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Well, It Happened Again! ….. (2021 Update)

Greetings,

” When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”  Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”  The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”  When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.”   Matthew 8: 5-10

This evening, while I was driving back home after spending the day at a friend’s place, I pulled over into an empty parking lot to give myself a shot of insulin.  Just as I finished and started to pull back onto the highway a patrol car quickly came behind me with lights all flashing and pulled me over.  The officer asked me what I was doing in the parking lot and I told him I was injecting insulin and showed him my injection pen.  He said he thought I was injecting street drugs and smiled while asking me for my license, registration, and proof of insurance.  He told to me wait and he went back to his patrol car for about 10 minutes. When he returned to my car he told me my record was clear and I was free to go.

He then noticed a book I had on my front passenger seat.  It was, “Was Church God’s Idea?” by my friend Marc Winter who I visited twice in Chattanooga this month.  He said he was a believer in Christ and he wanted to know what the book was about.  I told him that the book questioned whether or not the modern, traditional, institutional “Church” was really what God intended for HIS people.  When I said that the officer’s eyes got real wide and he told me that he had pondered that very question “many” times in his life.  He was tired of being spoon fed condescending simple sermons and desired more “meat” and interaction.  Right now he was “between” churches and looking for authentic fellowship.  We discussed the matter for over 15 minutes.  Then I gave him the book and encouraged him to read it and call me if he had any further questions.

Matt said he deeply appreciated our conversation and the gift of the book.  Next he asked me if I would pray with him about finding real fellowship in the area.  I told him I came to his city every few weeks and I then asked him if he would be willing to open his very own home for fellowship in the future.  He told me he would definitely pray and consider that as a viable option.  Then our conversation turned even more serious when he asked if we could pray for his 13 year old son who is now in a battle for his young life against spine cancer.  We then prayed with much passion for both his son Issac and his family’s need for true fellowship.

It seems that for Matt, God turned a potential drug bust into a new friendship and possibly a source of future fellowship. These past 7 months have been filled with numerous God ordained conversational opportunities in the oddest of situations for me.  I am not surprised that this awesome run has taken place all since I had my last PTSD episode.  It is as if I have broken through some sort of a wall that was impeding my progress in Christ and holding me back in numerous ways.  So this is what freedom looks like from the other side?  Oh yeah, I can get used to this.  I know that every good thing comes from Christ alone and I am so grateful for HIM.  I want to thank everyone out there who has been praying for me all these PTSD filled years.  I feel free!  Please pray also for Matt and his son?

Love and….

Kirk Out !

p.s.  To find out more about the book God has me giving away please go to:  www.waschurchgodsidea.com

p.s.s.  The events described above happened 7 years ago.  I am very happy to report that Issac’s cancer went into full remission and last I heard he was now cancer free!  I will share more details in the next few blog posts to come, but I am glad to report that Matt has found totally open and free, Spirit led fellowship since our last prayer filled encounter.  Jesus amazes me at every turn of events and I am being used by Him like almost never before.  It is not at all about my skills or ability, but rather about His grace and timing.  Jesus has orchestrated every divine encounter and placed me in the perfect place to do His will while speaking the Truth in Love to those whose hearts He has prepared in advance to receive the Gospel.  Any open and available, Spirit filled follower of Christ could bear this kind of fruit if placed by Jesus in the same situations.  Whoever God calls HE also equips with the ability and skills necessary to effectively minister the Truth in Love to those God is placing in their individual pathway.  Yes folks, it really is all about the availability of our hearts and minds and not our abilities.  When we pray and operate in HIS Holy Grace amazing things just happen along the way. I am broken, yet Jesus still uses me and HE will use you too.

p.s.s.s.  I want to thank everyone who has been encouraging me to post these updates of past events in my life.  I am not getting many comments on the actual site, but many have thanked me on facebook chat.  I would certainly appreciate more comments on the site.

My Near Death Experience…..2021 Update

Greetings,

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:  a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot…….”  Ecclesiastes 3: 1-2

I almost died yesterday.  I was driving East on the interstate and I hit a patch of ice while going about 70 mph.  The car in front of me spun out and violently rolled over in the snowy median. In an instant I saw a white robed figure flash before my eyes and say “pick both your feet up.”  I spun out 360 degrees and my car stopped just off the left shoulder of the road.  The semi trucks beside and behind me just missed wiping me out.  It was a terrifying experience, but I remained calm and collected. My poor dog Rocky got tossed around a bit and was shaking, but when I checked we both were fine and without physical harm.

I immediately called 911 and then went to help the woman trapped in her upside down car.  I got her out and then the State Trooper and EMS arrived.  She was bumped and bruised, but seemed to be alright.  While Trooper Smith took my account of the incident I told him that I thought Jesus appeared to me and told me what to do.  His eyes got really wide then, but he affirmed that keeping both my feet up off the brakes and gas likely saved my car from flipping over and putting me at risk of death or serious injury.  We spoke for about 10 minutes and then he told me he wanted to know more about this Jesus who might have saved me that day. He then had to respond to another accident, but he asked if he could contact me at a later date.  I told him sure and gave him my phone number.

