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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Overcoming through the PERFECT STORM

Hey all.  Time to Catch up and post again!  Testimony Time. 

 Isaiah 35 - flowers bloom in the desert

The ground working ministry I do day to day has overwhelmed my online work over the past few months.  Hence, limited posting for some time.  

We did accomplish the 30DAYs-24/7 prayer with 33+churches and ministries joining in prayer for the month of June and finishing with a 24/1 in our Centennial Park - 24 hrs of worship and prayer with 15-20 church families as part of the praise, worship, prayer and intercession for our country, city, churches, and the nations.  

There are some good stories to tell as I get back to sharing.  
Here we go. 


1. A 7 Years Ordeal ends in a Final Decree declaration.  
Before planting Capstone Christian Fellowship (2011) and entering into the awesome season I'm now in, my wife and I ran a real estate investment business as tent makers in ministry.  I have always been a "tent making" church planter, looking for work that allows me to provide and press forward in front-running ministry. Years ago we realized the Lord's blessing on us in real estate through restoration, rehabilitation and rentals.   

Then in late 2007/2008 everything unraveled in the sub-prime debalicale.  Every venture and asset I had was captured in a swirling downward cash swallowing cycle.  A powerful vortex that could not be stopped or reasoned out of, our lives spun down into chaos.  My net worth, over 1.5 million at the time, became a ball and chain of assets worth less than owed and deals crashing like waterfalls.   

At this time the Lord also said to plant the church we now lead, Capstone Christian Fellowship.  That in itself appeared to be a ridiculous proposition.

So goes the wisdom of men, yet God makes a way where there is no way.  He redeems, restores, and pours favor in all the seasons of our lives.  It's because of who he is not because of what we are.  I'm grateful for that reality of his grace. 

Learning about the "God who makes a way where there is no way"  Isaiah 43:1-4
Through the grace of God our Government provided a way to address our apparent "No way out" financial situation;  a way to recovery and a future.   Painful as it was to arrive at, we elected to do a Chapter 11. We arrived here after two years of working endless hours for no pay to correct, return, negotiate and bring order to a completely blown apart world of houses, rentals, development properties and remodel projects.  The pain and struggle of this season, emotional, physical, mental and relational was relentless, excrushiating and isolating.  We kept plugging away step after step riding on God's word and rhema.  At the same time we were pouring into a new church and seeing more miracles and Kingdom favor than ever.

At the most critical point in all this, I received a word from the Lord, a prophetic encouragement.  It was plain, called me to the path of faith, called me to reject fear as I looked ahead.  It addressed promise, hope and a future.  It called me into faith and out of fear.  

Jeremiah 42:1-12  After the destruction of Jerusalem, Officers of the army that had abandoned the city and their King met with Jeremiah on their way to Egypt.
Remember Keith Greens "So you want to go back to Egypt?"  They were on their way.  Terrified of the King of Babylon, they were going to go to Egypt to escape deportation.  They asked Jeremiah for a word of the Lord and pledged obedience to whatever God said; obedience they did not carry out.

I came home from church after doing the same with men in our fellowship, asking for prayer and anything the Lord would speak to them for me and my family.  I landed on this passage a few hours later and it completely changed my life over the 7 year period!

The Mysterious ways of the Spirit lead to the remarkable demonstrations of the Kingdom and His loving kindness.

1Then all the army officers, including Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniaha son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least to the greatest approached 2Jeremiah the prophet and said to him, “Please hear our petition and pray to the Lord your God for this entire remnant. For as you now see, though we were once many, now only a few are left. 3Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.”
4“I have heard you,” replied Jeremiah the prophet. “I will certainly pray to the Lord your God as you have requested; I will tell you everything the Lord says and will keep nothing back from you.”
5Then they said to Jeremiah, “May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the Lord your God sends you to tell us. 6Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the Lord our God, to whom we are sending you, so that it will go well with us, for we will obey the Lord our God.”

7Ten days later the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah. 8So he called together Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him and all the people from the least to the greatest. 9

He said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your petition, says: 10‘If you stay in this land, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot you, for I have relented concerning the disaster I have inflicted on you. 11Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you now fear. Do not be afraid of him, declares the Lord, for I am with you and will save you and deliver you from his hands. 12I will show you compassion so that he will have compassion on you and restore you to your land. 

