Posted by: tomasgreiner | February 11, 2009

New beginnings…

The end of last year brought huge amounts of discover in my life.  Things I would have never imagined.  As the New Year began and I started pressing towards the prize, I realized that the discovery’s had only been the beginning not the end.  It only allowed me to see some things about myself that needed to change so I could move forward into the next phase of my life.  Things that couldn’t go where God was taking me as well as things that were keeping me from the relationship I desired to have with the Father.  Just a bit of what He showed me is found in Matthew 7:24-27.  Where Jesus is finishing the Sermon on the mount and says something like, “If you heard what I just said and do that your good, if not you will be blown apart at the first sign of trouble.”(Paraphrased)  So I went back and began studying the Words Jesus spoke and how they applied to my life in everyday living.  I felt kind of silly feeling the need to go back to the beginning but if you’re not sure of the strength of your foundation there is nothing wrong with going back and making sure it’s right.  I’m finding more and more people talking about God taking them back to the simple but powerful.  The removal of all the man made traditions and hype to get back to pure relationship based on a true and pure word spoken by the one and only True God.  There is something to be said about New Beginnings….

Posted by: tomasgreiner | October 26, 2008

Sleep, Pray, Furnace Pt 3

Well just when you thought it was over I realized it was just the beginning.  The lack of sleep the hours of prayer the nights wrestling with God I thought was the whole deal to only find out He was only prepping me for what was to come, “The Furnace.”  The pastor spoke today about Shadrach/ Meshach/ Abednego and the fiery furnace.  How there will be times when you will have to walk through the fire, when people who once spoke highly of you will turn and throw you in the furnace.  But not to lose your Joy because the only thing that gets burnt in the fire are the things that bound you.  There is freedom in the fire.  The king looked in the furnace that was turn up 7 times hotter (7 – represents rest) and saw 4 men walking loosed in the fire.  Pastor said sometimes God will keep you from the fire and sometimes He’ll walk you through the fire.   The thing that keeps you from being destroyed is the anointing placed on your life. 

                I love the way God prepares us for things before they happen and without us sometimes knowing.  I can tell you that all in all when you have been in the furnace and all that would bound you in life is burned off and you get a sense of freedom from anything and everything, even things you weren’t even aware of, you quickly get a glimpse at just how incredibly Awesome and Holy God really is and how apart from Him we truly are nothing.  Everything we are, our knowledge, our wisdom, our health, our breath, our existence, our talents, our abilities, our absolute everything comes solely from Him.  My dependence on God has increased and my willingness to serve and be used has multiplied as well.  That is how God reveals Himself to people to prepare them for the call on their life.  It starts with the vision which leads to a despising of oneself(when you see your sinful nature compared to God’s Holiness) then a humbling or bowing down that will take you into worship and praise which will result in surrender, willingness, and an obligation to serve that finally will bring about a changed life.  Well again I’ll say it the heat is on…

Posted by: tomasgreiner | September 30, 2008

50/50 Right or Relationship

Recently Wayne Northup was speaking during Spiritual Emphasis week at Calvary Christian Academy, and, near the beginning of one of his sermons, he said something that sparked a flame in my spirit.  For those of you who don’t know me, I have spent a large portion of my life fighting against addictions to all sorts of things.  Finding freedom is not always easy and can take time.  I’ve always known God had a calling on my life to help people dealing with image issues and addictions, but I just never thought it would be possible especially from someone who has had so many issues himself.  Well, we all know that is how God works: taking the least likely person to do the most profound things. 

            I started a couple of years ago putting together a curriculum to teach and also writing a book about my experience in recovery about how God used the oddest things to revolutionize my life.  (Like finding inspiration in people like Pastor Rob Bell)  Well, the only thing that kept bothering me is how I’d hear people say things like “once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic” and even things like “there’s no such thing as total freedom, just the power to deny the urge.”  What a lie sent straight from the pit of hell.  If that is the case then how can the Word of God says there is nothing too hard for the Lord, or that God is our Healer and our Deliverer, or that at the cross Jesus took it all so we didn’t have to anymore.  Are we now putting God in a box and saying He can deliver us from some things but not all things?  Because God isn’t capable of deliverance He just gives us strength to deny.  My thought, this is a way for those who don’t want to be free to allow themselves an escape route in case they fail or make a mistake.  Their lack of faith and their lack of relationship with God has tricked them into seeing God through their own eyes, through their own capability.         

            This brings us back to the point of the blog today.  The thing Wayne said was along the lines of always doing the right thing just because its right means there is always the possibility to do wrong.  But when you have a true relationship with God, doing the right thing becomes natural and is done to please Him.   This made me think about so many levels of recovery, how we learn tons of knowledge based on statistics, books, research, psychology, sermons, and other people’s revelation.  Yet, all the while, we never seek to find any answers for ourselves through deep intimate relationship with the Father.  We put together the “how to” and “3 easy steps” and prevent people from self-revelation through relationship.  I believe this is the one thing that could change our perspective on recovery and healing.   Above all else we, should always direct people to the Word, prayer, fasting, and straight-up worship and praise.   Building a strong, deep, intimate, and personal relationship with God is going to be the only path to true freedom and healing in every situation.  This may also explain the lack of faith some people have in God’s ability to fully deliver and change a person from the inside out, because how can you have faith in a God you truly don’t know?  And if you don’t know God on the level you should, how could you ever discover who you are?  The Word says we are created in His image, so how about we start actually learning for ourselves what that means…

Posted by: tomasgreiner | September 23, 2008

Sleep, pray, furnace Pt 2

I know it took longer than a day to get this concluded but I think it was worth it.   

