Monday, February 19, 2018

What's In It For Me?

"These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.  God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect." - Hebrews 11:39-40

In the movie "Field of Dreams," the main character, Ray Kinsella, played by Kevin Costner, hears a voice while walking in his Iowa cornfield.  The voice says, "If you build it, he will come," and Ray sees a vision of a baseball field and the deceased ballplayer Shoeless Joe Jackson.  Assuming this means Shoeless Joe Jackson will appear if he builds a baseball field, Ray is obedient to this strange calling, in spite of financial difficulty he is already having at his farm and the ramifications of this request.

As other farmers watch in shock and he becomes the joke of the community, Ray tears up much of his revenue-producing farmland to build a baseball field, putting him and his family into near bankruptcy.  Shoeless Joe Jackson and other deceased ballplayers do appear at the field, and Ray hears more instruction from the voice that guides him on an incredible journey across the United States.

The problem is, all of the voice's instructions are benefiting others, while Ray and his family are suffering severe financial loss.  Since others can't see the deceased ballplayers, everyone thinks Ray and his family are crazy, and his brother-in-law moves to foreclose on the property.  When a person Ray brings to the field at the instruction of the voice gets invited by Shoeless Joe to see what lies on the other side of the field, Ray finally shows his frustration and asks why he doesn't get to go.  Shoeless Joe calmly answers, "Because you weren't invited."

Ray, very angry at this point, says, "I've done everything I've been asked to do.  I didn't understand it but I've done it.  And I've never once asked what's in it for me.  What's in it for me?"

Shoeless Joe then asks, "Is that why you did this - for you?"  It stops Ray dead in his tracks, and you can see the look of guilt during the awkward silence as he realizes the selfishness he's had all along in pursuing this Field of Dreams.  While on the surface it appeared that Ray was being a risk-taking, obedient servant of the voice, helping ballplayers and others live out their dreams, he was secretly waiting to see what was in all of this for himself.

This is such an important revelation and checkpoint for all of us in our walk with God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  As you seek a closer relationship with the Trinity, you may be asked to do things that don't make sense.  You may be asked to help people in unique ways.  You may be given assignments to evangelize to others, preach the Gospel, or heal the sick.  But even if you are obedient to these assignments, what motivates you to do so is equally important.  Are you really being obedient so you can serve others and show God's love to the world, or are you being driven by the potential rewards for doing so?

Of course God promises blessings to those who are obedient to His calling, but they don't always look like what you expect.  His blessings may impact your children, or your grandchildren, or other people you may never meet or know.  You may never see the full fruits of your obedience in your lifetime.  The key is trusting God when asked to take on an assignment, regardless of what's in it for you.

In the end, Ray does get an unexpected benefit as he learns that it's really his deceased father who will come if he builds the field, and a father and son get to experience reconciliation in a tearful ending.  But the bigger lesson for Ray, and for all of us, is that we should always joyfully obey our Father's instruction regardless of what's in it for us.

Jesus was the ultimate example of this when he willingly died on the cross at God's instruction, without asking, "What's in it for me?"  And mankind benefited most of all when we inherited eternal life through Jesus.

So what's in it for us? That's the beauty of Christ - we've already received the free gift of redemption and eternal life in heaven with Him if we accept Jesus as our Savior.  Our job is then to simply "go and make disciples," bringing others to the real Field of Dreams - an eternal relationship with God our Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit!

Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.  Not so with you.  Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be a slave of all.  For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." - Mark 10:42-45

- Adam Gellert

Monday, January 15, 2018

Black Like Me

"There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, 
for you are all one in Christ Jesus."  - Galatians 3:28

First of all, I have to admit I've spent my entire life as what the world would see as a rich white guy.  I grew up in the most affluent area of Dallas, Texas.  My high school did not have one black student registered there when I attended, so I was not exposed to much diversity there.  But in middle school, I had an experience that forever changed my view on race, and caused me to pursue a better understanding of and compassion for people who may be viewed as different from me.

