Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Atomic Prayers


I was watching a television show recently about the period of time in United States history when the government tested atomic bombs in Nevada.  It was interesting to learn how atomic bombs don't get their power from the large plume of smoke that rises into the atmosphere; while that may be dazzling to see visually, the real devastation comes from the shock wave that screams across the landscape at over 500 miles per hour.  You've probably seen the videos of the effects of these shockwaves, which instantly raze buildings to the ground with forces many times stronger than a hurricane.

Amazingly, the very next day after watching this show, I was viewing an episode of Sid Roth's TV show, It's Supernatural.  Sid was interviewing a man who had a near-death encounter with Jesus as his body was laying on an operating table.  Jesus took the man to the Nevada desert, where He asked the man to pray.  When the man prayed, an atomic bomb exploded in front of them, just like the tests in Nevada.  Jesus explained to the man, "Do you see the shock waves coming from the blast? Your prayers are like these shock waves in the spiritual world!  They are demolishing strongholds with the force of an atomic bomb!"

My body got chills as I sat listening to this testimony.  Since I had just seen another show on this same topic the day before, it was very clear to me that God was sharing an important insight with me, one that greatly encourages me to know that my prayers have that kind of effect. 

I think we all like the tangible, visible experiences we can have with God - the witnessing of physical healings, financial blessings, the warmth of God's presence, and the like.  But many times, at least in my experience, prayer takes work and commitment, because we don't always see an immediate, tangible result.  Our prayers may be impacting our children or grandchildren many years from now, or people across the world that we will never meet or even know.  I envy intercessors who spend time in constant prayer, with the faith that they may not see the result of their prayers in this lifetime.  I'll admit it takes more work for me because I like to see that what I'm doing is producing results that I can see, touch, and feel. 

But this is why I believe Jesus so clearly showed me the analogy of our prayers being like atomic bombs, and wants to encourage all of us to use this incredible weapon called prayer. Atomic bombs are the most feared weapon in our world, and the same can be said about our prayers in the spiritual world.  The enemy fears our prayers, and prayer produces amazing results.  I challenge you to pray as much as possible, even when you may not see the results of your prayers in your lifetime.  You are sowing seeds that will bear fruit in due season, and you are helping win battles in unknown places, on this earth and in the spiritual realms!

"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds." - 2 Corinthians 10:3-4

"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people." - Ephesians 6:18


-Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com





Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Are You George Bailey?



The movie It's a Wonderful Life is my favorite Christmas movie.  Released in 1947 and starring Jimmy Stewart, the movie centers around George Bailey, a fictional character who grows up in a small town in New York called Bedford Falls.  He has big dreams from an early age to leave the town and see the world.  He plans to become an architect and build incredible buildings, creating a life of adventure that the others in the town can only dream about.

But as the movie unfolds, George is prevented from leaving Bedford Falls every time he has the chance to do so.  First, his father dies as he is leaving for college, and he is forced, through his sense of duty and honor, to take over the family Building and Loan business.  As George is leaving for his honeymoon to finally get a chance to see some of the places he wanted to travel to, there's a run on the banks and he must use his honeymoon savings to save the Building and Loan in a time of crisis.  Finally, with the little money the family does have, they decide to use it to send George's younger brother, Harry, to college.  Harry ends up serving in World War II and becoming a war hero, earning the Medal of Honor. 

As George watches his life's dreams pass him by, and others from Bedford Falls leave to find wealth and success elsewhere, George dutifully serves his town and helps the poorer families build houses, saving them from the local rich, wicked banker.  He marries a woman in town and has many children, when he hadn't intended on getting married due to his life ambitions.  But when his uncle accidently loses the Building and Loan's funds, everything George worked for seems to be lost, as he faces arrest and scandal. 

George Bailey reaches his wit's end, and in thinking that the end may be near for him, he prepares to jump off a bridge outside of town, when an angel who has been watching George's life unfold saves him.  George tells the angel he wishes he'd never been born, because of the failures of his life, so the angel grants the request and shows him what the town of Bedford Falls would have been like if George hadn't been born.  It's a shocking reality, and George finally sees that he had a much bigger, better impact on the world than he ever realized.

I must admit that I have always related to George Bailey.  I have lived most of my life in the same city, although I went away to college and spent a couple of years in another city due to a work assignment.  Every time I lived away from "home", I loved the sense of adventure, the chance to see something new.  Now that I'm back home once more, I long for the chance to venture out again into the "wild" of a new and exciting place.  When I talk of leaving town, I tell my family (and myself), "I don't want to be George Bailey", knowing I only have a small window of time to see the world and take part in what I view as a true "adventure".

But what if that's not what God has called for my life?  Will I be content to make an impact from the place He may be calling me to serve?  What if, ironically, the real adventure is here?  Would I trade the opportunity to make a bigger, better impact at "home" for what could be a shallow and selfish experience somewhere else, that has little lasting result?  Like George Bailey, can you see the impact you've had on others' lives, that would be missing if you had never been born, or if you had chosen a different path than what you were called into?

Maybe you have had the same thoughts and frustrations.  Like George Bailey, you had dreams and desires that never came to fulfillment because honor and duty led you down a different path.  Or from a different view, maybe you've had the chance to travel the world, but you long for a place to call "home."  In either case, God has an adventure in store for you, and it may look different than what you have planned.  Open your heart to God and ask him to reveal your true calling and purpose, and God will faithfully show you that if you follow His plans for you, in the end you will be able to say, "It's Been a Wonderful Life!" 

"God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!" - Ephesians 3:20 (The Message Translation)

-Adam Gellert

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Power in God's Silence



My wife and I had a difficult journey trying to start a family.  It took us almost five years to have our first child.  Then we lost twins, a boy and a girl, at 19 weeks of pregnancy. 

After this extreme loss, God quickly responded by giving me promises of another child.  In my despair and mourning, He pointed me to a story from the book of Genesis in the Bible, where Adam and Eve had Seth after losing Abel.  He showed me the story of King David, who lost a child and was comforted by the birth of another son, Solomon.  With these promises in hand, it was so amazing, but not all that surprising, when we learned that my wife was pregnant again only six weeks after losing the twins.

But after a smooth first 24 weeks, complications arose.  My wife was monitored for contractions in the emergency room, and she had to go on bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy.  We had many touch and go moments, with frequent visits to the ER where we thought we may lose our baby.

I started to doubt the promises I had been given from God, and wondered if I had heard Him correctly. I decided to fast one day, and during that day, I waited for a word from God.  I was looking for something, anything to show me that God was still there, that I had heard from Him and this baby was going to be okay.

But there was silence that entire day and evening.  I didn't hear anything, and nothing came to mind.  It was strangely silent, even purposefully so. 

