we may be made the righteousness of God in him. There is no peace without knowing the Prince of Peace. Jesus said, “peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you… not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

The ultimate promise of the beatitudes is, “great is your reward in heaven.” Before we can rejoice and be exceeding glad in this great promise, we must experience and endure poverty in spirit, meekness, mourning, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, reviling, persecution and all manner of false accusations for righteousness’ sake.

When Arthur Blessing came to Birmingham to conduct a revival at Pete’s traditional Southern Baptist church, some of the traditionalists in his church thought that Blessing was “desecrating the temple.” Blessing was known for ministering to the hippies on Sunset Strip. When he was reprimanded for leading a cheer for Jesus, Arthur led the hippies outside of the church to do another cheer. God is in the business of afflicting the comfortable. When the holy spirit moves, it “breaks the powers of cancelled sin and sets the prisoners free. His blood can make the foulest clean, his blood availed for me.”

Jesus did not say, “come join my church.” He said, “follow me.” Life is a journey. Journey, from the French word for “day” originally meant a “day’s walk.” The prophet Micah said, “but what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.”

Influencers and the Journey Groups are means to connect men’s hearts to God’s heart… to create an environment where God can help himself to our hearts. Our prayer is “O that I were the man I knew to be. Lord, please make me that man!” This is a prayer that God yearns to answer. God says come and die; lay your life on the line… die to self to live for me. Jesus said, “he who loses his life for my sake shall find it.” For I was crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me and the life that I now live, I live by the faith of him who loved me and gave himself for me.

God give us men! Men who have a heart totally devoted to you.

May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ,

Thoughts from Influencers Men’s Retreat October 2015

Transformation happens in proximity of Jesus Christ. There are things in us where God is calling us to pray, “God come and help yourself to our lives.” God knows our hearts and intends to speak to his men individually and collectively to will and to do of his good pleasure. He calls us to listen with the Pentecostal gift of hearing… to listen to his still small voice. He says come to me all ye that are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Jesus said, “my sheep hear my voice and they know me… and I Give unto them eternal life.” God said, “be still and know that I am God.”

Frank’s Message: Behind enemy lines

If Christ is not the Lord of your life, how will you know who the enemy is? If you don’t know your commander in chief, how can you know who stands against him. You’ve got to share the values, virtues, and righteousness of our Lord and Savior in order to know who stands against truth, for Jesus said, I am the way the truth and the life.

Ecc 5: guard yourself when you go into the house of God. Fools are ignorant and do wrong. God is in heaven and you upon earth, so let your words be few. Be careful how you surrender your life to him…

1 Sam 16 is about the anointing of David as the next king of Israel. God commanded Samuel to go to Jesse’s house and to bring an animal to sacrifice to the Lord. His purpose was to anoint the next king of Israel to replace Saul. Jesse didn’t even call his youngest son David to be considered for the anointing. Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart. David, though Jesse’s most insignificant son, was a man after God’s own heart. In chapter 18:5 David was successful in everything God commanded him to do. Saul became jealous of David’s victories. From that point on, David was pursued by Saul and lived behind enemy lines.

To live behind enemy lines, seek out God’s four provisions. God is provident: He will provide.

The first provision is that God is your map to guide you to safe ground. Only those who are his understand what it means to live behind enemy lines. Before David did anything, he went to the Lord. God was David’s map. When God is your map, he will be your protection.

The second of God’s provisions is that you must put on the armor of God. Ephesians 6:10ff… Finally be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Put ye on therefore the full armor of God so that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against powers and dominions and against spiritual wickedness from on high.

The third provision is shelter. We need a place of shelter when fighting the enemy. Psalm 143:9 David said, “Deliver me from mine enemies, in you I take shelter.” Psalm 46:1 The Lord is my refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.

The fourth provision is that God has provided you with a weapon. 2 Tim 3:15 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof and for correction which is instruction in righteousness. You need to exercise your weapon to be able to hit the target every time.

The devil dresses like a sheep and he looks like you. You must have the power of God and the weapon of his word to discern truth from error.

To transform men’s lives, God afflicts the comfortable and comforts the afflicted.