I went to a Boy Scout camp that summer, and there was a buzz in the camp of mostly white kids, when we learned that a troop of black kids was also there.  One white troop was particularly bothered by this "intrusion," and made a public spectacle of berating and harassing this group of black kids every chance they got.  I heard about fights breaking out between these two troops all week long, and personally witnessed this horrific behavior several times when we all gathered as a camp for events.  

In a moment that will forever burn in my memory, we were all together for a rodeo event at the camp (this is Texas after all), and I was sitting by myself in the bleachers when one of the kids from the black troop was looking for a seat, and sat down next to me.  He turned to me and asked, "Is it okay if I sit here?", testing the waters to see if I was one of the kids who would give him a hard time.  The entire concept of discrimination was so foreign to me, that I quickly welcomed him to have a seat.  But I also recall thinking to myself in that moment, "Why are people being treated like this? How can it be that a person doesn't feel welcome to sit next to another person because of the color of their skin?"

The last night in camp, there was what I would call a "race war."  Troops across the camp split into two factions, one supporting the black troop and the other supporting the "white supremacist" troop.  I didn't go out that night, but heard horrible stories of fights that occurred across the camp.

When I returned from camp that week, I was a changed person. I read every book I could find on the Civil Rights Movement, and found an incredible book called "Black Like Me", about a white man who took medication that turned his skin dark, so he could go undercover and see what it was like to live as a black man in the Southern United States.  Every book report I had to write and present in school was about civil rights.  Since that time I have kept this traumatic experience in mind as I interact with others, and it has saddened me as I watch the racial divide continue to increase in the United States, and across the world, as people are persecuted for their race, religion, gender, or anything else that people view as "different."

It has to break God's heart to see this division across the world.  God created all of us in a unique way, and one of these ways is the color of our skin.  When He looks at each of us, He beams with pride as He sees who He created and placed in the exact country and nationality He intended for each of us before the beginning of time.

In God's Kingdom, our race doesn't have any impact on who we are - God is looking at our hearts. We see in 1 Samuel 16:7, "The Lord does not look at the things people look at.  People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."  We see Jesus modeling this behavior time and time again, as He broke the rules of His day in having compassion for people it wasn't politically or religiously correct to associate with - women, Samaritans, Gentiles, and other "sinners."  Jesus confirmed the two most important commandments were to first love God, and next love your neighbor as yourself, and He was most obedient to these commandments when He died on the cross for the freedom and salvation of the entire world.

Things haven't improved since my experience in middle school - if anything, the situation is getting worse.  So what are we to do in these increasingly troubling times?  How can we make a change? We first have to admit that in our humanity, we all have a natural tendency toward bias against others who are different from us.  Our history speaks for itself.  E. Stanley Jones, a missionary to India, wrote in 1925: "I have had this story concerning the origin of the white man quoted to me by an Indian: “God asked the man who is now white what he had done with his brother, and he turned white with fear.”  Read the book “The Black Man’s Burden” and you will come to the conclusion that there is enough truth in the above story to make it sting."  

Simply trying to be better through own efforts just isn't going to work.  Despite technology bringing the world together like never before, the divide is growing.  There's only one solution to the racial divide - we have to individually and collectively surrender to Jesus Christ and ask Him to transform us from the inside.  We must undergo a radical change that only He can perform, and that He died for, as the Holy Spirit works in us and through us to show us and the rest of the world how Jesus sees each of us.  Only Jesus living inside us, and leading us in paths of righteousness, will allow those of us with a generational history of oppression to break the cycle of our convicting history, and those who have experienced such oppression to show forgiveness and open arms to those who have oppressed.

A few years after my middle school experience, I went to another camp in high school, where I met a black teenager my age.  We had a powerful interaction that week, as he privately admitted to me that he was considering killing himself, and didn't feel any self-worth.  I talked to him about the love of Jesus, and led him into accepting Jesus as his Savior.  But what if I had overlooked friendship with him because of the color of his skin? What if he had done the same, and we had missed the chance to have a literally life-changing interaction? 