As I got up from my knees to close out my final prayer time that day, I was left with the strong impression that God was telling me He had nothing more to say about the matter - He had already given me His promises.  I was now to trust Him at His word. 

As you would expect, my son is six years old today and doing great.  It was a difficult journey, but we are enjoying the family God promised us.

It's okay to ask God for confirmation, and there are many examples in the Bible of God confirming what He has spoken to someone.  But what if He is silent?  Do you still trust Him to fulfill the promises He has laid on your heart? 

It may take longer than you expect to see God's promises fulfilled, but He is ALWAYS faithful to complete it.  Abraham had to wait 20 years after God told him he would have a son, before Sarah gave birth to Isaac.  It took many years of hardship for David to see God's promise of kingship come to pass. 

Even though God may appear to be silent, He is ALWAYS active, ALWAYS at work in bringing you to the fulfillment of His purposes and promises for your life.  Silence does NOT mean inactivity. 

Trust God in the silence  - there is power in the silence, and He will honor your trust with the right answers at the appointed time!

"The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it." - 1 Thessalonians 5:24

"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." - Philippians 1:6

- Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com

P.S. Ironically, right after I posted this article, I saw a preview for a new movie coming out in 2017 called "Silence," about two Jesuit priests who travel to Japan to find their mentor, and face persecution in sharing their faith.  In the preview, one of the priests expresses frustration about only hearing silence in the face of his struggles. It looks good, check out the preview here!


Friday, November 11, 2016

What Are You Worth?


I ran across a job search website recently that has a tool called "Know Your Worth."  You enter some information about your previous experience, salary, and location, and the tool generates a number on the screen that estimates what you are "worth" in the job market.

Regardless of how high or low that number turns out to be, it is strange seeing any number that tells you what you are "worth."  But that's the world's view of your value, because from God's point of view, you are PRICELESS.

Matthew 10:29-31 tells us, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of  your Father.  And even the very hairs on your head are all numbered.  So don't be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows."

To go deeper with this concept, what have others, or even yourself, told you what you're worth?  Have parents, friends, your company, or others led you to believe you are a failure?  Are inadequate? Don't have what it takes?  Aren't attractive? Not smart enough? 

What about your sins?  Are you ashamed of your past? Do you have secret sins that nobody else knows about, that they will never know about?  We all have those secrets, so do they diminish our worth, even in the sight of God? 

We know that Jesus forgives sins, but that just means he chooses to overlook them, right? What does God see when He looks at us?  It must be pretty hard for Him to look at us, what with all the imperfections, bad choices, sins, thoughts, mistakes, fears, and doubts we have.

But that view just isn't the truth.  The song "Priceless" by the band For King and Country does a great job of describing how God sees us when He looks at us:

I see you dressed in white
Every wrong made right
I see a rose in bloom
At the sight of you (Oh so priceless)
Irreplaceable, unmistakable, incomparable
Darling, it's beautiful
I see it all in you (Oh so priceless)

Do you really believe God sees you this way when He looks at His creation?  I'll admit I have difficulty grasping this truth.  I know anyone on earth who looks at me sees the flaws, sins, mistakes, and other imperfections of my life, and I would be ashamed if they knew everything I've done or thought. But amazingly, the God of the universe, who created you, knows you intimately, and knows everything you have done (and will do), still sees someone who is dressed in white, sees a rose in bloom, and is so happy He made you. 

Academically, we see in Scripture that God loves us, that Jesus died for our sins, and that we are new creations in Him.  But do you accept this in your Spirit? Do you live your life in full confidence of His love for you, no matter what you have done or will do? That God doesn't see your past, your sins, or what others say about you? 

Jesus saw YOU on the cross, and chose to die for YOU, so He could spend eternity in an intimate relationship with YOU.  Reflect on this truth and challenge yourself to answer how you really feel about what God thinks your worth, and open your heart to the truth that you are truly PRICELESS.   

"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ."
- Ephesians 3:17-18

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." -Romans 5:8

-Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com

P.S. There are women and children around the world that are being sold at a price and don't understand what they are really worth.  Check out the Priceless Movement here to help combat human trafficking which is running rampant across the world.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Prayers of a Father


Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. - James 5:16


One night when I was about seven or eight years old, I was sleeping in my bed when I was awakened by my dad, who was praying over me, weeping as he prayed with passion over his son.  I was facing the other way, so he didn't know I was awake, and I never told him that I was aware of his praying over me that night. 

But I also never forgot what happened that evening, and the assurance I felt knowing my father was probably doing this on a regular basis.  It had such a big impact on me, that when I was graduating from college many years later, I bought him a framed copy of the picture you see here, of a father praying over his son.  You can also see on the other side of the window, an angel is fighting against a dark figure trying to get into the room.

When I presented the framed picture to him, I told him about the night many years ago when I had been awakened by his praying over me.  He didn't know I was awake, and didn't remember that particular night since he did the same thing so often.  I shared with him that this picture represents perfectly my memory of that night, and that I was thankful to have a father who was faithful in praying for his children.  We both wept in front of the large group of relatives who had traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to see me graduate, and it was a wonderful bookend to that season of our lives. 

As I reflect on that event today, I wonder what my dad's prayers did for me as I grew up.  Did they prevent me from making bad choices when confronted with temptations in high school or college?  Was God honoring his faithful prayers when I changed my mind and went out with friends one Thursday night, only to meet my future wife at the place we visited?  What present and future parts of my life's journey will be impacted by the prayers of my father, mother, grandparents, and others who have prayed for me over the years, maybe even before I was born? 

And now that I have children of my own, I make it a point to regularly visit their bedside while they are asleep, asking God for favor over their lives, for the love of God to fill their hearts with passion for Him, and for them to be the "head and not the tail, above and not beneath."  Maybe they'll wake up one night and know their father is praying over them, or maybe they will never know.  But the "prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective", so I know I am making an impact on their lives and continuing the legacy of my father's faithfulness in prayer.

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us; and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. - 1 John 5:14-15



-Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Focus on My Voice



It seems strange to connect a message from God to a secular movie, but when I was going through a difficult season recently, that's just what I was given...

In the movie, "Man of Steel", featuring the superhero Superman, the young Clark Kent is struggling with the abilities he was given as an alien in another world.  While seeing in x-ray vision, hearing everything around you in a super sensitive environment, and having super strength seem like fun things to have, we learn that it takes time to adapt to these abilities, and Clark goes through a lot of teasing at school for not being "normal."

One day, while being bombarded with sensory overload at school, Clark bursts out of his classroom and locks himself in a closet, covering his ears and squeezing his eyes shut to the world around him.  The school calls his mother, who comes to the door of the closet to try to comfort her son.

"The world's too big, mom," cries Clark.  "Then make it small," his mother responds. 

