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