We see so much anger, so much hate, so much anxiety, so much fear, if we try to look at this situation from the world's view.  It can seem so overwhelming, just like other worldwide issues.  So let's start with what we can influence - ourselves, our families, and our communities.  Make your prayer to see others the way Jesus sees them, and it will forever change the way you see and interact with others. And then let God do the rest as we ask Him to use this spark to light a fire of compassion, peace, and love across the world through His Son, Jesus Christ!

"Every nation has its peculiar contribution to make to the interpretation of Christianity.  The Son of Man is too great to be expressed by any one portion of humanity.  Those that differ from us most will probably contribute most to our expression of Christianity." - E. Stanley Jones

"We love because He first loved us."  - 1 John 4:19

- Adam Gellert

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Ultimate Connection

"God intended that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.  For in Him we live and move and have our being." - Acts 17:27-28

What if you could meet your favorite celebrity or another person you greatly admire?  What would you do if you had an hour of time with him or her?  I've been blessed to make some amazing connections over the last several years, and I can only sit back in wonder as I've "randomly" run into well-known Christian leaders at airports, my kids' school, at church, and elsewhere.

In most of those initial encounters, I stumbled over myself as I reacted as most of us would when we run into a "celebrity" - you try to act calm, you try to make a connection by telling them all about your own amazing story (because of course, you're cool too), and finally, you have to make sure to get a picture with the person as evidence of your new "friend" for your social media accounts.  

But these types of interactions have typically been met with a lukewarm reception at best.  We forget that well-known people have these kinds of encounters all the time.  Most people use these chance meetings for their benefit, and public figures are experienced enough (and smart enough) to know it.  So when these opportunities arise, and we feel God is leading us into an important connection, how can we take advantage of what God has brought together in the right way?

One well-known leader with a global ministry did take the time to meet with me for coffee recently, and we discussed this very topic. He used a story about a friend who met Bono, who most would know from the band U2, to illustrate his point.  The friend was with another person at a pub in Ireland, and they saw Bono hanging out at the pub with his entourage.  The man bet his friend that he could get an audience with Bono, to which the friend took him up on it.  The man then proceeded to buy a round of drinks for everyone at the pub, and toasted Bono, "The AIDS activist and humanitarian."  Sure enough, a member of Bono's entourage invited the man to meet Bono.

The key to getting an audience with Bono was that the man made an effort to connect with what was most important to Bono.  The man didn't mention the band U2 that had made Bono famous, or do something that would appear to be self-serving or self-motivated.  That probably happens all the time with Bono, and it's a turn off.  Regardless of whether someone is famous or not, connections happen when the person you seek to connect with sees your desire for mutual benefit, an interest in a common cause, or just a desire to get to know someone better for who they are and what motivates them, not just what they can do for you.  And it's usually pretty obvious when those intentions aren't there.

As I stepped into my car reflecting on this story, God hit me with an even bigger revelation - that's how He feels about our desire to connect with Him.  God is looking for relationships with people who are after His heart, not what He can do for them.  All too often our time with Him is focused on what we need or want.  When was the last time you asked God during your prayer time, "Who or what is on your mind and heart today, Father? How can I bless You and your Kingdom today?  Who do you want me to pray for, or show love to today?"

So ask yourself, why are you seeking a connection with God?  Is it to gain eternal life and avoid hell?  Is it because of the promise of prosperity and other blessings if you just follow Him?  Is it to be healed of sickness and disease? Or are you motivated to be significant in the Kingdom - by having spiritual gifts, leading worship at your church, or having a big church following?

All of these motivations are wrong.  While you may have good intentions, the benefits of a relationship with God are a byproduct of the love of God, and the fruits of a Kingdom walk, but they should not be the motivation for making the Ultimate Connection.  That connection comes from a surrender to the One who deserves such surrender, from pursuing a relationship with your Creator because you want to love Him as much as He loves you.  It comes when you desire intimacy with your Father, and have a desire to move His heart as much as He desires to move yours.  Just being in His presence is the best gift you can receive, and should be your greatest desire.

