What Now!

Mike-P1020072-200Dear Friends,

In last month’s newsletter, I wrote a bit about this past year, living with the pandemic and all the changes that we had to make, wearing face masks, social distancing, vaccinations, etc. In addition, we saw the closure of many places of business, changed the way we conduct church, and the disruption of our schools and universities, etc. across the nation.

So the question now is where do we go from here? And while our first response may be, “I don’t know, I’ve never been here before.” I do know us well enough to be assured that we will come out of this and life will go on. When we as a people of faith face all the unknowns of the future we can be sure that our God is still in control. He will provide for us, guide us and protect us.


While we have never faced a pandemic like this here in the United States in our lifetimes, we have had some events over the years that were disruptive to our life and which we as a nation were able to overcome and move on. We experienced the depression of the 1920’s – 1030’s, World War II, and came out of it stronger than we were before.

During my lifetime, 1942 to the present I’ve seen some things that my generation had never experienced before. The assassination of our President, John F. Kennedy, our Attorney General, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King. Then came the war in Vietnam, the tragedy of 911, and now this Covid 19 pandemic.

If you watch much of the news today what you see and hear is that we are in deep trouble as a nation and there is much to fear. Anxiety and fear about the future is a staple of most network news. But again, let me remind you that God is still in control and we as believers can hang on to this, He will never let you down and He will always provide a way.

Back in 1994 when I resigned from my job at the church and took Wholeness Ministries out to operate as an independent ministry my biggest fear was how I was going to support my family and pay the bills. It was a huge risk to step out but God had assured me that He would provide. It has been just over 26 years and we have been amply blessed as a family.

What Are You Afraid Of?
Some time back I was reading material from Brennan Manning and came across a paragraph that I thought was quite appropriate considering the state of our economy and the fear that we are in deep trouble as a nation. I trust you will find it comforting and encouraging.

  • “The question that the gospel of grace puts to us is simply this: Who shall separate you from the love of Christ?

    What are you afraid of?

    Are you afraid that your weakness could separate you from the love of Christ? It can’t.

    Are you afraid that your inadequacies could separate you from the love of Christ? They can’t.

    Difficult marriage, loneliness, anxiety over the children’s future? They can’t.

    Negative self-image? It can’t.

    Economic hardship, racial hatred, street crime? They can’t.

    Persecution by authorities, going to jail? They can’t.

    The Gospel of grace calls out: Nothing can ever separate you from the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    You must be convinced of this, trust it, and never forget to remember. Everything else will pass away. Faith will become vision, hope will become possession, but the love of Jesus Christ that is stronger than death endures forever.”

So, What Now? We trust in God and move on doing what we always do, overcome!

Continue to lift us up in prayer. Thank you for your faithfulness.

God bless,

Mike

BOOK AN IN-PERSON MINISTRY SESSION
We have found these ministry sessions with people to be invaluable in healing them from wounds from their past. In some cases after two or three sessions, they experience freedom! If you need deep-level healing prayer or know someone who could benefit from this, here is how to start the process. Send an email to mevans@wholeness.org or call 661-833-2920 to schedule an appointment. On our website, simply follow the instructions under Personal Ministry.

There Is Hope For This Generation!

Dear Friends,

We occasionally hear from many sources how lazy and self-centered young people are today. Typically we mean those of working age between 16-25. We are told they are not only lazy but operate with the attitude that we owe them something. They are often viewed by many as privileged, and spoiled, spending most of their time playing video games. It’s not surprising then that they live up to our expectations.

I want to challenge that expectation and tell you about an experience I recently had with two young men 18 & 20 years old. I had a project I wanted to be done here at my home and knew I was not up to the task. A friend recommended a young man, 18 yrs. old who just graduated from high school. This project involved the layout of a patio built around a swing in my backyard and involved carrying a large number of cement blocks as well as sacks of leveling sand and small rocks.

When Caiden arrived I explained what I wanted to be done but not how to do it, because I frankly didn’t know. I was curious to see what he would come up with. After we picked up the material he spent the entire day laying out the area around the swing. The next day he asked if he could bring his friend Canon to help carry and place the blocks and said he would be willing to help simply for the price of lunch.