Well I’ve had a couple more nights like Jacob but now to add to it all a new aspect has join in the furnace process.  Several times over the last two weeks I’ve felt an attack against my character, my ability, my attitude, my personality and so forth.   Some of those occasions were just my imagination and the spirit stirring something up within me.   Soon realizing that the two things were related I started to discover the process that was taking place.

I’ve been teaching my 9th grade bible class about relationship, connection, and how God is the same yesterday, today and forever so the God that spoke to Isaac, Daniel, Moses and others in history can talk to us.  Well we learned that a pattern came with the face to face encounter. 

1.       The encounter (Vision)

2.       Dislike of your self

3.       Humbling before Him

4.       Worship

5.       Surrender

6.       Service

7.       Changed life

I started living out the very thing I was teaching.  I wanted to be closer to God so I started seeking His face.  As I did I started disliking myself and realizing how true the scripture is about apart from Him we are nothing.   Last night as I finally broke down and began to cry out it turned to worship which turned to me surrendering everything and asking Him to use me in whatever way He chose.  I know like most people I’ve done something like this before but this was different. 

The element that wasn’t the same was the realization everything I had done up to this point has been done by my own knowledge, strength, chooses and ability.  When you truly surrender and realize all of that is worth nothing if you don’t have Jesus and all of it could be totally different if you had only asked and relied on Him to start with.  I know this is a lot but it broke in me last night and I wanted to share it with you as soon as I could.  Stay tuned because the furnace is only getting hotter…

Posted by: tomasgreiner | August 22, 2008

Sleep, pray, furnace…

This might have to be a two part blog guys I have a lot to say.  Let me start by saying if what I am talking about has happened or is happening to you let me know your insight or wisdom. 

In the past week I have found myself wrestling with God all night.  This has happened 2 or 3 times and I just want to say wow… I told one of the pastors at church the only difference between Jacob and me is he came out with a limp and his name of course was different.  You see some time after actually laying down I get that strong pull on my spirit that wakes me up and the pressing to pray and cry out just merely becomes overwhelming.    One night it was brought about by an event that took place in my life the others have been strictly random.  I thought either I’m not listening or God isn’t being very clear.  We all know which one actually applies.  So I spent another night just praying for clarity and insight into what He was doing in my life.  Mostly what I have gotten has something to do with purity and cleansing.   I felt like there was a significance in Jacob calling the place Peniel (King James Genesis 32:30) and then said “I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”  It goes along with the notion that God says seek my face and then said anyone who sees my face will surely die.  So why did he say “seek my face“if He knows we would die.  Well because that was the point, we would have to die to ourselves and be cleansed from all our sin and unrighteousness.  Darkness can’t remain in the presence of light.  So Jacob says I saw Him face to face and was preserved. 

This has been my struggle I feel like I’m being called to straight up seek His face and I’m trying moreover as I do He is pulling and burning those things that cannot remain, things I didn’t even realize were there but never the less are things that separate me from fully experiencing His true presence.  I hope this makes sense to someone because it is all raw and been keeping me on the edge of my seat.   I’m starting to believe that after praying for Him to reveal Himself to me so I can know who I am (because we were created in His image), He is taking me to a new level of understanding.  I will finish this tomorrow so stay tuned…

Posted by: tomasgreiner | August 3, 2008

Simplest of things…

Have you ever had a moment when God ask you not to do something that you want to do despite the fact it is virtually harmless.  Well I struggle with these moments more often than I would like.  It’s not that God is trying to make my life miserable but that He knows what’s best for that given moment.  I have been changing my direction in life because I feel the leading of the Spirit towards my destiny.  The thing I keep coming up to is that some of the things I have done for years and enjoyed greatly are some of the items I have to release in order to step forward.  These things are not bad things they are all ministry related but not the ministry God called me to.  Don’t get me wrong I don’t feel God is denying me joy or anything but I just find it hard sometimes to let go of things especially things that I have enjoyed over the years.   Letting go is not as easy as it sounds.

Ultimately I have learned the importance of listening to the Spirit when it steers you in a direction you might not understand, to do it anyways.  God would never mislead you or put you in a situation of compromise.  There are times it might boil down to God strengthening your obedience level or His ability to trust you to follow His way and not your own no matter how simple the situation.  I love the Lord with all my heart and soul and long for an even deeper relationship than I have now no matter what the cost.  Having the things I enjoy like hanging out with the students from the youth group and such will have to take a new position.  Perhaps that is why God told me to teach this year.  I get the reconnection and strengthen my teaching abilities which will help me in stepping forward in a Ministry of being in front of people while teaching and sharing.  Seems simple now that I wrote it out! 