Make today the day you shift your mindset and approach to your relationship with God.  Because who or what you seek first drives everything else in your life, and in your journey with God, the Ultimate Connection.

"And you, Solomon my son, get to know well your father's God; serve him with a whole heart and eager mind, for God examines every heart and sees through every motive.  If you seek him, he'll make sure you find him, but if you abandon him, he'll leave you for good.  Look sharp now! God has chosen you to build his holy house.  Be brave, determined! And do it!" - 1 Chronicles 28:9-10

- Adam Gellert

Saturday, December 23, 2017

My Dear India

You who dwell in the gardens
with friends in attendance,
let me hear your voice!

Come away, my beloved,
and be like a gazelle
or like a young stag
on the spice-laden mountains.

- Song of Songs 8:13-14

My Dear India,

Come away with me, my beloved, for I yearn to hold you in my arms.  Come away with me, my beloved, and know what it's like to experience my touch.  Hope is what binds us, hope in eternal rest in our love.

You doubt that one God can love you, is enough for all the love you have to give.  That's why I first sent Thomas, the one who doubted me until he saw me with his own eyes and touched me with his own hands.  If that is what you require, like Thomas, I will reach for you, I will show myself to you so you can see my glory. 

You think that since everyone is created uniquely, there is nothing unique about you.  You doubt that each person was planned and formed in Me from the beginning of time, and will be with Me for all eternity.  You doubt your own actions can help or hurt you, because your past life is from another, one you can't control.  You doubt you are of importance to me based on who you were born into, what earthly family you belong to.  But you belonged to me from all eternity, you were pressed together with my own hands.  I gave you the uniqueness that is yours and yours alone, and it cannot be taken from you.

When I sent my Son Jesus to earth, to be a sacrifice to the world for all eternity, I saw you.  I chose to die for YOU because I saw my bride, one that would love me, one that would seek me.  So put away your seeking, for you have found Me.

I wish to heal you from all sickness, shelter you from all darkness. Nothing is too strong for me to overcome.  My precious one, stick to me like the lotus blossom sticks to the dew, and I will refresh you for all time.

My blood was the sacrifice for you, so you have no need for your blood to be sacrificed.  You worship all things, so worship me only.  In this will you find the path to Truth.

I want to bless you with all good things that a Father can give, but I do not exist only to hand out blessings.  I seek to be honored, to be loved, to be set apart as your only Love.  If you surrender yourself to me, my grace and mercy will abound in you, and you will receive all you should receive.

Come away with me, oh beautiful people of India. and let me show you what true Love is.  Invite my Son Jesus to show you the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and He will give you My Heart.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28

- Daddy God

The Lord shared this message with me to the people of India.  I can feel his deep love for India, and His desire to be with the children He has created there, as He desires the hearts of all humanity to be drawn to the love of their Father.  His compassion and unfailing love are new every morning.

-Adam Gellert

Friday, December 8, 2017

Holy Spirit Baptism - Are You Ready for More?

I baptize you with water for repentance.  But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. - Matthew 3:11

One of the pleasant surprises of my ministry experience on my church's Healing team is the time we spend with each individual not just with physical healing needs, but in other areas of need in their desire for more with God.  I've been privileged to walk several people through the process of being baptized in the Holy Spirit, and I get more excited about seeing people walk away with that gift than anything they may see physically.  After salvation through accepting Jesus as your savior, being baptized in the Holy Spirit is the greatest gift God has given us, and it really is a game changer.

I get many questions about Holy Spirit baptism that I hope to answer for you in this article:
  • What is Holy Spirit baptism? Why is it important?
  • Am I still saved if I'm not baptized in the Holy Spirit?
  • How can I get baptized in the Holy Spirit?
  • How do I know that I've been baptized in the Holy Spirit? What happens to be me when I am?
We will look at the experiences of three church leaders - Smith Wigglesworth, Agnes Sanford, and Francis MacNutt - as well as my own experience, to help answer these questions and encourage you to seek this important gift.