October 17, 2015

Through it all, it is well with my soul.

Frank worked as an undercover police officer and also as a private security guard. He always wore his bullet proof vest. We have to be prepared by putting on the full armor of God that we may be able to stand in the evil day and having done all, to stand. In Revelation 3:15, there is a warning about being lukewarm. If lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, God will vomit you out of his mouth. Our challenge is to keep from being lukewarm. See 2 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant for your adversary prowls about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Sober: don’t be influenced by external influences or let your senses be dulled by sleep. Vigilant: deliberately shake myself out of the stupor, be alert and on guard.
1 John 2:1 Our advocate is Jesus Christ who pleads our case before the father. Our brothers in Christ also advocate for us. God has set us in the body of Christ so that we can edify and build each other up.

Not only must you know your advocate and commander in chief, you also must know your enemy. We’re here to help each others’ unbelief. He didn’t call us to stand alone against the evil one. When two or more are gathered together in his name, he said, “there am I in the midst of you.”
Hate is from the devil: he hates God’s people. The enemy is satan himself, his hosts and the powers of darkness and principalities from on high.

Frank’s testimony: Which hat is God calling you to wear in this season of your life? The helmet of salvation takes on many forms: God will save us through the storms of life… Our prayer is not that God will deliver us from the storm but rather, through the storm. The helmet of salvation protects our mind, for the battlefield is in the mind. I beseech ye therefore brethren by the mercies of God that ye present yourselves a living sacrifice holy and wholly acceptable unto God which is your reasonable, logical, and purposeful service. And be not conformed to this world’s mold, but be ye transformed by the “upward newing” (Greek anakainosis) of your mind that ye may know what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God…

What hat are you wearing? Brazil, Detroit, Tulsa? Our challenge is to go where God has called us and to bloom where he has planted us.

Lord, give me one moment in time, when I’m racing with destiny… and in that one moment of time, I will see eternity. Cataclysmic moments in this life are God’s wake up calls… When life hits us upside the head with a 2 x 4, our response should be, “Thank you, Lord, I needed that.” These are life’s “come to Jesus” moments… come to Jesus and live…

Influencers and the Journey Groups are means to connect men’s hearts to God’s heart… to create an environment where God can help himself to our hearts. Our prayer is “O that I were the man I knew to be. Lord, please make me that man!” This is a prayer that God yearns to answer. God says come and die; lay your life on the line. For I was crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me and the life that I now live, I live by the faith of him who loved me and gave himself for me.

God give us men! Men who have a heart totally devoted to you.

You will be filled with power after that the holy spirit has come upon you. And you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and Judea, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. God has not called us to serve… he has called us to know him and the power of the resurrection. Jesus did not say “join my church.” He said, “come and follow me.”

Saturday evening
What’s important is what God is saying to each of us individually. Hearing from the holy spirit starts with brokenness and repentance. Pride is the nature of sin. Sin must be broken in order to repent and turn from our wicked ways. Quench not the holy spirit and grieve not the holy spirit. Grieving the holy spirit is rejecting the holy spirit and his offer of forgiveness. Forgiveness is the doctrine of salvation and once saved, the doctrine of fellowship, relationship, and communion with him.
Israel lost the battle against Ai because there was sin in Israel’s camp. To move from victory to victory, sin had to be excised from the camp. Sin must be dealt with aggressively and decisively. Search me O God and open my spiritual eyes and ears to show me where I need to turn from my wicked way… see if there be any hurtful way in me and lead me into thy everlasting way.

Frank’s Message

Review the four points of provision for fighting the enemy behind enemy lines.
Review always being prepared for the attacks: know who your advocate is and know who your enemy is.

John 15:5 I am the vine ye are the branches. He who abides in me and I in him produces much fruit. Without me you can do nothing.

If you are a child of God, never leave a brother behind. God himself said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. Are you ready for God to teach you total abandonment and absolute trust? James 1:2 says consider it great joy when your experience bears great trials. For trials produce endurance so that you may be complete lacking nothing.