She then says, "Focus on my voice, pretend it's an island, out in the ocean.  Do you see it?"  Clark responds yes, and is able to focus on her voice and drown out the other noise around him.  He is also able to recall this moment later in the movie when faced with adversity, and is able to overcome the challenge with this focus. (You can see the exchange here)

I was facing a similar situation recently of feeling overwhelmed by life, with challenges at work, in my personal life, and with trying to figure out God's plan for my life.  I was so overwhelmed by worries that seemed to be coming from everywhere.  While kneeling by my bedside in prayer, I heard God say, "Focus on my voice." 

Hearing the voice of the Father always brings relief into any situation, because with His voice comes peace, joy, and comfort.  His voice will always drown out the noise of everything else, if you focus on Him.  Jesus said, "and the sheep listen to his voice.  He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out." (John 10:3)

Does the world seem too big right now?  Then make it small.  Focus on God's voice, pretend it's an island, where only you and He sit, comforted by the washing of the waves, and the tranquility of God's presence.  He will lead you to "quiet waters."

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." - Revelation 3:20


-Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com

Monday, September 26, 2016

Activated to Serve


A good friend of mine recently introduced me to an amazing woman of God, Kathy Craft, who has been called to serve the Kingdom by laying a Christian foundation for the children of the school she founded, Abundant Grace Christian Montessori Academy, the only faith-based Montessori school in Southlake, Texas.  Her story is an inspiration to anyone seeking to be "activated" into God's calling for their lives. I sat down with Kathy recently to learn more about her school and the story of how she found her calling, and I left energized and encouraged by her passion and faith, trust in God, and desire to steward children.

Kathy has a degree in Accounting and worked for the government for 16 years.  Her husband of 37 years was also successful in a corporate career.  When her children were young and Kathy was working in a corporate job, they had to let their nanny go, and Kathy prayed to God to give her a person who could take care of her kids.  God told her, "You are that person!" Kathy was obedient to God's voice, and quit her job to stay home with her two boys.  God imprinted on her that her job was not her "source", and He would never fail in being her true Source.

When her kids started going to school, she began volunteering in the children's ministry at her church, and that's when she realized she had found her calling - she absolutely loved working with children!  She learned more about the educational approach used by Maria Montessori, the Italian physician and educator who developed the Montessori philosophy of education, which focuses on educating the "whole" child - heart, mind, body, and spirit.  Kathy became certified to teach, and partnered with her husband to start up a Montessori school, while he explored starting up a church.

Kathy and her husband took the leap and started looking for space to host the school.  One night, God woke her up from her sleep to tell her that she needed to go to a certain road in town.  She assumed He meant a church she knew of on that road, but when she visited the church, she was told they didn't have enough space, and she should try another church down the road. She wasn't aware that there was another church in that location, but she drove over and sure enough, it was there.  This was a Monday, and it turns out that the pastor did not usually come in on Mondays, but had decided to come in that day for some reason.  He quickly agreed to lease the space to Kathy and her school! 

Two years later, Kathy and her husband decided to look for their own property so they could add a church, and another miracle presented itself with the property they currently own.  A realtor learned of the available space, but they didn't have the money needed to buy the property. They were connected to a bank who approved a loan on the building, which should have been difficult to obtain!

With the many miracles and open doors God has provided Kathy and her school, she knows she is living in God's purpose for her life.  She does not take a salary from the school, so she can pay the teachers who work there. Kathy and her husband rely on his retirement income, and God's provision as she builds up her student body.  As Kathy puts it, "God wants to give you the desires of your heart.  If you follow His vision, He will give you provision."

Today, Kathy says she's not anxious any more like she was when working out of her calling in the corporate world.  She "doesn't have to hold her breath any more", and can just breathe easy, trusting God in what He will do with Kathy and her ministry of serving the children of her community.  She is excited to come to work every day, knowing she is operating in God's will for her life, and enjoying every moment making an impact on a child's life.  She continues to have ups and downs and has faced obstacles as she grows her school, but Kathy isn't fearful of these obstacles, because she is focused on the vision and promises He has given her.

Are you "holding your breath" in your current situation? Do you feel like you are living in God's purpose for your life?  Ask God to speak to you clearly in this season.  My prayer is that He will open doors to allow for your true calling to be revealed to you.  This doesn't necessarily mean you have to quit what you're doing now and serve in a ministry environment like Kathy, but you will know you are where you are supposed to be when God gives you peace and a passion to get up every day, excited about the work you've been given and the opportunity He has given you to serve Him and His Kingdom.

For more information on Kathy Craft and Abundant Grace Christian Montessori Academy, visit their website at http://www.agcma.com/ or their Facebook page.

- Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Acorn



When I was an intern in graduate school, I was fortunate to work with a department of work colleagues who were Christians, and we discussed our faith often at work. One of my co-workers gave me a birthday present in the fall of 1998 that I cherish to this day - a daily devotional with a treasure trove of quotes that I have bookmarked and revisit on a frequent basis.

My favorite quote from this 365 day devotional is The Acorn, written by Lyman Abbott, a pastor, magazine editor, and author who died in 1922:

I pluck an acorn and hold it to my ear, and this is what it says to me:  "By and by the birds will come and nest in me.  By and by I will furnish shade for the cattle.  By and by I shall provide warmth for the home.  By and by I shall be shelter to the storm to those who have gone under the roof.  By and by I will be the strong ribs of a great vessel, and the tempest will beat against me in vain, while I carry men across the Atlantic."

"O foolish little acorn, wilt thou be all this?" I ask.  And the acorn answers, "Yes, God and I."

This quote still sends shivers down my spine every time I read it. It demonstrates two key lessons for all of us in our walk with Him; first, the more obvious reminder that we need God's power and strength to accomplish our God-given dreams.  The acorn had the faith to see all that was possible in its life, but only by relying on God to accomplish what others see as impossible.

Next, the acorn was wise enough to realize that many of its dreams will come to pass "by and by."  The phrase "by and by" means "eventually," "ultimately," or "finally."  It takes time for an acorn to mature into a tree that can make the kind of impact this acorn dreamt about, and the acorn had the faith to be patient and wait for God's timing and its own spiritual maturity for his future promises to come to pass. 

What dreams do you have for your life?  Are there some dreams that seemed to have passed you by as life changed coursed and caused you to drift away from what was laid on your heart? Are you choosing to be like the acorn, who realizes that it can only accomplish the impossible through a partnership with God and his son Jesus Christ?  And are you willing to wait for God's "by and by", His perfect timing in seeing your dreams to completion?

Have the faith of this acorn, and you will be amazed at what God has in store for your unique life!