What is Holy Spirit baptism? Why is it important?

I don't intend to spend time here going into the theology of Holy Spirit baptism - some people believe you get baptized in the Spirit when you are saved, but I believe Holy Spirit baptism is a separate and distinct experience.  There is plenty of Bible Scripture to support this, and you can do your own research, or read Robert Morris' book, The God I Never Knew, for more insights.  Regardless of your view, the important thing is experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit in your life.

Holy Spirit baptism is important because it makes us a complete person in Christ.  Jesus said He had to leave so the Holy Spirit could come (John 16:7), and we know from the Acts of the Apostles and Pentecost the impact the Holy Spirit has had on the church.  The early disciples couldn't do what they did on their own, and neither can we.  We need the Holy Spirit to guide us into the truth of relationship with the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Am I still saved if I'm not baptized in the Holy Spirit?  Can I still have a relationship with Jesus without it?

Yes! Salvation comes through belief in Jesus Christ and surrender to Him as your Lord and Savior.  Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and was resurrected so that we could have eternal life.  But His sacrifice also paved the way for the Holy Spirit to be freely shared to all who ask for this gift, to serve as our comforter and guide in our walk with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

To emphasize this point, let talk about our church leaders.  Smith Wigglesworth was already a pastor who preached alongside his wife prior to Holy Spirit baptism.  Agnes Sanford had a healing ministry and wrote the best-selling book, The Healing Light, decades before she was baptized in the Holy Spirit.  And Francis McNutt was a Catholic priest for many years prior to experiencing Holy Spirit baptism.

But even though all of these church leaders were serving in a ministry capacity, and some had strong gifting prior, they all acknowledged that something was missing in their walk with the Lord.  They were missing a certain "power" that comes from the fire and presence of the Holy Spirit, and once they received this baptism, they and their ministries were never the same.

How can I get baptized in the Holy Spirit? How do I know that I've been baptized in the Holy Spirit? What happens to be me when I am?

Baptism in the Holy Spirit comes from simply asking Jesus for it - that's all it takes! Like salvation, opening your heart to this amazing gift is all that's required, and Jesus will do the rest!  If you are uncertain about this, ask a prayer partner, pastor, or other Christian friend who understands Holy Spirit baptism to pray with you.

So does something happen immediately or at another point in time? Like salvation, some people experience something immediately, others have a noted physical or spiritual experience at another point in time, and others realize they have grown into this baptism gradually as they mature in their walk with the Lord.  Don't worry about a specific experience or indicator - if you've asked, Jesus will be faithful in sharing this gift.  And trust me, when you have it, you'll know!

Holy Spirit baptism brings many amazing benefits - power (Acts 1:8), love (Romans 5:5), the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness (Galatians 5:22), and spiritual gifts like prophecy and speaking in tongues (1 Corinthians 12:8-10).  Some people are scared off by thinking it's all about the "weird" spiritual gifts like speaking in tongues (which is actually wonderful by the way), but the other fruits of the Spirit like joy, peace, etc. are also very noticeable changes.

To bring this into real life examples, let's see how our three church leaders experienced baptism in the Holy Spirit:
  • When Smith Wigglesworth told his wife about his baptism and the ability to speak in tongues, she told him, "I have been preaching for twenty years, and you have sat beside me on the platform, but on Sunday you will preach yourself, and I'll see what there is in it."  As she sat in the back of the church that Sunday, Smith was filled with the Spirit and gave an incredible message.  He describes his wife as being "terribly disturbed" and said in a voice that all around could hear, "That's not my Smith, Lord, that's not my Smith!" He went on to have a powerful ministry and traveled the world with the message of Jesus, with a wife who was continually amazed at his transformation.