Review Frank’s story about his 16 years on the Tulsa police force. God has to be the center of every man’s life, especially in law enforcement. In this line of work you are on the line every day to make two life changing decisions: to take someone’s life, or to set a captive free.

God’s command to his disciples was to go and make disciples of all nations. John 13:34 You didn’t choose me but I chose you so that your fruit will remain, that whatsoever you ask the father he will give you. A new commandment I give you, that ye love one another.

Review David Wilkerson’s last sermon: A Call to Anguish. The man who started Teen Challenge.

Sunday Morning
Pete grew up in a Southern Baptist church. As a child, he thought that his denomination was the only one who had it together, though he had not been taught this by his church. By God’s mercy and grace, he came to know Jesus Christ. His church had a revival about twice a year. In the early 70’s a man of God took Pete under his wings. At one revival Pete heard Author Blessing speak at his church in Birmingham. Blessing was known for carrying a cross down Sunset Boulevard and witnessing to anyone who would listen to the gospel. Blessing preached to the hippies in Birmingham who came to the revival. There was a separation between the traditionalists in the sanctuary and the hippies who came to hear the Word preached. Revival broke out in the city with the youth who were far from traditionalists.

What is there to get excited about if not for the Gospel of Christ? Why is it OK to cheer for your favorite team but not get excited about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?

God’s strategies are always counter-intuitive to man’s strategies. Remember the story of Gideon’s army. Remember the story of Joshua taking the city of Jericho. The shout of the Lord is a sound that breaks the chains of the devil. The breaking is not by the trying but by the supernatural power of God in manifestation. The shout of the archangel will break the power of the evil one. The power of God through the shout of God will break down the strongholds of the adversary. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but spiritual to the pulling down of strongholds.

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. We are righteous not in our own flesh but in him and through him. Holy living breaks the chains of spiritual bondage. Pray the Word to God back to God and he will bring his word to pass as we confess it and believe it. Our prayer is to break our jars of clay so that the light of the treasure of his spirit within us can shine forth in a world of darkness. God only needs his remnant of believers to change the world. Jesus did not call the multitudes to change the world. He called twelve and from the twelve, he chose three.

God is in the business of changing men’s lives. Even you who were dead in trespasses and sins hath he quickened so that we may be dead to sin but alive to him. For he who knew no sin became the perfect sin sacrifice on our behalf that we may be made the righteousness of God in him. For I was crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me and the life that I now live, I live by faith in the one who loved me and gave himself for me.


We have a tradition at each Influencers Men’s Retreat: We gather around the fire pit early in the morning to acknowledge a brother in our lives who has influenced each of us in our Christian journey. We recognize this brother by throwing him an orange and expressing our gratitude for how he encouraged us along the way. Dennis threw me an orange and thanked me for publishing notes from our Influencers meetings on Friday mornings. He said that during the week he tries to remember what the message was about the previous Friday. When he reviews the notes, the message comes flooding back and he’s refreshed all over again.

When I was thinking about who to acknowledge by throwing him the orange, a thought came to my mind from Jerry Leachman’s message at last year’s Men’s Retreat. The message could be summarized as, “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!” Jerry said that we are God’s ammunition, his ordnance, his laser guided missiles. Sin is missing the mark. God has called us to press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. In order to hit the mark, we need God’s reconnaissance to locate and to mark the target with his “laser designator.” To hit the target, a smart bomb needs propulsion, control, and guidance. The propulsion is the power of the holy spirit. Control is discipline and “temperance” to deliberately adjust our heading according to his directions. Guidance is his directing our path according to his laser-designated target. I threw my orange to Hector. He has shown me what it means to be God’s ordnance actively seeking the mark of the high calling.

We spend time in God’s presence and in the presence of like minded men to refresh and comfort one another with the comfort of the holy spirit. He has placed each of us in the body of Christ as fittings within the body, fitly framed together, bound by the bond of love and allowing God to work in us and through us to will and to do of His good pleasure.

May God richly bless you.