"With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale any wall." - Psalm 18:29

"Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.” - Luke 13:18-19

-Adam Gellert


Monday, August 29, 2016

The Blessing of Alzheimer's Disease


Back in June, I featured my grandmother, Byrdeen, in another blog post titled "My Elijah".  She was an anchor of faith in my life, and was my "go-to" spiritual counselor throughout my childhood and early adulthood.  Byrdeen had such a close relationship with the Lord, that I can't recall too many conversations when He didn't come up.  She was "activated" in her faith, and was really on fire for God. 

Grandma also loved her children and grandchildren very much, and I can recall her always asking us, "You know how much we love you, right?"  Unfortunately, I also remember rolling my eyes at how often she would ask us this question, and in my immaturity as a teenager I would grudgingly respond, "Yes, Grandma, I know..."

But in her last several years, Byrdeen was overtaken with Alzheimer's disease, a terrible disease that gradually degrades a person's memory and identity, and is a trying experience for the person, his or her spouse, and family members.  For me, it started with noticing that Grandma was forgetting things frequently, and I found myself repeating things I had told her.  We took her in for testing, and the doctors confirmed she had Alzheimer's.  My grandfather suffered terribly from watching her slowly fade from an amazing spouse and life partner for many decades, to someone that needed constant care and attention.  Over the years, she went from forgetting things to not even knowing who you were when you walked in the door.  It's such a sad and shocking thing to have someone that close to you not know who you are, and you know that any interaction you have with her that day will be forgotten the minute you walk out the door.

My grandfather died unexpectedly in 2000, so the burden was then put on my parents to take care of Grandma.  The money my grandparents had saved eventually ran out, so the financial burden was placed on my parents to help pay for her care, which only added more insult to the emotional injury of watching your mother slowly slip away. 

In her final few years, we were fortunate to discover that the Department of Veteran's Affairs had a benefit that helped pay for her care since my grandfather was a military veteran (she was featured on NBC News here).  This allowed us to move Grandma into a senior care facility.  She had been cared for previously by a family friend, and hadn't gotten much exposure to other people and a more active life. 

Grandma immediately took to the new facility, and she was able to enjoy a constant flurry of activity with church services, games, and frequent interaction with others.  Even though she still suffered from Alzheimer's, she was able to make friends and interacted well with the staff.

Then an amazing thing happened.  My grandmother died one day of heart failure.  When we attended her funeral, many of the facility's staff were on hand for the service.  After some members of the family spoke, several of the staff members got up to speak, one by one, sobbing as they talked about what a big impact Byrdeen had made on the people and staff at the senior living facility.  Even though she had lost many of her mental faculties, Grandma had never lost her faith in God, and was able to sing along to all the church hymns being sung at the services they held.  She would compliment everyone she saw on how beautiful they looked, and how happy she was to see them. 

One lady in particular, who would not have been seen as attractive by worldly standards, told us that Grandma would always tell her how beautiful she was when she saw her, and it was the first time in her entire life that someone had said she was beautiful.  It brightened not only her day, but also changed her life. 

I sat in the service, amazed that people who see death every day in that facility, and probably become somewhat numb to the many people who come and go from that place, were so grieved by the loss of my grandmother. It was obvious that she had made an important impact on the lives of the people there.  And lives were changed because of her being placed in that facility. 

So what's the take away from this story? God has promised us that He will turn ashes into beauty (Isaiah 61:3).  It doesn't mean that He allows or makes bad things happen to manipulate events into His desires - that lie makes many people skeptical of God and His goodness.  What it means is that God takes the bad things that happen in this fallen world and turns them into good, according to His will and perfect timing. 

My family had a hard time understanding why someone who was so faithful to God for her entire life had to suffer through her final years with Alzheimer's, and cause the suffering of my grandfather and other family members. But I'm convinced that, knowing my grandmother, she would choose to have the same experience again knowing the impact she was able to make at that senior care facility in her final years.  And someday, when we are able to see the tapestry of our lives in heaven, we will all say "Amen" when we see how all of life's events, good and bad, were able to be turned into beauty by the amazing Creator of the universe. 

I hope this word encourages you today, and if you or someone you know has Alzheimer's, my prayers are with you that God will turn your ashes of this experience into beauty.

"To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair.  In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory." - Isaiah 61:3

-Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Wrong Foul Ball - Focusing on the Next Opportunity


Catching a foul or home run ball in a professional baseball game is one of those rare gifts that is truly a special occasion for baseball fans.  I had personally never done it until just this summer, and the circumstances surrounding it allowed me to reflect on an important lesson God showed me that day. 

My kids, as usual, had packed their gloves for the game, ever optimistic that they would get to catch a ball at the game.  I reluctantly took my glove as well at their request, knowing the odds were slim but wanting to humor the kids.  (That's another lesson God teaches us with kids' attitudes - we seem to lose our hope and optimism with age and experience!)

Halfway through the game, I was standing at the top of my section taking a break from our seats down below.  Wanting to catch a foul ball for my kids, I silently prayed to God for a chance at a foul ball.  It seemed silly to ask God for something like that, but literally on the next pitch, the batter sliced a fly ball high into the air right towards me!  Since it's rare that one even comes close, I was stunned and unprepared as I had left my glove in my seat.  I hesitated to go after the ball as it drifted about ten feet past me into the hands of another fan in his seat.

I was disappointed as I wondered if that was the best chance I would ever get at catching a foul ball.  Should I have been more aggressive? Should I have had my glove with me? Did I miss the chance God had given me through my prayer? 

I returned to my seat and grabbed my glove, knowing there was no way another foul ball would come close but not wanting to be unprepared again.  Amazingly, during the next inning a batter hit a hard ground ball right toward us.  It bounced up from the wall and flew right toward me. I instinctively reached up with my glove, and in the sea of hands reaching for the ball, I felt the ball snap into my glove. As we all looked around for the ball, I was shocked to look inside my glove and find the foul ball!  My kids were so excited, and I'll admit I was too.  It made our night, and the kids couldn't stop taking turns holding the ball, even when we returned home.

So what's the lesson God was teaching me in that experience? Sometimes we focus too much on the missed opportunities or bad choices we may have made, and we miss the real "foul ball" God had intended for us to catch.  If I hadn't optimistically gone back down to my seat and put on my glove, ready and prepared for another chance, I would have missed yet another foul ball, the ball God had originally intended for me to catch.  Rather than focusing on the past and the decisions you have made, remember that God already knows the choices you intend to make, and will give you all the chances you need to make the right decisions according to His purpose.  And those missed opportunities will allow you to learn and grow, so you won't miss the right decisions down the road.

Trust God for the adventure ahead, and know that God will always position you for the right "foul balls" in your life! 

"Who, then, are those who fear the Lord? He will instruct them in the ways they should choose."
- Psalm 25:12

-Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com

Friday, August 5, 2016

Is "I'll Be Praying For You" the Christian Version of "Let's Do Lunch"?