  • Agnes Sanford describes feeling drained, along with two of her prayer partners, after the many years of praying for others and traveling for her ministry.  They asked God what they could do to get their strength back, and all heard, "Pray for the Holy Ghost."  When they did, "the power of the Spirit fell upon us immediately.  First of all, we felt a deep and intense burning in the middle of the head and with it a drawing feeling, as though the hair were brushed the wrong way, or as though one had on a hat that was too tight."  She goes on to say they were given three specific gifts of the Spirit - a joy they had never known before, an understanding of truth, and the gift of peace.

  • As a Catholic priest, Francis MacNutt says "it was as if there was a power in Jesus and His followers that was missing in my life."  He could see that those he met who claimed to be baptized in the Spirit had the fruits of love, joy, and peace in their eyes.  After praying for the baptism in the Holy Spirit, to which he felt no change, Agnes Sanford, who was also present, suggested, "I think it would be better to pray for you for a release of the Spirit and the charismatic gifts that are already in you through baptism, confirmation, and ordination."  When that was done, Francis was overcome by a wave of laughter, and "it was as if a spring of joy had welled up from within me, the joy of the Holy Spirit. Wave upon wave of joy engulfed me."  Francis went on to start a powerful healing ministry that thrives today.

My personal testimony is similar to Francis MacNutt. I accepted Christ at seven years old and was baptized in the Spirit soon thereafter, and I recall growing up with spiritual gifts.  But as I got older I drifted away from these gifts.  Thankfully, five years ago I was revitalized and asked God for more, and it was as if a switch was flipped in my life.  I had a very clear moment of change that came upon me.  I haven't been the same since, as I experience the fruits of the Spirit, greater revelation of the Word, and many other spiritual gifts.

Reverend Tommy Tyson defined the baptism of the Spirit as an "event in our lives through which we become more continually aware of the presence, the person, and the power of the risen Christ." No matter where you are in your walk with God, or even if you don't know Jesus yet, there's always an opportunity for more, for the fullness of Christ in you.  

I hope you'll consider asking Jesus for the gift of the Holy Spirit - the Acts of the Apostles are alive and well today, and there's a great adventure in store for all who ask for more!

A Hindu came up to a preacher in North India and said, "I want to ask a question, not through criticism but for information.  I have been reading the New Testament and am especially struck with the Acts of the Apostles.  These men seemed to have a wonderful power and fullness of spiritual life.  Sir, have you found what they had?"  The preacher was speechless.  Though he was a graduate of a university and was a missionary, he knew in the inmost depths of being that he did not have what the early disciples seemed to have found.  He went home, fell on his knees, yielded himself fully to Christ - and found! - E. Stanley Jones

- Adam Gellert

PS. Click the links here for more information on the books/references quoted above:

Agnes Sanford, Sealed Orders
Smith Wigglesworth, Baptized in the Holy Spirit
Francis MacNutt, The Nearly Perfect Crime
Robert Morris, The God I Never Knew

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Ever Be - Will You Answer the Call?

"For many are invited, but few are chosen." - Matthew 22:14

Free will is a great gift that can be unappreciated or misunderstood at times.  Many of us watch as others come up with great ideas or ministry opportunities that turn into whatever definition of success we have (fame, fortune, a big church following, God's favor, etc.).  We think "why can't I ever get that lucky break?"  or "Hey, I had that idea too a few years ago, why didn't I take action on it?"  We then blame God for showing favoritism to others or not giving us the same opportunities, when in fact we should be taking accountability for own inaction when God did open the door.  He gives all of us a chance to work in our calling and purpose in partnership with Him, but few are obedient to the call.

A small example of this in my own life was a day when I heard the song "Ever Be" by Aaron Shust.  It's still one of my favorite songs, and that day I felt the impression that I should share the song on social media because someone else needed to hear it.  Being new to the social media world and still worrying about how many "likes" I got from posts, I noticed that nobody had "liked" the post after several hours and removed it, being embarrassed at the lack of response.  

But the following day, I saw the exact same post from another person, who said they felt led to post the song "Ever Be" for someone to hear.  It instantly made to realize that if I'm not willing to be obedient to something God had assigned to me, He would find someone else willing to take the risk.