Those two young men not only completed the project in two days, but they did it well. I was surprised and happy with what Caiden came up with. It was interesting to me that he talked about working with his father on different tasks around their home and would occasionally say to me, “I learned this from my dad.” After Caiden finished he was looking at the project and said to me, “I’m really proud of this, it’s the first project I’ve done on my own.” I paid them and Caiden said if you need anything else done, let me know and off they drove. (Oh, by the way, I did pay Canon as well.) I found them both to be hard-working, humorous, creative, and men of integrity.

A few days later I needed help moving a large, heavy piece of furniture my wife found at an estate sale. As we were at the house picking it up, the lady who conducted the sale, who had never met these young men before, at one point said, “It’s so encouraging to meet young people of such integrity.” She picked that up just watching and listening to them.

I know there are many others like them, both young men and women and sometimes all they need is a chance. There is indeed hope for this younger generation, let’s give them a chance!

ATTENTION PASTORS, CHURCHES, OR RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS!

After some serious thought and prayer, I am willing to donate my book, “Why Not Waste Time With God,” to churches here in Bakersfield, CA. If you are willing to give them out to your congregation use our contact page to get in touch with us and we will deliver to you a case of books. If you can use more than one case let us know. There are 80 books in a case. Please do not ask for less than a case.

*If you are out of state we will ship them if you will pay the shipping.

My book BEFORE YOU GET HERE: Baggage To Drop On Your Way To Heaven, is a guide to assist you in discovering freedom from the invisible burdens that oppress and defeat many Christians today. Chapters include: The Importance of Forgiveness, The Traps of Unforgiveness, A Look in the Mirror, Harmful Words and Harmful Connections, Let Yourself Be Loved By God, The Recovery of Intimacy, and more. Copies are available at Wholeness.org and at Amazon.com. Check out the entire Wholeness Ministries Catalog right HERE.

Your giving to this work is a blessing. What is important to me is your heart of giving believing that what you are doing will make a difference in the Kingdom of God! Continue to lift us up in prayer. Thank you for your faithfulness.

God bless,

Mike

Are You A Righteous Person?

Mike-P1020072-200Dear Friends,

I am blessed to be in a men’s Influencers Journey group that meets weekly. Recently we were discussing a passage in James which reads, “The earnest prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 One of the questions asked was, “Do you think of yourself as righteous? I had to stop and think about how to answer that because I hadn’t thought much about what it means to be righteous and if I even came close to being a righteous man. I thought about how much God loves me, that I am his beloved son, adopted into his family. I also thought back over many years of my life when I was certain that I knew how much God loved me.

As a result, my relationship with God was comfortable, safe, and flat-lined. Sort of like the place that many of our relationships end up when we take each other for granted. The passion and fire of our “first love” is reduced to a pile of barely smoldering embers. I’ve only begun to understand in the last few years that what I thought I knew I didn’t.

I heard Jack Taylor say, “If you claim to know what you don’t know, you will never know what you do know.” This was a bit of a brain twister until I began to grasp what he was saying and apply it to my understanding of what it meant to be God’s beloved, believing that standing with God made me a righteous person.

For instance, it was life-changing for me to discover what it means to live by grace and not performance. I knew and understood that He loved me because I was doing things for Him. But I did not understand that He also loved me when I was not doing anything for Him, when I was hiding my sin, running from Him, playing the impostor. To simply come to the place of living in His grace, (defined as a state of being protected by God), helped me to see that there was so much more about Him that I did not know.

If I had stayed in that place of comfort claiming that I did know God, I would never have come to the place of wanting to know Him more. I began to understand how infinite His love for me is. I began to grasp the verse in Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” That’s incredible!

You might ask, “How did this happen, that you came to a place that you wanted to ‘know’?” It came as I made a conscious decision to spend more time in His presence. Brennan Manning wrote in his book, The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus, “The longer you spend in the presence of Jesus the more accustomed you grow to his face, the less adulation you will need because you will have discovered for yourself that He is enough. And in the Presence, you will delight in the discovery of what it means to live by grace and not by performance.”

If you were to ask me, “Do you know God?” I could say both yes and no. Yes, I know Him as much as I can at this point in my life but no I do not know Him as well as I will next year. My quest is now to know what I don’t know which will help me to understand what I do know. In trying to answer the question, “Are you a righteous man?” I have come to believe that as God’s beloved, that standing alone makes me a righteous person. My question for you is, “Are you a righteous person? And, if so, how should that play out in your life?”