Trooper Smith called me about an hour ago and he had many questions about Lord Jesus.  I answered his questions and shared some of my own testimony of saving grace, abundant love, eternal truth and extreme forgiveness.  He then told me that he wanted and needed those things in his life.  Moments later he surrendered to the truth and love of Jesus.  He shared with me that he had been searching for Jesus for many years.  He had attended numerous “churches” over the years, but found no life in them.  He wanted relationship, but all they offered was “stale religion”.

Today Trooper Jeff Smith entered into full relationship with Jesus and I was glad to play a part in it; even though it almost killed me.  Now he needs real, simple, organic relational fellowship so he can be loved and grow in Christ.  Problem is he lives 100 miles from here. I have a few friends who live in his area that I can connect him with, and he knows he can always call me.  Now Trooper Smith is family.  He is our brother.  Please be praying for him?

Love and……

Kirk Out !

p.s.  It was not my time to die.  However, God used this incident and gave me a chance to plant some excellent seed in Jeff’s heart and mind.  I was also able to uproot some dead religion that had been planted in him by the traditional “church” system.  Jesus clearly prepared Jeff’s heart for this day.  I am glad my heart was prepared and in season also.  I sit here amazed at how Jesus still uses me in spite of my fractured life and many flaws.  All is grace, only grace.

p.s.s.  It is hard to believe that the events (detailed above) took place over 7 years ago. I spoke with Trooper Jeff Smith again a few months ago.  He calls me several times a year or more for encouragement and counsel.  Jeff reported that he is continuing to press deep into the wonders of Christ and that he has continued in free and open mutual fellowship house to house with the three families I had introduced him to seven years ago and also with a new family who came to Christ when Jeff shared his testimony with them over dinner 5 years ago.  Five families is a nice size for simple fellowship.  It is amazing how the Lord uses our simple sincere sharing of the truth in love even in automobile mishaps and the oddest of circumstances.  When we allow The Spirit of Christ to be living and active in our lives miracles happen and folks get set free in Jesus.  All I can say is to GOD be the glory!

Finding Jesus At McDonalds…. The Sequel (2021 Update)

Greetings,

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”  2 Timothy 1: 7

I spent this last weekend in a cabin off of Torch lake in Northern Michigan.  The weather was fair and very cool for August, but we still had a great time in and out of the water.  The cabin had WiFi, but the signal was very poor.  So I would trek 5 miles each morning to McDonalds to check my email and maintain my blog.

One morning, it was Saturday or Sunday I can’t recall, (When camping I lose track of which day it is) and the Lord led me into a very excellent and profitable conversation with a middle aged fellow named Doug.  I was very frustrated that morning because the WiFi reception there was very unreliable.  I guess I must have appeared to be frustrated because Doug came over to my table and sat down kitty-corner from me and asked me if I was alright.

Right then I internally said a quick silent prayer asking Jesus to guide and bless the conversation I was about to have.  We introduced ourselves and then Doug asked me what I was trying to do online.  I told him I had a blog I needed to maintain and that led him to ask what my blog was about.  I told him that it was about Jesus, The Body of Christ and how The Lord was helping me to overcome PTSD, related depression and other mental health issues from childhood sexual abuse.

Doug did not respond at first, but on his face was an expression of shock and awe.  He then told me that he also suffered from mental health issues, but his experience with God and the “church” was “extremely” negative.  This led to a 45 minute discussion in which we both shared our stories.  The Holy Spirit definitely was moving strongly in both of our hearts and minds. Doug told me that the Jesus that he has heard preached in “churches” was not at all like the loving and accepting Christ that I spoke of.  He went on to say that the other “Christians” he had encountered in and out of a “church” setting were all very cold and judgmental.  When he opened up and shared with them his emotional and mental struggles he NEVER got a supportive, accepting or loving response.  In fact they either said nothing and avoided further contact with him or they said he “must have” a demon.  A few offered prayer, but overall he was just judged, looked down upon and rejected.

At that point I asked him to stand up and I got up and gave him a big bear hug.  I told him he was loved and totally accepted by Jesus and The True Body of Christ.  Then I spoke several minutes about the Love, Grace and total reconciliation that Christ has offered him and all mankind.  I also mentioned that Jesus was The Truth and that The Truth would set him free and help him to overcome and cope with whatever issues, mental and otherwise, he might have.  Right then Doug asked me to pray for him that he could be reconciled with Christ.  Of course I refused, but I did agree to pray WITH him and that he could go first in his own words.  It was a magical moment and the Spirit reigned supreme.

Before we parted ways Doug told me that he had never met anyone like me…so free and open about my mental health issues and how Christ and His Body had bridged every gap for me.  To which I replied by telling him that I had never met anyone like him either and that I was blessed to have him as a true brother now.

Jesus won this time, but often times HE doesn’t because the average “Christian” out there does not know bumpkiss about mental health issues or relating to someone who has such difficulties.  I feel that organic, simple, relational, home churches have a leg up on more traditional “churches” in this area because we encourage everyone to tell their story and participate in our gatherings.  We should be praying for everyone who slips through the cracks due to mental or other issues that the institutions can’t seem to relate to or welcome.