"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." - James 5:16


We've all been there - you run into that old friend or acquaintance you haven't seen in years.  After catching up with the normal small talk of asking about each other's job, children, spouses, or other updates, you don't want to end the conversation with an awkward, but likely accurate "well, see you when we run into each other in five years".  So we leave the conversation with the hope that we will connect again soon, letting each other down easy by saying, "We should do lunch sometime."  You don't exchange phone numbers or email addresses, and walk away to the next stop on the day's agenda.  Who knows if you'll ever see or talk to that person again.  And do you really care?

Now, think about a similar conversation with someone you know is a fellow Christian - a church friend, co-worker, or other connection.  They tell you about the job they just lost, the illness of their child or spouse, the struggles they are having in their marriage.  And we leave the conversation with a sincere and heartfelt, "I'll be praying for you".  But what do you do with that promise to keep that person in your prayers? Do you move on with your own agenda, or do you sincerely make it a point to put that person on your prayer list and commit time in prayer?

I'll be the first to raise my hand and admit that this has been a fault of mine for much of my life.  I can think of so many times I've left a conversation with statements like, "I'll be praying for you" or "I'll be praying for your ministry." But in reality, I didn't make time for any prayer time with God, much less using that time to pray for others, so it was an empty promise; it was a "let's do lunch" moment. 

Even now that I've carved out quiet time daily to talk to God, I have to make it a point to spend time praying for others; I have to confess that many times that quiet time can turn into a selfish pursuit of one on one time with God, to hear what I want to hear, to get what I think I should get from that time with Him.

This is going to sound strange, but in my opinion, praying for others regularly isn't easy.  As I mentioned before, many of us get busy with our schedules and don't take the time to pray at all.  And many of us focus what little time we take to pray to focus on our own problems and situations. But think about it - prayer is one of the most powerful weapons we have in our arsenal.  The devil knows this, and is doing his best to keep us distracted with anything that will keep us from praying for others.  Because as James says in James 5:16, "The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective"!

For those of you who do truly commit to praying for others regularly, I applaud you and so admire your commitment to take on this essential role in God's army.  Intercessory prayer is such an amazing and powerful weapon.  But oftentimes, I would submit that many of use abuse the word "prayer" in our daily walk, as we tell others we will pray for them, pray for a certain decision or outcome, etc., when that's the easy way out, the "let's do lunch" commitment that makes us feel good as we walk away with no intention of following through.

I would challenge each of you, the next time you make that statement to someone, to take the next step and truly, earnestly, put that commitment to prayer.  As we know from James 5:16 and many other Bible verses regarding prayer (such as Mark 11:24, Acts 10:4, Ephesians 6:18), you are making a difference in that situation.  And you are honoring that person, your word, and God by following through. 

I'm going to do my best to make this commitment in prayer for others.  If you decide to join me, please share your stories of how this made a difference in your life and the lives of others. I am confident you have many exciting adventures to share!

- Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com






Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Day I Touched Heaven - Guest Blog by JB Watson

I love hearing stories of people encountering God in near-death situations, when someone comes ever-so-close to their permanent home in the presence of God. It encourages me for my own inevitable death, but also gives me comfort that my loved ones are enjoying the incredible peace, warmth, and joy of being with our Father, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in Heaven. 

My friend JB Watson, who currently works as an Operations Manager at Alcon, had just such an experience in 1982. It truly is an incredible story, and I'm excited to share it with you on the Activation blog. I hope you are encouraged and inspired by this heavenly, miraculous experience:

It was a cold, crisp morning in Hearne, Texas.  The day started out like a normal work day - breakfast and then a quick drive into work at a liquid chemical plant, where I was an operator.

Arriving at the plant, I anticipated running a new blend of liquid fertilizer. I was beginning to get all of the systems ready. I was bleeding the lines down to begin the blend. We were injecting phosphoric acid and ammonia. All the pumps were started and the process began. About 15 minutes into blending, suddenly the ground began to shake and buckle under my feet. The loudest, most deafening blast sent me flying through the air!

I started watching my body turning one flip after another. My spirit had left my body, and I was watching what was happening to my body on earth. I began rising up, and as I rose I could see my body was getting smaller and more distant as I ascended upward toward heaven! I looked up to see where I was going, but the brightest light ever forced me to look back down. As I looked down I could see my body continuing to get smaller and smaller, becoming ever more distant from me. Each time I looked up I was forced to look back down at my body because the light was so bright.

I reached a point of "ripping" through the light as I had gotten all the way up to my final destination. When I ripped through the light, I could no longer see my body on earth. The second I entered the light, I realized the light was God Himself!  God was clearly present in the Light, and He told me I was not supposed to be there at this time. 

Within a split second I was laying back in my body and liquid was flying down on top of me from the explosion I was just in. I was not able to move and felt like I was going to drown in liquid as it covered me. Once again God appeared next to my side. He told me if I didn’t move and try to live, He would take me back with Him. I told Him I wasn't ready to be gone from this earth and rolled over onto my hands and knees. Once I rolled over I didn’t know where I was. I opened my eyes quickly to see where I was, and sulfuric acid went into my eyes. I received three burns to my eyes. We were supposed to have phosphoric acid and we were delivered sulfuric acid, which caused the explosion! 

I went into shock as I could hear all the emergency vehicles coming to help. I woke up in the emergency room and was treated for burns to my eyes and a cracked foot. I was released by noon that day and went home, relatively unharmed from what could have been very serious injuries or death. The next morning I returned to work to find out more about what happened to cause the explosion.  That's when I found out the incorrect acid was the problem, which had caused what was calculated to be an explosion of 320,000 pounds of pressure underneath me! Here's a photo of me after the accident, standing next to where the steel grate exploded directly underneath me, leaving this exposed hole on the floor.



The District Attorney in the area was trying to get us to sue the owner. I told him God gave me my life back, so I didn't want anything from anyone. My life and the miraculous way I came out of the accident unharmed was good enough payment to me!

So I am one that can tell you heaven IS for real.  There really is a God waiting for us to come home with Him.  If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, take comfort in this story as further evidence of the truth of the Bible and the testimony of His saving grace!

Thank your for this story, JB.  I am so encouraged by this message and am so glad to know you.  You and your family are role models for the Christian faith!

-Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com

Thursday, July 21, 2016

"I Will" Versus "I Can" - A Key Difference in Hearing God

I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. - Genesis 12:2


Are you hearing God say "I can" or "I will"?  Hearing God's voice can be difficult when we are constantly bombarded with our own thoughts, and those of the enemy.  The thoughts that come from your own mind, or even the devil, can be what we want to hear, not necessarily what God is telling us.

So how can we tell which is which?  In my quiet time with the Lord, and reflecting on his Word, one key phrase that I have learned helps me discern God's voice is when the thought starts with "I will" versus "I can." If you are hearing "I can", it's very likely not coming from God.