Thank you for your prayers and donations that help keep this ministry going. God is always there and each of you has been wonderfully faithful to us. Keep our needs before the throne of God. Thank you for your love and prayers.

God bless,

Mike

My newest book BEFORE YOU GET HERE: Baggage To Drop On Your Way To Heaven, is a guide to assist you in discovering freedom from the invisible burdens that oppress and defeat many Christians today. Chapters include: The Importance of Forgiveness, The Traps of Unforgiveness, A Look in the Mirror, Harmful Words and Harmful Connections, Let Yourself Be Loved By God, The Recovery of Intimacy, and more. Copies are available at Wholeness.org and at Amazon.com. Check out the entire Wholeness Ministries Catalog right HERE.

BOOK AN IN-PERSON MINISTRY SESSION
We have found these ministry sessions with people to be invaluable in healing them from wounds from their past. In some cases after two or three sessions, they experience freedom! If you need deep-level healing prayer or know someone who could benefit from this, here is how to start the process. Send an email to mevans@wholeness.org or call 661-833-2920 to schedule an appointment. On our website, simply follow the instructions under Personal Ministry.

Will You Be My Friend?

Dear Friends,

I recently heard a message on relationships by my friend David Williams. He pointed out that because of technology the term “friend” doesn’t have the same meaning that it used to have and how it is evolving mainly due to the technology that we didn’t have ten years ago. He said that we have the power to do friendship on our own terms and gave examples of how addicted we’ve become to needing immediate affirmation from our friends.

As I thought about this I realized that on my Facebook account I have hundreds of “friends”. With these friends I can text, Twitter, Snapchat, Skype, Instagram, etc. I can even “unfriend” them anytime I choose. I realized that indeed some of these people that are my friends I know very little about and with many of them I’ve never sat down and had a face-to-face conversation. So, for me this brings up two questions. The first being, “What does friend mean to you?” But even more important for me is, “What does it mean to be a friend of God”?

Believe it or not I actually had friends before Facebook that were truly my friends, not just my Facebook friends. During the late 1960’s I was living up in the San Francisco Bay area. This was during the height of the hippie movement. I remember vividly walking down Haight street late one evening when a young man approached and handed me a piece of paper titled, “What is a Friend”? After a brief glance I stuffed it in my pocket and forgot about it. Many years later while rifling through some paperwork I came across it, picked it up and read it. It was one of those “Aha!” moments for me. The entire piece is quoted on page 86 in my book, “Before You Get Here.” This piece defines for me clearly what it means to be a friend. The first couple of lines read, “What does it mean to be a friend? I will tell you. It is a person with whom you dare to be yourself!” That sums it all up for me. With those I count to truly be my friends I can be open knowing they will never reject me or judge me. To me that is friendship and that’s the kind of friendship I feel like I have with God. I have nothing to hide from Him. He knows everything there is to know about me and He still loves me and watches over me.

Thank you for your continued support of Wholeness Ministries. We continue to see God do exciting things and there is much on the horizon we will share with you in the coming months.

WHOLENESS RECEIVES 5% OF YOUR AMAZON PURCHASES
AmazonSmile is a program where Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to Wholeness Ministries. As many of you shop on Amazon this could amount to you giving a significant amount of money to us over a year’s time. There is no cost to charitable organizations or to AmazonSmile customers. The shopping experience is identical to Amazon.com with the added benefit that the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate to the charitable organizations selected by customers. Just go to AmazonSmile, search for Wholeness Ministries, and sign up. It’s that simple.

Thank you for your prayers and donations that help keep this ministry going. The last couple of months have been tight but God is always there and each of you has been wonderfully faithful to us. Keep our needs before the throne of God.

God bless,

Mike

My newest book BEFORE YOU GET HERE: Baggage To Drop On Your Way To Heaven, is a guide to assist you in discovering freedom from the invisible burdens that oppress and defeat many Christians today. Chapters include: The Importance of Forgiveness, The Traps of Unforgiveness, A Look in the Mirror, Harmful Words and Harmful Connections, Let Yourself Be Loved By God, The Recovery of Intimacy, and more. Copies are available at Wholeness.org and at Amazon.com. Check out the entire Wholeness Ministries Catalog right HERE.