Love and….

Kirk Out !

p.s.  I have read that over 85% of all people will suffer from depression or other mental health issues at some time in their lives.  It takes a suicide of a famous person like Robin Williams to even pique our interest about such things I guess.  Fact is we are ALL called by Christ to love our brother, even if that brother has issues we are uncomfortable with.  Time to step up and BE THE CHURCH folks.  People are literally dying because of the “Church’s” total apathy in regards to this important issue.

p.s.s.  Continuing with the updates:  This event happened 6.5 years ago.  I tried to contact Doug again today, but my e-mail bounced back saying that his e-mail account does not exist.  I Have not heard from Doug in over 3.5 years and I am prayerfully concerned about him.  We had exchanged some e-mails since that summer and last time I heard from him he was doing pretty well overall.  He had been participating in a small prayer and study gathering every other week that meets in homes and was not affiliated with any institutional “church”.  Please pray for Doug to reach back out to me as I have no other way to contact him?  This is the 6th time in the last 6 years that our e-mail connection has been broken. He is a precious brother with a very sweet spirit and servant’s heart.  I will always remember that it was he who initially reached out to me that day at McDonalds.  This brother needs our prayers.

Finding Jesus At McDonalds (2021 Update)

Greetings,

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.  For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written:  “The righteous will live by faith.”  Romans 1: 16-17

After a stormy Sunday night in a tent I went to McDonalds Monday morning so I could use their Wi-Fi to check my e-mail and update my blog.  I was there typing away when I looked up and locked eyes with the man sitting at the table across from me, who was also online there.  He said I looked busy and asked what I was working on.  I told him I was working on a simple blog page.  Next he asked what my blog was about and I told him it was about Jesus, simple and true fellowship and my personal journey with Christ.  Then he surprised me by giving me his contact info and asking that I send him my blog’s address.  Jesus told me not to pursue any more conversation at that time.  So I turned my attention back to my computer after saying a quick silent prayer for the man seated across from me.

About 40 minutes later the man caught my attention when he told me that I write quite well. He said his name was Ralph and that he was now ready to fully accept Jesus as his Lord.  As we prayed together I could definitely feel the Spirit and anointing of Christ moving in our hearts. After praying I introduced myself and asked if he had any questions.  He then said that the ten blog posts or so that he had read pretty much answered his questions and drew him towards Jesus.

Ralph also told me that what I had shared was almost exactly the opposite of what was preached in his visits to traditional “churches” over the years.  He said that his heart and mind resonated with Grace not judgement, faith not works, forgiveness not wrath, Spirit not Law, and peers not hierarchy.  Then he told me he had to run because he was late for work, but that he was also very interested in finding face to face fellowship.  Next we embraced as brothers, said goodbye and he said he would keep in touch with me.

What a simply Divine encounter?  I probably spoke less than 15 words to the guy, but he got exactly what he needed to hear by reading these crazy blogs of mine.  Sometimes technology is a great gift from God.  I can hardly believe how Jesus is using me these days. I am a deeply flawed human being, yet HE takes these filthy rags of mine and turns them into something righteous and faithful.  Grace is the only way to explain HIS activity in my life.  The one thing I excel in is prayer.  I do pray for divine opportunities to share the simple gospel and I believe that Jesus honors that and fills my heart with enough Truth in Love to touch the lives of others. Grace and Love and Love and Grace are all I have, but it is always more than enough to see me through to the right place at the right time.

Love and…..

Kirk Out !

P.s.  What I shared above happened over seven years ago. A few dozen people have contacted me recently and said they are really getting a lot out of these evangelistic updates this week and to keep them coming.  Who am I to disagree?  Especially when those who asked Jesus to come into their lives are reaching out to contact me again. That’s right Ralph got a hold of me again last month for the first time in over three years and asked for prayer and counsel.  It is only the seventh time in over 7 years that we have conversed.  He lurks here at my blog site, but is still a little shy and hesitant to post any comments.  The only fellowship he has found is a men’s prayer breakfast that happens every Thursday morning about 20 minutes from where he lives.  Ralph longs for more consistent face to face Spiritual interaction and has tried visiting dozens of “churches”, but none of them really allow for any real conversation or give and take dialogue.  I once again suggested that he continue to pray and ask Jesus for more fellowship opportunities and that perhaps he could ask some of the men at the breakfasts to get together with him another day of the week.  Ralph would really appreciate your prayers and he said that he hopes to be able to participate and post comments here sometime in the near future, but he says that every time he calls.

Unbelievable…..(2021 Update)

Greetings,

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  John 14: 6

I can’t hardly believe it myself, but it happened again for the second time in eight days.  This time I was in Seattle waiting at my gate for my flight home to board.  This time an older lady sitting next to me struck up a conversation.