The word "can" means to "be able to or be permitted to", and is used "to indicate that something is typically the case".  On the other hand, the word "will" is used to express "the future tense, inevitable events, and facts about ability or capacity."

Our Father is the God of "I will".  When He tells you "I will", nothing can stop this promise from fulfillment, because nothing and nobody can stand in God's way to completing the promise.  The devil can't say "I will" with authority, because he can't do anything apart from God's permission and/or our agreement. 

When I was at church recently, I was listening to the pastor speak in front of hundreds of people, with many more listening live at other campuses and over the Internet.  I thought to myself, "wouldn't that be fun to speak in front of so many people?"  A thought then entered my head, "Is that what you want? I can do that for you."  I immediately knew this wasn't God talking to me, so I rejected the siren call of temptation from the devil and rebuked the thought. 

I knew this wasn't from God because I knew from the Bible that God doesn't promise us with "I can", He says "I will."  And during my quiet time with God, I have never heard Him say "I can" - I have only ever written things down that started with "I will".  Saying "I can" means there's an offer being made, and we have to do something on our end to get it.  As we know from God's grace and Jesus' sacrifice, He doesn't require anything from us to bring His promises to pass.

An example is found in Luke 4:6, when the devil tempts Jesus: "And he (the devil) said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to."  Notice the devil even tries to use "I will", but it had to be coupled with "I can", because it had to come with Jesus' agreement and willingness to disobey God and worship the devil.  This is also confirmed in Matthew 4:9 when the devil says, "All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”.

I looked up the phrase "I can" in my NIV Bible, and could not find one time where God said "I can" when connected to a promise. A Bible search on the Internet shows the phrase "I can" is only found 122 times in the NIV Bible, with most of those coming from a human saying it.  On the other hand, the phrase "I will" is found 2084 times!  I started to count myself, and stopped at 20 times where God said, "I will," and I had only gotten to Genesis 12!

What is God saying to you through this message? Have you heard a siren call of "I can" in your life? Listen for God's promises of "I will", and you will know you are hearing from God if there aren't strings attached.  Of course, test what you are hearing against God's Word and wise counsel, but rest assured that if God is telling you "I will", He will be faithful to complete it!

-Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Book Launch Week - Reflections on the Journey



Well, it's finally here - my book Activation: A Story of God's Transforming Power went into print and is available for sale! This has to be the most anticipated and exciting time for an author - your book shipment arrives in the mail, and you get to start sending a tangible copy of your book to the many friends and family members who have supported your journey.  Readers are starting to purchase your book, and there is a nervous anticipation as you wonder what the reaction will be from them.

It is also a time to reflect back on everything that it took to complete this book, and the lessons God has taught me during the process.  In doing so, I was reminded of the fact that I wanted to do something similar years ago, but the timing wasn't quite right. 

When I was first "activated" several years ago, I had it on my heart to start a blog and tell the world how I felt about this great Father I had found, his son Jesus who saw all of us on the cross when He died for our sins, and the Holy Spirt that comforted me and spoke to my heart.  But as I planned to put the blog together, I realized I didn't have anything to say, and God clearly gave me the impression I wasn't supposed to do it.  I was disappointed and stumped, but I was also obedient and moved on from the project.

I also wrote a manuscript for another book in the fall of 2014, around the time that Ravi Kandal reached out to me on LinkedIn.  I connected with the editor for this book at that time (Jackie Macgirvin).  She reviewed the manuscript and liked it, but again, the timing wasn't right and the story wasn't what I had in my heart to tell. 

I was frustrated that I wasn't making the impact I wanted to make in telling others about the wonderful opportunity in front of all of us to draw closer to Him.  I started journaling the amazing things happening to me and my family, and now, many years later, the timing was just right.  The stories all came together to provide the message God intended me to provide in a book, and I have a long list of topics to share in this blog!  I can tell that God's favor is with my work today, because amazing doors are being opened, and more importantly, God is giving me encouragement from the words He gives me in my daily time with Him.

Has God placed a project, ministry, career, or other desire on your heart?  Are you frustrated that it hasn't come to fruition yet, that it seems like everything you do keeps getting blocked?  God knows your name, He created you for a purpose, and He has a perfect plan for your life, which is unfolding as we speak.  If you will release it to Him, He will honor your faith by giving you peace during all seasons of life, and in the end, you will see clearly that God's timing in preparing you for the journey, will be perfect!

Here are two Bible verses that speak what I've learned on this journey. May God give you peace and encouragement in His plans for you, which are being worked behind the scenes even now!

"Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." - Proverbs 19:21

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11


-Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com



Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Making All Things New - The Next Chapter Begins

It's not often an author shares the ending of the book before the book is even published, but this is an unusual case.  And don't worry, I'm not spoiling anything.

In the last chapter of my book, I write that I felt God was telling me the theme for 2016 is, "I am making all things new", which is also the title of that chapter and comes from Revelation 21:5, "He who is seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new."  I wrote this word from God into my journal in January 2016, obviously not knowing what the future would hold for the year ahead.

And what a year it has been since that time!  I completed my book, Activation: A Story of God's Transforming Power, which is now at the printer and should be ready for purchase this week.  My wife got a new full-time job with the flexibility she desired with our children.  And my brother is having his second baby this fall.

Many new things are happening for us this year, but none more impactful than what happened in May.  After 11 years at my company, I was informed of an organization restructure, and my position was impacted.  My last day with the company was just last Friday, July 1st. 

As disappointing as this news was, a couple of weeks before I was informed, God told me during my prayer time, "I will give you strength for the days ahead."  This indicated that something was going to happen in my life that would need His strength.  Also, I wrote down the phrase "Burst Forth" twice in my journal as a word from God - the day before I was informed of my job loss, and an earlier time.  When I looked up this phrase in the Bible, I found Isaiah 58:8,

"Then your light will burst forth like the morning, your new skin will quickly grow over your wound; your righteousness will precede you, and Adonai's glory will follow you."

When the day came to be informed about my job, I was at total peace, knowing from the words received from God that this was all part of His plan.  This was noticed by people at work who know me to be a planful person, who gets worried in times of uncertainty.  And with my book being released at the same time I was to leave my company, it was so clear that God was setting up a transition for my life in this season. 

I don't know what's next for my life, and I'll admit to being a little scared.  But by seeking God in daily time with Him, and listening for His voice, I was given the great gift of peace and advance knowledge of something that would normally have been very difficult news. 

Are you in a season of uncertainty? Are you ready for God to make all things new?  If you take the time to sit and listen to His voice, He will give you peace for every season of your life.  He promises that we will "burst forth" with a new adventure that lies ahead of us, that will be too wonderful to fathom today.  Trust in Jesus, and He will make all things new!

- Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

My Elijah

I was recently prompted by God to look for a particular book in my nightstand.  But what He really intended, as I dug through the many papers, books, and other keepsakes, was to find a very special postcard hidden in the bottom of the drawer, that I had completely forgotten about. 

The postcard was from my grandmother, who sent me the card while I was in college in the mid-1990s.  She was vacationing in Hawaii with my grandfather, as they did every September for many years, and sent me the card just to say hi:



What she wrote on the card reflects very clearly who she was as a person: "God is so good to answer my prayers.  His works are all around."  Why would she write that in a note to her grandson? It seems a little random to throw that in there.  But that's what happens when God has activated your life - He is always on your mind, and you are constantly reminded of your relationship with Him in everything you do. 

That's why my grandmother is "My Elijah".

Elijah was a powerful prophet in the Old Testament.  His showdown with the prophets of Baal, where God proved to be the one true God in the eyes of the nation of Israel, is one of my favorite stories in the Bible (1 Kings 18:16-40).  Elijah was also priviledged to stand on a mountain and witness God's presence pass by.  Finally, he was given the gift of not having an earthly death, as he was taken up to heaven by chariots of fire in a whirlwind, in the sight of his protégé, Elisha. 

Elisha was chosen by God to be Elijah's successor to his prophetic ministry.  And when Elijah asked Elisha what he wanted before Elijah was taken to heaven, Elisa responded, "Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit." (2 Kings 2:9).  While it was a difficult request, Elisha was granted this request by God and had his own dynamic ministry.

When my grandmother died in 2007, I was able to speak at her funeral. At that service, I asked God for a double portion of my grandmother's spirit.  When I look at the way God has activated my life and given me the same passion for His presence as my grandmother had, I see now that God answered my prayer, and I'm sure the very similar prayers of my grandmother as she went on her many walks around her condo and spoke with God.

Who do you have in your life as a role model for walking with God?  Have you asked God for a double portion of his or her spirit?  I can't wait to see what happens when you do!

Adam Gellert

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hearing (and Sometimes Missing) God's Voice

I've been fortunate to hear God's voice during my life, both audibly (just once) and in my thoughts and prayer time. Until this year, these instances were very intermittent, which meant it could be several months or even years in between the times I heard God.  But in my book, Activation: A Story of God's Transforming Power, I describe the first time I was able to hear God daily, during the 30-day devotional time my church had in January 2016.  This has led to a daily quiet time with God where He has given me things to write down every day, and it's been an amazing time of revelation, closeness to God, and peace and comfort for the daily journey of life that I have never experienced before.

However, despite this increased frequency, there are times when I've put a question mark next to something I've written down, because it just didn't make sense or I couldn't quite tell if it was God.  I even had one day where most of what I wrote down was very discouraging and negative, and it wasn't consistent with the pattern of comfort, peace, and love I had received the other days, so I scratched out those messages.  In other words, despite our best efforts to hear God, we are being constantly barraged with our own thoughts, and thoughts from the devil, that will try to drown out the voice of our Father.  Tuning into the right frequency to hear God is always a learning experience.

And one time recently, I really got it wrong. During a program at my church, I saw of vision of my brother Peter and his family being marked by Jesus.  His wife is pregnant with their second child, and I thought God was revealing the gender of the baby to me.  It was unclear, so I strained even harder to "see" what the vision would show me. I then saw a picture of a child from behind, with long blonde hair, so I thought, "It's going to be a girl!" In my excitement I told my brother, who had been hearing from others that they thought it was a girl too, so this confirmed it for him.

The problem is, when they went to the doctor to find out the gender, it was a boy!  I was shocked, and it really shook my ability to hear God for a period of time. How could I miss it? 

Ironically, during the time of this increased hearing of God's voice in my life, Pastor Robert Morris at Gateway Church, where I am a member, has been preaching a message from a series called Frequency, based on the new book he released by the same name. It's helped confirm my experiences hearing God, in both the challenges and confirming messages I've heard.  During one sermon, he told the story of someone else who missed it too, and he talked about how sometimes we mix up what we are desiring from God's message to us, or want to hear something so badly, we aren't really picking up the right signal from God.

So I've learned that hearing from God isn't always easy, and I'm going to get it wrong sometimes. But this shouldn't keep us from trying - that's just what the devil would want us to do.  For those times when I do question if a message is from God, it means I have to wait for some kind of confirmation that it's really from Him, either from reading the Bible, having the word come to pass correctly, or in the other ways God speaks to us.

Getting to hear from God daily, and taking time out of my day to do so, has been one of the most precious gifts God has given me in my life.  I wouldn't trade that time for anything.  So start today - find some quiet time to ask God what He is saying to you through his Holy Spirit, and you'll be amazed at what He says back. He loves you and can't wait to tell you so Himself!

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. - John 10:27

Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com



Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Spiritual Maturity at the Water Park

I recently went on a trip with my family that involved a stay at a hotel with an indoor water park.  My kids, at 8 and 6 years old, are a little more cautious than most when it comes to theme park rides, water slides, and such, so I wondered how they would handle this new opportunity to take a risk, to stretch their comfort zone.  Would they go for it, or would they sit back and watch the other kids go down the two story water slides that loomed ominously up the stairway?

At first things went as expected; although they both climbed the stairs with me to see what this whole water slide thing was, they refused to take part when they saw the rushing waters trailing off into the darkness of a large plastic tube, with only a few feet in view and the rest of the slide an unknown path of winding ups and downs.  They could also hear the echo of other kids (and adults) yelling and screaming on the way down the slides and wanted nothing to do with it.  I trudged back down the stairs with them, ready to head off to the section of the pool where the smaller kids played in the splash pads, wondering when my kids would finally take a chance to enjoy the fun of these water slides.

Then something changed.  They continued to be drawn to the slides, as they saw their family members the same age going up and down the slides, screaming and laughing in delight when they came crashing into the final leg of the slide into the pool.  Finally, they both went back up the stairs to the top of the slides.  They both took the plunge into the unknown.  AND THEY LOVED IT!  After that, they must have climbed up those stairs dozens of times.  I sat back down and watched them go over and over again, without my help, and it didn't take long for them to become completely comfortable taking on this adventure on their own.

While sitting in a chair watching this phenomenon, God showed me that our walk with Him isn't much different.  As we grow in our spiritual maturity, God wants us to venture out and take risks, to try something new that initially makes us uncomfortable.  Jesus asked us to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19).  This means going beyond attending church on Sundays, hearing a good message, and returning to the others things we have on our agenda, as we check the box with God for that week.  That's playing in the kids' pool.  The real fun begins when we step into the water slides of life - sharing your faith with others, wearing a shirt, wristband, or bumper sticker that professes your faith, volunteering at church or another non-profit opportunity, praying for others, carving out quiet time with God, paying for someone's meal while in line at the drive thru, etc.  And like my kids being influenced by their friends and relatives at the water park, you may be encouraging others to seek more in their walk with God when they see your example.