The very first line "if you stay in the land" was an immediate aid.  I was searching for any available avenues to find work and income as all was fading and I could see the end line.  Moving away from Central Oregon was a clear option if something opened up.  This passage and word calmed me and gave me faith to focus, trust the Lord and stay in the land I was called to bless.

I also prayed during conversations with creditors.  Asking God to have compassion and make a way.  He always did. It was remarkable.  Yet the financial storm was just ramping up.  We saw our cash reserves melt away and we came to the point of having no perceivable options to resolve many of the storms in front of us.

There are very few lawyers who practice Chapter 11 as we needed.  One practiced in our neighboring town of Bend OR.   His skill and God's favor set a path over 5 years to satisfy the court and our creditors.   We reorganized and restructured our assets.  We lived on cash.  We prayed and walked through too many breaking point moments to mention and God met us at every one.  We always had what we needed at the right time. Sometimes that was at the last minute.   And we definitely went without extras and fine things.

In November of 2016 the end was in sight.  June 2017 was our cut off.  We had to finish the final payments, pay administrative costs and open the case again for the court to provide a "Final Decree".
I was busy planning how we might walk out the last year of pay offs and payments when everything financial unraveled.  The result was the draining of our cash reserves and huge pressure on our monthly income.  We had nothing to go toward the final payments required to finish the Chapter 11.  We were not able to save anything.  I entered into a season of intense prayer.  Learning to pray as I never did before.  The road we traveled was so close to finishing.  I did not believe the Father was holding up road blocks to his own promises.  I fought hard in prayer.  Cries, tears, loud cries, the words of Hebrews 5:7-9 welcomed me into this new reality of warfare and prayer.

Here's a run down.   

1. Backing up my truck on our property, I hit an unseen stump and completely bent the door to non-functional.  March 2016.  Deductible and more later the $3000.00 repair took 4.5 weeks leaving us with one vehicle and no work truck.  Not good since I was preparing a clean up on a rental property we had just received back from he tenants in really bad shape.  It needed a complete remodel.

2. Duplex Remodel required. We found our rental in total disrepair and requiring a new bathroom.  We decided to sell it.  To do so required months of remodel and restoration work. We had limited funds coming in each month and dwindling cash reserves.  The property screamed back at us every time we saw it, fix me now.   Pressure mounted every day.  So did the prayers.

Side Note: All during the repair process, the one car process, I was running the church and running the 30DAYs - 24/7 - Prayer for July as well as planning a region wide in the park 24/1 - 24 hrs of continuous prayer and worship.   

3. My God truck, we received a $5000.00 gift to purchase a vehicle after our son crashed our paid off mini-van, was finally ready after the door repair.  Now I could start the remodel in earnest.  Two days into going for it, the truck simply died.  Wouldn't start.  Days after getting it back, it was inopperable for a new reason.   It was in the shop for 3.5 weeks.  $2700.00 later we got it back.  That's $2700 in cash we needed to:
Pay off the BK 11 -  $9000.00
Pay for the remodel - $15,000.00
Pay for sustaining our daily lives.  

4. The duplex restoration draws on all our physical, mental, emotional, financial resources while we continue to maintain the church (which was providing 1/2 my normal salary - sometimes and sometimes not), develop the regional 30DAYs of prayer (believing God for the funds to do the park 24/1 but having none) and fostering outreach to the community.

We ran out of resources for the finish.  The roof needed to be re-done and we had no means left of doing it.   We prayed.  We reasoned with the Lord.  We humbled ourselves and asked my Mom to lend us $8000.00.  At just the right moment she said yes.  God provided a window of literally 3 days when an excellent contractor, who gave us an excellent bid, and could do the roof.  I had to orchestrate it all in one day and we did. All the other fund needs for the property were met and we continued in earnest on the property finish.  At the same time now we sought to process renters.  We lost 5 months of income from the property during the remodel and process of the renters leaving.  That equals $3750.00 of regular income lost during the PERFECT STORM.

Side note:  Financial income and financial out flow.
The duplex provided me with 1/2 my passive income.  Income lost while it was not rented.  So we were pouring money into the rental that was no longer paying me $750.00 per month in income.
Equasion:    - income + heaps of cash going out = massive daily trust in God's provision and miracles.  

Onward we pressed in prayer and hope.  I believed God would provide a way but we were not seeing any changes just yet.