Wanda and her traveling companion Wilma were heading home to Harrisburg Pennsylvania after a wonderful ten day cruise to Alaska.  She asked me what brought me to Washington.  I told her I was visiting some dear friends and several home fellowships there.  She then asked if I was a minister and I laughed saying yes, but not in the conventional or traditional sense.  I said that in the fellowships I relate to that everyone is a minister.  Then I told her that on my flight out there I had shared Jesus with a follower of Buddha and a follower of Islam.  Wanda then replied that she would “Love” to hear more about this Jesus of which I speak.

Right then they started boarding our plane.  It took several conversations with the crew and several other passengers, but I finally arranged it so I could sit next to Wanda and Wilma during our flight to Chicago.

We shared an excellent conversation on our 3.5 hour flight.  I had given my bible away on last weeks flight, so I just shared whatever the Spirit put on my heart.  Wilma was raised Catholic, but had not practiced her faith in over 30 years.  She said she was taught a lot about Mary, the fear of hell and the ten commandments; but very little about Jesus or the love of God.  Wanda had basically been unchurched her entire life and said that the few times she had attended “church” the focus had been on money and the offering.  This had left a very bad taste in her mouth.

When I shared I focused on the love of God and how relationships with Jesus and one another were the most important things in life.  They loved the idea of simple relational fellowship instead of traditional religion.  I told them that in the true church everyone gets to share and contribute and that the Spirit has gifted everyone; and not just a select few in the Body of Christ.

When we got near to Chicago they asked me to pray for them and that they wanted a relationship with the Lord Jesus I spoke of.  I said we could all pray together and ask Jesus to take the lead in our lives from this day forward.  By the time we were finished none of the three of us had a dry eye.  Once off the plane we exchanged some powerful hugs before we needed to find the gates for our next flights.

I am just a very simple guy with a very simple message, but in the last ten days the Holy Spirit has been bursting forth from my heart like almost never before.  I feel the total freedom that Christ gives all that seriously seek Him.  In the last 8 days He has used simple me to make a eternal impression on four very different lives.  I was simply available to have life changing conversations with others yet to know Christ in His fullness.  Jesus still wants to set the captives free.  Next time it could be you who has the key.  Step up and allow Him to use you.  When you do AMAZING things can happen!

Love and……

Kirk Out !

P.S.  It is hard to believe that my conversation with Wanda and Wilma took place over eight years ago.  It seems like yesterday.  Wanda has stayed in touch several times each of the last 8 years and she has reported that all the women in her canasta club are now following Jesus too. Plus ten others from the bingo hall have found Christ via more simple conversations with Wanda and Wilma.  Wanda calls me when they don’t fully understand the bible passage they are studying and I pray and add my understanding to the text as led by the Spirit.  The Holy Spirit has gotten a hold of these senior citizens and none of them seem to be looking back.  I am happy to help, but they don’t really NEED me or any other “man” at all.  They are more proof that simple, organic, relational, Spirit led fellowship really works.  They have no need of professional Clergy or a “church” building or a set liturgy.  They are simply allowing The Spirit to lead and teach them.  It just so happens that Wanda called me again some time ago and once again invited me to come along with her and her friends on another winter cruise to Cancun  She told me I was like family to her.  I can’t go on the cruise, but being called family was confirmation of my call to help others become an active part of God’s family instead of becoming pew sitting, passive members of a dying, “man” led institution that calls itself the “Church”.

P.s.s.  This must be the week for updates.

Three Guys Walk Onto A Plane….. (2021 Update)

Greetings,

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14: 6

Today I am going to share what happened during my 4.5 hour flight to Seattle yesterday. As soon as we got airborne I pulled out my copy of my friend Marc Winter’s book “Was Church God’s Idea?” and began to read. About ten minutes later the fellow sitting across the aisle from me began to ask some probing questions of me. The conversation quickly moved to what my personal beliefs were concerning Jesus Christ. At that point the person sitting immediately to my right got involved in the conversation.

In a few minutes we learned that I was a follower of Jesus sandwiched between a follower of Buddha and a follower of Islam. We each shared a little concerning what we believed about faith in God in general and then the Holy Spirit began to stir and move within me greatly. I then asked Ben and Joseph if they believed that Jesus was a prophet and they each replied yes.

Following up on that question I asked them if it was okay if we looked into exactly what Jesus had to say about Himself and the so called “Christian” faith. They both agreed and then I pulled out my bible and began to read the sayings of Jesus throughout John’s gospel.

We spent the next 3 hours reading the direct words of Jesus and discussing in depth what each of us believed in light of Christ’s words. There I was, simply conversing about the Lord with two people whose belief systems radically differed from my own, but you know what? We all found common ground in the sayings of Jesus about Himself and the Body of Christ.

Both men remarked how they had never found “Christians” to be so free, non-judgmental and open.  And that they normally had “Christians” trying to shove their personal beliefs down their throats. They were accustomed to being told that they were going to hell because of their religion, but no one had actually ever taken the time to listen to their personal beliefs and journey towards God.