Thoughts from Pete’s Message October 9,2015

Our Mission, Our Commission

The greatest danger in life is not that you’ll fail, but that you’ll succeed in something that doesn’t really matter. How do you define success? What really matters in your life? Are you living for the moment or are you living for eternity? Oh Man of God… do you really want to be God’s man? To what are you are willing to commit your life? Where is your allegiance? Is there more to life than the fleeting comfort of this world?

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in his address to the United Nations, “We’ll do anything we have to do to preserve our nation and our people. We survived the Roman Empire and the third Reich, we will overcome the crises in this moment.” In our turbulent times, we Christians have to pray like Jehoshaphat… We have nothing, and of ourselves we are nothing. The Word of the Lord is the final authority even when it defies the decisions of earthly kings. Therefore our power and our deliverance is only in you, Lord. Desperate men make the best soldiers… men who have nothing of value and nothing to loose. As Mother Theresa said, “God works best with nothing.” To defeat the Adversary and spiritual wickedness from on high, those whom God has called to his team must have no confidence in their own might… The winning team consists of men who have died to self to live for Christ. When we empty ourselves of our selves, the power of God will increase as we decrease.

When Jesus called his twelve he gave them moral and spiritual authority when they followed him. Before the resurrection, he said, “ye shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you…” This is the power from on high. The holy spirit will teach you how to follow the master and to become just like him. God is looking for men who are willing to make his Word the final authority in their lives. Jesus called his team together… A ragtag band of men who were not highly esteemed in the world. They were fishermen, sons of thunder, doubters, a tax collector and a religious zealot who wanted to overthrow the government. Jesus called this diverse band to follow him and to make them fishers of men. He explained to them, “the greatest among you must be servant of all.” In verse 5 of Matthew 10, he sent them out to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As ye go, say” the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead to life, cast out devils.” Preach the kingdom in word and deed. Freely I have given you this authority, freely give it away. Take no provisions along the way, but rely on the kindness of those to whom you minister. You have to rely on those whose hearts God has prepared to minister to you and to be blessed in their giving. In your learning to receive, you will also learn the meaning of meekness, humility and trust. These are some of the hardest lessons to learn. Living a life of faith is to decrease that He might increase. Jesus said, “He who tries to save his life shall lose it, but he who loses his life for my sake shall find it.” Jesus sends his men out as sheep in he midst of wolves… To determine the best course of action, do the thing that requires the greatest amount of trust in God in order to serve him.

If they don’t accept you and the message, shake the dust off of your feet and move to the next city. You don’t need to prove anything… Your job is to do the will of him who sent you. Don’t worry whether or not they accept you. Things of the world are constantly changing… Nations, politically correct opinions, and doctrines of this world are in a constant state of flux. Only the Word of God liveth and abideth forever. Therefore as Joshua said, “choose ye this day whom ye shall serve, as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”

Life is s series of decisions. The moral authority of Jesus Christ is the key to choosing the right path. He is the way the truth and the life through the narrow gate to the narrow way. Like the prophet Micah who knew God’s purpose, “what does the Lord require of thee but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”

Freedom isn’t free. Release from the bondage of this world cost God the price of the innocent blood of his only begotten son. For he who knew no sin became the perfect sin sacrifice on our behalf that we may be made the righteousness of God in him.

The day has come, when the culture tries to eradicate our allegiance to the one true God in the name of “tolerance” and political correctness. God has called his men for such a time as this, as his emissaries in a foreign land to deliver a peace treaty from the prince of peace. For he has given us His word and has committed unto us the ministry of reconciliation. Therefore we pray you in Christ’s stead be ye reconciled to God.

God has commissioned men of God as fellow laborers on Christ’s team against the rulers of the darkness of this fallen world. We have been called to deliver the message and to be the message from the Sovreign Lord of our home in heaven. Our mission and our commission is this: give ’em heaven!

May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ,

Thoughts Pete’s Message October 2, 2015


As Christians, we have been called to God’s team, for we are fellow laborers with Christ. The fields are white and ready for harvest. According to Luke 2, Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.