Around December I reasoned that I would look for other work to pay for the Chapter 11 payoff.  I began an ernest search for some work that would not completely take me out of ministry and the apostolic direction the Spirit had clearly spoken to me.  I had dreams, prophetic words, amazing confirmations for "the first day of the rest of my life" and I wanted to be in that stream with Jesus.  But the war I was waging in prayer and faith had not yet seen the breakthrough required.

I searched for work and had some interviews but no job yet.  And at the same time I continued in prayer.  Then a breakthrough.  We received a gift of $5000.00 and an offer on our duplex!  The door opened.  We could see a way through.  We began in ernest making preparations with our lawyer for final payments and his fees as well as court processes.  We prayed through each step of selling our duplex.  And at each step the Father blessed and satisfied the buyer.

Here is what these answered prayers did.
1. Duplex - provided funds to pay off all existing debts and all Chapter 11 final payments and processes.  Once sold we did do just that.
2. The initial cash got everything moving with enough time, according to our Lawyer, to finish.  And we did move out quickly into the finish zone.

We still had many "processes" to walk out and continued prayer in faith.
We still had the continuous pressure of the finish line and trusting God for it.

But we also have the testimony.   

God provided for us what we needed at just the right time. 

Prayer, in ernest and in faith, moves mountains.
The journey of this kind is a winding road of many twists, turns, and miracles.
Patient endurance is the halmark of apostolic faith.  Jesus saved us from death through it. (Hebrews 5:7-9
We serve a God who makes a way where there "appears" to be no way.  His loving kindness is beyond imagination.  Trusting him is the glory and joy of living in his Kingdom.
Hard work goes right along with Kingdom progress.  His yoke is easy and heaven is easy but our connection to the things of the world can bring us into sweating a bit and working hard.
We received some of the greatest financial miracles of our lives in this season.
We relied on who we were in Jesus and didn't let the failures and storm define us.
We watched God plant a church in the midst of all of this.
We saw our sons and family prosper and be blessed in every way by our amazing Father God.
We exploded out into the Nations in mission.
We continued in the way of unity, service and love in our region and did the 30DAY's of prayer and 24/1.
We have lived on cash for 7 years and still do.  Always making it.  He made a way where there appeared to be none.
We are debt free (except our mortgage - 10 year plan on that) and living on a much smaller budget - postponed for continued mission and ministry in the nations.

We are positioned for the "first day of the rest of our lives"
And it was all His doing.
His word.
His miracles.
His way.

Thank you for the prayers.  Not possible without them.
Thank you for the encouragements along the way.
Thank you for the love and hope.
Thank you for the miracle funds at the right moments.
Thank you Jesus for the wonders of your faithful and beautiful people.
Your glory is shines as we love you first and walk patiently in the way you lead us in.

"Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."  John 17:3   

We carry the message, power, reality and hope of eternal life and better life here on earth.  

You may say, "old time religion."  
I say Christ Jesus and him crucified!  

Thank you for reading. 
Love hearing from you. 

There is such a vast an open country of PRAYER and WORSHIP in Jesus Christ our KING. 
Go after some of it today.

Hang in there.  

Often we start making predictions based on past failures when trouble lands.    We start predicting a negative future out of some of our bad memories.  
The awesome thing is God is not tied up by our predictions. 
He is creative.  In love with us.  And he is good all the way.  
Everything in his heart is to see us live forever with him.  
He has provided everything needed in the Lord Jesus and his perfect work. 
I have always been a bad predictor of the future....even when I think it turns out bad. 
God always sweeps in and something unseen re-writes the story.  
That is the heart of God over us.   
He re-writes it so we see him, grow deeper in love and learn to walk with him.
In turn he changes us inside forever!  

This is all worth it.  
Even the days when you are hanging on by the tips of your fingers and you see a 1000 feet of air beneth you.   He will catch you.
Or He will sweep in and bring something unexpected.  
Believe.  Believe.  Believer. 
Trust in the NAME of Jesus.  

Comments?  Ideas? Testimonies?  
Send those to me.  
Thanks for +1's and re-shares. 

More Posts on Confidence and Zeal...

Thanks for reading.  
The dialogue is awesome.  Thank you.
Testimonies?  Share em with me.  

With much love in Jesus

You can do this thing!  He's got you.  

Jeff Reynolds   ---
Brother Jeff