Then it hit me and it was totally obvious to me that others had tried to push religion and doctrine AT these men, but none had actually taken the care to share Jesus WITH them. During the final hour of our flight together I was able to share with these dear fellows the difference between relationship and religion and dead religion at that. (as if there is another kind?) I continued to solely focus on the words of Jesus Himself and invited them to prayerfully consider a potential relationship with Him beginning today. We then grasped hands and prayed together that God would continue to open our hearts, eyes and minds to faith, hope, love and truth…..Wherever it may be found.

I gave my only extra bible to Joseph and gave my copy of Marc’s book to Ben and I encouraged both of them to read and focus only on the words of Jesus. Ben then asked, “What about the other parts of the bible…The books that Paul, Peter and others had wrote?” I told them that in time they may be able to look into those writings, but that right now what was setting them free were the actual words of Christ Jesus Himself. I then shocked myself a little by saying to them that religion had been built on the words of Peter, Paul and others; but relationship, true faith and love were built on the direct words of only Jesus. Then I told them to be safe and only look into the saying of others when they felt Jesus leading them to do so.

Before we landed I gave them both my e-mail address and asked them to stay in touch. I suggested that they not be afraid to ask me anything, because God loves honest questions. Once on the ground and in the terminal we all exchanged sincere hugs. I hope to hear back from these men in the near future, but if not the Spirit will still do His work within them I fully trust.  All in all this was just another day in the life of Captain Kirk.

Love and……

Kirk Out !

P.s. It is hard to believe that what happened written above took place over eight years ago. It really does seem like it just happened recently. I felt HIS leading to post this here again today and to also give you all an update. After our in flight miracle Ben dove head first into the things of Christ and still serves Him to this day. I hear from Ben sporadically and in the last eight years he has brought Jesus to six close relatives, 16 friends and his wife. They gather each Saturday to break bread and seek a deeper walk with Christ and each other. I have not heard from Joseph in over seven years, but the last time we spoke he was still actively seeking and serving Jesus. He has participated in many gatherings with Ben since then and Ben says he seems to be growing in the Lord. I will never forget that flight or these men. It is amazing what God can do with simple conversations and sincere hearts. Where religion fails relationship can flourish. I have found this to be true time and time again. My sole desire and goal in life is authentic fellowship in and with Christ; and the relationships birthed by such fellowship.  I hope these simple words encourage everyone who reads them.  I am so grateful for The Body Of Christ in my life.

Just Washing Clothes?

Greetings,

“The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”  Acts 16:29-31

For me last Thursday was laundry day after a long fellowship vacation.  So I got my dirty clothes together and went to the laundrymat.  While I was there I ran into a former co-worker that I had not seen in many years.  During our conversation we caught each other up concerning our current employment and how our families were doing.  We were both surprised at how our children had grown and matured.  Then all of a sudden in the middle of our conversation WHAM JESUS WAS THERE and I was leading her to The Lord.  It was totally casual and nothing was forced.  We had just been talking about how I was coping with my PTSD.  She was there eighteen years ago when I had my first PTSD episode at work and I crawled under my desk, screamed, cried and assumed the fetal position.  She saw how well I was getting along now and she directly asked me what seemed to be working for me.  The answer to that question was Jesus, The Body of Christ, and a new treatment called EMDR.  She is a therapist too, so she actually knew about EMDR, but she asked for more information about how Jesus was helping me.  I spoke of His love, grace, mercy and healing and she responded by asking me how she could experience such things in her life.  We prayed together right there and she let Jesus invade her very being. Immediately she also began praying in tongues and was filled with The Spirit.  All of this happened without any coaching.  I am telling you it was just another awesome flow of His Holy Spirit there that day.

After the initial rush of The Spirit we continued to talk and she told me how she had been watching me during the seven years we had worked in the same counseling center.  She knew I was a believer and an excellent counselor, but noticed that I never tried to push Jesus on anyone at work. She had tried various “churches” over the years, but they never felt “right” to her.  I told her that was because many churches don’t have it right because their focus is on their leaders and things other than the simplicity of Christ and the relationships that flow out of experiencing Him together. Most “churches” focus on programs and the external and works.  While Jesus focuses on relationship, our hearts and the completed work of the cross.

Our time together was cut short because she had to get her client back to his place.  However, we exchanged phone numbers and she definitely wants to talk more.  She asked what church I went to and I told her that I don’t go to church, but I do simply meet with other followers of Jesus in homes. She seemed interested so I told her we would talk about that at another time.  We hugged and off she went.  If you get a chance please remember Dianne in your prayers this week because I think she is at the beginning of a new and grand journey.

Love and……

Kirk Out !

P.s.  This meeting happened six years ago and I re-post it here because Dianne called me several days ago. She has called me several times during the past 6 years and she reports that she is still following Jesus, but has run into much trouble and confusion trying to find a “church” to belong to.  Every single place she has visited has felt very wrong in her Spirit and she discerned that these places all focused on manipulation and control instead of freedom and true fellowship.  So now she really wants to visit one of the home fellowships I relate to.  I told her it would be a joy to help her find fellowship.  Dianne then said, “I guess I just had to find out about the traditional “church” the hard way.”  We both then laughed pretty hard.  Please pray for Dianne as she seeks to follow Jesus and discover true fellowship?