So I guess the statement for my day would be Peni I love you brown man despite your ability to be in a city so close and I still can’t fellowship with you.  (Sorry readers that was for my favorite brother from Hawaii) the statement would actually be trust God even in the simplest of things…

Posted by: tomasgreiner | July 11, 2008

New Generation…

 Talking with one of the Pastor’s I heard him comment on the lack of respect that is coming out of this new group of youth.  I agreed and yet I hated to.  God has put it on my heart to find new and inventive ways to connect with the new generation and to pour out what he has given me (and continues to give) into their lives. 

I think with a world of anything goes and pushing the limits on everything we have stop setting the boundaries with our young people.   There’s also more fear in adults to discipline, more single parent homes, more pressure from peers and so much more that is pushing our youth to lack any respect for the older generation.   Recently I spoke about spending some time with a young guy working on a fundraiser and I learned (mostly by listening and by asking questions) that there was so many things pulling his mind and emotion in different directions.  He didn’t know but it was obvious to me.  In this encounter after the facts were out and a line was drawn we seemed to communicate on a different level.   It’s wasn’t difficult it simply required some effort which is something I feel we are lacking from more and more of the leaders and adult influences. 

My stand is coming this new school year I have expanded my horizons and I’m venturing out to teach a bible class in our Christian Academy (Either 9th or 10th grade).   Hopefully I will have the opportunity to influence a new generation and teach the importance of respect, responsibility, trust and so much more.  I also encourage you all if you have any chance to pour into a young person’s life do it.   Don’t just do all the talking both take the time to listen and learn what is shaping them the most and work on that.  We have an obligation to make an impact on this new generation…

Posted by: tomasgreiner | July 8, 2008

Coke Zero 400…

Well the reason I haven’t been writing in the last couple of days is because I was out at the Daytona Speedway working the races leading up to and including the Coke Zero 400.  The weather was hot but luckily no rain even though there were moments it looked like we were in for it.  Overall the long days were worth it I met a lot of new people, learned a lot about the track, worked with some really nice people, and spent some quality time with a young man from the youth group.  It was great to hang out with him I learned some things and hopefully imparted some to him.

If I were to theme the whole experience it would be one of learning how to separate responsibility (work) from relationship (friendship).  Sometimes we have work to do and apart from friendship we have to get accomplished what is set before us.  This lead to an area of trust and respect which are two thing I value very highly and both where achieved by this time spent with this guy from our youth group.  

Anyways I just wanted to let you know what was up and I will get back into writing tomorrow now that I am free from the Coke Zero 400…

Posted by: tomasgreiner | July 1, 2008

Look any different?

In a world full of choices and options it’s no wonder we are sometimes in the situations we are in.  Speaking with someone today about a recovery class made me realize that there are plenty of people wanting their lives to change or be different but can’t quite get it accomplished.  There are numbers of people flooding the church looking for answers to their problems while still others look elsewhere because the church doesn’t always appear ready to handle it.   I know I’m touching a lot of different subjects here but hang with me. 

I pulled in to Chick-Fil-A my favorite food place and all I could see or imagine was that sweet ice tea large no ice.  I didn’t want any interruptions or anything trying to stand in my way I wanted that tea and I was going to get it.  You know what I am talking about we all have those things that we just have to have or we will go insane.  Well it hit me when my friend said her addiction was potato chips and everyone told her potato chips can’t be an addiction.  Actually yes they can and so can most other things that you can become obsessed with to the point you will do anything to have it and once you have it you must have more.   While we continued to talk I started connecting the feeling of wanting change and not being able to accomplish it with the addiction to stuff.   Maybe the addiction to stuff is because in your time of seeking change you were presented with too many options and made the wrong choice.   Then thinking the choice you made would somehow bring you the change you wanted that when it gives you a false moment of change you became addicted to it because you just had to have more. 

As far as the church is concerned I think a revolution is taking place and that is because there are many of us who finally realized our addiction has been religion and not seeking after a true any cost relationship with God that is personal and not based on anyone else’s ideal or beliefs but from those reveal to us by God Himself because we sought after him on our own.   This type of relationship is where you trust Him with everything including your life and life of those around you.  Where you wake up in the morning and all you crave the most is some one on one time with the Father and it’s still the last thing you think or want before you go to bed at night.  

You see the more you go after God for yourself the more He reveals to you who you are and the more you understand who you are the more you begin to see yourself as Christ like.  Then people will be drawn to you and you can show them how to accomplish this relationship as well for themselves.   See the reason some people don’t turn to the church is because if you’re looking for something different why look for it with people who don’t look any different than you are…

Posted by: tomasgreiner | July 1, 2008

Nicaragua…

Hey everyone check out the team in Nicaragua…Go to my blog roll and click on al force.  You will see pics and read about there exciting trip.  The word is that God moved immensely and lots of lives where saved.  There is also a rumor going around that some of you guys broke out of your shells and allowed God to use you.  Pray that is true it sure appears so.  Don’t past this by take a peek at what is going on in Nicaragua…

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