Our times are in thy hands. Though Israel stands alone against the world, God said that he who blesses Israel shall be blessed and he who curses Israel shall be cursed. The Word of God shall come to pass despite the world’s division and confusion. The solutions to the world’s problems are beyond the ability of the adversary, his minions, and the world’s masses who do not believe his Word of truth. In every cataclysmic event in world history, God always preserves a remnant of his faithful ones. Our decision is not whether God is on our side but whether we are on God’s side. When the crisis comes God expects his men to have such confidence in him that we will be the reliable ones who stand according to his power and endure faithfully to the end.

A team is a group on one side of a contest where winning or losing is at stake. We inherited our sin nature from Adam and were born into the losing team. However, we were born again of God’s holy spirit into the winning team. In the spiritual contest, we have formidable foes. In my own power of the flesh, I can do nothing. However, upon the new birth, I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me and the life that I now live I live by faith in the one who loved me and gave himself for me. I have been bought with a price… by the payment of the innocent blood of Jesus Christ. For he who knew no sin was made the perfect sin sacrifice on our behalf that we may be made the righteousness of God in him. Jesus prayed all night for those on his team… not for those who abandoned him, but for his disciplined followers whom he had personally called. A winning team has a shared vision. He didn’t call them to join his organization. Rather, Jesus said, “come and follow me.” As John the Baptist declared, “I’m not the bridegroom, I’m here to introduce the Bride to her Bridegroom… I must decrease that he might increase.”

No faith other than Christianity can say, my Lord lives with me and within me. His team members are those who have been crucified with him, and have given up their own selfish rights in allegiance to him. They represent not themselves, but Christ who lives in them. Our faith and our hope is in him. This hope is the foundation of our security. According to Ephesians 4:14-15: In (Christ) whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest (guarantee) of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. Therefore I am persuaded that he is able to keep that deposit of holy spirit that he has committed unto me against the day of judgement.

There is no security in the things of this world… Love not the world. Rather, set your affections on things above and not on things of the earth. To turn our eyes away from worldly things is to press toward the mark of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus. Our mission is to impact the world for Christ. He has called his disciplined followers to influence the world and not to be influenced by the world.

The final characteristic of a successful team is that they love one another. Therefore above all things put on charity which is the bond of perfectness. We are to put on God’s unconditional love which binds us together in the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. As we love our Lord, we love each other with the love with which he has loved us. We have been called as bondservants, slaves who are bound not by chains of guilt or obligation. Rather we are bound to him by a bond of love to serve him willingly… for believing works by love. Love energizes believing that appropriates the power of God into manifestation.

There are four types of love in Greek. The first is “phileo” or friendship. The second is familial love; Greek word “storge.” We have no control over the family into which we’re born. The third type of love is “eros” or romance. These three types of love are “reciprocal.” Each requires the same type of love in return. If these types of love are not returned, one party is shortchanged. The fourth type of love is “agape.” This is the unconditional Love of God. This is the love of grace and mercy… a totally unconditional giving love of God that requires nothing given in return. There is nothing that a team cannot accomplish when the team loves one another and doesn’t care which team member gets the credit. Love covers for one another. It bears up under suffering and pressure… it sacrifices for the good of others, even those who have taken advantage of us. Love transcends personal likes and dislikes.

The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual to the pulling down of strongholds. The best way to defeat your enemy is to make him your friend. The battlefield is in the mind. Therefore casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God…. bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

Only with the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation can we stand against the schemes of the devil. We must put on with love the armor of God to prepare for the spiritual battle. The victory in the battle starts with surrendering our heart to our Lord Jesus Christ. The breastplate of righteousness can be donned only by understanding that we are righteous in him and not in our own flesh.

Therefore, in the spiritual battle, be thou my vision O Lord of my heart, Naught be all else to me save that thou art. To win the battle, we must surrender our selves upon the altar of Christ… I beseech ye therefore brethren, by the mercies of God that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto him which is your reasonable, logical, and wholly committed service.

God has called us to his winning team. In the words of the old hymn by Eugene Bartlettt:

O victory in Jesus, my Savior forever.
He sought me and bought me With His redeeming blood; He loved me ere I knew him, And all my love is due Him, He plunged me to victory, Beneath the cleansing flood.

May God richly bless you!