The Answer In The Sky

Below is the report of my 2016 trip South.  I am feeling a bit better today, but still out of sorts and lacking.  If Jesus can use me with all my problems and shortcomings I am certain HE can and will use you too.  These reports are just evidence of that fact.  I hope they bless someone out there today.

Greetings,

“Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”  Genesis 9:16

This year’s trip South was very eventful and rewarding in a great number of ways.  I spent the first night in North Georgia with Michael M and his family.  Michael has been involved with housechurching for quite a few years both in the states and overseas in Israel and the South Pacific.  We have been butting heads online for over 10 years now because I feel he is too Jewish and legalistic in his view of scripture and he feels I have a “low view of scripture”.  However, face to face it all worked out fine and Michael was a very gracious host.  He still values the Law and I value the New Covenant over and above the Old.

Early the next morning I headed South towards Florida and I had to stop for gas just South of Macon Ga.  As I was filling my tank a glorious double rainbow filled the Eastern sky.  Then I noticed another gentleman nearby who seemed enthralled with the rainbows.  I then felt the Holy Spirit nudge me to start a conversation with this man.  I then told this man that the rainbow was God’s sign unto all men that HE would never send a devastating flood upon the entire earth again.  We then conversed back and forth for about ten minutes and then Marvin asked me flat out how he could be saved.  We then prayed and Marvin asked Jesus to fill his heart and take over his life.  This left us both in tears and we embraced before saying our goodbyes and getting back on the road.

I spent the next 5 nights with a dear childhood friend, I have known for over 40 years, and his wonderful family.  Dave E. is now serving the Lord as a funeral director and has been sharing Jesus openly with his clients for over 3 years now with much fruit and success.  Dave and I spent some of our teen years on fire for Jesus in what we called the AFL-CYO or the All For the Lord Christian Youth Outreach.  A group of teens in love with Jesus and one another.  Our totally open and free, Spirit led gatherings laid a solid foundation for what I would later simply call home fellowships or house churches.

While I spent my nights with Dave, I was also spending days with my dear nearly 94 year old Aunt Marie.  We enjoyed rich fellowship as we played endless card games with each other.  Aunt Marie is my favorite person in the world and I am quite certain I would not be alive or serving Jesus if it were not for her effective prayers over my entire life.  If I have ever been in the presence of a true saint it would have to be Marie and I treasure every moment I get to spend with her each year.

I also had the pleasure of visiting with several home fellowships on the Gulf coast while I was there.  These are “churches” I have helped start or have encouraged over the past 15 years.  In a bit of a surprise I felt prompted by the Lord to visit “The Refuge” semi-traditional “church” on Sunday morning.  This is the “church” my cousin Lonnie is helping to plant.  While the “worship” band was playing I was given a clear prophetic word for this congregation.  In gentleness I gave this word about “not despising the days of small beginnings” and always allowing Jesus to lead His Church and following no other man other than Christ.  Right after giving them this word from the Lord their pastor stepped forward in tears and turned on the powerpoint presentation….. and right there in black and white in big bold letters was the title of the talk he intended to give that day…. it simply read..”Do not despise the days of small things.”  It was dead silent in there and everyone could feel the Spirit as if it was electricity.  We then closed in prayer and all left encouraged and challenged by what had just occurred.  The young pastor took my phone number and we have spoken several times since that amazing day.  Lonnie and I met for breakfast on Tuesday and he apologized for misjudging me several years ago after I visited the Refuge and I reported in my blog how it was much better than the average traditional “church”, but it still had one foot in Babylon and one foot in the Lord.  He broke fellowship with me over my choice of words back then, but now freely admits I was spot on.  Today the Refuge is focusing on feeding the poor and hungry in their community and I praise them for that much needed ministry.

Next on my way back home to Michigan I spent 2 nights with my old college friend and dear brother Doug O.  Doug has long been a great source of encouragement to me and this blog page.  We had some fun and encouraged one another greatly.  That is my trip in a nutshell.  Please be praying for Marvin our new brother in Christ?  It was once again an amazing trip.

Love and……..

Kirk Out !

P.s.  I almost forgot…. I also met with David F. in Ocala for coffee and quick fellowship on my way back North.  He seemed like a very precious fellow. David, I hope to have more time together next year.

My Chaos Was God’s Purpose

I would appreciate your prayers.  I am feeling VERY out of sorts today.  Here is another testimony BLOG featuring my report of my 2015 trip South.  I hope some find encouragement through it.

Greetings,

“13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. 16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”  Matthew 3: 13-17

My trip down South and back was filled with wonderful fellowship along the way.  However, the final leg of my journey home from Chattanooga Tennessee to Sturgis Michigan on Tuesday was wrought with ice, snow, wind and terrible driving conditions that led to one pretty chaotic and amazing day.