BOOK AN IN-PERSON MINISTRY SESSION
We have found these ministry sessions with people to be invaluable in healing them from wounds from their past. In some cases after two or three sessions, they experience freedom! If you need deep-level healing prayer or know someone who could benefit from this, here is how to start the process. Send an email to mevans@wholeness.org or call 661-833-2920 to schedule an appointment. On our website, simply follow the instructions under Personal Ministry.

Are You The Real Thing?

Mike-P1020072-200Dear Friends,

Earlier this week I was looking over some of what I had written in my book “Before You Get Here,” and it struck me that in light of where we are in our nation there was never a time when we as believers needed to be more real than the time we are currently in. We are in the midst of a pandemic; hundreds of thousands of lives lost, massive unemployment, with fear, anxiety, and hopelessness running rampant among us. My question would be, in the midst of this, what about trust and faith in God? Do we as believers truly live what we profess or do we simply follow the herd? Do those we are in contact with daily, see us respond in fear and anxiety or faith and trust? Certainly, we need some common sense in following the guidelines to stay safe but we don’t need to live in fear.

There was a slogan some years back that Coca Cola used in its marketing campaign. It was, “Coke, It’s The Real Thing.” Whatever that means in regards to cola, we bought it and drank it knowing that it was the real thing. In regards to your faith and walk with God are you the real thing? If you are the genuine article then those around you will notice that you are different in many ways.

Francis Frangipane in his book “The Three Battlegrounds” wrote, “Our experience of Christianity must go beyond just being another interpretation of the Bible; it must expand until our faith in Jesus and our love for Him becomes a lightning rod for His presence.”

A lightning rod attracts. It says throughout the Word that we will do the works that Jesus did. When we examine what Jesus did we see clearly that He walked in holiness and power. People were attracted to Him. He did not slip into the impostor role to fit in. He was what He spoke and lived. He did not fake anything. He was the “real thing”. We, however, can easily fake “being the real thing.”

In “The Three Battlegrounds” Frangipane further wrote, “If we have been indoctrinated to believe that the Kingdom of God, and Christianity itself, does not really have to work, or if the absence of holiness and power fails to trouble us, something is seriously wrong with our concept of truth.”

If you are not drawn to holiness, if you do not see power manifested, if your prayers are not answered, then it would seem logical to ask why. Do you expect your prayers to be answered? Do you expect your Christian beliefs to work?

We like familiarity, we like routine and we don’t like to step out into unfamiliar territory. There is nothing wrong with the familiar, but the familiar is often too comfortable. Staying comfortable with those things that are normal and ordinary often keeps us from experiencing that which is extraordinary.

So, rather than move into a place of faith, expectancy, and obedience, a place where we are drawn closer to knowing and loving Jesus, we compromise and slip into being impostors. Before we realize it we are not the “real thing.”

Stop for a moment and consider this: If Christ is within us, we should be moving towards living holy, powerful lives; lives that attract others. No excuses! Christianity is not just accepting some doctrine, going to church regularly, being a part of a small group, and faithfully paying our tithe. It is living daily in the reality of Christ’s presence where we live and work.

YOU DON’T LOOK LIKE YOU’RE REDEEMED

Oral tradition from the nineteenth century tells the story of the atheist philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche who was said to have reproached a group of Christians with the words, “You make me sick!” When their spokesman asked why, Nietzsche replied, “Because you redeemed don’t look like you’re redeemed!”

Do you look redeemed? Are you the real thing?

For a copy of my book “Before You Get Here” checkout the Wholeness Ministries Catalog right here or go to Shop > Catalog.

Thank you for your continued faithfulness to this ministry. We are truly blessed.

God bless,

Mike

BOOK AN IN-PERSON MINISTRY SESSION
We have found these ministry sessions with people to be invaluable in healing them from wounds from their past. In some cases after two or three sessions, they experience freedom! If you need deep-level healing prayer or know someone who could benefit from this, here is how to start the process. Send an email to mevans@wholeness.org or call 661-833-2920 to schedule an appointment. On our website, simply follow the instructions under Personal Ministry.