In a bigger example, Darren Wilson, a filmmaker who has produced several documentaries such as Finger of God, Father of Lights, and Furious Love, tells a similar story in his book, Finding God in the Bible.  He had never made a movie before but was obedient to God's calling to do so.  This has led to incredible success as his movies have made an impact across the world.  

Darren writes in his book, "When He asked me to start making a crazy movie about miracles, I was at my lowest point and honestly had nothing to lose by stepping out.  It was only years later that I began receiving emails from producers and directors around the world - people who had far more talent, resources, and ability than me - admitting to me that for years God had been asking them to make a documentary about the things He's doing around the world, yet because of reputation, finances, schedule, fears, or whatever other excuse they could come up with, they all put it off or said no.  Then they looked up and saw that here I had done it.  Little old me with my borrowed camera and $20,000 budget.  I was not God's first choice for this.  I was simply the one guy dumb enough (or smart enough) to say yes."

What has God put into your heart to do? What excuses are you making to not take action? It may be something as small as paying for the person behind you in the drive thru line, but that one act of obedience will open the door to more, as God now sees He can trust you with bigger and bigger assignments.  He has big plans for each of us, if only we will realize we have the choice to take action, to take the leap into the unknown.  You'll be in for a fun ride if you will only say "YES"!  

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"  And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" - Isaiah 6:8

P.S. Check out Darren's movies and other projects at

-Adam Gellert

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Key To Your Heart

"My beloved put his hand by the latch of the door, and my heart yearned for him." 
- Song of Songs 5:4

A few days ago I was going for a run, one of my favorite times to listen to praise and worship music and hear from God.  As I was sifting through the song selections on my phone, I decided to do something I've never done before - I asked God what He wanted to hear.  And just like so many other times I've heard from God, His answer was totally unexpected and taught me another important lesson in my relationship journey with the Father.

The song I heard God say was "Let My Love Open The Door," a song by Pete Townshend, lead guitarist of the famous classic rock band The Who.  I knew the song, but I also knew it had to be God, since I haven't thought of or heard that song in years.  With it being a secular song, I wondered if I had heard right, and couldn't wait to look up the lyrics to see why God had chosen this song.

Not surprisingly, the lyrics were a perfect message for me, and really for all of us, when put into the perspective of this song coming from God:

When people keep repeating
That you'll never fall in love
When everybody keeps retreating
But you can't seem to get enough

Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door to your heart

When everything feels all over
Everybody seems unkind
I'll give you a four-leaf clover
Take all worry out of your mind

Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door to your heart

I've got the only key to your heart
I can stop you from falling apart
Try today, you'll find this way
Come on and give me a chance to say

Let my love open the door
It's all I'm living for
Release yourself from misery
There's only one thing gonna set you free
That's my love
That's my love

Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door

When tragedy befalls you
Don't let it drag you down
Love can cure your problems
You're so lucky I'm around

Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door to your heart

And just for good measure, in case some of you (including myself) wonder if this song was just a random thought, here was a quote of the day I read later that evening from E. Stanley Jones, a missionary to India:

"Where other keys get jammed, love opens the door, for it fits the heart - every heart."

Wow! Isn't God amazing!  I learned some important lessons about God from this experience. First and most obviously, was the message from the song that God's thoughts about us are those of love, that He holds the key to our heart if we will open the door and let Him in.  We are always on His mind, and He loves each of us!  And even though I know He loves me, I never get tired of hearing it, just like we always appreciate the reinforcement when our loved ones say, "I love you!"

But the other important takeaway was the fact that God used a "secular" song to communicate with me.  You may miss out on hearing from God if your mind is closed to what you view as "non-Christian" sources. Be open to all the ways God can talk to us - God created it all, and He can use it all for His glory!

So take the time to ask God how He wants to share His love with you - and be open (and amazed) at His answers!

"Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts." 
- Psalm 139:23

-Adam Gellert