The weather forecast for Chattanooga Monday afternoon through early Tuesday morning was for freezing rain and ice.  So if need be I was going to stay there an extra night and leave Wednesday morning.  However, several pressing issues at home needed my attention a.s.a.p.  So I was hoping and praying that I would be able to depart early on Tuesday.  For some unknown reason the Holy Spirit told me to set my alarm for 8:30 am instead of 6:15 on Tuesday.  Over the years I have simply learned not to question such leadings.  So I was obedient.  First miracle… Chattanooga’s temperatures stayed in the mid thirties that night so the major ice storm was averted there. However, everywhere in every direction surrounding Chattanooga there was major ice and snow events.

I left wet, but not quite frozen Chattanooga at 9:15 am Tuesday.  The roads were fine even through the mountains on I-24 North.  Then just 15 minutes South of ice & snow covered Nashville, traffic northbound came to an abrupt halt.  It then took over an hour to travel three miles due to a multi car accident.  Then six minutes later when traffic just started flowing nicely again we came to another freeway stoppage. This time it took nearly two hours to clear several wrecked cars and two jack-knifed and twisted semi-tractor trailers from the roadway.  Second miracle…. If I would have left Chattanooga as planned at 7 am instead of yielding to a Spirit led time of 9:15, it is possible that I may have been involved in one of these horrific crashes

Just North of Nashville I stopped at a truck stop for gas and food.  As I went inside to the restaurant I passed an older grey haired and bearded man with a backpack.  I went to the bathroom and while at the urinal the Spirit told me to offer the man I saw outside a meal and a ride North.  So I fed Randy and he did indeed need a ride North to Chicago.  I told Him I could take him as far as Indianapolis and off toward snow covered Kentucky we went.  I attempted to engage Randy in conversation, but he was quiet and not talkative at all.  I asked him if he liked to listen to good rock music and he nodded yes, so I turned up my CD of REZ Band’s 1983 live “Bootleg” album.  The songs on this totally rocking CD are interlaced with sharing and testimonies from my dear Jesus People friends Wendi and Glenn Kaiser.  Both Randy and I spent the next hour slapping time and nodding our heads to the beat of this awesome Jesus music.  After the final song Glenn gave a short message and invitation to become a follower of Christ.  When I looked over at Randy I could clearly see that he was tearing up and beginning to cry, so I asked him if he needed to talk.  He said yes and we spent the next few hours discussing our lives and what we believed about Jesus and the Body of Christ.  Randy told me he had always hoped that Jesus was real, but when he visited “churches” and talked with “Christians” it always left a bad taste in his “mouth”, so he never pursued a relationship with Jesus or those who claimed to follow Him.  So I then shared my journey in Christ with Randy including my take on true fellowship and the Body of Christ.  Moments later Randy was praying out loud and surrendering his life to Jesus.  I did not ask him or tell him to pray, he just did so on his own without any coaching from me.  Third miracle… I would have never crossed paths with Randy if it were not for all the delays and obstacles I encountered this day.

Just before we hit the South side of Indianapolis Randy asked me if he could be baptized now.  I said a quick prayer in my head and asked Jesus and Jesus said yes.  So I exited I-65 and found the first motel with an indoor pool.  I rented Randy a room for the night (Thank God for credit cards in emergency situations) and we changed into shorts and went to the heated pool together.  Minutes later I baptized Randy in Jesus name.  Fourth miracle…  It was near darkness outside, but the exact moment Randy emerged from the water the clouds parted on this grey and dreary day and the sun shone brightly for a moment and the refraction of the sun’s light caught the glass of the atrium the pool was in and the colors of a rainbow were broadcast on the wall nearest us.  It was amazing! After drying off and dressing in Randy’s room we both said our tearful goodbyes.  He did not have a cell phone or an address, but I still gave him my info anyways.

Then I raced to my car and took off towards home.  I Had exactly 3.5 hours to get from Indy to where I have my dog Rocky boarded.  If I was late I would not be able to retrieve him and it would have cost me an extra days fee.  To get there I would have to average about 80 miles an hour, so off I went.  The roads were clear so I had a decent chance of making it on time.  About an hour shy of home what looked like a three foot long 4X4 piece of wood flew off the flatbed semi truck I was following and it was heading right for me.  In a split second I swerved in an attempt to avoid the object.  Bad idea!  I then spun out over 360 degrees and violently hit the deep ditch on the right side of the road filled with over 2 feet of snow at 70 miles per hour.  I thought to myself…this is going to be bad, so I yelled out … please help Jesus!  When I came to a stop I was glad to be alive and unhurt. I could not open my door due to the depth of the snow.  I was about 20 feet off the road and in deep shit.  I had no money for a wrecker and no time to waste.  I needed help and asked for divine intervention.  I was able to begin slowly rocking the car back and forth in the snow.  I did this about 4 times and then gave it all the gas I had.  I nearly reached the shoulder of the interstate, but then slipped back down to the bottom.  This was simply an impossible situation to overcome.  However, on the very next attempt I made it back onto the road. That was definitely miracle number five on this very long day.  Plus I made it to get Rocky on time.  When I got home late that night I examined my car and the plastic bumper had 2 holes in it where the 4X4 hit.  The rest of the car was without mark or blemish.  Thank Jesus there were no fences, guardrails or roadside markers or signs where I went off the road.  That just might be miracle number six?