As I describe in my book, I also experienced this same period of learning to stretch, to do something that many people would think was a little crazy.  And I know I still have a long way to go in this area.  But like my kids in the water park, once I took a bold step with God in an area of my life that He had given me to work on, I couldn't go back to the old way - I was hooked, and it was a lot of fun! I realized that it wasn't so scary after all, that God wouldn't let me do anything He knew I couldn't handle, and He honored my faith with unexpected blessings I would have never experienced had I not jumped into the unknown. 

Ask God to take you to the water parks of life, where He can stretch you to do more than you thought you could ever do.  He won't ever leave your side, and He knows which slides you can handle, and which ones you aren't ready for yet. 

If you want to live an activated life, it's time to leave the kids pool!

Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Hearing From Ravi Kandal - A Story From My Book

In my book I dedicate a chapter to my favorite story from my Activation adventures, at least so far.  It's called "Hearing from Ravi."  It really demonstrates to me that God can make unexpected connections in your life that can lead you to a life of adventure and fun surprises.  Here is an excerpt from the chapter:
I was introduced to a series of amazing documentary movies in 2012 beginning with Father of Lights. Darren Wilson and his company, Wanderlust Productions, began creating movies in 2007 with the release of Finger of God and have gone on to produce Furious Love, Father of Lights, Holy Ghost, and most recently, Holy Ghost Reborn in the fall of 2015. Each movie is unique and awesome for various reasons, and it’s a great opportunity to see how the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit work together as One for the love of God’s children in the world. If you haven’t been exposed to modern day miracles, this is a great opportunity to see them first hand.

While all of these movies are great, I think my favorite may be Father of Lights, which features Ravi Kandal. Incredibly, God speaks to Ravi audibly each day, giving him instructions for his ministry. In the movie the film crew follows Ravi as he embarks on amazing adventures that were directed by God’s instruction. If you get a chance to read Darren Wilson’s book, Filming God, you can read about many more adventures with Ravi, including times Jesus himself has appeared to and spoken with him!

Who wouldn’t want to know someone like that? Well, that’s where the story gets nothing short of crazy. In October 2014, I received a request from Ravi to connect with him through LinkedIn™! I was shocked and amazed, but then I wondered if it was even legit. Why would he contact me? Is this a scam? But God talks to him audibly. Did God speak my name to Ravi?

His profile showed he was connected to several people from Darren Wilson’s movies, so I took a chance and accepted the invitation. I sent him an email asking how he found my name, and I didn’t hear back right away. My family started teasing me about being so gullible. “Adam, it’s obviously some kind of joke or scam!” I wasn’t convinced and emailed him again asking how he got my name. Several days passed, and I then received an email from Ravi:

“Thank u for accepting me. My brother the fun part of our
father is
1. He talks,
2. He connects people for a reason.
Be blessed.”

It was so incredibly exciting to enter the world of the documentaries I was such a big fan of, and I couldn’t wait to see where this connection would lead!

Since I was still mystified and wanted to better understand why this connection with Ravi happened, I perused his connections to see if there was anyone that I should connect with. I had been interested in writing another book at that time, so I was immediately drawn to one of his connections, who is an author and book editor. I ended up not moving forward with that book idea, but when this book came into focus in early 2016, I got an email from Jackie at that time to check in on me. I’m excited that Jackie Macgirvin, nationally recognized author, helped me put together the book you are reading now!

Even with this connection already made through my linkage with Ravi, I have a feeling this is not the end of this story. I look forward to learning more about why God made this connection and what further contacts this will bring in the body of Christ!

Then incredibly, I was able to add the following update to the book just before finalizing the manuscript:

Well, the story doesn’t end there. As I was about to sign an agreement with a book publisher for this book, I noticed from my church’s bookstore that we have our own publishing arm called Gateway Create. I found someone on LinkedIn™ who worked for the group and sent an invite to connect. He responded the same day, and I learned that Gateway was making an effort to expand its book publishing capabilities using Burkhart Books, founded by Tim Taylor.

I looked Tim up on LinkedIn™, and saw that he shared three connections with me — one of which was Ravi Kandal!!!

When I connected with Tim, I learned that he had also received a random request to connect, and had not known Ravi. So the story has come full circle, with God connecting me to my editor and book publisher for this book through Ravi!

Better yet, given all of these connections, I emailed Ravi after not hearing from him since late 2014, to tell him about my adventures with his connections. You can imagine my surprise when I received a call on my cell phone from an unknown number, only to have Ravi on the other line! After spending a few minutes talking about my book, he explained to me that in the fall of 2014, God had given him the names of 682 people to connect with on LinkedIn.  I was one of the names God called out to Ravi! 

Just like I said in the book, and have to repeat again, I know this is not the end of the adventure with Ravi and his connections.  I am currently in the process of trying to connect with all 682 of these individuals, and can't wait to see what will happen with this part of my "Activation" story! If  you are one of the "682", please reach out and tell me your story.  The second chapter of the adventure is beginning!

-Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com

Monday, May 30, 2016

Activation Prayer

The definition of "activation" is so appropriate to describe what has happened to me in recent years, and what happens to anyone who God activates:

ACTIVATION:
  1. the process whereby something is prepared or excited for a subsequent reaction
  2. to accelerate a reaction, as by heat
  3. to set in motion
  4. making active or effective
  5. putting an individual or unit on active (military) duty
I believe God is moving strongly during these times, and wants to activate all His children for more - more of His presence, more of a closer relationship with Him, as well as his Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, more boldness in sharing your faith with others, and more amazing connections, miracles, and encounters as you grow in your walk with the Lord.  God is on the move across the whole earth, and if you open yourself up to all He wants to reveal to you, an incredible transformation awaits!

If you're ready to experience God's activation today, all you have to do is ask in prayer.  This prayer is in my book, and is a great way to "seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (Matthew 6:33)

ACTIVATION PRAYER

Father God, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, to die for my sins, and the sins of the world.  Now I can have a direct link to You through Jesus' saving grace.  I'm ready for more, for all that You intended for me when I was knit in my mother's womb.  I submit to Your authority over my life.  Baptize me in the Holy Spirit through the atoning blood of Jesus.  Fill me with Your power, so that I will no longer be lukewarm, but will be filled with fire and passion to do Your will every day of my life.  Give me the courage and boldness to show others the light that shines in me, so that they too will want what I have.  I look forward to the surprises You have in store for my life. 
In the name of Jesus Christ I pray.  Amen.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about how God has activated your life, so send me an email, or post a comment, as we build an Activation Movement across the world.  I know God is going to bring people to Him, along with healings, signs, and wonders through the power of the Holy Spirit, as we go on this journey.  God is on the move!

- Adam Gellert