Don’t try to ever tell me that Jesus does not direct not only our paths, but also our very individual steps.  When we cry out to HIM.. HE intervenes!  Things like these have happened to me far too many times to call them coincidence.  It is great to be back blogging.  Thanks for reading.  Please pray for our new brother Randy?

Love and….

Kirk Out !

P.s.  I just found a 100 dollar bill in my coat pocket.  I have no explanation for this, unless Randy slipped it into my pocket yesterday.  Wow!  I am left speechless.

Jesus At The Waffle House

Some folks are asking me to share more testimonies on this blog site.  So I will oblige starting with this one from February 2017.

Greetings,

Normally I would quote some scripture here, but once again I needed to give my last bible away while on another wonderful journey.  Still, I think I will quote Jesus when He said, “Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you will find, and knock and the door shall be opened for you.”  It is also written that ..”we do not have because we do not ask.”  Proving to me at least that Jesus always wants to say yes to those who follow Him.  Knowing this fact it baffles me that we do not ask for Christ’s help more often than what we do.  Jesus wants to help us 100% of the time, so why can’t we give ourselves to Him 100% of the time.  Maybe it is because we are too prideful and self focused and absorbed?

My road trip to Florida and back was wonderful.  I was deeply encouraged by some great people who were seeking simple, rich, relational fellowship with Christ and members of His Body.  I just hope I was as encouraging to them as they were to me.  Over coffee or over meals Jesus blessed our conversations and drew us nearer to Himself and one another.

As always the highlight of my trip was spending time with my soon to be 95 year old “Aunt” Marie.  If I have ever encountered a true saint in my life it has to be Marie.  She is the most accepting, non-judgmental, loving, person on the planet.  I have never heard her say one bad word about anyone ever.  And if others begin to say something negative about someone in her midst..Marie just says we need to pray for that person a little more.  When I am with my Aunt we talk, eat and play cards until our fingers bleed.  I so deeply love my Aunt Marie and am abundantly blessed to have her in my life.  She is still strong in Spirit, sound in mind, but weak in body.  She moves a lot slower than she used to, shuffling along rather than walking, but she still is up for me taking her out the eat a fresh broiled fish supper.  Spending time with her refreshes my Spirit and soul.  We all need people in our lives that do that for us.

I also got to spend time with my oldest friend Dave.  We met in school when we were 11 and that means we have been in each other’s lives for nearly 44 years.  We have been there for each other through both the good times and the bad.  We also love each other enough to challenge each other to stay true to the will and ways of Christ.  Sometimes we need friends to help  redirect our course when we might be getting off track.

The last 3 days of my trip I stayed with my college buddy Doug.  For 33 years we have been more than friends.  It was good to spend time with Doug who yearns for more authentic fellowship in his life.  He took me out for real Georgia barbecue and we feasted together.

Now to get back to the ask, seek, knock….  I left Augusta early Saturday morning.  At about noon I was getting hungry and pulled into a Waffle House in North Carolina wanting to get a pecan waffle.  The place was packed and I was told it would be a 20 minute wait for a seat.  Then at the end of the counter I spied an empty seat at a small table for 2.  There was an older lady sitting there, but I heard Jesus telling me to ask the woman if I could sit there with her, not knowing if she was with someone else who might be coming soon or just might be in the rest room.  In a moment I fought off negativity, fear and insecurities about approaching a stranger in a situation like this and instead yielded to Christ and went up to the woman and asked if I could sit there with her.  She smiled and said “certainly”.

The waitress took our order right away and then I introduced myself to Patricia.  This led to a brief conversation of what brought me to North Carolina because she noticed right away that I did not have a southern accent.  I explained the purpose of my trip South and how I loved to travel and encourage those seeking a more relational way of following Jesus and BEING the church together.  It seems my sharing scratched Patricia right where she had an itch.  She said that in all her 74 years she never found a “church” worth belonging to….She got nothing out of their sermons and was irked by their constant appeal for more and more money in their offering plates.  We continued to converse while eating our lunch, but then she stopped abruptly and told me that the Jesus and faith that I described to her was more than worth following and she wanted to ask Him into her life right then and there.  So right there in that very busy Waffle House we prayed together and she asked Jesus to reign supreme in her life from that moment on.  It was amazing!  Then it was time for both of us to leave and we embraced and exchanged phone numbers.  Before she pulled away in her car I ran to my car and got my bible and gave it her asking her to focus on the Gospel of John.

Simply amazing isn’t it?  All because I trusted Jesus enough to provide when I ask, seek or knock.  I heard Jesus tell me to ask Patricia if I could sit with her and instead of second guessing, rationalizing, or being timid I chose to obey His voice and step out in faith and boldness.  Opportunities like this abound all around us.  When are we going to finally learn to “take advantage of every opportunity for the days are evil”?  Stories like this should abound and be commonplace among those who love and serve Jesus.  Simple Spirit led conversations bear fruit far beyond the grandest of any sermon or traditional “church” service.

Love and…

Kirk Out!